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The Four Wives

Jan 6, 2005
Metro-Vancouver, B.C., Canada
The Four Wives

There was once a rich merchant who had four wives. He loved the 4th wife the most and adorned her with rich robes and treated her to delicacies. He took great care of her and gave her nothing but the best.

He also loved the 3rd wife very much. He's very proud of her and always wanted to show off her to his friends. However, the merchant was always in fear that she might run away with some other men.

He loved his 2nd wife too. She was a very considerate person, always patient and in fact is the merchant's confidante. Whenever the merchant faced some problems, he always turned to his 2nd wife and she would always help him out and tide him through difficult times.

Now, the merchant's 1st wife was a very loyal partner and had made great contributions in maintaining his wealth and business as well as taking care of the household.

However, the merchant did not love the first wife as he loved the other three; and although she loved him deeply, he hardly took notice of her.

One day, the merchant fell ill, and before long, he knew that he would soon die. He thought of his luxurious life and told himself, "Now I have four wives with me. But when I die, I will be alone. How lonely I will be!"

So he asked the 4th wife, "I loved you most, endowed you with the finest clothing and showered great care over you. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "Absolutely not!" she replied and walked away without another word.

The answer cut like a sharp knife right into the man's heart. So he then asked the 3rd wife, "I have loved you so much for all my life. Now that I'm dying, will you follow me and keep me company?" "No!" replied the 3rd wife. "Life is good, and I have so much to live for! In fact, I'm going to remarry when you die!"

The merchant was heart broken; but he asked the 2nd wife, "I always turned to you for help and you've always helped me out. Now I need your help again. When I die, will you follow me and keep me company?"

"I'm sorry, but I can't help you out this time!" replied the 2nd wife. "I will bury you and weep for you, but that is all."

The answer came like a bolt of thunder and the merchant was devastated.

Then a voice called out to him: "I will leave with you. I will follow you no matter where you go."

The merchant looked up and there was his first wife. She was so skinny, almost like she suffered from malnutrition.

Greatly grieved and remorseful, and now recognizing the depth and sincerity of her love, the merchant said, "I now wish I had taken much better care of you all these years - while I could have!"

In a sense, we all have four 'wives':

Our 4th 'wife' is our body. No matter how much time and effort we lavish in making it look good, it will certainly leave us when we die.

Our 3rd 'wife' is our possessions, status and wealth. When we die, they all go to others.

Our 2nd wife is our family and friends. Regardless of how close they might have been to us while we are alive, they can only remain with us until we die.

But our 1st wife is our soul - our spiritual partner, forever - often neglected in our pursuit of material wealth and worldly pleasure, our soul is with us always.

So maybe it would be a good idea to care for it now; while we still can - rather than to wait until it's too late.

~ Author Unknown ~


ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
Jul 14, 2007
Remarkable statements! I've always enjoyed all your articles. They're food for thought.