Once upon a time, a king and a merchant were very good friends. The merchant was a trader of sandalwood logs. Once, it so happened that the merchant was unable to sell any of his sandalwood logs for 2 to 3 years. He was very worried because of that. He knew that no one except the king will be able to buy so many sandalwood logs, as they are very expensive. He had an evil thought about the king. He said to himself, ‘If the king dies, many sandalwood logs will be required to perform his cremation rites. Then, I shall be able to do good business.’
On the other hand, even the king started to have negative thoughts about the merchant. He thought, ‘The merchant doesn’t have any children. So, if he dies, all his wealth will be deposited in the royal treasury.’ In this way, both of them started to have such evil thoughts about each other.
When they met each other, both of them told each other about the cruel thoughts coming in their minds. What was the reason for the development of such negative thoughts about the merchant in the mind of the king? Actually, as the merchant had an evil thought in his mind about the king’s untimely death, a negative reaction to this evil thought erupted in the king’s mind. Hence, the king too had a similar evil though about the merchant’s death. The merchant realized his mistake and asked for apology.
He realized that instead of having such a negative thought, he could have thought of a positive way in which his sandalwood logs could be sold; for example, the king deciding to make new sandalwood doors for his palace.
– (Pujya) Dr. Vasant Balaji Athavale (year 1990).