Most Valuable

AT one time, Ujjain was ruled by a king called Dhiman. He was said to have been blessed with the “eight forms of wealth, ” considered any king’s greatest asset.

One day a mendicant came to see Dhiman. The King asked him what he wanted.

“O King”, the mendicant replied, “I have only two possessions, an iron tumbler and a stick. I want to sell these things to you.”

“What is their worth?” the King asked the mendicant.

“Give me a lakh for them!” the other replied.

The King did not ponder even for a moment, nor did he heed the officials who tried to dissuade him, but gave the mendicant a lakh of rupees and bought the two worthless things to the surprise of everyone.

That night, when the King went to bed, he had a dream. He saw a lady wearing all sorts of gold ornaments leaving his palace.

“Who are you?” he asked her. “I am the Goddess of Wealth,” she replied.

“Why do you go away?” he asked her.

“You pay a beggar a lakh and buy a worthless iron tumbler and a stick. I’m not going to remain with you even a minute more,” she replied.

“Go, then!” the King said. Sometime later, he saw another lady, tall, strong and youthful.

“Who are you?” the King asked her.

“I’m the Goddess of Strength,” she replied.

“Why do you go away?” he asked her.

“Because the Goddess of Wealth has left you. You can’t keep me much longer. Nor do I want to stay with you a minute more.”

“Go, then!” the King said.

A little later, he saw yet another woman, an old one with grey hair. She, too, was leaving.

“Who are you?” he asked her.

“I’m the Goddess of Wisdom,” she replied.

“Why do you go?” he asked her.

“What can I do here when the Goddess of Strength has left you? So, I, too, go!” she said.

“Go, then!” he said to her.

Still, later, he saw one more lady who looked like a Goddess. She, too, was leaving the palace.

“Now, who are you?” the King asked her.

“I’m the Goddess of Courage,” she replied.

The King stood in her way and said, “How is it you want to leave me ?”

“Everyone is leaving you, and so am I,” she replied.

The King caught her by the hand and said, “Let them leave me; you can’t. I don’t mind their going so long as you are with me.”

The Goddess of Courage smiled and said, “Well, I shan’t go !” And the King woke up from his sleep smiling happily.

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