A man in the city of Ayodhya was a great follower of Lord Shiva. He prayed and prayed and did deep penance in the hope that Lord Shiva would be pleased with him and grant him a boon.
Ultimately, one fine day, Lord Shiva decided to appear before him. When the man saw the God, he prostrated himself on the Lord'sfeet and begged, ?Lord I have been praying to you in the hope that you would grant me my wish. I dearly wish to become rich. Because without riches nobody respects you nor does anyone listen to you.?
Lord Shiva replied, ?Okay, your wish will be granted. Shave your head at the earliest possible and hide yourself behind a bush or a tree. When a beggar comes towards you, then spring upon him and beat him up with a stick. Soon he will turn into a pot of gold which you can use.?
As advised, the man got his head tonsured from a barber and hid behind a tree, waiting for a beggar to appear. The barber became curious to find why the man had got his head shaved and stood behind a tree.
Meanwhile a beggar happened to pass by and the man sprang upon him and hit him with a stick. The beggar turned into a pot of gold. The man was very pleased and went home happy that his wife would no longer harass him for money.
As the barber had been watching the goings on, he too decided to do the same. He shaved off his head and hid behind a tree, waiting for a beggar to come. When a beggar passed near him, he pounced upon the beggar and viciously hit him with his stick that the poor man collapsed and died. Soon a crowd of people gathered at the spot and caught hold of the barber. They took him to the king to get him punished. On hearing the entire story, he was hanged to death. He had to pay with his life for copying the other person.
(Based on a story from the Hitopadesha.)