The best among us pray and crave for our well being and that of our near and dear ones. There is really nothing wrong in doing so. Nevertheless, we must be careful about not encroaching on other people’s path to progress or being detrimental to their agenda which could be of a similar nature. When we do lose sight of equanimity and become selfish, things may work out the way we want it to but may not really fetch us genuine satisfaction or lasting happiness.
A tale from the Ramayana sensitises us to this philosophy. King Sagara ruled over Ayodhya. He was childless. He took his two wives Keshini and Sumathi and performed severe austerities in the Himalayas. Sage Bhrigu appreciated the earnestness of the king. The sage offered him two options as solution.
One of the wives could bear one son who would facilitate the royal lineage to flourish and the other could bear sixty thousand warrior sons. Keshini opted to have one son. She was eager to be the queen mother which would also give her superior power and also an edge over her co-wife. Accordingly, she gave birth to prince Asamanjas. Her joy was short lived as the infant grew up to be a tyrant. He became a public nuisance. He threw children into the river by way of amusement. In his youth, he terrorised the very people he was supposed to govern and care for. The people and the king his father conceded that they had no choice except to exile the crown prince. The ambitious Keshini could have little say in the matter in the face of such flagrant truth.
Thereon, Anshuman the virtuous son of Asamanjas assumed the position of the crown prince. King Sagara went on to perform the prestigious Ashwamedha Yajna with the able support of his grandson. That the Yajna had a twist in the tale is a different story. However, the fact remains that Keshini’s dearest wish, albeit fulfilled to the last letter gave her little happiness because the spirit that guided her to make the choice was not quite right.
When we forget the essence of the principle as you sow, so you reap, the results of our actions have a tendency to remind us of the same sooner or later.