Aparigraha: Non-possessiveness

Aparigraha means to take only what is necessary, and not to take advantage of a situation or act greedy. We should only take what we have earned; if we take more, we are exploiting someone else.

Greedy Brahmins

There is another great story about the wisdom of Tenali Rama. The famous King of Vijayanagar, Krishnadevaraya's, mother was a very pious and orthodox lady. She had visited all holy places and given much of her treasures in charity to temples. Once she showed the desire of giving away the fruits in charity and her son, the king, obliged.

Krishnadevaraya immediately got many mangoes from Ratnagiri. He respected his mother a lot and never let her down. Unfortunately, before the auspicious day could arrive, his mother died.

Krishnadevaraya followed all religious rites. They went on for many days. On the last day, the king called some brahmins and said, 'my mother's last wish was to offer mangoes to brahmins. But she could not fulfil this wish and died. What can I do so that my mother's last wish could be fulfilled and she can rest in peace?'

The brahmins were greedy. They said that only if the king would give each brahmin a gold mango, would his mother be able to rest in peace. Krishnadevarya on hearing this immediately ordered some gold mangoes to be made and presented them to the Brahmins, thinking now his mother would be happy and peaceful.

Tenali Rama heard about this and he called those brahmins to his home to perform the last rite ceremonies of his own mother. When the brahmins came to Tenali's house Tenali closed all the doors and windows and stood in front of them with a red hot iron rod. The brahmins were taken aback, but Tenali removed their confusion.

'My mother had knee pains and as a remedy she wanted me to cure her with these hot iron rods. But she died before I could help her. So now I want to fulfil her wish by giving you all this treatment', Tenali said to the brahmins.

The brahmins were shocked and said that it is an injustice on them and that they will not be a part of it.

But Tenali said that since they had taken the golden mangoes from the king because that way it could provide peace to his dead mother, this was the way Tenali's mother could find peace.

The greedy brahmins understood that they have not done right and they returned the mangoes to the King.

Later, Tenali Rama told king Krishnadevarya that the treasure of the palace should not be exploited by giving them to such greedy people. Instead, it should be put to feed and serve the needy.


The above, story of three bhramin's shows that one should not be greedy and take more than they need. By following Aparigraha one will elevate to greater heights.