By and by as a living being goes on
discarding evil passions like greed, anger and vanity he marches on ahead
in the direction of uplifting his soul and attains perfect purity of soul.
We should aim at achieving purity of soul. Besides discarding the evil
passion of internal greed, freedom from external greed is also very
essential. In 'Bhagwati Aradhana' Acharya Shivarya has also
emphasized the need of discarding greed;
Lobhe keyai atho, nr hohi
Akevi havdi lobhai, athi
Despite being greedy a man bereft
of good luck cannot possess wealth. On the contrary a man on whom fortune
smiles can have boundless wealth without craving for it. Therefore, greed
for money is in no way helpful in the acquisition of wealth, rather good
luck helps it. Realizing this truth we should try to get rid of greed. The
question arises, 'How should we put an end to the predominating feeling of
greed?' This question has been answered by Acharya Kundkund
Swamy in 'Kartikeyanupreksha' thus:
Sam santosh jalainr jo dhovadi
tiv loh mal punjam
Bhoynr gidhi vihinro tas saucham
I.e., He who washes away the fifth
of ambitions and greed with the water of the feeling of equanimity and
contentment, does not run after worldly enjoyments attains the unblemished
virtue of supreme purity.
Ambitions of man are infinite.
Ambitions grow eternal in the mind of man. Even if a man goes on getting
all things that he aspires for, his ambitions know no end; rather they go
on multiplying. Some saintly person has rightly remarked; 'Every fulfilled
desire leaves a bitter taste in the mouth before it is fully satiated.'
Itchati shatisahastram sahastri
lakshadhipastha rajiyam rajyasth
I.e., He who owns one hundred
rupees aspires to obtain one thousand rupees; one who possesses one
thousand rupees aspires to be a multimillionaire. A multi-millionaire
cherishes the ambition to obtain a kingdom and a king desires to be the
sovereign ruler of the kingdom of heaven. Thus, a man's ambitions are
always on the increase. This thing has been made clear below:
"If somebody were to give the whole
earth to one man, even then the man will not be satisfied; a greedy person
is extremely difficult to be satisfied."
Lobhat krodh prabhavti, lobhat
Lobhatmohach nashch lobh papasya
destroys love, pride puts an end to modesty, and deceit removes friends,
while greed destroys everything.
There was a very miserly Brahman
named Kankbhat. Once he went to take a holy dip in the Ganga. He was
taking dips in the holy Ganga time and again. While bathing there, some
persons informed him that his one-paisa coin had fallen into the
river. So he started taking dips one after the other to search out the
coin. That coin was counterfeit. In spit of making his best efforts, the
Brahman could not find the coin. So he spoke, "Well, O mother Ganga! I
offer this coin to you."
At that time the Brahman was on his
way to Southern India on a business tour. There one day he received the
message of his mother's sad demise. The Brahman was extremely miser. He
thought that if he went back to his village to perform his mother's
funeral rites, it would be very expensive. But he had great regard and
affection for his mother. So he decided to buy a coconut at that very
place and perform his dead mother's last rituals. With this idea in his
mind he went to the market place to buy a coconut. He stepped into a shop.
He inquired of the shopkeeper the price of a coconut. The shopkeeper
replied that a coconut would cost him fifty paisa. Kankbhat said,
"Brother! Reduce the price a little." But the shopkeeper declined to do
so. Kankbhat marched ahead. Another shopkeeper demanded forty paisas
as price for a similar coconut. Kankbhat did not buy the coconut from that
shop, too. Thus making inquiries from shop to shop he reached a wholesale
coconut store. Kankbhat asked the salesman of the store the price of one
coconut. The sales man replied, "Two paisa." At this Kankbhat said, "Well,
gentleman"! I hail from a far off place. Please allow me some discount and
sell me a coconut for one paisa." At this the owner of the shop said, "We
are traders. How can we sell you a coconut below the price we paid for it?
If you want to buy a coconut for one paisa, go to a coconut field. There
you will get it for one paisa."
Hence Kankbhat marched forward in
search of a coconut field. After travelling a short distance, he came
across a farmer. He enquired him the price of a coconut. The peasant
answered, "The price is one paisa." By this time the greed of the Brahman
was roused all the more and he said, "Well brother! I come from a distance
place. Please give me a coconut free of cost." Being enraged the farmer
spoke, "If you want to get a coconut cost free, go to the forest and pluck
with your own hands as many cost-free coconuts as you like from the trees,
which belong to none." Being overjoyed Kankbhat proceeded towards the
forest. In the forest he saw trees overloaded with coconuts. Seeing them
he was overwhelmed with joy. But he did not know how to climb a coconut
tree. Anyhow he climbed upon a tree. The problem was how he should pluck
coconuts now. He did not know plucking of coconuts from the tree as well.
When he tried to pull the bunch of coconuts from the tree, in this process
his foot slipped from the stem of the tree and he hung in the middle
holding the branch in his hand. No sooner did he peep downward, than he
saw a deep well nearby. He wailed, "Alas! Now I shall meet untimely
death." He was greatly terrified.
A man on camel back was passing
by that way just then. Kambhat prayed to the camel rider, "Brother! Save
my life." It was a golden opportunity for the camel driver to fish in
others' troubled waters. So he asked, "Well! Tell me what will you pay me
for saving your life?" Kambhat replied, "I have five hundred rupees in my
pocket, I shall give them to you." The camel rider was overjoyed. He
brought the camel close to the tree and making the camel stand under it,
himself he stood on the camel back. As soon as he caught hold of the legs
of Kankbhat to give him support, the camel slipped away from under him and
fled. Now two persons were suspended from the tree instead of one.
Meanwhile, the king's elephant
driver, riding his elephant was passing from that side. Seeing the two men
hanging from the tree, he began to laugh. The two persons hanging from the
tree appealed to him to rescue them. The elephant driver was also
overpowered by greed. He also asked "What will you pay me for saving you?"
Kambhat promised to pay him five hundred rupees; and the camel driver also
agreed to reward him with one thousand rupees. The elephant driver was
thrilled. He made the elephant stand under the tree and hardly had he
caught hold of the legs of the lower person taking right position on his
elephant, the elephant also fled away being perplexed. Now three persons
were swinging from one and the same twig of the tree.