Who is a Greater SaintOnce, Ravindranath Tagore went to Japan. He gave discourses on his book Geetanjali for ten days from 6 PM to 7 PM every day. An old man used to come to attend his discourses every day. He used to garland him with roses very humbly. He used to reach there much before the discourse time and used to get up after Ravindranath Tagore had got up - his behavior was very down to earth. He used to listen to each and every word of the discourse and tried to apply that in his life. Dressed in very simple clothes, that old man was highly impressed with Ravindranath Tagore.
After Ravindranath used to complete his discourse many people used to touch his feet to show their gratitude every day. None of the people who came to attend the discourse ever thought how much treasure each one of them was taking with him after listening to the discourse on the reality of soul. All those who leave the discourse assembly after listening to just a few words from the discourses don't really know how disrespectful they are towards their own life.
That old man used to bow in front of Tagore every day. After the last discourse was over, people offered gold coins, money, fruits, flowers etc. at the feet of Tagore, but that old man offered him nothing and said to him : "Please pay a visit to my home tomorrow. I'll be grateful."
Ravindranath Tagore was already very pleased with the devotion and dedication of the old man and therefore he instantly accepted his invitation. The eyes of the old man were filled with tears of joy when Tagore accepted his invitation. Tagore told his assistant that the old man is very emotional and he should see that he does not spend beyond his capacity to make preparations and also he should give 200 Yen to his kids.
The old man got a Rolls Royce car sharp at 3:45 PM at the door of Tagore's guest room. Tagore had told him that he would go to his house at four in the evening. They smoothly drove in that car to a huge mansion on top of a hill. The watchman saluted and opened the main gate. As they entered the gates, Tagore saw many gentlemen and women welcoming his arrival. They took him inside. They made him sit on a chair made of gold with silken cushions. They served several rich eatables in 200 dishes made of gold and silver. The members of the family worshipped Tagore and sat at his feet.
Ravindranath was astonished with all this. He said: "Where have you brought me? Take me to your home. Why have you brought me to this mansion?"
The old man dressed in simple clothes said: "Oh Saint! This is my house. That Rolls Royce car is all mine and I have five more of these cars. There are two chairs made of gold in my house. All these people who are bowing in front of you are my sons, grandsons and great grandsons. She is the mother of my sons. And they are my daughters-in- law. Swamiji! I have two factories. "
"Oh! You are so rich and still you used to be dressed in such simple clothes when you used to come to attend the discourses."
The old man said politely - "Oh Saint! I believe that material richness and physical appearance do not reflect the real personality. It is foolish to feel proud of the money that cannot buy the richness of the soul. One never knows when that money will be lost. Also he who keeps guarding this material richness and does not bother about the precious richness of soul is really careless.
The material richness has no use beyond this world. Oh Saint! What is the value of this material richness as compared to the richness of true knowledge and devotion? The former is just making me working hard but the richness that you have given me is giving me the real happiness. It is the true knowledge of soul which is protecting me. I'm grateful to you for the rest of my life.
I have spent whole of my life in collecting that money which could not give me peace and happiness but each hour of yours showed me the light. I wore simple clothes because I was a beggar at your gate waiting to get the richness of soul from you. Oh Lord! I'm obliged!"
Ravindranath's heart was filled with happiness. Where there is respect for true knowledge, there is respect for life. Even the material richness stays at places where there is respect for the words of saints. He said: "Oh rich man! You are not attached to material richness and have respect for the richness of soul that is why you are rich in real sense. I also feel obliged today. After meeting a devotee like you even I feel that my discourses served the purpose. People keep asking for material comforts and waste the precious time wherever I go. But you are wise. You do not ask for material wealth and still God is giving that to you. Maybe God has sent me to quench your thirst for true knowledge.."
The one who is not attached to his wealth but surrenders his ego at the feet of the great saints after listening to the divine words about the Great God who is the basis of the whole universe, is rich in real sense.