“A Glimpse of Heaven”

Lakshminarayan was a naive boy who cherished the bedtime stories his grandmother told him every night. She would weave tales of mystical realms like the serpent world, the underworld, the moon world, and the sun world. One evening, she described heaven so beautifully that Lakshminarayan became determined to see it for himself.

Despite his grandmother explaining that humans cannot see heaven, Lakshminarayan cried himself to sleep. In his dream, a radiant deity appeared and said, “Child, seeing heaven comes at a price. Just as you pay for a ticket to see the circus, you must pay to see heaven.”

The deity continued, “Your money has no value in heaven. Here, only good deeds and virtues are currency. Keep this small box with you. Each time you do a good deed, a coin will appear in it, and each time you do a bad deed, a coin will vanish. When the box is full, you will be able to see heaven.”

Upon waking, Lakshminarayan found a small box by his pillow. Overjoyed, he took a coin his grandmother gave him and set out. A sick beggar asked for money, but Lakshminarayan was about to leave without giving anything when he saw his teacher, who praised generous students. Wanting to be praised, he gave the coin to the beggar. His teacher commended him, but when he returned home, the box was empty. The deity in his dream explained, “You gave the coin for praise, not for kindness. That’s a transaction, not a virtue.”

The next day, his grandmother gave him two coins. He bought oranges and visited his sick friend Motilal. The doctor had advised giving Motilal orange juice, but his mother, too poor to afford it, wept. Lakshminarayan gave her his oranges, and upon returning home, found two coins shining in his box.

One day, while playing, his younger sister started picking up his toys. When she didn’t listen, he hit her, and she cried. Later, he found many coins had vanished from his box, and he regretted his actions.

From then on, Lakshminarayan resolved never to do wrong. Initially motivated by the coins, he gradually began doing good naturally. His box filled with coins, and he happily anticipated seeing heaven. Carrying the box, he went to his garden and saw an old sage crying under a tree. The sage had lost a similar box filled with coins in the river. Lakshminarayan offered his own box, saying, “Don’t cry, I can fill many more boxes in my lifetime, but you may not.”

The story illustrates the value of genuine kindness and the idea that true virtue is its own reward, not to be tainted by the desire for recognition or gain.

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