1) THE STORY OF THE MONKEY AND THE LOG.
2) THE STORY OF THE JACKAL AND THE DRUM.
3) THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT DANTILA.
4) THE STORY OF A HOLY MAN AND A SWINDLER.
5) THE STORY OF TWO FIGHTING RAMS AND A JACKAL.
6) THE STORY OF THE COBRA AND THE CROW.
7) THE STORY OF THE HERON AND THE CRAB.
8) THE STORY OF THE LION AND THE HAR.
9) THE STORY OF THE BUG AND THE FLEA.
1O) THE STORY OF THE JACKAL WHO FELL INTO VAT OF INDIGO DYE.
11) THE STORY OF THE LION, THE CAMEL, THE JACKAL AND THE CROW.
12) THE STORY OF THE TITTIBHA BIRDS AND THE SEA.
13) THE STORY OF THE TURTLE WHO FELL OFF THE STICK.
14) THE STORY OF THE THREE FISHES.
15) THE STORY OF THE ELEPHANT AND THE SPARROW.
16) THE STORY OF VAJRADAUNSTRA THE LION AND THE JACKAL.
17) THE STORY OF THE MONKEY AND A BIRD CALLED SUCHIMUKHA.
18) THE STORY OF THE SPARROW AND THE MONKEY.
19) THE STORY OF DHARMABUDDHI AND PAPABUDDH.
20) THE STORY OF THE FOOLISH HERON, THE BLACK SNAKE AND THE MUNGOOSE.
21) THE STORY OF THE IRON BALANCE AND THE MERCHANT'S SON.
22) THE STORY OF THE KING AND THE FOOLISH MONKEY.
23) THE STORY OF THE THIEF AND THE BRAHMINS.24) THE STORY OF SADHU AND THE MOUSE.
25) THE STORY OF MOTHER SHANDILI.
26) THE STORY OF THE ENMITY BETWEEN CROWS AND OWLS.
27) THE STORY OF THE HARES AND THE ELEPHANTS.
28) THE STORY OF THE HARE AND THE PARTRIDGE.
29) THE STORY OF THE BRAHMINS AND THE THREE CROOKS.
30) THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN AND THE COBRA.
31) THE STORY OF THE OLD MERCHANT, HIS YOUNG WIFE AND THE THIEF.
32) THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN, THE THIEF AND THE RAKSHASA.
33) THE STORY OF THE SNAKE IN THE ANTHILL AND THE SNAKE IN THE BELLY OF THE PRINCE.
34) THE STORY OF THE FEMALE MOUSE.
35) THE STORY OF THE HUNTER AND THE BIRD WHOSE DROPPING TURNED INTO GOLD.
36) THE STORY OF THE LION, THE JACKAL AND THE CAVE.
37) THE STORY OF THE FROG AND THE BLACK SNAKE.
38) THE STORY OF THE KING OF FROGS AND THE SNAKE.
39) THE STORY OF THE LION AND THE DONKEY.
40) THE STORY OF THE POTTER CALLED YUDHISTHIRA.
41) THE STORY OF THE LIONESS AND THE YOUNG JACKAL.
42) THE STORY OF THE DONKEY AND THE WASHERMAN.
43) THE STORY OF THE CAMEL WITH A BELL ROUND HIS NECK.
44) THE STORY OF THE JACKAL, THE LION, THE LEOPARD AND THE TIGER.
45) THE STORY OF THE DOG IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY.
46) THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN'S WIFE AND THE MONGOOSE.
47) THE STORY OF CHAKRADHARA.
48) THE STORY OF THE BRAHMINS WHO PUT LIFE INTO THE LION.
49) THE STORY OF THE FOUR LEARNED FOOLS.
50) THE STORY OF TWO FISHES AND THE FROG.
51) THE STORY OF THE SINGING DONKEY.
52) THE STORY OF KING CHANDRA.
STORIES FOR PARENTS
A) THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT'S SON.
B) THE STORY OF THE DOVE AND THE HUNTER.
C) THE STORY OF SOMILAKA.
TALES OF PANCHATANTRA
1. THE STORY OF THE MONKEY AND THE LOG
A merchant had started building a temple beneath the trees on the outskirts of a town.
Every day the carpenters and the workmen used to go into the town for their midday meals.
Now, one particular day, a troop of wandering monkeys arrived on the scene.
One of the carpenters who was in the middle of sawing a log, put a wedge in it, to prevent the log from closing up, and then went off.
The monkeys started playing on the tops of the trees and the high structures, without a care in the world.
One poor monkey, not destined to live long, sat down on the half split log, put his legs in the gap, caught hold of the wedge with his hands and started pulling it out.
And behold! The wedge came out all of a sudden and the log closed in. The monkey's legs which were in the gap of the log got trapped.
He was instantly killed.
The wise indeed say: One, who interferes in other's work, surely comes to grief.
2) THE STORY OF THE JACKAL AND THE DRUM
There was once a jackal named Gomaya who was staying in a jungle.
One day, he was very hungry and he wandered about in search of food.
At last he came to a battle field.
There the fighting armies had left behind a drum, lying near some creepers.
Because of a strong wind, the creepers were rubbing against the drum and making noise.
When the jackal heard this, he got frightened and thought to himself, 'Unless I can make myself scarce before whoever is making this noise sees me, I am done for.
But then, it is unwise to desert one's home suddenly, so instead I must be brave and try to find out who is making this noise'.
So he took all his courage in his hands and as he crept forward, he realized that it was only a drum which made the noise.
He continued his search and nearby he found sufficient food to last him a long time.
The wise indeed say: Only the brave succeed in life.
3) THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT DANTILA
Somewhere in the world, is a city called Vardhamana.
A very efficient and prosperous merchant, lived there.
Knowing his ability, the king appointed him as an administrator of the capital.
During his administration, he kept the common people as well the king very happy.
One rarely comes across such a person who keeps everyone happy.
In the course of time, the marriage of merchant's daughter took place.
The merchant invited the king and the queen along with the entire court to his house.
He entertained them lavishly, gave them presents of clothing etc. and in this way, he showed them great respect.
A servant who used to sweep the floors of the king's palace, came there too, but uninvited.
He sat down on a seat meant for some one else.
The merchant caught him by his neck and threw him out.
The servant felt insulted and could not sleep all night for thinking, 'How can I get the merchant into disfavour with the king and so get even with him? But then, what chance have I, an ordinary fellow, of harming such a powerful person as he is'.
And so he hit upon a plan.
Several days later, early in the morning, when the king was not yet wide awake, the servant was sweeping the floor near his bed and said. 'Good heavens! The merchant has become so brazen nowadays that he actually dares to embrace the queen!'
When the king heard this, he jumped up and shouted, 'Oh you ! Is that true? Has the merchant really embraced my queen?'
'Master,' replied the servant 'I was gambling all night and didn't sleep at all. This morning I feel drowsy... I really don't know what I've been saying. But if I have said anything out of place, please forgive me.'
Jealous, the king thought to himself, 'Yes! The servant is allowed to go about freely in the palace and so is the merchant.
It is quite possible that the servant has seen the merchant embracing my queen.'
The king's thoughts were so troubled that, from that day onward, he withdrew his favours from the merchant and, what is more, he forbade him even to enter the palace.
The merchant was astounded to see this sudden change in the king's attitude.
Some time passed. One day, when the merchant wanted to pass through the gateway to the palace, he was stopped by the guards.
The servant, who was sweeping the floor, saw this and he said with a smirk, 'Ho! Guards! That fellow is the king's favourite. He can arrest or release people, just as he pleases. He threw me out. Be careful, you may suffer the same fate.'
When the merchant heard this, he thought to himself, 'It is surely the servant who has caused all this trouble. Now I understand everything.'
The merchant felt upset and returned home in a very dejected mood.
He thought it over and that evening, he invited the servant to his house, flattered him, gave him a pair of garments and said kindly, 'My dear friend, it was not because I was angry that I threw you out that day but because it was an impropriety for you to take the seat you took.
It was reserved for a Brahmin. The Brahmin felt insulted, that's why I had to throw you out. Forgive me.'When the servant saw the clothes, he was very pleased.
Full of joy, he said to the merchant, 'Sir, now I forgive you. You have expressed your regrets and also honoured me.
Once again you shall see the favour of the king and in this way I shall prove to you my cleverness.'
With these words the servant went home happily.
Next morning, he went to the palace and started sweeping the floor.
When he had made sure that the king was lying half-awake, he said, 'The king is really indiscreet, he eats cucumber in the lavatory!'
The king was taken aback to hear this and he shouted, 'You! What's that nonsense you're talking! It's only because you're my servant that I don't kill you. Have you ever seen me doing such a thing?'
'Master', said the servant, 'I was gambling last night and didn't sleep at all. This morning I feel drowsy. I really don't know what I've been saying. But if I've said anything out of place, please forgive me.'
When the king heard this, he thought to himself, 'Never I my life have I eaten cucumber in the lavatory.
If this fool has said something ridiculous about me, surely what he said about the merchant was ridiculous too. It was wrong of me to have insulted the merchant.
Besides, without him, the whole administrative system, at the palace and in the city, has become slack.'
When he had considered this carefully, the king invited the merchant to the palace, presented him with jewels and clothing and re-appointed him to his former position.
The wise indeed say: One should treat one and all, even the lowest with respect.
4) THE STORY OF A HOLY MAN AND A SWINDLER
Once upon a time, in a lonely temple there lived a holy man called Dev Sharma.
Many people used to visit him and present him with money and finely woven garments, which he sold and got very rich on the proceeds.
And by nature, he trusted nobody.
Night and day he kept the treasure purse under his armpit and would not part with it even for a second.
A swindler, who robbed other men of their money, noticed that the holy man always kept the treasure purse under his armpit.
He said to himself, 'How could I rob this holy man of his money! It's difficult to make a hole through the walls of the temple or to get in over the high gates, so what I'll do is, charm him with honeyed words so that he accepts me as his disciple.
And when he has put confidence in me, some day he'll fall into my clutches.'
When he had resolutely made up his mind, to carry out this plan, the swindler i approached the holy man, stood before him with reverence and said, 'Om Namaha Shivaya!'( I bow before Lord Shiva, the God of death)
With these words he threw himself humbly on the ground before the holy man and said, 'Oh Guruji! I am fed up of this life. Please do guide me so that I follow the right path in this life and find happiness .'
When the holy man heard this, he said kindly, 'My son, you are indeed blessed that you have come to me at this young age, surely I will guide you.'
When the swindler heard this, he fell on the ground before the holy man, touched his feet, and said, 'Oh, Guruji, please do accept me as your disciple.'
'My child! answered the holy man 'I will, but on one condition, that you will never enter the temple at night, because a holy man is recommended to stay alone at night without company and meditate . We will keep to it, you and I.'
'And so', continued the holy man, 'after taking the vow of initiation, you will have to sleep in a thatched hut at the gate of the temple.'
'I shall willingly carry out your wishes', said thr swindler
At bedtime, the holy man initiated the swindler according to the rituals and made him his disciple.
