Once there was a very rich merchant, doing well in business, whose wife had died long ago. He had one married son and his daughter-in-law was very wise and expert in household work. He was very proud of her. Once he was having lunch at his verandah when a monk came to his door asking for some food. The merchant didn’t pay attention as he never used to give anything to these kind of people. The monk asked again and didn’t get any reply. As he was asking for the third time, the daughter-in-law replied politely, “Dear babaji, go next-door, my father-in-law is himself having yesterday’s food, he will not be able to give you anything.”
The monk understood and went ahead. But as the merchant heard these words spoken by the girl, he became very angry with her, he was the richest person in the village – why should he eat yesterday’s food? The girl must have become insane – he thought. As much as he was very proud of her wisdom, his anger was even greater – how was it that he hadn’t realized this girl’s insanity? He summoned the village court and informed the girl’s father that the girl was out of her mind and his son would break this marriage tie.
As people gathered at the court, he related the event and asked for justice – which was to untie the marriage of his son in his point of view. The girl’s father was also present – he said, ” I know my daughter is wise enough not to speak any meaningless words, but I am unable to understand the meaning of what she has said – so I will request her to come and explain why she spoke like that. It is not wise to give a decision without hearing her.”
The court agreed and the girl spoke the following: “My meaning is that he has done many good deeds in his previous lives, which is why he has got these wonderful blessings from GOD, allowing him to enjoy now. In this way it is his yesterday’s earned food. But he is not doing any good deeds in this life, he is only earning money for himself.”
I love him very much and want him to enjoy these blessings forever, so I wanted to tell him this truth. That is why I said what I did. I knew he would be angry and want an explanation, which would allow me an opportunity to tell him.”
The merchant understood the real meaning of the words and felt very much ashamed to bring his wise daughter-in-law in to court. So he apologized and began doing some good deeds for others.
It is general practice that people either enjoy their present blessings or feel inferior while seeing others who have more possessions in life. People always wonder why another has more wealth, why they are more intelligent, they forget that each and every thing is our own earning. Whatever we have sown, we are reaping now. And the result of whatever we are doing now will come to us in the future, be it material treasure or spiritual realization.
In the same way that people enjoy their current position, they laugh at others who don’t have intellect, money and other things – they enjoy even their spiritual status, but they forget that if they do not work in the present, their current treasure will slowly be spent.
Just like when you put grains in a grain storage silo. You put the grains in the top and you take them out from the bottom. It is just a matter of time before you receive that quality of grains which you previously put in at the top. So we should sow for tomorrow while we are reaping the seeds of yesterday.