This is a Puranic story about a man who became very wealthy but was extremely miserly and harsh even with his own family. When his store of good karma ran out he gradually lost all his wealth and was rejected by his own family.
He reflected deeply on the situation and received some extraordinary insight into his situation. He resolved to become a wandering monk and spend the remainder of his life absorbed in transcendence.
While wandering around he was often mistreated but accepted all the unhappiness as being his due. From his enlightenment he understood the role of the mind and how the eternal spiritual being becomes enslaved by the desires of the mind and suffers greatly as a consequence. There was a recognition of the role which our own choices and actions play in our experiencing happiness and distress and that our destiny and our happiness are in our own hands. By living a life where we are in control of our mind and desires and we consciously choose to do good, the result will be wonderful. He composed a beautiful and poetic song that addresses the reality he was experiencing.
Some of the verses included the following:
SB 11.23.47: All the senses have been under the control of the mind since time immemorial, and the mind himself never comes under the sway of any other. He is stronger than the strongest, and his godlike power is fearsome. Therefore, anyone who can bring the mind under control becomes the master of all the senses.
SB 11.23.48: Failing to conquer this irrepressible enemy, the mind, whose urges are intolerable and who torments the heart, many people are completely bewildered and create useless quarrel with others. Thus they conclude that other people are either their friends, their enemies or parties indifferent to them.
SB 11.23.49: Persons who identify with this body, which is simply the product of the material mind, are blinded in their intelligence, thinking in terms of “I” and “mine.” Because of their illusion of “this is I, but that is someone else,” they wander in endless darkness.
SB 11.23.50: If you say that these people are the cause of my happiness and distress, then where is the place of the soul in such a conception? This happiness and distress pertain not to the soul but to the interactions of material bodies. If someone bites his tongue with his own teeth, at whom can he become angry in his suffering?
SB 11.23.57: I shall cross over the insurmountable ocean of nescience by being firmly fixed in the service of the lotus feet of the Supreme Soul. This was approved by the previous ācāryas, who were fixed in firm devotion to the Lord, Paramātmā, the Supreme Personality of Godhead.
SB 11.23.58: Thus becoming detached upon the loss of his property, this sage gave up his moroseness. He left home, taking sannyāsa, and began to travel about the earth. Even when insulted by foolish rascals he remained unswerved from his duty and chanted this song.
SB 11.23.59: No other force besides his own mental confusion makes the soul experience happiness and distress. His perception of friends, neutral parties and enemies and the whole material life he builds around this perception are simply created out of ignorance.