Zen Story About Happiness, King And The Monk
A Middle aged king goes to a Zen Monk in the forest and asks him “What is happiness?…I have all the riches in the world and everything I want but, yet I am not happy. I want to renounce everything. Where can I find happiness?”.
The Monk replies “If you really want to know, you have to do as I say exactly”.
King: Sure. Anything.
Monk: Sure you want to renounce everything?.
King: Yes. Sure I dont think I need any riches. I have heard that riches dont make me happy.
Monk: Ok. Take all your valuable assets that belong to you in your palace and convert (sell) them to get diamonds and exquisite stones. Bring all those riches in such a way that it fills a medium sized bag. Come to me alone with the bag without your weapons. I will teach you how to renounce the world and be happy.
King: Sure. Give me some time. I will do as you say.
(After one month the king converts all his assets and brings in a bag to the Monk.)
Monk: Are you sure. You have done exactly as I said.
Monk: Are you sure you came alone without weapons?
King: Yes. I am alone and not carrying any weapons.
Monk: Can I look at the bag.
King: Sure. Please.
(Monk Looks at the bag and in a spur of moment, takes the bag and runs)
King: You cheat…stop…I will kill you… (runs behind).
(Monk runs fast…king chases…Monk runs faster…king chases with anger… Finally, King closes in on Monk…but Monk barely escapes with the riches. Panting, King sits under a tree, thirsty and hungry. More than his physical discomfort, feels very angry,disappointed, frustrated and cheated. No one in his lifetime has cheated him like this. King says to himself…I will kill him…I will hunt him down and kill him. At that moment the Monk appears with the bag of riches in front of the king and says)
Monk: Check everything
(The King jumps at him, plucks the bag and rummages through the bag. Not even 1 stone was missing. King feeling very satisfied)
King: My God…I got it back…You cheat…you got scared that I will hunt you down ?. I thought you were a wise monk. Good that I was about to be cheated by a greedy fellow like you”. If you had asked, I would have given you the best position in the kingdom. Why do you have to do this? You got scared of me ?
Monk (calmly): I am scared of no one. Half hour back you came with the same riches infront of me..and you said you were unhappy. Now, you have the same riches in your hands…and you are very happy. Happiness lies within you. You need not renouce the riches to be happy or unhappy. Its all in your mind. The bigger the chase, the bigger the risk, the bigger the uncertainity, bigger the reward, the happier you get. Its not in really owning, possessing or renouncing these things.