Take A Needle To Heaven
There lived a wealthy sheth but he was a scrooge, mean and miserly.
He never spent a rupee, never donated a paise, and always wore
worn shoes and tattered clothes. One day he fell seriously ill
and became bedridden. During his whole life, it was said, he
had only one friend, his personal tailor. But unfortunately,
he had died a few months earlier. Everyone knew the sheth's
days were numbered. One by one his family and neighbours came
to pay their formal respects. When the tailor's son arrived,
the sheth said, ''It seems that I will not last long here. My
moment to rise to heaven has come.''
The young boy, though only fifteen years old, was very wise.
He knew of the sheth's craving for wealth and miserliness. He
replied, ''O Sheth, my father is already in heaven. He often
told me that he wished to sew rich garments for the Lord. But
he forgot to take his needle with him. Will you please take
this needle with you and give it to him.'' ''Oh, alright, I'll
be happy to do that,'' he agreed.
The sheth was happy to do anything as long as it did not involve
any giving. He took the needle and gave the boy permission to
leave. Alone, in his bed, he began wondering ''Where shall I
place the needle? Pin it in my shirt? No, that won't do. All
my clothes will burn away in my funeral fire. In my mouth. Yes,
I'll place the needle in the bulge of my cheek.'' Then again,
he had second thoughts, ''But my whole body will be burnt to
ashes. How am I to carry this small needle to heaven?''
The more he thought about it the more confused he became. Finally,
he called the tailor's boy and said, ''Son, here, take your
needle back. I won't be able to take it to heaven.'' ''But,''
the boy looked amused, ''If you are going to carry all your
millions of rupees to heaven, then why can't you carry one little
needle?'' The sheth's inner eyes were opened. He realised that
none of his wealth or property would accompany him after death.
He prayed to God to forgive him for all his past wickedness
and promised to profusely donate his wealth in charity should
he survive the illness. God cured him and he kept his word.
He built a grand mandir, fed thousands and comforted the less
Remember that only wealth which is spent in the service of God,
His Sadhu and the needy is worthwhile. Our good deeds alone
accompany us after death and nothing else will join us.
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