Years passed. The same young man who had gotten his answer on Love has been asked by his family to settle down and get married. Puzzled about the concept of marriage, he decided to ask the wise old monk again.

“Master, you are old and wise. Tell me, what is marriage?”

Again, the old monk did not give him an answer. Instead, he asked the young man to go through the forest in front of them. “Go straight, don’t look back. Only one chance, pick the most beautiful flower you could find along the way and bring her to me at the other side of the forest.”

Not again, thought the young man, I’ve been through this and learnt my lesson. Full of doubt on the purpose of this exercise, the young man nonetheless followed the old monk’s instructions out of respect and started his journey into the forest.

Not far into the forest, the young man saw a beautiful flower. Tempted to pick her up, he did not. He was quite confident that there would be more beautiful ones further down the road.

Shortly down the road, the young man saw another flower that was more beautiful than the first one. He was glad he was right, but at the same time, he remembered his lesson few years back, and was more tempted to pick up the second flower this time. After much deliberation, he decided to try his luck and look further.

Then he saw a third flower that was even more beautiful than the ones before. That’s it, he thought, better not risk it like the last time. This flower is beautiful enough, he told himself. Without much hesitation, he picked up the third flower and walked on.

When the young man crossed the middle of the forest, suddenly appeared in front of him a giant field of beautiful flowers. All of them were so beautiful and more beautiful than the one he had in his hand. There was one in the centre of the field. She was the most gorgeous flower he had ever seen in his life. His heart sang when he saw her dancing in the wind. “This is the most beautiful flower on Earth!” he exclaimed. But it was too late. He had only one chance and already a flower in his hand.

The old monk was standing at the other side of the forest waiting. When the young man emerged from the forest and handed him his flower, the old monk asked,

“Is that the most beautiful flower you could find?”

The young man was full of regrets.

“No,” he sighed, “I saw flowers more beautiful, and there was one that was the most beautiful, but I had already picked one.”

The old monk smiled gently, and said,

“Here is your answer, young man. This is Marriage.”

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