Long, long ago, there lived a weaver in a town by the name of Somilaka. The cloth he wove was so fine and beautiful that even the king liked it. But somehow, he still remained a poor man, while other weavers were quite rich, even though they wove inferior cloth. This bitter fact made Somilaka sad. He left his native village and went to settle down in some other town to try his luck. In this town also, Somilaka couldn’t earn much money.
He became frustrated and decided to commit suicide. He made a rope of grass, prepared a noose and tied the rope’s other end to the high branch of a tree. He put the noose round his neck. As he was about to jump on to the ground, he heard a voice from the heaven calling, “Hold it, don’t commit suicide. It is I, God. I’m pleased with your hard work. Ask any boon of me and I’ll grant it.”
“Please give me a lot of wealth,” said Somilaka. He was astonished to see God before him.
“But, what will you do with a lot of wealth?” asked God. “You don’t need a lot of wealth, no more than what is required for your food and clothing.”
“But I want a lot of wealth even then,” replied Somilaka. “A man with money is respected everywhere, whether he spends it or not.”
Seeing that Somilaka was adamant on his demand, God said, “First go to your native town and meet the two traders living there. One is known as ‘Secret Wealth’ and the other as ‘Useful Wealth’.”
Somilaka became very happy. He went back to his native town. There he decided to first observe the ‘Secret wealth’s living.
When ‘Secret Wealth’ saw Somilaka, he became very angry. He talked to Somilaka in an abusive language. ‘Secret Wealth’s wife offered him food in a broken plate. She also banged the glass of water on the floor.
Somilaka didn’t utter a word. He ate his food and thanked the family members of ‘Secret Wealth’ and left quietly. Then he went to meet ‘Useful Wealth’ trader.
‘Useful Wealth’ was much delighted to see Somilaka. Even the other members of his house welcomed him. They served him with delicious food. They talked to him in a friendly tone. At night, proper arrangements were made for him to take rest.
Early next morning, the king’s servants arrived and brought money for ‘Useful Wealth.’
When Somilaka observed this, he thought to himself: “This ‘Useful Wealth’ is not a wealthy man, but even then he lives more comfortably than the ‘Secret Wealth’.”
His wish for a lot of money was granted by God. He began to enjoy his wealth to the full, just like ‘Useful Wealth.’