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  Volume 4 - Issue 04
APRIL 2006




A saint was living happily in beautiful countryside, unmindful of the world and its cares.

He used to sit and pray to God, and contemplate on the joy of his inner Atma.

Nearby birds were chirping sweetly and a stream was softly gurgling.

He was lost in his own inner joy.

One day, a wealthy merchant happened to pass by the saint’s home and observed the saint's devotion and sincerity.

He felt deeply moved to see such a person divorced from all concerns and of such peaceful demeanour.

He plucked up courage and approached the saint and offered his respect. The saint smiled at him and asked after his welfare. After exchanging pleasantries the merchant wished to take leave, but before doing so he offered the saint a bag of gold.

"I know that you will use the money for the good of others. Please take it."

The saint realized that this was an opportunity to teach this man a lesson.

"Just a moment." The saint replied. "I am not sure it is right for me to take your money. Are you a wealthy man? Do you have more money at home?”

"Oh yes. I have at least one thousand more gold pieces at home," the merchant said proudly.

Feigning interest, the saint asked "Do you want a thousand gold pieces more?”

"Why not, of course! Every day I work hard to earn more money." the merchant said.

"And do you wish for yet another thousand gold pieces more after that?" the saint continued.

"Yes. Everyday I pray that I may earn more and more money" the merchant replied.



The saint’s expression became grave and he pushed the bag of gold back to the merchant. "In that case, I am sorry, but I cannot take your gold. A wealthy man cannot take money from a beggar."

"How can you call yourself a wealthy man and me a beggar?" the puzzled merchant exclaimed, looking at the simple hut in which the saint was living.

The saint replied, "I am a wealthy man because I am content with whatever God sends me. You are a beggar, because no matter how much you possess, you are always dissatisfied, and always begging God for more." Thereafter, the saint closed all further conversation and kept quiet.

The merchant left, feeling somewhat rebuffed and hurt. But as he pondered on the saint’s words for sometime he realized the wisdom behind them. He found himself contemplating on his obsession with money and how the saint was obviously basing his happiness beyond worldly means. Humbled, he realized that God must be the bestower of real joy and not money.

Let us remember what Bhagavan says, “He who is filled with desires is the poorest man in the world.”

Illustrations: Arunab Jyoti Das, SSSHSS.

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 4 Issue 04 - APRIL 2006
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