Monday 9 July 2012

A wealthy , arrogant, young merchant came to visit a famous Monk.

A wealthy , arrogant, young merchant came to visit a famous Monk.
People who came to the Monk usually came to ask for guidance in their service to the Buddha,
or for advice and blessing in their material affairs.
But this visitor lost no time in telling the Monk that he had no special needs or problems that needed neither intervention, or blessing.
In fact, business had bought him to the area and he had heard so many stories about this famous Monk, his curiosity led him to see for himself.

"Well if there is nothing I can help you with, at least stay a while and listen to a story"
The man agreed and the Holy Master began the story;

"Once upon a time there were two childhood friends who were inseparable as they grew up, however as they became adults their ways parted.
One became wealthy and the other was very poor.
In order to save his family from hunger the poor man sought out his childhood friend and asked for help.
The wealthy man did not hesitate.
"Didn't we always promise each other that we would remain friends forever and share everything we have?"
He then offered his friend half his fortune.
As so often happens with the passing of time, the wheels of fortune reversed and the one who was wealthy now became poor and the one whom he had helped, became even more wealthy.
Confident that he would receive the same help he gave his friend, he asked his now wealthy friend for help.
His friend however refused to part with anything, not even food.
Time again witnessed a reversal of fortunes, so that the poor man became rich and the rich man became poor as each returned to their original situations.
It happened again of course that the poor man felt the hopelessness of despair and went to his friend for help and to beg his forgiveness.
He was readily forgiven, but this time he was asked to sign an agreement that if he were in need of help again, the friend would share his blessings with him.
In the passage of time, once again, the two men experienced reversals of fortune .
True to form, the man who had signed the agreement refused to honor it and his friend and his family found themselves homeless and penny less .
Years passed and the two men died.
When they came before the heavenly court to account for their lives, the mean spirit of the selfish mans life weighed heavily against him and he was condemned to eternal punishment.
The kind and forgiving friend was sent to his eternal reward in paradise.
However the good friend could not accept the destiny of his friends soul and asked the Heavenly court to reconsider as he still loved him and didn't wish to see him suffer on his account.
The heavenly court was in an uproar, this was an unusual case and the only way to solve it was to return both men back to earth so the sinful one could have one last chance to atone for his egotistical behavior.
So the sinful man was returned as a wealthy prideful merchant and the other as a common beggar.
And so it came to pass that the righteous beggar knocked on the door of the rich man begging for food.
He had not eaten for days and he was close to starving but was rudely and callously turned away.
And so the beggar died..

At this point of the story the rich man asked the Master to stop
"No more", he cried with a lump in his throat.
"Yesterday I turned away a beggar from my door and later I heard he was found dead in the street.
Was he the beggar on your story?"
No answer was necessary.
By now the tears were flowing freely and the man was overcome with remorse and repentance.
He was desperate to know what to do to make amends for his shame.
The Master explained that his former friend, the beggar,
had a widow and fatherless children, and that he was to go and give three quarters of his fortune to the family in order to atone for his sins"

Karma does work in mysterious ways.........


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With love