WHEN Shri Rajendra Prasad was President of India, he had a servant, Ratna by name. Ratna was very honest and faithful to his master. He knew his master’s needs very well. He kept everything that his master wanted ready in time.

One day, as Ratna was clearing and tidying his master’s table, a fountain-pen fell down from the file which Ratna had taken in his hand in order to dust the table. He immediately picked up the pen from the ground. He saw that the tip of the nib was broken. Ratna was very much frightened to see the damage done to the pen. Just at that moment, Rajendra Prasad entered the room and he saw what had happened. He got very much upset because it was a costly pen presented to him by a friend whom he loved and respected. So he shouted at Ratna angrily and told him that he no longer needed his services.

Ratna did not want to leave his master because he loved him very much. So he fell at his master’s feet, crying and begging to be forgiven for his mistake. But Rajendra Prasad was firm and he ordered Ratna, in the same angry tone as before, to leave the room at once.

That night, when Rajendra Prasad went to bed he suddenly remembered this unhappy event. His calm and quiet mind started thinking about it again. “What was Ratna’s mistake?”, he was now asking himself. “The nib got damaged because the pen was left open by me. He could not see it because I left it in the file. Surely, Ratna is innocent. Moreover, isn’t he so obedient, sincere, honest and loving? Oh! I was too harsh and unjust to him this morning.” These thoughts of regret and repentance disturbed him so much that he had no sleep the whole night.

He anxiously waited for the dawn. As soon as he got up, the first thing he did was to send for Ratna. As soon as Ratna came in, Rajendra Prasad took the servant’s hands into his own, as he would when greeting a friend, and said, “Ratna, you should forgive me. I was too harsh to you yesterday. Continue your work as before. I cannot afford to lose you.”

Ratna was moved by these words coming from his master’s noble heart. He fell at his master’s feet and sobbed like a child, this time expressing his love and gratitude to the great man.

Thereafter, Rajendra Prasad would often narrate this incident to others and caution them to think always twice before losing their tempers or punishing others. “Anger is like a dangerous dog,” he would say, “You must keep it inside properly chained. You must unchain it only when you are sure that the other person is a thief or a rogue. Otherwise, it will start barking at anyone and everyone and it may even bite an innocent man. We must also remember, ‘To err is human; to forgive is divine’.


  1. “Anger is a dog; Love is God” -Explain.
  2. Someone has said: “To be angry is to punish oneself for another’s mistake.” Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
  3. Describe your experience
    (a)When you get angry with someone without a good reason.
    (b)When you get angry with someone who had committed a serious mistake.
  4. What do you feel now when you think about these experiences?
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