Presenting before you a story with a very important moral: Dharma!
Many times in order to impart many valuable lessons to kids and older generation, stories have proven to be very instrumental !
Dharma and the missing protractor
One day, little Raju came home crying, his shirt torn and dirty. Immediately, his mother Meera rushed to console him.
“What is the matter, my child?” she asked. Sobbing inconsolably, Raju said, “Amma, Rohit punched me in school and tore my shirt.”
“Did you do something to make him angry?” Meera asked Raju.
“Well…” mumbled Raju, “Me and some friends were having fun with him. I took his protractor away from him yesterday without his knowledge, so he hit me today.”
“Did anything happen to Rohit because of your ‘joke’?” asked Meera.
Raju nodded. “Rohit’s sister consoled me today after he punched me. She said that he discovered the missing protractor only late at night and so couldn’t complete his Mathematics homework. Since shops were closed by the time Rohit discovered the missing protractor, he couldn’t buy a new one. Because of this, the teacher punished him in school.”
“Well, he had a right to be angry with you, didn’t he?” asked Meera. Seeing fresh tears in her son’s eyes, she added, “Of course, he had no right to hit you!”
“But, Amma, I just took the protractor from Rohit as a joke! I had no idea that he would be punished because of a simple joke,” said Raju.
Meera felt that this was a good time to teach Raju about dharma. She briefly told him the story about Dharmaputra, the eldest of the Pandavas, and how he had to spend time in the forest after losing a game of dice.
“Lord Dharma, who is also called Yama, wanted to test his son Dharmaputra. That is why he came as a Yaksha and decided to question Dharmaputra.”
“I know that story. Grandma told it to me. She said it is called the Yaksha Prashna. Dharmaputra answered all the questions correctly, didn’t he, Amma? I wish that I too can answer all questions that my teacher asks me!”
Meera smiled. “My dear child, anybody who is clever can answer such questions. No, the real test for Dharmaputra was the final question. When all the questions were answered, Dharma told his son that he would let one of his brothers live. Before I tell you Dharmaputra’s answer, let me ask you, my son, if you were Dharmaputra, whom would you have chosen among your brothers?”
Raju was a clever boy. He knew all about the Pandavas and said, “Amma, I would have asked for Arjuna to be brought back to life. He was the bravest of warriors and he deserved to live.”
Meera nodded. “Yes, Raju, there is logic in what you say. But Dharmaputra said that his father, Pandu, had two wives, and he himself was the son of Kunti. So, he felt that, in the interests of dharma, which upholds equality, one of the sons of Madri, Pandu’s second wife, should live. So, he chose Nakula.”
Meera said, “Pleased with his son, Yama bought back all the slain brothers to life. When you grow older, you can read about the Bhagavat Gita. But know this now and forever-always uphold dharma, or you will pay the price.
Dharma protects when protected. You, in a small way, broke dharma by stealing Rohit’s protractor. No doubt, it was a joke, but you caused pain and anguish to Rohit. As a result, you had to experience pain when he punched you.”
“But I was sorry for what I did! I prayed to Lord Krishna and told Him that I was sorry, but still Rohit hit me! Why didn’t Krishna protect me, Amma? Grandma told me that Lord Krishna is God. Is it not Krishna’s job to protect me?” asked Raju.
“My son, God is impartial and if He doesn’t punish the wicked, then He is partial to somebody. That is why the only safe way is not to harm anybody. God can guide you and teach you how not to harm others. But if you disobey Him and cause pain to others, He will have to punish you.”
“You mean that I should not cause any harm to people at all if I don’t want to face problems?” asked Raju.
“Yes,” said Meera. “In fact, dharma can be described in one line-if you do not want something to happen to you, do not do it to anybody else.”