Stepping Over The Bag Of Gold

Rachel Naomi Remen

listen_btn

Awakin FeatureMy patient, a physician who has cancer, comes to his session enormously pleased with himself. Knowing my love of stories, he says that he has found a perfect story and tells me the following parable:

Shiva and Shakti, the Divine Couple in Hinduism, are in their heavenly abode watching over the earth. They are touched by the challenges of human life, the complexity of human reactions, and the ever-present place of suffering in the human experience. As they watch, Shakti spies a miserably poor man walking down a road. His clothes are shabby and his sandals are tied together with a rope. Her heart is wrung with compassion. Touched by his goodness and his struggle, Shakti turns to her divine husband and begs him to give this man some gold. Shiva looks at the man for a long moment. "My Dearest Wife," he says, "I cannot do that." Shakti is astounded. "Why, what do you mean, Husband? You are the Lord of the Universe. Why can't you do this simple thing?"

"I cannot give this to him because he is not yet ready to receive it," Shiva replies. Shakti becomes angry. "Do you mean to say that you cannot drop a bag of gold in his path?"

"Surely I can," Shiva replies, "but that is quite another thing."

"Please, Husband," says Shakti.

And so Shiva drops a bag of gold in the man's path.

The man meanwhile walks along thinking to himself, "I wonder if I will find dinner tonight--or shall I go hungry again?" Turning a bend in the road, he sees something on the path in his way. "Aha," he says. "Look there, a large rock. How fortunate that I have seen it. I might have torn these poor sandals of mine even further." And carefully stepping over the bag of gold, he goes on his way.

It seems that Life drops many bags of gold in our path. Rarely do they look like what they are.

Kitchen Table Wisdom (book), from "Grace" chapter, p88-89.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion of being ready to receive the gifts life places in our way? Can you share a personal story of a time you recognized the gold that life placed on your path? What helps you see gold in every experience?

Add Your Reflection:

19 Previous Reflections:

  • link
    On May 30, 2019 Marc wrote:
    So good. I think acceptance is so key here. If we are/were hurt/traumatized/grieving, it be so difficult to be receptive, be open, and especially be trusting to the blessings in front of us. This is something that has plagued me in relationships for most of my life. One time I do remember getting past the pain and accepting the new gold was after I broke my arm for the 2nd time in three months in college. My nerve was injured during the surgery and the surgeon said it may never heal again because it may have been severed. This nerve controlled the extension of my entire forearm, wrist and fingers and after the surgery, I had to wear a brace to keep it even in a neutral position. The first month or so was hard. But at some point, I was able to pick up and play my guitar. The gold in front of me was with the arm injury, and not being able to play sports, go to the gym, or do the other things I had been doing, I had lots of time to try to play the guitar, and learn scales and things I had... [View Full Comment] So good. I think acceptance is so key here. If we are/were hurt/traumatized/grieving, it be so difficult to be receptive, be open, and especially be trusting to the blessings in front of us. This is something that has plagued me in relationships for most of my life. One time I do remember getting past the pain and accepting the new gold was after I broke my arm for the 2nd time in three months in college. My nerve was injured during the surgery and the surgeon said it may never heal again because it may have been severed. This nerve controlled the extension of my entire forearm, wrist and fingers and after the surgery, I had to wear a brace to keep it even in a neutral position. The first month or so was hard. But at some point, I was able to pick up and play my guitar. The gold in front of me was with the arm injury, and not being able to play sports, go to the gym, or do the other things I had been doing, I had lots of time to try to play the guitar, and learn scales and things I had never taken the time to learn. I'll never forget the morning when I was playing and all of a sudden, I realized that I had extended one of my fingers the smallest distance, which meant the nerve was not severed and my arm/hand would function again. It took accepting my situation, embracing it, and making the best of it to not only heal my spirit, but heal my body. Thanks for sharing[Hide Full Comment]

    1 reply: Amy | Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 29, 2019 Shyam Gupta wrote:
    The nature is always whispering and showering pleasant surprises in our paths. We just need to be open, receptive and empty to receive them.
    We are alaways so busy with out thoughts, our preconceived notions and "closed to receiving " surprises that we miss the "gold" in our paths

