It all started when a young, enthusiastic prince was crowned as the new king as his father stepped down from the throne due to his ongoing illness.
This new, intellectually well equipped, strategic, and smart king planned to take his kingdom to new heights. The heights his father could never achieve.
Many people among his circle doubted his ability to lead the kingdom, but sure enough, he proved all of them wrong.
As the years passed, he and his kingdom thrived and became one of the most prominent kingdoms of the world. Needless to say, he was a proud leader.
At this point in his life, he believed he could achieve anything that crosses the path of his thoughts. After all, all his achievements were evidence of his superior abilities and dynamic skills.
Yet, despite his achievements, he wasn’t quite satisfied with the size of his kingdom. He wanted to expand more and more.
He thought to himself “how good would it be if I conquer the neighboring kingdoms as well. How good would that be for our royal family!”
One day, one of the king’s ministers informed the King about a traveling Monk who happened to visit the city where the King lived.
The monk was a simple man with very few basic assets that he used to carry during his travels.
One of his assets was an old lamp that was passed on to him through many generations in his family.
This old lamp was no ordinary lamp. It was rumored that this magic lamp had the ability to double anything you ask of it.
The magic lamp not just fulfilled the wish but doubled it!
When the king heard about the monk with this magical lamp, he asked his soldiers to immediately summon the monk in his royal court.
The soldiers went and brought the monk in front of the king.
The king offered this monk to stay at his royal palace during his visit to the city and offered many luxuries and money along with it.
The monk, however, was not interested in his offers of worldly desires and luxuries.
The king then came to the objective and asked about that old lamp.
The monk replied, “This is a precious asset that has been passed on to me by many generations, wherever I go I take it with me.”
The king then using his sharp manipulative skills offered, “This is a heavy, cumbersome, old lamp. Give this lamp to me, I’ll store it as an antique in my royal museum with your name. I’ll give you a more valuable lamp which has rare precious jewels and it will be lighter for you to carry as well.”
The monk politely refused his offer and went away.
The king who was not used to refusals furiously wanted to get what he desired at any cost. It was the light of his own achievements that blinded him.
The king thought to himself “what does a monk have to do with such a lamp, he doesn’t even use it! If I get this lamp, it would be in much better hands. Imagine what great things I could do for my kingdom and my people!”
So he sent his soldiers to forcefully get that magic lamp from the monk.
From King’s perspective, he was doing the “right” thing and that certain things “have to be done.”
The soldiers caught the monk who wasn’t very far away from the palace and ordered him to give up his lamp. On refusal, the soldiers beat the monk, took his lamp and brought it to the king.
The king was ecstatic on getting his hands on the precious lamp.
He was excited about all the possibilities he could imagine. So he took the lamp and headed to his room.
He told all of his generals, ministers, and family members to not disturb him at all.
He eagerly reached his room and locked himself up with the lamp.
Fascinatingly looking at the lamp, the king began asking. “Oh precious, magical lamp, I want to expand my kingdom. Grant me leadership over one of the neighboring countries.”
After a few moments of silence, the lamp finally replied, “Oh king, why just one country? Why not two?”
The king was amazed. The magic lamp was indeed magical!
So the king said, “Okay then, give me two countries!”
The lamp replied, “Oh king, you are such a capable leader, why just two countries? Why not four?”
The King became more excited and restless. When the king agreed and asked for four countries, the lamp offered eight. When he asked for eight, the lamp offered sixteen.
This went on for quite some time. As the king kept asking, the lamp kept offering to double it every time.
The king began asking for other things, and the lamp worked the same way.
The King asked, “Oh lamp, grant me 10 of the most beautiful women in the world.”
The Lamp replied, “Why just 10? Why not 20?”
The King excitedly said, “okay 20 it is then!”
The Lamp replied, “Why just 20? Why not 40? You deserve more, don’t you?”
The King restlessly said, “Grant me 40 of the most beautiful women”
As usual, the lamp replied, “You are the King, you must have much more than that. Why not 80?”
And it went on and on.
The King kept coming up with all his desires, all that he ever dreamed and envisioned and kept asking the lamp. The lamp kept offering to double it.
The rumors were true indeed. It did offer to double anything.
This restless conversation between the king and the lamp went on for 5 sleepless days and nights, by the end of which the King completely lost his sanity and was taken over by madness.
Even the best physicians of his kingdom could not cure the mental illness of this mad king.
The king was oblivious of how this endless chase of wanting more, bigger, and better consumed him entirely and led to his undoing.
Though his intentions were apparently good. He wanted to provide better for his nation and do his royal family proud.
But his obsession for bigger & better and the compromise on values ruined him spiritually and ultimately, mentally.
Would he righteously stuck to higher values, dignity, honor, and spirituality, he would’ve lived a content life.
Who knows God might have granted him leadership over many other nations would he just followed the God’s way and trusted His will, instead of asking the lamp and endlessly following his own whims and desires…