Oh, how big this world is!
If you travel around it — you’ll find no end!
Different people are living here,
Different tales they narrate every year!
Someone is poor, someone — wealthy,
Someone is ill, and someone — healthy,
Someone is sad, and someone — happy…
By the way,
What is the secret of the happiness?
This was the introduction,
And now —
I will tell you the story
About the princess Nesmeyana
And about valiant Ivan, full of glory!
… Once upon a time, early in the spring,
In some country we do not know,
Many, many years ago,
In some far away kingdom,
Many, many miles away,
Honest people gathered once
To see the daughter of the king,
Young Nesmeyana, crying.
The king ordered to issue a decree,
Which was announced at once.
“Our only daughter
Is the most beautiful in the world!
But she does not know how to rejoice,
She never smiles,
She doesn’t know how to laugh,
But is crying
From the morning till the night,
The entire daylight!
She can’t stop, and that is why
I promulgate this decree
And open my palace
To anyone who agrees,
Wishes, and knows the remedy
To cheer up the princess,
To heal her from her affliction,
So that she stops shedding tears
And becomes good and cheerful!
This fine young man
Who will heal the princess and
Who will cheer her up —
Will lead her to the altar!
And in addition
I will grant them for the wedding
Half of my kingdom,
And another half
Will be theirs after my death!”
… Different honored guests gathered:
Elegant princes, counts of blue blood,
Dukes, one nobler than another.
And more and more people were coming,
Thinking: “What if I have luck!”
Boyars, merchants, and rogues,
Jesters, and dodgers —
They all wanted to try their luck
And become the heir of the kingdom!
… Yet Ivan was not a prince,
Not a count, not a duke,
But a simple son of land,
Living kindly in peace and love.
His father told him to marry
And to settle down rapidly.
… He got to know
About the decree of the king
And said to Ivan:
“There is a young and not ugly princess,
“But this poor girl
“Doesn’t know how to rejoice,
“She cries from the morning till the night,
“Whines and moans all the daylight!
“We must teach this poor girl
“Not to be sad or angry,
“Not to cry —
“But to shine with joy,
“To smile, and to be happy,
“Not quarrelsome, not snappy!
“If you can find any means for this —
“Then you’ll become
“The son-in-law for the king!
“And you will help the entire kingdom
“And all its people —
“To find peace and happiness!
“So don’t lose your time
“And start your journey!
“God bless you!
“Now — go!”
… So Ivan said goodbye to his father
And started his journey.
… He came to the capital.
A lot of people were everywhere!
He reached the palace.
Here noise and crowd
Were all around!…
Amazing people presented themselves
Before the princess,
Trying to make her laugh,
Bending themselves in half
Or in any other possible way!
Music sounded loudly the whole day,
Someone stood on one’s head,
Someone sang, another danced… —
Hundreds of people every day
Presented themselves before Nesmeyana!
But she could hardy bear them all
And became sadder and sadder day after day:
“I’m tired of these guests!
“Isn’t there in the whole world
“One remedy for me?
“I’m so sick of all this!
“How many different people
“From different countries are here!”
… In that moment Ivan came into the hall.
Captivated with her beauty,
He bowed low and said:
“I greet you, my king,
“Our dear lord!
“I greet you, kind queen!
“And I greet you, dear princess!”
Nesmeyana suddenly stood up
When she saw Ivan
And said plaintively:
“Oh, how I want to be happy!
“I am terribly unhappy!
“I have wealth, and everything is fine around:
“Servants, good relatives…
“But nothing of this makes me glad —
“Neither clothes, nor gold!
“I hate all this!
“I am rich, but the unhappiest in the world!
“If there is any remedy
“That can make me happy
“I am ready to take it!”
Ivan looked in her eyes
And said quietly:
“You are beautiful, daughter of the king, —
“Like a gentle dawn!
“But your beauty is covered
“With a black cloud,
“With gray rain and a violent storm.
“I know the cure
“That can help you,
“So that people
“Can call you with love Dawny,
“So that you can learn
“Not to be sad, not to be angry,
“But to love and to smile gently.
“Free wind told me about this cure.
“It said that
“There is a magic country far away,
“And in the mountains of that country,
“The Original Source wells out day after day!
“From its magical waters —
“The lake appeared.
