Parable of the Day: There Was a Rich Merchant Who Had 4 Wives
A wealthy merchant married four wives and loved all of them so profoundly except the first wife. Little did he know that the love he didn't give would haunt him in his most vulnerable moment.
A rich merchant married four wives. He had so much money and didn't see wanting four women as a problem because he could take care of them. Of all the wives, the fourth was his favorite.
He adored her and gave her everything she ever desired. He also liked the third wife and did his best to take care of her. He wanted to show her off to his merchant friends but was afraid that she could cheat on him.
The merchant was fond of his second wife because she was kind and patient. Whenever he was in trouble, she was the one he called on to help through difficult times. However, his first wife was the exception.
He had no love for his first wife and rarely paid attention to her, but she deeply loved and respected him. One day, he fell sick, and after a visit to the doctor, he was told he only had some days to live.
While lying on his death bed, he thought of his life and all his four wives. He meditated on how he would die alone despite having four women in his life. The merchant called his fourth wife inside and said to her:
"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?"
The fourth wife rejected his offer, and she broke his heart. She walked away immediately. He requested for his third wife and bragged about how he always took care of her before asking her to die with him.
She said no, telling the merchant that life was good and she had plans to remarry one of his friends. His heart was pierced. He called upon his second wife and reminded her of how she has been his confidant and helper.
To his surprise, she told him that she couldn't help. However, she offered to escort him to his grave. While he was weeping, the merchant heard a frail voice in the background, saying, "I'll leave with you. I would follow you no matter where you go."
He turned and was shocked to see his first wife calling out for him. She was frail and malnourished. He was filled with shame and regret as he wished he took proper care of her.
Like the merchant, we all have four wives. The fourth is our body; the third is our possessions and status, while the second is family and friends. However, the first is our soul, and we should learn to pay attention to it.