August 29: The International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2013


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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The International Day Against Nuclear Tests 2012 - Logo

“A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.”
– Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General

Nuclear Explosion

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Nuclear weapons testing began with the first test on July 16, 1945 by the United States of America. Since then, nearly 2,000 nuclear tests have taken place. There has been scant consideration of the devastating effects of nuclear testing on human life, and no clear understanding of nuclear fallout from atmospheric tests. In the early years, having nuclear weapons meant scientific sophistication and military might.

Today’s nuclear weapons are far more powerful and destructive. History has brought to light the terrifying and tragic effects of testing nuclear weapons, especially when controlled conditions go astray.

On September 10, 1996, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) – the main mechanism for eradicating nuclear weapons testing by a large majority, exceeding two-thirds of the General Assembly’s Membership. It opened for signature in New York on September 24, 1996, and 71 States signed it, including five of the eight then nuclear-capable states. This international instrument, to put an end to all forms of nuclear testing has yet to enter into force. To date, 183 countries have signed the treaty and 159 have ratified and another 24 states have signed, but not ratified it. For the Treaty to come into force, States with significant nuclear capabilities must ratify it. There are still eight countries that will not ratify: China, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Pakistan and the United States.

Subsequent incidents worldwide brought about the need to observe an International Day against Nuclear Tests.

The 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly held on December 2, 2009, declared 29 August as the International Day against Nuclear Tests through the unanimous adoption of its resolution 64/35 . The Preamble of the resolution emphasizes that “every effort should be made to end nuclear tests to avert  devastating and harmful effects on the lives and health of people” and that “the end of nuclear tests is one of the key means of achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world.

The resolution was initiated by the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with a large number of sponsors and cosponsors to commemorate the closure of the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Test site on 29 August 1991 where the Soviet Union conducted 456 nuclear tests from 1949 until 1989 with little regard for their effect on the local people or environment.

The year 2010 marked the inaugural commemoration of the International Day against Nuclear Tests. Since then, each year, August 29th,has been observed as the International Day against Nuclear Tests by coordinating various activities throughout the world, such as symposia, conferences, exhibits, competitions, publications, instruction in academic institutions, media broadcasts and others. A number of events have been held at United Nations Headquarters, as well. Similar activities are planned for the 2013 observance.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General has clearly stated: “A world free of nuclear weapons would be a global public good of the highest order.”

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Hindu Muslim Bhai Bhai


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Myself 

By T.V. Antony Raj

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Krishna Janmashtami - 2

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Today, while Hindus all over the world are celebrating Krishna Janmashtami, I was flipping through my vast collection of photographs harvested from the World Wide Web. I came across photographs that heartened my soul with love for my country where my Hindu and Muslim brethren coexist as a closely knit family.

THIS IS MY BELOVED INDIA!

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A Poem Published Under Several Names: “Look Closer”, “Kate”, “Crabbit Old Woman” …


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Recently, I came across the following post on Facebook:

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value. Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, They found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Melbourne. The old man’s sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas editions of magazines around the country and appearing in mags for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this ‘anonymous’ poem winging across the Internet.

Cranky Old Man

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be there, too!

PLEASE SHARE THIS POEM.

The best and most beautiful things of this world can’t be seen or touched. They must be felt by the heart!

In the above post, the story that introduces the poem is fictional. In fact, the origin of the poem is not known for sure. The claim that the poem was found among the belongings of an elderly male resident of a geriatric ward of a nursing home in an Australian country town has not been proved nor was it found among the possessions of any other old man who died in a hospital in Florida, or in any other equally fictional hospital in the United States.

An American poet, David L. Griffith of Fort Worth, Texas, adapted the original poem known under various names, changed the gender of the protagonist from an old woman to an old man and called it: “Too Soon Old.” The currently circulating version of the poem called the “Cranky Old Man” is a variant of the Griffith’s poem. It is also known as a “Crabby Old Man.”

Too Soon Old by David L. Griffith

What do you see, my friends, what do you see… what are you thinking when you’re looking at me?

A crabby old man, one not very wise, uncertain of habit, with far away eyes.
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply… when you say in a loud voice, “I wish you’d try?”
Who seems not to notice the things that you do, and forever is losing a sock or shoe.
Who, resisting or not, lets you do as you will… with bathing and feeding, the long day to fill.

Is that what you’re thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes my friends, you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still, as I live at your bidding, as I enjoy company at your will.

I’m a small child of ten with a father and mother, brothers and sisters, who love one another.
A young boy of sixteen, a football in his hands and with wings on his feet, dreaming that soon now a lover he’ll meet.
A marine soon at eighteen — my heart gives a leap, remembering the oath that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five now, I have a platoon of my own, ‘who need me to guide them and secure a trip home.
A man of thirty, my youth now going too fast, hopefully bound to others with ties that should last.
At fifty my daughter and sons have grown and are gone, and I have no one beside me to see I don’t mourn.
At sixty no more babies play round my knee, again I know heartbreak, my loneliness and me.
Dark days are upon me, my dreams are all dead; I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing young of their own, and I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m now an old man and nature is cruel; ’tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles, grace and vigor depart, there is now a stone where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass a young man still dwells, and now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain, and I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years; all too few.
Gone too fast, and accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, my friends, open and see, not a crabby old man; look closer — see ME!!

~ © 1986-2001-2010 ~ ~ David L. Griffith ~

Crabbit Old Woman
Old Woman (Photo: Elaine Short)

The original poem itself has a long and somewhat perplexing history. It features an old woman as the protagonist rather than an old man and is set in the United Kingdom. Originating from a non-academic source, humbly vernacular in form, it has no obvious value beyond the immediate feelings it provokes on reading.

The poem has been included in various publications under different titles in the United Kingdom often accompanied by the claim that a copy of the original poem was found by the nursing staff among the belongings of an old woman named Kate who died in a hospital’s geriatric ward. Some versions claim that the hospital was located in Scotland. Others claim the hospital was in England or Wales.

A key contributory factor to this poem are the stories of its origins, stories which almost always accompany the poem wherever it appears and which, like the poem’s own words, is virtually unchanged since those early days such as:

The writer of this poem was unable to speak, although was seen to write from time to time. After her death, her locker was emptied, and this poem of her life was found. (Searle, 1973, p. 8).

and more recently:

Get the hankies ready…this one’ll get ya!

Crabbit old woman’s life has ended in a nursing home. While the nurse is
packing her meagre possessions, she finds a poem written to the staff of the
hospital by the apparently senile and mindless old lady. (Rexanne.com, 2005).

Another version of the origin of the poem says that it was found at Ashludie Hospital, Dundee; that copies were duplicated and distributed to all nurses in the hospital; that a young nurse at the hospital sent a copy to ‘Beacon House News’ at the Northern Ireland Association for Mental Health’; and, that the author’s name was not known.

From time to time the mystery of the poem’s origins suraces. For example, in 2003, an entry on Seniors Network UK, mentions ‘Mattie’s Poem’, with the story that

Mattie was a very dear family friend. She had been a very bright 90 year-old but her body was badly ravaged by time – she died in the Geriatric Ward of a hospital in Lanarkshire in Scotland.

According to credible reports Phyllis Mabel McCormack might have penned it in early 1960s when she was a nurse at Sunnyside Hospital in Montrose, a coastal resort town and former royal burgh in Angus, Scotland. Originally entitled “Look Closer” she wrote it for publication in the Sunnyside Chronicle, a magazine produced by the staff of Sunnyside Royal Hospital, Montrose, for circulation within the hospital. She submitted it anonymously as she felt it was critical of some of her colleagues.

In 2005, Joanna Bornat in her work “Empathy and stereotype: the work of a popular poem“, a report for ‘Perspectives on Dementia Care‘, 5th Annual Conference on Mental Health and Older, notes:

Amongst the responses to a small survey which I carried out in 1998 while researching attitudes to the poem was a cutting from the Daily Mail newspaper in which the son of Phyllis McCormack, whose name is often linked with the poem as its discoverer, explained:

My mother, Phyllis McCormack, wrote this poem in the early Sixties when she was a nurse at Sunnyside Hospital in Montrose.

Originally entitled Look Closer Nurse, the poem was written for a small magazine for Sunnyside only Phyllis was very shy and submitted her work anonymously.

A copy of the magazine was lent to a patient at Ashludie Hospital, Dundee, who copied it in her own handwriting and kept it in her bedside locker. When she died, the copy was found and submitted to the Sunday Post newspaper, attributed to the Ashludie patient.

Since my mother’s death in 1994 her work has travelled all over the world… – (Daily Mail, 12 March 1998).

Somehow this explanation rings true, though it immediately begs the question of how the origin story was constructed in the first place and whether the poem depends on an apparent myth for its continuing appeal. Encounters have been mixed as responses to the 1998 survey suggested.

These intriguingly mysterious origins greatly add to the poem’s effect. The story of a mute, unidentified and neglected woman creates pathos. It is a parable for ageing times with lessons about listening to our elders and empathy towards older people.

The poem is written in the voice of an old woman in a nursing home who is reflecting upon her life. Here is the original poem in full:

I have reproduced theoriginal poem below entitled “Crabbit Old Woman.” In Scottish, Crabbit means “bad-tempered” or “grumpy”. It has also been known variously as: “Kate”, “Look Closer”, “Look Closer Nurse”, “Open Your Eyes” or “What Do You See?”

Crabbit Old Woman

What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
Are you thinking when you are looking at me
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with faraway eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice ‘I do wish you’d try’
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And for ever is losing a stocking or shoe.
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding, the long day to fill
Is that what you are thinking, is that what you see,
Then open your eyes, nurses, you’re not looking at me.

