When a dog wept in Ayodhya for justice from Ram

When a dog wept in Ayodhya for just from Ram

This story comes from Anand Ramayan, attributed to Valmiki.

Long after Ram became king and all was well with the world, a dog came crying before Ram. He has been struck by a priest because he had licked food from the priest’s plate. Ram declared the priest guilty and asked the dog if he had any particular punishment for the priest.

“Make him the head of the temple.” Ram immediately agreed. Everyone thought this was strange.

The priest had wronged the dog and instead of being punished he had been promoted to the position of the head of a temple. What was the mystery?

So the dog explained, “I too was once head of a temple. When you become the head of a temple, you become powerful, as everyone listens to you and your word is law. Then you become corrupt. And you do stupid things. And when you die, you are reborn as a dog. I want the priest who struck me to suffer the same fate as me. I therefore want him to get a position of power and become corrupt.”

Whether we believe in rebirth or not, we all know power corrupts. But when we think of power, we think of politicians or policemen. But that is not the only seat of power.

We can see that in cricket, both in the players and the mandarins of the game. Old withered men clinging to power, transforming what is supposed to be fun and entertainment into a complex web of intrigue. And we see that in Bollywood, young starlets throwing tantrums once they become stars, actors who are humble before their break transforming into demanding monsters once they get their first hit.

We see that in the corporate world, with CEOs behaving like Maharajas, treating their organizations as private fiefdoms, but spouting management mantras at all conferences.

Why do simple decent human being become corrupt? It’s a question that begs to be asked. Is it genetic, considering we do have concepts like sociopaths and psychopaths popularized by television serials? Is it about upbringing: denial of love and attention to children? Is it about too much wealth or too little wealth? Is it just our inability to cope with success? Is it the God-complex, suddenly believing that the world revolves around us? Is it the Devil-complex, anger at the world that has treated us as nobodies for a very long time?

At the heart of corruption is deep loneliness, a sense of feeling exploited and unloved. And so we strike back with a vengeance, hurt the world, before it hurts us, exploit the world before it exploits us. We want to feel safe. So we strike dogs accusing them of licking utensils. We play politics and do everything in our power to become heads of temples.

We are just not able to sit back, relax and enjoy the abundance that nature very spontaneously brings before us.

~ Dr. Devdutt Pattanaik


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  • Hi,

    I appreciate the moto of this website. I also appreciate the author for taking up most needed topic of the hour. But i strongly recommend you to mention/talk or propagate only about Valmiki Ramayan. No other versions can be our source of knowledge. Here is my reasoning behind this recommendation:

    Shri Valmiki has written Ramayan upon Shri BrahmaDev’s instructions. While doing so, Shri BrahmaDev has also blessed Shri Valmiki that he will know the present future and past of Shri Ram and every person involved in Shri Ram’s Journey. Shri Valmiki could also know whats in ones mind irrespective of they have spoken it out or not. With this Shri Valmiki has not ‘written’ anything on his own, but the great sage only presented what he could see, hear and know. Thus what ever mentioned in Ramayan is only True but nothing else.

    As we all agree upon above … we must also not forget that who ever else wrote Ramayan, however great scholars they may be, do not have the same source of knowledge as Shri Valmiki Marshi did. And they do not have consent from Shri Ram himself. Yes, Shri Ram has heard Valmiki Ramayan in the voice of Shri Luv & Kush and totaly agreed upon its content.

    When the source of knowledge is not divine, our thoughts are maligned with individual inhibitions and thoughts.

    Ramayan is such a great history that every one of us feel like owning it in one form or the other like preaching or writing about it. All enthusiasts can thoroughly enjoy doing so as per their understanding levels but do only believe in VALMIKI RAMAYAN and follow VALMIKI RAMAYAN. Let Valmiki Ramayan be the only source for our knowledge about our Shri Ram’s journey.

    I plead to all the translators using this medium to translate the original text which is in sanskrit to any language ‘Literally’. Please do not add your own thoughts in it. When you do that you are saying that you are intelligent than Shri Valmiki and Shri Brahmadev. Do you have a second version of Einsteins or newton laws. No right ? Then why do we have to refer to so many versions of ramayan. Infact there are no different ‘versions’ of ramayan. There is only one. There can only be several translations of the original text. We have so much responsibility on our shoulders to provide the authentic knowledge to our next generations. Our knowledge cannot get diluted with our inhibitions and limited knowledge.

    I am just a normal 30 yr old guy who ‘read’ Valmiki Ramayan every day. I am not here to represent any publisher nor oppose any one. Just wanted to make my point as i felt its my responsibility to talk about what is right and ‘truth’ and believe you agree with me on this.

    Jai Shri Ram.

  • I sincerely appreciate you point dear Harsha…Yes as you rightly said, each and everyone who talks about Ramayana should refer to only Valmiki Ramayana….

  • Thanks Harsha . Same goes for the Bhagvad Gita. We have so many versions but the most authentic is by His Gace Srila Prabhu Pada. called Bhagvad Geeta As It Is. No other book in volume has been printed and distributed around the world than Bhagvad Geeta As It Is. Hari Bol.

  • I agree with Harsha . We should follow Sri Valmiki’s Ramayana only but there is nothing wrong in taking the good or the moral in this version. It is gud u r propagating Valmiki’s Ramayana

  • Completely agree with Harsha.. these days authors including Devdutt Pattnaik, write their own versions of books like Mahabharath and give their own opinions for everything in Mahabharath with a very biased twist, often deliberately misinterpreting and misrepresenting the intent of the orIginal content.. Authors should work just on translation when it comes to great epics, and should not be giving biased views on these epics.

  • Well said harsha…hats off to u …the problem is.. we all deeply Revere our ancient texts…but blinded by ignorance as we never attempt to read it……we readily agree to hold the the hand of any one who claims to have read it….high time our children learn them propagate and follow them