Miserly nature was not good
Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy cloth merchant, Ramesh. Although he was rich, he was very miser. He never spent any money on himself. He was so miser that he did not even spend on feeding and cladding his wife and children.
They were always ill fed and ill clad. He never gave alms to the poor. He did not even make any offerings to gods in the temple. Everybody knew about his miserly nature. Even the king of the city had heard about him.
One day, as he was walking to his shop, he came across a sweet shop. The shopkeeper was frying vadas and the smell of the vadas spread all around. Ramesh wanted to eat some vadas. He decided to spend a few rupees on the vadas. But seeing some of his friends standing near the shop, he gave up the idea of buying the vadas as he did not want to share them with his friends. He thought of talking the vadas home while returning from the shop. But then, he would have to share them with his family members. Therefore, he again changed his mind. Instead, he decided to go to a nearby wood and eat the vadas there.
He bought vadas for two rupees and went to the wood to eat them all alone. He sat down under a shady tree and began to enjoy the vadas.
When he was enjoying vadas in the wood, a man entered the gates of the place. This man was a replica of Ramesh. He went to the king and said, “Maharaj, I am a wealthy merchant. I have come to seek your permission to give away a part of my possessions in charity”. Everybody at the court knew him to be a miser. They were all surprised at what he said. The king was however happy that he had changing his ways. He permitted him to do as he desired.
The man then came out of the palace and invited poor people to come to his house for taking away his possession.
Next, he went to Ramesh’s house and gave one thousand gold coins to his wife. He said to her, “ Go and buy some good ornaments and clothes for yourself and the children ”. She was surprised at this change in her husband’s attitude. Yet, she was very happy and hurried to the market to buy the clothes and jewels.
By now, the poor people had arrived at Ramesh’s house. The duplicate of Ramesh allowed them to take whatever they wanted to take away. He also distributed money to them.
In the meantime, real Ramesh returned from the wood. When he came near to his house, he saw a crowd in front of his house. He started running toward his house to find out what the matter was. Just then, he saw some men carrying away his furniture. By now, he had reached his doorsteps and was shocked to see his duplicate at the door. The man was distributing gold coins to the poor people. All his hard earned money was being given away. He was furious.
He ran to the palace and told the king about the man who looked exactly like him and was giving away his belongings to poor people. The king came with him to his house. The king asked the man who he was. The man said that he was Ramesh. He reminded the king that he had come to him and taken his permission to give away his riches in charity. The king asked Ramesh’s wife who her husband was and she pointed to the duplicate Ramesh.
Real Ramesh was dumbfounded. There was nothing he could do. He shouted at his replica and said, “ You know very well that I am the real Ramesh. Now tell us who you are and why you are giving away my belongings to the poor man ”.
The man said, " don’t you know me ? I am Somesh, your father’s spirit. I am much pained to see your miserly nature. You do not even feed your family members in a proper manner. My daughter - in - law does not have any jewels or good clothes. My grand children are always seen in tattered clothes. You never go to the poor. I had to come from heaven to teach you a lesson. From now onwards, feed and clad your family members well. Also, give alms to the poor people. They need help from rich people. Eat and enjoy your life. What will you do by hoarding wealth ? "
So saying, Somesh’s spirit disappeared leaving behind a trail smoke. The king and all those present had heard what Somesh’s spirit had said. The king also advised Ramesh to act upon his father’s advice. “ If you follow his words, then only he will get peace in heaven ”. So saying, the king went back to his palace.
From that day onwards, Ramesh gave up his miserly nature and began to spend lavishly on his family. He gave alms to the poor and made offerings in the temple. He had learn that miserly nature was not good.