The bet

Once there were two friends. One of them felt sorry for the other one because he did not have a good job. He said, “Let us make a bet. I am sure that I will definitely be able to find a good job for you.”

The second one said, “What will you give me if you fail?”

The first one said, “All right, if I cannot find a good job for you, I will give you two hundred rupees from my salary. And if I find a job for you, what will you give me from your salary?”

The second one said, “I will give you four!”

So the first one looked for a job for his friend here, there and everywhere. Finally he found a good job for him that paid five hundred rupees per month. He was very excited that he had found this kind of job for his friend and said to him, “So, I have won the bet. When you get your first month’s salary, you have to give me four hundred rupees.”

The friend just handed him four rupees and started walking away.

The first one said, “Wait! Why are you giving me four rupees? You are supposed to give me four hundred.”

The friend said, “Did I tell you four hundred? I said four.”

The first one said, “You fool, I said that I would give you two hundred rupees if I didn’t get you a job and you said you would give me four if I did. It was understood that it was four hundred.”

The second friend said, “I said four. I didn’t say four hundred.”

The second one already had the job, so what could the first one do? Instead of winning four hundred rupees, he had to be satisfied with four. He was furious because he had worked so hard to find his friend a job, so he sued his friend.

When the case came before the king, the king asked the second friend, “Is it true that you were supposed to give this man four hundred rupees?”

The man replied, “O King, that is wrong. He told me that if he lost the bet, he would give me two hundred rupees. Then I told him I would give him four if he won. I lost the bet and I kept my promise; I gave him four rupees.”

The king turned to the first one and said, “He is right. He didn’t say four hundred.” Then the king gave the first one four hundred rupees and he accepted it gratefully. Next the king turned to the second one and said, “I need clever people like you in my court.” He gave a job to the fellow who had fooled his friend.

The clever fellow worked in the court and the king was very pleased with him. After some time the king told him, “People say that you are very good and wise and that you have many good qualities. Only one bad quality they find in you — that you do not admire others.”

The man said, “O King, I admire only two persons. The first person is your noble self. You gave me this job. You are so good, so kind, so great. There is nobody as great as you. Therefore, I admire you and I am extremely grateful to you.”

The king was very pleased with him. Then he asked, “And who is the other person you admire?”

The man said, “It is my friend whom I fooled about the four hundred rupees. He was my closest friend. I had led a vagabond life for so many years and he worked very, very hard to find me a job. I really admire him and I feel very sorry that I deceived him. Of course, there is a vast difference between you and my friend. But compared to others, my friend is by far the best. Therefore, I sincerely admire him.”

The king said, “Since you admire him so much and he is an honest man, bring him to me. I will give him a job in my court as well.” In this way the king brought the two friends together again.

One day the king asked them, “So, are both of you satisfied?”

They answered, “We are satisfied, but it is not because of our capacity. We are satisfied with you. We are satisfied with your wisdom. We are sincerely pleased with our lives because you care for us. Otherwise, we would not have become good friends again. It is you who have made us good. It is you who have made us great. It is you who care for us infinitely more than you care for yourself. Therefore, we are extremely, extremely grateful to you.”

Sri Chinmoy, Is your mind ready to cry? Is your heart ready to smile? part 7.First published by Agni Press in 1981.

This is the 470th book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.


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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Is your mind ready to cry? Is your heart ready to smile? part 7, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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