Parable Of Two Businessmen by Swami Sivananda

Two businessmen once set out for a distant land for doing business. They were both rich. They had heard well about the returns that their business would bring them in the new place. The first one, Rama, thought, “Let me invest my entire wealth. Even if the business be shaky in the beginning and there be initial losses, yet my foundation will be strong and I will gain in the long run.” Accordingly, he invested his entire fortune and started the business in right earnest, on a well-established ground. With the usual losses in the beginning, he pulled on through the infant stages extraordinarily well and became a well-reputed businessman. As days passed by, he was getting from the establishment more profit than he ever dreamt of.
On the other hand, Govind, the second man, thought with a certain pessimistic attitude: “If I invest all my money and lose it, then I will neither have the profit from the new establishment, nor the fortune to live happily with the old wealth. So let me invest a little at first. If it is profitable, I will invest more and more of the old wealth; for, then, the new profits will help my living and there will
not be any need for me to depend on the old wealth for my day-to-day living.” At first, he invested a little. That was consumed by the initial loss account. Then he invested a little, again. It too, was found to compensate only the initial loss without leaving him any profit. As years rolled on, he found that he had lost all his wealth and had nothing to live upon.


The two businessmen are like two spiritual aspirants. Their going to a far off land is like the aspirants’ going into seclusion for reaping a good spiritual harvest. Like the businessman investing all his wealth at one time, an aspirant renounces his all at once. Like that businessman, the aspirant too, has got his shaky beginning, but has established himself well in the spiritual path. There is no fall back or final loss. He progresses rapidly and soon attains the bliss of spiritual life, the summum bonum of human existence.


Akin to Govind is that aspirant who takes to seclusion foregoing a little comfort, but keeping intact his old fortune to save him in times of need. The aspirant doubts: “If I give out all my wealth and also do not succeed in attaining the Goal, I may be forced afterwards to live like a beggar in this world. So let me keep something in store. On attaining that Bliss, I shall gladly give out this
wealth. If I do not attain that bliss, I shall and can utilise this wealth in this world.” This aspirant like the second businessman, loses all his wealth when Time places its mighty hand upon him. Nor does he get the fruits of spiritual life, like Govind going without profit.
O man! Remember the words of the Lord: “There is no initial loss here in spiritual effort, nor even reactions. Even a little
understanding of this Truth (Law) will save you from very great danger.”

Renounce your all, without any reservation; the fruits of spiritual life are there in your hands.

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