Updated: Jan 6, 2021
Ghaṭṭakuṭīprabhāta nyāyaḥ (toll-collector's booth)
One night a traveler was traversing a road on which was a toll point. Because he was niggardly-minded, he wanted to escape the tax payment by making a detour. Thus he walked throughout the whole night. At dawn, to his great astonishment, he arrived right before the eyes of the toll-collector at the same toll point, and to his displeasure, he had to pay the toll.
This is another appropriate illustrative story of the mechanism of karma. Materialistic-minded people are naturally niggardly-minded. How is that? Well, they are misappropriating, piously or impiously, the property of the Supreme Lord. After all, that is their brand mark of being hostile to God, of which they are so proud. Therefore they consider the law of karma to be some kind of machine-like mechanism, which can be tricked by some evasive action. However, the fact is that the karma-phala, meaning what is due to us, is supervised by a council of persons, at whose center sits Kṣīrodakaśāyī Viṣṇu, the paramātmā, all-present, and all-omniscient Lord. This council makes sure that everyone gets what he deserves, according to his actions and desires, even it is quite unpleasant, too often to mention, or plausible, sometimes. This is not done because of taking pleasure in passing punishing sentences to rascal living entities, but rather to attract them to the personal understanding of the mechanisms behind the impersonal workings of the material nature. The way of a good son is that he gladly gives a portion of his own wealth to his father in gratitude because he understands that it is only thanks to his father that he has any at all. So broad-minded living entities do not see any harm in spending their wealth as toll-sacrifice of gratitude, to be used for the spreading the glory of the Śrī Hari.