There once lived a very wealthy businessman. However, even though he had lots of money, he was a scrooge. He never spent a single penny for charity, he would wear worn out shoes and tattered clothing. No matter what happened, he would not spend any money on himself or anyone else around him.
One day he fell gravely ill. Due to his sickness he was bedridden and no one would come to visit him. Due to his nature, his family did not want anything to do with him and everyone in town despised him. However, he did have one friend, his personal tailor. He would spend countless hours with the tailor, not to buy new cloths, but bragging about all the money he had acquired. But the tailor could not help the rich man because he soon passed away. The wealthy businessman felt his days slipping away without his friend. Finally, his tailor's family members came to see him for the first and last time. The tailor’s son had also come. The rich man said to the boy, “It is certain that I will not last much longer on earth. My moment to rise to swarg (heaven) has come.”
The young boy was very wise for his age. He knew that the businessman was obsessed with wealth and riches his whole life. It was because of this reason that he had lost the love and respect of his family and the town’s folk. So he told his father’s friend, “O Sir, my father is already in swarg. He had often told me that he wished to sew rich garments for Bhagwan. But he forgot to take his needle with him. Will you please take this needle with you and give it to him?” The boy took out a single sewing needle and handed it to the dying businessman.
“Oh yes, my boy,” replied the businessman. “I will happily do that for you.”
The rich man was ready to do anything for the only friend he had his whole life as long as it did not involve giving anything. So he took the needle and started to think, “Where shall I place this needle? Should I pin it in my shirt? No, my clothes will burn away in the funeral fire. Maybe I can place it in my mouth? No, my whole boy will be burn to ashes. Then how will I take this needle to swarg?” The more he thought about it the more confused he became. He called the boy back and said, “Please take your needle back, I will not be able to take it with me to swarg.”
The boy remarked, “But, if you are going to take your millions of rupees with you to swarg, then what problem will there be in taking a small needle? You can easily take it too.” The wealthy businessman’s spiritual eyes opened. He realized that none of his wealth or property would accompany him after death. He prayed to Bhagwan for forgiveness and promised to use all his wealth for charity and others. Bhagwan heard his prayers and cured him of his illness. True to his word, the businessman built grand mandirs, and fed and comforted thousands of less fortunate people.
Friends, remember that only our good deeds accompany us when we pass away and so we should not waste life on idle pursuits. Only the wealth which is spent in the service of Bhagwan, his ekantik Sadhu, and the needy is worthwhile.