There was once a man who was very rich and very miserly at the same time. The villagers disliked him intensely. One day he said to them, “Either you’re jealous of me or you don’t understand my love of money-God alone knows. But you dislike me; that much I know. When I die, I won’t take anything with me. I will leave it all for others. I will make a will, and I will give everything to charity. Then everyone will be happy.”
Even then people mocked and laughed at him. The rich man said to them, “What is the matter with you? Can’t you wait a few years to see my money go to charity?”
The villagers didn’t believe him. He said, “Do you think I’m immortal? I’ll die like everyone else, and then my money will go to charities.” He couldn’t understand why they didn’t believe him.
One day he went for a walk. All of a sudden it started raining heavily, so he took shelter under a tree. Under this tree he saw a pig and a cow. The pig and the cow entered into conversation, and the man overheard what they were saying.
The pig said to the cow, “How is it that everybody appreciates you and nobody appreciates me? When I die, I provide people with bacon, ham and sausage. People can also use my bristles. I give three or four things, whereas you give only one thing: milk. Why do people appreciate you all the time and not me?”
The cow said to the pig, “Look, I give them milk while I’m alive. They see that I am generous with what I have. But you don’t give them anything while you’re alive. Only after you’re dead do you give ham, bacon and so forth. People don’t believe in the future; they believe in the present. If you give while you are alive, people will appreciate you. It is quite simple.”
From that moment on, the rich man gave all he had to the poor.
from Garden of the Soul
by Sri Chinmoy
Published by Health Communications