A poor fellow was a disciple of Shri Akkalkot Maharaj. Shri Maharaj took that fellow to a forest and showed an abode of snakes. Shri Maharaj asked him to take two snakes and put them in to his bag. The disciple took two snakes with a lot of fear, put them in his bag and took them to his house. When he opened the bag, both the snakes were found to be two rods of gold.
What is the message of this story?
Shri Maharaj was the human incarnation of Lord Datta and was called as Samartha Sadguru, which means that He was the capable human form of the Lord appearing as the preacher. Hence, the message must be very capable.
The message of Lord Datta in this story is that an excess of money indicated by the abode of snakes is very harmful like poisonous snakes. Nobody can escape the poisonous bite of a cluster of snakes. The poison is the ego that is injected in to the human brain due to excess money, which destroys one’s life. Here life means the spiritual life.
In the Sanatsujatiyam of Mahabharata, it is told that death does not mean leaving the human body but it means forgetting God. Leaving the old human body is like changing an old shirt, which should really be an occasion of happiness. But death means an occasion of a lot of unhappiness, which is only when God is forgotten.
Therefore, the message of Maharaj is that the excess wealth is the real death of any soul.
Only Lord Narayana lying on a big serpent and Lord Shiva wearing serpents as jewels are exceptional cases that are not affected by these poisonous serpents (excess wealth). This means that excess wealth is not poison, if it is linked to the spiritual line.
The Lord advised the devotee to take only two serpents indicating limited wealth meant for materialistic life. Generally there is a possibility of escaping from the bite from just two snakes. One is less likely to get bitten by just two snakes as opposed to a whole bunch of snakes. This is indicative of the need for moderation in the possession of wealth.
Another human incarnation of Lord Datta was Manikya Prabhu, who as a boy excreted in the Vedic fire altar and His excretion was found to be a lump of gold. The Vedic fire altar is called Yajna, which represents the path to heaven. Heaven means luxurious life, which involves excess wealth indicated by the lump of gold.
But the lump of gold was treated to be the excretion, which is considered to waste material.
This means that luxurious life is only a waste. Heaven, which is the fruit of doing social service, is temporary (Ksheene punye…—Gita) and is not like the permanent bliss of the Lord. The present politicians, who do social service without the name of the Lord, just to become wealthy and lead a luxurious heavenly life, should take the message from Lord Datta.
Saturn is considered to be the giver of spiritual knowledge (Jnana Karaka) and is said to be the husband of the deity of poverty (Jyestha Devi). This means that the best ground for spiritual knowledge is poverty and not wealth. Excess wealth will lead to ego and attraction to luxury. This is not congenial to spiritual knowledge. But a minimum amount of wealth is essential for the basic needs.
Source - www.universal-spirituality.org