When a deal is too good to be true…

Read the previous part here…

When the mother tried to exchange the husked sesame seeds for the unhusked ones, she surely had a good reason.

TaamraChooda said ” How did that happen?”

Brihatsphinga replied…


The story of the sesame seeds

“Once, during a monsoon season a couple of years back, I had requested a Brahmin to allow me to stay with him, so that I could complete my regimen of fasting and prayer. He agreed, and so I started to live in his house and commenced my penance of 21 days.

One morning, when I woke up earlier than usual, I overheard the Brahmin speaking with his wife, in the adjacent room. The Brahmin said “My dear, today is Kark Sankranti, when the sun starts it’s movement southwards. It is a sacred occasion and people do a lot of good deeds on this day. And so, I will set out later this morning, to the adjacent villages, and collect charity, and will be back by nightfall. In the meanwhile, please invite a Brahmin to our house and offer him some food as well.”

His wife, on hearing this, retorted angrily “Food, and in our house? Because of you, we are so poor that we cannot feed ourselves, and you expect us to call others and feed them? I haven’t been happy from the day I married you, you haven’t bought me any ornaments, forget jewellery, I haven’t even tasted good food for years!”

Hearing her speak this way, the Brahmin replied softly, apparently from the fear of being overheard by me. “Oh, you shouldn’t speak this way. It is said…

ग्रासाद् अपि तद् अर्धं च कस्मान् नो दीयतेऽर्थिषु ।
इच्छानुरूपो विभवः कदा कस्य भविष्यति ॥ ७२ ॥

grāsād api tad ardhaṃ ca kasmān no dīyate’rthiṣu |
icchānurūpo vibhavaḥ kadā kasya bhaviṣyati || 72 ||

Even if it is only half of what you have to eat, why not give it to someone who is hungry? Who has ever had enough wealth or prosperity, as per their desires?

“One can never be as rich as as prosperous as one desires. And so, you should always try to give a little of what you have, to the people who need it.”

ईश्वरा भूरि-दानेन यल् लभन्ते फलं किल ।
दरिद्रस् तच् च काकिण्या प्राप्नुयाद् इति न श्रुतिः ॥ ७३ ॥

īśvarā bhūri-dānena yal labhante phalaṃ kila |
daridras tac ca kākiṇyā prāpnuyād iti na śrutiḥ || 73 ||

The blessings obtained by the rich who give away a lot of wealth in charity, can also be obtained by the poor by performing a very small act of giving, so say the scriptures.

दाता लघुर् अपि सेव्यो भवति न कृपणो महान् अपि समृद्ध्या ।
कूपो ऽन्तः-स्वादु-जलः प्रीत्यै लोकस्य न समुद्रः ॥ ७४ ॥

dātā laghur api sevyo bhavati na kṛpaṇo mahān api samṛddhyā |
kūpo ‘ntaḥ-svādu-jalaḥ prītyai lokasya na samudraḥ || 74 ||

A poor person who gives even a little is praiseworthy; not a rich miser who refuses to part with his wealth. The sweet water in the small well pleases all; not the ocean with all its salty waters.

Knowing this, even those who live in utter poverty should give something or the other as per their capacity, to the needy in times of difficulty. It is said…

सत्-पात्रं महती श्रद्धा देशे काले यथोचिते ।
यद् दीयते विवेक-ज्ञैस् तद् अनन्ताय कल्पते ॥ ७९ ॥

sat-pātraṃ mahatī śraddhā deśe kāle yathocite |
yad dīyate viveka-jñais tad anantāya kalpate || 79 ||

Charity that is given to the deserving, at proper time and place and with great faith and with proper thinking, is fruitful till eternity.

And also…

अतितृष्णा न कर्तव्या तृष्णां नैव परित्यजेत् ।
अतितृष्णाभिभूतस्य शिखा भवति मस्तके ॥ ८० ॥

atitṛṣṇā na kartavyā tṛṣṇāṃ naiva parityajet |
atitṛṣṇābhibhūtasya śikhā bhavati mastake || 80 ||

One should not be excessively greedy, and one should not also completely get rid of greed. The one who was very greedy instantly grew a tuft of hair on his head.

The Brahmin’s wife asked “How did that happen?”

The Brahmin replied…


The story of the hunter and the hog

In a forest not so far away from here, lived a hunter. One day, he went into the forest, to hunt for his dinner. As he was walking along a narrow path, he suddenly came across a huge, back hog, standing a few yards ahead, and in his way. The hunter instinctively grabbed his bow, pulled the bow string right up to his ears, and shot an arrow at the hog.

The arrow found it’s mark, but didn’t kill the hog instantly. Instead, the wounded hog went wild and pounced on the hunter, tearing his belly with his sharp teeth and killing him instantly. The hog also died in a few minutes, being grievously wounded.

A little while later, a hungry jackal (who was destined to die soon) called Dirgharava (the one with the long howl) , came across the path, on his way through the forest in search of food. Seeing the dead bodies of the hunter and the hog, he felt very happy, and thought to himself “Aha! Today is my lucky day! So much food, that too unexpectedly! It is well said…

अकृतेऽप्य् उद्यमे पुंसाम् अन्य-जन्म-कृतं फलम् ।
शुभाशुभं समभ्येति विधिना संनियोजितम् ॥ ८१ ॥

akṛte’py udyame puṃsām anya-janma-kṛtaṃ phalam |
śubhāśubhaṃ samabhyeti vidhinā saṃniyojitam || 81 ||

Though they don’t put in any effort, the fruit of the actions done in past births- good or bad, are obtained by men, as destined by fate.

and also…

यस्मिन् देशे च काले च वयसा यादृशेन च ।
कृतं शुभाशुभं कर्म तत् तथा तेन भुज्यते ॥ ८२ ॥

yasmin deśe ca kāle ca vayasā yādṛśena ca |
kṛtaṃ śubhāśubhaṃ karma tat tathā tena bhujyate || 82 ||

In what place, or time, or age, or manner, one performs his actions, in that place, at that time, at that age and in that manner will he receive the fruits of those actions.

And so this is what I will do…

to be continued…

2 thoughts on “When a deal is too good to be true…”

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