Once upon a time there was an old man called Sthira, who lived alone in a village. He would go about his business alone, even in his old age. He was a nice, friendly man who was liked by all the people in the village. They would often come over to the old man’s house and express their sympathy that his only son had gone so far away to study. They wondered aloud if his son would ever return. To all their concern, Sthira would always thank them and say, “Whatever happens, happens for the good.”
One day, the old man’s son returned to the village. The entire village was very happy for Sthira, and streams of villagers came over to congratulate him. Like always, the old man was polite. He thanked all of them for coming over and said, “Whatever happens, happens for the good.”
Barely a few days had passed, when one day, Sthira’s son fell off a horse’s back and broke his leg. Once again the entire village came over to Sthira’s house to express their concern. And once again the old man thanked them for their sympathy and said, “Whatever happens, happens for the good.” Some of the villagers were surprised to hear this and wondered what good could there possibly be in a broken leg.
A few days later, a small army of the local king came to the village and recruited all able-bodied young men into the army. When they came to Sthira’s house they found his son with a broken leg. So they left him behind. Once again, all the villagers came to the old man’s house to congratulate him for his good luck. And like always, the old man thanked them for their concern and said, “Whatever happens, happens for the good.”