A farmer bought two bullocks to plough his field. The farmer was very happy with his investment. Unfortunately, one bullock was very undivine. It was extremely lazy and it would not listen to the farmer. Try as he might, the farmer could not tame it. Fortunately, the other bullock was extremely obedient. It did not create any problem. But because of the unruly bullock, the farmer was utterly miserable. He needed two bullocks to pull the plough, but one was very good and one was very bad.
One day another farmer approached him and said, “Can you help me? One of my bullocks is sick, and I have only one bullock to work in my mill. Please loan me one of yours.”
The first farmer said, “Here, take this one.” And so he got rid of the undivine bullock.
The second farmer said, “I am so grateful to you. I will borrow it only for two days and then I will return it.”
The first farmer said, “Take your time.”
The second farmer took the bullock to work in his mill. There the bullocks go round and round to produce oil. From coconuts, coconut oil is produced, and the machine makes a loud humming noise all the time.
The disobedient bullock was yoked to the mill. Then the bullock started misbehaving, and the farmer struck it very, very hard. When the bullock continued to misbehave, the farmer beat it ruthlessly.
After two days, the farmer’s own bullock recovered and he returned the disobedient bullock to its owner. The bullock immediately resumed its old ways and the farmer could not control it.
A few days later, another friend of the farmer came to him and said, “I need a bullock to pull my bullock cart. One of my bullocks is sick. Can you loan me one of yours?”
The farmer said, “Take this bullock and keep it for as many days as you want to.”
The bullock cart driver was kind-hearted. At the same time, he was so disgusted with the misbehaviour of this animal. It would not obey any command. So the bullock cart driver struck the bullock with a stick and beat it black and blue.
Finally, the mischievous bullock said to itself, “I will die if this treatment continues! This time, if I am returned to my owner, I will cry and cry. Then my owner will take pity on me. Perhaps he will give me another chance to plough the field.”
After one week, the bullock was returned. It was in a miserable condition. Large tears were rolling down its cheeks. The owner felt sorry for the animal and said, “Let me give it another chance.”
To his great surprise, when he gave the bullock another chance to plough the field with the other one that he had bought, the mischievous bullock became so obedient.
Punishment sometimes works. This mischievous, naughty, disobedient bullock needed this kind of punishment to become a good bullock. In life also, sometimes on rare occasions people need and deserve a shock. Then they may turn over a new leaf. We should always try to transform others’ natures with love, but sometimes love fails.
In the beginning, Sri Krishna always showed his compassion aspect. Before the Battle of Kurukshetra, he showed only compassion, compassion, compassion. In his case, he gave a time limit to the undivine forces. He said, “Change your nature, change your nature.” But when they did not change their nature, when his compassion-height did not work, then he used his justice-light. First he tried with compassion. Then, when compassion did not work, he found another way. He had to resort to justice. That was Sri Krishna’s philosophy.