I’ll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I used at your bidding, as I eat at your will,
I am a small child of ten with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters who love one another,
A young girl of 16, with wings on her feet
Dreaming that soon now a lover she’ll meet;
A bride at 20, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep
At 25, now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure, happy home;
A women of 30, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last,
At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone;
But my man’s beside me to see I don’t mourn;
At 50, once more babies play around my knee.
Again we know children, my loved one and me
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own
And I think of the years and the love that I’ve known.

I’m an old woman now and nature is cruel
’tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where once was a heart
But inside this old carcass a young girl still dwells
And now and again my battered heart swells
I remember the joys I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few – gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.

So open your eyes, nurses, open and see
Not a crabbit old women, look closer — see me.

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What Do American and Indian Movies Teach Us?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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Most of us are fools, for having nothing better to do than watch movies and soap operas, glued to the ‘idiot-box’. Here are a few things that I learned watching movies especially the American and Indian varieties.

american-flag2

American movies teach us:

01. More than 50% of the US population work for the US government and are invariably FBI or CIA agents.

02. The people belonging to communist or Islāmic countries are morbidly insane. Their sole purpose in life is to spy on US and kill god fearing innocent Americans.

03. The main purpose of the school system of US is to promote American Football, Basketball and Baseball.

04. All Chinese, Japanese and Koreans have nothing better to do than teach or practice Judo, Karate, or Kung Fu.

05. The Aliens from outer space either look like Steven Spielberg’s lovable serene ET or have a face with tentacles as in Schwarzenegger’s Predator and drool and salivate like mad dogs. Their blood is never red.

06. Aliens from outer space show special interest in US than any other country in the world. The UFOs always attack the Empire State Building first and then the White House. The US president will immediately board the Air Force One to escape the wrath of the aliens.

07. It is dangerous to travel to sparsely inhabited townships in the US even during day time because they might be inhabited by zombies.

08. Never wander on lonely roads and woods in US at night because they harbor werewolves and vampires.

09. The DNA information of each US citizens is available in the National DNA database of the DNA Profile Databank.

10. All Americans are anti-racists.

Indian Tri-Colour flag
Indian movies teach us:

01. The hero will have at least one main sidekick who is always given the role of a comedian.

02. If the heroine too has a sidekick then our hero’s sidekick will invariably tie the wedding knot on this woman in the last scene.

03. All heroes and heroines in Indian cinema know to sing and dance gracefully. When they decide to dance, the scene will shift to a foreign country and a group of
local or foreign guys and girls in uniform will appear from nowhere, and dance along with them, with everyone knowing the steps. After the song is over, the dancers will vanish into thin air.

04. One of the identical twins is always ill-natured.

05. In most cases if the hero is a police inspector than he is sure to arrest a college girl, pickpocket or a club dancer. He then tames the shrew, falls in love with her and
marries her with the blessing of his single mother.

06. Initially, all Indian heroes will get thrashed and flipped about like stuffed toys by the main villain, but our hero will never feel or show pain or sustain any fracture even when beaten with iron rods. The hero will profusely bleed from his mouth but will have all his teeth intact. However, he will wince when the heroine tenderly touches or cleans the clotted blood on his mouth.

07. The main villain is ever surrounded by at least a dozen thugs who clench their fists and grimace trying to look villainous.

08. The hero will single-handedly beat dozens of thugs and finally the main antagonist. Not even his best friend, the sidekick, will come to his aid to fight the villains.

09. While defusing a bomb, the hero or the heroine or the sidekick comedian will always cut the correct wire just one second before the scheduled explosion of the bomb.

10. A detective or a police officer can solve cases only when suspended from duty.

An item common to both American and Indian cinema:

While the hero kills and mauls hundreds of villains on the home front or in battlefields, bullets only graze him.

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50 Common English Phrases That Are Used Incorrectly by Some Writers


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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The-only-thing-Ive-learned-from-my-mistakes

Many probably have their own pet peeves while writing. I am not an authority on writing. When I was young I overcame the writer’s block on reading the masterpiece Say What You Mean” by Rudolf Franz Flesch. Even so, I confess that my grammar is not that good and I do make silly mistakes in my writing.

Here are some common phrases which I have come across that needs everyone’s attention whether they are bloggers or not. I feel the phrases on the left are incorrect,
while the ones on the right seem to be correct.

01: All of my children | All my children

02: A mute point | A moot point

03: Anyways | Anyway

04: Baited breath | Bated breath

05: Begging the question | Raising the question

06: Brother-in-laws | Brothers-in-law

07: Case and point | Case in point

08: Chester drawers | Chest of drawers

09: Circumvent the globe | Circumnavigate the globe

10: Curl up in the feeble position | Curl up in the fetal position

11: Each one worse than the next | Each one worse than the last

12: Expresso coffee | Espresso coffee

13: Extract revenge | Exact revenge

14: Fall by the waste side | Fall by the wayside

15: For all intensive purposes | For all intents and purposes

16: Free reign | Free rein

17: He did good | He did well

18: Head towards the door | Head toward the door

19: Hunger pains | Hunger pangs

20: I’m giving you leadway | I’m giving you leeway

21: I could care less | I couldn’t care less

22: I made a complete 360 degree change in my life | I made a complete 180 degree change in my life

23: Irregardless | Regardless

24: It’s a doggy-dog world | It’s a dog-eat-dog world

25: Jive with | Jibe with

26: Make due | Make do

27: Momento | Memento

28: Near miss | Near hit

29: Nip it in the butt! | Nip it in the bud!

30: Old timer’s disease | Alzheimer’s Disease

31: On accident | By accident

32: On tender hooks | On tenterhooks”

33: One in the same | One and the same

34: Outside of | Outside

35: Pick / Peak my curiosity | Pique my curiosity

36: Runner-ups | Runners-up

37: Scotch / Scott free | Scot free

38: Self-depreciating | Self-deprecating

39: Less than 300 characters | Fewer than 300 characters

40: Should of | Should have

41: Sneak peak | Sneak peek

42: Statue of limitations | Statute of limitations

43: Step foot | Set foot

44: Suppository of information | Repository of information

45: The spitting image | The spit and image

46 They made her an escape goat for the breakup of the family | They made her a scapegoat for the breakup of the family

47: What’s your guyses opinion? | What’s your opinion, guys?

48: Without further adieu / Without further a due | Without further ado

49: Wreck havoc | Wreak havoc

50: You have another thing coming! | You have another think coming!

How to write good

August 23: The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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Slavery

The International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition is observed annually on August 23rd. The Day commemorates the uprising that took place on August 22-23, 1791, when slaves in Saint Domingue, today Haiti, launched an insurrection which ultimately led to the Haitian revolution.

Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General, in a message to mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition said: ““We must teach the names of the heroes of this story, because they are the heroes of all humankind.”

This year is particularly important with many key anniversaries, including:

  • 220 years since France’s General Emancipation decree liberated all slaves in present-day Haiti;
  • 180 years since the Slavery Abolition Act of 1833 ended slavery in Canada, the British West Indies and the Cape of Good Hope;
  • 170 years ago, the Indian Slavery Act of 1843 was signed.

Slavery was also abolished 165 years ago in France; 160 years ago in Argentina; 150 years ago in the Dutch colonies; and 125 years ago in Brazil.

Year 2013 is also the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States, which declared on January 1, 1863: all persons held as slaves within any States, or designated part of the State, the people whereof shall be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.

The Dutch Slave trade in Coromandel coast, India

Many would be surprised to know that the Dutch were precursors of slave trade in India.

Pulicat (Pazhaverkadu) is a historic seashore town in Thiruvallur District, of Tamil Nadu, India. It is about 60 km north of Chennai and 3 km from Elavur, on the barrier island of Sriharikota, which separates Pulicat Lake from the Bay of Bengal.

In 1502, the Portuguese established a trading post in Pulicat with the help of the Vijayanagar rulers. They built a fort there and held this fort until their defeat by the Dutch in 1609.

By 1612, the Dutch established themselves in Pulicat to the north. Till 1690 Pulicat remained the capital of Dutch Coromandel.

The slave trade is one of the oldest trades in the world. Slaves and textiles were the most profitable merchandise exported by the Dutch at Pulicat to their Indian Ocean trade headquarters at Batavia (Jakarta), in exchange for spices such as mace and nutmeg.

Between 1621 and 1665, the Dutch deployed 131 slave ships from Pulicat, to transport 38,441 Indians captured on the Coromandel coast, and sold as slaves to the Dutch plantations in Batavia and to work as domestic helps for the Dutch masters. Those in the age group of 8 to 20 were preferred as slaves for export.

To learn more about the slave trade on the Coromondel coast, I recommend you to read a very informative article titled “Baggage that weighs heavily on the mind” written by P. J. Sanjeeva Raj and published in The Hindu.

Man in the News: The Enigmatic Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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 “The media has created a controversy but what did I say that was wrong? One dog barked and more dogs (the media) joined in. Dogs will bark but they can’t harm an elephant’s dignity.” – Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu

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Today, the newspapers are all agog with the news of the self-proclaimed godman Asaram Bapu being booked by the Delhi Police on Wednesday after an FIR was lodged against him, accusing him of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.

Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu
Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu (Photo credit: OneIndia News)

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Here is the ZeeNews report: “Sexual assault case: Asaram Bapu to be grilled by Jodhpur police

New Delhi: Controversial godman Asaram Bapu will be grilled by the Jodhpur police in connection with the sexual assault case filed against him by a minor, reports said on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters, Jodhpur Police Commissioner said that the spiritual leader will be questioned by the city police as it appears prime facie that he and the victim were present in his ashram on Aug 14-15 when the girl was sexually assaulted by him.

Meanwhile, Asaram Bapu is expected to file an anticipatory bail application in the Rajasthan High Court today, as per reports.

On Tuesday evening, a 16-year-old girl submitted a complaint at the Kamala Market police station in central Delhi, alleging she was sexually assaulted by Asaram at a Jodhpur ashram where she had gone for treatment.

The ashram has now been sealed.

Read More …

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Who is this Asaram Bapu?

Asaram Bapu also known as Sant Shri Asharamji Bapu is a 72-year-old self-styled godman, a Hindu spiritual leader from India, a friend to the rich and the powerful. He was born Asumal Sirumalani on April 17, 1941, in the Berani village of the Nawabshah District in undivided India (present day Pakistan), to Menhgiba and Thaumal Sirumalani.

His father died when he was young and he pursued meditation and spirituality under his mother’s guidance who taught him the rudiments of spirituality and meditation other.

He left his family, traveled the country and eventually, reached Vrindavan, a town in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh, India, where he entered the ashram of guru Lilashah Maharaj, a disciple and student of Vedic Acharya Keshavaram.

Through his wife Lakshmi Devi, Asaram Bapu has one son, Narayan Prem Sai, and a daughter named Bharti Devi.

Asaram Bapu preaches the existence of One Supreme Conscious and claims Bhakti yoga, Gnana yoga and Karma yoga as influences. His spiritual discourses have been scheduled in different Indian cities like Ahmedabad, Patna, and devotees also took diksha from him in these satsang programs. In December 2001, around 20,000 students visited his satsang in Ahmedabad.

In August 2012, while Asaram Bapu was on his way to deliver a lecture in a local college, his helicopter crashed while landing at Godhra. Asaram Bapu, his pilot, and the other passengers survived the crash unharmed.

The Dark Side of Asaram Bapu

Though he is considered a godman by his followers, there are lots of controversies surrounding him.

~ Land encroachment in Navsari district

In 2000, the Gujarat government allocated about 10 acres of land in Bhairavi village of Navsari district to the Asaram Ashram. The local villagers protested and filed complaints to the district authorities when the ashram encroached on an additional six acres of land. After notices were repeatedly ignored, the district authorities bulldozed the encroachments and took possession of the land with police assistance.

~ Land grab in Madhya Pradesh

In 2001, the Yog Vedanta Samiti of Asaram Bapu was reportedly given permission to use the premises of the Mangalya temple in Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh for 11 days for a satsang. After the satsang, the samiti failed to vacate the premises. Now, 12 later they have still not vacated the premises and continue to occupy a total of 100 acres of land, valued at over 700 crores. The land belongs to the now defunct Jayant Vitamins Limited. However, Asaram Bapu denies any involvement in the land encroachment, saying the report are baseless and untenable

~ Deaths of Ashram’s Gurukul students

Asaram and his son Narayan Sai were in the public eye after the mysterious deaths of two boys.

On July 3, 2008, two boys, Dipesh Vaghela, aged 10 years, and Abhishek Vaghela, aged 11, cousins studying at Ashram’s Gurukul (residential school) at Motera went missing. Their decomposed bodies were found on the Sabarmati river bed near Asaram Bapu’s ashram on July 5, 2008.

A commission was set up io probe the mysterious death of two boys. Praful Vaghela, the father of one of the deceased, believes that the children were killed as a result of tantric ritual. Following public outcry, the CID who took over the case after a year of probing filed a complaint of culpable homicide and booked seven sadhaks (spiritual aspirants) of the Ashram’s ashram.

The CID, in its report, stated that Dipesh and Abhishek may have died because of drowning as per their postmortem examination report. However, the report mentioned that though the CID found no direct evidence of tantra sadhna and black magic practises at the ashram, the accused had failed lie detection tests about the ashram’s activities related to such activities.

Asaram Bapu made the following a statement in the case related to the mysterious deaths of Dipesh and Abhishek. In his public address, he warned Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying, “If you will try to suppress us more, then we will throw you out… The way Gujarat Police had treated us, even Ravana’s police would not have treated anyone. Even though we took permission, we were mistreated. But I have also stated that I will do a satsang in Somnath. They can arrest whosoever they want.”

~ Attempted murder of a former member of the Asaram ashram

Raju Chandak, a former member of the Asaram ashram, in an affidavit with the police claimed that tantric rituals were being performed in the ashram, and that he had witnessed Asaram Bapu sexually exploiting women. In December 2009, Raju Chandak was attacked by two unknown persons with guns in the Ramnagar locality of Sabarmati. The Gujarat police filed an attempt to murder case against Asaram Bapu and two others.

In October, 2009 former personal assistant of Narayan Sai had told the commission that he had seen Sai performing black magic.

~ Statements on 2012 Delhi gang rape victim

Asaram Bapu came under sharp criticism after he made controversial remarks about the December 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape victim.

He blamed the 23-year-old paramedical student who was sexually assaulted by six men by saying the rape victim was equally guilty along with those responsible for the sexual assault on her. He is quoted as saying: “The victim daughter is as guilty as her rapists… The girl should have taken God’s name and could have held the hand of one of the men and said, ‘I consider you my Bhaiya (brother)‘ and to the other two, she should have said, ‘Brothers, I am helpless. You are my brothers, my religious brothers’. Then the misconduct wouldn’t have happened.”

In trying to explain the reasons why six men gang-raped and murdered the 23-year-old woman, Asaram said that no mistake could be committed just by one side, blaming the victim for what happened to her. “Can one hand clap? I don’t think so.”

The “godman” also claimed that the six accused should not face harsher punishment such as “capital punishment”.

Though Asaram Bapu’s statement on the gangrape victim enraged the countrymen, his supporters and followers tried to defend him saying that his statement was fabricated.

However, after initially denying his statement against the victim of brutal gang-rape, Asaram tendered his apology. Asaram Bapu berated the media saying, “The media
has created a controversy but what did I say that was wrong? One dog barked and more dogs (the media) joined in. Dogs will bark but they can’t harm an elephant’s dignity.”

Addressing his followers in Bhankari village on the outskirts of Delhi, Asaram Bapu cautioned that any new law on crime against women may be misused: “Women should be respected but no new law should be framed which can be misused by vested interests with the help of women of loose morals,” he said,

~ Mysterious death in Asharam’s ashram

In February this year, 24-year-old Rahul Pachouri mysteriously died at Asharam Bapu’s ashram in Jabalpur. Rahul’s father alleged that his son was poisoned in the Ashram. He told the TV channel that his son had said that he had some information about fake medicines being sold by the ashram.

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Ancient Babylonian Parables – Part 3: The Five Laws of Gold


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Myself . 

By T. V. Antony Raj .

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“A bag heavy with gold or a clay tablet carved with words of wisdom; if thou hadst thy choice, which wouldst thou choose?” Arkad asked his audience.

“The gold, the gold,” chorused the twenty-seven.

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This is my third post in the series of “Ancient Babylonian Parables – …” These Babylonian parables of George Samuel Clason have become a modern inspirational classic.

Click on the image to read the eBook.
Click on the image to read the eBook.

Here are excerpts from the discourse on “The Five Laws of Gold“ from the book “The Richest Man in Babylon.

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The Five Laws of Gold

Old Kalabab smiled knowingly at his servants.

“Hark ye, with deep attention to the words I speak, for if you grasp their meaning and heed them, in the days that come thou shalt have much gold.

“I have but told thee of my adventures in strange and distant lands, but this night I shall tell thee of the wisdom of Arkad, the wise rich man.

“The richest man he was, and that because be was wise in the ways of gold, even as no man had ever been before him. This night shall I tell you of his great wisdom as it was told to me by Nomasir, his son, many years ago in Nineveh, when I was but a lad.

“In Babylon it is the custom, as you know, that the sons of wealthy fathers live with their parents in expectation of inheriting the estate. Arkad did not approve of this custom. Therefore, when Nomasir reached man’s estate, he sent for the young man and addressed him:

” ‘My son, it is my desire that thou succeed to my estate. Thou must, however, first prove that thou art capable of wisely handling it. Therefore, I wish that thou go out into the world and show thy ability both to acquire gold and to make thyself respected among men.

” ‘To start thee well, I will give thee two things of which I, myself, was denied when I started as a poor youth to build up a fortune.

” ‘First, I give thee this bag of gold. If thou use it wisely, it will be the basis of thy future success.

” ‘Second, I give thee this clay tablet upon which is carved the five laws of gold. If thou dost but interpret them in thy own acts, they shall bring thee competence and security.

” ‘Ten years from this day come thou back to the house of thy father and give account of thyself. If thou prove worthy, I will then make thee the heir to my estate. Otherwise, I will give it to the priests that they may barter for my soul the land consideration of the gods.’

“So Nomasir went forth to make his own way, taking his bag of gold, the clay tablet carefully wrapped in silken cloth, his slave and the horses upon which they rode.

“The ten years passed, and Nomasir, as he had agreed, returned to the house of his father who provided a great feast in his honor. After the feast was over, the father and mother mounted their throne-like seats at one side of the great hall, and Nomasir stood before them to give an account of himself as he had promised his father.

” ‘My father,’ he began deferentially, I bow before thy wisdom. Ten years ago when I stood at the gates of manhood, thou bade me go forth and become a man among men, instead of remaining a vassal to thy fortune.