The swindler massaged his hands and feet, waited upon him and made him happy but nonetheless the holy man did not part with his money bag even for a second.
After some time, the swindler began to think, 'He does not trust me at all! Shall I knife him in broad daylight, poison him or kill him like a wild animal?'
While he was thinking this over, the son of one of the holy man's disciples, from a nearby village, came to give him a personal invitation and said, 'Guruji,! Today the ceremony of the sacred thread takes place in our house.
Please come and sanctify it with your presence.'
The holy man accepted the invitation willingly and started off accompanied by the swindler
On the way, they came to a river.
When the holy man saw the river, he folded his money bag in his robe and said, ' Oh my child! Look after this robe with the vigilance of a Yogi until I return.'
And he went into the bushes.
The minute the holy man's back was turned, the swindler vanished with the money bag.
After the holy man had answered the call of nature, he slowly returned, thinking about his money.
When he got back, he failed to find the swindler but saw only his robe, lying on the ground.
He peered anxiously inside but could not find his purse.
He began to cry out, 'Alas! I have been robbed'.
And he fell on the ground in a swoon.
After sometime he returned to his senses.
He got up and began to shout ' Oh! Where are you, you rascal! Answer me!'
After he had shouted like this in a loud voice, he slowly trailed the swindler's footsteps until, just before evening, he came to a village.
He stayed there for the night and in the morning, returned to his temple.
This wise indeed say : Do not be taken in by the sweet words of a swindler.'
5. THE STORY OF TWO FIGHTING RAMS AND A JACKAL
One day , a Sanyasi while going through a jungle, saw two golden rams fightin each other.
They rammed into each other until blood oozed out. But still they refused to stop fighting.
Meantime a blood thirsty jachal arrived on the scene and began to lick the blood from the ground.
Seeing this, the Sanyasi thought to himself, If he comes in between the two fighting rams. He is sure to get himself killed.
Sure enough, craving for blood, the jackal got caught up in the fight. He was hit on the head, fell down and died
Moral : Do not close your eyes to the impending danger due to greed.
6. THE STORY OF THE COBRA AND THE CROW
Somewhere in the country, under a banyan tree, there lived a pair of crows, husband and wife.
Now, whenever the female hatched her eggs, a black cobra would come out of the hollow of the tree, climb up, and make a meal of them.
Nearby, under another banyan tree, there lived a jackal.
The crows told him everything,
'Friend', they said, 'the black cobra creeps out of the hollow of the tree, climbs up and eats up our children.
Tell us, what can we do to protect our children ? It's become dangerous for us to live here'.
'Don't give up hope', said the jackal, 'it is a fact that a powerful enemy can be destroyed by a trick.'
The crow said, 'Friend, do tell us how we can kill this wicked cobra.'
'Well', said the jackal, 'go to a city that is the capital of a kingdom.
Visit the house of some wealthy man, a minister or someone, and see if he has been careless enough to leave a gold chain or a necklace lying about.
Pick it up, and making sure that the servants are watching you, fly off slowly with it and drop it in the hollow of the tree where the cobra lives.
When the servants run after you to recover the necklace , they'll see the cobra e and it's certain, they'll kill him.'
The crows decided to take the jackal's advice and flew off.
As they were flying, the female crow noticed a lake, in which the women of the harem were swimming.
They had left gold and pearl necklaces with their clothes on the banks of the lake.
The female crow picked up a gold chain in her beak and started flying slowly to her nest.
When the eunuchs saw this, they picked up their sticks and started running after the female crow.
She let the gold chain fall near the hollow of the tree where the cobra lived and seated herself on a tree nearby.
When the king's servants arrived on the scene, they were confronted by a cobra with swelling hood, before the hollow of the tree.
They killed the cobra with sticks, recovered the gold chain and returned home.
And the crows lived happily ever
The wise indeed say: Even a very powerful enemy can be destroyed through deceit.
7. THE STORY OF THE HERON AND THE CRAB
Somewhere in the jungle, there was a big lake, and in it lived all kinds of water creatures.
A heron also lived there.
He had grown old and had no strength left to catch the fish.
Because he was starving, he had become lean.
So he hit upon a plan.
One day, he came to the edge of the pond and began to cry loudly, shedding his tears like pearls.
A crab came up to him and asked sympathetically, "Uncle! Are you all right? Why aren't catching the fish today and why are you crying? Why these sighs?"
"Ah child", replied the heron, "I have decided to renounce the world.
I have been a fish-eater but now I wouldn't touch them even if they came near me, for I have undertaken a fast unto death."
"What is the reason for your renunciation?" the crab asked him.
"Well", said the heron, "I was born in this pond and it is here that I've grown old.
Now I have heard that there will be no rain for next twelve years."
"Where have you heard that?" exclaimed the crab.
"From the mouth of an astrologer", said the heron, "that there will be no rain here for twelve years.
There's not much water in this pond now, it will get less and less and in the end it will dry up completely."
The crab told this to the other water creatures.
All the crabs, fish, tortoises and everybody got into a state of panic.
They went to the heron and said, "Is there no way out? Can't we protect ourselves against this disaster?"
"Well", said the heron, " not far from here, is a lake full of water.
Even if it does not rain for twenty four years, this lake, which is covered with lotus flowers, will never dry up.
If somebody rides on my back I can take him there."
And in this way, he gained their confidence.
They gathered around him, crying, "Uncle! Father! Brother! Me first! Me first! Please!"
The wicked heron took them one by one, on his back.
When he had flown a little way, he would smash them against a rock and eat them to his heart's content.
When he got back, he would deliver false messages to their relatives.
One day the crab said to the heron, "Uncle, I was friends with you first and yet you take the others before me. Now save my life too."
When he heard this, the heron thought to himself, "I am tired of eating fish everyday. To change the monotony of the food, I'll eat this crab today."
And so he took the crab on his back and carried him to the rock where he used to kill the fishes.
The crab recognized the heap of bones and the skeletons of the fishes and understood everything.
But calmly he said to the heron, "Uncle! Say, how far is this pond? You must be tied of carrying me. I am very heavy."
The heron thought to himself, "Now this dumb water creature is in my power, and cannot escape from my clutches."
So, with a smirk, he said to the crab, "Crab, where could there be another pond? This trip is for my food. I am going to smash you against this rock and eat you".
As soon as the heron had said this, the crab put his claws round the white, lotus-like neck of the heron and strangled him to death.
The crab slowly dragged the neck back to the pond.
All the water dwellers gathered round him and began to ask, "Crab, why are you back? And why hasn't uncle returned with you? Why is he wasting time? We are all impatient for a chance to be taken to the large lake.'
Then the crab laughed and said, "You fools! That swindler told us untruth about the astrologer and was not taking the water creatures to any pond; but smashing them against a rock, not far from here, and eating them up.
I was destined to stay alive and understood what he was up to.
I killed the trickster and I have brought back his neck.
Now there's no need to worry. We are safe."
The wise indeed say : When things go wrong, coolly use your wit to overcome the situation.
8. THE STORY OF THE LION AND THE HARE
In a jungle, there lived a lion by the name of Bhasuraka. He was very powerful and used to kill the animals indiscriminately.
One day, all the antelopes, boars, buffaloes, hares and the rest went together to the lion and said, "Master, why do you persist in killing so many of us everyday so unnecessarily, when one animal would satisfy your hunger?
Please come to an understanding with us. From today onward we promise to send to your lair, one animal everyday for your food, if in return you guarantee that we shall be able to wander about unmolested in the jungle.
In this way, you will have no trouble maintaining yourself and we will not be killed so indiscriminately."
When he had finished listening to this, the lion said, "It 's very true, what you say, but if I don't receive one animal everyday, I shall eat everyone of you,"
Accordingly, everyday they drew lots, sent one animal to the lion and roamed in the jungle, unafraid.
On day it was the hare's turn. Forced by the other animals, he made his way to the lion, slowly and very much against his will.
On the way, the hare was considering how he might kill the lion, when he came to a well.
He leapt up on the edge and saw his reflection in the water.
At this, he thought to himself, "Now I know a way that won't fail. I'll deceive the lion and make him fall into the well."
And purposely the hare went over even more slowly to the lion.
By the time the hare reached the lion, the sun was setting.
The lion was in a fury because he had been kept waiting.
He licked his lips hungrily and said to himself, "The first thing I'll do tomorrow is to kill all those animals."
While he was thinking thus, the hare slowly approached the lion and bowed before him.
The lion flared up and began to shout at him, "You miserable creature! First you are too small and secondly you are so late. Well, for this, I'm going to kill you immediately and I'll kill the rest of you in the jungle tomorrow morning."
"Master," replied the hare very humbly, "it is not my fault nor the fault of the other animals. Please listen and I will explain."
"Hurry up and tell me before I crush you," said the lion.
"Well," said the hare, "today it fell to my lot to come to you. Because I am small, they sent four other hares with me.
On the way, a huge lion came out of the den and roared,, "Ho! You! Where are you going? Your end has come. Call upon your chosen deity!"
And I said "Sir, we are all going to our master, the lion at the appointed time to fulfill our promise to send everyday a few animals to him for his food."
And he said, "Who is this lion? I'm the master of the jungle! You should fulfill your promises only to me. This lion is an imposter! I shall hold four of you hares as hostages while you (meaning me) go and challenge him to a trial of strength with me. Whoever turns out to be stronger, deserves to be king of the jungle and only he shall eat all the hares."
"And so," continued the hare, "I have come to you as he ordered me to. That is why I am late. Now do as you think best."
When he heard this, the lion said, "Friend, if this is true, then take me to this pretender immediately so that I can pour out on him all my rage against you and then I shall be quiet."
"Master!" said the hare." It is the truth but this lion stays in a stronghold It is difficult to attack someone who is hiding in a stronghold."
When the lion heard this he said, "Friend !He may have hidden himself in his stronghold but just show him to me and I will kill him.".
" Indeed," said the hare," but I have seen him. He is very strong. It would be unwise of you to approach him without finding out exactly what his strength is."
"That is not your concern" said the lion." just take me to him."
"Very well then" said the hare, "come with me."
The hare went ahead so as to lead the lion to the well.
When they reached the well, the hare said to the lion, "My Lord! Who can withstand your power! The imposter has seen you coming and has hidden himself in his stronghold."
And the hare pointed out the well.
The foolish lion saw his reflection in the water and imagined that it was his enemy.
He roared fearfully and at once his roar was doubly re-echoed from the well.
Furious at the other lion, he leapt in upon him and was drowned.
Very pleased with himself, the hare went back to the jungle and told the other animals what had happened.
They showered him with praise and all lived happily ever after.
The wise indeed say : Deceive the wicked and kill them without mercy."
9. THE STORY OF THE BUG AND THE FLEA
In a certain country lived a king who had a very beautifully decorated bedroom.
An exquisite while silk sheet covered the bed and in the folds of the sheet, there lived a white flea, by the name of Mandavisarpini.
She used to drink the blood of the king and, in his way spent her time very happily.
One day a bug crept into the bedroom.
