Three Men Enter the Forest

The first man entered a forest and thought to himself, “What a great place! I could hang around here all day and no one will find me, nor ask me to do any work”.  So he smoked a cigarette, drank a few sips of beer and, selecting a suitable tree for shade, slept very peacefully for the entire day. The second man wandered into the forest and said to himself, “Wow, what an extraordinary place.  Look at all these nuts and that fresh fruit I could sell! And all this wood can be sold for fuel. I bet those gorgeous flowers could fetch me a dollar or two!”

So he spent all day working hard, collecting wood, fruit and flowers, which he could take to the market.  By the end of the day he was tired and his body ached. Nonetheless, he was encouraged by the thought of all the money he could make by selling these goods at the market.

The third gentleman walked into the forest and thought, “What a peaceful and beautiful place. One can see the hand of God here, in the song of the birds and the beauty of the flowers!” He reflected on the purpose of life and spent his time reading of spiritual matters and meditating on the Lord. That evening he returned home happy and rejuvenated.

Note: This story demonstrates how different people respond to situations according to their conditioning, the three modes of material nature. It illustrates men in the modes of ignorance, passion and goodness. It also illustrates how people see the world differently, through their own mind-set.