The Beggar Gives His All

Before India gained independence, a few young men from the villages wanted to free India from the foreign yoke; they wanted the British to quit India. They needed material wealth to throw the British out of India, so they started collecting money in the Indian villages.

One day, they got inspired to collect material things as well. They went from door to door carrying a huge bag, which gradually was filled with money and gifts. As they went, a one-legged beggar kept following them. The young men did not mind.

At the end of the day, they entered into a house to see what they had collected. The beggar also wanted to enter, but since he was not a member of the group, they did not allow him in. The beggar pleaded with them: “I walked such a long distance right behind you. You want freedom; I also want freedom. Our Motherland is not only your property. It is also my property.”

At first, the young men got mad and told the beggar to go away. Then one of the men felt sorry for him, so they decided to show him the things they had collected. While the beggar was looking at the gifts in their bag, most of them were showing him real contempt. Then suddenly the beggar opened up the bag that he had been carrying. It contained a few coins and some rice. He spontaneously threw all the contents into their bag.

Immediately all the members of the revolutionary group started shedding tears of gratitude, because he had given all that he had to their cause. On that day, they had gone to visit so many rich families, who had given them next to nothing; but this beggar had given them everything that he had! They were deeply moved by the beggar’s contribution.


from Illumination-Experiences on Indian Soil
by Sri Chinmoy