Lord Rama’s Reward to the Diligent Squirrel

When Hanuman came up with the news that Mother Sita had been confined in Lanka by Ravana, Lord Rama decided to cross the ocean and rescue her from the Demon King. Looking at the expanse of the ocean that lead to Lanka, Lord Rama planned to build a bridge across it. To accomplish that humongous task in less time, all the monkeys and bears who were part of Sugreeva’s army were employed.

The monkeys and bears had to bring huge stones and big boulders from a distance and throw them into the deep ocean. As they all were busy in the tiring task, a small squirrel was observing all that from a distance. After a while, it decided to help Lord Rama in that initiative too. To begin with, it carried small stones in its mouth and heaped them up on the bridge under construction. After a while, it got so tired in that task that it had to change its way of working. Steadfast as its will to contribute was, it took a different approach: it dipped its body in the water nearby and rolled it over the sand; then, it walked slowly onto the bridge being constructed and got the sands off its body by sudden movement. It was doing this pretty religiously, little caring for the contribution it was making towards the final bridge construction.

Lord Rama was observing the diligence with which the squirrel was performing its task, voluntarily. He got so impressed that He went on to the squirrel and asked why it was doing this. The squirrel’s answer made all the monkeys and bears roll into a laughter.
Lord Rama asked them all to stop reacting that way and not to measure the amount of contribution the squirrel made towards the bridge construction. He rather highlighted the squirrel’s sincerity, strong will-power and perseverance to help them in a noble cause. After that, Lord Rama carried the squirrel on one palm and ran his other palm on its back with heavenly love. That left an indelible mark on the squirrel‘s back, which exists till date.

Lessons learnt:

  • Let not the volume of your contribution discourage you from putting in your heart into the task at hand. How much you contribute towards a task matters less compared to how diligently you put in our effort.