Justice By The Shepherd!
“Investigate and examine, then you have the right to pronounce judgement.” (Bhagwan Baba)
King Bhoja was considered to be a just and fair king. One day a Brahmin came to him and said, “I have been away to Kashi on a pilgrimage. Before leaving I gave three precious stones to my neighbor for safekeeping. My wife and small child were at home. Now that I have returned and am asking him for the stones he says that in my absence, he returned them to my wife. My wife says that he did not return them to her. I want justice.”
The King asked the neighbour, “Did you return the precious stones entrusted by this man to you.” “Yes, your highness, I returned them to his wife.” “Do you have a witness?” asked the king.
“Yes, the village headman and the caretaker were there, when I did so.” So the King called the two witnesses and asked them, “Did this man return three precious stones to the Brahmin’s wife in your presence?” Both of them confirmed that the stones were returned in their presence.
The King was very angry with the Brahmin for having wasted his time. He accused him of greed and dishonesty and sent him off.
Now, there was a Shepherd boy who sat on a hillock. He was reputed to give very good justice. So the aggrieved Brahmin sought his help. He told the entire story to the shepherd boy.
The boy called the neighbour, the village head man, caretaker and the Brahmin’s wife. King Bhoja had also heard of the shepherd boy, so he too decided to go and watch the Shepherd boy decide the case.
The shepherd took the Brahmin’s wife aside and softly asked her if she had received the stones. She said, “No.”
The shepherd boy then asked the neighbour who maintained his earlier stance saying, “I have returned the stones to the Brahmin’s wife.”
He then took the village headman aside and asked, “What kind of stones, did the man return to the Brahmin?” The headman replied, “They were as blue as the sea and shone brightly as the moon. They were as big as my fist.”
The shepherd then took the caretaker aside and asked the same question. The caretaker said, “The stones were as red as blood and transparent and as big as berries.”
The boy then called them all together and said, “The neighbor is a liar. He has deliberately asked these two witnesses to say that he returned the precious stones. He has to return them to the Brahmin.”
King Bhoja who had been watching the entire proceedings was
It is never possible to decide who is right or wrong unless you hear out both sides and understand the problem. Just a cursory glance at any situation may lead to a wrong judgement. Baba says, “You may talk in a flamboyant high-sounding style. Know that you are judged not by your tongue, but by your activity and attitude.”