A beggar once came to an emperor and warned the king not to give him anything unless he could meet a condition.
“What do you mean? What condition?”
“If you can’t fill my bowl, don’t give me anything at all.”
“What do you take me for? A beggar? Don’t you think I can fill this dirty little bowl?”
“Then perhaps you should try.”
The king called his vizier and told him to fill it with precious gems. Let this beggar know who he was dealing with. But the bowl could not be filled. Everything disappeared into it. Many times, this happened.
Now the king was in a rage. He told the vizier, “Even if it costs me my whole kingdom, I want that bowl filled! I will not let this beggar defeat me.” And he lost his whole kingdom. Finally, the king fell at the beggar’s feet and begged him to tell him what the secret of the begging bowl was.
The beggar was laughing. “It is the human ego. Everything disappears in it. Nothing ever fulfills it.”
This is not a story. It is our life. We keep filling our begging bowls with desires like houses, cars, bank balances, etc. and everything disappears. And we continue begging. We have been doing this for many lives. It is our story. There is no satisfaction, no contentment in what we receive. The ego is never fulfilled.