centuries. Here is a wonderful story extracted from Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist that surely helps
you to discover the ultimate meaning of Happiness.
A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn
about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad
wandered through the desert for 40 days, and finally came upon a beautiful
castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
Rather than finding a saintly man, though,
our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity:
tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small
orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters
of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed
with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to
be given the man’s attention.
The wise man listened attentively to the
boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time
just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look
around the palace and return in two hours.
“Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do
something”, said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops
of oil. “As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the
oil to spill”.
The boy began climbing and descending the
many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours,
he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“Well”, asked the wise man, “Did you see the
Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden
that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful
parchments in my library?”
The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that
he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that
the wise man had entrusted to him.
“Then go back and observe the marvels of my
world”, said the wise man. “You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his
Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and
returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works
of art on the ceilings and the walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around
him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been
selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he
“But where are the drops of oil I entrusted
to you?” asked the wise man. Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw
that the oil was gone.
“Well, there is only one piece of advice I
can give you”, said the wisest of wise men. “The secret of happiness is to see
all the marvels of the world and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon”.
Dear Readers, now this is your turn to assess and analyze the essence of Happiness as we everyone wishes to be happy. Though it gets its definition differently from different perspective. What about yours?