I don’t remember the story 100% to the letter, but I recall the essence of it.
It was customary in India to greet and honor traveling Gurus. If they knock your door, you should let them in, greet them, prepare food and take care of them. It is such a blessing to have the Guru in your house.
It so happened once, in a small Indian village, a very well known and respect Guru was passing by. Being thirsty and tired, he knocked randomly on one of the houses and was greeted by the man of the household.
That man was married, he had one son and his parents were also living with him.
The wife took delight in preparing food for the Guru.
At the end of the meal, the man asked the Guru to bless his family and said: “Oh Guruji, please bless my family”.
The Guru obliged and started blessing his family by saying:
“May your father die first, then may your mom. May you die after, then your wife. May your son die the last”
The man blurted out in anger and said: “Oh Guruji, this is not a blessing, this a curse!”
The Guruji then replied: “We are all going to die anyway, but may your parents die first rather than having you or your son die first, for the grief is little. May your son die the last, so that you are not stricken with even more grief. We are all going to die anyway and that is my blessing to your family”
It seems that in life we forget that we are not going to stay here for ever. We take things for granted, we may do mistakes knowingly but think in our heads: “It is okay, tomorrow I will make it right or ask for forgiveness from those who I trespassed against”.
I remember when my uncle died at a young age (in his mid thirties), my grandpa and grandma were very sad to lose their only son. Out of grief, my grandpa died shortly after. My grandma did not live a happy life afterwards and died shortly after as well. The loss of a son caused the loss of the parents.
This Guru’s blessing make a lot of sense now. It is very profound and reminds us of how fragile life is. I am grateful that my parents are still alive. It is my responsibility to take care of myself not just for my sake but for their sake.
Other stories you may like: