Once two brothers met a sage who was known to be able to look into the future. The brothers paid their respects to the sage and asked him if he could tell them about their future. The hermit advised them, ” It may not be good for you to know your future ” Besides, your future can change later even if I tell you now ! “
The brothers insited on knowing their future. The sage looked at the elder brother and said, ” You will become a king in a year,” Looking at the younger brother, he said, ” You are destined to die in the hands of a murderer in a year’s time.” The brothers started walking back home. The elder brother was overjoyed while the younger one was depressed. Now the elder brother started creating his fantasy world dreaming of becoming a king. The younger brother, who was destined to have less than a year to live, started spending his time in spiritual activities. He used his time to serve everyone and soon came out of his depression.
Eleven months passed. One day, the elder brother invited the younger one to his house. He wanted to look out for land for a grand palace he was planning to build since very soon he would become a king. They were walking on a huge open piece of land when the younger brother stumbled on a half buried pot. The brothers dug the pot and removed it. It was a huge pot of gold coins. The elder brother was thrilled and started shouting, ” This treasure is just for me ! It is for me to set up my palace and kingdom ! ” Just then, a bandit jumped out from the bush, gave a blow on the elder brother’s head and tried to snatch the pot from him. The younger brother jumped at the bandit to protect his elder brother. But the bandit attacked him with a dagger he had in his hand. During the struggle the bandit dropped the pot and ran away.
The elder brother was very thankful to his younger brother for saving his life and offered him half the gold coins. The younger brother politely refused saying he was not going to live longer in any case. The elder with his new treasure started living a lavish life, eating, drinking and being merry. One year passed. There was no sign of any crown is sight. The younger brother was also enjoying good health. They decided to visit the sage again. They met him and asked., ” How did your predictions go wrong? ” The sage was also surprised and went into meditation. He then explained ” I told you, your destiny can be changed.”
He looked at the elder brother and said, ” Your destiny changed because of your iresponsible actions over the past months. The crown that you were to get was reduced to a pot of gold.” He looked at the younger brother and said, ” Your spiritual life, trust and surrender to the divine changed your destiny also. Death in the murderer’s hand was reduced to only being wounded by him. “
How life meets us is called destiny, how we meet life is called self effort !