In ancient india in the south of the country lived a sage who was very kind and was known to give away everything he have to needy, it gave him immense pleasure by giving to others.
Once a friend who was also a sage came to visit sage at his ashram, he was very surprised by the way his friend was giving everything to others.
Next morning both friends went to river bank to take bath where friend observed that the sage is wearing torn clothes. He said, “You are giving away so much to others and you are wearing torn clothes. why do you not buy new clothes for yourself and stop exposing your body through these clothes?”
The sage said, “we are sage and we have vowed to detach ourselves from every pleasure of earth and indulge in praying to god and serving others. Clothes and our body are not of any concern for me anymore, even our scriputres tell us the same”.
Freind was surprised by the explaination given by sage and he asked, “We have studied together and I read the same books which you read, show me which scriptures says that?”.
The sage replied, “I do not have that book with me anymore, I have sold it”.
Friend broke into laugh and said, “Does anyone sell scriptures?”
The sage said,”why not? the book which says to give up, donate or sell everything you have to help the needy, why cannot it be sold? Keeping that scripture with me have no value by selling it I helped a man to buy food for his family. The person who bought the book can read it and gain knowledge and realize the true meaning of the writings in the scripture, no better use of that scriputre can be made in any other way”.
Friend had tears of joy after listeining to the sage and he understood the true meaning of serving.
Holy scriptures teach us things which have to be practised rather than just knowing them and not working on them and help others.