” ‘Thou gave me liberally of thy gold. Thou gave me liberally of thy wisdom. Of the gold, alas! I must admit of a disastrous handling. It fled, indeed, from my inexperienced hands even as a wild hare flees at the first opportunity from the youth who captures it.’

“The father smiled indulgently. ‘Continue, my son, thy tale interests me in all its details.’

” ‘I decided to go to Nineveh, as it was a growing city, believing that I might find there opportunities. I joined a caravan and among its members made numerous friends. Two well-spoken men who had a most beautiful white horse as fleet as the wind were among these.

” ‘As we journeyed, they told me in confidence that in Nineveh was a wealthy man who owned a horse so swift that it had never been beaten. Its owner believed that no horse living could run with greater speed. Therefore, would he wager any sum however large that his horse could outspeed any horse in all Babylonia. Compared to their horse, so my friends said, it was but a lumbering ass that could be beaten with ease.

” ‘They offered, as a great favor, to permit me to join them in a wager. I was quite carried away with the plan.

” ‘Our horse was badly beaten and I lost much of my gold.’

“The father laughed.

” ‘Later, I discovered that this was a deceitful plan of these men and they constantly journeyed with caravans seeking victims. You see, the man in Nineveh was their partner and shared with them the bets he won. This shrewd deceit taught me my first lesson in looking out for myself.

” ‘I was soon to learn another, equally bitter. In the caravan was another young man with whom I became quite friendly. He was the son of wealthy parents and, like myself, journeying to Nineveh to find a suitable location. Not long after our arrival, he told me that a merchant had died and his shop with its rich merchandise and patronage could be secured at a paltry price. Saying that we would be equal partners but first he must return to Babylon to secure his gold, he prevailed upon me to purchase the stock with my gold, agreeing that his would be used later to carry on our venture.

” ‘He long delayed the trip to Babylon, proving in the meantime to be an unwise buyer and a foolish spender. I finally put him out, but not before the business had deteriorated to where we had only unsalable goods and no gold to buy other goods. I sacrificed what was left to an Israelite for a pitiful sum.

” ‘Soon there followed, I tell you, my father, bitter days. I sought employment and found it not, for I was without trade or training that would enable me to earn. I sold my horses. I sold my slave. I sold my extra robes that I might have food and a place to sleep, but each day grim want crouched closer.

” ‘But in those bitter days, I remembered thy confidence in me, my father. Thou hadst sent me forth to become a man, and this I was determined to accomplish.’

” ‘At this time, I bethought me of the tablet thou had given to me upon which thou had carved the five laws of gold. Thereupon, I read most carefully thy words of wisdom, and realized that had I but sought wisdom first, my gold would not have been lost to me. I learned by heart each law and determined that, when once more the goddess of good fortune smiled upon me, I would be guided by the wisdom of age and not by the inexperience of youth.

” ‘For the benefit of you who are seated here this night, I will read the wisdom of my father as engraved upon the clay tablet which he gave to me ten years ago:

THE FIVE LAWS OF GOLD

I. Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.

II. Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.

III. Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.

IV. Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.

V. Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

” ‘These are the five laws of gold as written by my father. I do proclaim them as of greater value than gold itself, as I will show by the continuance of my tale.’

“He again faced his father. ‘I have told thee of the depth of poverty and despair to which my inexperience brought me.

” ‘However, there is no chain of disasters that will not come to an end. Mine came when I secured employment managing a crew of slaves working upon the new outer wall of the city.

” ‘Profiting from my knowledge of the first law of gold, I saved a copper from my first earnings, adding to it at every opportunity until I had a piece of silver. It was a slow procedure, for one must live. I did spend grudgingly, I admit, because I was determined to earn back before the ten years were over as much gold as you, my father, had given to me.

” ‘One day the slave master, with whom I had become quite friendly, said to me: “Thou art a thrifty youth who spends not wantonly what he earns. Hast thou gold put by that is not earning?” “

‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘It is my greatest desire to accumulate gold to replace that which my father gave to me and which I have lost.’

” ‘Tis a worthy ambition, I will grant, and do you know that the gold which you have saved can work for you and earn much more gold?”

” ‘Alas! my experience has been bitter, for my father’s gold has fled from me, and I am in much fear lest my own do the same.’

” ‘If thou hast confidence in me, I will give thee a lesson in the profitable handling of gold,” he replied. “Within a year the outer wall will be complete and ready for the great gates of bronze that will be built at each entrance to protect the city from the king’s enemies. In all Nineveh there is not enough metal to make these gates and the king has not thought to provide it. Here is my plan: A group of us will pool our gold and send a caravan to the mines of copper and tin, which are distant, and bring to Nineveh the metal for the gates. When the king says, ‘Make the great gates,’ we alone can supply the metal and a rich price he will pay. If the king will not buy from us, we will yet have the metal which can be sold for a fair price.”

” ‘In his offer I recognized an opportunity to abide by the third law and invest my savings under the guidance of wise men. Nor was I disappointed. Our pool was a success, and my small store of gold was greatly increased by the transaction.

” ‘In due time, I was accepted as a member of this same group in other ventures. They were men wise in the profitable handling of gold. They talked over each plan presented with great care, before entering upon it. They would take no chance on losing their principal or tying it up in unprofitable investments from which their gold could not be recovered. Such foolish things as the horse race and the partnership into which I had entered with my inexperience would have had scant consideration with them. They would have immediately pointed out their weaknesses.

” ‘Through my association with these men, I learned to safely invest gold to bring profitable returns. As the years went on, my treasure increased more and more rapidly. I not only made back as much as I lost, but much more.

” ‘Through my misfortunes, my trials and my success, I have tested time and again the wisdom of the five laws of gold, my father, and have proven them true in every test. To him who is without knowledge of the five laws, gold comes not often, and goeth away quickly. But to him who abide by the five laws, gold comes and works as his dutiful slave.’

“Nomasir ceased speaking and motioned to a slave in the back of the room. The slave brought forward, one at a time, three heavy leather bags. One of these Nomasir took and placed upon the floor before his father addressing him again:

” ‘Thou didst give to me a bag of gold, Babylon gold. Behold in its place, I do return to thee a bag of Nineveh gold of equal weight. An equal exchange, as all will agree.

” ‘Thou didst give to me a clay tablet inscribed with wisdom. Behold, in its stead, I do return two bags of gold.’ So saying, he took from the slave the other two bags and, likewise, placed them upon the floor before his father.

” ‘This I do to prove to thee, my father, of how much greater value I consider thy wisdom than thy gold. Yet, who can measure in bags of gold, the value of wisdom? Without wisdom, gold is quickly lost by those who have it, but with wisdom, gold can be secured by those who have it not, as these three bags of gold do prove.

” ‘It does, indeed, give to me the deepest satisfaction, my father, to stand before thee and say that, because of thy wisdom, I have been able to become rich and respected before men.’

“The father placed his hand fondly upon the head of Nomasir. ‘Thou hast learned well thy lessons, and I am, indeed, fortunate to have a son to whom I may entrust my wealth.'”

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The First Law of Gold

Gold cometh gladly and in increasing quantity to any man who will put by not less than one-tenth of his earnings to create an estate for his future and that of his family.

“Any man who will put by one-tenth of his earnings consistently and invest it wisely will surely create a valuable estate that will provide an income for him in the future and further guarantee safety for his family in case the gods call him to the world of darkness. This law always sayeth that gold cometh gladly to such a man. I can truly certify this in my own life. The more gold I accumulate, the more readily it comes to me and in increased quantities. The gold which I save earns more, even as yours will, and its earnings earn more, and this is the working out of the first law.”

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The Second Law of Gold

Gold laboreth diligently and contentedly for the wise owner who finds for it profitable employment, multiplying even as the flocks of the field.

“Gold, indeed, is a willing worker. It is ever eager to multiply when opportunity presents itself. To every man who hath a store of gold set by, opportunity comes for its most profitable use. As the years pass, it multiplies itself in surprising fashion.”

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The Third Law of Gold

Gold clingeth to the protection of the cautious owner who invests it under the advice of men wise in its handling.

“Gold, indeed, clingeth to the cautious owner, even as it flees the careless owner. The man who seeks the advice of men wise in handling gold soon learneth not to jeopardize his treasure, but to preserve in safety and to enjoy in contentment its consistent increase.”

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The Fourth Law of Gold

Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those skilled in its keep.

“To the man who hath gold, yet is not skilled in its handling, many uses for it appear most profitable. Too often these are fraught with danger of loss, and if properly analyzed by wise men, show small possibility of profit. Therefore, the inexperienced owner of gold who trusts to his own judgment and invests it in business or purposes with which he is not familiar, too often finds his judgment imperfect, and pays with his treasure for his inexperience. Wise, indeed is he who investeth his treasures under the advice of men skilled In the ways of gold.”

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The Fifth Law of Gold

Gold flees the man who would force it to impossible earnings or who followeth the alluring advice of tricksters and schemers or who trusts it to his own inexperience and romantic desires in investment.

“Fanciful propositions that thrill like adventure tales always come to the new owner of gold. These appear to endow his treasure with magic powers that will enable it to make impossible earnings. Yet heed ye the wise men for verily they know the risks that lurk behind every plan to make great wealth suddenly.”

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Ancient Babylonian Parables – Part 2: Meet the Goddess of Good Luck


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Myself 

By T. V. Antony Raj .

