There was a poor man, who ardently craved wealth. He did severe penance, and when God appeared before him he said he wanted a lot of wealth. God gave him a stick and said, “Every time you strike this stick on the ground, you will get one thousand gold coins. But the moment you lose your temper, the stick will disappear and so will all your wealth.” The poor man took the stick and went away happily. On the way, a sanyasi asked him why he carried a stick with him. The poor man tapped the stick on the ground, and as God had promised, a thousand gold coins showed up. The sanyasi then asked the poor man many questions, which the latter answered patiently at first. But with more and more questions being asked the poor man lost his patience and spoke angrily to the sanyasi. Immediately, the stick as well as the coins disappeared, as God had warned.
The story shows the impermanence of wealth and how we can lose everything we possess in a matter of minutes, said M.A. Manickavelu in a discourse. If we run after wealth and other material possession, there will be darkness and worry in our lives. But when we seek God, we get jnana. Thiruvalluvar says that in order to get rid of desires, we must seek the One who has no desires. Vallalar says that we spend our lives in the pursuit of various things. This ruins our health and finally our lives end. Joy is like a mirage. Be like a mother to me, prays Vallalar to Muruga. Saint Appar saw Lord Siva as every one of his relatives. Manickavachagar saw Lord Siva as his parents. Vallalar in his Tiruarupta says to Lord Siva: “When a father punishes a child, the mother comes to its support. If a mother is harsh with the child, then the father comes to its support. But, if you turn against me, to whom will I turn for comfort?”