The King’s flower pots

Once there was a king who was very fond of flowers. He had many expensive pots with beautiful and fragrant flowers. These were arranged in the palace’s courtyard just next to the king’s bedroom and a gardener was appointed especially to take care of them.

One day, while arranging the pots the gardener broke a pot by mistake. On hearing this, the king became furious. He sentenced the gardener to death for this petty mistake.

Meanwhile the king declared a reward for anyone who could repair the broken pot to its original form. Many people tried their luck, but no one succeeded. How could a broken pot be brought back to its original form as earlier?

A month passed by. Then a Saint visited that city. He heard about the reward for repairing the flowerpot and also learnt about the death sentence given to the poor gardener who had broken it.

The Saint went to the king’s court and said, “I will repair your pot. Show it to me.” The king took the Saint to the palace courtyard, where all the flowerpots were kept. The Saint looked at the broken pot and noticed the many intact pots next to it. He smiled and asked for a stick. As soon as He was given the stick, He started breaking all the intact flowerpots. For sometime, the king was totally confused at the Saint’s actions and wondered about the unusual way of repairing a broken pot! At first, he thought that the Saint probably knew of some novel method of repairing broken pots. However, when the Saint, standing fearlessly after having broken all the pots, showed no signs of repairing the pots, the king shouted, “O Saint! What have you done?”

The Saint replied, “I saved the lives of many poor people, who at some point in time would have broken these pots. O king, do you not realise that these expensive pots are only temporary objects that will perish one day? The plants living in them shall also perish and you are taking the life of a man for these? Do not ruin the kindness of your heart due to attachment for temporary things. Instead, make efforts to know God, Who alone is permanent in this temporary world!”

Moral: Often, we too, become unhappy by getting attached to temporary things. The spiritual practice of chanting is a simple way to be always happy by focusing on God.

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