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“If a man be lucky, there is no foretelling the possible extent of his good fortune. Pitch him into the Euphrates and like as not he will swim out with a pearl in his hand.” – Babylonian Proverb

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This is a sequel to my earlier post, Ancient Babylonian Parables – Seven Cures for a Lean Purse.

These Babylonian parables of George Samuel Clason have become a modern inspirational classic.

The Richest Man in Babylon
Click on the image to read the eBook.

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Here is the discourse on “Meet the Goddess of Good Luck from the book “The Richest Man in Babylon.

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Meet the Goddess of Good Luck

Though not found the history books, the ancient Babylonians had a practical center of learning which exerted a powerful influence upon the inquiring minds of that time. In this Temple of Learning, voluntary teachers expounded the wisdom of the past and discussed subjects of popular interest in open forums. Within its walls all men met as equals, and the humblest of slaves could dispute with impunity the opinions of a prince of the royal house.

Among the many who frequented the Temple of Learning, was a wise rich man named Arkad, the richest man in Babylon. He had his own special hall where almost any evening a large group of men, old, young, and middle-aged, gathered to discuss and argue interesting subjects.

“What shall we discuss this night?” Arkad inquired.

A tall, cloth weaver addressed him: “This day I have been lucky, for I have found a purse in which there are pieces of gold. To continue to be lucky is my great desire. Feeling that all men share with me this desire, I do suggest we debate how to attract good luck that we may discover ways it can be enticed to one.”

“A most interesting subject has been offered,” Arkad commented, and he tells his audience the desire to be lucky is universal and that we all hope to be favored by the whimsical Goddess of Good Luck.

“To some men, good luck bespeaks but a chance happening that, like an accident, may befall one without purpose or reason. Others do believe that the instigator of all good fortune is our most bounteous goddess, Ashtar ever anxious to reward with generous gifts those who please her. Speak up, my friends, what say you, shall we seek to find if there be means by which good luck may be enticed to visit each and all of us?”

“Yea! Yea! And much of it!” responded the growing group of eager listeners.

Thereupon Arkad continued, “To start our discussion, let us first hear from those among us who have enjoyed experiences similar to that of the cloth weaver in finding or receiving, without effort upon their part, valuable treasures or jewels.”

There was a pause in which all looked about expecting someone to reply but no one did.

“What, no one?” Arkad said, “then rare indeed must be this kind of good luck. Who now will offer a suggestion as to where we shall continue our search?”

That I will do,” spoke a well-robed young man, arising. “When a man speaketh of luck is it not natural that his thoughts turn to the gaining tables? Is it not there we find many men courting the favor of the goddess in hope she will bless them with rich winnings?”

“A wise start,” broke in Arkad. “We meet here to consider all sides of each question. To ignore the gaming table would be to overlook an instinct common to most men, the love of taking a chance with a small amount of silver in the hope of winning much gold.”

“That doth remind me of the races but yesterday,” called out another listener.

Arkad smiled indulgently at the banter. “What reason have we to feel the good goddess would take that much interest in any man’s bet upon a horse race? To me she is a goddess of love and dignity whose pleasure it is to aid those who are in need and to reward those who are deserving. I look to find where the doings of men are more worthwhile and more worthy of reward.

“In tilling the soil, in honest trading, in all of man’s occupations, there is opportunity to make a profit upon his efforts and his transactions. Perhaps not all the time will he be rewarded because sometimes his judgment may be faulty and other times the winds and the weather may defeat his efforts. Yet, if he persists, he may usually expect to realize his profit. This is so because the chances of profit are always in his favor.

“But, when a man playeth the games, the situation is reversed for the chances of profit are always against him and always in favor of the gamekeeper. The game is so arranged that it will always favor the keeper. It is his business at which he plans to make a liberal profit for himself from the coins bet by the players. Few players realize how certain are the game keeper’s profits and how uncertain are their own chances to win.

“For example, let us consider wagers placed upon the cube. Each time it is cast we bet which side will be uppermost. If it be the red side the game master pays to us four times our bet. But if any other of the five sides come uppermost, we lose our bet. Thus the figures show that for each cast we have five chances to lose, but because the red pays four for one, we have four chances to win. In a night’s play, the game master can expect to keep for his profit one-fifth of all the coins wagered. Can a man expect to win more than occasionally against odds so arranged that he should lose one-fifth of all his bets?”

“Yet some men do win large sums at times,” volunteered one of the listeners.

“Quite so, they do,” Arkad continued. “Realizing this, the question comes to me whether money secured in such ways brings permanent value to those who are thus lucky Among my acquaintances are many of the successful men of Babylon, yet among them, I am unable to name a single one who started his success from such a source.

“You who are gathered here tonight know many more of our substantial citizens. To me, it would be of much interest to learn how many of our successful citizens can credit the gaming tables with their start to success. Suppose each of you tell of those you know. What say you?”

After a prolonged silence, a wag ventured, ‘Wouldst thy inquiry include the gamekeepers?”

“If you think of no one else,” Arkad responded.

“If not one of you can think of anyone else, then how about yourselves? Are there any consistent winners with us who hesitate to advise such a source for their incomes?”

His challenge was answered by a series of groans from the rear taken up and spread amid much laughter.

“It would seem we are not seeking good luck in such places as the goddess frequents,” Arkad continued. “Therefore let us explore other fields. We have not found it in picking up lost wallets. Neither have we found it haunting the gaming tables. As to the races, I must confess to have lost far more coins there than I have ever won.

“Now, suppose we consider our trades and businesses. Is it not natural if we conclude a profitable transaction to consider it not good luck but a just reward for our efforts? I am inclined to think we may be overlooking the gifts of the goddess. Perhaps she really does assist us when we do not appreciate her generosity. Who can suggest further discussion?”

Thereupon an elderly merchant arose and said: “With thy permission, most honorable Arkad and my friends, I offer a suggestion. If, as you have said, we take credit to our own industry and ability for our business success, why not consider the successes we almost enjoyed but which escaped us, happenings which would have been most profitable. They would have been rare examples of good luck if they had actually happened. Because they were not brought to fulfillment we cannot consider them as our just rewards. Surely many men here have such experiences to relate.”

“Here is a wise approach,” Arkad approved. “Who among you have had good luck within your grasp only to see it escape?”

Many hands were raised, among them that of the elderly merchant. Arkad motioned to him to speak. “As you suggested this approach, we should like to hear first from you.”

“I will gladly relate a tale,” the merchant resumed, “that doth illustrate how closely unto a man good luck may approach and how blindly he may permit it to escape, much to his loss and later regret.

“Many years ago, when I was a young man, just married and well-started to earning, my father did come one day and urge most strongly that I enter in an investment. The son of one of his good friends had taken notice of a barren tract of land not far beyond the outer walls of our city. It lay high above the canal where no water could reach it.

“The son of my father’s friend devised a plan to purchase this land, build three large water wheels that could be operated by oxen and thereby raise the life-giving waters to the fertile soil. This accomplished, he planned to divide into small tracts and sell to the residents of the city for herb patches.

“The son of my father’s friend did not possess sufficient gold to complete such an undertaking. Like myself, he was a young man earning a fair sum. His father, like mine, was a man of large family and small means. He, therefore, decided to interest a group of men to enter the enterprise with him. The group was to comprise twelve, each of whom must be a money earner and agree to pay one-tenth of his earnings into the enterprise until the land was made ready for sale. All would then share justly in the profits in proportion to their investment.

” ‘Thou, my son,’ bespoke my father unto me, ‘art now in thy young manhood. It is my deep desire that thou begin the building of a valuable estate for thyself that thou mayest become respected among men. I desire to see thou profit from a knowledge of the thoughtless mistakes of thy father.’

” ‘This do I most ardently desire, my father,’ I replied.

” ‘Then, this do I advise. Do what I should have done at thy age. From thy earnings keep out one-tenth to put into favorable investments. With this one-tenth of thy earnings and what it will also earn, thou canst, before thou art my age, accumulate for thyself a valuable estate.’

” ‘Thy words are words of wisdom, my father. Greatly do I desire riches. Yet there are many uses to which my earnings are called. Therefore, do I hesitate to do as thou dost advise. I am young. There is plenty of time.’

” ‘So I thought at thy age, yet behold, many years have passed and I have not yet made the beginning.’

” ‘We live in a different age, my father. I shall avoid thy mistakes.’

” ‘Opportunity stands before thee, my son. It is offering a chance that may lead to wealth. I beg of thee, do not delay. Go upon the morrow to the son of my friend and bargain with him to pay ten percent of thy earnings into this investment. Go promptly upon the morrow. Opportunity waits for no man. Today it is here; soon it is gone. Therefore, delay not!’

“In spite of the advice of my father, I did hesitate. There were beautiful new robes just brought by the tradesmen from the East, robes of such richness and beauty my good wife and I felt we must each possess one. Should I agree to pay one-tenth of my earnings into the enterprise, we must deprive ourselves of these and other pleasures we dearly desired. I delayed making a decision until it was too late, much to my subsequent regret. The enterprise did prove to be more profitable than any man had prophesied. This is my tale, showing how I did permit good luck to escape.”

“In this tale, we see how good luck waits to come to that man who accepts an opportunity,” commented a swarthy man of the desert. “To the building of an estate, there must always be the beginning. That start may be a few pieces of gold or silver which a man diverts from his earnings to his first investment. I, myself, am the owner of many herds. The start of my herds I did begin when I was a mere boy and did purchase with one piece of silver, a young calf. This, being the beginning of my wealth, was of great importance to me.

