Once there was a wise monk who lived in a humble hut in a hermitage. Many different people would come to him for a piece of advice. One day, a rich man came to ask the monk the question that was bothering him. He had made a great fortune and had lots of money and gold in his safe. He was convinced that wealth was the most important thing in life and without it man wouldn't be able to survive. But people emphasized the importance of religion. He couldn't understand why? He shared his thoughts with the monk. The monk did not reply.
Hoping to get the answer to his question the rich man stayed at the hermitage for the night. It was getting dark and a lamp was lighted in the hut. The night came and it was time to go to bed but the lamp was still on. The rich man asked the monk why the lamp was still burning.
The monk answered, "Because it is dark."
The light prevented the rich man to fall asleep. He was trying to fall asleep but couldn't and asked the monk, "How long will the lamp burn?" The monk replied, "Till it is dark".
The rich man's eyes opened and he understood the answer to his question. His inner voice told him that people needed religion because of immoral and unethical issues in mankind. As long as human vices like immorality and indiscreetness thrive people will need religion.
Once upon a time there was a very kind king who was very generous to his subjects. He developed farming to eliminate hunger in his kingdom and did everything possible to ensure that everyone had clothing to wear and home to live in. He cared about the welfare of his people and even built hospitals to treat the sick. He did his best to make his subjects happy and prosperous.
However, people in his kingdom felt that it was not enough. They were never satisfied and made one demand after another. At first the king tried to fulfill every demand of his people. But soon he realized that the wants of the people were unlimited while the resources available to him were limited. Having understood this the king got distressed, and finally he fell sick. He was treated by the best doctors but everything was in vain.
One day, a monk was passing by the kingdom. When he heard that the king was sick he went to see him. The king explained the reason of his unhappiness and asked him for help. The monk replied, "Oh king, your unhappiness stems in you. You have forgotten that one's desires cannot be fulfilled completely. It is the nature of all the people to want more and more. Desires are like vines that spread all the time. It is impossible to become happy by fulfilling one's desires. The best remedy for happiness is curtailing them."
The king realized that he had been wrong. He corrected his mistake and completely recovered. When his people found out what piece of advice the monk had given to the king, they realized the truth, and soon became content and happy.
One man had a great desire to see God. One day he decided to ask a monk if he could help him meet with God. The monk agreed and told the man to come to the same spot the following day in the morning. He explained that they will walk to the top of the mountain and there his wish would be fulfilled.
The following day when the man came the monk gave him a backpack and asked him to carry it while they climbed the mountain. As they climbed, the man got tired very quickly as the backpack was rather heavy. He complained to the monk that he was tired and it was difficult for him to walk further. The monk replied, "That's not a problem. There are five stones in the backpack and you can throw away one of them." The man followed the monk's piece of advice and continued his walking towards the mountain top.
But soon the man felt tired and the monk allowed him to throw away one more stone to make the backpack less heavy. That helped but not for long. Finally, the man had to remove all the stones from the backpack and when they reached the top of the mountain the backpack was empty. Then the man asked the monk if he could have a face to face meeting with God.
The monk became very serious and replied that the man failed to climb the mountain with five stones in his backpack. How could he expect to see God without throwing away the huge rocks of greed, lust, pride, anger and delusion?
The man's eyes were opened. He realized that by eliminating the passions of lust, anger, greed, delusion and pride a person would be able to achieving godliness.