The Generous Laxmiben
This is a true story that happened about
eight hundred years ago.
One day a sad and gloomy visitor was sitting
outside the door of Jain upashraya, in the city of Karnavati. He was poor
and was looking for shelter. He was a follower of the Jain religion.
That day as usual, a Jain shravika named
Laxmiben came to the upashraya. After finishing her rituals, while she was
leaving the Upashraya, she saw the visitor. She affectionately asked him "I
have never seen you here. Did you come from out of town?" The man replied,
"Yes madam, I have come from Rajasthan."
She asked, "Are you alone?"
"No, I have my children with me."
"What brings you here?"
"I am looking for work."
"Oh!!!" Laxmiben thought for a moment and
"What is your name?"
"Where are you staying?"
"I have not found a place to stay."
"Do not worry brother come with me. My house
is your house, You can stay with me for a while. I will do my best to help
Uda with surprise kept listening to this
generous and kind lady. He thought very highly of this place where people
are generous even to strangers. Uda felt good and thought he was lucky.
He and his children came with Laxmiben to her
house. She gave them food and let them stay in one of her vacant houses.
While staying there, Uda slowly started saving money by working hard. After
a while, he thought of carrying out some repairs in the old house which he
He went to Laxmiben and asked for permission
to start the repairing. She replied that she had already given the house to
him, and he could do whatever he liked. Uda felt thankful and carried out
some badly needed repairs.
After a few months however the old house fell
down. Uda therefore decided to rebuild, it and started digging the
foundation. While digging he found a valuable treasure hidden under the
ground. Uda believed that the treasure belonged to Laxmiben since it was her
house. He therefore went to Laxmiben and offered the treasure to her.
Laxmiben was however a true Laxmidevi (goddess of wealth) by heart. She
refused to accept it and said, "Are you kidding? That is not my house any
more. I gave it to you long back. Now, why should I have any connection with
Uda tried hard to persuade her, but Laxamiben
did not change her mind. She did not even touch the treasure. At last Uda
had to take it back with him. Now, Uda was no longer poor. He became Udayan
Laxmiben is praiseworthy. She had a very
generous heart. Even though she herself was an average woman, she helped
others without asking for anything in return. She gave one of her houses to
a stranger, because he belonged to the same religious faith. She did not
even think of keeping the treasure.
Generosity is a great virtue and it is a sign
of true religious feeling. Laxmiben will be remembered for her generosity.
We must try to be generous like her.
1) Where was the stranger sitting?
2) What religion did the man follow?
3) Who noticed him sitting there?
4) What did Laxmiben offer him?
5) How did Laxmiben treat him and his
6) What happened when Uda was reconstructing
7) What did Uda do about the treasure he
8) What did Laxmiben do about the treasure?
9) What is the moral of this story?