Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Ring for the King

There are several legends about King David and his wise son, King Solomon. Different versions of the same folk tale are popular. In one of these stories, King David sees in a dream a magic ring, wearing which makes a hopeless man happy and a merry man worried.

The next morning, he summoned his goldsmith and ordered him to make such a ring for him to wear, as a cure for the frequent episodes of depression in his stressful life. The confused goldsmith went out worried about his fate if he failed to follow the king’s order. On the way home, he met Prince Solomon. Solomon asked him about his worry. He told about the king’s strange order.

The wise prince consoled him and told him, “It is easy. Make an ordinary golden ring for the king. Engrave the words, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS” on the ring and present it to the king. When he reads it in a depressed mood, he will become hopeful and happy, learning that his problems would pass away. Later, when he reads it in a merry mood, it will remind him that his pleasures are not permanent. It will enlighten him and remove his joy.”

The old goldsmith fashioned the ring as suggested by the prince and presented it to the king. The king was pleased to read the meaningful message. He gave rich rewards to the goldsmith and praised the wisdom of the young prince.

King David wore the ring and after several years, gifted it to his heir, Solomon. King Solomon also preserved it as a treasure. It provided him inspiration and peace of mind both in prosperity and adversity.

The words on the ring could provide consolation to a depressed mind and enlightenment during moments of pride. The ring could make a sad person glad and a glad person sad.

Life is short and all worldly riches and luxury have to be left behind when we die. They give only a temporary joy. Sinful indulgence in worldly pleasures may lead to everlasting agony in a hell of horror.

If ‘winter’ comes, can ‘spring’ be far behind? Hope in the mercy of God enables us to overcome periods of pain, poverty and adversity. Our ultimate goal is a close communion with our Creator in a heaven of happiness.


© By Dr. Babu Philip, Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India and Leo. S. John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath,Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.

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