Once there was a businessman. He had spent his entire life amassing wealth. For him money was everything. He could do anything to get it. The businessman had two sons. They were pious as compared to their father. In due course of time the businessman grew old. His two sons were very much concerned about their father’s hankering for material pleasure. They felt that as their father is growing old and in his entire life he hasn’t done any pious and devotional activity so he would definitely go to a hellish planet. Being concerned about their father’s unholy lifestyle they decided to send him on a pilgrimage with a sage.
They requested a sage to take their father to all the holy places and not to bring him back home unless his heart completely changes. The sage agreed to take up the responsibility. He took the old man to different holy places and tried to convince him through philosophies that material pleasure is temporary and permanent happiness is in spiritual realizations. He told him various devotional stories but nothing would seem to change the old man’s heart. Finally the sage started to give up.
The sage thought, “It’s beyond my capability to change this man’s heart.” So he sent a message to his sons saying that it is impossible to change their father’s heart. But the sons insisted that at least he should try for some more time. They were hoping that some miracle may happen. The sage agreed to give a last try.
This time he took the old man to Varanasi. He decided to visit the crematorium. The moment the old man saw the burning dead bodies kept on logs of wood, tears started flowing down his eyes. The sage was ecstatic. He thought, “Now, he has come to his senses and has realized the truth of this world.”
So, he put his hand on the old man’s shoulder and said, “Now after seeing all this how do you feel?”
Wiping out his tears the old man said, “I feel very bad. It seems I wasted my entire life”.
The sage asked, “Why do you feel so?”
The old man said, “Because I never realized the truth”.
The sage said, “Do not worry. Still time is there, something can be done.”
The old man said, “No it’s impossible. I have lost a lot and it’s not possible to undo all those losses.”
The sage asked, “Why do you think you can’t make up the losses?”
Tears kept on flowing from the old man’s eyes. His voice choked.
With a heavy heart he said, “Look, throughout my life I did business in clothes. I never knew that wood is in such a great demand. If I had known I would have never done business in clothes but would have done in woods. ”
The sage left him never to return back again.
Moral of the story:
It’s very difficult to change habits in old age. So, it’s better if one starts leading a pious life when he is young instead of waiting for the old age to arrive.
By Purushottam Kumar