Jain Vidya (2): Wealth is the Root of Affliction

Published: 28.01.2018

Two brothers were returning home after earning wealth from abroad. The wealth was collected in a noli (a cloth-bag specifically made for storing coins of money). On the way each brother carried and protected that noli on an alternate day. One day, they rested on the bank of a river. As the night fell both slept. A thought crossed the elder brother's mind, "Today the noli is with me. How good it will be if I push my younger brother into the river today. I will get the entire wealth, other wise when we reach home it will be divided into two parts and I will get just half of it." As soon as he stood to kill his younger brother, his thoughts changed and he began to curse himself "Oh mean and base person! today you have become a slave of wealth that you didn't hesitate to kill your own brother for the sake of wealth. In your eyes your brother is as insignificant as a straw and wealth is your prana (vital force). Will this wealth quench your thirst? How will the wealth, which has driven you to kill your brother, be a source of happiness for you?" In the end, he decided that he would throw the noli into the river because it made him so greedy and wicked and he flung it into the river. The morning came. The younger brother woke up. He came to know that the noli had been thrown into the river. He asked his elder brother about it and the latter told him the whole story of the last night. The younger brother said, "Brother! you did the right thing. I also began to think like you. If you had not thrown the noli into the river, you would not have been alive today." Both reached their home and met the members of their family. In order to welcome her brothers their sister brought a fish from the market. When she tore it apart, the noli full of rupees fell into the tray. She hid the noli. Nearby, her old mother was lying on a cot. She heard the ringing sound of that noli when it fell into the tray. The mother asked her, "Whence did this noli fall? The daughter said, "No mother! Where is noli? It was your delusion."

"Daughter! you are telling a lie. It came out from this fish's stomach just now. You have hidden it somewhere."

She said and stepped down from the cot to snatch it from her. The daughter was furious and pounced on her. She appeared dreadful like a demoness. She took a pestle and hit her mother on her head with it. Nothing but a sigh of grief came from her mouth. There was an uproar all around. People began to run helter skelter. The sister too was frightened and began to run away. The brother gave her a chase and caught hold of her hand. Seeing the noli under her arm, they said, "Yes! it is this very noli which we had dropped into the river. This noli itself is the root of the catastrophe. Oh! noli we bid you farewell. You failed to tempt brothers but you satisfied your thirst only by taking the mother's life."

Then they said to the sister, " Sister! Take it away. By killing your mother will you remain immortal? Will this noli too remain immortal? Was it proper to commit such a henious crime for such trifle wealth? Sister! It is not your fault but it is an irony of wealth."


  1. Why did the elder brother throw the nob into the river?
  2. Why did the daughter killed her mother?
  3. Why has the wealth been described as the root of distress?
  4. What did the brothers say to their sister who was running away after killing her mother?
Title: Jain Vidya (2)
Editor: Muni Sumermal (Sudarshan)
Translation: Dr. Samani Shashi Pragya
Publisher: Samana Sanskriti Sankaya, Jain Vishwa Bharati, Ladnun
20th Edition: 2013
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  1. Prana
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