“To take his first start to building an estate is as good luck as can come to any man. With all men, that first step, which changes them from men who earn from their own labor to men who draw dividends from the earnings of their gold, is important. Some, fortunately, take it when young and thereby outstrip in financial success those who do take it later or those unfortunate men, like the father of this merchant, who never take it.

“Had our friend, the merchant, taken this step in his early manhood when this opportunity came to him, this day he would be blessed with much more of this world’s goods. Should the good luck of our friend, the cloth weaver, cause him to take such a step at this time, it will indeed be but the beginning of much greater good fortune.”

“Thank you! I like to speak, also.” A stranger from another country arose. “I am a Syrian. Not so well do I speak your tongue. I wish to call this friend, the merchant, a name. Maybe you think it not polite, this name. Yet I wish to call him that. But, alas, I do not know your word for it. If I do call it in Syrian, you will not understand. Therefore, please some good gentlemen, tell me that right name you call a man who puts off doing those things that mighty good for him.”

“Procrastinator,” called a voice.

“That’s him,” shouted the Syrian, waving his hands excitedly, “he accepts not opportunity when she comes. He waits. He says I have much business right now. Bye and bye I talk to you. Opportunity, she will not wait for such slow fellow. She thinks if a man desires to be lucky he will step quick. Any man not step quick when opportunity comes, he big procrastinator like our friend, this merchant.”

The merchant arose and bowed good naturedly in response to the laughter. “My admiration to thee, stranger within our gates, who hesitates not to speak the truth.”

“And now let us hear another tale of opportunity. Who has for us another experience?” demanded Arkad.

“I have,” responded a red-robed man of middle age. “I am a buyer of animals, mostly camels and horses. Sometimes I do also buy the sheep and goats. The tale I am about to relate will tell truthfully how an opportunity came one night when I did least expect it. Perhaps for this reason, I did let it escape. Of this, you shall be the judge.

“Returning to the city one evening after a disheartening ten- days’ journey in search of camels, I was much angered to find the gates of the city closed and locked. While my slaves spread our tent for the night, which we looked to spend with little food and no I water, I was approached by an elderly farmer who, like ourselves, found himself locked outside.

“‘Honored sir,’ he addressed me, ‘from thy appearance, I do judge thee to be a buyer. If this be so, much would I like to sell to thee the most excellent flock of sheep just driven up. Alas, my good wife lies very sick with the fever. I must return with all haste. Buy thou my sheep that I and my slaves may mount our camels and travel back without delay.”

“So dark it was that I could not see his flock, but from the bleating I did know it must be large. Having wasted ten days searching for camels I could not find, I was glad to bargain with him. In his anxiety, he did set a most reasonable price. I accepted, well knowing my slaves could drive the flock through the city gates in the morning and sell at a substantial profit. The bargain concluded, I called my slaves to bring torches that we might count the flock which the farmer declared to contain nine hundred. I shall not burden you, my friends, with a description of our difficulty in attempting to count so many thirsty, restless, milling sheep. It proved to be an impossible task. Therefore, I bluntly informed the farmer I would count them at daylight and pay him then.

” ‘Please, most honorable sir,’ he pleaded, ‘pay me but two-thirds of the price tonight that I may be on my way. I will leave my most intelligent and educated slave to assist to make the count in the morning. He is trustworthy and to him, thou canst pay the balance.’

“But I was stubborn and refused to make payment that night. Next morning, before I awoke, the city gates opened and four buyers rushed out in search of flocks. They were most eager and willing to pay high prices because the city was threatened with siege, and food was not plentiful. Nearly three times the price at which he had offered the flock to me did the old farmer receive for it. Thus was rare good luck allowed to escape.”

“Here is a tale most unusual,” commented Arkad. “What wisdom doth it suggest?”

“The wisdom of making a payment immediately when we are convinced our bargain is wise,” suggested a venerable saddle maker. “If the bargain be good, then dost thou need protection against thy own weaknesses as much as against any other man. We mortals are changeable. Alas, I must say more apt to change our minds when right than wrong. Wrong, we are stubborn indeed. Right, we are prone to vacillate and let opportunity escape. My first judgment is my best. Yet always have I found it difficult to compel myself to proceed with a good bargain when made. Therefore, as a protection against my own weaknesses, I do make a prompt deposit thereon. This doth save me from later regrets for the good luck that should have been mine.”

“Thank you! Again I like to speak.” The Syrian was upon his feet once more. “These tales much alike. Each time opportunity fly away for same reason. Each time she come to procrastinator, bringing good plan. Each time they hesitate, not say, right now best time, I do it quick. How can men succeed that way?”

“Wise are thy words, my friend,” responded the buyer. “Good luck fled from procrastination in both these tales. Yet, this is not unusual. The spirit of procrastination is within all men. We desire riches; yet, how often when opportunity doth appear before us, that spirit of procrastination from within doth urge various delays in our acceptance. In listening to it we do become our own worst enemies.

 

“In my younger days I did not know it by this long word our friend from Syria doth enjoy. I did think at first it was my own poor judgment that did cause me loss of many profitable trades. Later, I did credit it to my stubborn disposition. At last, I did recognize it for what it was—a habit of needless delaying where action was required, action prompt and decisive. How I did hate it when its true character stood revealed. With the bitterness of a wild ass hitched to a chariot, I did break loose from this enemy to my success.”

“Thank you! I like ask question from Mr. Merchant.” The Syrian was speaking. “You wear fine robes, not like those of poor man. You speak like successful man. Tell us, do you listen now when procrastination whispers in your ear?”

“Like our friend the buyer, I also had to recognize and conquer procrastination,” responded the merchant. “To me, it proved to be an enemy, ever watching and waiting to thwart my accomplishments. The tale I did relate is but one of many similar instances I could tell to show how it drove away my opportunities. Tis not difficult to conquer, once understood. No man willingly permits the thief to rob his bins of grain. Nor does any man willingly permit an enemy to drive away his customers and rob him of his profits. When once I did recognize that such acts as these my enemy was committing, with determination I conquered him. So must every man master his own spirit of procrastination before he can expect to share in the rich treasures of Babylon.

“What sayest, Arkad? Because thou art the richest man in Babylon, many do proclaim thee to be the luckiest. Dost agree with me that no man can arrive at a full measure of success until he hath completely crushed the spirit of procrastination within him?”

“It is even as thou sayest,” Arkad admitted. “During my long life I have watched generation following generation, marching forward along those avenues of trade, science and learning that lead to success in life. Opportunities came to all these men. Some grasped theirs and moved steadily to the gratification of their deepest desires, but the majority hesitated, faltered and fell behind.”

Arkad turned to the cloth weaver. Thou didst suggest that we debate good luck. Let us hear what thou now thinkest upon the subject.”

“I do see good luck in a different light. I had thought of it as something most desirable that might happen to a man without effort upon his part. Now, I do realize such happenings are not the sort of thing one may attract to himself. From our discussion have I learned that to attract good luck to oneself, it is necessary to take advantage of opportunities. Therefore, in the future, I shall endeavor to make the best of such opportunities as do come to me.”

“Thou hast well grasped the truths brought forth in our discussion,” Arkad replied. “Good luck, we do find, often follows opportunity but seldom comes otherwise. Our merchant friend would have found great good luck had he accepted the opportunity the good goddess did present to him. Our friend the buyer, likewise, would have enjoyed good luck had he completed the purchase of the flock and sold at such a handsome profit.

“We did pursue this discussion to find a means by which good luck could be enticed to us. I feel that we have found the way. Both the tales did illustrate how good luck follows opportunity. Herein lies a truth that many similar tales of good luck, won or lost, could not change. The truth is this: Good luck can be enticed by accepting opportunity.

“Those eager to grasp opportunities for their betterment, do attract the interest of the good goddess. She is ever anxious to aid those who please her. Men of action please her best . “Action will lead thee forward to the successes thou dost desire.”

MEN OF ACTION ARE FAVORED BY THE GODDESS OF GOOD LUCK

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Ancient Babylonian Parables – Part 1: Seven Cures for a Lean Purse


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. Myself .

 By T. V. Antony Raj .

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Our prosperity as a nation depends upon the personal financial prosperity of each of us as individuals.

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Lo, Money is plentiful
for those who understand
the simple rules of its accuisition.

Start thy purse to fattening
Control thy expenditures
Make thy gold multiply
Guard thy treasures from loss
Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment
Insure a future income
Increase thy ability to earn
George Samuel Clason

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George Samuel Clason was born on November 7, 1874, in Louisiana, Missouri, USA. He attended the University of Nebraska and served in the United States Army during the Spanish-American War. After the war, he became a businessman and writer.

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George Samuel Clason
George Samuel Clason

 

Clason launched two companies: the Clason Map Company of Denver Colorado, and the Clason Publishing Company.

The Clason Map Company was the first to publish a road atlas of the United States of America and Canada. However, the company did not survive the Great Depression that began on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929 – the day the stock market crashed in the United States.

George Clason is best known for writing a series of informational pamphlets on thrift and the ways and means to achieve financial success. In 1926, he published the first of a renowned series of pamphlets using parables set in ancient Babylon. The pamphlets were given away to the public in large quantities by banking institutions and insurance companies and became well-known to millions of men and women. These Babylonian parables have become a modern inspirational classic. The most popular parable being “The Richest Man in Babylon.”

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The Richest Man in Babylon
The Richest Man in Babylon

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Here is the discourse on “Seven Cures for a Lean Purse from the book “The Richest Man in Babylon.

Seven Cures for a Lean Purse

The Royal Chancellor of Babylon tells Sargon of Akkad, the King of Babylon, that the kingdom is poor. There are not enough jobs for everyone, people don’t have sufficient money to buy what they want to buy, and farmers cannot make enough selling their produce to continue farming. A few very rich men of Babylon possessed of all the gold.