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 29, 2019 Mira Haresh Pardasani wrote:
    Everyone has one or other suffering. It is our attitude towards this sufferings, some times we are so busy in complaining, we forget to observe things around us. If we keep complaints aside and adjust our attitude in a positive way, we can stay cool and calm, and this makes us to observe everything around us, as a result, sometimes we learn something beautiful and sometimes we receive something better from nature.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 28, 2019 Ruby(Triza Laxmi Aurora) wrote:
    These days they advice not to touch any unattended bags because the terrorists may have left a bomb inside it, from the EVIL side of our world. Goddess is not a fool to give when she knows someone is not ready to receive, she has much more intelligence than that. Goddess is beautiful inside to outside! Some are so dumb not to see that. Goddess does not play with her kindness. Goddess does make miracles if somebody is totally helpless but believes in goodness rather than evil. It is the terrorists who always give (a nasty/evil surprise gift) when some are not ready to receive it. That is how dumb, selfish, cruel, ugly, stinking dirty, low lifers terrorists and their believes are. Don't be that fish who explores that bait on the hook and becomes a victim. I see the beauty of my Goddess in every experience, that beauty I behold in me!

    1 reply: RUBY | Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 28, 2019 Khalil wrote:
    For me it's about exploring things you come across, even if they seem ordinary. It can take just a few seconds. The beggar didn't look carefully at the "rock" to see that it was a bag, much less open the bag. Often the bag of gold isn't obvious!

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 28, 2019 Tyler wrote:
    This story reminds me of one of my favorite sayings, “We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.” My prayer for each day is this: God, give me the eyes to see beyond my own perception and experience. Peace and Love to All~

    2 replies: Aj, Annette | Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 28, 2019 Pratibha wrote:
    Just sharing a perspective:
    Shiv & Shakti are only reflections of our higher creative & logical selves. The passage speaks of the forever debate that goes on in my mind/soul.. to help or not to. When I 'help', am I really being 'compassionate' cause it may not really help the person Im trying to help, as he is not yet ready to receive it. How do I make him/her see it is then the question for the Shiv or the logical higher me.

    I do not know what helps me see gold in every experience. I do know that being able to look at things/situations from a distance, taking a pause to look from a distance, trying to get different other perspectives on the same situation are ways which may help see gold (God) in every experience

    Personal story sharing.. some other time... or this may become as long as an essay!!!

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 28, 2019 Will wrote:
    I see this as scarcity vs abundance thinking. Often times survival can keep us from thriving.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 27, 2019 Kwesi Gaisie wrote:
    I think the key to seeing the gifts of gold placed in our paths is gratitude. The whole of life is a gift and it is in being grateful for every bit of it that we see the gold placed in our path. There is so much beauty around us that if we are truly grateful we shall continue living a life of beautiful gifts all the days of our life. When we see what we have around us as gold it continues to multiply. Thank you Mother Nature for the gold strewn on our path. 

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 27, 2019 Rajni Gohil wrote:
    Sun is there for all of us spreading rays in all directions with vitamin D and solar energy as well. Man going from home to airconditioned office and back home will never get it unless he walks under the sun. How many of us using solar energy to replace electricity?

    God's love is for all of us. He blesses us but our perception doesn't notice it. We all know that " First deserve and then desire"

    We start receiving grace of God when our good karma balance is there. Even if we get bag of gold in our path that we do not deserve and if we take it, robbers rob us and may harm us as well.

    Bag of gold or other riches are not the real things that we need. In place of asking God for Gold, we need to just pray to God to give us whatever He thinks is right for us. No doubt, Our karma affects His decision. Receive gladly whatever we get from Him.


