The neglected wife

Once there was a king who had four wives.  He loved his 4th wife the most, as she was young and beautiful.  He adorned her with rich robes and treated her to the finest delicacies.  He also loved his 3rd wife, she was his confidante and was kind, considerate and patient with him.  He liked his 2nd wife too and took good care of her.  But, he never bothered to listen to his 1st wife —— who was an introvert.  She, occasionally gave hints to the king about what is good and bad within the kingdom.
One day the king fell ill, and he knew his time was short.  He thought of his luxurious life and pondered : “I now have 4 wives, but when I die I will be all alone”.  With this fear, in mind, he wanted to take one of his wives along with him.  First, he called his youngest wife and asked her, “I have loved you the most, and endowed you with the finest clothing, and showered great care over you.  Now, that I’m dying, will you follow me and keep me company ?”  “No way”, she replied, “Life is too good.  Frankly, once you die, I’m going to remarry.”  The King was shocked, and he felt sad.  Then he turned to his 3rd wife.  “No way”, she replied, “There are lots of things I need to take care of after you die.  At most, I can send to your grave”, and she walked away.  He then asked his 2nd wife, and she replied, “I’m sorry, I cannot follow you and give you company.  Though I will not be able to survive without you, I will burn myself on your funeral pyre.”  The King’s heart sank.
Then he heard a voice say, “I’ll leave with you and follow you, no matter where you go.”  He looked up and there was his 1st wife.  She had turned skinny and wasn’t too well.  He had never bothered to pay any attention to her, after marrying 3 other women.  Greatly grieved, he realised his mistake and said, ” I should have taken better care of you, when I had the chance.”
All of us have 4 wives in our lives.  Our 4th wife ———POSSESSIONS  & WEALTH –It will leave us and go to others after we die.  Our 3rd wife —-OUR FAMILY —no matter how much they have been there, the furthest they can stay by us is up to our grave.  Our 2nd wife —- OUR BODY —- it cannot survive after our death.  And our 1st wife —– OUR SOUL (inner self) —–often neglected, in pursuit of wealth, power and pleasures of the ego.  But, in the end, OUR SOUL is the only thing that will follow us, wherever we go. 
So, let us strengthen , feed, cherish and attend to our 1st wife (OUR SOUL), OUR INNER SELF.
—Sri Ramesh Jain.

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