Those who know me will have heard me say many times that life is a game of snakes of ladders. Before I explain what I mean by this, did you know the board game has its origins in India? It was called Gyan Chauper, and was designed by a young 13th century saint, Sant Dnyaneshwar, also known as Gyandev. He used it to teach children about morals and destiny, each of the snakes representing a vice, and the ladders representing virtues.
In today’s world I use it to explain the game of life. We are all players in life’s game of snakes and ladders. We are born, and like a token in the game we begin at the first square of the board. We want to move forward, to make it to the top in life, but we cannot control the throw of the dice any more than a tree can control where the wind will scatter its seeds.
In life we will encounter many snake bites that knock us down, from illness, failures, loss of near and dear, fears and worries, addictions and many other obstacles. Some of these snakes are small and only set us back a little. Others are very long, and we feel like we have lost everything, that we are right back where we started. But the game goes on, and we will always land at some point at a ladder that presents us with the chance to rise up again. These are our lucky breaks, when our efforts are met with success, Like the snakes, they may be short or long, but they lift our spirits, and give us the courage to keep moving.
We cannot control the dice, but we can control our mindset. If we have a strong mind, we will not get disheartened when the snakes keep sending us back. Instead of feeling that life isn’t fair and we want to abandon the game, we will understand that everything has a cycle. Good times follow bad, and vice versa. Persistence will always bring us to a ladder. As I always say everyone has their time for good luck in life.
Never give up on life. Have faith and live according to your true nature, and one day you will achieve success in life. Understand what you can and can’t control and let nature take care of the rest. As the Tao Te Ching tells us: “Mastery of the world is achieved by letting things take their natural course. If you interfere with the Way of Nature you can never master the world.”