    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 26, 2019 David Doane wrote:
    I totally agree that there are many gifts of gold that life places in our path that we step over if we're not ready to receive them. Gifts are always there and we receive those that we are ready for. It's been said that when the student is ready the teacher will appear, and until then the student won't get it. Rumi said to welcome and be grateful for every experience because each one has been sent as a guide from beyond. I once worked for an employer who I didn't like and didn't respect, making it an unhappy experience, yet I learned some skills and gained some connections from him that have been very beneficial to me during the years since I left him. I don't see gold in every experience -- oftentimes I'm not ready and only see a problem rather than an opportunity. I see the gift of gold in an experience when I am ready, open to learn and grow. It has helped me to have seen gold in various experiences and to remind myself that the gold is there to be had.

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 24, 2019 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:
    Love this! We see what we are ready to see. Oh my goodness yes in recognizing in my own life. I am currently driving across the US donating and sharing very low-cost workshops for survivors of trauma: "Steer Your Story: how to move beyond the trauma and see the whole and worthy person you are today." The "gold" on the path has been the people who've so kindly agreed to host me in their homes, the people who've connected me to organizations and individuals who may be interested in this workshop, those who've treated me to dinner. My fundraising in "gold", the actual money needed has not yet come in and yet there is so much "gold" in the generosity of connections, housing, and meals. I feel blessed!

    1 reply: Kristin | Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 24, 2019 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    There are times when life offersa "bag of gold" or golden opportunities to us in our path of life. How come we don't see them? As the saying states, " Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But how can we see beauty if our eyes are closed? I am keeping my eyes closed because I am holding on to my past negative experiences? And not letting myself be open to the unfolding of new potentially enriching life experiencing experiences? This way I keep my hands tied. I keep my inner door closed when an unkown guest knocks at my door. Life offers me a gift and I deny it! There have been calls of growth promoting opportunities in my life. One of the most blissful calls was marrying someone out of my caste, born and raised in a different religious family and a different class. I listened to the call and followed it with my whole heart. My life has been deeply and spiritually enriched by following my bliss. Walking on such a less traveled path has yielded many blessings to ... [View Full Comment] There are times when life offersa "bag of gold" or golden opportunities to us in our path of life. How come we don't see them? As the saying states, " Beauty is in the eye of the beholder." But how can we see beauty if our eyes are closed? I am keeping my eyes closed because I am holding on to my past negative experiences? And not letting myself be open to the unfolding of new potentially enriching life experiencing experiences? This way I keep my hands tied. I keep my inner door closed when an unkown guest knocks at my door. Life offers me a gift and I deny it!
    There have been calls of growth promoting opportunities in my life. One of the most blissful calls was marrying someone out of my caste, born and raised in a different religious family and a different class. I listened to the call and followed it with my whole heart. My life has been deeply and spiritually enriched by following my bliss. Walking on such a less traveled path has yielded many blessings to me and I feel very grateful for receiving such gifts.
    Keeping my mind and heart open to see and explore new vistas has expanded my consciousness. I am open to explore new avenues but I do not act impulsively amd make blind jumps. I use my discretion to make wise choice.There had been times my wife would see the golden opportunity more clearly than I did. On such occasions she encouraged me, supported me and stood by me as we were walking on the new path together with a few twists and turns.I still feel her presence in my heart though she passed away a few years ago.
    Namaste!
    Jagdiah P Dave




    [Hide Full Comment]

    Post Your Reply
  • link
    On May 24, 2019 Rahul Brown wrote:
    In the most perceptive and grounded viewpoint, its not that Life drops many bags of gold in our path. Its actually that there is nothing but gold on our path. What keeps us from seeing it? We're distracted, imbalanced, and unclear. The irony is that its actually the most difficult situations that are most golden, yet these are the ones that challenge our equanimity and clarity the most such that its all too easy to identify with our strongly reactive self, and totally miss the gold. Its a daily practice, as the ordinary mind is more prone to the wish of "please no more 'gold'" i.e. difficult situations!

    Post Your Reply

Search Awakin Readings

Or search by year or author.

Subscribe to Weekly Email

Every week, we send out a digest with a reading and inspiring stories to our global community of 92,028 people. Subscribe below.

(unsubscribe)

Contact Us

If you'd like to suggest a thought or want to drop us a suggestion, drop us a note.