“Whoever will look in this lake —
“Will be born once again, so to say!
“And the one who will drink its water —
“Will be happy till the end of one’s life!
“If you want to undertake a journey
“And drink some of that living water
“To find happiness and joy —
“You should go with me!
“Don’t take your servants with you:
“You don’t need them!
“Kiss your father and your mother —
“And let’s go: the way is not short!
“And stop crying for a while!
“If not, we might not cover
“Our route till the night.”
Suddenly the princess Nesmeyana
She stopped crying,
Kissed her mother and her father,
And was ready to go with Ivan —
To look at that lake!
… They were walking and walking and
Saw a big forest in front of them.
The wind was blowing,
The black clouds
Were huddling in the sky,
And the rain was falling.
Nesmeyana cried and moaned:
“Why is this wind driving clouds?!
“And why — not for the first hour —
“Is this rain wetting us?!
“Or it, just like me,
“Is crying without hiding its grief!”
And Ivan responded:
“Rain neither cries nor weeps
“But gives everything to drink:
“To this oak and to that hazel,
“To the grass and to the flowers,
“And to all the trees in the forest!”
… Suddenly they saw a mouse
That left its burrow because of water
And was sitting on a small hillock,
Waiting for salvation.
“Mouse!” — the princess screamed. —
“I would have fainted,
“But I don’t know where to fall
“Since water is everywhere!…”
“Let’s help the mouse right now!
“Water has flooded its burrow.
“We should carry it to a hill.
“And don’t be afraid of mice!”
Having taken the furry animal,
Ivan caressed it slightly
And carried it to the hill.
The mouse thanked them
In a human language:
“I will repay you for the good you did for me
“And serve you later!”
… The sun rose, and it became hot…
Nesmeyana was getting tired…
She moaned: “We need to rest —
“And then continue our journey!”
They just sat down
When she began to wail again:
“The heat has become unbearable!
“I’m tired, and an angry mosquito
“Has bitten my hand!
“I am hungry! What torture!”
Ivan said in response:
“Listen to my advice:
“If you want to be a queen,
“If you want to be happy —
“Learn to control your emotions
“Or go back home alone!”
The princess quieted down
And didn’t dare say a word…
Ivan gave her his hand
And led her further into the forest.
They were walking and saw a bird
That was flying close to the ground
And calling: “Here! Here! Help me!
“My baby bird has fallen out of the nest!”
The nestling was lying on the grass…
Nesmeyana shouted: “Look what it is!
“The food by itself is coming to us!”…
Ivan sighed heavily and replied quietly:
“What are you saying, my dear?!
“Look, how the bird is crying!
“Now we together should return
“The baby bird to its nest!”
“I do not know how to climb!”
“So then simply sit down on my neck!”
Nesmeyana scrambled right to his neck,
Took the baby bird in her hands
And put it into the nest.
And then all of a sudden —
She smiled, and
It was like the sun
Sending its ray to the world
From behind the black clouds!
And the bird became so happy!
It whirled around its baby
“Thank you! Thank you!
“I love you! I love you so much!
“I will serve you later,
“I will repay you for the good you did for me!”
… Ivan kept walking with Nesmeyana
And taught her:
“In your chest,
“You have a small room full of light.
“There the love of the soul may be born,
“And when born, it will shine
“Like a gentle sun
“And strive to give itself to everyone!
“If man doesn’t live for oneself,
“And loves everything around —
“Then this person
“Will live in permanent happiness!”
… The time for lunch had come.
Ivan made a campfire,
Picked up different herbs —
Placed them into a cauldron,
And cooked them quickly over the fire.
Then he gently called Nesmeyana:
“The meal is ready without much effort!
“But, please, don’t be angry with me
“For such a simple lunch,
“I made the soup mainly of wood-sorrels!”
Nesmeyana ate this soup —
And became a little more cheerful.
… They continued their way,
Walked and walked
Without sitting down all day…
The evening came…
“Where can we sleep here?
“Only ground is everywhere!
“I’m so tired!
“What can we do?!” —
Nesmeyana began whining…
Ivan took off his caftan,
Spread it out
Before the princess on the ground,
And said to her slowly:
“Isn’t it a good bed?
“You can sleep on it without any problems!
“Don’t worry about such a trifle!
