One night, a thief entered the hut of a sage. He was writing a letter, so he looked at the thief and said, ”For what have you come? What do you want?”
And this sage was so innocent that even the thief couldn’t tell a lie. So he said, ”Looking at you, so mirror-like, so innocent like a child, I cannot tell a lie. Should I tell the truth?”
The sage said, ”Yes.”
He said, ”I have come to steal something.”
The sage said, ”There in that corner I have got a few rupees. You can take them” – and then he focused on to write his letter again.
The thief took the money and was trying to leave and then the sage said, ”Stop! When somebody gives you something you should thank him. The money may not be of much help, but thanking a person will go a long way and will be of help to you. So thank me!”
The thief thanked him and disappeared into the dark.
Later on the thief was caught, and it was discovered that he had been to this sage’s hut also, so the sage was called to the court.
The sage said in court, ”Yes, I know this man very well – but he has never stolen anything from me. I gave him some rupees and he thanked me for them. It is finished, there was nothing wrong. The whole thing is finished, the account is closed. I gave him some money and he thanked me for it. He is not a thief.”