Important questions

There were people, who were prepared to punish even their
own family, if some wrong had been committed by them,
said K.Sambandan, in a discourse.

Such a person was the legendary King Manuniti Chola.
His son Veedhividangan’s chariot ran over and killed a calf.
The king summoned his ministers and asked them what the
punishment was in such a case. They said that according to law, the person who had killed the calf would have to be handed down a death sentence.

Saint Vallalar, in his work ‘Manumurai kanda vachagam,’
captured the anguish of the king. But while the king cries for his son, he asks himself many questions. “Did I hurt or betray a friend? Did I impose unfair taxes on my subjects? Did I give false evidence in a court? Did I help thieves? Did I turn away those who came to me for help? Did I split families by carrying tales? Did I molest any women? Did I hesitate to bow before my teacher? Did I tease educated people? Did I criticise my elders? Did I keep a bird captive in a cage? Did I sell adulterated food? Did I silt up ponds full of water? Did I cut down trees that afforded shade to others? Did I pull down buildings that belonged to the public? Did I keep temples closed? Did I mock those who believed in God? Did I ignore the advice of my parents? Did I speak ill of God?

What sin have I committed to lose my son?” the king cries.
Because of the king’s sense of justice, his son and the calf are both brought back to life.

These are questions every person must ask himself, when
he or she is in trouble. But we never ask ourselves what we
have done to deserve something.