Even the richest person can be poor if he’s always hungry for more than he has. Great Master tells us:
Wealth or poverty depend on the absence or presence of desires, respectively. He who has no desires is rich. He who does not desire anything is a sovereign.
Maharaj Sawan Singh, Spiritual Gems
The Jesuit priest Anthony de Mello illustrates this truth with a telling story.
When a sannyasi reached the outskirts of the village and settled under a tree for the night, a villager came running up to him and said, “The stone! The stone! Give me the precious stone!”
“What stone?” asked the sannyasi.
“Last night Lord Shiva told me in a dream that if I went to the outskirts of the village at dusk a sannyasi would give me a stone that would make me rich forever.”
The sannyasi rummaged in his sack and, pulling out a stone, he said, “He probably meant this one. I found it in the forest yesterday. Here, it’s yours if you want it.”
The man gazed at the stone in wonder. It was the largest diamond in the world – the size of a man’s head.
All night he tossed about in bed. At break of day he woke the sannyasi and said, “Give me the wealth that makes it possible for you to give this stone away.”
The Song of the Bird