The mysterious boxA villager went to the zamindar and said, “I would like to buy two acres of land from you. Please allow me to buy this land. I will not be able to pay the full amount immediately, but on an installment basis I will pay you.”
The zamindar said, “No, no, no! I will not allow you to do this. Either give the full amount or I will not allow you to buy this plot of land from me.”
The villager was very sad that he did not have the full amount. The zamindar wanted only 200 rupees, but the villager could not give that much at once. This poor fellow wanted to give 10 rupees at a time until he had paid the full 200. He was a sincere man.
A few months later, the same villager came to the chief and said, “Yesterday I had a dream. In the dream I saw two acres of land at a particular place. I saw that one of your ancestors had dug a hole in the ground and buried a box there. Inside the box there were gold coins. Now I am telling you so that you can dig up this box. I will be there to watch you. If my dream does not prove to be true, then you do anything with my life. You can beat me up or do anything else.”
The zamindar was so greedy. He said, “No, no, no, I will forgive you, I will forgive you. If I see the box, then I will be so happy. But even if I do not get the box, since you have given me such a piece of good news, I shall forgive you, even if there is nothing there.”
The zamindar and a few of his people all went with this villager to the particular place he had seen in the dream. The poor fellow said, “Let me dig it up. It is your property, so you will take the box. Only let me get the joy of digging it up, because I had the dream.”
The zamindar said, “Do it, do it!”
The zamindar was thrilled that he would get the box of gold. The villager started digging in front of the zamindar, and soon he found the box. On the top of the box was written, “Please open me one year after the day you discover me if you want to get the full amount. If you open me before one year, you will be disappointed. But after one year if you open me, you will be the happiest person on earth.”
The zamindar said, “One year! That is nothing.”
The zamindar was so happy. What did he do? Immediately he wrote down this message, “You do not have to give me 200 rupees for the plot of land. I am giving it to you free. You take this plot of land; it is yours. I am taking away the box.”
The zamindar gave the villager the two acres. He took away the box, and the villager got the land free. He did not have to pay anything. The zamindar was so happy and so proud that he had given away the land free of charge.
The zamindar was not supposed to open the box for one year. It was written on the box, “If you open me one year after the day you discover me, you will be the happiest person.”
But the eldest son of the zamindar miscalculated. After eleven months, he thought one year had gone by. He was so greedy that he wanted to cheat and deceive his father. He thought that he would open the box, take out a small amount and give the rest to his father. The father had kept the box somewhere secretly, but the son knew where it was. So, although only eleven months had passed, the son opened the box. When he opened it, he saw that there was nothing inside.
Suddenly, the father came into the room and said, “You idiot! It was written that one year should elapse. Why did you open the box? If one year had gone by, then there would have been something so valuable inside!”
Now the zamindar was miserable because he had lost the money and he had lost the land. But the poor fellow who received the land said to the zamindar, “I have borrowed money from my friends. I am giving you 200 rupees. I will pay back the money to my friends little by little.”
The zamindar took the 200 rupees, and the man kept the land. The man had already started plowing the land, and he would soon be able to give the money back to his friends. Greed, greed, greed! How much suffering greed can create!