The Misery of the Miser

Verses of Vemana – 40

dhanamu kudabetti dharmambuseyaka
tanu tinaka lessa dachugaka
tenetiga gurchi teruvari kiyyada
viswadhabhi rama vinura vema

Commentary:This verse of Vemana is a mirror image of verse 15, chapter III of the Uddhava Gita.

The miser hoards a large quantity of money with great struggle and pain. He neither shares it with others nor enjoys it himself. No matter how carefully he hides his hard-earned wealth or tries to protect it, in time it will fall into the hands of others[1].

The greedy man is like the bee that labours to gather a large quantity of honey[2] without even relishing it. It eventually falls into the hands of the honey-gatherer.

Vemana presents the misery of the miser graphically.

[1] The poet Bhartrihari says that wealth can be spent in three ways: by oneself, in charity or be stolen by robbers!

[2] Bees may travel as far as 55,000 miles and visit more than two million flowers to gather enough nectar to make just a pound of honey.


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