PARAMAHAMSA SRI NITHYANANDA on Don't Worry, Be Blissful! A small Story: THERE was a wise and compassionate king. All his subjects came to him for advice. Once a woman came and complained to him that her husband was ill-treating her because she could not bear a child. Another man came to him and grumbled that his children were greedy. They were after his wealth and ill treating him. A poor man petitioned him for money and lamented saying how wretched he was to be poor. A rich man came to the king and complained that he had no real friends. Every one he knew was nice to him only because of his wealth. The king, after talking to many people, found that the same things — children, money, and health — repeatedly induced people to worry and be sad. Money was needed by one, but was causing sorrow to another. The king hit upon a novel idea, he called his ministers and said: what if we open a Worry Exchange (WE), can’t people come and exchange their worries? A person who was unhappy without children could exchange his or her worry with another who was unhappy because he or she had children? A rich man who was unhappy could trade his worry with a poor man who needs money. His ministers thought it was a brilliant idea. So the WE was inaugurated. On the appointed day all the king’s subjects arrived at the WE, long before it was to open. They stood around and talked, talked and talked. WE stayed open until dusk. Not a single trade materialized. Not one person came forward to barter or swap his own worry with another worry. The king was disappointed. However, instead of being angry, he enquired from his subjects why no one came forward to trade worries, though they had all said the WE was a brilliant idea. The subjects replied in one voice: we prefer to live with the worries we know, rather than exchange them for something that we do not know! Worries become, over time, our crutches, our companions. We feel lost without them. We need them to justify our behaviour and depend on them to lead our daily life. Our worries have no meaning or purpose. I tell people to write down their worries in our Life Bliss Courses. I tell them to look at this list after three or six months. They then tell me that 90% of the worries never materialized. The 10% that did were good for them! If we allow ourselves to release our grip from worries and relax in the present, then we can begin an intimate, spiritual journey. The purpose of our life is to journey inwards and experience bliss, not to indulge in wasteful worries.