THE PRICE OF ACQUISITION
IT was early morning as Mahamuni wended his way through the still,
deserted lanes of the town, meditating on such abstract matters as
acquisition and renunciation. The savage barking of dogs disturbed
him in his thoughts. Looking up, he saw a dog with a bone in his
mouth pursued by nearly a dozen dogs. Soon they caught up with him
and mauled him cruelly. Bleeding from the wounds. The dog dropped
the bone and the onslaught ceased immediately.
But now a second race was on; the dog who had picked up the
abandoned bone was the new quarry, till he, too, bleeding from the
wounds, dropped the bone of contention and was left alone.
This went on for some time; one dog after another pouncing on the
bone, abandoning it only when he could not hold on to it out of
sheer agony, and being left in peace the moment he had given it up.
Contemplating on this ugly incident, the Mahamuni realised in a
flash that his reflections on the abstract subject of acquisition
and renunciation were concretely demonstrated before his very eyes.
So long as the dog clung to the bone, he had to bleed for it; the
moment he gave it up, he was left in peace.