An old Persian king was wondering what he could give to his son as a present for his 16th birthday. He decided on a ring.
The mystery of the ring
When his birthday came, his son, the prince, was very proud of the ring, until he saw what was written on it. For, the Persian letters on the ring said: “Even this shall pass away.” The Prince did not understand what those words meant, but he wore the ring and often read the inscription on it.
Finally, he understood
The prince read it over and over until he knew the words by heart. Later, he went off to war to fight beside his father. He was struck by an arrow and lay in bed for weeks in great pain. Many times during his illness he would look at the ring and say to himself: “Even this—even this pain—will pass away.” And it did.
The eternal truth
He grew older and got married. He was very happy then, but he kept looking at the ring and saying: “Even this joy will pass away.” And it did.
He was crowned king after the death of his father. On his coronation day he looked in a mirror and said to himself, “Even this. even this body of mine will pass away.” And it did. His last words before he died were: “Even this, even this great empire which I rule will pass away.” And it did.
The mantra to remember
Get into the habit of repeating to yourself the words on the ring: “Even this will pass away.” You shall be made sorrowful but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. If you have something that is hard to bear remember, “Even this will pass away.”
If you are tempted to be conceited about something, even that will pass away.
All that matters is eternal
What is not eternal does not matter. We are not born for the present, but for the future.There is an inscription over the doorway of the Cathedral Milan in Italy, which is very much the same as the words on the ring, which the Persian king gave to his son.
Over the main doorway of the Cathedral are craved three pictures. On the left are some roses and a ribbon. Underneath is written: “All that pleases will pass away.”
On the right are a cross and a ribbon and the words: “All that pains will pass away.” In the centre is a triangle and in the triangle are the words: “All that matters is eternal!”