Krishna, Arjuna and the beggar (story)

Krishna, Arjuna and the beggar (story)

Krishna and Arjuna were taking a stroll when they came across a Brahmin who was begging. Arjuna out of pity gave him a pouch full of gold coins. The Brahmin was overjoyed and set off for home with a romantic song in his heart and dreamy eyes. On the way, a robber looted him.

So, on the following day, he was out begging again. Arjuna was surprised to see him. On hearing his story, Arjuna felt pity again and gave him a valuable gem and made sure that the man hid it in his pocket while going home. The Brahmin hid it in an old mud pot that was lying unused for a long time in his house.

His wife had gone out to fetch water from the river. On her way back she fell down and her pot of water broke. So she went home and quietly picked up the old mud pot and went to fetch water. The Brahmin was fast asleep. The moment she lowered the pot into the river to fill it, the gem fell out. She went home totally unaware of the loss she had just caused.

The Brahmin cursed his destiny when he realised what had happened. The next day, he was back to begging again. Isn’t it true that we may give something to another but we cannot change another’s destiny?

But God can! Read on.

When Krishna and Arjuna heard the tearful story of the poor Brahmin, Krishna quietly gave two paisa to the Brahmin. Arjuna exclaimed, “Oh Deenabandhu! I could not redeem him of his poverty even by giving him so many gold coins and the precious gem. What difference will two paisa make? Perhaps it is his destiny that he shall always be a beggar!”

Krishna just smiled. The Brahmin too was baffled with the paltriness of Krishna’s donation, especially in contrast with Arjuna’s largesse.

On the way home he saw that a fisherman had just caught a fish, which was gasping for life. He felt pity for the poor creature and thought to himself, “These two paisa will not be enough to buy me even a meal. So, let me buy the fish and save its life.”

The Brahmin bought the fish for two paisa and immediately put it into his begging bowl and poured water into it. He set off towards the river to release the fish. He then noticed that the fish spat out something. It was the same precious gem that Arjuna had given him that he had hid in the mud pot!

The Brahmin was overjoyed. In his ecstasy he exclaimed, “I found it, I found it…” Coincidentally the robber who had looted him of his pouch full of gold coins was sitting just there. He thought the Brahmin had recognised him and was shouting, “I found him, I found him…” Fearing that he would be taken to the king’s court and punished, he begged the Brahmin to pardon him and also returned the gold coins.

Arjuna was astounded! He said, “Krishna, what I could not achieve by giving so much, You have achieved by giving so little! What is this mystery?”

Krishna smiled His beautiful, bewitching smile and said, “Both times when you gave to him, he thought only of his personal comforts and the betterment of his life. When I gave him, he thought about the woes of another living creature. Truly speaking, when someone shows sympathy and helps someone, he is doing My work. When he is doing My work, how can I not do his?”

Change Your Destiny.

Author: Manjushree Sudheendra

I am Manjushree Sudheendra studying in 10th Standard in St. Teresa's School, Santacruz, Mumbai

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