There were two brothers. One was greedy and the other was greedier. They wouldn’t feed anyone, neither would they eat. When there is sun light they would eat. But at night, they would not even light any candle, because they may have to spend some amount on oil. So they used to eat outside and close the door at the night and sleep. One day they received a bad news, a very near and dear relative died. They had to go. They received the news in the evening time. They wanted to go early in the morning by walking and not spend any money on buses or taxi. He took a bag.
He took a dress for the next day which he has to wear for the occasion. That dress was washed once in fifty years! If it is washed, it will look as if it is used, but if it is kept like that, then it would look ever new. Hence he would not wash it! The elder brother was supposed to leave in the midnight, so he asked his younger brother to light the lamp. He brought the lamp and lighted it. He collected his bag and started walking. After reaching three fourth of the distance, he wondered whether the younger brother would have switched of the lamp before sleeping and whether he forgot to switch it off and the lamp would be burning all night. So to see and tell this, he started walking back. At the other side, the younger brother put off the lamp and when he was going to keep lamp inside, he was bitten by a scorpion. Later his elder brother came and knocked the door.
As the door opened, he heard the loud cry and when he entered inside he asked his younger brother whether he put off the lamp. Then the younger brother replied that because of switching off the lamp only, he got bitten by the scorpion. The younger brother asked his brother how he came so early. He replied that he had come only to see whether he had put off the lamps or not. Then his younger brother felt sad for him that because he walked all this distance, his slippers would have been worn out! The elder brother then said, “Do you think I am such a fool, I have not worn any slippers and had kept them in his bag lest they get worn out!!” Such foolish and greedy were these brothers. They both died without doing anything for the society. They never ate and never gave others to eat. All their property was taken over by the government. What a fate they had!
Life without sacrifice is a wicked life. That is why the Vedas declare: “Na Karamana, Na Prajaya, Dhanena, Tyagenaike, Amritatwa Manashuhu” – Immortality is attained only through sacrifice. Why is it said so in the Vedas? It is said so because it is important. You may perform a number of Yagnas and Yagas, they are the path of action. You may have progeny or big family; they will never send you to the higher realms. It is only your merits that will take you to heights. You should sacrifice money also. Then only you gain immortality. Having known all these, you behave as though you don’t know anything. It is not a big mistake when one who is ignorant and commits the mistake. But if someone knowing the importance commits the mistake, it is a greater mistake.