April 12

It’s All for Good

Once upon a time there was a king who had a wonderful, wise minister. The minister was very loyal and devoted to the king, and the king never left the palace without the minister at his side.

One day as the monarch was cutting a piece of fruit, he accidentally cut his finger. As it was being treated, he asked the minister why this had happened. “I was very careful,” he explained, “but the knife just seemed to slip all by itself. “ The minister looked at him and gently said, “Don’t worry, raja. It’s all for good.”

The king became furious. “What kind of philosophy is this? I have cut my finger. The blood is pouring. Yet you stand there calmly and say, ‘It’s all for good.’ If that is as much as you care about me, I don’t want you around anymore.” He called the guards and told them to take the minister to jail. The minister quietly submitted. As he was being taken away, he simply said, “Fine. This also is for good.” 

Several days later, the king decided to go hunting. He went far into the forest with a large group of companions. Suddenly he started chasing a beautiful deer. Of course he had the fastest horse, and he soon left the others far behind. Still, the deer managed to escape. When the king realized how far he had gone, it was too late. He was very deep into the jungle and was lost.

Fortunately the raja had been on many adventures, and he stayed calm. He was very tired and thirsty. Nearby there was a big, green tree with a small brook running past it. He drank his fill, then leaned against the tree and fell asleep.

In a little while, a rustling sound woke the king. He slowly opened his eyes. What he saw made him freeze. A huge lion was standing right next to him, sniffing him all over. He didn’t know what to do so he just stayed still and watched the lion. All of a sudden, as the lion was sniffing one of the king’s hands, it snorted and ran away.

The king was amazed at his good fortune. He leaped up and began shouting for his companions, who eventually found him. “Listen,” he told them. “A lion came while I was sleeping. He was huge and ferociouslooking. He was all ready to eat me, but something mysteriously happened. All of sudden the lion just left.”

“That’s wonderful!” they exclaimed; but none of them could explain what had happened. When they returned to the palace the king had the minister brought from the jail. He told the story in every detail. The minister simply said, “It’s all for good, Maharaja.”

“What do you mean all for good? That doesn’t explain why the lion just went away without even biting me. What is the explanation?”

“Maharaja, the lion is the king of the beasts, just as you are the king of the people. When somebody offers you a fruit, it should be a clean, wholesome fruit. The minute the lion smelled the cut finger, it knew that you were not whole, not fit. As the king of beasts, it didn’t want to eat you. So you see, raja, the cut finger saved your life. Now do you understand that it’s all for good?

“As for my imprisonment, you know that ordinarily we are never separated. Surely I would have been with you on the hunt and would have raced after you through the jungle. We would have both been sleeping under the tree when the lion arrived. He would still have rejected you, but would have swallowed me. Because you had put me in jail, my life was saved.”

It is not often easy to see the good in adversity when it occurs. When you find yourself in pain, remember this story of the king and his minister. The benefit may not make itself clear until much later, but it is there. Have faith in the positive outcome. Tell yourself, “It’s all for good.” It’s like a mantra in a way. You can repeat it again and again to give you courage.

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