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Home Life Style Living The value of things

The value of things

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What is the value of a bottle of water?

(a) NRs. 25.00 (b) NRs. 20.00 (c) NRs. 15.00 (d) None of the above

The correct answer is ___.

Let’s not get confused with the price to the value; the former depends also largely upon the manufacturing company as well as marketing strategy, apart from the quality standards. The question intends to be not-strategic but as simple and spontaneous as flowing water, rising sun and blowing wind.

I have heard a story-one of the stories shared by Supreme Master Ching Hai in which she elaborated about an experience of King Mahmud, ancient king of Ghazna. The story is about Mahmud’s hunting experience when he got lost in the forest separated from his guards and attendants. He was lonely with nothing to eat or drink. Fortunately he found a woman cooking bean stew in the middle of the forest. He was certain that the woman would be feeling very grateful to serve her king with the stew and requested some. But she refused and told him that at that moment, the stew is worth more than his kingdom; as Mahmud might want that stew but the woman doesn’t want his kingdom. The need and want of the individual indicates the value. The conversation brought tears in the eyes of the king. He contemplated that all his life what he had done signified not amount even to a bottle of bean stew.


The story tries to depict us how the values of our possessions and priorities in life might change in accordance to the immediacy of the present moment. The context can compel us to redefine and reshape our presupposed beliefs and ideas about us, others and situations.

A bottle of water as simple as it seems would be very much valuable for someone in a sea with water and water all around but not a drop to drink. There is a parable about a conversation between mud and gold where gold tells mud about how glittering and valuable gold is- humans put it as ornament. To which mud replies that though mud cannot be used as jewelry, it is through mud that different types of grains, vegetables and plants get generated that sustain life of humans who can put gold as ornament. Then after the gold remained mute, as the analogy goes. Please do not put mud as ornament, seriously. Everything in the world has value relative to time and context.


The logic in the 21st century, as it has been through ages, consists of two things, that is valuing the present moment-the things, people and context as important as life (as we do not, at which moment that can be lost) and not getting attached to it (as the value is relative only, it is not absolute). More simply it is, as some master says, “Treasure everything, in this moment, as all is transient; unattached to everything, in this moment, as all is transient”.

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 September 2017 22:29 )