The Dharmic Bear!
“Dharma destroys the one who violates it. Dharma also protects the one who protects it.” (Bhagwan Baba).
This is a story that most adults may have read in their childhood. But the lesson learnt is so pertinent that we feel it still is prudent to add it to this compendium.
A man went to a jungle in search of wild herbs. Dusk fell and all of a sudden he was confronted with a lion. The man started running for dear life. The lion chased him till the man succeeded in climbing up a huge tree. But what did he see! A bear was sitting on one of the upper branches of the tree. The man looked down to see the lion snarling up at him and looked up to see the bear staring down at him. He was caught between the devil and the deep sea. The lion called out to the bear, “Oh Brother! You and I are co-habitants of the jungle. Push this fellow down. I am hungry. I want my prey. Please help me.”
The bear said calmly, “Sorry my friend, this tree is my home. This man is a guest in my home. It is against the ethics of guest relations to push him out of my home.” The lion pleaded with the bear, but the bear was a principled creature and did not relent.
After a while, the bear went off to sleep. The man was utterly frightened and could not get a wink of sleep. The lion hovered around the tree restlessly. Seeing that the bear was sleeping, the lion whispered to the man, “I am hungry. It doesn’t matter to me whether I eat you or the bear. Do me a favour, push the sleeping bear down. I shall eat it and go away. Then you shall be free to go home.”
The thankless man did not think twice. He pushed the bear down. The sleeping bear woke up with a start and yelped in shock. Somehow, it was able to grab a branch in mid-air, before he dropped to the ground. Slowly but surely, the bear pulled himself up and secured a place on the tree. The lion said, “This worthless man forgot your goodness towards him. Now you should push him down to teach him a lesson. I am dying of hunger!” The bear said, “He did what his true nature is. But I shall stick to my innate nature. I cannot do it!”.
The bear did not give up his Dharma! Today how easily we give up our Dharma for petty gains! It is never easy to do your duty, but do it, you must!