A barber was passing beneath a haunted tree.  He heard a voice saying, “Will you accept seven jars filled with gold coins?”  Although he could not see anyone, yet he cried aloud accepting the offer.  Immediately, he got the reply that the jars had been carried to his house.  He ran home and with astonishment saw the seven jars.  Six of them were full of gold coins, but the last one was only half full.  Now a strong desire arose in the barber’s mind to fill the seventh jar too for without that his happiness would be incomplete.  He sold all possessions and bought gold coins and put them into the jar, but the mysterious vessel was as before i.e. half filled.  He began to starve and save money.  He humbly requested the king to increase his pay and got it sanctioned.  Day and night he tried in vain to acquire more gold coins and fill up the jar, but the elusive goal remained unfulfilled.  Seeing his sad plight, the king one day asked him what the matter was with him.  He further asked the barber whether he had got the seven jars.  The barber was stunned by this question and wanted to know who the informer was.  The king said that he himself had been offered once the same jars, but when he asked whether the money might be spent or was to be merely hoarded, the announcer vanished.  The king advised the barber to give up the seven jars and thus restore his peace of mind.  The barber immediately renounced the gold and when he returned home, he found that the seven jars had vanished as mysteriously as they had appeared.  Of course, with that his lifelong savings had also vanished.

Sri Ramakrishna used to say that one should guard oneself against temptations of greed.  Succumbing to them man loses his health, wealth, peace of mind and everything.

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