Once upon a time there lived three brothers in a village. They were very poor and led miserable lives.
They only possessed a mango tree and looked after it by turns. They divided the mangoes equally among themselves.
One day an old Sadhu came to their village. He went to the first nd requested for help.
Take these mangoes which are my share of the fruit, but I cannot give those mangoes which do not belong to me, for they belong to my brothers, was the reply of the first brother.
The Sadhu then went to the other two brothers and asked for help.
The Sadhu got the same reply from each bother and was much pleased with their hospitality and liked their fair dealings.
The Sadhu said to one of the brother,’ what gift will you like to have?
The first brother said, ‘ I would like to have a herd of cattle to tend.’
The Sadhu took him to a meadow Where a number of cows and buffaloes were grazing.
Then he went to the second brother and asked him what he wished to have. The second brother asked for a piece of fertile land which he could cultivate for his living.
The Sadhu showed him a fertile piece of land. The second brother was delighted to see the rich crops growing in that piece of land.
Now it was the turn of the third brother. The Sadhu asked him about his most cherished wish. He said,’I want to have a beautiful and gentle maiden for my wife so that I may lead a happy and comfortable life.’ It was difficult thing for the Sadhu so he went away and began to search for a maiden worthy of the third brother. In course of his wanderings, he came across a young beautiful maiden who readily accepted his proposal. Then the Sadhu brought her to the third brother. Thus, all the three brothers settled down happily and the Sadhu went away and resumed his wanderings.
After some years the brother grew very rich and prosperous.
After a lapse of some years the Sadhu visited their village again. By now he had grown very old and was completely changed. Nobody could recognise him. He, however, wanted to see whether the three brothers were just and generous as before or they had undergone a change with the passage of time.
Thinking so, he went to the first brother and begged for a little milk.
The man was completely changed. Prosperity had made him very insensitive and selfish. He said,’ Go away. If I start giving milk to every beggar knoching at my door, on what shall I feed my children then?
The sadhu said, ‘ you ungrateful fellow, you are unworthy of the favour given to you. You must return to poverty. You are no longer just and generous. The Sadhu held out his stich and the first brother was surprised to find the animals vanish and he became as poor as ever.
The Sadhu then went to the second brother and begged for some corn from his field. The second brother also gave the same reply, ‘ if I keep giving corn to each and every person, I shall have nothing left for me. I have no corn to give you. The Sadhu became very angry to see his greed and selfishness. He cursed him to become poor again. In the twinkling of an eye, the brother lost everything.he saw his rich and prosperous farm vanish away.
Disappointed with the be behaviour of the two brothers, the Sadhu went to the third brother and asked for some food and shelter. The third brother welcomed the Sadhu and said, ‘ you are welcome here to share our poor fare and take rest in our humble cottage. Please feel comfortable in everyway.’
The Sadhu shared the couples’ hardearned meal and passed a night with them.
Before leaving the Sadhu blessed him. He said, you have not changed with the change of circumstances. You are not all proud of your possessioins, but you are very grateful and kind even to the poor. You really deserve more than God has already blessed you with.
At the foot of that hill there is a banyan tree. You’ll find a gift there for your kindness to me today. Go there after sunset and reap your reward.
At sunset, the third brother went to that hill and to his surprise, he found a box full of gold lying there under the banyan tree. He thanked his stars for the was now in a better position to show his generosity to all those who were needy and poor. He therefore advised all those who came to seek his help.
Be generous and win a deed of the rarest kind. No human being will then bar your way that leads to heaven. By doing good deeds and being kind to the poor, a man earns as rich a reward as I did.’
Remember, in this world it is not what we take up but what we give away that makes us rich. One should not wait for extraordinary circumstances to give something. Try to use ordinary situations to show that you are a giving and sharing person.
Mahatma Gandhi has said that rich people are trustees of wealth that they hold. They should be made to use it more for the benefit of the nation and the people. He involved many rich and wealthy people to donate hefty funds for the freedom movement. It was no mean task. He effected a change of heart in them.
In the words of another thinker, ‘ rich people should consider that they are only trustees for what they possess and should show their wealth to be more in doing good than merely in having it. They should not reserve their benevolence for charitable purposes after they are dead, for those who give not their property till they could keep it any longer.
Be just and generous. Nothing multiplies so much as generosity. A giver has a golden heart and earns other people’s gratitude.