Long ago, there was a man who wanted to use supernatural powers as a means of getting quick success because getting success the ordinary way required lots of hard work. He went to a rishi and asked to be given a mantra that would make him rich and successful. The rishi repeatedly tried to avoid him; but because of this man’s persistence, the rishi, in his kindness, finally said “I will give you a mantra to chant, and a rakshas (goblin) will come to help you. However, you must be very, very careful, because the rakshas that comes needs to be kept constantly busy. Be warned: If you do not have work for him to do, he will kill you. Now, after hearing this, do you still want the mantra?”
The man, who was already fantasizing about his riches, laughed and said, “I have so much work to do! I will keep him busy day and night.”
The rishi gave him the mantra and told him when and how to chant it. The man did as he was instructed. As foretold, the rakshas appeared. “He, why did you call me?” said his ill-tempered new assistant. Remembering the rishi’s warning, the man immediately instructed the rakshas to construct a ten-storey building. He thought this project would keep the rakshas busy for years. However, the task was completed almost immediately. Quickly he told the rakshas to build all the furniture and decorate the rooms. Within a short time, the rakshas returned asking for more work. Whatever the man told him to do was completed in a moment’s time. Whenever the rakshas returned it said, “Give me work, or I will kill you!”
The man began to panic. “Oh, rakshas,” he said, rather timidly. “Kindly wait here for just a few minutes and I will be right back.” Then he took off running as fast as he could to the rishi’s house. When he arrived, the rishi was sitting outside on his veranda. Out of breath, the man fell to his knees and said in a pleading voice “Revered sire, you must help me. Because of my foolishness, I am in big trouble. I wanted quick success and I got it. But now I am stuck with this dreaded rakshas who will not hesitate to kill me if I do not keep it busy. Sire, I have run out of things for this rakshas to do. Please help me. I am desperate.”
The rishi patted his head and calmly told him, “My child, do not despair. Tell the rakshas to dig a well to draw water. When he is finished, have him attach seven iron rungs on each side, like a ladder that one can use to go up and down. Instruct the rakshas to go down the seven rungs and then come up continuously until you tell him to stop.”
Hence the man hurriedly made his way back to the goblin, who by now had grown quite impatient. He immediately repeated what the rishi told him to say. The rakshas followed the orders it was given, and from that time on it never troubled the man again.
MORAL: The rakshas in the story is none other than the mind. The mind needs some activities; it needs to be kept constantly busy. If you do not keep the mind engaged, like the rakshas in the story, it will make your life miserable. It is not healthy to allow the mind to do whatever it wants. Therefore, keep the mind busy with something constructive and it will not have time to cause you any trouble.