Dhanadatta and Devadatta were neighbours. True to their names, Dhanadatta was very rich while Devadatta had only enough money to meet his daily needs.
Dhanadatta spent sleepless nights fearing that someone might rob him of his wealth. He would get up frequently in the night to check if he had bolted and locked the doors properly. As Shankarcharya stated ‘a rich man fears even his own children’ (that he may be robbed by them).
Dhanadatta observed that his neighbour Devadatta was leading a happy life without any worries and slept peacefully.
One day Dhanadatta filled a box with money and gold coins and handed it over to Devadatta and said-
“Please take this box and lead a happy life with this money and gold.” Devadatta felt elated.
But that night he could not sleep well. He spent a restless night. In the morning he rushed to Dhanadatta’s house and handed over the box of money and gold and said-
“Friend, I realised that this box is destroying my peace of mind. I do not want this.”
All of us need wealth. But peace of mind is more important. Lack of wealth leads to lamentation, excess wealth leads to arrogance. It is enough if we have wealth adequate to strike a balance between deprivation and ostentation. If each one of us thinks this way and works, our country will be prosperous.
Translated by : Dr. Sharada Jayagovind