There was a beggar who once wailed before a rich house for a mouthful. The master, reclining in an easy chair, drove him away with harsh words. But, the beggar persisted. He asked for some stale food, at least! At this, the daughter-in-law who was at her meals in the inner apartments, replied: "My dear fellow! We are at present eating stale food.
The fresh dishes are now being cooked". The beggar knew what she meant; he understood that the woman was pointing out that the father-in-law by his insolence and cruelty was preparing for a miserable future, while his present high standard of living was made possible by the merit he acquired through charity in previous lives! We eat stale food, that is to say, the result of the acts in past lives. We are also cooking our future meals.