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Insight - "Shemushi": [04] Effect Of Wealth

Published: 09.01.2009
Updated: 30.07.2015

Effect Of Wealth

Religion is eternal part of this world. People are inherently drawn towards it. In daily life money is most useful and so attractive, but religion should also be nurtured. Money that is earned in a righteous way brings greater prosperity. Unfortunately some people prefer money to the righteousness taught by religion and are prepared to give up righteousness for money. For them monetary gains are of utmost importance.

Once Lord Vishnu said to Goddess Lakshmi - My heart fills with joy when I see people's religiosity and devotion for me.

Lakshmi folded her hands and replied with a smile - Oh Lord! No one prays to you. People pray to you only because I am with you.

Narayan replied - No, it is not like that. You don't have a proper understanding.

Lakshmi replied politely - If you don't believe my words, then we should test the people and find out the truth. Both of them agreed and decided to test the people.

First, Narayan descended to the earth in the form of a sanyasi. He was passing through the main road while chanting ‘Om namo Narayanay’ ‘Om namo Narayanaya’. All the passers-by were impressed with his radiant personality. He took shelter in a big palace in a city. He started delivering sermons from 9 to 10 o'clock every night. Because of his erudition and eloquence, more and more people started attending his sermons.

Once a woman wishing to listen to his sermons was about to leave her house. Right then she noticed a pitiable poor thirsty old woman was begging her for some water. The lady of the house screamed in anger - "why have you come here? Does this house look like a water hut? I am already late for the sermons".

The begging woman replied - "Mistress! You have a big heart. Please have mercy on me or I will die."

With great reluctance the housewife brought some water in a brass cup and gave it to the begging woman. When after drinking the water, the begging woman returned the cup; the housewife saw that the cup has turned into a gold one. The astonished lady asked the begging woman - Sister! What is this? How did this happen?

The begging woman replied - Mother! This is no big deal. My husband has become a Dev after his death. He gave me a boon that any pot I touch will turn into gold.

The woman asked the old lady - Do you have any acquaintances around here? If you don't have place to stay, then come and stay in my house. I'll make you comfortable here.

The old woman replied - Do not worry about me. I shall manage to stay anywhere. You please go to your sermon.

The woman said - Sister! I can listen to the sermon any day but rarely do I get such an opportunity to serve. Thus with great persuasion, the woman took the begging woman to her house.

Slowly, the news of this amazing event spread like fire all around the city. Many people started coming to see the old woman and reduce their poverty. Gradually the attendance at the sermon dropped.

The Sanyasi realized that this was all because of Lakshmi's influence. When the owner of the house where the Sanyasi was residing heard these words, he also went there and begged the old woman to come to his house.

The old woman said - I have heard that you have allowed a Sanyasi to stay in your house. I don't go to places where a Sadhu is staying.

The man said - If that is the case, and then I shall throw out the Sadhu.

The old woman told him - Come back and report to me after you throw out the Sadhu.

The man promptly returned home and asked the Sanyasi, O Sanyasi! When are you going to leave this place?

The Sanyasi replied - 0! Faithful! It is already the month of Ashadh, so I intend to spend the four months right here.

The man said - Sadhus should not stay in people's house for long periods. They should grace the forests with their holy presence and should enjoy the clean air of the forests, because who knows when the house owner would need his room, so please leave my house before the sunrise tomorrow or I shall ask my servants to throw you out by force.

The next day the Seth drove to begging woman's residence and reported everything to her guest. As the trader and the begging woman came close to the trader's house, they saw two servants dragging the Sanyasi by his hand and feet and throwing him out of the house. The begging lady went to the Sanyasi, held his hand in her hand and both ascended to the heaven. Contentment is the source of great happiness. Desire is endless like the sky.

It is rightly said - A fool is always discontent and wise attains contentment. There is no end to discontent. Contentment is the greatest happiness.

Edition: June, 2003

Publisher: Jain Vishva Bharati Ladnun

English Translation: Samani Mudit Pragya

Price: Rs. 50.00
Printed by: Shree Vardhaman Press

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Anger
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  3. OM
  4. Sadhu
  5. Sadhus
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