DHANASARA

In the city, of Mathura. lived a merchant named Dhanasara. He was very wealthy, but he would not offer a penny to anybody. He was popular for his riches, as well as, his stinginess. Dhanasara used to hide his wealth under the ground. One day, he went to check on it, but he found all of it was changed into charcoal, and snakes were crawling all over it. Within a short time before he can get over this loss, he got the news that his ships loaded with cargo had sunk in the sea. As if that was not enough, he also, got the news that the convoy that was carrying his possessions had been robbed. He felt so helpless and he was saddened by what was happening. He decided he was having all the bad luck. Whenever the unfavorable karmas are up, whatever a man will do will go against him. So, did with Dhanasara. He borrowed one million gold coins and went abroad to do business. With his luck, the ship was wrecked and all of his gold was in the sea. He saved himself by floating on a nearby log which took him to the shore.

He spent the next day on the seashore, then he moved to a park. This is when he saw a Muni (monk) preaching under the shade of a mango tree. He was giving a sermon to the people. When the sermon was over, the merchant went near the monk, and said, "Oh Muni! Due to which karmas did I acquire so much wealth, and due to which karmas did I lose it all?"

The muni narrated his past life. "In the country of Dhatakikhand, there was a city called Ambica. There lived two brothers. The elder brother was helpful and always generous to the needy, while the younger brother did not like the charities given by his older brother. The younger brother had a very bad temper, and he often displayed it when his older brother helped other people. After a while, when a younger brother could not tolerate this any more, he left the house. The older brother continued his style of giving to the needy and instead of his wealth getting less, it increased and so, was his prosperity. The younger brother could not stand this, so he made up a story and went to the king and convinced him to take over his brotherís wealth. The older brother was saddened by this and he renounced the world. After his death, because he was so good, and did good deeds he was born as a angel in heaven.

People did not approve the younger brotherís behavior, and he could not take their criticism. So, he left the town and joined some heretics and after his death, he was born as one of the Asurakumaras in hell. You are that younger brother. Because in your previous life, you did not approve his gifts and charities, so you are still a miser, and because you made your brother loose all the wealth your wealth is lost now. While your elder brother, after spending his life in Saudharmaloka, was born as a merchant in Tamralipti. He gained a lot of wealth and gave it all up, to join the order of the monkshood and you are talking to him now."

Dhanasara felt sorry and was troubled to hear this. He bowed down to the muni, and asked him for forgiveness. He took a vow, that he would not get involved in sinful activities and he will only keep one-fourth of his income, and the rest he would donate.

A miracle happened. All his wealth was recovered. He kept his promise. He became a devout shravak, and he spent his wealth on seven items: Jaina abodes, Jaina idols, Jaina literature, Jaina monks, Jaina nuns, Jaina shravaks, and Jaina shravikas. This was the turning point in his life, and he lived a noble life for the rest of his life.


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