What you truly want lies close by…

An elderly couple lived in great poverty, on the brink of a huge forest. They used to walk through the forest everyday, to gather firewood for their daily needs.

One day, Shiva and Parvati were also walking through the same forest, when Parvati happened to see the couple. She was filled with compassion for them, and also a bit of anger at Shiva. “You do so much for people who are wicked and evil, and here is a poor couple that is suffering, yet you haven’t done anything for them.”

“I tried many times before, but they refuse to accept it”, replied Shiva. When Parvati refused to believe him, Shiva laid a bag full of gold coins on the forest pathway, and taking Parvati with him, hid in the bushes nearby.

“What if we turn blind one day?”, asked the wife as she walked on ahead. “How will we find our way through the forest?”

“You are right, my dear. This could happen, and soon”, replied the husband. “Come, let’s tie these pieces of cloth on our eyes, and start practicing right away!” And so they helped blindfold each other, and with the man leading the way, continued to walk on the forest path.

No sooner had they walked a few steps when the man’s leg stuck the bag, and he shouted in pain. His wife, not knowing what had happened, also dashed her feet against the bag, and felt a surge of pain. “What stupid people leave a stone in the middle of a pathway? This forest is not at all safe for the blind” they said, as they side-stepped the bag and continued on their way.

“Now you know?” said Shiva to Parvati. “I have been trying to help them, but they fail to see”, he continued. Even when they have their eyes open, their vision is clouded by what they think is reality. And that is why, even when what they truly want lies at their feet, they keep searching for it…”