A rich man goes to a temple congregation, and impressed with the sermon, invites the sage to stay at his home. After a few days, the sage leaves, and blesses the rich man as he departs. “Tomorrow morning, go east and dig. If you want more, go north the next morning, and if still unsatisfied, go south the next,” he said, “but beware, do not go west.”
The man was rich, but he wants more. He cannot wait for the next day, and starts off early, and when he digs, he finds copper coins. He is happy, but still wants more. The next day, he wakes up early to travel north, and commences digging. Soon he finds a large cache of silver coins. He is happy, but he is more obsessed about the next morning. And the next morning sees him set out even earlier, as his expectations rise. And sure enough, the journey to the south rewards him with a large amount of gold.
Do not go west, the sage had warned him. But the thoughts of finding diamonds and rubies do not let him rest. The rich man sets out west, and the digging reveals a door. As he walks through, he finds unhappiness and tension grip his head. He can see a man rotating a stone grinder. “Come and rotate the grinder, it is the only way the sadness and tension will leave you,” the stranger said. The rich man catches the handle, and the stranger starts to walk away.
“Now carry on suffering, and wait for another as greedy as you to relieve you!”
My teacher told me this Puranic tale, and said,
“Always remember — needs can be satisfied, but beware, desires will obsess.”
Guru Granth Sahib says:
Outwardly calm, but innards polluted with greed —
Death is forgotten, and the disease of desire infects.