Once Krishna and Arjuna were walking towards a village. Arjuna was pestering Krishna, asking him why Karna and not he, should be considered a role model of generosity.
Krishna decided to explain it to him. He snapped his fingers and the mountains beside the path they were walking, turned into gold. Krishna said, “Arjuna, distribute these two mountains of gold among the villagers to every last bit.” Arjuna went into the village and pompously asked the people to gather near the mountain, since he wanted to donate the gold. The villagers began to sing his praises. For two days he shovelled gold from the mountain and donated gold to the villagers but the mountain did not diminish in size in the slightest. Most villagers came back and stood in the queue within minutes. After a while Arjuna started feeling exhausted. He told Krishna that he could go no longer without rest.
Krishna then called Karna, “You must donate every last bit of this mountain, Karna,” he instructed. Karna went to the villagers and said, “You see these two mountains of gold? They are yours to do with as you please,” and walked away. Arjuna sat dumbfounded. Why did he not think of it? Krishna smiled mischievously and said, “Arjuna you were subconsciously attracted to the gold, and gave it regretfully to the villagers, giving them what you thought was a generous amount. The size of your donation depended only on your imagination. Karna holds no such reservations. Look at him walking off after giving away a fortune. He does not expect people to sing his praise and does not even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back. That is the sign of true generosity and non-attachment.
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