“Just lie down right here on your side
“And close your eyes!
“If you want, you can have a dream
“About your palace
“And the king and the queen…
“In the meantime,
“I will tell you a fairy fairy-tale …
“… A river of calm sleep
“Will carry you to far away lands.
“You will see the Primordial World,
“The Light shining out of the water,
“The flight of beautiful birds!…”
Nesmeyana was surprised
But lay down on the ground
On the caftan spread out by Ivan…
And then she slept quietly
Until the next morning.
… The sky began to shine,
And the beauty of nature blossomed!
Ivan woke the princess up and said:
“Look what it will be!
“The sun is rising above the land!
“A beautiful day is coming!”
“I want to sleep!
“And my side hurts!
“And it’s too early!
“I can’t! Leave me alone!”
But Ivan did not leave her.
He took her hand
“Listen to me, Nesmeyana!
“You will oversleep your happiness:
“You won’t see
“The birth of the beautiful day,
“The awakening of the whole nature!
“Here, on this wonderful glade —
“All beings are full of life
“And of the happiness of the spring!
“Birds are singing their songs for us,
“Bringing joy and love!”
Nesmeyana came to the glade
And said to Ivan with surprise:
“Yes… The world is really beautiful!
“And I haven’t known this for so many years!”
The sun was rising above the forest…
Nesmeyana was not taking
Her eyes off the sun!
She looked without breathing!
And the soul was filling with happiness!
… Days were passing by…
And each one of them brought
The treasure of a good
And simple life on the native land…
Ivan and the princess kept walking
And having heartfelt conversations…
One day the meadows extended before them,
All the land was covered with flowers…
The princess said:
“This aroma captivates me!
“There are so many different flowers here!
“Why don’t you give me a bouquet?”
“All these flowers are yours!
“All of them greet you
“And nod with their corollas gently,
“Bringing delight to the sight —
“Like a living carpet of love!
“And these beautiful creatures
“Give us their fragrance!
“So, tell me, why
“To tear them off forcing them to die,
“Without letting them
“Sow their seeds in the ground?
“You will understand some day
“That God gives life to everyone,
“And each life has its term!
“We shouldn’t kill them in vain!
“You will understand all this clearly,
“But for now — forgive me:
“I have to refuse, loving you!” —
Ivan said shyly
And lifted his eyes with love.
Yet the princess did not become angry.
She took his hand and
Walked quietly next to him…
… They were walking and walking,
And days were passing by…
Although the princess got tired many times —
She began to smile more frequently,
And complaining about problems.
She also got suntanned!
And became more cheerful!
She said: “Loving you,
“I changed myself!
“So why do we need to go any further?
“I stopped whining,
“I am rejoicing, walking with you!
“Ivan, I love you!
“I thank you!
“You transformed me,
“You gave me wonderful happiness!
“So if you love me too —
“Share your destiny with me!
“And let’s go home quickly!”
But Ivan responded:
“Your heart knows the truth!
“I love you, princess, too —
“With all the love of the soul!
“Yet do not look back:
“Many more things await us in our travel!”
… A dense forest extended before them
Without any clear path…
Soon they heard snaps and groans…
It was getting closer and closer…
It turned out to be a female bear
Walking through the forest
And calling her cub:
“My son, my little cub!
“Where are you, what has happened with you?!”
And her son was small
And fell into a trapping pit.
Sharp stakes were there,
Threatening everyone with a cruel death…
The cub fell between them
And got to the bottom.
Yet it could not get out by itself,
And was weeping lamentably:
Ivan grabbed a snag,
Got down to the pit,
Took the cub in his arms,
And tied it with a strong rope.
Then he said to the princess:
“Grab this rope tightly — and pull!”
Thus they rescued the cub,
Taking it out from the terrible pit.
The cub saw its mother —
And ran to her!
She licked her son all over with her tongue,
And was full of profound gratitude
To Ivan and the princess,
Saying to them in a human language:
“I will repay you
“For the good you did for me!”
She bowed low to them
And walked away quietly.
And her cub also ran quickly
To the forest after her.
… Ivan and the princess kept walking
Ivan explained to her that
We don’t live on the Earth in vain:
“God made the Creation —
“For the enlightenment of all people!
“The one who has cognized love by the soul —
“Has stepped into the Path to God!
