It is a legend about the life of one of the ancient Indian emperors Vikramaditya, who was famous for his valor and generosity. One day during his excursion in his empire, he saw artisans with beautiful idols constituting various gods, goddesses and human figures, sitting idle. Upon asking them about their work, he realized that these people with exquisite talents, were reluctant to pursue their artistry due to lack of interests from buyers. Not being able to sell their art, they were unable to fulfill the needs of their families and were planning to become construction laborers instead. Next day, the king made an announcement to his empire- if any artist was unable to sell his work in two days, the king will buy it on the third day. His generosity and respect for art began attracting artisans from other kingdoms as well.
Time passed, and one day a man from a faraway kingdom came to his palace. He had a huge statue with him hidden under a satin cloth. After the king came to know about his arrival, he called for him. The man told him that he was from another kingdom. He told him that he saw a dream of a god and he made a statue based on what he saw. It took him three months and three days to make it, but no one in his or any other kingdom was ready to purchase it. The king gave him his word that he will give him the right price for his creation. He removed the cloth, it was the most beautiful statue of Saturn (Shani) God, he had ever seen. The king was in awe after looking at the statue for some time, but soon he realized that it was not considered good to keep this statue in a home. The man told the king, that he heard about his announcement and with high hopes he came to him.
The kind-hearted king gave him the money and asked him to keep the idol with himself. Upon which the artist told the king it is okay if he didn’t want the idol, but he cannot take money as a charity. If the king doesn’t want to buy it, he will not sell it. The king, sticking to his words, bought it and kept it in the basement of his palace. Next day he dreamed of Shani- a Hindu god considered to be the lord of planet Saturn*. In his dreams, god told him that he wanted to come to his house to stay and asked him whether he should come today or 20 years later. He further asked king to consult his wife and then answer him. Vikramaditya ignored his dream, but he saw it again for next three consecutive nights, each time it was exactly same. He called his advisors and priests to seek their advice. Some told him to get rid of the statue, while some told him the ways to ward off evils and bad dreams. After some contemplation, he came to a decision. He went to his wife and told her about his dream. She thought about it for some time and then asked him for his opinion. Her told her, he wanted to invite the god tomorrow rather than 20 years later. She told him that she is fine with his decision and will prepare for his arrival then.
Later that night, in his dream when the god came again, he told him that he can come today. The god of evil influences smiled and told him, he will then come in the morning. Next day, a neighboring king attacked Vikramaditya with the help of some unfaithful associates in his kingdom. He lost the battle and eloped with his wife and son, into the forest. He started roaming around in forest with his family and found a shelter at a wood cutter’s home. They spent seven years in forest, living a mediocre life eating whatever they could gather. After seven years, Vikramaditya found his loyal chaperons and united with them. He called a war on the new king and won his kingdom back. The time of the Saturn god’s stay was over. The entire kingdom rejoiced again to get their popular king back. After getting back his empire, one-day his queen asked him why did he call Saturn god today instead of tomorrow. He said, “dear queen, when he asked us if he should come today or tomorrow, I chose today. Today we are healthy and young, we are strong to face anything. Twenty years later, we will be old and weak, hence the hardships will feel more. It is better to face hardships today than tomorrow. The queen found a peace in his answer and she was proud of her wise king.
After words: If there are happy times, there will be struggles, sooner or later. Some people have difficult youth, while some have difficult old age. If you are facing hardships in life today, always remember today you are stronger than tomorrow. There will soon be a sunshine with a beautiful rainbow.
This story has always helped me by providing another perspective of looking at tough times. I hope the philosophy it carries, is as inspiring for the readers reading this post.
P.S. I have jotted down this story from my memory, and there could be minor variations in it from the exact legend. The gist, however is the same. Awaiting your views
*Shani dev (god) i.e. lord of the planet Saturn, is believed to be the lord of evil influences who brings bad luck and monetary loss in his span according to Hindu Mythology. Read more about Shani