ROHIT: I am so happy that Ram asked us over to his house to play. I had a real good time, didn’t you?
RAVI: You would think he owned Toys ‘R’ Us store. He must be rich or something close to it.
ROHIT: He has everything you can imagine. Toys, toys, and more toys. He has an Indian-army fort, a life-like jungle gym set, and a huge backyard swing set.
RAVI: I saw an ice-cream machine in his closet, and he had three bicycles and two tricycles.
ROHIT: I liked his toy army set. They look like real army man.
RAVI: All I have is one army man.
ROHIT: Do you really?
RAVI: Let me show you. (He takes out his toy army man.)
ROHIT: That looks like Ram’s toy man. Those toys cost about $20.00 each. Did your grandpa get it for you?
RAVI: Well, not exactly.
ROHIT: I’ll bet it was your mother. When did you get it? For your birthday? I have never seen it before.
RAVI: No, I have had it for a little while. I didn’t get it for my birthday.
ROHIT: Did you take it to Ram’s house? I didn’t see it then either.
RAVI: I will tell you something if you promise not to tell anyone. This toy was Ram’s, but now it belongs to me.
ROHIT: Did Ram let you have it?
RAVI: No, he didn’t give it to me. I found it outside in the yard.
ROHIT: Where did you find it?
RAVI: Well, to tell the truth, I found it in his toy box.
ROHIT: Ravi, did you steal the gun from Ram?
RAVI: No way, I don’t call it stealing. Have you heard of “Finders keepers, losers weepers.”
ROHIT: I’m ashamed to be your friend.
RAVI: When I played in his room, I counted his toys. Would you believe he has eleven of army men? I don’t have even one, but now I do.
ROHIT: Don’t you remember what our Jain school teacher said about stealing?
RAVI: Huh? That we should not steal, and we should not take anyone else’s things without permission. We should not keep things that we find, because they do not belong to us.
ROHIT: That’s right.
RAVI: But, whenever you take something it is like borrowing it and that’s not stealing. That teaching was for people in India, and we are in America so that does not apply to us.
ROHIT: Boy are you mixed up! We are Jains, and Jains don’t steal, no matter where we are. By stealing we get bad karmas (pap). .
RAVI: Is that right?
ROHIT: Stealing is wrong, Ravi. It doesn’t matter if the person has money or not. Stealing is stealing and as far as karmas are concerned, we get bad karmas by doing that.
RAVI: It’s not fair for Ram to have all those toys, and for me not to have any. I was just trying to even up the score a bit.
ROHIT: Daddy said, “Life is not always fair.” We all have to learn to accept this and if we keep collecting bad karmas, then all it will bring us is more suffering. So, why not put an end to it by doing the right thing.
RAVI: Rohit, can I get rid of bad karmas?
ROHIT: Yes, you can. First you need to take the toy back to Ram, and ask him for forgiveness from the bottom of your heart.
RAVI: I am really sorry. Ram will be mad at me. I am scared to take the toy back.
ROHIT: If it will make you feel better, I will go with you. Come on, let’s go!
RAVI: Hurry up and let’s get this over with. I have really learned a lesson from this. I will never take things that belong to other people. Hurry up! Let’s get going.