Swami Ramji narrates one of his experiences:
I went to see a swami, who told me the following story to teach me about temptations on the path to self-realization.
A young man took vows of renunciation and became a swami. His master told him to avoid three things: gold, women, and fame.
One day the swami was crossing a river and noticed that part of the riverbank had been washed away. Then he saw that some big jars full of gold coins had been uncovered. He thought, "I don't need it, because I have renounced the world - but if I build a temple, that will be good." So he went to some builders, showed them what he had found, and asked them to build a temple. They said to one another, "Why should a swami have so much money? Let's throw him in the river and distribute the money amongst ourselves."
He was almost drowned, but by the grace of God he was able to save himself. He thereupon determined with finality: "No matter what happens, no money." He went far into the woods. When anybody came to see him, he said, "Stop there, please. If you have any money, put it aside before you come closer."
A woman came, and he ordered, "Don't come near me." She said, "Sir, I will only leave food here every day and go away." But each day she came slightly closer to him. The swami had confidence that she was a good person. He thought, "She really wants to look after me and wants me to enlighten her."
One day she brought a cat to keep him company. But the cat would not eat the food which had been prepared for the swami. He requested: "I need some milk for the cat each day." She brought a cow. He asked, "Who will look after this cow?" She asked, "May I look after it?" And he agreed.
She looked after the swami more and more. Eventually they began to live together, and woman bore him a child. One day the swami was taking care of the child when another swami came along and said, "What has happened to you?"
The swami began to weep and he realized how much he had again become entangled with this world. He left, and went even deeper into the forest. He practiced very sincerely, and after some years acquired some siddhis [powers].
One day a man from a nearby village sought him out. He bowed and said, "Swamiji, you are so kind and such a great sage. I am very poor; my children do not have enough to eat. Please help me!" Swamiji said, "Take one hair from my beard, put it in your cupboard, and tomorrow your cupboard will be full of money. But don't tell anyone about it."
When he returned to his home that man naturally revealed the secret to his wife, and she to many other. Soon the news had traveled far and wide. Hundreds of people thronged to the swami to pull a hair from his beard. His face was fore and bleeding.
Once again he had to go away and begin his practice anew. But he had learned a valuable lesson. He now knew the consequence of becoming involved with gold, women, and fame.
The swami who told this story to me said, "This is a lesson which you should never forget. Let this story be a lesson to you relate it to all young swamis who meet you on the path."
Source : From the book : Living with the Himalayan Masters by Swami Ram. Page 179-180