There was a rich man living in a small town. Although he was rich, he was living a simple life. He had two sons and a daughter. He lost his wife, when his youngest child was barely three years old. But, however he never let his children feel, the absence of their mother. He tried his best to fulfil the desire of his children. Not only that, he often spoke to them moral based stories, so that their foundation would be strong enough to carry them forward. Time passed away so quickly, that he couldn't realise, that he was already in old age. By that time, all his children were grown up.
One day his eldest son came to him and asked politely, 'Papa, I have some discussion with you. Will you please spare some time for that?'
His father happily agreed. His son started, 'Papa, I was thinking long time before to talk to you, but I never got courage to ask you. But I can't resist myself without clearing my doubt. Please forgive me, if it hurts you. Actually I felt a little bit weird two days before when you refused that man to give some money although you know him very well. A known person asking means, he must be badly in need of that. Otherwise why should he ask you? Besides that, you never allowed us to spend money lavishly, even though you have enough. Is there any cause behind it?'
His father smiled and patted his back fondly. After a little pause, he began, 'Son, in my life I have learnt three things. First: never borrow money from others. Second: spend the money strategically. Third: never lie or dishonest to any one.'
Let me tell you something about me which I never told you before because I didn't feel it's importance.
'We were not rich thirty years before. I was the only son of my parents. My father was earning very little, on daily wages basis. I spent a hard life in my childhood. When my mom was sick, dad spent whatever money he had. The worst part was, when he had no more savings left, he was bound to borrow money from others. Day by day, situation became bad to worse. Eventually, the amount became so high, he couldn't repay it and due to that stress, he died in heart attack. I was just an onlooker. I was helpless. I left my study incomplete and started working. However, with God's grace, I got married to your mom, who helped me, till to her death. Because of her co-operation I could save money. Since, I had seen the acute problem of my dad, I promised that day onwards, that whatever may come, I would save money. That doesn't mean that I am a miser. I do spend money, but only when it is required. Whatever you have now, is the achievement of my hard work.
So, obviously I don't want my money to be spoilt. The man about whom you are talking, has already taken money from me twice, but never returned me that. It seems he has a habit of easy way of earning money by borrowing from others. If he wants, he can sustain himself by doing some work. I don't want to encourage his lethargic attitude which will put him in to trouble in future. I didn't hurt him rather I helped him. Eventually, he will be forced to do some work.'
'For your second question, before answering, I want to tell you a short story, if you don't mind,' said the rich man to his son.
As the son was eager to know the reason, he nodded his head and said, 'Yes, Papa, go on.'
The father continued, 'It is a story from the great epic Mahavarat. Once, Pandavas were in short of rice grains, while they were banished for twelve years. Yudhisthir (the eldest among the five Pandavas) couldn't find any solution. At last he decided to send his brother Bhimsen to Kuvera Dev, asking his help. So he asked Bhimsen to go to Kuvera Dev (God of wealth) and deliver his message. All the four Pandavas were very loyal to their elder brother Yudhisthir. So, Bhim carried out his order instantly. When he reached over Kuvera Dev's place, he was utterly surprised, looking at an amazing situation. He noticed from a distance, that Lord Kuvera was busy in picking up grains from the ground. He was stunned and thought himself, 'The person, who is picking up the grains from the ground, would ever be able to spare a huge amount of rice grain to any one!!!'
However, it was an order from his elder brother, he had no choice left. So, hesitantly he proceeded towards Kuvera Dev and with respect, delivered the message given by Yudhisthir. When Kuvera saw Bhimsen, the second Pandava, he was very much delighted.
After a long sweet conversation, Varuna Dev bid farewell to Bhim and arranged a bullock cart, fully loaded with rice grain sacs to carry with him. Bhim was surprised at Kuvera Dev's humble and kind behaviour. Then he started his return journey.
After passing few yards, he found the road ahead was so extremely muddy. It was impossible for the bullock cart to pass through that particular area. So he came back to Kuvera Dev, and told him about the difficulties.
Kuvera was cool when he heard the problem of Bhim. He smiled at him and said, 'Oh, Bhim! What for you are so much panicked? Do one thing, drop one or two sacks of grain on that mud and run the cart through it.'
Bhim was surprised and stood silently for few seconds. He couldn't believe himself that the same person, who was picking up grains, could suggest him to throw sacs of rice grain. However, he departed from Kuvera Dev and followed his advice. After reaching at home, he narrated the whole scenario to his elder brother and expressed his own feeling about Kuvera Dev.
Yudhisthir could well understand the plight of Bhim. He smiled at him and said, 'It is so simple Bhim. Kuvera Dev is a noble person. He taught you a lesson, that even a single grain should not be wasted, because it has it's own value. Hence, he was picking up the grains which was scattered on the ground. But, when the time demands, throw sacks of grains if it is required without any hesitation, understood? That was his principle.'
Bhim realised his mistake and felt ashamed.'
The father looked at his son's face after finishing his story. He again continued, 'If I would not use my money strategically, maybe, I would not be able to take care of you three properly. Neither I spent the money extravagantly nor I allowed you three to do the same. None of you have stood up in your own feet till now, and the source of income is only one, you know that better. It is beyond my morality that in future, if ever money will be required for you, I have to depend upon some one to help. That I don't prefer at all, and you know what? Whoever it may be, a millionaire or a billionaire, if he goes on spending money lavishly without any earning and saving, he will become a pauper, there is no doubt of it. Besides that, once you will be habituated with a luxurious life, it is very difficult to adjust to simple life. Because money has no guarantee. If today you are rich, tomorrow who knows, what will be your condition? So it is better to live a simple life and enjoy your time luxuriously sometime. Control your money, spend it wisely and live like a king. Hopefully, I have answered your questions. Of course, I am not sure whether you are satisfied or not,' uttered his father.
The son stood up, nodded his head happily, indicating that he was quite happy. He left the place with a smile.
Nobody has seen tomorrow. The man gave some hints of good and bad time of life, which is likely possible for anyone. How far his children acquired that hints, God knows! Of course, choice is yours, which way you want to live your life, spend money lavishly or spend it wisely!!!
- Author Unknown -