When the flea caught sight of him, she cried, " Oh you bug ! What are you doing here? Get out at once!"
"Madam", replied the bug, "that's not the way to speak to a guest, even if he is a good-for-nothing.
A guest should be made to feel welcome with sweet words and refreshments."
"And besides", continued the bug, "I have drunk all types of blood but so far I have never had the pleasure of tasting the blood of a king.
I think it must be very sweet, for he has been eating the choicest food. Now, if you will permit me, I would love to taste the king's blood."
"But Oh bug !," said the flea, "I only suck the king's blood when he has gone fast asleep but you are nasty and bite like a sharp needle.
However, if you promise to let the king go to sleep before you start biting him, then I will let you drink his blood."
"Oh, I do promise," replied the bug, "I will even swear to wait until you have sucked his blood before I suck it myself."
While they were talking, the king came and lay down on the bed.
The bug's mouth began to water and he took a bite of the king without waiting for him to fall asleep.
The bug's bite was like a sharp needle
The king jumped up and cried out to his servants, "Hey! Something has bitten me! See if there is a bug or a flea in my bed."
When the bug heard this, he hid himself in a corner of the bed.
When the servants came and searched with sharp eyes, they found a flea lying between the folds of the sheets, and killed her.
The wise indeed way: The false promises of friends as well as strangers have no value.
You end up paying for it.
10. THE STORY OF THE JACKAL WHO FELL INTO VAT OF INDIGO DYE
In a jungle, there lived a jackal by the name of Chandarava.
One day he was very hungry, so he risked going into the city to find food.
There he was surrounded by dogs barking loudly.
They set upon him and wounded him with their sharp teeth.
To save his skin, he ran into a dyer's house.
A big vat of indigo dye was lying there.
In he jumped and consequently his whole body was dyed indigo, he no longer looked like a jackal.
When he came out, the dogs were unable to recognize him and ran off in all directions, terrified.
The jackal himself went back to the jungle. The indigo dye would not come off.
Back in the jungle, when the animals, the lions, tigers, elephants, wolves and the rest of them, saw the indigo-coloured jackal, they ran away in terror and said to one another, 'Let's run away for we don't know the strength of this animal or what to expect of him.'
When the jackal saw the frightened animals, he called them back and said, 'Ho! Animals! Why are you running off in panic?
Don't be afraid.
Brahma, the Lord of Creation has made me himself, with his hands, and he said, 'The animals have no king, so I have crowned you as a king. Go to the earth and protect them well."
'That's why,' he continued ' I've come here.
Live in my kingdom, under my protection. I, have been crowned the King of the Three Worlds. ( Heaven , Earth and Hell).'
When all the animals, the lions, tigers, and the rest of them, heard this, they surrounded him and said, 'Master, we await you commands.'
The jackal assigned specific duties to all the animals, but he said he would have nothing to do with jackals, and they were all chased away.
The lion and the tiger used to go out hunting and bring the prey before the jackal.
He would then distribute it amongst the other animals.
Thus, he discharged his kingly duties.
In this way, quite some time elapsed.
One day, this jackal heard in the distance the howl of pack of jackals.
He was spellbound, his eyes filled with tears of joy, he stood up and began to howl.
When the lion and the other animals heard the howl, they realized that he was only a jackal and they lowered their heads in shame.
Only for a moment did they remain in this attitude.
Then they said angrily to each other, 'This despicable jackal has fooled us! We will kill him!'
When the jackal heard this, he tried to escape but was torn in pieces on the spot and he died.
The wise indeed say : One, who treats his own people with scorn, shall surely suffer a bitter end.
11. THE STORY OF THE LION, THE CAMEL, THE JACKAL AND THE CROW
In a certain part of the jungle, there lived a lion king, by the name of Madotkata.
His retinue comprised of a jackal, a crow and other animals.
One day as they were wandering through the jungle, they saw a camel which had been separated from its caravan.
'This seems to be an extraordinary animal', said the lion, 'go and ask him where he comes from .'
The crow spoke up and said, 'Master, this animal is a camel and lives in a village. He is good to eat, so kill him.'
'I will not kill a guest.'replied the lion. 'Assure him that his life will be spared and bring him to me. Then I can ask him why he is here.'
They all went to the camel and won his confidence, after assuring him that his life would be safe and brought him to the lion.
The camel bowed and stood before the lion, who asked him for his story.
The camel told the lion how he had come to be separated from his caravan.
When he had finished, the lion said, ' Oh you camel! ! Don't return to the village to be a beast of burden.
Instead stay with me.
You can live in this jungle on the emerald colour grass without any anxiety and fear.'
The camel agreed and began to live happily amongst them.
One day, the lion had a fight with a mad elephant and he was wounded by the elephant's sharp tusks, but despite his serious injuries, he did not die.
However, his body became so weak, that he could not take so much as a few steps, and as a result, the crow and all the other animals, dependent on him for food began to starve.
Then the lion said, 'Go and find some animal that I can kill even in this condition, so that I can provide food for you.'
All the animals, wandered around everywhere, but could not find such an animal.
Then the crow and the jackal put their heads together.
'Crow!' said the jackal. 'What's the point of wandering about when this camel could easily be killed to provide us with food?'
'You' re right,' replied the crow, 'but the master has assured him that his life will be spared so perhaps he won't agree to kill him.'
Said the jackal, 'I'll influence the master in such a way, that he will agree to kill the camel. Now it's better if you wait here until I come back.'
With this, the jackal went to the lion and said, 'Master! We have wandered all over the jungle, but have been unable to find, any animal at all.
What are we to do? We're so starved that we can't even walk properly.
But if you were to kill this camel here, his flesh would satisfy all our hunger.'
When the lion heard his wicked words, he cried out furiously, 'Shame on you, you rascal! Say that again and I will kill you on the spot! How can I kill him when I've assured him that his life will be safe!'
'Master!' said the jackal. 'It is certainly a sin to kill him after giving him this guarantee, but if he offers himself to you, of his own free will, then it is no sin to kill him.
Otherwise, kill one of us, for you are desperately in need of food to stay alive.
What is the good of our lives, if we cannot use them in our master's service.'
When the lion heard this, he said, 'Then do what you think best.'
So, the jackal returned to the other animals and said, 'Our master is very sick and who will protect us, if something happens to him?
Now nothing is to be gained by wandering around looking for food so let us go and offer him our own bodies.
In this way, we shall repay our debt to the master.'
Then they all went and stood before the lion with tears in their eyes and bowed before him.
When the lion saw them, he asked, 'Well, have you found any animal?'
One of them the crow said, 'Master, we have wandered everywhere but unfortunately we have not found any such animal.
So eat me so that you can stay alive, and for this sacrifice, I shall go to heaven.'
When the jackal heard this, he said to the crow, 'Your body is too small.
Even if the master eats you, it won 't keep him alive.
Still, you have shown your devotion to him and freed yourself from your debts.
You will be praised here on earth and also in heaven. Now I too shall offer myself.'
Then the jackal stood humbly before the lion and said 'Master, eat me so that you can stay alive, and for this sacrifice, I shall go to heaven.'
But the lion shook his head sadly.
When the camel saw all this, he thought to himself, 'These two have spoken beautifully, but the master has eaten neither of them, so I too shall take my turn.'
So the camel said to the jackal and to the crow, 'You have both spoken well, but you are both carnivorous animals and belong to the same caste as the lion, so how can he eat you?
Stand aside, I too shall offer myself to him!'
When the camel had said this, he went and stood before the lion.
He bowed low and said, 'Master, you should not kill either of these animals, instead eat me, so that you can stay alive, and for this sacrifice, I shall go to heaven.'
As soon as the camel had finished speaking, the lion fell on him and tore him apart.
And he was eaten by the hungry animals.
The wise indeed say: Always be on guard when you in the company of wicked people.Don't be taken in by their sweet words.
12. THE STORY OF THE TITTIBHA BIRDS AND THE SEA
Somewhere in the world, on a seashore, there lived a pair of Tittibha birds, husband and wife.
In the course of time, the female Tittibha bird was expecting a family.
As the time to lay eggs came near, she said to her husband, 'My dear, it's almost time for me to lay my eggs.
Look for some good safe place, where I can lay them.'
'Dearest', said the male Tittibha bird , 'this coast is very nice. You can lay the eggs here.'
'But', said she, 'on nights when the moon is full, the Sea here sends its waves so high that they can drag off even a wild elephant.
No, find some better place, away from here.'
When the male Tittibha bird heard this, he laughed and said, 'What a thing to say! The Sea wouldn't dare harm my children! Lay your eggs here and stop worrying!'
Now the Sea heard this and thought to himself, 'What kind of impudence is this, from a bird, the size of a worm! For fun, I'll take away his eggs and see what he does.'
In the course of time, the female Tittibha laid her eggs.
One day shortly afterwards, when the two birds had flown off in search of food, the waves of the Sea came higher and higher and swallowed up the eggs.
When the birds returned, the female went to her nest and found it empty.
She wept bitterly and said to her husband, 'You fool! The waves of the Sea have swallowed my eggs.
I asked you to find some other place for me to lay them, but you; stupid thing that you are, wouldn't listen to me.'
'But my dear', said the male Tittibha bird, 'do you think I'm stupid! You'll see how brilliant I am when I dry up the Sea.'
'How can you dry up the Sea?' retorted the female Tittibha bird.
'But my dear', said the male Tittibha bird,'don't talk like that! Even when you are small, but if you are zealous, you can overcome even the strongest opponents.'
'And so', continued the male Tittibha bird 'I shall dry up the whole Sea, by sucking it up in my beak.'
'My dear fellow', said his wife, 'how could you suck up the Sea when the rivers like Indus and the Ganges along with hundreds of other rivers flow into it. What's the good of babbling?'
'My dear', said the male Tittibha bird, 'my beak is as solid as iron. Why can't I suck up the Sea, if I work day and night at it? And until a man puts some effort into what he is doing, he does not succeed.'
'My dear', said the female Tittibha bied, 'if you really want to quarrel with the Sea ,then send a message to some of the other birds and do this with their help.'
'All right then', said the male Tittibha bird, 'I'll dry up the Sea with the help of my friends.'
And so, the male Tittibha bird a sent a call to the crane, the swan, the peacock and the rest of them, and said, 'The Sea has insulted us by stealing our eggs.
Think of a way to dry him up completely.'
The birds replied, 'We can't suck up the Sea in our beaks, so what's the good of babbling?
Instead we should go and tell everything to out king Garuda, ( In Hindu mythology, Garuda is the king of the birds and Lord Vishnu, the Preserver of the world uses him as a vehicle ). If he gets angry that his people have been insulted, then he will take revenge.
But, even supposing, that out of pride, he refuses to help us, all the same, we shall feel relieved. So we'll all go to our king Garuda,'
The birds, went to him, with glum faces and tears in their eyes, and began to sigh piteously,
'Oh King, what a catastrophe! You are our protector and yet the Sea has robbed the good Tittibhas birds of their eggs.
If this sort of things continue, one day our whole race will be destroyed.'
