Goddess of Wealth and Goddess of Poverty
Once a beautiful and well-dressed woman visited a house. The master of the house
asked her who she was; and she replied that she was the goddess of wealth. The
master of the house was delighted and so greeted her with open arms. Soon after
another woman appeared who was ugly looking and poorly dressed. The master asked
who she was and the woman replied that she was the goddess of poverty. The master
was frightened and tried to drive her out of the house, but the woman refused
to depart, saying, 'The goddess of wealth is my sister. There is an agreement
between us that we are never to live apart; if you chase me out, she is to go
with me.' Sure enough, as soon as the ugly woman went out, the other woman disppeared.
Birth goes with death. Fortune goes with misfortune. Bad things follow good things.
Everyone should realize this. Foolish people dread misfortune and strive after
good fortune, but those who seek Enlightenment must transcend both of them and
be free of worldly attachment.
From Thus Have I Heard, edited by Minh Thanh and P.D. Leigh.