A shepherd boy was driving his herd to a nearby wood. On his way, he caught sight of a small shining piece of stone very beautiful in shape too. He picked it up and thought: "How beautiful is this stone, how nice it would be if I tie it round the neck of my little lamb." He managed to tie it around the little lamb's neck. He loved to watch his pet lamb frisking about with the bright stone shining in the sun.
One day as usual he was resting under a big tree, keeping a watchful eye on the lamb grazing along with the flock. Just then, a person, on horseback came to rest under the same tree. He observed the lad often looking again and again at the pet lamb and shining stone too. That man being a dealer in precious gems could at once make out that it was a rare piece of gem. He decided to possess it. He entered into an informal conversation with the boy. The boy being simple-minded told him how he had chanced to find that shining piece of stone. The dealer said: "My dear boy! I shall give you fifty rupees, will you give me that stone?" The boy thought: "Oh, fifty rupees! I can buy many colourful beads and stones like this for my lamb. Why can't I give the stone to this man?" He took fifty rupees and gave away the stone to the man.
The dealer in precious gems at once left that place on his horse. He wanted to examine the gem closely and assess its value. So, he halted at a place and sat under a tree. He took the piece of stone and held it in his palm and thought: "Oh, it is really a fortune! It would sell for one lakh of rupees and I got it only for fifty." Just then the gem split itself into several pieces which scattered in the dust. The dealer was puzzled, shocked and disappointed. He heard these words from somewhere. "Oh man! You being a dealer in precious gems and knowing its high value, have cheated the boy and got it from him at the price of a glass bead. You are mean and greedy. So you are not worthy of possessing that gem. That simple-minded shepherd boy loved the gem though he did not know its value. He considered it as a good ornament for his dear lamb." The guilty merchant frightened by what he heard got on the horseback and fled away.
Deceit and trickery may bring a fortune, but never true happiness in our life. Only honest dealings ensure a life of self-satisfaction, peace and joy.
~ Sri Sathya Sai Baba ~