A sage, Jājali by name, performed severe austerities and developed a few powers because of which he became highly conceited. Then, a few benevolent spirits advised him to go to Tulādhāra (a vaiśya merchant) living in Kāśī, for greater enlightenment.

When he approached Tulādhāra he was surprised to find that he (the merchant) had already come to know everything about his tapas as also his conceit. On being questioned about this, Tulādhāra gave him a long discourse on true dharma.

The salient points of his teaching can be summarised as follows:

One should earn one’s livelihood with least injury to other beings. He should be a friend of all, with an equanimous temperament. He should practise detachment, self-control and freedom from fear. Understanding the correct nature of dharma and then practising it is the best way. (vide Mahābhārata, Śāntiparva Chapters 262 and 263).