In a small town lived a wealthy merchant. He was very kind and charitable. He had a son, who had unfortunately fallen into a bad company. Many times the merchant advised his son not to go with the bad company. But all in vain. “Please, do not advise me what to do, my father. I know what is good for me and I know what to do," said the son.
One day, a great saint came to the town. The merchant went to the saint, sought his blessings and said, “My spoiled son is the only cause of my worry. Please help me."
After few minutes of contemplation, the saint replied, “Send your son to my Ashram tomorrow morning. I will talk to him."
Next morning, the merchant sent his son to the Ashram of the saint. There the saint asked the son to pluck a flower of rose from the garden of the Ashram. The son did as asked by the saint. Then the saint asked the son,"Smell it and feel its fragrance, my son." The boy did so. Then saint showed the son a sack of wheat said, “Keep the rose near the sack." The boy followed the instructions.
After an hour, the saint asked the boy to smell the rose again. “How does it smell now?" the saint asked the boy. The boy smelt the rose and said, “It smells as good as before." Then the saint said, “Hmm! Now keep the rose near this sack of jaggery." The boy did so.
After an hour, the saint asked the boy to smell the rose again. “Is there any change in the fragrance?" the saint asked the boy. “No. it smells as fresh as before," replied the boy.
Then the saint said, “Boy, you should be like this rose, giving the fragrance to everyone but at the same time not letting the bad smell rub on to you from anyone. Your good qualities are your strength. You should not lose them in bad company."
The boy understood the saint’s words and wisdom. “I am grateful to you, O Saint, for opening my eyes," said the merchant’s son.
From that day onwards, he was honest and charitable like his cultured father.