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Jealousy brings ruin

Once upon a time, in a village, there lived two boys, Madhav and Keshav. They both came from poor backgrounds and attended school together. Madhav, who used to chant the Name of God regularly, was intelligent, helpful and always happy. Keshav was lazy and unhappy, and jealous of Madhav. He would always be irritated with Madhav and wished for his downfall.

One day, Madhav was returning from school when he noticed a young boy lying wounded and unconscious in the middle of the road. He at once went to help and carried the boy home. Once home, he cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Madhav then bought some new clothes by borrowing money from his mother and changed the torn ones with the new ones.

After some time, the boy regained his senses and learned about the timely help from Madhav. He told Madhav about the accident he had, when his horse went wild and threw him off. After he had eaten a good meal cooked by Madhav’s mother, he thanked them and left for home.

The boy was actually a prince. Upon returning to the palace, he described the incident to his father, the king. The next day, the king called Madhav to his palace and thanked him for the help. He showered him with many precious gifts, including fine clothes, money and a beautiful house to live in.

When Keshav heard of this, he was so jealous that he was unable to sleep that night. “I must please the king more than Madhav has done,” was the only thought he had! He wanted to have more and even better gifts than Madhav. He thought that if the king can be pleased with the simple clothes and food that Madhav had given the prince, then a royal robe and fine food would please the king even more.

The next day, Keshav pleaded for a large sum of money from his father. With that Keshav went straight to the market and purchased an expensive robe and fine food for the prince. Then, he went to the king’s palace and offered his gifts to the prince.

The king could not understand why a village boy had presented such gifts to his son, so he asked his wise minister to inquire and advise him on a suitable gift to be given in return. The minister had a chat with Keshav and found out that jealousy had prompted Keshav to present the gifts to the prince. He then went to the king and said, “My lord, you gave expensive gifts to Madhav, the village boy, for the ordinary clothes and food he gave to the prince. So now you may give this boy some ordinary clothes and food in return for his expensive gifts.”

When Keshav saw his ordinary gifts, he was heartbroken and returned home sad and angry. When he asked his father why the king had treated him so unfairly, the father explained that the king had rewarded Madhav for his attitude of selflessness and not because of the things that Madhav had given the prince.

Moral: Instead of trying to merely copy the actions of good people, one should try to develop the attitude which gives rise to good actions. Daily spiritual practice of repeating God’s Name as per one’s religion, is a sure way of developing a good attitude.

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