Three Boons

Once it happened that a man was worshipping Shiva. He worshipped and worshipped, prayed and prayed for years. Then Shiva appeared and he said, ”You can ask for three blessings, three gifts; I will give you three boons!!”

The man had been worshipping for so long that he really had forgotten why he had started. His mind was so constantly changing. The worship had become an obsession. He had forgotten for what, so he said, ”Let me think.”

He thought of asking certain gift and then stopped himself. As he was angry with his wife, so he had said, ”Kill her!” Immediately she was dead. Mind is divided: you love the person and you hate the same person. It is always fifty-fifty. He asked that the wife should be killed, and the wife was dead; immediately she fell down. The moment she was dead he became aware that he loved her very much, so he said, ”Please, revive her again”. So the second gift was wasted. Two gifts wasted: first she was killed, second she was revived – only one was left.

Then he said, ”Now, give me time enough to think; otherwise I will again make a mistake, and then there is no fourth.”

Shiva waited and waited. Years passed and he would come again and again and he would ask, ”Now you ask for the third.” The man was so puzzled he couldn’t sleep. He became almost insane just thinking about the one wish, because only one was left. He went visiting all the persons he knew who were wise, and they suggested many things, but nothing seemed worthwhile. Then he asked Shiva himself. ”You tell me. I am going mad!”

And what Shiva told him is to be remembered. He said, ”There can be only one wish, one desire which is worthwhile. Ask for desirelessness, otherwise nothing is worthwhile. Whatsoever you ask, the next moment you will want something else, even just the opposite of the first.” 

Source: Book “Vedanta: Seven Steps to Samadhi”

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