Friday, July 17, 2009



A man, when he was about to die, left his son a bag of blessings, full to its brim. And he was about to pass away, he said to his son: "The bag will always be full, so long as you remember the four magic words."

One blessing after another was taken out of the bag until the bag was almost empty. By then the son forgotten the four magic words his father had given him as his parting message. He desperately tried to remember the words but could not get them. He consulted his learned uncle who suggested: "May be, the words are: ‘O bag, be refilled." He repeated those words, but the bag remained almost empty.

He went to the priest of the temple and asked him if he could help. The priest said: "Have you tried the four words of the Mahavakya: "Brahma sat jagat mithya’?" Once again, the son repeated those words but to no effect. The bag continued to remain unfilled.

It was evening. The son felt hungry. He opened the bag and found that there was but one piece of bread in it. Sad at heart and weary, he took out the last piece of bread and was about to eat it when he heard a cry: "I am almost dying of starvation: will someone give me a piece of bread to eat?" Forgetting his own hunger, the son passed on the last piece of bread to the starving one who, before eating it, folded his hands and prayed: "I thank Thee, Lord!"

The son jumped with excitement and cried: "There are the words!" He took his empty bag and prayed: "I thank Thee, Lord! I thank Thee, Lord, I thank Thee, Lord!" And the bag of blessing was full to the brim.
This is a legend, but it enshrines a great truth. The man who keeps on offering the prayer: "I thank Thee, Lord!" or "I praise Thee, Lord!" will lack nothing. His bag of blessings will ever remain full.

"I thank thee, Lord" " I praise Thee, Lord!" May those four words be a mantra of our life! May we learn to praise the Lord in heat and cold, in joy and sorrow, in praise and censure, in pleasure and pain, in loss and gain – aye, in the face of disappointment, disaster, disease, death! Then, indeed, will every day be to us a happy and blessed day!

(Written by: J P Vaswani in East and West Series, March 2004)