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  Volume 4 - Issue 03
MARCH 2006


To download the Powerpoint slide show of this story, Click here.

Some time ago, there lived a King. This King should have been contented with his life, given all the riches and luxuries he had. However, this was not the case! The King always found himself wondering why he just never seemed content with his life.

Sure, he had the attention of everyone wherever he went, attended fancy dinners and parties, but somehow, he still felt something was lacking and he couldn't put his finger on it.


One day, the King had woken up earlier than usual to stroll around his palace. He entered his huge living room and came to a stop when he heard someone happily singing away... following this singing... he saw one of the servants singing with a very contented look on his face.


This fascinated the King and he summoned this man to his chambers. The man entered the King's chambers as or­dered. The King asked why him he was so happy? To this the man replied:

"Your Majesty, I am nothing but a servant, but I make enough of a living to keep my wife and children happy. We don't need too much; a roof over our heads and warm food to fill our stomach. My wife and children are my inspiration, they are content with what­ ever little I bring home. I am happy because my family is happy."

Hearing this, the King dismissed the servant and summoned his personal advisor to his chamber. The King told him of his predicament and then related the story of the servant, hoping that the advisor will be able to come up with some reason why the King, who could have any­thing he wished for at the snap of his fingers, was not content, whereas, his servant, having so little, seemed the picture of contentment.


The personal advisor listened attentively and came to a conclusion. He said, "Your Majesty, I believe that the servant has not been made part of The 99 Club."

"The 99 Club? And what exactly is that?" the King inquired.

The advisor replied, "Your Majesty, to truly know what The 99 Club is, you will have to do the following. Place 99 gold coins in a bag and leave it at the servant's doorstep and you will come to under­ stand what The 99 Club is."

That very same evening, the King arranged for 99 gold coins to be placed in a bag at the servant's doorstep. He was a little hesitant and thought that he should have put 100 gold coins into the bag, but he followed his advisor’s suggestion to put only 99.

The servant was just stepping out of his house when he saw a bag at his doorstep. Wondering about its contents, he took it into his house and opened the bag. When he opened the bag, he let out a great big shout of joy, ‘Gold coins... so many of them!’ He could hardly believe it. He called his wife to show her the coins.

He then took the bag to a table and emptied it out and began to count the coins and found that there seemed to be 99. He thought this to be an odd number and a little strange and so he counted again… and again… and again - only to come to the same conclusion... 99 gold coins.

He began to wonder, ‘What could have happened to that last one coin?’ For no one would leave 99 coins. He began to search his entire house and even looked around his backyard for hours, not wanting to lose out on that one coin.



Finally, exhausted, he decided that he was going to have to work harder than ever to make up for that one gold coin to make his entire collection a magical 100 gold coins.

The next morning he got up late in an extremely horrible mood, shouting at the children and his wife for his delay, not realizing that he had spent most of the night conjuring ways of working hard so that he could make enough money to buy himself that gold coin. He went to work as usual - not in his usual good mood, singing happily – and grumpily carried out his daily errands.

The King was puzzled to see the man's attitude changed so drasti­cally. He promptly sum­moned his advisor. The King could not believe that the servant, who until yesterday had been singing away, happy and content with his life, had taken such a sudden change of mind, even though he should have been happier after receiving the gold coins.

The advisor replied "Ah! But your Majesty, the servant has now officially joined The 99 Club." He explained: "The 99 Club is just a name given to those people who have everything but yet are never contented. Therefore, they are always working hard and striving for that extra one to round it up to 100!”

“We have so much to be thankful for and we can live with very little in our lives, but the minute we are given something bigger and better, we want even more! We are not the same happy contented person we used to be, we want more and more and by wanting more and more we don't realize the price we pay for it. We lose our sleep, our happiness; we hurt the people around us just as a price to pay for our growing needs and desires. That is what joining The 99 Club is all about."


Observing this powerful, real life example, the King decided that from that day onwards, he was going to start appreciating all the little things in life and count the many blessings that he had taken for granted.

Striving for more is always good, but let us not strive so hard that we lose all that is dear to our hearts. Let us not compromise our happiness for moments of luxury! Let us remember Swami's words,

“Happiness results not when desires are fulfilled, but when they are controlled.”

To download the Powerpoint slide show of this story, Click here.

Illustrations: Parag Bhattacharya, SSSIHL
Source: Nava Sarathi, Dec 2005

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 4 Issue 03 - March 2006
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