When king of the birds Garuda heard the bird's wailing, he thought to himself, 'These birds are right! I will go and dry up the Sea.'
Just then, a messenger arrived from Lord Vishnu, and said, 'Noble Garuda! I have been sent by Lord Vishnu.
He wants you for some divine work. You had better come quickly with me.'
When Garuda heard this, he said petulantly, 'Messenger! What could Lord Vishnu want with such a common place servant as I am! Please give him my regards and ask him to find another servant instead of me!'
'Garuda!' said the messenger, 'You've never talked like that before.
Tell me, how has our master offended you?'
'Well', said Garuda, 'the Sea, Lord Vishnu's resting-place, has swallowed up the Tittibha bird's eggs.
If my Lord Vishnu does not force the sea to return them, I refuse to serve him any more.
This is my firm resolution. Go and report all this to our Master.'
When Lord Vishnu heard from the messenger that Garuda was sulking, he thought to himself, 'I understand why he is sulking.
I'll go and see him myself and pacify him.'
With these thoughts in his mind, Lord Vishnu went quickly to the place, where Garuda was.
When Garuda saw Lord Vishnu coming to his house, he bowed his head with embarrassment and said, 'Master! The Sea, your resting-place, by swallowing up the eggs of my servant,the Tittibha birds has insulted me.
But I have restrained myself from punishing him, because of my respect for you.'
When Lord Vishnu heard this, he said, 'You're quite right, Garuda. Come with me and we shall take the eggs from the Sea and hand them over to the Tittibha birds.
Then we'll go elsewhere,'
When Lord Vishnu had finished speaking, he reprimanded the Sea and taking a thunderbolt in his hand, he said 'Wicked Sea! Return the Tittibha bird's eggs at once or I will dry you up.'
At this Sea was terrified and handed over the eggs to the male Tittibha bird who gave them to his wife.
The wise indeed say : Do not underestimate the power of the timid.
13. THE STORY OF THE TURTLE WHO FELL OFF THE STICK
In a certain lake, there lived a turtle by the name of Kambugriva.
Two swans were her friends.
Every day the three of them would go to the bank of the lake and tell each other stories about saints and hermits, and then go home at sunset.
After a few years that part of the country had no rain at all and bit by bit the lake began to dry up.
The two swans were worried about it and said to the turtle, "This lake is becoming nothing but mud. We are worried as to how we will be able to survive here without water."
"My friends,"answered the turtle,".it is indeed difficult to stay on here.
So first look for a lake full of water. Then find a strong stick from somewhere.
I shall hold on tight with my mouth to the middle of the stick while you can hold the ends and carry me like this to some other lake."
"Friends", replied the swans "we'll do what you suggest, but while we're flying, you mustn't open your mouth to speak, or you will fall off the stick."
They carried out this plan.
When they had flown some distance, the turtle saw below, a town.
The town people looked up and saw something being carried in the sky.
They said to each other, full of admiration, "Look at that! Those birds are carrying a round thing."
When the turtle heard the commotion, she opened her mouth to ask, "What's all that noise about?"
But of course the minute she opened her mouth to speak, she went hurtling down to the earth.
And the people hacked her to pieces and ate her up.
The wise indeed say : Never fail to listen to the advice of your friends.
14. THE STORY OF THE THREE FISHES
In a certain pond, there lived three fishes.
One day some fishermen were passing by
They saw this pond and said to each other, "We have never investigated this particular pond.
It's full of fishes! But since we already have a good catch today, and it's evening, so let's go home and come back here tomorrow."
So the fishermen left. For homr
Now when the first fish heard this, he was dumbfounded as if struck by a thunderbolt, and he called all the fishes together and said to them, "Did you hear what the fishermen said just now? Let's leave immediately for some other pond.
I think the fishermen will return tomorrow morning and then they will start killing all of us.
So it's not wise to stay here a moment longer."
When the secound fish heard this, he said, "You're right! Let's us go somewhere else!"
But the third fish laughed loudly and said, "Oh, I don't agree with you! Would it be right to give up this pond, that belonged to our forefathers, just because of the talk of fishermen!
And in any case, if it's time for us to die, death will certainly not spare us, wherever we are. So, I won't come with you. Do as you think best."
When the first fish heard his decision, he left the lake immediately with his family.
Early next morning the secound fish saw the fishermen coming in the distance and he too left the lake with his family.
The fishermen arrived at the lake, threw their nets and caught all the fishes, including the third and they all died.
The wise indeed say : When you see the danger coming, act immediately.
15. THE STORY OF THE ELEPHANT AND THE SPARROW
Somewhere in the jungle, a pair of sparrows had made their nest in a huge tree.
In due course the female sparrow laid her eggs there.
One day because of the tremendous heat, an agitated elephant came and stood under the shade of the tree.
With his trunk, he caught hold of the branches supporting the sparrow's nest and pulled them down.
The nest fell to the ground and the eggs were smashed.
Luckily the sparrows managed to escape but, because she had lost her eggs, the female sparrow was heartbroken and began to cry loudly.
A woodpecker listening to her sobs felt touched.
He went over to her and said, "My good sparrow, what's the point of crying, for what is to happen, will surely happen?"
"That's true", said the female sparrow, "but this wicked elephant has killed my children.
If you are my friend, please find some way of destroying him, so that I can forget the loss of my eggs."
"I will.'said the woodpecker, "Now I too have a friend, a fly.
Lets go and ask her to help us, destroy this cruel elephant."
And so, the woodpecker went with the female sparrow to the fly and said to her, "My friend, this sparrow is a dear friend of mine.
A wicked elephant has destroyed her eggs. Please help us find a way to kill him."
"Certainly I'll help you, my good friend", replied the fly, "otherwise, what is a friend for? Now I too have a friend a frog Lets go and ask him to help us destroy this cruel elephant."
And so they all went together to the frog and told him what had happened.
Then the frog said, " What can this elephant do against us, if we work together? Listen, I have a plan. Fly! When the sun is at the highest point, you go and buzz in his ears, so that in sheer ecstasy, he closes his eyes.
Then, woodpecker! You peck his eyes, and blind him. Then I will sit at the edge of the pit that's nearby and croak.
When the elephant is thirsty, hearing me croak, he will come to the pit, thinking it is a lake of water.
He will fall right in and, being unable to get out again, he'll die.
Now, if we follow this plan, we'll have our revenge."
The others agreed and they carried out the plan successfully.
The elephant groped his way to the muddy pit, fell in and died
The wise indeed say : Even the low and humble achieve results when they work together.
16. THE STORY OF VAJRADAUNSTRA THE LION AND THE JACKAL
In a jungle there lived a lion by the name of Vajradaunstra.
A jackal and a wolf were his attendants.
One day an expectant female camel, who was in labour pains, was left behind by a caravan.
In the deep jungle, she fell a prey to the lion.
When he had torn off her womb, a little baby camel acme out.
The lion and the other animals fed themselves on the female camel's flesh and were all very content.
But the lion spared the young camel and brought him home alive.
He said to him, 'Little camel, you have nothing to fear, either from me or from anyone else, so run about fearlessly in the jungle, just as you please.'
And so the four of them began to live together very happily.
They entertained one another by telling stories.
The baby camel began to grow up but he would never leave the lion even for a moment.
One day, the lion had a fight with a wild elephant.
The elephant wounded the lion so badly with his tusks that he was unable even to walk.
Exhausted with hunger, he said to the others, ' Go and look for some animal that I can kill, even in this condition, so that your hunger and mine can be satisfied.'
And so the jackal, the wolf and the camel wandered in the jungle until evening, but they could not find any animal at all.
So they returned empty handed.
The jackal began to think, 'If the lion would only kill the baby camel , then we could all feed on him for a couple of days.
But our master will not kill him, because he has given him the assurance that his life will be safe.
However, with the help of my wits, I shall influence the camel in such a way that he will offer himself, of his own accord, to the lion."
With his thought the jackal approached the camel and said to him, ' Oh you camel ! The Master is dying of hunger.
If he does die, we too shall be destroyed.
So I am going to tell you how you could be useful to him. Please listen carefully.'
'Do tell me,' said the baby camel 'and I shall attend to it quickly. And if I do anything for the master, according to our religion, I shall be rewarded a hundred-fold in my next life.'
'Then friend' said the jackal, 'you should offer your body to the master to save his life, and for this sacrifice, the master will guarantee that you will be given a body, twice your present size in your next life.'
'Very Well then', replied the baby camel, 'I agree'.
Then all the animals went to the lion and said, 'Master! The sun has already gone down and we have still not been able to find any animal.
But if you will guarantee that this baby camel will have a body twice his present size in the next life, then he is prepared to offer himself to you as a holy sacrifice.'
'Indeed I do promise that I shall be so', replied the lion.
Hardly had he uttered these words than the wolf and the jackal fell upon the camel and tore up his body.
And that was the end of him.
Afterward the lion said to the jackal and the wolf 'Watch this carcass carefully.
I shall go to the river for a bath and worship the gods'.
Then the lion went off.
"When he had gone, the jackal thought to himself, 'How can I contrive to enjoy this carcass all to myself?'
He thought about it for a little while, then he hit upon a plan.
He said to the wolf, 'Ho! Wolf! You're hungry, aren't you? Until the master comes back, have a few mouthfuls of this camel's flesh.
I'll make up a story to tell him as an excuse, when he returns.'
But the wolf had hardly begun to eat, when the jackal shouted, 'Look out.! Here's the master coming back! Leave it alone! Get away from it'
The wolf immediately stopped eating.
When the lion arrived, he saw that someone had contaminated his food
He frowned and said angrily, 'Who has contaminated my food? Tell me his name and I shall kill him on the spot!'.
The wolf started looking at the jackal, as much as to say, 'Well, go on, say something to cool him down.'
But the jackal only smiled and said to the wolf, 'You contaminated the master's food even when I told you not to.
Now enjoy the fruit of what you have done.'
When the wolf heard this he was afraid for his life and took to his heels.
At this point, a heavily loaded caravan was coming along the same path.
The leading camel had a large bell round his neck.
When the lion heard the jingling sound in the distance, he said to the jackal, 'Go and see where this terrifying noise is coming from.
I've never heard it before.'
The jackal went a little way off, then returned and said, 'Master! Leave this place as quickly as you can, if you want to stay alive!'
'Friend', said the lion, 'why are you frightening me? Tell me, what is it?'
"Master", said the jackal, 'Yama the God of Dearh, is very angry with you, because you have killed a camel before the hour appointed for his death.
He has come personally and has brought with him, the father and grandfather of the camel, to have revenge on you, and the noise you hear, comes from the bell that he has tied round the leading camel's neck.'
"When the lion saw the caravan approaching, he left off eating the camel and ran for his life
After that, the jackal had the camel's flesh all to himself and it lasted him many, many days.
The wise indeed say : Spurn the company of the wicked else you will come to grief.
17. THE STORY OF THE MONKEY AND A BIRD CALLED SUCHIMUKHA
A troupe of monkeys was living somewhere in the mountains.
