People who live in or near forests of India often make their living by gathering firewood. They tie it into bundles which are slung over their shoulders and carry on their backs to a market-place. One day an old man, out in the woods alone was picking up sticks. He greedily made a pile so large that, when it was tied, he found it too heavy to lift. Sweating and groaning he tried in vain to get it onto his back; the market was far, and the coming of dusk forbade a second trip.
espair came over him. He thought of his pitiful in life — so full of labor and poverty and pain — and he began to long for death. Sitting on the ground he moaned and groaned and muttered to the god of Death to come and take him to the next world. Yama, in his mercy, heard the cry, appeared, and approached him in the forest.
“You summoned me?” said Yama, “What may I do for you?”
Getting nervous, the old man answered, “I — I just wanted you to help me put this load of wood onto my back!”
- Srimad Bhagavatam