“I won’t tell you too much about Him.
“But He is the Parent, the Creator,
“And the Lord for all of us.
“And it is He Who created
“The Divine Law for everything living!
“This is the Law of GIVING LOVE —
“One for His whole Creation!”
The princess was listening to Ivan
And then asked him:
“You are talking about God
“As if you can see and hear Him!
“Explain to me, why do you speak in that way?”
“It’s not a miracle!
“God — the Divine Father and
“The Creator of all things —
“Is as evident for me as you are now!
“He loves every one of us
“And He is ready to come
“To those who strive for Him!
“He comes to help them in everything and
“To lead them into Himself!”
… For the princess it was not boring,
But pleasant to walk with Ivan!
She lived happier and happier every day!
The soul was blossoming in love
Like the shine of a living dawn!
… They kept walking
And found themselves before a river.
They saw a wels dying
And swishing its tail against the waters,
Being caught in a fishing net.
It was doomed to die…
Ivan saved it from a cruel death:
He quickly untangled the net
And released the catfish.
The wels thanked him and said:
“The water that flows in this river
“Comes from the magical lake.
“If you go along this river —
“You will find what you are looking for!
“I will repay you for your kindness later!
“I will serve you somehow!”
… The day passed, the night passed…
The river led them to the mountains.
Here they found the lake.
The shining light was coming from it.
The mountains were covered with forest.
The beauty of the sky
Was reflecting in the lake.
And the calm of this place
Was saturated with the heavenly bliss!
The waters manifested the Light
That gives the Power of Life…
The Truth and simplicity,
The essence of life and beauty
Were visible, understandable,
And clear in that place!
“What is it shining all around?”
“Here — the special Light can be seen!
“It is the Divine and Living Light!
“It is evident for you and me!
“This lake is like an entrance…
“Whoever will touch this water
“Will cognize the Bright Light
“And the Divine Dawn.”
The princess looked into the lake —
There the magical Light shone —
And then decided
To wash herself with this wonderful Light!
Thus she cognized the Love of God,
Who is the Father,
The Creator, the Parent of all living,
And the Lord of everything,
Who is the only One!
Ivan met the princess,
Embraced her with love,
And said to her gently:
“Yes, it’s the magical water!
“But what is more important,
“Than all the magic, is love
“That shines in the heart like the sun
“And impels us to do good to others!
“In the heart — loving, beautiful —
“There is a source of life-happiness!
“In it — the love of the soul is born:
“Love that strives to give itself to everyone!
“Feel with yourself as a soul
“That all around us is living!
“And in every living creature
“There is a drop of Eternal Waters.
“Such drops are in the birds singing songs,
“In each fish swimming in the waters,
“In kind, fluffy animals,
“In the tender, fragrant grass…
“Inside the Oneness of Everything — we live,
“But we just… don’t know about this!
“It’s essential to understand, to feel
“That we can live in harmony with everything!
“The Creator, our Divine Father,
“Has created all this!
“And His Love blossoms in
“The Living Oneness of Everything!
“We should go back now!
“Don’t forget what you have learned!
“All that you now know,
“All that made you happy —
“You need to give others
“Since you are to be the queen!
“And take with you some of this living water.
“And you will be able
“To help overcome the sadness —
“To everyone who is thirsty,
“To everyone who suffers,
“To all who seek the essence of life,
“And to all who walk the Path!”
… So they started to travel around the world
To share with people this truth.
One month passed, another passed.
… And at home, the king, the queen,
And all other relatives
Were waiting for the princess.
So the king prepared an army
And sent it to search for Ivan:
“Whoever will find the princess
“And save her from evil Ivan —
“Will marry her!”
Soon the duke, the foreign prince,
The nobleman, and the grand duke set out.
They were riding for a long time
Through the forests and fields.
Through half of the country…
… One day they saw
The mountains in the distance…
And soon — Ivan with the princess.
They were walking hand in hand,
And Nesmeyana was radiating with joy.
She was healing people with the living water
And was telling them
How to cognize happiness and love!
People greeted them with bread and salt.
And Nesmeyana was giving everyone
At least one drop of the living water.
And Ivan was telling them:
“We should live as God says to us:
“Do no evil to anyone,
“Do only good deeds!
“All people usually
“Are waiting for help… from outside!
