There were two brothers who were constantly fighting and quarrelling. The younger brother instigated these fights. The elder brother was good in every way, but for his own protection he had to fight against his younger brother. Outwardly the neighbours condemned this family fight, but inwardly they all enjoyed it.
The elder brother had a servant who was extremely pious. One day the elder brother saw this servant leaving the temple in a prayerful mood. The elder brother said to him, “I see that you have been praying. Please tell me what it is that you need. You are such a good person. Whatever you need, I will gladly provide. I can see that you have been praying so sincerely.”
The servant said, “I was praying so sincerely for you.”
The elder brother was surprised. He said, “For me? Why do you need to pray for me?”
The servant replied, “I was praying for your victory. Next time you will defeat your brother in such a way that he will never come to fight with you again. I was praying also for your brother’s death.”
“My brother’s death!” cried the elder brother.
“Yes,” said the servant. “He is so bad. He harasses you all the time.”
The elder brother became furious. He said, “I am simply shocked to learn that you have been praying for my brother’s death. You must not go to the temple any more with this kind of prayer. Granted my brother has been torturing me for years and years, but he does not deserve to die because of his behaviour.”
The servant bowed and the elder brother entered into the temple and began praying. When he emerged some time later, the servant was still standing in the same position waiting for his master. The servant asked, “Will you please tell me what you were praying for just now? Can you tell me?”
The elder brother said, “Yes, I can tell you why I prayed to God. My younger brother thinks that I am richer than he is. Truth to tell, I do not know whether he has more money or I have more money. I was praying to God to make both of us happy. If my brother wants to have more money or property from me, I will be equally happy. By taking this money or property from me, if he becomes happy, then I will also become happy. I do not want him to attack me any more. So I am prepared to give him whatever he wants.”
The servant said, “O master, how can you offer this kind of prayer? Do you not see that he is fooling you? The truth of the matter is that he has much more money than you do, and yet he is telling you that he has no money. He is trying to take away all your money.”
The elder brother said, “All right. I am going once more to the temple to pray. This time I will pray for something else. Then I will come and let you know the result.”
The elder brother entered into the temple and began praying: “O God, I do not need my money or my property. Let my younger brother take away everything that I have. I do not even need a servant. I only need You. It is You alone who will give me peace and happiness.”
All of a sudden, this elder brother heard a loud noise. This loud noise was actually made by the servant and an assistant, but inside the loud noise, the elder brother saw only light, light, light. This light gave him the answer to his prayer. He came out of the temple and sent the servant to his younger brother’s house, requesting his brother to come and visit him. The younger brother was extremely suspicious. He thought that his elder brother might do something, so he began making preparations to go and fight.
The servant said, “Come with me peacefully. This is a totally different thing.”
The younger brother believed the servant and he went to see his elder brother. Immediately his elder brother embraced him and said, “My brother, my brother, in terms of material wealth and property, I do not know whether I have more than you have or not. It is of no consequence to me. You can take my money, my property, everything. Only let me go peacefully. I shall become a sannyasin. Let us both be happy in our own way. You want to be happy with my money-power. So be it. You may take it all. I have found my money-power in God. He is my real wealth.”
So the elder brother became a sannyasin. And what did the servant do? He followed his master and entered into the spiritual life.