The Highest Blessings

By Desmond Yeoh SC

Cornelia is not her real name. She uses it only in the human realm. In the Gods realm where she was born, she has another name. In the Gods realm, there is only joy and happiness but she chose to spend most of her time in the human realm to help those in need. The problem is, she no longer knows if she is helping or causing problems for those she helped. When she first started, she granted blessing freely. As beings from the Gods realm have very long lifespan, she had been able to watch the after effects of her blessings.

Once she granted a humble man the riches he asked for. Over time, he became arrogant and cruel. He mistreated others and was angry all the time. His children became dependent on him and refused to work. They wasted their precious human life away indulging in alcohol and other useless activities. When the man passed away, Cornelia was heartbroken as she saw that this once humble man with great potential for good, had descended into the hell realm.

She once granted a girl beauty hoping that the girl would find a good husband and build a happy family. Instead, she used her beauty to cheat men and steal married men from happy marriages. Sadly, she too descended into the hell realm.

Cornelia could sometimes look into the future. She recently saw a young man’s future. He would meet a lovely girl and they would have a very happy and loving relationship. They would get married but after ten years, the girl would die of cancer and he would be terribly heartbroken. He may even take his own life. Cornelia cannot decide if she should intervene and prevent them from meeting. Would she be helping? Decisions which were easy to her in the past are no longer so.

Now she has reasons to be hopeful. She heard about an old wise woman who lived in a remote village. Many travel from afar to seek her advice; not because she has any miraculous powers but because of her wisdom. In a way, Cornelia thought, wisdom is the greatest power one could achieve.

The wise woman had lived a difficult life but she never failed to get up from every fall and put a smile back on her face. That is the training she went through to develop wisdom just like a man who carries heavy weights to develop muscles.

One night, Cornelia appeared to the wise woman at her humble home. Cornelia’s body was enveloped in a white glow which lit up the entire living room. The wise woman was pleasantly surprise and was even more so when Cornelia humbly prostrated to her. When Cornelia lifted her head, she had tears in her eyes.

As a sign of respect, Cornelia addressed the wise woman as “Mother” and shared her problems with her. Cornelia did not hide anything from her.

After listening intently, the wise woman smiled warmly and said, “Cornelia, you are truly a kind and compassionate being. Your desire to help is truly commendable. I am glad that I did not meet you when I was a young girl!”. She laughed and continued, “I would have asked for wealth, beauty and a handsome prince as a husband. But now, I would not want to change a thing in my life”

Cornelia could understand her. The suffering that the wise woman went through has given her the ability to understand the suffering of others and advise them. Her suffering helped her to develop compassion and to be contented.

“Mother, what are the great blessings that I can safely grant?”

Mother thought for a while and responded, “Cornelia, these are the great blessings…”

“To have wise and loving parents is a great blessing”

“To love and cherish one’s spouse and children is a great blessing”

“To have a skill and a good occupation is a great blessing”

“To meet with wise teachers and have wise friends is a great blessing”

“To loathe evil and abstain from intoxicants and be steadfast in virtue is a great blessing”

“To learn spiritual truths that lead to inner peace is a great blessing”

“To be contented and grateful is a great blessing”

“To walk the spiritual path towards enlightenment is a great blessing”

“…and Cornelia,” Mother gave Cornelia a cheeky smile, “to be spiritually independent and have the wisdom to secure one’s own happiness so that you do not need to grant him or her blessings is a great blessing”

Cornelia’s eyes filled with tears. As Mother talked, the glow from her body had grew brighter steadily. She knew in her heart that Mother spoke the truth. They were simple and yet profound. These would be her guiding rules she would use in helping humanity.

With joy in her heart, Cornelia said, “Mother, ask for any boon and I shall grant it”

Mother smiled, “There is nothing that I want”

At that point, Cornelia realised that Mother is an enlightened being. Cornelia felt boundless joy and prostrated to Mother again to thank her for her wisdom.

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