Home » Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritual Development

Two Blind Men Who Sought Riches

by Paramhansa Yogananda
Summer 2010 2 Comments

Akbar the Great was one of the greatest kings of India. He was called “Guardian of Mankind” because of the benevolence of his rule, and the devoted zeal with which he sought to regain lost sections of the once vast empire. This charitable king showered good on needy individuals and social groups everywhere.

One day as the King’s procession passed along the boulevard, he saw two blind men, sitting about twenty yards apart, shouting for alms. The king stopped his carriage to investigate. The first blind man was shouting, “To whom the King gives, he alone becomes rich.” The second blind man was shouting, “To whom God gives, he alone becomes rich.”

Whenever his procession drove along the boulevard, he heard these demands for riches from himself and from God. At last, the King, feeling flattered by the first blind man’s utterance that “To whom the King gives, he alone becomes rich,” ordered a large loaf of bread to be baked with the inside filled with solid gold. The King gave this loaf to the first blind man, and completely ignored the second blind man, who believed that God alone could make him rich.

After being away on a hunting trip for several weeks, the King again passed along the boulevard and came to the first blind man to whom he had given the loaf. This man was still shouting, “To whom the King gives, he alone becomes rich.” The king asked, “What did you do with the loaf I gave you?” The blind man replied, “Your Royal Highness, the loaf you gave me was too large and heavy. I’m afraid it was not well baked, so I sold it to the other blind man for ten cents. I was happy to receive those ten cents.”

The second blind man was no longer on the street. Upon inquiry, Akbar discovered that the second blind man had given the loaf to his wife, who had opened it and found the gold. With this she bought a home.

Upon learning this, the King, with inner humility but with outward wrath, rebuked the first blind man, saying, “You fool, you gave away my gold-stuffed loaf to your friend who depended upon God and not upon me for wealth. From now on you must change your motto and shout, like your friend, “To whom God gives, he alone becomes rich.”

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This story has a wonderful moral. Millions of people today think that all wealth comes from banks, factories, jobs, and through personal ability. This great depression* has proven that America is the most prosperous starving nation on the face of the globe. When the wealthiest country on earth, without any national catastrophe, can be suddenly thrown into poverty, it proves that there are divine laws that govern our physical, mental, spiritual, and financial lives.

Every day, as you try to become better and happier, strive also to help others become better and happier. Learn to include the happiness and welfare of others in your own happiness. The happiness of  individuals, families, and the nation depend entirely upon the law of mutual cooperation, unselfishness, and living up to this motto: “Father, bless us, that we may remember Thee always, and that all things flow from Thee.”

*This article was written during the 1930s depression.

From the Praecepta Lessons, 1934, and How To Be a Success, Crystal Clarity Publishers.

Growth: “The first condition for any genuine growth in understanding is an openness to receive.” The Jewel in the Lotus, by Swami Kriyananda.

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