A Brahmin was laying a garden.  He had planted some very rare and special species of plants. One day a cow strayed into the garden and destroyed one of his rare plants.  This enraged the Brahmin so much that he severely beat the animal leading to its death.  The news, that the Brahmin had killed the sacred animal, spread like a wild fire.  But, the man who boasted himself to be Vedantin denied any responsibility for the act.  He would say, he had not killed the cow, but his hand did and, since Indra was the preceding deity of the hand, the sin of killing the cow accrued to him.  Indra heard of this and came to the garden in the guise of an old Brahmin and enquired whose garden it was.  He also expressed great admiration for the skillful way in which the garden had been laid and maintained.  The Brahmin was quick to say that he was the owner of the garden and that all the works were done under his supervision and direction.  Soon they came to the place where the dead animal was lying and when Indra asked as to who killed the cow, the Brahmin replied that it was Indra.  Then the latter immediately assumed his original form and pointed out that when the Brahmin was quick to claim the credit for all the good work done in the garden, then he alone was responsible for killing the cow and not Indra.  With these words he disappeared.

Sri Ramakrishna used to narrate the above parable to emphasize that normally man is quick to claim credit for all his good actions and deny all the responsibilities for bad and wicked actions.  This is not proper and one should not indulge in any sinful act since it is impossible not to reap fruits of one’s actions, good or bad.

Own Responsibility

A Brahmin was laying a garden.  He had planted some very rare and special species of plants. One day a cow strayed into the garden and destroyed one of his rare plants.  This enraged the Brahmin so much that he severely beat the animal leading to its death.  The news, that the Brahmin had killed the sacred animal, spread like a wild fire.  But, the man who boasted himself to be Vedantin denied any responsibility for the act.  He would say, he had not killed the cow, but his hand did and, since Indra was the preceding deity of the hand, the sin of killing the cow accrued to him.  Indra heard of this and came to the garden in the guise of an old Brahmin and enquired whose garden it was.  He also expressed great admiration for the skillful way in which the garden had been laid and maintained.  The Brahmin was quick to say that he was the owner of the garden and that all the works were done under his supervision and direction.  Soon they came to the place where the dead animal was lying and when Indra asked as to who killed the cow, the Brahmin replied that it was Indra.  Then the latter immediately assumed his original form and pointed out that when the Brahmin was quick to claim the credit for all the good work done in the garden, then he alone was responsible for killing the cow and not Indra.  With these words he disappeared.

Sri Ramakrishna used to narrate the above parable to emphasize that normally man is quick to claim credit for all his good actions and deny all the responsibilities for bad and wicked actions.  This is not proper and one should not indulge in any sinful act since it is impossible not to reap fruits of one’s actions, good or bad. 

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