Krishna and Arjuna were taking a leisurely walk, when they saw a Brahmin who was begging. Arjuna out of pity gave him some gold coins. The Brahmin was in ecstasy and went home with a romantic song in his heart and dreamy eyes. On the way, a robber attacked the Brahmin and looted him.
So, disheartened by this, on the following day, the Brahmin was out begging again. Arjuna was surprised to see him. On hearing what happened from the Brahmin Arjuna felt pity again and gave him an expensive gem and made sure that the man kept it in his pocket safely while going home. The Brahmin went home and hid the gem in an old mud pot that was lying unused for a long time in his house.
His wife who had gone out to fetch water from the river, on her way back fell down and her pot of water broke. So she went home and picked up the old mud pot (with the gem) and went to fetch water. The Brahmin was fast asleep. The moment she lowered the pot into the river to fill it, the gem fell out. She went home totally unaware of the loss she had just caused.
The Brahmin came to know what had happened and cursed his fate for losing whatever he was gaining. The next day, he went out to begging again. Isn’t it true that we may give something to someone but we cannot change their destiny?
But Lord Krishna can!
When Krishna and Arjuna heard the poor Brahmin’s tearful sad story, Krishna gave the Brahmin five paisa quietly. “Dear Madhusudana!” Arjuna exclaimed. Even by sending him so many gold coins and the most precious gem, I couldn’t save him from his misery. What’s the difference your five paise are going to make? Maybe it’s his luck that he’ll continue to be a lifetime beggar!”
Krishna just agave his usual smile. The Brahmin too was perplexed with the meagre donation of Krishna’s, especially in contrast with Arjuna’s largesse.
On the way home he saw that a fisherman had just caught a fish, which was gasping for life. He felt pity for the poor creature and thought to himself, “These five paisa will not be enough to buy me even a meal. So, let me buy the fish and save its life.”
The Brahmin bought the fish for five paisa and immediately put it into his begging bowl and poured some water into it. He set off towards the river to release the fish. He then noticed that the fish spat out something. It was the same precious gem that Arjuna had given him that he had hid in the mud pot!
The Brahmin was overjoyed. In his ecstasy he exclaimed, “I found it, I found it…” Coincidentally the robber who had looted him of his pouch full of gold coins was sitting just there. He thought the Brahmin had recognised him and was shouting, “I found him, I found him…” Fearing that he would be taken to the king’s court and punished, he begged the Brahmin to pardon him and also returned the gold coins.
Arjuna was greatly astonished! He said, “Krishna, what I could not achieve by giving so much, You have achieved by giving so little! What is this mystery?
Krishna looked at Ajuna with His perfect, beautiful smile and said, “All times when you gave him, he thought only of his personal comforts and the enhancement of his life. When I gave him, he thought of the woes of another living creature. Simply speaking, when someone shows compassion and helps others, he does My job. When he does my job, how can I not do his?”
Only God can change one’s destiny through His Grace. Our thoughts are our karma. Constant association of our mind with the Lord, can give rise to good thoughts and consequently can trigger good actions resulting in change of fate.