In the beginning people used to use horses. They were the fastest vehicle, but still people ask, “How much horsepower does your car have?” Strange…horses have gone, but our old mind still manages to think about a car in terms of horsepower, and nobody thinks about the stupidity of it.
This man brought one thousand gold rupees. He was feeling very great and thinking, “Ramakrishna will be surprised, nobody will have given him such a gift. I’m going to do a great good work.” It was for the temple of Ramakrishna where he lived in Dakshineshwar, just near Calcutta.
The first thing he did was to pour from his bag all one thousand gold rupees in front of Ramakrishna…so loudly! They made so much sound that everybody in the ashram gathered: “What is happening?”
Ramakrishna said, “Do you want to exhibit what you are doing? You could have silently given the bag to me. There was no need to pour out all those one thousand rupees in front of me. That was almost as if you were trying to make everybody in the ashram curious to come and see what is happening. This is not a good act. Deep inside you it is an ego trip, but I will accept the rupees. Now put them back in the bag.”
So he put them in the bag and Ramakrishna said, “Now, are the rupees mine or yours?”
The man said, “Of course they are yours; I have offered them to you.”
Ramakrishna said, “That’s good. I offer them to the Ganges. Can you help me a little?”
The man said, “What kind of help?”
“Just go – behind the temple is the Ganges. Throw the whole bag into the Ganges. Now it is my money not yours, so you need not be worried about it.”
The man was in shock – “I got caught in unnecessary trouble. One thousand gold rupees…people would certainly say that this man is mad – offering it to the Ganges?” But he was committed, so he went to the Ganges. Hours passed.
Ramakrishna said, “What is the matter? Throwing the bag away cannot take that much time.”
He sent somebody who brought the news: “That man takes one rupee out of the bag and throws it on the stone rocks around the Ganges. A big crowd has gathered because those rupees are making so much noise and they are pure gold. Then the man throws one rupee far away in the Ganges. Then he takes another rupee, again hits it on the rocks…and more and more people are gathering there. He is making a great show.”
Ramakrishna had to go himself. He said, “You are not only an egoist, you are stupid too. One checks whether rupees are authentic or not by throwing them on the stone so that he can hear the sound of gold, and if they are not authentic, they will not give the same sound. But that is when one is collecting them. You are throwing them away! Whether they are authentic or not makes no difference.