Posted by: Lea | April 28, 2009

The Four Wives

Every man and woman has four wives or husbands-Buddha

Why would Buddha make a statement claiming that each man has four wives and each woman has four husbands? He was speaking metaphorically, of course. The following story will explain what Buddha was referring to when he said this.

During the Ching Dynasty, a wealthy sick old man summoned his four wives to his bed-side. He was dying and wanted company on his journey. He wondered, “Will any of my wives accompany me to the next life?”

He asked his first wife, “My dear wife, I loved you day and night, I took care of you throughout my whole life. Now I am about to die, will you please go with me wherever I go after my death?”

The first wife said, “My dear husband, I know you always loved me. You are dying. Now it is time to separate from you. Goodbye, my dear.”

He called his second wife to his sickbed to ask her to follow him in death. “My dear second wife, you know how I loved you. Sometimes I was afraid you might leave me, but I held on to you strongly. My dear, please come with me.”

The second wife answered rather coldly. “Dear husband, how can I follow you? You loved me only for your own selfish sake.”

He asked his third wife to follow him. With tears the third wife also refused, “My dear, I pity you and I feel sad for myself. Therefore I shall accompany you to the graveyard. This is my last duty to you.”

Now he called his fourth wife for whom he didn’t care very much. He had treated her like a slave and had always showed much displeasure with her. She certainly would say no.

But when he asked, she answered, “My dear husband, I will go with you. Whatever happens, I will be with you forever. I cannot be separated from you.”

What aspect of life does each wife represent?

The first wife represents our body and our youth. We wash, clothe, adorn and feed our body. We attempt to slow down or stop the aging process in an attempt to keep it young. After death, our body cannot follow.

The second wife represents our wealth and material possessions such as money, property, fame, etc. We are attached to our material possessions, afraid to lose them and continue to wish for more. When our life ends, these things cannot go with us.

The third wife pertains to our family, friends and society. They will go as far as the cemetery, sad and grieving. But are unable to follow us any farther.

The fourth wife is our mind/consciousness and deeds. If one does not correct a mind that is filled with anger, greed, dissatisfaction, etc., they are not likely to do good deeds. This creates karma. Thus the fourth wife stated, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

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Responses

  1. Lea, I sent you an email asking you if you would like to do a guest column on my site, about meditation. I haven’t heard back from you and am wondering if I should take it as a “no” or maybe you haven’t checked your email lately?

    Let me know 🙂

  2. Lea, I sent you an email asking you if you would like to do a guest column on my site, about meditation. I haven’t heard back from you and am wondering if I should take it as a “no” or maybe you haven’t checked your email lately?

    Let me know 🙂

  3. Hello, I found you on blogcatalog.com

    But this is really helpful blog. And inspiring.

  4. Hello, I found you on blogcatalog.com

    But this is really helpful blog. And inspiring.

  5. This post offers a marvelous glimpse into the inner self. It is a means to gain insight into emotions and feelings that linger beneath the surface. Thank you for choosing to share this with your readers. Love and blessings to you.

  6. This post offers a marvelous glimpse into the inner self. It is a means to gain insight into emotions and feelings that linger beneath the surface. Thank you for choosing to share this with your readers. Love and blessings to you.


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