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Punya Alone Is Valued Even After Death – Story

A story which narrates that punya or meritorious deed is valued even after death.

Once there was a rich man in a village. He was a great miser who loved his money very dearly. He never spent the money, nor gave anything to anyone. Suddenly one day he realized that he will eventually die one day. He did not want to part with his money when he died. 

He went to the priest of the temple and asked, “Sir, when I die can I take my money with me?” The priest replied, “What a foolish man you are! Has anyone taken his wealth with him when he died? When a man dies, his children fight over his wealth. Strangers cheat the children and take a part of the wealth for themselves. A man spends all his life earning wealth only to find that either the wealth leaves him, or he must leave the wealth at the time of his death.” The miser cried out aloud and ran back to his money hoarded in his house. He could not bear the idea that he must part away from his wealth.

Whenever any pundit visited the village, he asked him the same question. The pundits pitied him and explained that he could not take even a broken needle with him. The miser spent sleepless nights in great agony.

One day, Guru Nanak came to the village. The miser asked the great saint, “Oh holy sir, I have spent all my life in earning wealth. I understand that I will die one day. I want to take my wealth with me when I die. Everyone says that I cannot do so. Is there any way by which I can take my wealth with me?” 

Guru Nanak looked at him with great love and replied, “Oh dear, you have worked hard all your life to earn this wealth. Surely it is yours. You can take it with you when you die.” 

The miser jumped with joy. Finally, he had found a saint who spoke words of nectar. He fell at the feet of the saint and asked, “Oh great sir, your words have brought me great joy. Please tell me how I can take my wealth with me when I die. No one whom I have met so far seems to know how it can be done.”

Guru Nanak then asked him, “Have you travelled to foreign countries?” The miser said, “Oh yes, several times. I have travelled to several countries to do business. That is how I have earned all my wealth.”

Nanak asked, “Is the local currency useful in the foreign countries?” The miser replied, “No. They all have different currencies. But I can buy gold and gems for the local currency here and take them with me. Gold and gems are valued in all countries.” 

Guru Nanak then declared, “Yes. So, you must do the same with your wealth. The local currency, and even gold and gems are not valued in the world after death. You need to convert all your wealth into a form that is valued across death.” 

The miser replied, “Yes. You are right. Please tell me into which form should I convert all my wealth into?”

Nanakji answered, “Punya or meritorious deeds are the only one that is valued even after death. Spend your wealth for the good of the society by building schools, hospitals and temples. With your money help people in distress. This way, you can convert your wealth into punya. Whatever you have converted into punya by such activities can be taken with you when you die. Whatever you have still left as currency, gold, gems, land, houses, etc., must be left back here. You cannot take them with you when you die.”

The rich man was very happy. He did not remain a miser any longer. He lived a simple life, and spent all his wealth for the good of the society.