Monday, January 28, 2008

A Dog's Lesson for the GBC

From Rasananda prabhu, a godbrother from the West who has been living in India for the past 34 years, an instructive anecdote from Valmiki's Ramayana. The words of the anecdote are not his, but are from the Ramayan version at

"Every day, Lord Rama would sit in his council hall and ask Lakshman to go outside the gates and see if there was anyone with a grievance. If there was, the person would be brought inside and his wrongs redressed.

One day, a dog was waiting outside. Ramacandra called him in and asked him what he wanted. The dog replied that he had been hit on the head by a brahmin.

Rama asked the council to decide some punishment but the court said that a brahmin could never be punished. So Rama asked the dog to decide on some way to redress his wrongs. The dog insisted that the brahmin should be given an honorable position, appointed to be the spiritual head of a certain monastery.

When questioned about this strange punishment, the dog replied:
"Your majesty, in my previous birth, I held that particular position, and though I was honest and sincere, the post is so full of pitfalls that when I died, I was forced to take this birth, as a dog. Can you imagine the plight of that avaricious man, who has an uncontrollable temper as well?"

An important lesson from a dog for every member of the GBC, or anyone who assumes a position of leadership.

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