I recently saw a movie, called Shortcut to Happiness, starring Alec Baldwin. The movie tells the story of a failed writer, Jabez Stone, who agrees to sell his soul to the devil in return for success.

The Devil transforms his life. He becomes successful beyond his wildest dreams. Rich, famous, and irresistible to women.

However, he soon realizes that success isn’t all that it’s made out to be, and regrets the contract he has made with the Devil. When he gets the chance, he leaves no stone unturned to try to break the contract even if it means he will have to sacrifice his success.

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There is a story in Greek mythology about a king named Midas who had the ability to turn anything he touched into gold.

The story goes thus that the satyr Silenus,who was the foster-father of Dionysus, the God of the Grape-harvest, enjoyed the hospitality of Midas for ten days. In return for this,  Dionysus offered the King anything he wished for.  Midas asked for the power to turn anything he touched into gold.

At first he was overjoyed with his new ability. But he soon found that he could not eat or drink because any food or liquid he touched turned into gold.

And to his horror, even his beloved daughter turned into a gold statue when he touched her. Overcome with grief, he begged  Dionysus to take back his gift.

Dionysus took pity on him and told him to go to the banks of the Pactolus river, and wash his hands in its waters. Midas did as he was instructed, and became free of the ability which had become a curse for him.

He returned home and was relieved to find that everything , including his daughter, had returned to normal again.

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Four hundred years ago,  Samarth Ramdas Swami  wondered “What should we ask for, from Sri Ram?”

And he himself answered the question in the following manner-

कोमल वाचा दे रे राम | विमळ करणी दे रे राम ||

[Oh Ram, let me be gentle in speech, let me work for the good of others.]

He went on to ask for प्रसंग ओळखी [ the ability to recognise the importance of any situation] ,  धुर्तकळा [ good judgement], हितकारक [ that which is for the good of all], जनसुखकारक [ that which gives joy to all], and other similar things.

And, exceptional personality that he was, finally, Samarth Ramdas Swami appealed to Shri Ram to-

मजविण तू मज दे रे राम | दास म्हणे मज दे रे राम ||
[Give me myself without any curtain of ego hiding my true self.  Give me Yourself, revealed to me in your true form.]
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What would I ask for, I wonder, if I could have anything I wanted?
 
What would you?
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