259. A lesson from Neil the dog

As I was walking back to my tram after a day out along the leafy gardens, a lady behind was yelling out, “Neil, Neil !!”.

A quick turn-around and I could see a dog the size of a large mouse just run past me. It was the most super-active dog I have ever seen. It was darting all over the track and between people with so much energy. It was in an incredible state of curiosity – smelling, running, stopping, rolling over – everything all at once. No kidding.

The lady continued, “Niel ! Come back here now!!”

The dog didn’t care. He had other plans. And then in a fraction of second, the dog jumped on to the busy moving traffic. Everyone else on the walking track gasped. Could this be the end of the dog?

The lady shrieked, “Nieeeeellll !!!!! Oh my dear Nieeelll ! Come back !!!”

Few seconds passed by and then from nowhere, the dog with the same enthusiasm jumped back on the track. It looked shocked and unhurt. Ran for a little distance, looked back at the owner and came back running. The lady owner rang towards the dog with so much love, took it up, hugged it, kissed it, placed it back on the ground, put a chain around the neck and pulled it along. But the dog kept biting the chain to let it free and wanting to do what it wanted to do – be free.

Watching all this, I was thinking that the dog can be compared to a human being caught in the chains of maya (the owner). His natural position is to run free but he is so used to the voice, care and attention of maya that we run back even at the expense of letting go of our spiritual practices. Once caught, we again try to break free…

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