A Guru was so impressed by the spiritual progress of his disciple that, judging he needed no further guidance, he left him on his own a little hut on the banks of a river.
Every morning after his ablutions the disciple would hang his loin-cloth out to dry. It was only his possession.
One day he was dismayed to find it torn to shreds by rats. So he had to beg for another from the villagers.
When the rats nibbled holes in this one too, he got himself a kitten.
He had no more trouble with the rats but now, in addition to begging for his own food, he had to beg milk as well.
“Too much trouble begging,” he thought, “and too much of a burden on the villagers. I shall keep a cow.”
When he got the cow, he had to beg for fodder.
“Easier to till the land around my hut,” he thought.
But that proved troublesome too for it left him little time for meditation.
So he employed labourers to till the land for him.
Now overseeing the labourers became a chore, so he married a woman who would share task with him.
Before long, of course, he was one of the wealthiest men in the village!
Years later his Guru happened to drop by and was surprised to see a palatial mansion where once a hut had stood. He said to one of the servants, “Isn’t this where a disciple of mine used to live?”
Before he got a reply, the disciple himself emerged.
“What’s the meaning of all this, my son?” asked the Guru.
“You’re not going to believe this, master”, said the man, “but there was no other way I would keep my loin-cloth!”