The 84th Problem
Once upon a time a rich farmer approached The Buddha for help.
“Oh Wise One!” the farmer said, “I have a major problem and I know only you can help me.”
Buddha kept quiet and the man told of his good-for-nothing son who was troubling him
and how he was mad at his wife because she supported her son over him.
The man said, “Do something so their minds change and
they realise how much I’m doing for them.”
“I can’t solve this problem for you,”
Buddha replied and lowered his eyes again, in a meditative state.
The farmer told Buddha how he was worried about the upcoming harvest as the weather
didn’t seem too favourable and the monkeys were destroying his crop.
“I can’t help you with this one either,” Buddha said calmly.
Still hoping in the powers of Buddha, he told him that many people owed him money
and he was having a hard time recovering it.
And that he too owed money to lenders and creditors.
He asked Buddha if the sage could give him any remedy or amulet.
“Hmm…” Buddha said, “I can’t solve this problem for you.”
“What good are you then?” the man yelled.
“Everyone says you are the enlightened one and here you can’t solve any of my problems.
Is there absolutely nothing you can do? I’m tired of my terrible life.”
“You see,” Buddha said patiently, as if he hadn’t heard the man’s ranting,
“at any point in time, you’ll always have 84 problems in your life. The 84th is the key.
If you solve the 84th problem, the first 83 will resolve themselves.”
“Please solve my 84th problem then,” the man said, going back to being humble.
“How do I do it?” he added.
“First, we have to identify your 84th problem.”
“What is my 84th problem?”
Buddha smiled and peered deeply into the man’s eyes that were
full of desire, doubt and anxiety.
“Your 84th problem is,” Buddha said and paused,
“you want to get rid of the first 83 problems.
If you understand that life is never without problems, it won’t look so bad.”
Although, he didn’t get the type of solution he was expecting,
Buddha’s compassionate glance gave him a feeling of peace. Even if temporarily.
Buddha finished by saying,
“Mellow down, be noble.
Learn to see life beyond what you want to see.”
∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞
The symbol on this necklace means ‘84’ in Sanskrit.
Wear it as a reminder that life will always have its problems,
but YOU are ok!
By wishing you didn’t have any problems, wishing that life would be prefect,
you are just creates one more problem.