Money masterfully spentThere was a spiritual Master who had quite a few disciples. Once a particular disciple of his gave him a sum of three thousand dollars. The poor Master very rarely got three thousand dollars at one time. So the Master was pleased, and the disciple was very happy and proud that he was in a position to give three thousand dollars to the Master.
A week later the disciple said to the Master quietly and politely, "Master, could you please tell me if you have already used the money or how you are going to use it, the amount that I have given you?"
So the Master said with utmost love, "My child, it is not fair of you to ask me how I am going to use it or whether I have used it already or not. But anyhow, since you are asking me, I will tell you."
By this time the disciple said, "No, no, Master. Forgive me, I won't ask you anymore. It is none of my business. I gave you what I had, and it was stupidity on my part to ask whether you have used it or how you are going to use it. Forgive me, forgive me."
But the Master said, "No, since you are anxious and curious to know how I have used your money or how I am going to use it, I would like to tell you. I have already used up your three thousand dollars!"
The disciple was very shocked. 'Three thousand dollars in ten days time! This poor Master, what can I do?'
The Master continued, "All right then, I shall tell you how I spent it. Three thousand dollars you gave me, and one thousand I have given to your worst enemy, David. Both of you have been at daggers drawn for the last few years. You hate him, he hates you. Now I have given him one thousand dollars although he does not need any money from anybody, since he is quite rich. Nonetheless I wanted to give him one thousand dollars. With the next one thousand dollars I bought a horse, my very own horse. I felt this horse to be the most beautiful creature I have ever seen, so I bought the horse to ride. The third thousand I gave to a distant acquaintance of mine who is a gambler."
The disciple said, "Master, you have used my money; I don't need any justification for how or why you have used it." But inside his heart he was saying, "Oh Master, what kind of a Master have I got? One thousand you give to my worst enemy; one thousand you use to buy a horse for your own pleasure, and one thousand you give away to a gambler."
So the Master said, "All right, you don't want justification, but I would like to offer justification to you. The first thousand I gave to your worst enemy, David. Now you know that both of you hate each other. He thinks that you don't have any fine qualities, any divine qualities and that you are my worst disciple. You also think that I made a mistake in accepting him as a disciple. That is your understanding, your feeling. Now I wanted to show him that you are not as bad as he thinks, that you have a wide, magnanimous heart. I wanted him to change his opinion of you overnight. I also wanted to bring his divine qualities to the fore. Both of you are enemies, which means that both of you are in constant competition. He wants to surpass you, you want to surpass him, consciously or unconsciously. So if I give him one thousand he will come to know that indirectly you have given him one thousand. Then he will come and give me four thousand. He will say, 'If John can give the Master one thousand, why don't I give him four thousand?' The next moment he will think, 'Oh, John gave that money to the Master devotedly and I must also give him what I have devotedly. I have plenty of money, I have much more than John has, so let me also give more money to the Master and I shall give it to him wholeheartedly and devotedly.'
"David will start with a competitive spirit, thinking that if you can do it, how is it that he can't do it? And another thing: in the beginning he will feel miserable because you have done something before he did, feeling that he has to be first in everything, but in the spiritual life there is no competition. And yet, if he does not want to waste one single second, naturally he will run as fast as he can.
"There really should be no competition between you who have given the money to your Master, and David, but if someone is conscientious, if someone is devoted in his offering as well as in his meditation, then he runs the fastest and reaches the goal sooner than the rest. So that is why I gave one thousand dollars to your worst enemy.
"Now, the one thousand to buy a horse. Why a horse? First of all, of course the horse is an animal. We came, all of us, from the animal kingdom. The horse represents speed. At the same time, when we think of our animal incarnations, we think of our animal qualities, and what is the most destructive or limiting quality we see in the animal? Passion. Now look. Once upon a time we were killed by our own passions, even in our human lives. Most human beings are killed by their own passions. Passion is their worst enemy. So this horse that I have bought reminds me of human passion in the animal kingdom.
"I am going to ride this particular horse. Why? I shall ride it because I am the Lord of this animal kingdom, I am the Lord of passion. Passion has come to me in the form of a horse, or let us say in the form of disciples, but I am riding them and I am taking them to the Destined Goal.
"When a human being was in the animal kingdom as a horse, it had only passion; there was no Goal. It was running blindly without any Goal. Now this very horse which represents the animal kingdom, with its senses running amuck, right now is caught by me. The passions of the horse, the passions of the disciples, are now under the control of the Master. The Master is the rider, the Lord. He is seated on the horse and taking the horse to its Destined Goal. In doing so, he is taking the disciples to the Goal. The Master says, 'Look, my Goal is the Highest and I am carrying you with all of your passions which are under my control. Now I am taking you to your Destined Goal. Come with me.'
"All right, that is the horse. Now the gambler, this distant gambler. The gambler was not my disciple but I gave the gambler one thousand dollars. The gambler was exceedingly happy, and gambled it, and from one thousand he made ten thousand dollars overnight. He was so happy, but he did not want to put the money in the bank. He wanted to keep the money at his own place, so that he could count the bills every day. That gave him the greatest joy. If he kept the money in the bank he would not be able to count it. There are many businessmen who count their bills ten times at least before they go to bed, otherwise they don't have a proper night's sleep. This gambler didn't have proper sleep. Every night he used to count his ten thousand dollars.
"One day he was away for a while, and a thief entered his place and robbed him. All his money was stolen. Look at his miserable plight: ten thousand dollars was stolen! He became really mad with grief.
"Then the following day he came to me and said. 'You gave me one thousand dollars. You know that I made ten thousand dollars from it. I was so happy, but now all my money has been stolen. Please give me some money once again and I will be really grateful to you.'
"So then I asked this gambler, 'Tell me, when you made ten thousand dollars from one thousand dollars, were you happy?'
"'Happy is the word! How happy I was! I thought that I was going to be a multi-millionaire soon.'
"'Then what happened?'
"'Oh, my money was stolen and now again I am the same beggar.'
"'You see, you could not preserve the joy that you got from the ten thousand dollars. It did not remain even for a week. Somebody stole it. Now you will say, "Oh, I made a mistake. This time when I get money I will put it in the bank and nobody will be able to steal it." That is also not true for there are many banks being robbed. Again, you may find it difficult to get your money out of the bank anytime you want it, and always you will think of the joy that you used to get by counting the money every day in the evening. Again, if the money is at your place, you can see it right in front of your eyes every second. Look, you are not getting the constant joy either by having the money at your place or having the money in the bank. At home money is totally unsafe, and in the bank there is no absolute guarantee.'
"So the gambler said, 'Then how can I have real joy, and constant joy?'
"'You will get real joy, constant joy, infinite joy, only if you meditate with me, and this joy that I will give you can never be stolen by anybody. Once I give you inner joy, boundless joy, no thief can enter into your heart and steal it. You don't have to go to the bank, and you don't have to count it. You will feel it constantly. It will grow. You will see this infinite joy that I can give you and it will be everlasting joy.'
"The gambler said, 'I need that everlasting joy. May I be your disciple?'"
The gambler was made a disciple and became the best disciple.
So this is how the Master spent the three thousand dollars. One thousand went to the enemy of the giver, one thousand went to buy a horse, and one thousand was given away to a gambler.