- The Story of a Wallet
A publication by Sri Ramakrishna Centre of South Africa
Once an old man was travelling by train on a pilgrimage to Brindavan. At
night, whilst he was asleep, his wallet fell from his pocket. A co-passenger
found it the next morning and enquired as to whom the wallet belonged. The
old man said it was his. A picture of Sri Krishna inside the wallet was
proof that the wallet really belonged to him.
The old man then began to relate the story of the wallet. He soon had a
group of eager listeners around him. Lifting up the purse for all to see,
the old man said: This purse has a long history behind it. My father gave it
to me years ago when I was a mere schoolboy. I kept my little pocket money
in it and also a photograph of my parents.
Years passed. I grew up and began studying at university. Like every youth,
I became conscious of my appearance. I replaced my parents’ photograph with
that of my own and I would look at it often. I had become my own admirer.
Then came marriage. Self-admiration gave way to the consciousness of a
family. Out went my own picture and I replaced it with that of my wife’s.
During the day I would open the wallet many times and gaze at the picture.
All tiredness vanished and I would resume my work with enthusiasm.
Then came the birth of my first child. What a joy I experienced when I
became a father! I would eagerly rush home after work to play with my little
baby. Needless to say, my wife’s picture had already made way for the
The old man paused. Wiping his tearful eyes, he looked around and said in a
sad voice: Friends, my parents passed away long ago. My wife too died five
years ago. My son- my only son- is now married. He is too busy with his
career and his family. He has no time for me. I now stand on the brink of
death. I do not know what awaits me in future. Everything I loved,
everything I considered my own, has left me.
A picture of Lord Krishna now occupies the place in my wallet. I know He
will never leave me. I wish now that I had kept HIS picture with me right
from the beginning! He alone is true; all others are just passing shadows.
Sri Sarada Devi, the holy mother, says: Don’t be afraid my child, these
earthly ties are transitory. Today they seem to be the be-all and end-all of
life, and tomorrow they vanish. Your real tie is with God. God is one’s very
own. It is the eternal relationship. He is ever looking after you. Call on
the Lord who pervades the entire universe. He will shower His blessings upon