1O SEC READING: choosing the path

“I am willing to give up everything”, said the prince to the master. “Please accept me as your disciple.”

“How does a man choose his path?” asked the master.

“Through sacrifice,” answered the prince. “A path which demands sacrifice, is a true path.”

The master bumped into some shelves. A precious vase fell, and the prince threw himself down in order to grab hold of it. He fell badly and broke his arm, but managed to save the vase.

“What is the greater sacrifice: to watch the vase smash, or break one’s arm in order to save it?” asked the master.

“I do not know,” said the prince.

“Then how can you guide your choice for sacrifice? The true path is chosen by our ability to love it, not to suffer for it.”

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  1. anonymous says:

    “Then how can you guide your choice for sacrifice? The true path is chosen by our ability to love it, not to suffer for it.”

    but can suffering become love at the end, and therefore become a true path? in other words, when one stumbles upon something he never knew and started with real hardship, resentfulness, and even hatred but managed to adapt and accept it throughout the years, to the point of having at least some amount of love and forgetting its first real shattered dream that has caused him to go through all these years of suffering?? is that still a true path only discovered through the endless loops of life or is it just masochism in itself as a kind of punishment for whatever deeds that person is unaware of or perhaps done in its past life??

    sorry if this might sound confusing….
    my rambling thoughts just seem to portray my state of mind and emotion where I am at an unbearable crossroads and do not seem to find an answer anywhere…..(endless forum threads, meditation, friends, family, etc…)

    any comments welcome!!!

  2. Sarah says:

    When sacrificing,you do it out of love and while doing that sacrifice, you dont actually look at it or feel it a sacrifice or suffer cuz simpy you love the person:)

  3. FallenBlade says:

    The point of this story in my view .. is (“I do not know,” said the prince). So its important to know what we are suffering for why we even choose this path. I ve met many situation that requires me to sacrifice a thing or another, your friends vs your belief , your heart vs your family. We responsible and influenced by our choice. Knowing the reason for your choice is important.

  4. Wise Sayings says:

    The Uknown is all so damn exhausting – countless chase scenes sucked dry of suspense by repetition and the fact that clues are deposited less frequently Scott Baio’s Charles in Charge residuals. -Jeff Bayer

  5. Melody says:

    You can’t fight for love. Love doesn’t want to fight, it wants to release. If you think you have to fight for love, something is wrong I can tell. (I’m not speaking of Eros, I’m speaking of Agape) =)
    There is no suffering for the right path. If you go the right path, you don’t feel any suffering. But I think, you should probably read PC’s story again, maybe you didn’t really understand what he meant.
    Love doesn’t fight for something, especially not against other people. So, if the path you’ve chosen brings you this kind of fight, against nations, people etc., it cannot be the right path.People who think they will be heroes because they suffer for something good, are just selfish. You had to ask Florence Nightingale and Mother Teresa if they ever felt like they would be suffering. They would never told you “Yes, we do suffer but this is the right path”. They would tell you, that there is no place for suffering in their hearts. But doesn’t matter.
    I can’t explain…

    1. Dot says:

      I think you’ve explained it very well! Thank you :)

    2. lucia says:

      Nice Melody.
      Thank you.

  6. simoncpu says:

    The true path is the path where you save your arm. It’s just a vase, for Pete’s sake. Your arm is far more valuable than a vase. LOLOLOL.

  7. azra says:

    (First of all I want to tell you that I am writing as someone who wants to learn, not as a critic, and if you reply, then I hope to understand you point of view.)
    I always love to read what ever appears here on Face Book and for the first time I think I don’t totally agree with you in this story.I hope you enjoy a friendly discussion because that is all I am doing.
    We do suffer for the things we love also.We fight for our country,for our respect,for the respect and safety of our loved ones. Result is sufferings, but we get happiness when we see them safe. Some times we keep on suffering, hoping for better times or doing what we think is right for every one, this gives us the inner peace and clear conscience.Sometimes rest and smooth living are the first things to go when we start doing what is right e.g.,take the lives of Florence Nightingale, Mother Teresa, etc. their lives were not easy but they loved what they did and faced all types of hardships as well.This is what makes them a hero, to keep on suffering but staying on the difficult but right path.
    If we get afraid of pains and stop fighting for the things we love, that will make us selfish, not heroes,don’t you think?.
    smiles and cheers.. :)

    1. Allison says:

      Azra…I think the meaning of “Love it and not suffer for it” is a more a matter of attitude and perspective than of whether or not you suffer. LIfe is not easy. There is suffering for many reasons, but how you perceive those events is what matters and what defines the correct path. You wrote “we do suffer for the things we love.” and you are so right. But you see that as opposite to what the master said. I see it as the SAME. The key word that you used is “love”. Mother Teresa did not choose her path because of the suffering. She chose her path out of LOVE for the children she was saving. So how you perceive the struggle and sacrifice is most important. Being a parent is a struggle. It’s not easy, but everything you say and do, is done out of love. I think the master is trying to say that if that vase has no meaning to you, why SUFFER to save it? The prince did not save that vase out of love. He saved that vase for the pure sacrifice and probably because he was trying to impress the master. You will not find your true path, if your sacrifice and suffering isn’t for love.