“They live as if in a dream!
“Yet the happiness is inside:
“In the light of the sun-like love!”
Ivan continued speaking about
What is considered as good,
How to distinguish the good from the evil,
And how to help for the good always.
… Soon the duke, the foreign prince,
The nobleman, and the grand duke
Began whispering quietly:
“What should we do?
“How can we kill Ivan?
“He doesn’t expect an attack from us…
“He is not a match for the princess!
“And he shall neither be the king
“Nor rule the kingdom!”
So they, being full of envy, decided
To capture Ivan and the princess
Luring them into their camp,
Where they could give them a sleeping potion,
Take the princess away,
Tie Ivan up and kill him meanly…
… Trumpets were playing!
King’s flags were raised!
Salutes were fired!
Everyone shouted: “Glory to the princess!”…
Nesmeyana saw the army and said:
“They came to meet us!
“The father king is waiting surely for us!
“Let’s go to them right now!
“Let’s go to the camp quickly!”
Soon the duke, the foreign prince,
The nobleman, and the grand duke
Were receiving the princess with reverence,
Looking at Ivan with disdain.
They led them into a luxury marquee
To sit at the table with different viands
And brought them the potion
To make them sleep soundly
And forget about everything…
… Soon all the camp fell asleep…
The princess and Ivan fell asleep too…
The duke, the foreign prince,
The nobleman, and the grand duke
Approached them quietly,
Took the princess away,
And killed sleeping Ivan with their swords…
… The villains were riding to the capital
With sleeping Nesmeyana
And drawing lots to decide
For whom of them she would be a wife,
Who would set the king aside,
And who would rule the kingdom.
They argued for a long time —
Almost killed each other —
But finally decided that
When they came to the palace —
They would tell the king
That Ivan was not a simpleton,
That he wanted
To push the king aside from the throne,
Take control of the army,
And rule the whole kingdom!
And that is why,
They executed him with their swords.
So now the princess should decide
Who would be her husband!
But when she wakes up
From her profound sleep —
She should be told
That she had been ill for a long time
And all that she remembered
Was just a dream,
Seen by her during a long sleep!
… Soon the duke, the foreign prince,
The nobleman, and the grand duke
Came to the king
And brought the princess with them.
The king marveled at their story
But believed what they said
And ordered all his servants to tell
The princess that she had been ill a long time,
That she never traveled with anyone
And that all she remembered about herself
Was just a dream…
… The princess woke up from her sleep
And found herself alone,
Without her dear friend…
She looked around and wondered
Where the camp was,
Where the mountains and the people were,
Where Ivan was.
She started calling for help…
Finally, her father entered
And began to comfort her:
“There wasn’t any Ivan!
“I do not know such a man!
“You were sick for so long,
“But now you have woken up!
“And all that you remember about yourself
“Was just a dream!
“The duke, the foreign prince,
“The nobleman, and the grand duke
“Are asking you to marry one of them!
“They are lovesick because of you!
“So choose one of them quickly!
“And get married as soon as possible!
“In this way, you will forget
“That strange dream with a sweetheart,
“Who is in love with you!”
But the princess said:
“The drink was poisonous!
“And if it was just a dream,
“It is more beautiful than a life!
“You can’t scare me,
“You can’t take my dear friend away
“I am another person now:
“I got to know the truth of life,
“And I don’t believe anyone
“But only Ivan!
“He is my chosen one,
“And I will marry only him!
“I’ll go to look for him!
“I’ll rescue him from the envious persons!”
“Nesmeyana, you are still sick,
“Though you woke up out of your dream!
“You may go
“And search through the entire palace,
“But you will not find your Ivan here!
“I think that you have woken up too early!
“Take a rest for one or two days
“To calm yourself!”
… And she was locked alone in the gilded palace…
… Now she had the reason for crying,
But this didn’t make her feel better!
… She began to recall what Ivan taught her:
“All that God sends to us
“Are the life lessons!
“There is an uncountable number
“Of difficulties in life!
“Yet there are the means to overcome them:
“The one who demonstrates willpower
“Can do this!
“There are no obstacles
“Superior to one’s strengths!
“Thus Ivan taught me!”
Suddenly the mouse ran up
And said: “Do you remember me?
“I said to you
“That I would repay you with the good!
