The hermit and the old lady





There lived a hermit in the northern part of India. He was very pious. Every day he would to somebody’s house and ask alms. People would give him rice and other food stuffs. Then the hermit would return to his hut and pray God first. Then he used to feed anyone passing by at that time with what he had got. If anything was left he would eat it. Otherwise he would remain hungry till the next day.

One day he went to an old woman’s house. He asked for some food. She was angry and very mean who did not care for beggars. She simply refused to offer him any food. The hermit moved to next door.

Again next day, he went to the same old woman’s house. She became irritated and gave him stale left over rice. The hermit was happy and left the place.

The third day came. The hermit when he went to her house, the old lady became very angry. She decided to teach him a lesson in such a way that he would not come around again. She did not know that the hermit would feed someone before eating himself. She mixed a bottle of poison with the rice and gave it to the hermit.

The holy man returned to his hut and as usual started meditating. When he opened his eyes he saw a man returning from work. He looked very tired. The hermit offered him the food he brought on that day. The man was none other than the old lady’s son. He had his lunch and thanked the hermit. After he reached home he collapsed in front of his mother. The hermit did not eat anything because nothing was left.

The old lady seeing the fate of her son wept like a child. She thought that the hermit would die, but her son had left her.

 MORAL: Do not harm others intentional! We may harm ourselves more.

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