A man asks another to do him a favour, telling him, “I have a bag of salt, rice and gold.
If you help me cross the river, I will give you whichever bag I like.” Thinking it was a good chance to make some money, the second man helped him. Having reached the shore, he asked for the bag of gold. However, the first man replied, “I said I would give you whichever bag I liked. You can have either the salt or rice.” The second man was outraged that despite having risked his life to help him, he was cheated. The matter was then brought to a court. However, the case was in favour of the first man.
A monk present saw how the first man was cunning with his misleading words. He asked him to put all his bags on the floor, asking him to tell him exactly what he said again. He replied, “I said, ‘If you help me cross the river, I will give you whichever bag I like.'” The monk said, “Leave two of the bags as court costs and take the one you like and go.” Without question, the man picked up the bag of gold, ready to leave. The monk asked, “Which bag have you taken?” “The one with gold of course!” “Why?” “Because that’s the one I like!” To this, the monk remarked, “Did you not say to this man who helped you that you’ll give him whichever bag you liked?” Speechless, he had to give up the bag of gold to the second man, leaving himself with nothing. While we play with words to exploit others, our words too can be played back against us in the rebound of karma!