The Four Wives – An Inspiring Old Tibetan Story

In today’s article, we are going to tell you one very old and inspiring short story which is coming from the sacred land of Tibet. We don’t really know who actually wrote it, but one thing is certain: the message it shares is profound.

“Very long, long ago, when the world was young and the tiger walked with the deer, there was one rich king who had 4 wives. The king loved his fourth wife the most and adorned her with riches. He also loved his third wife and he was always showing her off to neighboring kingdoms. But, he always feared that she would leave him one day. The second wife of the king was kind and considerate and his trusted confidante and advisor in difficult times. The first wife of the king was devoted and loyal and although she loved him deeply, he was not that interested in her and he tended to ignore her.

One day, the king fell ill and he was also told that his life will soon end. He thought of the luxurious life that he had led and feared that he will be alone when he dies.

Then, he asked his last wife: “I have loved you the most, endowed you with the finest clothing, showered gifts upon you and taken great care over you. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

Then his wife replied “No way!” and she walked away without saying any other word.

The king, being very sad, asked his third wife: “I have loved you all my life. Now that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company?”

Then, she replied: “No! Life is too good. When you die, I’m going to remarry.”

After that, he asked his wife number two: “I have always turned to you for help and you’ve always been there for me. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?”

Then his second wife replied: “I’m sorry I can’t help you out this time!At the very most, I can help with your funeral.”

Then, a voice called out to the king in sadness, saying: “I’ll leave with you and follow you no matter where you go.”

When the king looked up, there was his first wife. She was so skinny and undernourished. Greatly grieved, the king said: “I should have taken much better care of you when I had the chance!”

In truth, all of us men have 4 wives in our lives. Our fourth wife is our body. No matter how much time, as well as effort we lavish in making our body to look good, it will actually leave as at the day when we die. It will be burnt, buried, or maybe chopped up for the vultures and wolves or feed the worms.

Our third wife is our possessions, status and wealth as well. When we die, all of these will go to others. It will be divided up.

Our family, as well as friends is our second wife. No matter how much they have loved and supported us, the furthest they can stay by us is up to the burial site. Even if they enter the portal of death they and we must walk alone into the BardoThodol.

Our mind stream is our first wife, which is often neglected in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the ego. However, it is actually the only thing that will follow us no matter where we go.

The moral of this story is that we should care for our body and keep it healthy so we can live our lives to their fullest. Also, we should enjoy our possessions, the pleasure and the comfort that they provide. We should cherish our friends and family, as well as the love that they provide. We should not forget to nourish our mind stream as it is actually the source of all our life and will also prove to be our most faithful friend.


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