Master Raman & The Story of 4 wives

Merchant and his wives

We were right in the middle of an interesting Q&A session at Master Raman’s retreat.

Master Raman, Our spiritual guide liked to take us out to his farm house away from the hustle and the bustle of the city. In the lap of nature, Master Raman’s farm house was situated at the foot hills of the mighty Sahyadri mountain ranges in Maharashtra.

By the banks of the river Krishna, the place of our retreat was situated. The construction of this house was such that wherever you looked, you would find a large window looking at the nature outside. Master Raman mentioned that the purpose of having so many windows was to let the participants be inside the confines of the house, yet experience the nature in its full natural glory.

While we contemplated on the deep questions of Life and on Master Raman’s pointers, Mother nature kept doing her  job; Changing the day to night, bringing the clouds out at times and drenching the earth to the fullest. The grass probably knew what it had to do as well, It simply grew using the soil , the rain and the sun. The birds chirped seemingly enjoying the beautiful weather outside, Cattle grazed; Peacocks came out in the open at times … If we were lucky we could even see a peacock in flight. Water made its way from the mountain peaks towards the river. It was almost like Water too knew exactly where to flow.




The farmers knew how to use this water too. They used the natural flow of water to feed the paddy fields. Women collected this water from the natural stream in their vessels to quench their family’s thirst.

It was almost like a Symphony orchestra, with each artist knowing exactly when to pick up the cue and do their part.

Never mind … As we contemplated on the lesson that Master Raman had just concluded, I sprung my hand in the air to ask a question. I asked him, “How do I take decisions to lead a fulfilling daily life?”

Master Raman probably understood that the nature of my question was mostly material in nature. After all, We needed money to survive and keep us happy, didn’t we ? Yet there was a confusion that persisted which was mostly related to earning more Money and warding off unwanted fears about the growing demands of Life.

He looked at me intently and began to answer, ” Whatever the confusion might be inside you”, He Said ” It will be projected outside exactly the same way. The outward reality in other words would be a mirror of what you are feeling within. If there are multiple thoughts of how to move ahead, there will basically be clutter within you. This clutter will help you make no decisions in practical life. So, quite simply put It’s your duty to decide how to break the clutter. This clutter, he said can be broken only by reducing unnecessary thoughts from the mind.” He further added, ” May you get everything you wish, But It’s my desire that you know what exactly you want as soon as possible”

This led to a further question in my mind .. What did Master Raman mean when he said I should know exactly what I want in my life ?

As if he read my mind intuitively, Master Raman answered spiritually, with a story. He said,




” A few years ago, In the city of the golden gates, there lived a merchant with his 4 wives. The merchant had lived his life in prosperity, but now after the glory of 60+ years, He was ill with disease. The disease was terminal and he had just a few more months to live. With death staring at him, The merchant summoned for all his 4 wives in the room. ”

The merchant loved his fourth wife the most. During his active years, he spent most of his time caring for her itself. So naturally, He asked his fourth wife a question even before anyone else:

“I am almost ready to die… Will you accompany me to the grave?”

“Are you crazy ? She said. It’s your time and you may die as you wish”

The merchant was saddened. So he looked at his Third Wife. He loved her well too throughout his active years.

“I am almost ready to die… Will you accompany me to the grave?” , He asked her.

“That’s impossible, She said. The moment you die, I will be marrying someone else”, She quickly noted.

The merchant grew more sad. Dejected, He looked at his Second wife. He loved her but not too much during his life.

“I will be dying soon … Will you accompany me to the grave?” , He put her a question.

“Well, She said … At the most I will come with you when they are lowering you into the grave. But I will not accompany you at all”, She said.

The merchant was almost reduced to his tears. Suddenly he heard a frail little voice from the back.

“I will come with you to the grave”, The voice said.

Surprised, the merchant looked to the back of the room. He saw his first wife. Neglected during his waking years, He saw her frail and weak. The merchant felt really sad when he saw her. In his dying days He realized his sin and how he never paid any attention towards her.




The merchant died shortly after. Each wife was true to her words ; The first wife dutifully went with him to the grave.

The Fourth wife was “The Body & its senses” – The merchant spent the entire life caring for every small need of the body : Be it expensive garments, or gourmet food Or be it expensive cars, to air conditioned homes. Everything that the senses demanded, The merchant gave it to them.

The Third wife was ” The Merchant’s Money” – The merchant spent his entire life earning all the money he could. It never seemed enough. But this thought gave him sleepless nights.

The Second wife was “The Merchant’s Friends and Relatives” – They were by his side in his successes mostly. A lot of them deserted him in his sad times or in failures. But he kept up with all of them.

The First wife was “The Merchant’s soul” – Even though the merchant did not care for the Soul, She stayed with him no matter what through thick and thin.

There was a pause in the room.

Master Raman then said, ” Remember to take care of your first wife. She’s the unknown voice within continuously talking to you while you are busy enjoying with all the three other wives. If you take care of the first wife i.e, your inner guide to take all decisions, The other enjoyments of life will automatically be taken care of. You will remain without fear and hence contented in life.”

Life will always be limited, He said. But we miss that point when we continue to live each day as if we are here to live for ever. And when we die, we die discontented with Life”

A couple of days later … When we were about to leave the place of the retreat to go back to the city life, I thanked Master Raman for the experience over the last few days and took his blessings. He laughed in his usual way and said, Remember ! I am the manifestation of your First Wife. Take care … Ha Ha Ha Ha”

If you’d rather watch a video than read through, here’s the same story:

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