It was winter. And the rain, accompanied by a strong wind, drenched their bodies, and they shivered with cold.
Some of the monkeys found some red Gunja fruits and began to blow them, hoping to make fire from them.
A bird saw their vain attempts and said to them, 'What big fools you are! Those aren't embers of fire, they're only Gunja fruits.
You're wasting your time! These fruits can never protect you against the cold! Find some place to shelter in a jungle or a cave or a burrow, where the rain and the wind can't reach you.'
'Fool yourself!' said one of the old monkeys. 'What is it to do with you!'
But disregarding what the old monkey had said, the bird persisted in asking why the monkeys were making such an effort and all to no purpose and he refused to stop his chatter.
One monkey, who had become frustrated by his vain effort, caught hold of the bird by the wings and smashed him against a stone, killing him.
The wise indeed say : Never give advice unless you are asked for it.
18. THE STORY OF THE SPARROW AND THE MONKEY
Somewhere in the jungle, there grew a huge tree.
On its long branches, a pair of sparrows had made their home.
One day, in winter, whilst the pair was sitting happily together, a light rain began to fall.
After some time, a monkey, battered by the strong winds, came and stood under the tree, his teeth chattering with cold.
When the female sparrow saw him in this state, she said to the monkey,'With your hands and feet, you look like a human being.
So why don't you make a home yourself?'
The monkey got angry and shouted, "Why don't you shut your mouth, you wicked woman ?"
But the female sparrow kept on advising the monkey.
Then the monkey said to himself, " What a cheek this female bird has, giving me advice! This insolent woman thinks, she is an educated woman and won't stop yapping.
She makes me want to kill her!"
Then the monkey said ,"Why should you worry?"
But the female sparrow kept chattering ceaselessly.
Without much ado, the monkey climbed up the tree and tore up the nest in thousand pieces.
The wise indeed say : Give your advice only to those who deserve it else you will come to grief.
19. THE STORY OF DHARMABUDDHI AND PAPABUDDH
In a village lived rwo friends, Dharmabuddhi (Virtuous mind) and Papabuddh i (Wicked mind )
One day the wicked man thought to himself, 'I am not only poor but also not so bright, so I shall get the virtuous man's help, go with him to another kingdom and make some money.
Then I shall cheat him of his share of the fortune, and live happily everafter.'
And so after a few days, the wicked man said to the to the virtuous man 'My friend! How are you planning to provide for your old age?
Let's go to a foreign country and make money there! Besides, unless you travel abroad, what stories will you tell your grandchildren?
The virtuous man readily agreed to accompany the wicked man and carry out his plan.
He took leave of his parents and, on an auspicious day, set out with the wicked man on their travels.
Through the virtuous man's cleverness, the two of them made a lot of money and after sometime, returned home extremely pleased with themselves.
As they were approaching their own village, the wicked man said to the virtuous man, ' Friend !It's not a good idea to carry all this money home, because then our friends and relatives will want a share of it.
So let us take home only nominal amount and bury the rest in the jungle.
When the necessity arises, we can come back and dig it out.'
'Very well then,'replied the virtuous man', 'we will'.
And so after burying most of the money, they returned home with the remainder and lived happily.
After a few days at dead of night, the wicked man went to the jungle, uncovered all the money that was buried there, took it out, and closed the pit as it had been before.
Then he returned home with the money.
After a few days, the wicked man went to the virtuous man and said, 'Friend! I have a large family and as a result my money is all gone.
Let's go and fetch some more from the place where we buried it.'
'All right then', replied the virtuous man , 'we will'
When the two arrived at the place, they dug up the pit and found the money pot empty.
The wicked man began to beat his head, crying out, 'Oh you ! Only you and nobody else could have stolen the money and filled in the pit! Give me my half share or I shall make a complaint against you in the court of law.'
'You scoundrel!' said the virtuous man! 'Don't you talk like that! I am indeed a virtuous man. I could never commit such a theft.'
And so, fighting like this, they went to the judges and accused each other.
The judges ordered them to submit themselves to trial by fire to find out the truth.
But the wicked man said to them, 'This decision is not good, for the Spirit of the jungle nearby will be my eye witness.
And he will be able to reveal to us, which one is a thief and which one is an honest man'.
'You are right', said the judges. 'we are very anxious to know the truth about this.
So, tomorrow morning you must both accompany us to the jungle."
After that, the wicked man went home and said to his father, 'I have stolen a huge amount of money belonging to the virtuous man and we have taken the matter to the court.
Now only your co-operation will save me.
Otherwise I shall lose not only the money but also my life'.
'My son!" said the father. 'Tell me quickly what I can do to save you and make the money secure.'
'Well," said the wicked man, "in the jungle, there is a huge tree, which is hollow inside.
You get into the hollow now so that, tomorrow morning, when we come with the judges, to find out the truth, you can shout from inside the tree, 'The so called virtuous man is the thief. '
His father agreed to this arrangement and left immediately for the forest.
Next morning the wicked man took an early bath and accompanied by the virtuous man and the judges went to the huge tree.
He asked in a loud voice,"Oh Spirit of the Jungle 'Tell us which one is a thief' "
Immediately the wicked man's s father, hidden inside the hollow of the tree, replied, 'Listen! The so called virtuous man has stolen the money,'
When the judges heard this, they were wonderstruck.
They opened their eyes wide and immediately started discussing how to punish the guilty according to the law.
But meanwhile the virtuous man put a heap of dried leaves and grass in front of the hollow of the tree and set fire to it.
When the fire was blazing, out came the wicked man's father, crying pitifully, with half his body burnt and his eyes popping out.
'Friend', they all said to him, '' what has happened to you ?
And he told them all that his son had done.
Then they hanged the wicked man on the same tree.
The judges praised the virtuous man.
The wise indeed say : Avoid the company of the wicked or you will pay a heavy price for it.
20. THE STORY OF THE FOOLISH HERON, THE BLACK SNAKE AND THE MUNGOOSE
In a jungle there was a huge Banyan tree.
A number of herons had built their nests in it.
Now in the hollow of the tree lived a black snake.
He used to eat up the heron's young, before their wings had sprouted.
One heron, whose children had been eaten by the snake, came to the bank of the river nearby with tears in his eyes.
A crab saw him and asked, 'Uncle! Why are you crying?'
'What can I do?' said the heron, 'I am so unlucky that all my children have been eaten up by the snake, who lives in the hollow of the tree.
I'm crying because I am heart-broken. Tell me how could I kill the black snake?
Now when the crab heard this, he thought to himself, 'This heron is a natural enemy of our species.
What I'll do is tell truth and lies in such a way that all the other herons will be completely destroyed."
And so, the crab said to the heron, 'Uncle! If this is the case, then scatter some bits of fish and mutton from the burrow of the mongoose to the snake's hole, so that the mongoose will follow the food, reach the snake's hole and kill him.'
The heron listened to the crab's advice and did as he had told him to.
As the crab had anticipated, the mongoose followed the trail of fish and mutton, reached the snake's hole and killed him.
But unfortunately, in due course, the mongoose also killed off all the herons living on the top of the tree as well.
The wise indeed say:'The solution of the problem should not be worse than the problem itself.
That is, while trying to solve the problem, you should not complicate the problem further.
21. THE STORY OF THE IRON BALANCE AND THE MERCHANT'S SON
In a certain town, there lived a merchant's son by the name of Jveernadhana.
Because he had lost his money, he made up his mind to leave that part of the country and go somewhere else.
Now in his house, the merchant's son had a very heavy iron balance that he had inherited from his forefathers.
He deposited this with another merchant and then left for a different part of the country.
When he had travelled all over the country to his heart's content, the merchant returned to his own town, went to the other merchant's house, and said, "Ho! Friend! Please return the balance that I deposited with you."
'But brother,'said his friend, 'I no longer have it. The rats have eaten it up.''
The merchant said 'If that's the case, then it is not your fault. Life is like that. Nothing lasts forever.
Anyway, I am going to the river for a bath. Please let your son come with me to carry the things and look after them.'
Now his friend was afraid that the bath things might be stolen, so he said to his son, 'My son! Here is your uncle.
He is going to the river for a bath. Go along with him and carry the things that he needs!'
And so his friend's son gladly accompanied the merchant to the river ad carried his bath things.
When he had taken his bath, the merchant caught hold of his friend's son and threw him into a cave near the riverbank.
He then closed the entrance with a big rock and returned quickly to his friend's house.
When his friend saw him coming back alone, he cried, 'Where is my son who went with you to the river?'
'I am very sorry', said the merchant, 'but as he was standing on the banks of the river, a flamingo swept down, picked him up and flew off with him.'
'You liar!' said his friend. 'How could a flamingo fly off with a child! Return my son immediately to me or I shall complain against you in the royal court.'
'Speaker of truth yourself', retorted the merchant, 'just as a flamingo cannot fly off with a child, so too rats can't eat away a heavy iron balance.
Give me back my balance and I'll return your son.'
Quarrelling like this, they went to the royal court.
The merchant's friend began to shout, 'It's disgraceful. This rascal has kidnapped my son!'
'Return his son to him', said the judges to the merchant.
'What can I do? The merchant replied.
'While the child was standing on the riverbank, a flamingo swept down, picked him up and flew off with him'.
'You are not telling the truth!' said the judges. 'How could a flamingo ever fly off with a child?'
'Please listen!' said the merchant 'Where rats can eat away a heavy iron balance, undoubtedly a flamingo can fly off with a child!'
'What do you mean?' asked the judges.
And the merchant told them the whole story from beginning to end, and the judges burst out laughing.
In due course they were reconciled.
The merchant got back his balance and the other merchant his son.
The judges were happy.
The wise indeed say : Tit for tat' is the best policy in life.
22. THE STORY OF THE KING AND THE FOOLISH MONKEY
A certain king had a pet monkey.
He was allowed to enter the king's palace, even when other confidential servants were forbidden to.
One day the king was fast asleep and the monkey was fanning him.
Suddenly, a fly came and sat on the king's chest.
The monkey drove her away with the fan, but the fly kept coming back to the same place.
The foolish monkey got excited, picked up a sword and hit at the fly with it.
The fly flew away but the king was severely wounded in the chest and died as a result.
The wise indeed say : Beware of a foolish friend. He can cause you more harm than your enemy.
23. THE STORY OF THE THIEF AND THE BRAHMINS
In a certain town, there lived a very learned Brahmin who, as a result of his actions in his previous life, had become a thief.
One day, four other Brahmins, from a distant part of the country, came to the same town and started selling their wares.
When the Brahmin-thief saw them selling these things, he said to himself, 'How can I rob these people?'
When he had thought about it, he approached them and started quoting very eloquently from the holy books.
In this way, the Brahmin-thief won their confidence and became their servant.
While he was in service with them, the Brahmins sold all their possessions and purchased costly jewels.
In his very presence, they cut open their thighs, put all the jewels inside and then rubbed in an ointment to heal the wounds.
Afterwards, they began to make preparations to return to their own place.
