THE LOTUS ON THE ROOF

A Story from India

Retold by Sydney Solis

Once there was a couple who practiced yoga regularly. Their health was excellent, abundance overflowed in their household, and the whole town loved their kind hearts and generous spirits. Their next-door neighbors, however, were intensely jealous and it burned in their hearts.

One day, the neighbor man decided to do something about it.

“I want you to burn down their house!” he cried to a bad man who was paid to do such things.

“Agreed, but how will I know which house is the one you want burned down?” the bad man asked.

“I will put a lotus on the roof.”

That night, the jealous neighbor brought home a lotus. His wife saw it and said, “Oh! What a lovely lotus! Is it for me?”

“No,” her husband snapped. He put it on the neighbor’s roof and went to sleep.

But the wife couldn’t sleep. “Why should my neighbors have such a beautiful lotus and not me? I deserve it!”

So she climbed out of bed, took the lotus off the neighbor’s roof and put it on theirs. And their house burned down instead.

WORKING WITH THE STORY

How do our emotions affect us?
What can we do to appreciate what we have and not want what others have?
How can we find love instead of hate, jealousy, or envy for others?
When was there a time when you felt envious or jealous of another?

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