Sandalwood Trees – A Simple Story on Awareness

Sandalwood Trees – A Simple Story on Awareness

By Rajesh Setty on Sat 20 Mar 2010, 3:00 AM – 3 Comments

When I was in India last time, Kiruba Shankar shared this wonderful story with me.

A king and his troops were going through a forest. The King saw an old man cutting trees. Taking pity on him, he asked the Minister to give that old man an acre of sandalwood trees. The Minister took care of that instantly.

A couple of years later, the King and his troops were again passing through the forest and in fact, they were passing by the area where there were sandalwood trees given away to that old man.

The king noticed that most of the sandalwood trees were gone and in one corner the old man was there. He was burning a couple of sandalwood trees. Upon talking to him, the Minister found out that he was burning those trees to collect coal BECAUSE that is what does – sells coal and makes money.

This is a simple story about awareness. Sometimes we have riches right in front of our eyes but if we can’t see them as such, they are not riches to us.

So, the question is:

Which “sandalwood trees” are you burning in your life because you want to “sell coal?”


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3 Comments so far, Add Yours

venkks  on March 20th, 2010

Thanks for sharing this Rajesh. Very thought provoking.



Srinivas N Jay  on March 21st, 2010

Hi Rajesh,

Thanks a lot for sharing. It is very good thought.


Have a great weekend,


kulveervirk  on March 23rd, 2010


Nice story and thought provoking question at the end.

On the other hand, a thought came to mind – when someone does not deserves and gets it, we all know it will be wasted. In this case, the old man was given something without the King finding out what old farmer wants or deserves. Its kind of not teaching someone how to fish but was given fish.

Awareness is the key. Would a person with ’self-awareness’ differentiates things as riches or wastes; OR treats everything equally and universe becomes ONE for him/her?

Material awareness is quite a different story and old farmer could have been a rich farmer.

Just a thought..

Thank you and keep sharing.

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