Once there lived a notorious thief. He had committed many
thefts and murders. The thief had a friend who secretly nursed
a desire to change him into a good man.

One day the friend told the thief:
“ Dear friend, I will show you an easy way to earn a lot of
money in one attempt; you need not rob people frequently.”

The thief was excited. The friend continued:

“At the outskirts of the town, there is a cave in which some
people live. They appear to be poor. But they have a lot of
hidden wealth. If you could make that wealth yours, all your
miseries would end.”

The friend continued:

“to get that wealth, you should live with them in the cave .
You should imitate their talk, walk and way of life and win
their trust. If you do this, you can gain their treasure.”

The friend’s words kindled a desire in the thief ’s heart to
become rich at once. He approached the cave. When he
entered it, he was surprised to see many sâdhus. They were
on the path of spiritual quest.

The sâdhus were so immersed in their own world that they did
not even notice the arrival of the thief. The thief began to
live with them. The sâdhus led a pious life. They got up early
in the morning, performed yoga and dhyana and lived
peacefully. The thief began to imitate their ways.

As days went by, the thief ’s baser instincts and qualities left
him and he even forgot the purpose of his visit to the cave.
One day, as he was meditating , he had the vision of God. At
that moment, all his pains and miseries ended and he realised
the truth that no treasure is greater than God.

The company of the yogis turned the thief into a jnâni. We
should always seek the company of good people, because it
has the power to transform us. The Sanskrit saying, “Bhramara
Keeta Nyaya”, illustrates this truth. It is said that a particular
species of honeybee does not give birth to young ones. Instead,
it captures an ordinary bee and keeps it in its hive. The baby
bee which grows up listening to the buzz of its foster mother
becomes a honey bee.

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