By this time Kankbhat was dead
tired of hanging so long. Ultimately he spoke, "My hands are fully
unnerved; now my grip of the tree twig is getting loose." Being terrified
the two lower persons said, "Oh brother! Do not do so; otherwise all of us
will be killed." At this Kankbhat said, "Previously you had claimed money
from me to save my life. Now it is my turn. Tell me, what both of you will
pay me for it; otherwise I shall leave hold of the tree just now." One of
them said, "I shall pay you five hundred rupees," and the second man
offered him one thousand rupees. Kamkbhat rejoiced; for he thought, "How
fine! I shall get cost free coconuts besides a good amount of money."
Indeed, it was a gala day for him. While he was thus fully absorbed in his
wishful thinking and greedy thoughts, he lost his grip of the twig and
instantly all the three fell into the deep well below. The three met their
doom due to excess of greed. Likewise, daily the creatures in all the
three worlds are meeting their sad and untimely demise being overpowered
with endless greed.
Rightly has it been said:
"Greed is the root cause of all
crimes and sins." Alas! To what a miserable plight greed leads a man. The
evil passion of greed degrades a man so low that he does not hesitate to
take off ornaments from the dead bodies of women floating on floodwater.
He steals the luggage of persons killed in a train accident or air crash;
and loots the goods of earthquake victims under the pretext of doing
relief work. Indeed greed knows no end. Given below are the noble words of
a great scholar:
"Contentment is the cheapest,
safest and surest remedy for all troubles that may possibly come upon man.
Want of it, only augments, intensifies and prolongs the pain, and
sometimes perpetuates it."
There lived a Seth named
Sagar Dutt in Kampila city. Although the Seth, who lit the fuel of
his heart's ambitions with the fire of deep rooted greed, had inherited
ten million gold coins (guineas) from ancestors besides his self earned
five million guineas, yet he was extremely greedy. What to speak of the
preparation of dainty dishes and sweet meats like ladoos even
vegetables were never cooked in his house. He always thought if vegetables
were to be cooked, money would have to be spent on oil, chilies and
spices, and more foodstuffs would be consumed on its getting tasty. Not
only this, he also did not go to anybody's house to take meals or attend a
feast. First, because he believed that the tongue becomes addicted to
juicy and delicious foods on taking food at others' house; secondly, one
day in exchange he will also have to invite the person for meals at his
He would not let even members of
his family to take food to their fill. He always told his attendants that
a wise man should not waste money on buying oil, ghee, butter,
salt, etc., from the market. After once buying the above articles, he
should return them to the shopkeeper under the pretext that these were not
of the standard quality and the oil stuck to the container should serve
his purpose. Besides, he professed that it was foolish to buy perfumed oil
to make the body fragrant. On the contrary, one should pass one's hands
over the head of the rich men's children for this purpose, so that his own
body may also get perfumed with the oil applied in their hair.
Very often while roaming about he
passed through the locality of the oil crushers and enter their houses in
order to realize interest on the loaned money. He would pick up from there
a piece of oil cake-saying that the oil cake was exhaling a very sweet
smell. Therefore, on returning home he would eat boiled rice along with
the spiced water and smell the oil cake in between. After taking meals he
used to chew the bark of the Peepal tree for mouth wash.
Once it rained cats and dogs in the
city continuously for seven days. The rivers were flooded. Water and only
water was seen everywhere in the city. A cold breeze was blowing. The
people did not dare to come out of their houses. But at night the greedy
Seth Sagar Datt went on the riverbank putting on a loincloth. He
jumped into the flooded river and started taking out the fuel wood
floating on the floodwater. The king's palace stood on the riverbank.
There was lightening and thunder in the sky. In the flash of lightening
through the palace window the queen saw Sagar Datt gathering fuel wood and
thought in her mind that undoubtedly the poor fellow must be extremely
poor. She determined to urge the king to render him monetary help.
