Even if you intend to cheat Indians, it can be done only in a spiritual way”- says Swami Vivekananda.

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa narrated the following story to his disciples during a conversation.

A man once wished to sell the jewels he possessed and went to the market in search of an honest goldsmith. He saw a shop at the entrance of which a man who appeared to be a true Vaishnava with a gopichandan mark on his forehead, a tulasi mala around his neck and a rosary (japamala) in his hand was seated. The man thought that this was the place that he was looking for and entered the shop. Having given the jewels to the owner, the man expressed his desire to sell the jewels. The owner took the jewels and handing them over to an assistant and told him, “Weigh this gold after melting it and let me know how much it weighs.”

 

The assistant took the jewels inside and even while he was melting the jewels, chanted the divine name “Keshab, Keshab” (in Bengal, keshava is pronounced as keshab) in a loud and emotional manner. In reply the owner closed his eyes and with great devotion said, “Gopala, Gopala”. Observing these, the man who had come to sell his jewels thought to himself in great admiration “ Oh! What great devotion these people have! They do not forget the divine name even while they are engaged in their duty. It is indeed my good luck that I entered this shop”.

While he was thinking so, the assistant again chanted loudly “Hari, Hari”. The owner replied with great emotion “Hara, Hara”. The following moment, the assistant dropped a piece of gold from the melted lot into a separate pot and weighed the remaining gold and reported it to the owner. The person who had come to sell his jewels was engrossed in the Nama Sankirtan that was in progress and made no note of anything else.

But the fact was - the meaning of “Keshab, keshab” (that was actually a question put by the assistant meaning “ke-shab”) is, ‘How is this man?’. The owner’s reply “Gopala, Gopala” meant that “Don’t worry he is go-pala (a cowherd) and a simpleton. He can be easily cheated."

The Hari Nam ghosha was done by the assistant to seek the permission of his master to steal the gold. The reply “Hara, hara” meant, “You can steal”. Immediately, the assistant pinched a part of the melted gold. The person who had come to sell his jewels was ignorant about the secret language of the shopkeepers and was thus thoroughly cheated. He took the money as offered by the owner and more over decided that in future too, he would come only to the same shop if he had to sell his jewels.