The King asks why so few men would be able to acquire all the gold and the Chancellor says because those few men know how to. He adds that one may not condemn a man for succeeding because he knows how, neither may one with justice take away from a man what he has fairly earned, to give to men of less ability. But why, the King demands to know, should not all the people learn how to accumulate gold and therefore become themselves rich and prosperous?

After further consultation with the Chancellor, the King summons Arkad, the richest man in Babylon, to teach people how to become wealthy. Arkad then delivers a series of lectures to a class of one hundred men, teaching them “the seven cures for a lean purse.”

1. Start thy purse to fattening

Arkad addressed a thoughtful man in the second row. “My good friend, at what craft workest thou?”

“I,” replied the man, “am a scribe and carve records upon the clay tablets.”

“Even at such labor did I myself earn my first coppers. Therefore, thou hast the same opportunity to build a fortune.”

He spoke to a florid-faced man, farther back. “Pray tell also what dost thou to earn thy bread?”

“I,” responded this man, “am a meat butcher. I do buy the goats the farmers raise and kill them and sell the meat to the housewives and the hides to the sandal makers.”

“Because thou dost also labor and earn, thou hast every advantage to succeed that I did. possess.”

In this way did Arkad proceed to find out how each man labored to earn his living. When he had done questioning them, he said: “Now, my students, ye can see that there are many trades and labors at which men may earn coins. Each of the ways of earning is a stream of gold from which the worker doth divert by his labors a portion to his own purse. Therefore into the purse of each of you flows a stream of coins large or small according to his ability. Is it not so?”

Thereupon they agreed that it was so.

“Then,” continued Arkad, “if each of you desireth to build for himself a fortune, is it not wise to start by utilizing that source of wealth which he already has established?”

To this, they agreed.

Arkad instructs the men to begin by continuing to work hard at their current occupations and tells them: “I, too, carried a lean purse and cursed it because there was naught within to satisfy my desires. But when I began to take out from my purse but nine parts of ten I put in, it began to fatten. So will thine.

“Now I will tell a strange truth, the reason for which I know not. When I ceased to pay out more than nine-tenths of my earnings, I managed to get along just as well. I was not shorter than before. Also, ere long, did coins come to me more easily than before. Surely it is a law of the Gods that unto him who keepeth and spendeth not a certain part of all his earnings, shall gold come more easily. Likewise, him whose purse is empty does gold avoid.

“Which desirest thou the most? Is it the gratification of thy desires of each day, a jewel, a bit of finery, better raiment, more food; things quickly gone and forgotten? Or is it substantial belongings, gold, lands, herds, merchandise, income-bringing investments? The coins thou takest from thy purse bring the first. The coins thou leavest within it will bring the latter.

“This, my students, was the first cure I did discover for my lean purse: ‘For each ten coins I put in, to spend but nine.‘ Debate this amongst yourselves. If any man proves it untrue, tell me upon the morrow when we shall meet again.”

2. Control thy expenditures

“Some of your members, my students, have asked me this: How can a man keep one-tenth of all he earns in his purse when all the coins he earns are not enough for his necessary expenses?” So did Arkad address his students upon the second day.

“Yesterday how many of thee carried lean purses?”

“All of us,” answered the class.

“Yet,” Arkad responds, “Thou do not all earn the same. Some earn much more than others. Some have much larger families to support. Yet, all purses are equally lean. Now I will tell thee an unusual truth about men and the sons of men. It is this: That what each of us calls our necessary expenses’ will always grow to equal our incomes unless we protest to the contrary.”

“Each of you, together with your good families, have more desires than your earnings can gratify. Therefore are thy earnings spent to gratify these desires insofar as they will go. Still thou retainest many ungratified desires.

“All men are burdened with more desires than they can gratify. Because of my wealth thinkest thou, I may gratify every desire? ‘Tis a false idea. There are limits to my time. There are limits to my strength. There are limits to the distance I may travel. There are limits to what I may eat. There are limits to the zest with which I may enjoy.

“I say to you that just as weeds grow in a field wherever the farmer leaves space for their roots, even so freely do desires grow in men whenever there is a possibility of their being gratified. Thy desires are a multitude and those that thou mayest gratify are but few.

“Study thoughtfully thy accustomed habits of living. Herein may be most often found certain accepted expenses that may wisely be reduced or eliminated. Let thy motto be one hundred percent of appreciated value demanded for each coin spent.

“Therefore, engrave upon the clay each thing for which thou desireth to spend. Select those that are necessary and others that are possible through the expenditure of nine-tenths of thy income. Cross out the rest and consider them but a part of that great multitude of desires that must go unsatisfied and regret them not.

“Budget then thy necessary expenses. Touch not the one- tenth that is fattening thy purse. Let this be thy great desire that is being fulfilled. Keep working with thy budget, keep adjusting it to help thee. Make it thy first assistant in defending thy fattening purse.”

Hereupon one of the students, wearing a robe of red and gold, arose and said, “I am a free man. I believe that it is my right to enjoy the good things of life. Therefore do I rebel against the slavery of a budget which determines just how much I may spend and for what. I feel it would take much pleasure from my life and make me little more than a pack-ass to carry a burden.”

To him, Arkad replied, “Who, my friend, would determine thy budget?”

“I would make it for myself,” responded the protesting one.

“In that case were a pack-ass to budget his burden would he include therein jewels and rugs and heavy bars of gold? Not so. He would include hay and grain and a bag of water for the desert trail.

“The purpose of a budget is to help thy purse to fatten. It is to assist thee to have thy necessities and, insofar as attainable, thy other desires. It is to enable thee to realize thy most cherished desires by defending them from thy casual wishes. Like a bright light in a dark cave, thy budget shows up the leaks from thy purse and enables thee to stop them and control thy expenditures for definite and gratifying purposes.

“This, then, is the second cure for a lean purse,” says Arkad, “Budget thy expenses’ that thou mayest have coins to pay for thy necessities, to pay for thy enjoyments and to gratify thy worthwhile desires without spending more than nine-tenths of thy earnings.

3. Make thy gold multiply

“Behold thy lean purse is fattening. Thou hast disciplined thyself to leave therein one-tenth of all thou earneth. Thou hast controlled thy expenditures to protect thy growing treasure. Next, we will consider means to put thy treasure to labor and to increase. Gold in a purse is gratifying to own and satisfieth a miserly soul but earns nothing. The gold we may retain from our earnings is but the start. The earnings it will make shall build our fortunes.” So spoke Arkad upon the third day to his class.

“How therefore may we put our gold to work? My first investment was unfortunate, for I lost all … My first profitable investment was a loan I made to a man named Aggar, a shield maker. Once each year did he buy large shipments of bronze brought from across the sea to use in his trade. Lacking sufficient capital to pay the merchants, he would borrow from those who had extra coins. He was an honorable man. His borrowing he would repay, together with a liberal rental, as he sold his shields.

“Each time I loaned to him I loaned back also the rental he had paid to me. Therefore not only did my capital increase, but its earnings likewise increased. Most gratifying was it to have these sums return to my purse.

“I tell you, my students, a man’s wealth is not in the coins he carries in his purse; it is the income he buildeth, the golden stream that continually floweth into his purse and keepeth it always bulging. That is what every man desireth. That is what thou, each one of thee desireth; an income that continueth to come whether thou work or travel.

“Great income I have acquired. So great that I am called a very rich man. My loans to Aggar were my first training in profitable investment. Gaining wisdom from this experience, I extended my loans and investments as my capital increased. From a few sources at first, from many sources later, flowed into my purse a golden stream of wealth available for such wise uses as I should decide.

“Behold, from my humble earnings I had begotten a hoard of golden slaves, each laboring and earning more gold. As they labored for me, so their children also labored and their children’s children until great was the income from their combined efforts.

“Gold increaseth rapidly when making reasonable earnings as thou wilt see from the following: A farmer, when his first son was born, took ten pieces of silver to a money lender and asked him to keep it on rental for his son until he became twenty years of age. This the money lender did, and agreed the rental should be one-fourth of its value each four years. The farmer asked, because this sum he had set aside as belonging to his son, that the rental be added to the principal.

 

“When the boy had reached the age of twenty years, the farmer again went to the money lender to inquire about the silver.

The money lender explained that because this sum had been increased by compound interest, the original ten pieces of silver had now grown to thirty and one-half pieces.

“The farmer was well-pleased and because the son did not need the coins, he left them with the money lender. When the son became fifty years of age, the father meantime having passed to the other world, the money lender paid the son in settlement one hundred and sixty-seven pieces of silver.

“Thus in fifty years had the investment multiplied itself at rental almost seventeen times.

 

“This, then, is the third cure for a lean purse: put each coin to laboring that it may reproduce its kind even as the flocks of the field and help bring to thee income, a stream of wealth that shall flow constantly into thy purse.”

4. Guard thy treasures from loss

“Misfortune loves a shining mark. Gold in a man’s purse must be guarded with firmness, else it be lost. Thus it is wise that we must first secure small amounts and learn to protect them before the Gods entrust us with larger.” So spoke Arkad upon the fourth day to his class.

“Every owner of gold is tempted by opportunities whereby it would seem that he could make large sums by its investment in most plausible projects. Often friends and relatives are eagerly entering such investment and urge him to follow.