When the Brahmin-thief saw this, he got very worried and thought to himself, 'Oh dear, I haven't been able to rob them yet, so what I'll do is travel with them, poison them on the way and collect all the jewels.'
With this in his mind, he went to the Brahmins, weeping pitifully.
'Friends' he implored them, 'you will soon be going away and leaving me here all alone.
My heart has become so attached to yours with bonds of love, that the mere thought of separation from you, throws me into despair.
Please take pity on me and let me come with you.'
The Brahmins felt moved by his entreaties and took him with them.
On the way the five of them came to a town belonging to a wild tribe.
As soon as they entered the town, the crows began to scream out to the inhabitants, 'Oh! Quick, quick! The rich are coming! Kill them and take their treasure!'
When the wild hunters heard the crows screaming, they rushed upon the five Brahmins, beat them up with cudgels, removed their clothes and searched them thoroughly.
But they found nothing.
Then they said, 'Travellers! Never have the crows proved to be wrong! You have got the treasure somewhere!
Give it to us or we'll kill you, take off your skins and search every part of your body, until we find the treasure!'
When the Brahmin thief heard this, he thought to himself, 'If the wild hunters kill the Brahmins, search their bodies and take out the jewels, they will naturally kill me too.
I am going to die either way, so what I'll do is, offer my body first, let them kill me and see that there are no jewels hidden in my body.
So they will surely spare the lives of these four Brahmins.
This way , the Brahmins will not only save their lives but also the jewels.'
And so, having made this firm resolution the Brahmin thief said to the wild hunters, 'All right then kill me first and search me!'
Accordingly, the wild hunters killed him and searched his body, but they found nothing.
The four Brahmins were allowed to continue their journey.
The wise indeed say : Better an intelligent enemy than a foolish friend.
24. THE STORY OF SADHU AND THE MOUSE
As related by the mouse.
In the southern part of the country, there is a city called Mahilaropyam.
Not far from the city, there was a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.( The God of Death )
A holy man used to live in this temple.
Everyday he would go into the city for alms and in this way, he supported himself.
When the holy man had finished his evening meals, he would put what was left over in his begging bowl and hang it up.
Then he would go to sleep.
In this morning he gave this food to the workers, who in return cleaned and swept the living place.
Now one day my friends, the mice said to me, ' Oh Friend ! The holy man is afraid that we will take his left over food, so he puts it in a begging bowl and hangs it up on a peg, so that we cannot reach it.
But you are so good at jumping that you can reach the bowl very easily.
Why should we have to go to the bother of searching for food elsewhere when, with your help, we can enjoy what is here.'
And so, I agreed to the plan and we crept to the place together and found the begging bowl hanging there.
I reached it without any difficulty and threw some food down to my friends, standing below. Then I had my share.
Afterwards we all crept back to our homes.
In this way, we enjoyed the food night after night.
When the holy man noticed that his food was being stolen, he hung his begging bowl still higher.
However, the minute he went to sleep, somehow or other, I reached the begging bowl and we did as usual.
Finally the holy thought of a plan to put a stop to my mischief.
When he was wide-awake, he would beat the begging bowl with a split bamboo stick to frighten me off.
But the minute he went to sleep, I would try to reach the food as usual but somehow or other he would wake up and hit the begging bowl again.
I would run away as fast as I could but come back again after some time.
In this way, we would spend the entire night, fighting.
One day a medicant ,who was on a pilgrimage, came to the temple to visit the holy man.
The holy man welcomed him with open arms and was very hospitable towards him.
Before they finally went to bed, they talked about religion.
But as the holy man was thinking of us, mice, he kept hitting out at the begging bowl with the split bamboo stick.
He was not attentive to the medicant and so he gave only abstract and absent-minded replies.
Suddenly the medicant said angrily' Oh you holy man! It's now clear to me that you are no true friend of mine.
You are giving me vague and abstract replies.
Now that you have a temple of your own, you have become proud. You have forgotten our old friendship and the love you had for me.
For such behavior you deserve to go to hell.
Indeed I can't put up with such behavior! I shall leave this very minute and go somewhere else.'
" The holy man was shocked to hear the medicant talking like this and he said to him humbly, ' Dear Friend Please don't talk like that.
You are my dearest friend. Please listen and I shall tell you the reason for my lack of attention.
Everyday, whatever is left over from my food, I put in a begging bowl and hang it high on a peg.
But there's a mouse that, somehow or other, manages to reach it.
He eats something from it himself, then throws the rest down to the other mice.'.
The holy man continued,' As a result, in the morning there is no food for the workers and they refuse to clean the place.
That's why I have been hitting this begging bowl, to frighten the mice off.
This is the only reason for my lack of attention to you.
For jumping, this wicked mouse even puts a cat and monkey to shame.
'Do you know where the mouse lives?' asked the holy man.
'No, I do not,' said the holy man.
'Well" went on the medicant 'this mouse, wherever he may be living, must certainly have accumulated quite a lot of food, and this gives him a feeling of exaltation and consequently the energy to jump so high.'
The medicant continued, 'Now you say you don't know where he comes from?'
'No my friend!' said the holy man.
'Do you have a pickaxe?' asked the medicant.
'Yes', said the holy man , 'I have an iron one.'
'Well' said the medicant, 'early tomorrow morning, both of us will follow the mouse's tracks, find his hole and dig up his store of food.'
'Now when I heard this, I thought to myself, 'I am done for. What this medicant says is logical and I am quite sure that they will find my hoarding place.'
So trembling with fear and accompanied by my followers, I avoided the usual way home and led them by a devious route, to try to mislead the holy man and the medicant.
All of a sudden, there right in front of us, was a big tomcat. He pounded headlong, killed some of us and injured others.
Those who managed to survive returned to their holes, cursing me all the way for having led them into this.
The floor was covered with the blood of the injured and the dead.
I was very upset by this incident and afterwards, I went off somewhere else on my own.
After some time, the holy man, accompanied by the medicant, followed the track of blood, searching for mouse holes.
They chanced to arrive at the entrance of my hole and began to dig the ground.
While he was digging, he found the board of food that I had been guarding all these days, whose possession made me feel exalted and gave me the energy to jump and reach such a difficult place.
Then, taking the hoard of food with them, the two returned to the temple.
When I reached my hole, I could not bear to look at the desolate place.
I began to think, 'What shall I do? Where shall I go? How can I find peace of mind ?
' Absorbed in such thoughts, I spent a miserable night.
As the sun set, I made my way to the temple, deeply dejected. A few friends of mine accompanied me.
When the holy man a heard the noise we made, he began to hit the begging bowl with the split bamboo stick.
'My dear fellow', said his guest, 'why don't you relax and go to bed?'
' My dear friend !' replied the the holy man That wicked mouse and his gang are back again! That's why I am hitting the bowl.'
'My friend', said his guest with a smile, 'Don't worry.
After losing his hoard of food, this mouse will also have lost his energy to jump high. All creatures react in the same way.'
When I heard this, I felt very annoyed and jumped at the begging bowl, but missed it and fell to the ground.
When the medicant heard me fall, he laughed heartily and said to the holy man,'Look, look! How funny! See how he is staggering about!
Without his riches, this mouse has become as ordinary as any of the others in the gang. Now, go to sleep and let your mind be at rest.
We have in our hands, the source of his energy to jump.'
When I heard this, I said to myself,'The medicant is right.'
I observed that the holy man was keeping my hoard of food in a small bag and using it for pillow. I was upset.
By the time I returned home, it was morning.
When my followers saw me, they began to whisper to each other, 'He's incapable of leading us properly.
By following him, we shall only fall a prey to fat cats. What is the good of having a leader like that?
When I heard them say this, I went quietly into my hole.
Nobody came near me
While I was brooding over this, my followers chose another leader.
Seeing me utterly deserted, they began to make fun of me.
By now, it was evening.
Half asleep, I began to think, 'I shall try to enter the temple tonight while the holy man is fast asleep and slowly drag away the pillow and my hoard of food.
In this way, I shall regain my former status.
And even if I lose my life in the attempt, it will be worth it.'
So I went back to the temple.
I reached the bag and stealthily began to pull it, but somehow the holy man woke up and hit out at me with the split bamboo stick.
I was destined to live longer, so I escaped the blow.
Now I had suffered deeply at the temple and I was very unhappy.
I did not feel that it was worth staying in that place, that's why I left the place and went to stay elsewhere.
The wise indeed : Strike at the source of the enemy's power to destroy him.
25. THE STORY OF MOTHER SHANDILI
As related by a holy man:
Once during the monsoon season, I requested a Brahmin to allow me to stay with him, so that I could fast and pray undisturbed.
He agreed, and I went to his home.
One day, I was listening attentively to the conversation the Brahmin was having with his wife.
'Brahmini', he said to her, 'tomorrow is a special festival, and so it is a very favorable time for collecting alms.
I shall go to one of the villages to beg.
And you too should give something to a Brahmin'.
The Brahimini got excited when she heard him say this.
'How can we afford to give something to a Brahmin when we are so poor ourselves? she exclaimed.' And another thing, ever since I married you, I have had no luck whatsoever.
I never had any good food to eat or any good clothes to wear and you've never bought me a single ornament.'
'When the Brahmin heard this, his spirits were very dampened and he said, 'Oh Brahmini, when you have only a mouthful, you should give half of it to someone in need.'
'Well' said the Brahmin's wife,' I have got a few sesame seeds.
I'll take the husks off them and make them into a tasty dish for some Brahmins.'
And so early next morning, when the Brahmin had left for the next village, his wife cleaned the sesame seeds in hot water, removed the husks and put them in the sun to dry.
The she got busy with her household work.
Meanwhile a dog came along and cocked his leg up over the sesame seeds and went away.
When the Brahmini saw what happened, she said 'Fate has turned against me.
What a trick to play! Well, I'll take the seeds to some other house and exchange them for some unhusked seeds, anyone will agree to such an exchange.'
And so mother Shandili went off to exchange them.
Now, she happened to come to the very house that I was visiting that morning to collect alms.
She said to the lady of the house, 'Would you like to change these husked sesame seeds for unhusked ones?'
The lady of the house was just about to make the exchange when her son stopped her, 'Mother!' he went on.
'There must some reason for mother Shandili to be trying to exchange these husked sesame seeds. Don't agree to it!'
When mother Shandili saw that she had failed, she quietly left the house and returned home.
The wise indeed say : When someone offers you something that is too good to be true, don't be carried away by it - Think and analyse.
26. THE STORY OF THE ENMITY BETWEEN CROWS AND OWLS
Once upon a time, all the birds, the swans, the parrots, cranes, cuckoos, nightingales, owls, peacocks, doves, partridges and the rest of them, had a meeting.
They began to hold a discussion with great vehemence.
'Garuda, the king of the birds, is our king, 'they said, 'but he is so busy serving his master that he doesn't bother about us.
What is the point of having a master who is just a namesake! He never helps us out of the traps set by hunters."
'And so', continued the birds, 'let us consider the matter carefully and elect a new king!'
'Now when the birds looked round at one another, they noticed that the Owl had very impressive features and everyone said, 'The owl shall be our king.
