She lends money with wisdom9There was a very rich man who was extremely cruel and miserly. His wife was very kind-hearted and affectionate, and full of sympathy for everyone. Nobody liked the husband, but everybody liked the wife. However, she said, “God gave me this bad husband, so what can I do? Nobody likes him, so at least I have to like him. Somebody has to like him.” She was very kind and affectionate to him and served him day and night.
Once a famine struck the region where they lived, and many villagers came to them for help. The wife gave money to everyone and showered all the people with affection and sympathy. Her husband did not mind her generosity, even though he was so miserly. He said, “As long as I don’t have to personally give, I am satisfied.” His wife was very grateful for this.
When she gave money to the people, they said, “We are only borrowing this money. We will pay you back.”
She said, “No, no. You don’t have to pay it back. This is a gift. You just take it.”
They said, “No, no. We shall repay you when the famine is over.”
She said, “If you really want to repay me, then give me the money the day my husband dies.”
Some of the people were shocked to hear the wife talk like this. Others thought that when her husband died, she would have many expenses for the funeral and so forth, so that was why she said this.
One of their sons happened to be present when his mother said this. The son loved both parents dearly, but upon hearing this he was very displeased, disappointed and angry. He went to his father and said, “Mother is asking people to repay the money she is giving them after your death.”
The father could not believe this. “How can she say this? She always gives money freely, so why is she now asking them to return the money and why does it have to be on my death?”
The husband went to the wife and asked her, “Please tell me why you are saying this to these people?”
She said, “You don’t understand. You see, people don’t like you. They hate you. Everybody wants you to die today. But many people have taken lots of money from me, and by nature people don’t want to return money. Although they say they are taking it as a loan, they don’t want to return it. So, from now on, instead of thinking of your death, they will pray to God to keep you alive so that they don’t have to return the money. I want you to live on earth for many, many years. Who knows? One day you may also become very affectionate, kind-hearted and sympathetic.
“So, I played a trick. I want them to pray to God every day that you live. Previously they prayed to God for your death. Now they will pray to God for you to live on earth. This will make me very happy. Who cares for the money? I want you to live for a very long time.”
The husband was extremely moved by his wife’s wisdom. The son was also very pleased with his mother.
GIM 149. 6 February 1979↩