Baba Bharati

There is a famous folktale of an ascetic called Baba Bharati. He was known for his goodness and honesty. He was always ready to help the poor and needy. He had a beautiful horse named Sultan. Baba Bharati loved Sultan like a father. A robber called Kharag Singh, envied Baba Bharati for having such a priceless horse. One day, Kharag Singh, disguised himself as a handicapped beggar and sat on the side of the road. When Baba Bharati crossed that way on horseback, Kharag Singh cried out for help.

Baba Bharati jumped off the horse and helped the handicapped beggar to mount it. He asked him where he wanted to go. After riding a few steps, the beggar whipped the horse and rode off, leaving Baba Bharati behind. Baba Bharati called out, “My friend, I cannot stop you from taking away my beloved horse. Take him if you must. But do not tell anyone of the way in which you tricked me into this. For if you tell everyone, people shall lose their confidence in the poor and no one shall ever help the needy again!”

That night, under the cover of darkness, Sultan came home … led by Kharag Singh, who quietly left him in his stable and went away.

Touched by the concern exhibited by the ascetic for the poor and helpless, against his own interest for having lost his most precious possession, Kharag Singh decided to turn over a new leaf.