“The first sound principle of investment is security for thy principal. Is it wise to be intrigued by larger earnings when thy principal may be lost? I say not. The penalty of risk is probable loss. Study carefully, before parting with thy treasure, each assurance that it may be safely reclaimed. Be not misled by thine own romantic desires to make wealth rapidly.

“Before thou loan it to any man assure thyself of his ability to repay and his reputation for doing so, that thou mayest not unwittingly be making him a present of thy hard-earned treasure.

“Before thou entrust it as an investment in any field acquaint thyself with the dangers which may beset it.

Arkad relates again his decision to invest his money with a brickmaker who was going to buy jewels to trade. Some Phoenicians took advantage of the brickmaker’s naivety concerning jewels and sold him bits of colored glass.

“My treasure was lost. Today, my training would show to me at once the folly of entrusting a brickmaker to buy jewels.

“Therefore, do I advise thee from the wisdom of my experiences: be not too confident of thine own wisdom in entrusting thy treasures to the possible pitfalls of investments. Better by far to consult the wisdom of those experienced in handling money for profit. Such advice is freely given for the asking and may readily possess a value equal in gold to the sum thou considerest investing. In truth, such is its actual value if it save thee from loss.

“This, then, is the fourth cure for a lean purse, and of great importance if it prevent thy purse from being emptied once it has become well filled. Guard thy treasure from loss by investing only where thy principal is safe, where it may be reclaimed if desirable, and where thou will not fail to collect a fair rental. Consult with wise men. Secure the advice of those experienced in the profitable handling of gold. Let their wisdom protect thy treasure from unsafe investments.

5. Make of thy dwelling a profitable investment

“If a man setteth aside nine parts of his earnings upon which to live and enjoy life, and if any part of this nine parts he can turn into a profitable investment without detriment to his wellbeing, then so much faster will his treasures grow.” So spake Arkad to his class at their fifth lesson.

“All too many of our men of Babylon do raise their families in unseemly quarters. They do pay to exacting landlords liberal rentals for rooms where their wives have not a spot to raise the blooms that gladden a woman’s heart and their children have no place to play their games except in the unclean alleys.

“No man’s family can fully enjoy life unless they do have a plot of ground wherein children can play in the clean earth and where the wife may raise not only blossoms but good rich herbs to feed her family.

“To a man’s heart it brings gladness to eat the figs from his own trees and the grapes of his own vines. To own his own domicile and to have it a place he is proud to care for, putteth confidence in his heart and greater effort behind all his endeavors. Therefore, do I recommend that every man own the roof that sheltereth him and his.

“Nor is it beyond the ability of any well-intentioned man to own his home. Hath not our great king so widely extended the walls of Babylon that within them much land is now unused and may be purchased at sums most reasonable?

“Also I say to you, my students, that the money lenders gladly consider the desires of men who seek homes and land for their families. Readily may thou borrow to pay the brickmaker and the builder for such commendable purposes, if thou can show a reasonable portion of the necessary sum which thou thyself hath provided for the purpose.

“Then when the house be built, thou canst pay the money lender with the same regularity as thou didst pay the landlord. Because each payment will reduce thy indebtedness to the money lender, a few years will satisfy his loan.

“Then will thy heart be glad because thou wilt own in thy own right a valuable property and thy only cost will be the king’s taxes.

“Also wilt thy good wife go more often to the river to wash thy robes, that each time returning she may bring a goatskin of water to pour upon the growing things.

“Thus come many blessings to the man who owneth his own house. And greatly will it reduce his cost of living, making available more of his earnings for pleasures and the gratification of his desires.”

This, then, is the fifth cure for a lean purse: “Own thy own home.” This is very important for those that aim high in reality.

If you pay rent to a landlord all your life, at the end of your life you’ll have nothing to show for it. If you can instead pay a mortgage on a house, at the end of your life you’ll have a house to show for it.

6. Insure a future income

Arkad instructs his students to prepare for retirement and to buy insurance so that their family will be provided for if they die.

“No man can afford not to insure a treasure for his old age and the protection of his family, no matter how prosperous his business and his investments may be.”

Arkad then foretells the future creation of life insurance companies.

“A man may loan a small sum to the money lender and increase it at regular periods. The rental which the money lender adds to this will largely add to its increase. I do know a sandal maker, named Ansan, who explained to me not long ago that each week for eight years he had deposited with his money lender two pieces of silver. The money lender had but recently given him an accounting over which he greatly rejoiced. The total of his small deposits with their rental at the customary rate of one-fourth their value for each four years had now become a thousand and forty pieces of silver.

“I did gladly encourage him further by demonstrating to him with my knowledge of the numbers that in twelve years more, if he would keep his regular deposits of but two pieces of silver each week, the money lender would then owe him four thousand pieces of silver, a worthy competence for the rest of his life.

“Surely, when such a small payment made with regularity doth produce such profitable results, no man can afford not to insure a treasure for his old age and the protection of his family, no matter how prosperous his business and his investments may be.

“I would that I might say more about this. In my mind rests a belief that some day wise thinking men will devise a plan to insure against death whereby many men pay in but a trifling sum regularly, the aggregate making a handsome sum for the family of each member who passeth to the beyond. This do I see as something desirable and which I could highly recommend.

“But today it is not possible because it must reach beyond the life of any man or any partnership to operate. It must be as stable as the King’s throne. Some day do I feel that such a plan shall come to pass and be a great blessing to many men, because even the first small payment will make available a snug fortune for the family of a member should he pass on.

“But because we live in our own day and not in the days which are to come, must we take advantage of those means and ways of accomplishing our purposes. Therefore do I recommend to all men, that they, by wise and well thought out methods, do provide against a lean purse in their mature years. For a lean purse to a man no longer able to earn or to a family without its head is a sore tragedy.

“This, then, is the sixth cure for a lean purse. Provide in advance for the needs of thy growing age and the protection of thy family.”

7. Increase thy ability to earn

“This day do I speak to thee, my students, of one of the most vital remedies for a lean purse. Yet, I will talk not of gold but of yourselves, of the men beneath the robes of many colors who do sit before me. I will talk to you of those things within the minds and lives of men which do work for or against their success.” So did Arkad address his class upon the seventh day.

“Not long ago came to me a young man seeking to borrow. When I questioned him the cause of his necessity, he complained that his earnings were insufficient to pay his expenses. Thereupon I explained to him, this being the case, he was a poor customer for the money lender, as he possessed no surplus earning capacity to repay the loan.

” ‘What you need, young man,’ I told him, ‘is to earn more coins. What dost thou to increase thy capacity to earn?’

” ‘All that I can do’ he replied. ‘Six times within two moons have I approached my master to request my pay be increased, but without success. No man can go oftener than that.’

“We may smile at his simplicity, yet he did possess one of the vital requirements to increase his earnings. Within him was a strong desire to earn more, a proper and commendable desire.

Preceding accomplishment must be desire. Thy desires must be strong and definite. General desires are but weak longings. For a man to wish to be rich is of little purpose. For a man to desire five pieces of gold is a tangible desire which he can press to fulfillment. After he has backed his desire for five pieces of gold with strength of purpose to secure it, next he can find similar ways to obtain ten pieces and then twenty pieces and later a thousand pieces and, behold, he has become wealthy. In learning to secure his one definite small desire, he hath trained himself to secure a larger one. This is the process by which wealth is accumulated: first in small sums, then in larger ones as a man learns and becomes more capable.

“Desires must be simple and definite. They defeat their own purpose should they be too many, too confusing, or beyond a man’s training to accomplish.

“As a man perfecteth himself in his calling even so doth his ability to earn increase. In those days when I was a humble scribe carving upon the clay for a few coppers each day, I observed that other workers did more than I and were paid more. Therefore, did I determine that I would be exceeded by none. Nor did it take long for me to discover the reason for their greater success. More interest in my work, more concentration upon my task, more persistence in my effort, and, behold, few men could carve more tablets in a day than I.

“With reasonable promptness, my increased skill was rewarded, nor was it necessary for me to go six times to my master to request recognition.

“The more of wisdom we know, the more we may earn. That man who seeks to learn more of his craft shall be richly rewarded. If he is an artisan, he may seek to learn the methods and the tools of those most skillful in the same line. If he laboreth at the law or at healing, he may consult and exchange knowledge with others of his calling. If he be a merchant, he may continually seek better goods that can be purchased at lower prices.

“Always do the affairs of man change and improve because keen-minded men seek greater skill that they may better serve those upon whose patronage they depend. Therefore, I urge all men to be in the front rank of progress and not to stand still, lest they be left behind.

“Many things come to make a man’s life rich with gainful experiences. Such things as the following, a man must do if he respects himself:

“He must pay his debts with all the promptness within his power, not purchasing that for which he is unable to pay.

“He must take care of his family that they may think and speak well of him.

“He must make a will of record that, in case the Gods call him, proper and honorable division of his property be accomplished.

“He must have compassion upon those who are injured and smitten by misfortune and aid them within reasonable limits. He must do deeds of thoughtfulness to those dear to him.

Thus the seventh and last remedy for a lean purse is to cultivate thy own powers, to study and become wiser, to become more skillful, to so act as to respect thyself. Thereby shalt thou acquire confidence in thy self to achieve thy carefully considered desires.

“These then are the seven cures for a lean purse, which, out of the experience of a long and successful life, I do urge for all men who desire wealth. “There is more gold in Babylon, my students, than thou dreamest of. There is abundance for all.

“Go thou forth and practice these truths that thou mayest prosper and grow wealthy, as is thy right.

“Go thou forth and teach these truths that every honorable subject of his majesty may also share liberally in the ample wealth of our beloved city.”

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