Bring the things that are necessary for the coronation!'
"And so, the birds collected water from the holy rivers and also a hundred and eight different holy roots.
The throne was decorated lavishly and a tiger skin was spread over the ground in front of it.
They drew a map of all the continents and the oceans.
They beat the drums and blew the conches.
The Brahmins began to recite from the holy books and beautiful maidens sang songs of joy.
But just as the owl was being led to the throne to be crowned, a crow arrived on the scene and demanded, 'What is the meaning of this great gathering of birds?'"
When the birds saw the crow, they said to one another, 'Let's have his opinion too for he is reputed to be very smart.'
'Birds', repeated the crow,' why this meeting and why this celebration?
'Friend, replied the birds, ' our king Garuda has no time for us and so we have decided to crown this owl as our king.
You have come just in time to give us your opinion too'.
'Well', replied the crow with a smile, 'my advice is against crowning the owl as our king.
Why choose this ugly and blind-by-day owl, when we have amongst us the best of birds peacocks, swans, cuckoos, nightingales, pigeons, cranes, and so on.
I certainly advice against it.
His crooked nose and his squint eyes make him look cruel, even when he is not angry.
Whatever would he look like if he were really angry? What could we possibly gain by electing such an ugly and vicious looking leader?
And what is more, even if this owl has his qualities, it is not necessary to elect another king. We already have Garuda, the king of the birds, as our king, and just by mentioning his name, you can keep your enemies at bay.
And so, if you want to stay alive, don't elect such a sly and vicious king.'
When the birds heard the crow, they said to one another, 'He is right. We'll meet some other time and elect another king'.
And then they all flew off, except the crow, the owl and the owl's wife.
The owl was still waiting to be crowned king.
He turned to his wife and said, 'What is all this? Why hasn't the ceremony to crown me begun yet?
'This crow has put an obstacle in the way of your being crowned,'said his wife.
'All the other birds have flown away, only this crow has stayed behind for some ulterior motive. And so we had better go home too.'
"When the owl heard this, he was disappointed and said to the crow, 'Wicked crow! What harm have I done you, that you should put obstacles in the way of my being crowned king. From now on, there shall be enmity between you and me, and between your kind and my kind?
"With these words, the owl returned to his place, with his wife.
"When they had gone, the crow thought to himself, 'Why did I talk like that and pick up a quarrel with the owl?
With this thought, the crow too went home."
The wise indeed say : keep your counsel to yourself and thus stay away from trouble.
27. THE STORY OF THE HARES AND THE ELEPHANTS
In a certain place, there lived an elephant king and with him, his retinue.
Once there was no rain for many years and all the lakes and ponds dried up.
The elephants went to their king and said to him, 'Your Majesty! Parched by thirst, some of our little ones have already died, whilst the rest of them are on the verge of death.
We must find some place where we can drink as much water as we want to".
After deep reflection, the king replied, "I know a place where there is a big lake which is always full, because it is fed by an underground water supply. We'll go there".
And so the elephants marched five days and five nights, and early the following morning, reached the lake.
Now, in the soft earth, around the lake, there were innumerable holes, the homes of the hares.
When the elephants plunged jubilantly into the water, these holes were destroyed and many hares were trampled underneath.
Quite a few died, whilst there were others who were seriously injured.
When the elephants had left the lake, the surviving hares assembled, crying pitifully, Oh, dear, dear, dear! Because water is not to be had anywhere else, these elephants are bound to come here everyday and trample on us. We must think what to do."
Then one of them said, "What else can we do but leave this place?"
But the other hares replied, "What friend! Give up our ancestral home so suddenly.
It is impossible! No, we must frighten the elephants so much that they never think of coming back.
We are only hares but still we are capable of it."
Then one of them said, "I know a way to frighten them off but we will need a very clever diplomat who is good at pretending.
My plan is this: This fellow approaches the elephant king and says that he has been sent by the Moon God.
He tells him that the Moon God forbids the elephants to come to the lake, because it's the home of the hares, his people.
Now, if the elephant king is taken in by this story, he will go away".
"Well, said another hare, "we have, amongst us, someone who is very clever and an excellent talker. We can send him".
Then the other hares said, "You are right! We will carry out your plan. There seems to be no other way for saving our lives."
"And so this clever hare was sent to the elephant king.
After he had walked some way from the lake, he came across a hillock, which lay in the path of the elephants, but was too high for them to reach. He sat down on it.
When the elephant king passed by with his herd, the hare cried out of to him, threateningly, 'Hey, you! Wicked elephant! Don't you dare approach this lake! It belongs to the Moon God. Go back!"
The elephant king was taken by surprise and said to the hare, "Who are you?"
" Oh you elephant king!", replied the hare, "I am a messenger of the Moon God. He has sent me to you!"
"Hare!" said the elephant king." Tell me his message immediately and we will obey him!"
"The message is this", said the clever hare.
"If you want to stay alive, don't ever return to this lake again.
For, yesterday you visited the lake and trampled on innumerable hares, who are under my protection."
"I see, "replied the elephant king. "Well, where is the Moon God now?"
"He has come down to the lake himself to console the surviving hares", said the clever hare"
"Then lead me to him", said the elephant king," so that I can beg his forgiveness and then go away."
"All right then", said the clever hare, "come along with me".
By now, it was evening.
The clever hare took the elephant king to the bank of the lake and showed him the reflection of the moon in the water.
"Our Master is sitting in deep meditation,", he said to the king of elephants.
"Bow to him silently and leave, for if you disturb him while he is meditatimg , he will be furious with you!"
Accordingly, the elephant king bowed from a distance and went away trembling.
And from that day onward, the hares lived happily ever after.
The wise indeed say : The weak must make use of all tactics to survive.
28. THE STORY OF THE HARE AND THE PARTRIDGE
As related by a partridge:
"One upon a time, I was living in a certain tree.
In the hollow, at the foot of the tree, lived a partridge, by the name Kapinjala.
In the course of time, we became good friends.
Every day, at sunset, we would return home and tell each other stories about the holy men and such things, and talk over together about what had happened during the day.
In this way, we passed our time very nicely.
One day, the partridge went off, with some other partridges, to another part of the country, which was full of ripe rice.
When he did not return at nightfall, I became very worried and thought to myself, "Oh dear, why hasn't the partridge returned home today?
Has he been caught in a trap or has somebody killed him?
I am sure he would have returned if he was safe, for he can't live without me".
"And so, I spent several days worrying.
One day, at nightfall, a hare came and took over the hole in the tree.
As I had given up all hope of ever seeing the partridge again, I did not object in any way to his occupying the place.
"Meanwhile, the partridge, who had become fat from eating the ripe rice, suddenly remembered his former home and came back.
When he found the hare living in his house, he objected very strongly and said to him, "Hare! You have taken over my home! That's very unfair of you! Leave immediately!"
"Oh, but this place is mine now", said the hare.
"Hare! said the patridge.' Let us approach someone who is well versed in holy books and we'll let him decide who is to have the place".
The hare agreed to this suggestion and they set off together to have their dispute settled by a holy man.
Now a wild tomcat, came to know about their dispute.
He went and stood in their path, on the bank of the river
In his paw he held a blade of holy Kusha grass.
He closed his eyes, stood on his hind legs, facing the sun and began giving a discourse on morals.
"Why make a long story of it? I'll tell you what religion is, in nutshell.
To do good to others is virtuous but harming others is a sin".
When the hare heard this, he said," This fellow, sitting on the bank of the river, is a holy man and an exponent of religion.
Let us go and ask his opinion".
"All right", said the patridge "but he is a wild tomcat and our natural enemy, so we should talk to him from a very long way off". "
And so, standing at a distance, they both said to him, " Holy man ! ! There is a dispute between us. Give us your opinion, in accordance with the holy books and whichever of us is in the wrong, you can eat up".
"My friends", said the tomcat, "please don't talk like that! I have given up that violent way of life, which leads directly to hell.
The sages have declared non-violence to be essence of a true religion.
It's wrong to kill even lice, bugs and mosquitoes, so I shall certainly not kill you.
However, I will decide who wins and who loses in the dispute.
But I am old and I can't hear what it's all about from so far away.
So come nearer and present your case, so that I can decide in such way, that I am not held blameworthy in the next world.
So have confidence in me and speak the facts clearly in my ears.
What more is there for me to say?"
And so, this wicked tomcat inspired so much confidence in the partridge and the hare, that they came and sat close to him.
Immediately, he seized one of them in his teeth and the other in his claws, killed them both and ate them up.
The wise indeed say : Beware of a rascal who pretends to be holy.
29. THE STORY OF THE BRAHMINS AND THE THREE CROOKS
In a certain town, there lived a Brahmin, by the name of Mitra Sharma who was a fire worshipper.
One day during monsoons, a gentle breeze was blowing and the sky was overcast with clouds.
The Brahmin set out for another village, to visit a certain devotee, so that he could beg for a goat to be able to offer it as a sacrifice.
When he arrived there, he said to his devotee, "My son, on the coming of an auspicious day, I want to perform a sacrifice, so please make me a present of some fat animal."
His devotee agreed and gave him a fat goat.
The Brahmin put him on his shoulders, so that he shouldn't run away, and started the return journey.
On his way home, he was seen by three crooks, who were almost starving.
They said to one another, " If we could only lay hands on this fat goat, we wouldn't have to suffer from cold and hunger.
So, let's play a trick on the Brahmin and make him part with the goat."
Then the first crook disguised himself, went ahead of the Brahmin by a side road and stood in his path.
When the Brahmin came near him ,he cried, "Ho! Fire worshipper! Why are you behaving so ridiculously?
Why are you carrying this profane dog on your shoulders? "
The Brahmin got excited and cried, 'Are you blind that you call this sacrificial goat a dog ? "
And the crook replied, "Please don't get cross with me. Have it your own way and do as you please."
When the Brahmin had gone a little further, the second crook accosted him and said, "Ho! Brahmin! Shame on you, Shame! Even if this dead calf was very dear to you, you shouldn't carry him about on your shoulders like that'.
The Brahmin replied in great anger, "Are you blind that you call this living goat a dead calf?"
And the crook replied, 'Please don't get unhappy with me. My mistake for talking to you! Have it your own way and do as you please."
When the Brahmin had gone still little further, the third crook appeared on the scene and said, "Ho! Brahmin! It is highly improper for you to carry a donkey on your shoulders. Drop him quickly, before anyone sees you!"
Now, after all this, the Brahmin thought that he must really be carrying a goblin, which was changing shape all the while.
He threw the goat off on the ground, and terrified ran home.
The three crooks caught hold of the goat, killed him and ate him up to their heart's content.
The wise indeed say : Untruth spoken repeatedly appears to be truth.
30. THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN AND THE COBRA
In a certain town, there lived a Brahmin, by the name of Haridatta.
In spite of the fact that he worked extremely hard on his farm, he did not prosper.
One day, the heat was unbearable and he was resting under the shade of a tree, on the farm when a cobra emerged from an anthill and confronted him with his hood raised.
