A king once set out in disguise to discover for himself the happiest man in his kingdom.
Having met hundreds of people, at long last he came across a poor peasant, singing happily as he tilled the soil. There was such a radiant joy on his face that the king was drawn irresistibly towards him.
“Dear friend,” he said to the peasant. “Tell me the secret of your joy.”
“It’s very simple, really,” said the peasant. “One-fourth of what I earn, I repay as the debt I owe; one-fourth, I invest in the future; one-fourth, I give away in charity and one-fourth, I spend on my duty.”
The king was thoroughly bewildered. He begged the peasant to explain further. “My parents gave me the great gift of life, and I owe them a deep debt of gratitude. I now cherish them and look after them in their old age. One fourth of my income is thus spent in repaying this debt.”
“My children represent the future. I spend one-fourth of my income on feeding, clothing and educating them. This is my investment in the future.”
“Poor though I am, there are people worse off than me. I help them as much as I can, and one-fourth of my income is spent on charity.”
“My wife has placed her trust in me. It is my duty to love and protect her till the end of my life. One-fourth of my income is spent on giving her a good home.
“This is the secret of my happiness!”
Moral: True happiness comes from discharging your obligations and duties towards God, family and others and not on wealth, name and fame!