A rich man wanted to have something for the happiness of his family written down as calligraphy so that this would be remembered by generations. So he asked Sengai for calligraphy that should confirm this to strengthen the luck. Sengai asked for a large sheet of paper and took the brush, so Sengai wrote ``Father dies, son dies, grandson dies''.
When the rich man saw this, he became very angry and spoke with a raised voice to Sengai, ``I asked you to write something for the happiness of my family and you are making a joke of it! What were you thinking?'' ˋˋI did not mean for it to seem like I was joking,'' Sengai replied and continued, ˋˋBut know my words. If your son were to die before you, you would be saddened, and if your grandson were to die before your son, both your hearts would be broken. So if in your family for generations all can die in the right order. Exactly in this where I wrote down, so I call this True Happiness.''