The Plate of Gold

One day a wonderful plate made of gold fell from Heaven into the court of a temple at Benares. On the plate were inscribed these words “ A gift from Heaven to him who loves the best.” The priests at once made the proclamation that every day at twelve o’ clock, all who would like to claim the plate should assemble at the temple, to have their kind deeds judged.

Every day for the whole year all kinds of holy men, hermits, scholars and nobles came, and related to the priests there deeds of charity, and the priests heard their claims. At last they decided that the one who seemed to be the greatest lover of mankind was a rich man who had that very year had given all his wealth to the poor. So they gave him the plate of gold. But when he took it his hand, it turned into lead. On seeing this he dropped it on the floor and to every ones surprise it turned into gold again.

Many more people came, who were awarded the plate by the priest on their claiming that they were the lover of mankind but the same thing happened. This meant that the Heaven didn’t consider them worthy of the gift. Meanwhile many beggars came to the temple hoping that the people coming to the temple to claim the plate would give them alms to prove that they are worthy of the golden plate.

At last one day a peasant, who had heard nothing about the plate of gold came there. He was so touched by the miserable sight of the beggars that he wept for them. He saw a poor, blind person at the temple gate, he knelt and helped him. He comforted him with his kind words. When he reached the temple, he was shocked to see men boasting of their deeds and quarrelling with the priest. One priest, who was holding the plate, seeing the peasant standing there, beckoned to him. The peasant came and knowing nothing about the plate took it in his hand. At once it shone out with three times its former splendor, and the priest said: “ Son, the gift is yours: for you love the best.”


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