Dissolving the bitterness of life…

I am sharing a message that was forwarded to me:

January 31, 2012

Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake

Dissolving the bitterness of life…

Once a young man came to a revered teacher, who was seated under a tree near a beautiful lake, and asked for the solution for his unhappiness. After some minutes of conversation the old master kindly instructed the visitor to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink a few mouthfuls.

“How does it taste?” the teacher asked. “Awful,” said the apprentice after he had spat out the revolting liquid a few paces away. The teacher chuckled and then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake and when the youngster swirled his handful of salt into the lake, the old man told him, “Now drink from the lake.”

As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked him again, “How does it taste?” “Good!” he replied. “Do you taste the salt?” asked the Master. “No,” said the young man. The Master sat beside the troubled youth, took his hands, and said,

“The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains the same, exactly the same. But the level of ‘pain we taste’ depends on the container we put it into. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things. Stop being a glass. Become a lake.

And you can become a lake where you broaden your outlook; when you stop looking only at yourself and your own miseries. Look at life as a whole and the many things without which you would not be what you are today – your friends, family, hobbies, nature around you.

When you are confronted with a problem, you see only the problem and ruminate over it endlessly which only makes the situation more tragic. Think of previous instances when things were better. Look at all the blessings that God has filled your life with about which you never give a thought.

Never compare yourself negatively with others. You are a unique person and if you have the faith, God will provide what you need. When you have a pain in your life, put it in front of GOD – then it will surely lessen. Do not put it in front of yourself – as you cannot see beyond it.

Ramesh Jain


About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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10 Responses to Dissolving the bitterness of life…

  1. Grannymar says:

    Great message. My own version is if you sit at home struggling with a problem, it becomes the size of your room. Go for a walk and meet others with problems, and soon your own becomes like the tiny pebble in your shoe – a nuisance but not the end of the world.

    As I started to read this, a smile came to my face with the thought that if we had the weather more conducive to sitting under trees…. Ireland might have more wise men!


  2. padmum says:

    Well! I have my very own wise Irish lady and I cherish her presence in my life!!


  3. That’s a lovely photo of you, Padmini.

    Yes, everything is relative. I know it quite well. The trouble is, I think that it has made me way too tolerant.

    I tend to put up with nonsense that I should have put a stop to ages ago simply because I always tell myself that it could worse and that probably someone is worse off than I am.

    I’m beginning to realize this and I wonder should I stop being so tolerant and become more demanding. I was always brought up to think of others and to do unto others as I would have done unto me.

    I think I’ll have to go and meditate for a while.

    Definitely, a beautiful post.


  4. Rummuser says:

    This is a great story and I have blogged about your post.


  5. padmum says:

    Thank you Maria. Tolerance should not make you a doormat. Most women want to keep the peace and are willing to put up with a lot—until there comes a moment when you say…NO MORE!

    Meditation or chanting your prayers will surely help to get a perspective on issues.


  6. Delirious says:

    What a great lesson! Thank you for sharing that!


  7. natujaya says:

    Thanks a lot for this “positive message.”


  8. Raj Krishnaswamy says:

    My first visit here. Uplifting indeed. Kind of interesting coming from a culinary expert with the article referring to “salt” ! Thank you.


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