Once upon a time, in a humble village, there lived a destitute mother and her son. The mother, burdened by the weight of poverty, heard of a wise Sage living in a distant forest. Hoping for relief, she implored her son to embark on a journey to seek guidance from the venerable Sage.
Setting forth on foot due to the absence of transportation, the young man reached another village by evening. There, he found shelter in the home of a prosperous family. Upon departing the next morning, the head of the household inquired about his destination. The young man shared his quest to meet the Sage and the purpose of his visit. The elder then asked him to inquire about his mute daughter's future and who would marry her.
Continuing his journey, the young man sought refuge in the hut of a saint, who also revealed a personal dilemma. The saint had spent 50 years in spiritual practice but had not attained enlightenment. He requested the young man to seek the Sage's guidance on his behalf.
Pressing on, the young man made another stop, this time at a farmer's field. The farmer lamented about a large tree in the middle of his field, hindering the growth of other trees. The young man agreed to inquire about the mysterious obstacle on behalf of the farmer.
Finally, reaching the abode of the Sage, the young man respectfully presented his predicament. The Sage, in a benevolent manner, permitted him to ask three questions. However, faced with four queries—three from others and one personal dilemma—the young man found himself in a dilemma.
Contemplating the moral dilemma, he realized he had to prioritize. Whose concerns should he present to the Sage, and whose should he leave unanswered? In this moment of decision, the young man grappled with the values of empathy, selflessness, and the responsibility of choosing whose problems to address.
In the end, after much contemplation and hesitation, the young man made a selfless choice. He decided not to pose his own question and instead sought solutions for the three inquiries on behalf of others.
Having received the answers, the young man began his journey back home. On his way, he first encountered the farmer and shared the Sage's revelation. The farmer, upon digging, discovered urns of gold buried beneath the massive tree in his field. Grateful, he insisted that the newfound wealth belonged to the young man, who accepted it and continued his travels.
Next, he visited the Saint and conveyed the Sage's message about a precious gem hidden in the saint's hair locks. The saint acknowledged the truth, admitting that his attachment to the gem hindered his spiritual practice. He willingly relinquished the gem to the young man, freeing himself from the burden.
Continuing his journey, the young man reached the elder's house and conveyed the Sage's message about her daughter. As he spoke, the girl miraculously began to speak upon seeing the young man. The elder, recognizing the fulfillment of the prophecy, declared him to be her daughter's destined husband.
Returning home with newfound wealth, the precious gem, and a prospective wife, the young man faced his mother's eager inquiry about the Sage's words. He shared that the mere sight of the Sage had dispelled their sorrows and brought blessings. To his mother's astonishment, he revealed that he had not even presented their problem to the Sage.
When questioned about the resolution of their issues, the young man explained, "Mother, as I met people along the way and helped solve their problems, our own problems were automatically resolved."
The profound lesson learned: "One who thinks for others, God thinks for him."