    2. Rukmini says:

      Amazing perception and wisdom!!

    3. Rukmini says:

      i can’t believe how wise are people that are writing in here. reading those comments significantly increase the amount of love in me, towards people. i wish i could feel this way all the time, feeling that the world is such an extraordinary planet full of extraordinary people!

      Thank you all, for making me feel this way.

    4. FallenBlade says:

      We do suffer for the things we love also.We fight for our country,for our respect,for the respect and safety of our loved ones. Result is sufferings, but we get happiness when we see them safe. ( Then can we just say result is happiness instead of “sufferings” )because if u really gets that inner peace and clear conscience. Then you cant say these are sufferings …..

    5. curious says:

      A person who loves his country is never going to think that he is SUFFERING in providing his services to his country.The are termed to as sufferings from your point of view because you have never felt the proud feelings that one gets from making sacrifice for his beloved possessions.The difference between sacrifice and suffering is defined by an entity undergoing it,not by a spectator.

      Remember:SACRIFICE & Suffering are different.

      You are surely going to come about instances in your life when you think that what you have done is a sacrifice but your mate believes them to be sufferings.

  8. Sonia Mejia says:

    Quisiera conocer más sobre este escritor tan grande, y toda su literatura

  9. Mariana says:

    “Atunci cum vă poate ghida alegerea ta de sacrificiu? Calea adevărat este ales de capacitatea noastră de a place, nu să sufere pentru ea. ”

    Chiar dacă í®n viaţă ne-am dori să facem doar ceea ce ne place, părerea mea e că uneori nu se í®ntí¢mplă aÅŸa ÅŸi atunci suferim pentru asta. ViaÅ£a este o í®nlănÅ£uire de evenimente, momente, situaÅ£ii, care ne oferă multe surprize! Plăcute, sau mai puÅ£in plăcute, fie că vrem sau nu, trebuie să le acceptăm ÅŸi să í®ncercăm să schimbăm ceea ce nu ne place. Dar atunci cí¢nd ne place ceva, trebuie să perseverăm pí¢nă reuÅŸim.

    “Å¢ine minte că te-ai născut pentru a-Å£i trăi viaÅ£a.
    Nu trăi doar pentru că te-ai născut!

    Nu merge pe drumul pe care te poartă viaţa.
    Du-Å£i viaÅ£a pe drumul tău.”

    Pace, lumină şi dragoste pentru toţi !
    Multă iubire, Mariana

  10. SAI says:

    mr.paulo coelho…..i really really inspired by your words and readings i hope u can send me some…and by the way give up the good work sir!!!!!!

  11. Liza Julao says:

    Love the path you are in…

    Enjoy the ride…

    Choose well…

  12. Rosa says:

    Quizas somos libres en amar con toda nuestra alma, dejando libre lo amado para que prosiga su camino asia su felicidad.
    Aceptando que paso por nuestro lado, se llevo nuestra alma y nos olvido o simplemente nunca formamos parte de su vida.
    Es un sacrificio digno del amor, el permitir que el ser amado por nuestro corazon sea digno de ser feliz, sin formar parte de ello.

  13. zieyhan says:

    what an inspiring message… yes to it… i think the last part make me think a lot… once upon a time i enter i convent then i was sent out… i’m so down for i didn’t expect it… maybe God seen my willingness but he could feel too my suffering… i want to be a nun yet i cant experience to fall inlove with it…

  14. patty says:

    Amar no es un acrificio si se ama sin condiciones y libremente es como volar sin caer pero tocando para sentirte vivo y poner tu mano para que tu compañero
    sepa que estas ahi siempre.

    1. patty says:

      y mi mano jamas sera lastimada por el ser que me ame tanto como yo

  15. Daisy Villasboa says:

    muy verdadero…el verdadero sacrificio es aquel que viene del corazon, o con la intencion de alegrar el corazon

  16. sana says:

    another 20 sec story that leaves me perpexled and pushes me into a stream of thoughts that last for more than 20 minutes…. Yes, the reaction of the prince is an emotional one, is the reaction of the subconscious..and his decision to give up the mondane world for the spiritual one is a rational one, made with his mind… and sacrifice is something that we make with our mind, but train our emotions gradually to accept it, till it becomes part of our spontaneous actions and we fit it into our daily lives…

  17. Sileska says:

    es como sufrir solo si lo peermitimos…si asi lo queremos…..?