Once upon a time, there lived four friends in a village. They were very poor. They wanted to earn a lot of money, but didn’t know how to do it?
After a lot of thinking they decided to leave their village and go somewhere else in search of wealth. So, after a few days of journey, they reached a place called Awanti.
The four friends first bathed in the nearby river Shipra and then worshipped in a temple. There in front of the temple they met a sage named Bhairwanand. They bowed before him in respect. The sage asked, “From where have you come? What’s the purpose of your visit to this town?”
“We four are friends,” said one of them. “All of us are very poor. So, in a bid to try our luck we left our village, and now, we are here. Since, you are an eminent sage, we expect you kindly to help us become wealthy.”
Bhairwanand was very pleased with those four friends. He gave them four cotton wicks, one to each of them and said, “Go in the direction of the Himalayas carrying the wicks in your hands.
At whatever places your wicks drop, dig up that spot, collect the buried treasure whatever it is and return home.”
The four friends became very happy. They set off in the direction of the Himalayas. They had hardly covered some distance in the Himalayas that the wick fell from the hands of one of the friends. He quickly dug up the spot and uncovered a treasure of copper.
He invited his other companions to collect their share and return home. But his three friends called him ‘stupid’ and proceeded deeper into the Himalayas to find more wealth. The one who had found copper returned home cheerfully, with his wealth.
After a journey of few days, the wick of the second friend dropped on the ground. He immediately dug up the place and found a treasure of silver.
He called his two friends and asked them to pick up their share of silver and return home. But the other two called him ‘Stupid’ and continued with their journey.
The one who had dug up the treasure returned home with the wealth of silver.
After a journey of few days, the third friend also dropped his wick. He dug up the spot where the wick had fallen and uncovered a big treasure of gold. He yelled in delight and said to his last friend, “Come, let’s share this booty. It’s enough for two of us. Why go alone any farther.”
But the fourth friend continued with his journey, saying that he hoped to find diamonds. So, the one who had found gold, returned home with the heap of gold.
The fourth friend started walking in the direction alone, where he hoped to find diamonds. But the wick he was holding, didn’t fall from his hands.
The fourth friend lost his way. He began wandering and was totally disorientated.
While still wandering, he came across a strange man standing at a place. His body was drenched in blood. The most strange thing was a big wheel, whirling over his head.
The fourth friend went to him quietly and asked in surprise, “Who’re you and what kind of wheel is this, whirling over your head?”
Hardly had the fourth friend finished his question that the big wheel shifted its position and came straight over the head of the fourth friend, still whirling.
The fourth friend cried in pain and disbelief: “Friend, what is this? It’s giving me tremendous pain.”
“This wheel was attached to my head also in a similar fashion,” the other man replied.
“And when will I get rid of it?” asked the fourth friend and started weeping.
“Only when someone carrying the magic wick comes wandering at this place and speaks to you,” said the man.
“Please tell me how long have you been here?” The fourth friend asked still sobbing.
“Even I myself don’t have the right answer to your question”, replied the man. “But I came here during the reign of king Rama. I was a poor man like you. Somehow, I got a magic wick and came to this place in search of diamonds.
I saw a man standing here with this wheel whirling over his head. As soon as, I put up this question, as you put up to me a moment ago, the wheel came upon me.”
“How did you manage your food during such a long period?” asked the fourth friend in a trembling voice.
“You don’t ever need food or water. You are also free from sleep, old age or death. You only suffer pain, for centuries, unless someone approaches you with the same magic wick.
In fact, this wheel was made by Kuber to guard his wealth against the thieves and robbers. So goodbye my friend.”
The man went away leaving the fourth friend with the wheel whirling over his head.
Now, when the third friend found that his friend was taking too long to return, he set out to find him. He finally arrived at the same place, where his fourth friend was standing drenched in blood, with a wheel whirling over his head.
“What is this?” he asked his fourth friend in great astonishment.
“This is the result of my greed for wealth,” replied the fourth friend and narrated the whole story, weeping and moaning.
“I’m sorry to see your ill-fate, friend. But you didn’t listen to me, when I offered you gold. You wanted more. Now I can only wish you all the best,” said the third friend and went away with a sad heart.