Rockefeller and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa on Desire! (Post No.4030)

Written by London Swaminathan
Date: 27 June 2017
Time uploaded in London- 18-07
Post No. 4030
Pictures are taken from various sources such as Face book, Wikipedia and newspapers; thanks.



American billionaire John D Rockefeller made a big fortune in the oil and natural gas industry. For over a century his family has been maintaining their position in the list of 100 richest men in the world. He never stopped making money. One curious American reporter asked him one day, “Mr Rockefeller, How much money is enough? Would you ever stop making money?”


Mr Rockefeller replied immediately without any hesitation, “Just a little bit more”. It is a very interesting answer. All of us want the same thing in every field, ‘a little bit more’. We never stop making money.


Everyone wants to compete with his neighbour or his close relative or his professional rival. This is a never-ending process. Great religious leaders like the Buddha, political leaders like Mahatma Gandhi emphasized contentment in all the fields. They taught us that ‘desire is the root cause of evil’.


Barber and the Seven Jars of Gold!

This reminds me of a popular story told by Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa; the story is given below:

“ A barber, who was passing under a haunted tree heard a voice say, ‘Will you accept seven jars full of gold?’. The barber looked around, but could see no one. The offer of seven jars of gold, however, roused his cupidity and he cried aloud, ‘Yes, I shall accept the seven jars.’ At once came the reply, Go home, I have carried the jars to your house.


The barber and ran home and he saw the sevens when he entered the house. He opened them and found them all full of gold, except the last one which was only half full. A strong desire now arose in the mind of the barber to fill the seventh jar also; for without it his happiness was incomplete. He therefore converted all his ornaments into gold coins and put them into the gold jar; but the mysterious vessel was as before, unfilled. This exasperated the barber. Starving himself and his family, he saved some more amount and tried to fill the jar; but the jar remained as before.


So one day he humbly requested the king to increase his pay, saying his income was not sufficient to maintain his family. The king also doubled his pay. He saved all the money and converted them into gold and tried to fill the jar, but in vain. He started begging from door to door. Nothing changed. The last gold jar was only half full.


Seeing his sad plight the king asked him one day, “Hello, when your pay was half of the pay you get now you were happy. Now you look dejected. What is the matter? Have you got the ‘seven jars’?


The barber was taken aback and he told the king his full story. Then the king told him that the Yaksha offered him the seven jars but he rejected them when he knew that he could not spend it. The barber realised his mistake and returned the seven jars to the tree (yaksha) taking the advice of the king. Such is the state of some men in the heaven. Those who do not understand the difference between what is real expenditure and what is real income, lose all they have.”

This is the story told by Sri Ramakrishna. We can compare it with little more bit of Rockefeller. The little more never ends. You never feel content. That is why Hindus did a daily Yajna (fire offering) and poured ghee (butter) and other essential things in the fire saying “Idam Na Mama” (it is not mine). If we can inculcate such a thought in everyone they will offer something to others instead of taking everything that comes their way in business or life.




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