Once a beggar was walking on the streets of Ayodhya. He was very hungry as he did not get enough alms for the day to procure his meal. Alongside him was a dog silently trotting with him, matching his gait. A hungry man is an angry man, it is said. Hunger begets anger and it is common sense that this anger can only been shown to a lower being. Unfortunately, the beggar held a stick in his hand and with it, gave a hard blow to the dog. The dog writhed in pain.
Rama Rajya that it was, it arraigned the beggar to Sri Rama’s judicial court for justice.
Sri Rama was seated majestically in the throne and the complainant and defendant stood on either side. Lakshmana stood by Rama’s side.
Sri Rama heard the case patiently and concluded that the beggar was indeed guilty. Now it was time to award punishment to the beggar. He turned to the dog and requested it to suggest a suitable punishment for the beggar.
The dog immediately said, “Give him a powerful post and shower him with a lot of wealth and riches.”
Lakshmana who stood witnessing the entire happening was stunned to hear these words from the dog and was drawn to tears. He told Rama, “Oh brother! Great indeed is your rule – Ramarajya. Even a dog seeks the welfare of the person who troubled it.”
Sri Rama gave a smile. Confused, Lakshmana asked for the reason behind the smile.
Sri Rama said, “Lakshmana, the dog is not as benevolent and compassionate as you imagine. It has a reason behind its wish. This dog, in its previous birth had enormous power and wealth. Subsequently, it had accumulated a lot of sins, and as a result, has taken birth as a dog. The dog wanted the beggar to become a dog, to undergo the torment it had just faced, and it knows that the easy way to make him one, is by flooding him with power and wealth!”
Lakshmana now understood.
Moral: Be simple and humble. Never hurt others.