05 July 2009

A DOCTOR - MONEY DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS

There, once lived a boy named Ajit who worked very hard during his student life. He was the smartest student in the school and had big dreams of becoming a doctor. Finally his dream came true and he became a very fine doctor. He lived in a big city in a big house where he established a huge practice.
One day, an old woman came to him from a nearby village. She was very poor. She asked him, “Doctor, please help my son. He has a very high fever and has been sick for a few days.” The doctor said, “I am sorry, but I must have the fees first and then I will help you,” in a very mean manner. The lady promised to work really hard and then pay him back later but the stubborn doctor refused. The old woman started to cry and told him that a son is always very important to the parents and that money is not the only thing in life. Still, the doctor would not listen. The woman left with her son and went home.
A few days later, the doctor was cleaning his gun which he kept for the protection of his family. His son was playing nearby him. Suddenly, the cloth he was cleaning the gun with, got stuck in the trigger and the gun went off striking the boy in the head. He rushed his son to the hospital. A team of doctors tried feverishly to save the boy’s life but the child died on the operating table. Dr. Ajit was stricken by grief.
He knew that he had a lot of money. The hospital had fine doctors and was well-equipped. He had all these facilities but still could not save the life of his son. The doctor realized that neither skill nor money could help him. He felt very helpless and full of remorse.
He then remembered the incident of the old lady who had pleaded him to help her son. He then realized how wrong he had been to turn her away just because she could not pay him the fees. He understood the feelings of the young boy’s mother. It dawned upon him that his uppermost duty was to care for human lives without any regard for money. His mission in life was to serve mankind.
This unfortunate incident had a profound impact on Dr. Ajit’s life. He started to go to remote villages and caring for the poor and needy. He started a charitable hospital where the poor and rich could all be served without discrimination.
The instinct to amass wealth is very strong in all humans. Jainism teaches us to not be greedy because this passion is a big obstacle to salvation. The more one has, the more one wants. Greed really does make monsters out of us.
A poor man is unhappy because he does not have enough to live properly. A wealthy man is sad because he is not satisfied with what he has. This is the reason why monks and saints first renounce all possessions in their pursuit of salvation. Because of our good Karmas, which include intelligence, skill, and hard work, we should share it with the poor and needy.

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