The lazy son and the hard-working son

There was an old farmer who had two sons. One was lethargy and idleness incarnate. He had a reputation as a good-for-nothing. His name was Samarendra, but you could say that nothingness was his real name.

The other son always worked very hard. This son used to help his father plough the fields, cultivate the crops and so forth. His name was Amarendra.

In the evening of his life, the old farmer distributed his lands, half to each of his sons. To the lazy one, the father said, “I am giving you an equal share of my property. So, my son, give up your lethargy. You should turn over a new leaf and work industriously.”

Samarendra said, “Yes, yes, Father. Now I depend on you, but once you go to Heaven, I will become very active and dynamic.”

His father was very pleased, but he did not trust him to carry out his promise. He said to Samarendra, “Half of the land I have given to you, but I wish to show you a particular place in one of the fields. When you are badly in need of money, just dig at that particular place. Under the ground I have hidden a large amount of money for you. Although you have proved to be a useless son, my fatherly affection for you is such that I wish to make sure you have no financial worries in the future.”

The farmer’s good son, Amarendra, received his portion of the land, but there was nothing secret hidden in his fields. Amarendra knew what his father had done for his brother, but he did not feel sorry. He said, “Father is always wise. He knows I am active, dynamic and industrious. Whatever happens, I will be able to manage.”

Amarendra had such love for his father that he did not question his father’s decision. He used to admire his father’s wisdom all the time. Again, although his younger brother was useless, he had tremendous affection and concern for his younger brother.

At last the time came for the father to pass behind the curtain of Eternity. After his death, the younger one, as usual, did nothing by way of work. The older one was ploughing his share of the fields and getting a good harvest of grain, while the younger one allowed his fields to go to waste.

One day the younger brother came to his elder brother and said, “Please, please, please, it is getting late, brother. The season is nearly over. Will you help me plough my fields and do everything that is necessary? From next year on, I will be very careful to do all these things at the proper time.”

Amarendra said, “It is already too late. The proper season is almost over. I can help you, but you will not get the same results as I will get.”

Samarendra said, “No harm, no harm. Whatever help you can give me I will deeply appreciate.”

Amarendra started helping his younger brother. Naturally, the crops that his own fields yielded were infinitely better than those of his younger brother. Samarendra said to him, “I see you have reaped much more than I have.”

Amarendra replied, “I told you when to plough the fields and plant the crop, but you waited and waited. What can I do?”

Then Samarendra said, “Brother, you have the magic touch with regard to farming. Anything that you touch becomes golden. You get miraculous results. My land, I can easily see, is fallow. Nothing will grow there. It is useless. Father has given you the really good land and he has given me the bad plot of land.”

Look at this ungrateful creature! Amarendra protested, “No, no! Do not say such things. Father has been very, very kind to you. You delayed and delayed unnecessarily. You did not listen to Father. That is why your results are poor.”

Then Samarendra begged him, “Please, please, Amarendra, can you not exchange your plot of land with mine? Mine is useless, I can see. Can you not take it?”

The elder brother agreed. He was all compassion for his younger brother. He said, “All right, I will exchange my land with yours, but you should start ploughing when I start.”

Then Amarendra took the so-called bad plot of land. He started working in the fields and transforming them. One day he came across the secret place where his father had said that there would be something hidden for the younger son. Amarendra uncovered the place and discovered a large amount of money that his father had intended for Samarendra. He said, “Father was always so wise. My younger brother is absolutely useless. Now he needs money desperately. Father always cared for him. Tomorrow morning I shall go and give him this money. I know that he is not going to do a day’s work in his life. I am going to give him the money that I got from under the ground. It is rightfully his.”

Amarendra went to his brother’s place and discovered that overnight Samarendra had sold his new plot of land. He was able to sell the land at a very high price by displaying the results of his brother’s labours. Then he disappeared. Amarendra was so sad because his younger brother could have had this extra money that their father had hidden for him. He searched for his brother, but his brother had completely vanished after selling the property.

The moral of the story is that good people are good to the end. Again, no matter how kind good people are towards bad people, sometimes the fate of a bad person cannot be changed.