Raja is Stolen
A very long time ago before cars were invented and men travelled on foot, or by mule or horse, or even carried each other, there was a young man. Could it have been me, Guptananda?
This young man had a lovely black horse called Raja. It was not perfectly black, having a white patch, which hardly showed, under one fetlock. The young man greatly treasured his horse, which he kept in a stable next door to his house. One day, very early, before dawn, he heard the sound of muffled horse’s hooves on the cobbled steps outside his house. He tiptoed outside to discover a thief who had wrapped the horse’s feet in leathers and was leading it away into the darkness. Our young man was so furious that he leapt out of his door and onto Raja’s back. The horse, recognizing his master, obeyed the command and galloped off along the familiar road. The thief took off in fright. The young man returned home and spent the rest of the remaining hours of darkness with his horse.
In the morning he told his family what had happened, expressing his anger that anyone should try to steal his precious animal, almost part of himself.
His father said, "Yes, my son, it is a terrible thing to deprive another man of his rightful possessions. In this case it is a large and important possession, but even the smallest article should not be disregarded. What is yours is yours, what is mine is mine. No matter how rich or poor you are or I am, there is rarely any excuse for stealing. Sometimes people think it is all right to steal from a group such as the workers or priests at the temple, or from the market stallholders. They think that in some way those possessions, since they are not individually owned, do not matter so much. But a man’s integrity* is damaged in a similar way, should he be a thief of articles belonging to no particular person, or should he be stealing his best friend’s donkey.”
Some questions to ask yourself:
- How do you feel when something is stolen from you?
- How do you feel about yourself if you dishonestly take something from someone else?
- What effect does shoplifting have
- on the thief?
- on the shop keeper?
- on other customers?
- on the price of goods in the shops?
- What would be the result if everyone stole things such as paper, pens and equipment from their place of work?