One day King went on a tour of his kingdom in disguise. While roaming around, he passed near a farm field, there he saw a farmer who was wearing torn clothes and was eating food sitting under shade of a tree.
Seeing clothes of farmer, King thought, “I should give some gold coins to farmer so that some happiness can come in his life.”
King went in front of farmer and talked for a bit and then said, “I was passing by and found these four gold coins on your field. Since i found them on your field, you can keep them.”
Farmer refused saying, “No no.. these coins are not mine, keep it for yourself or donate it to someone else. I don’t need them.”
King found this response very strange and said, “Who doesn’t need money!! Why would you say no to money..”
“Sir, i earn four annas (old Indian currency) daily and i am happy with that much..”, replied farmer.
King was astonished and said, “What? You earn only four annas and yet you are happy with that much only.. How is this possible..”
Farmer replied, “Sir, happiness doesn’t depend on how much you earn or how much money you have. Happiness depends on use of that money you have..”
“So what do you do with these four annas?” asked the king in a tone of derision.
Farmer was in hurry, before leaving, he replied, “Out of these four annas, I put one in the well, repay the loan with the second, give the third on loan and bury the fourth in the soil.”
King didn’t understand his answer. He wanted to ask farmer about it but before he could, farmer had already left for his work.
King returned to his palace and next day in morning called a meeting and narrated yesterday’s incident in the whole court and started asking everyone the meaning of that statement of the farmer.
The courtiers presented their own arguments but no one could satisfy the king, in the end it was decided to invite the farmer to the court. After much searching, farmer was found and he was directed to appear in the King’s court tomorrow.
Next day, Farmer came to court. King told the farmer about his disguised visit that day and made him sit in the court with respect.
King said, “I was impressed by your answer and want to know the account of your four annas. Please tell me what did you mean by that?”
Farmer replied, “Your Majesty, as I said, I put one anna in the well, that means, I use it for the maintenance of my family, with the other I repay the loan, that means, I use it to fulfill needs of my old parents.
The third I lend, that means, I invest in the education of my children and last one, the fourth I bury in the soil, that means, I save a penny fr myself so that when the time comes I need not to ask someone and at times I can use it in religious, social or other necessary works.”
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