In a quaint village, there lived a monk known for his peculiar way of seeking alms. Standing in front of houses, he would call out, "Mother! Give me a handful of pearls. God will bless you." The unconventional request puzzled the villagers, as pearls were a luxury beyond reach for many.
One day, a compassionate woman suggested to the monk, "Baba, our people struggle to fill their stomachs. Go to the palace; they might have pearls to spare." Undeterred, the monk continued his plea, catching the attention of an elderly woman who felt sympathy for him.
Inviting him into her humble abode, she placed a single pearl on his palm, saying, "Baba, I may not have a handful of pearls, but accept this one. Please don't leave our village empty-handed." The monk smiled and declined, "Mother, where would I keep this in my torn bag? Keep it with yourself."
Undeterred, the monk traveled to another village, repeating his peculiar request. Once again, the villagers couldn't provide a handful of pearls. Yet, fate led the monk to a farmer's house at the edge of the village.
Calling out, "Mother! Give me a handful of pearls. God will bless you," the farmer welcomed the monk. Offering a seat, he instructed his wife to prepare food and grind a handful of pearls for chapati. The farmer, being literate in the ways of the world, understood the monk's metaphor.
As the farmer presented the monk with a feast, the monk expressed his gratitude, "After a long time, I have received food from Kuber's house. I am very glad." When the monk asked for an earful of pearls, the farmer chuckled, claiming illiteracy. The monk, closing his eyes, countered, "No, you are not illiterate. You are a scholar for fulfilling my wish."
The monk continued, "One who considers crop grains, drops of water, and words of preaching as pearls is the owner of true wealth. May God bless you." With his blessing, the monk moved on, leaving behind a lesson that true wealth lies not in material possessions but in the virtues of kindness, knowledge, and humility.