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Force 99

There once lived A sheth who was a wealthy businessman. Next to him lived a poor man who sweated out his whole day in hard labour. In fact, his whole family, wife and children worked hard at menial jobs. Whatever they earned, they spent. After their daily supper, they would relax and pray to God, then retire comfortably to sleep. Next morning, they would rise, pray to God and go off to work. Yet they were content, happy and relaxed.

On the other hand, the wealthy sheth was always edgy, hasty and tense. He would not even spend money on decent food. His only desire was to earn money - to collect more and more of it. And so he never found time free to relax or enjoy life. One day, the sheth's wife complained, ''Look at the poor man and his family next door. They earn very little, yet they live happily. They eat well, pray well and enjoy life together.

Whereas we have much and yet enjoy not a moment of peace!'' The sheth readily replied, ''He has not yet encountered Force 99, and so he lives peacefully.'' ''What's Force 99?'' the wife inquired. ''I'll show you soon when the time comes,'' the sheth, answered. That very night, the sheth packed a small bag with 99 rupees and threw it into the hut of his neighbour. Next morning when the family awoke, they saw the bag.

They opened it and counted the money! Then the couple thought, ''If we save one rupee then it would make a complete hundred!'' From then onwards to save that one rupee they began to go out to work very early and return late at night. Tired and exhausted, they would go straight to bed without a word! They cut down on food to save money. When after some days a rupee was saved, they thought, ''If we work hard like this we should be able to save 100 rupees every year!'' And so their greed grew. They began work before sunrise and returned home late in the dark. They ate less and cheap food. And even stopped their daily prayers.

The sheth's wife noticed this. "The labourers are no longer to be seen in their home. They never relax or pray! What on earth has happened to them?" she asked. The sheth explained, ''Did I not tell you that when Force 99 hits you, this happens. They've just been struck by Force 99!'' If we are struck by Force 99, the drive to just earn money, to gather more and more, we lose our peace.
Hence, he who is content and satisfied is the wealthiest of all.

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© 1999, Bochasanwasi Shree Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, Swaminarayan Aksharpith