People that live in Western countries tend to believe in the concept of ‘cycle of kindness,’ while people living in Eastern countries believe in the ‘Causal Principle’ – they share the belief that when someone does good deeds, they will be rewarded, but when someone does bad deeds, they will be punished.
This article will illustrate a story that will explain this concept. By reading this tale, it will be easier to understand more about how this ‘cycle’ or ‘rule’ works. In fact, if everyone follows this rule, they would see those good things come back to people who perform good deeds. It would also demonstrate that living in a better world is not only possible but also not too difficult to achieve through this philosophy.
A coin’s value
Shree Krishna and the prince Arjuna of Pandava are the two main characters in the Bhagavad Gita epic – often referred to as the Gita or ‘Song of God’ – a 700-verse Sanskrit scripture that is part of the Hindu epic Mahabharata.
Legend has it that, while Krishna and Prince Arjuna were walking around the city, they saw a poor priest begging for help and mercy from the people walking by. Suddenly, Arjuna, overwhelmed by feelings of sympathy for the priest, impulsively decided to give him a bag containing 100 gold coins.
The priest was delighted and thanked Arjuna profusely. After the encounter, the priest decided to head home, but on his way there, he saw another beggar. Having just acquired a bag with 100 golden coins, he could have comfortably helped the begging man by gifting him two gold coins. However, he chose to ignore him and continued on his way. But as he was getting closer to his home, a thief stole his bag filled with gold coins and ran away.
Overwhelmed with extreme pain and despair, the priest had no other choice but to go back and continue to beg. When the next day Arjuna saw the priest begging, he was astounded. With all the coins he had given him, the priest would have been able to lead a very comfortable life until the day he died. And yet, the priest was still begging for the passersby’s kindness.
He approached the priest and asked him the reason why he was still begging, and he told the prince about all the troubles he had encountered. Arjuna felt moved by his story and decided to gift him a beautiful diamond.
The priest felt ecstatic and returned home. On his way there, he met some people who were in need of help, but he chose to ignore them once more. When he got home, he carefully stored the diamond in an empty bottle with the intention of exchanging it for cash, and finally live a prosperous and wealthy life. After such an eventful day he felt tired and decided to take a brief nap. At that time, his wife was not at home.
While he was sleeping, his wife came home and took the seemingly empty bottle to the nearby river to get some water. When she got to her destination, unaware of the diamond hidden in the container, she promptly dipped it in the stream’s flowing water. As the stream filled the bottle with clear liquid, the diamond was washed away.
When the priest woke up from his nap, he immediately went to check on the bottle. When he couldn’t find it, he frantically asked his wife about the diamond. She explained to him that, as she was not aware of the hidden diamond, she took the bottle to the river where the precious gem it must have been washed away. The priest could not believe his incredibly bad luck, and once again went back to begging.
Once again Arjuna and Shree Krishna saw him beg for money, and Arjuna asked once again what had happened. After hearing the beggar’s story, Arjuna felt very disappointed and began to wonder whether it was possible for the priest to finally have a happy life.
Shree Krishna, who is Vishnu’s eighth incarnation in Hinduism, looked upon the prince with a gentle smile. Unlike Arjuna, Shree Krishna had only given the priest a coin, which was not enough to buy a complete meal for one person.
Arjuna asked Shree Krishna, “Dear Sir, I gave him gold coins and even a diamond. These riches could have helped him to lead a rich and comfortable life, but that did not work. So how can a single coin help this poor old man?”
Shree Krishna smiled and asked Arjuna to follow the priest and see what was going to happen.
Once again on his way home, the priest thought to himself that with Shree Krishna’s coin he could barely afford to buy lunch. Why did he give him such a small amount of money? While he was pondering about his predicament, he met a fisherman trying to remove a fish from his net. Since the fish was fiercely struggling to find a way out, the priest decided to take pity on it. He thought that since a mere coin would not be able to solve his problems, why shouldn’t he spend it on saving the fish.
So, he decided to give the coin to the fisherman in exchange for the fish and placed it in the small pitcher that he always carried with him.
The fish was too big for the small pitcher, and as it struggled, he ended up ejecting a diamond from its mouth. “I have found it!” The priest cried out happily.
At the same time, the thief that stole his gold coins passed by. He thought that the priest had recognized him and that he would probably report him to a judge so that he could be arrested. He began to tremble in fear and ran towards the priest, pleading him not to report him. When the thief gave him the bag containing 100 gold coins, the priest could not believe what had just happened.
Arjuna saw it all and said, “Sir, now I understand what you meant.”
When you have the ability – even though it’s very slim – to help others, don’t let that opportunity pass. Your good deeds will always come back to you, and you will obtain what you deserve the most.
Although the good thing you do may not be that big, it will still create a tremendous impact on someone, or perhaps yourself. That’s why every religion and culture in the world appreciates when people to do good deeds, and encourages it.
When you perform a good deed for others, you shift your focus from your own unhappiness and start paying attention to other people’s misfortunes instead.
When you stop focusing on yourself, your world is wide open. And when the world is wide open, a personal problem that might have been too big for you to withstand in the past would now feel tinier. When you are generous, you will feel stronger, more useful, more cheerful, and more attractive, and because of that, will attract other good things. Since everything in this world operates according to this existing invisible law – you reap what you sow.