The miser's commitment

There was once a rich man who was a real miser. He didn’t trust anyone. He didn’t love anyone. He wouldn’t give anything to anyone as a gift. The man’s wife was quite generous. Although she didn’t have access to her husband’s wealth and money-power, with her very limited resources she used to help people and give money to the poor.

Some people were very sympathetic to the wife because they knew that she had only limited means to help others. Others thought that she should have forced her husband to become a generous man or to give her more money so that she could use it in her own way. There were other people who were so callous that they used to ridicule her for having such a miserly husband. They didn’t dare say anything to the rich man himself since they were afraid of him and his money-power. They felt that with his money-power he could create problems for them if he wanted to. Therefore, they didn’t say anything to him directly, but they used to ridicule his wife mercilessly at times.

One day the wife was watering her garden when some neighbours happened to pass by and began making fun of her. They said, “We have heard that tomorrow your husband is going to give a big feast for hundreds of people. We shall come to his feast without fail.”

The wife said, “I don’t know a thing about it. Where did you hear it?”

They said, “You are telling a lie! Don’t you know what is going to happen tomorrow in your own house? Anyway, tomorrow we shall come and hundreds of people will also come. Tomorrow your husband will really use his money-power in a proper way.”

The wife answered, “Oh no, he will be generous only after his death.”

The neighbours laughed and laughed at her and then went away. She went inside and told her husband, “Some neighbours told me that you are going to feed hundreds of people tomorrow. Is it true?”

He said, “Impossible! Impossible! What did you say to them?”

She said, “I told them that you would be generous only after your death.”

This made the husband mad.

The wife asked, “Why are you mad? I said that you would be generous only after your death.”

The husband said, “But that is a specific date. Why did you make a commitment? Now after I die I will have to think of people and feed them from Heaven. I am really angry and disappointed with you. You should never make any commitment on my behalf!”

From:Sri Chinmoy,Is your mind ready to cry? Is your heart ready to smile? part 3, Agni Press, 1981
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