FOUR THIEVES AND THE SIMPLETON
(Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’)
(Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’)
Once there were four thieves who operated in a jungle. One early evening they saw a man carrying a lamb on his shoulder which was obviously meant for slaughter and subsequent cooking.
The four thieves passed a resolution (mataa) on how to separate the lamb from the man without violence. They spread themselves over the route the man was going to take.
When he reached the first thief, the latter said “What is this you are carrying on your shoulder sir. Aren’t you feeling embarrassed carrying this creature?” The man ignored him and carried on walking.
On reaching the second thief he was met with the same comments. Again he ignored him and carried on his way.
The third thief was more specific with his comments. He said “Shah ji (1) you should be ashamed of yourself, a man of your status carrying a dog on his shoulder” He was somewhat puzzled why the thief referred to the lamb as a dog but stubbornly carried on walking. However, doubt had started creeping into his mind having heard three persons ridiculing him.
When he reached the fourth thief he half expected similar remarks. He was right. The thief said “Shah ji, you are carrying a dog on your shoulders. This does not become you. A man of your status should consider his reputation; even I am embarrassed seeing you like this. Please throw away the dog.”
On hearing four persons saying the same thing the man lost all confidence in his own judgement and actually believed he was carrying a dog on his shoulders and finally threw it away. The four thieves regrouped and slaughtered the lamb. They cooked it and had a heartfelt meal at the cost of the simpleton.
MORAL: Self confidence and self-belief are very important; otherwise it is only too easy for people to collude and take undue advantage, as in the above account. This lack of confidence in our beliefs and values has plagued Sikhism for a very long time and it has never been such an acute problem as today with so much division and fragmentation within the Panth. May the Guru give us strength and resolve to regroup and fight our enemies both outside and within the fraternity. May the Living Light of SatGuru Guru Granth Sahib penetrate our deluded minds into the depths of our souls!
(1) The term ‘Shah ji’ denotes a man of substance i.e. of respectable status.
NOTE: The purpose of this story is to convey the message of ‘self belief’ and ‘self confidence’. The author does not, in any way, condone the killing of life for human consumption. This note is merely meant to make the author’s stand clear in this respect and must not be interpreted as taking a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, or to induce a discussion on meat v vegetarianism.
Copyright: Rajinder Singh ‘Arshi’