The Real Poverty – Story
A monk had some copper pieces and he wanted to give them away to the poorest man.
Many poor people came to him to get them, but he would not give them.
Finally, there came before the monk, a king seated on an elephant.
The monk threw the copper pieces into the howdah on the top of the elephant where the king was seated.
The king was astonished at this unexpected act of the monk.
The monk said the money was for him, the poorest man.
The king enquired how he could be the poorest man.
The monk said he was the poorest man, because of his possessions and of his continual hunger and thirst for more kingdoms.
Hence he was the poorest man.
The real poverty does not consist in want of riches but in an unsatisfied want or greed for more and more.
na socati na kanksati
samah sarvesu bhutesu
mad-bhaktim labhate param
“One who is thus transcendentally situated at once realizes the Supreme Brahman. He never laments or desires to have anything; he is equally disposed to every living entity. In that state he attains pure devotional service unto Me.” (BG 18.54)
These are the signs of liberation. The first symptom of one who is liberated is that he is very happy. It is not possible to find him morose. Nor does he have any anxiety. He never frets, “This thing I don’t have. Oh, I must secure this thing. Oh, this bill I have to pay. I have to go here, there.”
One who is liberated has no anxieties at all. He may be the poorest man in the world, but he neither laments nor thinks that he is poor. Why should he think that he is poor? When we think that we are these material bodies and that we have possessions to go with them, then we think that we are poor or rich, but one who is liberated from the material conception of life has nothing to do with possessions or lack of possessions. “I have nothing to lose and nothing to gain,” he thinks. “I am completely separate from all this.” Nor does he see anyone else as rich or poor, educated or uneducated, beautiful or ugly, etc. He does not see any material dualities, for his vision is completely on the spiritual platform, and he sees that every living entity is part and parcel of Krsna. Thus seeing all entities in their true identity, he tries to take them back to Krsna consciousness. His viewpoint is that everyone–whether he be brahmana or sudra, black or white, Hindu, Christian, or whatever–should come to Krsna consciousness. When one is situated in this way, then: mad-bhaktim labhate param–he becomes eligible for becoming a pure devotee of Krsna’s.
caitanyacandre prakate yo dino dina eva sah
“A person who does not take advantage of the nectar of devotional service overflowing during the presence of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s cult is certainly the poorest of the poor.”
avatirne gauracandre vistirne prema-sagare
suprakasita-ratnaughe yo oino oina eva sah
“The advent of Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu is just like an expanding ocean of nectar. One who does not collect the valuable jewels within this ocean is certainly the poorest of the poor.”
(Also read this Story: BEG FROM KRISHNA -STORY)