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Responsibility's Catch

King Vissanena’s gardener's day started before the crack of dawn. Long before the sun’s rays perked the exotic bushes and trees, he would water them all. He would then rake the soil and tend to each plant according to its special need. Only by late afternoon could he take his first break. Before the sun disappeared the King and his entourage would sit in the arbor. Here while the royal musicians entertained, the king’s loving gaze would fall on all his collection.

The festival season rolled in to the city of Varanasi. The King and his family left for a trip to a nearby resort. Jumping on this opportunity the gardener decided to join the celebrations in the town center. One day of his being away from the garden would not hurt, he figured. The duty of watering was given to a band of monkeys that he kept.

With vessels full of water the band of monkeys took to the royal garden. A young monkey asked the leader, “How much water should we pour?” The monkey chief replied, “Hmmm! I assume that as the roots are the mouth of the plants, all we need to do is to pull them out and see. If they are long then they need more water. If they are short they need less.” Soon the band began to yank and pull the plants one by one.

The carriage carrying the King and his family returned late in the afternoon. The King was anxious for his daily visit to the garden. The sight that greeted him caused the blood to rush to his cheeks. The monkey chief was summoned and questioned. Convinced of his ignorance the king dismissed the band of innocent monkeys to their home. Next he sent his messenger to fetch the gardener. “Have him check the garden before he comes to me,” the king said.

The gardener approached the king wondering why he was summoned. “After all, those monkeys are to blame. Not me,” he thought. The King read his mind. He roared. “Whose responsibility is this garden?” “It is in my charge your honor,” the gardener answered. The King continued, “You gave your job over to others. You cannot escape the consequences. This is your responsibility therefore I hold you solely responsible."

Om Muni Muni MAHAmuniye Svaha