Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis!
All Glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudev!
Kesari, the incorrigible thief, had been banished from the city by the king with the warning that if he returned and was caught , he would be hanged. Kesari thought that he should not go back to the city for a few days. Suddenly, he noticed that a man came down from the air ,then he found out that the man could not touch the earth without removing the sandals. The man removed the sandals and went away. Kesari, immediately put on the magic sandals and rose into the sky.Then he thought that the king had done a good turn in banishing him. Then he saw that a poor man was worshipping Goddess kali and praying Her for wealth. Kesari thought that since the Gods had been kind to him, he should do some of their jobs. So Kesari rose into the air and before dawn the next day, he kept some precious gems in the temple for the poor man. Meanwhile at the palace, some of the people reported that some of their precious gems had been stolen. One of the guards of the city said that he saw a man trying to steal some precious gems and when he was about to catch him, he rose into the air. Then the king decided to bring the flying thief to book.
One day, the king dressed himself as a soldier and began to search the forest for the flying thief. Then he noticed that a man was worshipping the Goddess Kali. When the man's worship was over, the king asked the man if he was a priest , on which the man said that he was a merchant and was a poor wretch a few days ago and then the Goddess answered his prayers with a heap of gems. He also said that everyday Goddess Kali honours him by accepting the food he offers. The king asked that how did he know that she accepted them. On this the merchant replied that when he came the next day , the offerings were all gone.
The king thought that he had no need to search more because the thief would come there. Then Kesari came there and began eating the offerings and when he was about to leave, the king tried to catch kesari. The king was startled by his discovery of kesari. Kesari tried to run away. On the way, he thought that he did not have the magic sandals and the king would not give up until he caught him and hanged him. Then he realized of what use will be all the wealth he had stolen and will it give him back his life and what a useless burden his wealth has become. Then he saw a monk who was meditating and that he had no wealth but he had peace of mind.So kesari sat near him in full peace. When the king and his men came to catch him, the king finding kesari to be a transformed personality left him in peace and went away.
Srimad Bhagavatam 11.3.19 says,
Wealth is a perpetual source of distress, it is most difficult to acquire, and it is virtual death for the soul. What satisfaction does one actually gain from his wealth? Similarly, how can one gain ultimate or permanent happiness from one's so called home, children, relatives and domestic animals, which are all maintained by one's hard earned money?
Kesari acquired the wealth with so much difficulty and anxiety, but realized that it could not save his life and in fact proved to be a burden.
Yours in the service of Srila Prabhupada,
Karthik and Vaijayantimala devi dasi.
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