“Now — the time for this has come!
“First I need to tell you
“That lie reigns around:
“Ivan was killed by the villains!
“Though it is difficult to save him,
“There is nothing impossible in this world!
“If we sprinkle Ivan
“With the living water in three days —
“He will be healed of his wounds
“And wake up again!”
“Oh, how my heart hurts!…
“I am locked in this tower
“And can’t go with you!”
The mouse ran away quickly,
Looked for something for two or three minutes,
Found the key of the door —
And brought it to the princess.
The princess opened the door
And gained the freedom.
She ran to the forest
And met the female bear there.
She said to the princess:
“Sit down on my back quickly!
“We must rush to Ivan —
“To heal him from his cruel wounds!”
The princess said then:
“We need the living water for this,
“But I don’t have it, not even a single drop!”
The bear comforted Nesmeyana:
“God is helping us right now!
“Don’t be sad!
“The wels will get this water for us,
“The bird will bring it to us,
“Everything will be as it should be!”
And the bear ran
Through the fields, through the forests…
… In the forest full of sorrow,
They found wounded Ivan…
… The wels swam by the river
To get the healing water.
Meanwhile, the bird flew quickly
To meet the wels.
The wels reached the lake,
Got some water in its mouth,
And returned to give it to the bird.
The bird flew to Ivan.
And there the princess took
The drops of the healing water
From the bird’s beak
And sprinkled the wounds of Ivan,
Healing him at once.
Ivan stood up alive
And embraced the princess.
They sat on the back of the bear
And went home, talking about
How they would live happily
And what they would do!
… They came to the palace,
And the king met them.
Nesmeyana said to him:
“Your tongue was poisonous!
“I lay unconscious
“But didn’t lose my love!
“Here is my promised husband!
“So send all the others away!
“Their claims are dishonest,
“And their deeds are treacherous!
“Here is Ivan, my savior!
“I’ll be his wife only!”
“But he is not of blue blood,
“He is from simple people,
“Not a king, not a prince,
“Not a nobleman, not a duke!
“He can’t be a king
“And rule the kingdom!” —
The father said angrily.
“But you have promised that a man
“Who would save me from my tears
“And teach me to smile
“And to laugh tenderly and joyfully
“Would be my husband!
“And now — what? Your decree
“Is not a decree anymore?”
But the king insisted:
“Why do you recall this?
“Who is the king here? — I do not understand!
“I am the king!
“And I am the law!
“My throne is still under me!
“For me — decrees are not decrees!
“I decide everything now
“And I already forgot what I had said before!”
“You, my dear father, forgot
“That you were kind and good once!
“If you love your country,
“Or, at least, only me
“Listen to my story, please!” —
And the princess told him about the way,
About love, a little bit about God,
About the evil machinations of the villains,
About the victory over them,
And about the Divine Law
That rules above all!
“One can rule in a wise manner
“And take honest, righteous decisions!
“My Ivan is the most deserving!
“He will rule without any luxury for himself
“And will bring peace, kindness, and good
“To the whole kingdom!
“Both wisdom and courage are in him:
“He can gather the army
“And defend the kingdom!
“He can be just
“And do good for everyone!
“You have listened to me with calm and love.
“Now decide and issue decrees so!”
… The king agreed with her about everything
And asked Ivan to forgive him…
… They celebrated the wedding
And there were no more sorrows…
The king and the queen retired from affairs…
… And the villains were not judged.
It was decided to forgive them,
So that they could tell everyone
In their countries
About the princess Nesmeyana
And valiant Ivan,
About the good and patience,
And about the purpose of life!
Ivan ruled the country in a way that
In the entire kingdom was peace,
There were no wars or sorrow.
And welfare and happiness
Came to the people!
The queen Nesmeyana
Gave birth to a son and soon to a daughter.
… So this is the end of this story.
Well done, all those who have listened to it!
This tale is full of magic
And it teaches you kindness!
There is an allegory in this story.
Have you managed to discover it?
There is the law of love in life!
It is very clear and simple!
Life has a purpose!
And the solution for all the problems
Is the following:
We should live not for ourselves but for others,
Loving everyone around
And helping in everything good
In every possible way!
The one who realizes this —
Has the happiness of life
And gives this happiness to others!
… So be happy! All the best to you!