Consequently, at a proper time the queen said to the king, "O King! You
are the savior of your subjects and defender of the poor. An extremely
poor person lives in your city. Please help him."
At the appeal of the queen the king
sent for the man and spoke to him, "O distressed fellow! It seems that you
are a pauper like a church mouse. Therefore, I want to help you. Tell me,
what do you need?" To this Sagar Datt replied, "I need a bullock." The
king said, "There are so many bullocks in my cattle-shed. Take away anyone
you choose." Accordingly on going through the bullocks in the king's
cattle-shed, Sagar Dutt came back and spoke, "O king! I need a bullock
resembling the bullock in my home. Your cattle-shed has not even a single
bullock to match the one present at my house." Then the king said, "Bring
your bullock and show me its specialty." Seth Sagar Dutt said,
"Your majesty! My bullock never goes out of the door." Hearing this king's
astonishment knew no bounds. At length the king said, All right, I shall
myself pay a visit to your house to see your bullock." These words of the
king perplexed Sagar Dutt. He could not utter a word; rather his heart
began to throb with the fear that the next day the king would pay a visit
to his house and come to know about his boundless wealth. If out of greed
the king by chance demanded a little of his vast wealth from him, what
would he do then? On returning home he suffered from fever.
The next day the king went to Sagar
Datt's house accompanied by his queen. Seeing his boundless wealth,
elephants and horses the king was bewitched. He began to think at heart,
"Alas! In spite of possessing so much of wealth, this greedy person is
undergoing through so many tortures. Cursed be this greed." The wife and
sons of Sagar Datt said to him, "The king and the queen have made our
house pure by their presence. We should entertain them and extend them
proper and grand reception according to their high status. Hence, dear
father! Offer this plate full of jewels and pearls to the king."
On much insistence by his kith and
kin, when Sagar Dutt picked up the plate full of pearls and diamonds, his
hands began to waver. The king was also filled with remorse seeing the
insatiable greed of the Seth despite possessing such a vast wealth.
Therefore, he returned without accepting any present from the Seth.
After sometime the greedy Seth breathed his last and after death
was reborn in his own house as a snake. It sat coiling the boundless
riches in the home. Seeing the snake in the treasure house, his sons sent
for a snake charmer who brutally catching hold of the snake took it out of
the home. Thereafter, being dead the snake took birth in hell.
Hence, one should never indulge in
excessive greed for wealth and prosperity; otherwise one has to bear a
miserable plight like that of Sagar Datt. Beware, "O Greed, what great
crimes and sins have not been committed in thy name by persons overpowered
by thee." There is another example to prove the moral debasement caused by
After completing his ten years
educational study course at Banaras, a Pandit returned to his home city.
His father was a renowned landlord and a highly dignified person. He
exerted a great influence in the locality. The city people were overjoyed
at his son's return after becoming highly learned and educated. They
extended proper welcome to him and put him several searching questions
about life. He gave quite satisfactory replies to all the questions. His
scholarship left a deep impression on all the people. But all of a sudden
a man questioned him, " Panditji, please tell me who is the
perpetuator of sin?" Panditji was perturbed on hearing this quite
simple question. When the people received no satisfactory answer from
Panditji, the man said, "Panditji, you have come back after ten
year long study at Banaras, but you failed to answer my simple question.
You have wasted the money of your father." The helpless Pandit
stared blank in the face of the man.
Panditji returned home with
a heavy heart. He could not sleep at night. He pondered deeply in his
mind, "Today I have suffered great disgrace; how should I show my face in
the city now. It will be proper for me to go back to Banaras and find
solution to this question." Lo! At dawn Panditji left home and set
out for Kashi (Banaras). While he was on his way to Banaras on foot the
evening fell. He took shelter on a platform in front of a well-built house
in a village. After supper he spread his bedding on the platform and lay
down there. Due to great fatigue he succumbed to sound sleep as soon as he
lay down. He did not wake up and lay there for a long time even after
sunrise in the morning.