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Chapter 8: The Giver Should Be Thankful

The Master Seistsu required larger premises as the building he was teaching in was very overcrowded.

Umezu, a merchant, decided to donate five hundred pieces of gold for the construction of a new building.

Umezu took the money to the teacher and Seistsu said, “All right, I will take it.”

Umezu gave the sack of gold to Seistsu, but he was very dissatisfied with the attitude of the teacher as the amount he had given was very great - one could live for a whole year on three pieces of gold, and the teacher had not even thanked him.

“In that sack there are five hundred pieces of gold,” hinted Umezu.

“You told me that before,” said Seistsu.

“Even if I am a wealthy merchant, five hundred pieces of gold is a lot of money,” said Umezu.

“Do you want me to thank you for it?” said Seistsu.

“You ought to,” said Umezu.

“Why should I?” said Seistsu. “The giver should be thankful.”

There are only two ways to live your life, only two ways to be: one is the right way, the other is the wrong way. The right is to give, to share, to love. The wrong is to snatch, to exploit, to accumulate. Love and money are the symbols of these two ways. Love is the right way and money is the wrong way. Everybody is living the wrong way.

Why does it happen? What are the dynamics of it? Why does everybody go wrong? Where are the rules? So we will have to penetrate deeply, only then will you be able to understand this beautiful story. And if you cannot understand this story, you cannot understand Buddha, Jesus, Mahavira. No, it is impossible, because they moved on the path of love, you move on the path of money, and these two ways never meet. They cannot meet.

Sometimes, even if you try to understand Mahavira, Buddha, Jesus, you try to understand them in terms of money. Jainas go on relating how much Mahavira renounced - “how much” is the point. If Mahavira had been the son of a beggar, no Jaina would worship him. He was the son of a great king. He had a big kingdom, much money, gold, diamonds - and he renounced them. Suddenly he becomes important to you. The importance is in the money that he renounced, not in him.

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