An ancient story reveals the futility of long life for the fulfillment of desires.
Death knocked the door of king Yayati who was a hundred years old, much to his shock. “What am I a hundred years old?! You have come for me without prior notice. I have still not satisfied my desires. I have been postponing them for tomorrow for many tomorrows. Do not be cruel. Be a little kind!"
Death however said that it can't go empty handed and needs a substitute for the king. The king turned to his hundred sons and asked them to prove their love for him as they often said that they valued it more than their life. His sons who were also old, looked at each other and stood mum. His youngest son who was only about twenty years of age came forward to die.
A surge of compassion filled death, “When your father and brothers who are really old are not ready to die, how is it that you are ready?"
The youngest son spoke out of tremendous understanding, “My father has lived a hundred years and has enjoyed all that one really can. But he is still not satisfied that he wants to prolong his life. My brothers who are also quite old are not ready to die. This clearly makes me understand the futility of life. Even if one's desires are fulfilled, one is still dissatisfied. So I am ready to go with you!"
The youngest son continued, “I decide to go with you not out of despair but out of proper understanding and cheerfulness as I need not go through the torture of perpetual desires what my father and brothers are going through despite their age!" So the youngest son went with death.
Death knocked the door of King Yayati after a hundred years and still he was unprepared to. So another son went instead, with death. Every hundred years, Yayati refused to go and his sons one by one substituted him.
When Yayati was one thousand years, he realised the futility of life. He told death that his youngest son was intelligent to realise the futility of life in a very young age which he had failed to. He said “ There is no end to desires. Its an unending process. Now I am ready to go with you!"
Osho points out that when one is intelligent he will figure out the futility of greed. One will then start living than engaging in an endless preparation for life. Preparation for life invites greed which gives rise to unending desires.
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