The other day I was telling a story (as usual, making it on the fly) and when I ended the story, I was surprised at the way I ended it.
Once upon a time, there was a King, one day he went for hunting in the jungle. There he saw a tiger. But the tiger was lying down and not moving, his eyes were open. King looked into Tiger’s eyes. King felt that the Tiger was asking for help. So he got down from his horse and went near the Tiger. He found one arrow pierced into Tiger’s body. He went near to him and took out the arrow and cleaned the wound. Tiger started feeling better. When Tiger tried to stand on his feet, King helped him a bit. Tiger stood up, stretched his legs and felt better. King was standing there, looking down upon the tiger, feeling proud that he helped a tiger and was happy with himself. Tiger roared and before King realised jumped upon him, putting him on the ground. King was surprised.
He said ” Hey, I saved your life and now you are going to kill me?”
” Thank you for saving and I appreciate your efforts.” The Tiger said, “saving other’s life is your Dharma (your nature, your duty), you felt good about it, you felt proud about it. You got your returns. My Dharma is to kill and eat. You did you Dharma and now I am doing my Dharma, If I don’t eat you, I would starve and I would die”.
And Tiger killed the King.
Moral this story for me is that before you decide to help someone you should know his “Dharma” or nature and be prepared to face it. Helping with just good heart is not good enough, you need to know that other person/ animal does not have the same heart as yours.
Contrast this with what my grandmother or mother or even I myself would have ended this story just 5 years back. I would have ended up telling that the Tiger and the King became friends forever etc – very similar to Lion and the Mouse story I have heard since childhood.