1. Yesterday, as I was reading an exercise for my student from a Hindi chapter by Munshi Premchand, titled “A Tale of Two Bulls,” I came across a line in which the author compares the donkeys with sages and monks.
2. The comparison was a criticism to the tendency of usually calling dim witted as ‘donkeys.’ He said that it was an insult to both the people and animals.
3. The stupidity shouldn’t be criticized unless it’s unethical. Avarice is worthy of being criticized whereas lack of skill or erudition isn’t. Not on the same scale anyway.
4. Donkeys or other animals are patient in his estimate. Bred for carrying burden. They’re righteously engaged in labour.
5. From the viewpoint of mind which is used to solve problems: the intelligence which helps us adapt to changing environment to function better and evolve towards greater comfort and security: donkeys can be criticized humorously as being dull. They don’t get rebellious. The bulls who get rebellious in the story were appreciated.
6. On the other hand, the truth of spirit or kindness indicates that the viewpoint of mind is to be subdued in the light of greater reason which is guided by the heart. It values patience, perseverance and tenacity in our endeavours. Our attempts at redeeming ourselves : which eventually bring peace.
7. It’s this viewpoint where poets and mystics feel one with the cosmic dance. With divinity which is found in every stone, every mountain, every star and in every dust particle. It’s this vision which makes us appreciate trees which have selflessly served us since time immemorial.
8. It’s grateful heart. The mind says: there are trees which eat humans. There are donkeys who kick back. So there!