Rich in Real Sense

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Inspirational Stories - Inspirational Hindu Stories

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-Translated from a discourse given by Sant Shri Asaramji Bapu



Once Ravindranath Tagore went to Japan. He gave discourses on his book Geetanjali for ten days from 6 PM to 7 PM everyday. An old man used to come to attend his discourses everyday. He used to garland him with roses very humbly. He used to reach there much before the discourse time & used to get up after Rabindranath Tagore used to get up - his behaviour was very down to earth. He used to listen to each & every word of the discourse & tried to apply that in his life. Dressed in very simple clothes, that old man was highly impressed with Ravindranath Tagore.

After Ravindranath used to complete his discourse many people used to touch his feet to show their gratitude everyday.

None of the people who came to attend the discourse ever thought how much treasure each one of them was taking with them after listening to the discourse on the reality of soul. All those who leave the discourse assembly after listening to just a few words from the discourses don't really know how disrespectful they are towards their own life. Lord Krishna attended to his master- Sandipani Rishi with gratitude. In order to attain the knowledge of self, Lord Rama devoted his precious time to attend to his master- Vashishtha Muni.

That old man used to bow in front of Tagore everyday. After the last discourse was over people offered gold coins, money, fruits, flowers etc. at the feet of Tagore. That old man requested Tagore and said:

"Please pay a visit to my home tommorow. I'll be grateful."

Rabindranath Tagore was already very pleased with the devotion & dedication of the old man and therefore accepted his invitation. The eyes of the old man were filled with tears of joy when Tagore accepted his invitation.

Tagore told his assistant that the old man is very emotional & he should see that he does not spend beyond his capacity to make preperations & also he should give 200 Yen to his kids.

The old man got a Rolls Royce car sharp at 3:45 PM at the door of Tagore's guest room. Tagore had told hime that he would go to his house at four in the evening. They smoothly drove in that car to a huge mansion on top of a hill. The watchman saluted & opened the main gate. As they entered the gates Tagore saw many gentlemen & women welcoming his arrival. They took him inside. They made him sit on a chair made of gold with silken cushions. They served several rich eatables in 200 dishes made of gold & silver. The members of the family worshipped Tagore and sat at his feet.

Ravindranath was astonished with all this. He said: "Where have you brought me? Take me to your home. Why have yoy brought me to this mansion?"

The old man dressed in simple clothes said: "Oh Saint! This is my house. That Rolls Royce car is all mine & I have five more of these cars. There are two chairs made of gold. All these people who are bowing in front of you are my sons, grandsons & great grandsons. She is the mother of my sons. And they are my daughter-in-laws. Swamiji! I have two factories. "

Oh! You are so rich and still you used to be dressed in such simple clothes when you used to come to attend the discourses."

"Oh Saint! I believe that material richness & physical appearence do not reflect the real personality. It is foolish to feel proud of the money that cannot buy the richness of the soul. One never knows when that money will be lost. Also he who keeps guarding this material richness & does not bother about the precious richness of soul is really careless. The material richness has no use beyond this world.

Oh Saint! What is the value of this material richness as compared to the richness of true knowledge & devotion? The former is just making me labour hard but the richness that you have given me is giving me the real happiness. It is the true knowledge of soul which is protecting me. I'm grateful to you for the rest of my life. I spent whole of my life in collecting that money which could not give me peace & happiness but each hour of yours showed me the light. I wore simple clothes because I was a beggar at your gate waiting to get the richness of soul from you. Oh Lord! I'm obliged!"

Ravindranath's heart was filled with happines. Where there is respect for true knowldge, there is respect for life. Even the material richness stays at places where there is respect for the words of saints.

Ravindranath said: "Oh rich man! You are not attached to material richness & have respect for the richness of soul, that is why you are rich in real sense. I'm also grateful today. After meeting a devotee like you even I feel that my discourses served the purpose.

People keep asking for material comforts & waste the precious time wherever I go. But you are wise. You do not ask for material wealth & still God is giving that to you. He sent me to quench your thirst for true knowledge."

The one who is not attached to his wealth, but surrenders his ego at the feet of the great saints after listening to the divine words about the Great God who is the basis of the whole universe, is rich in real sense.

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