The Greedy Horse

The Greedy Horse

A king once offered a handsome reward to anyone who could take his greedy horse with him for a day and satisfy it, such that on its return to the palace in the evening, it would not have any desire to eat. One by one people came forward and took the horse to their houses for a day. Some fed it with hay; others fed it gram dal and oats. Each day, when the volunteer would bring the horse back to the palace, the king would instruct the servant to offer it some fresh green hay. Despite being stuffed all day, the greedy horse would surely have a few mouthfuls of hay.

Day after day, many people tried, but every evening the horse would repeat its late night snack of fresh hay, on his return to the palace. Every day the king would repeat the challenge in court, and some one or the other would take it up. Days passed.

One day a learned Sadhu came by and learnt of the challenge … He offered to try his hand at the horse. So the next morning, he led the horse to a forest near by. There he put some hay in front of the horse. The moment the horse bent down to eat; the Sadhu hit him sharply with a heavy bamboo stick. This went on all day; the horse would go near the grass and the Sadhu would hit him hard with the stick. All day the horse went hungry. As dusk fell, the Sadhu led the hungry and bewildered horse to the palace. The king ordered that fresh hay be offered to the horse. The Sadhu stood next to the horse, brandishing his stick. The horse eyed the stick and did not dare to touch the grass. It had had enough all day. It had learnt its lesson. The king was not only amazed but impressed too. Well, the Sadhu was given the promised prize money and he was on his way. But he had taught a valuable lesson.

In this world too, we get attached to worldly things. The more of the world we get or the more it is available or offered to us, the more we want to grab and devour. We are never satisfied. We have no ceiling on desires. Then, God decides to teach us a lesson. He gives us a worldly blow by rebuking us or depriving us of something or the other. Still we do not listen; we try newer ways to get what we want. Eventually He has to rain blows on us to make us understand and to tame our animal instincts of eat, drink and be merry…

Let us discipline ourselves before He decides to wield the stick and take us to task, like the horse in the story.