He thought to himself, "Perhaps this cobra is the deity of the farm.
As I have not worshipped him before, my labour on the farm has proved to be fruitless.
So, from today onwards, I shall start offering oblations to him."
With this thought, the Brahmin brought milk and poured into a plate in front of the anthill and said, "Oh, protector of the farm, I did not know of your presence here, that is why I have not worshipped you until now. Please forgive me."
And when he had offered the milk to the cobra, in the traditional way, he went home.
Next morning, when he returned, to his farm, he saw a gold coin lying on the plate.
In this way, everyday the Brahmin would make an offering of milk to the cobra and get a gold coin in return.
One day, the Brahmin went to visit another village, after duly instructing his son to make an offering of milk to cobra.
Accordingly, on the following day, his son did so and then went home.
Next morning, when he returned, he found a gold coin lying on the plate
He was astonished and thought to himself. 'This anthill must be full of gold coins. I'll kill the cobra and get all the gold at once.'
And so, the morning, when he should have been making an offering of milk, the Brahmin's son hit the cobra with a stick.
But, luckily for the cobra, it was not a death blow and the cobra turned angrily on the Brahmin's son and bit him.
The boy died on the spot and the Brahmin's relatives burnt his body in the field.
Next day, when the Brahmin returned, his relatives informed him of his son's death and described to him how he had died.
The Brahmin expressed his grief for his son's rash behaviour and subsequent death but defended the cobra's action.
The following morning the Brahmin went to the cobra with an offering of milk, stood before the anthill and prayed in a loud voice.
The cobra, sitting at the entrance of the anthill, said, 'Good Heavens! You're so greedy for gold that you have even forgotten your son's death to come here! Our friendship will not last long now.
Your son, in his youthful rashness attacked me and I, in retaliation, bit him.
How can I forget your son's attack, and how can you forget his death? Look at the funeral pyre and then at my injured hood.
Love, once shattered, can never be restored by a show of affection.'
When the cobra had said this, he handed to the Brahmin a priceless diamond and re-entered the anthill, saying 'Never come here again!'
"The Brahmin accepted the diamond, and went home, regretting his son's foolishness.
The wise indeed say : Greed crosses all borders of reasoning and ends in disaster.
31. THE STORY OF THE OLD MERCHANT, HIS YOUNG WIFE AND THE THIEF
In a certain town, there lived an old merchant, by the name of Kamatura.
After the death of his wife, he became so lovesick that he gave a lot of money to another merchant, so that he could marry his young daughter.
However, his new wife was very unhappy and would not even look at her old husband.
This is quite understandable.
Now one night, as the young wife was lying in bed with her face turned away from her husband, a thief crept into the house.
The girl was so terrified when she saw him that she turned and clasped her husband fervently.
The old man was delighted beyond words but thought to himself, 'I wonder how it is that she is hugging me so tight.
There must be a reason.'
He was peering cautiously about the room when he caught sight of the thief in the corner.
Then he realized that she was hugging him because she was afraid of the thief.
So he cried out to the thief. 'My benefactor! Thank you! This woman was avoiding me but today she is hugging me lovingly in her arms! My good fellow, take away whatever you want.'
"Well", replied the thief, 'I can't see anything here worth stealing at the moment but I'll surely come back some other time to try my luck and to oblige you, in case your wife does not continue to behave lovingly towards you.'
The wise indeed say : Sometimes even you enemy can be beneficial to you.
32. THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN, THE THIEF AND THE RAKSHASA.
In a certain town, lived a Brahmin name Drona.
He gave up wearing fine clothes, using perfumes and all the other luxuries of life.
His hair and nails grew long and his body lean, due to his rigorous discipline in the cold, hot and rainy seasons.
A certain devotee of his, out of sheer pity, presented him with a pair of young calves.
Right from the beginning the Brahmin fed them on butter, oil and grain.
And they grew fat in due course.
A thief saw these two calves and he thought to himself.
'This very day, I shall steal away these two calves belonging to the Brahmin.'
So he took a rope to tie them up and started off.
On the way, he met a Demon of hideous appearance.
His teeth stuck out of his mouth, his nose was long, his eyes burnt frighteningly with fire, he had knotty muscles and a glowing red beard.
When the thief saw him, he got frightened and said, 'Who are you?'
'I am a Demon and I always speak the truth.! Replied the Demon.
Now you too introduce yourself.'
'I'm a thief 'replied the thief, 'and I am on my way to steal two calves from a poor Brahmin.'
Because both spoke the truth, the two of them developed faith in each other.
The Demon said to the thief, 'I'm extremely hungry today, I think I shall eat that Brahmin.
As you are going to steal his calves, it's a very good thing, for our work will be accomplished at the same place'.
And so they started off together.
When they reached the Brahmin's home, they slipped inside and hid themselves, waiting for an opportune moment.
When the Brahmin fell asleep, the Demon got ready to eat him.
But the thief restrained him and said, 'That's not fair! You have to wait until I have taken away the calves! Otherwise, if he wakes up when you are about to eat him, my purpose will be defeated'.
'On the contrary', retorted the Demon, 'if the calves cry out when you are leading them away and the Brahmin wakes up, I shall be the loser!'
Because of the hot argument that developed between the two, the Brahmin did wake up.
Then, the thief said to the Brahmin, 'Brahmin, this Demon want to eat you'.
And the Demon said, 'Brahmin, this thief wants to steal you calves.'
Now, the Brahmin became very wide-awake and prayed to his chosen deity, where upon the Demon ran off.
Then the Brahmin picked up a stick and chased the thief away.
The wise indeed say : When thieves fall out, you stand to benefit.
33. THE STORY OF THE SNAKE IN THE ANTHILL AND THE SNAKE IN THE BELLY OF THE PRINCE
In a certain town, there lived a king, by the name of Devashakti.
He had a son, who grew leaner and leaner everyday, for he had a snake in his stomach.
In spite of several treatments by well-know physicians, he was not cured at all.
Thoroughly fed up with his life, the prince went to a town in another kingdom, where he lived in a temple and maintained himself by begging for alms.
Now the king of that country had two young daughters.
Everyday, at sunrise, they would approach their father and bow at his feet.
One would say, 'My Lord, with your blessings, all joys are bestowed up us.'
The other would say, 'Your Majesty, one only gets the fruits of one's actions'.
One day, the king got very angry with his second daughter and said to his ministers, 'Give the girl of mine away in marriage to any stranger you come across, so that she gets the fruits of her actions'.
'It will be done, your Majesty', replied the ministers.
Now, in their search for a stranger, the ministers came across this prince, who was living in the temple.
And they married off the princess to him.
The princess was very happy with the marriage and looked upon her husband as God.
Shortly after their marriage, the prince and the princess set out for another part of the country.
One the way, the princess left her husband under a tree and went into the nearby town to buy oil, salt, rice and other provisions.
After making the necessary purchases, she returned to find the prince fast asleep.
Suddenly she saw a snake emerging from the prince's mouth and yet another from an anthill nearby.
When they saw each other, they got very annoyed.
'You wicked creature!' Said the anthill snake to the other snake.
'Why are you torturing this handsome prince? If he would only drink gruel, made of Cummin seeds and mustard, you would surely be dead!
"Well, replied the other, 'you too, could be destroyed if someone poured hot water or hot oil on the anthill.
Then he could get the two pots of gold that you are guarding'.
The princess, who was standing behind a tree, heard their argument and came to know their secrets.
She acted accordingly.
As a result, her husband recovered his health and, at the same time, they had two pots of gold to themselves.
The wise indeed say : When your enemies quarrel, you are the winner.
34. THE STORY OF THE FEMALE MOUSE
On the bank of the river Ganges, there was a beautiful hermitage.
The water from the river gushed down on rocks, making a tremendous noise, which frightened the fishes.
It whirled round and round and the water was a mass of foam.
Now in this hermitage lived hermits, who were always absorbed in meditation.
Their bodies had grown lean with fasting, penance and rigorous self-discipline.
They ate roots and fruits and drank the holy water from the Ganges.
They wore clothes made of bark.
The Guru of this hermitage was one Yadnyavalkya.
One day, while he was bathing in the holy water of the Ganges and offering his prayers, a mouse, dropped by a hawk, fell into his hands.
He plucked a leaf from a nearby Banyan tree and put the mouse on it.
Afterwards he took a second bath, to purify himself because he had been contaminated by touching the mouse.
By the power of meditation, he transformed the female mouse into a little girl.
Then he took her to the hermitage and said to his wife, 'My dear wife, we have no child of our own, so please accept this little girl and bring her up carefully, as our own daughter'.
And so, the child was brought up with great care until she attained the age of twelve.
When the Guru's wife noticed that the girl has reached the marriageable age, she said to her husband, 'My dear husband, the time for our daughter's marriage is slipping by. Please give it a serious thought'.
'You are right he replied'. I shall give her to someone who really deserves her.
And so, if the girl agrees, I shall summon the Sun God and give her to him'.
'Yes', replied his wife, 'please do that'.
By the power of invocation, the Guru summoned the Sun God to him.
In a moment he appeared before him and said, Guruji 'Why have you called me?'
'If this daughter of mine is willing to marry you, please accept her hand'
The he asked his daughter, 'Do you accept the Sun God, who lights up the world as your husband ?'
'Father', she replied, 'he is too fiery-tempered. I don't want to marry him. Find me someone better!'
So, the Guru said to the Sun God, 'My Lord, is there anyone better than you?'
'Yes', replied the Sun God. 'The King of the Clouds is superior to me, for when he covers me, I am no longer visible'.
And so the Guru invited the King of the Clouds and asked his daughter, 'My child, may I offer you hand to the King of Clouds?'
'Father', she replied, 'he is dark and too cold. I don't want to marry him. Find me someone better!'
So, the Guru said to the king of the Clouds,'Oh King of the Clouds! Is there anyone better than you?'
'Yes', replied the King of the Clouds, ' Yes ! The Lord of the Wind is superior to me, for he makes me drift'.
And so, the Guru invited the Lord of the Wind and said to his daughter, 'What do you say to him?
'Father', she replied 'he is very changeable. I don't want to marry him. Find me someone better'.
So, the Guru said to Lord of the Wind, 'My Lord, is there anyone better than you?'
'Yes', replied the Lord of the Wind. 'The the Lord of the Mountains is superior to me, for although I am strong, he prevents me from blowing where I want to'
And so Guru invited the the Lord of Mountains and said to his daughter, 'Now I am offering you to him'.
'Father', she replied, he is hard and immovable. I don't want to marry him. Find me someone better.
So the Guru said to the Lord of the Mountains ,' Is there anyone better than you?
'Yes', replied the Mountain, 'The mice are superior to me, for they bore holes in my body'.
And so the Guru invited the King of Mice and said to his daughter, 'Now my little daughter, I'm going to offer you the King of Mice. Do you like him?'
When the girl looked at the King of Mice, her whole body began to quiver with delight and she said to her father, 'Oh father, he is the best of all!
Please transform me into a mouse, so that after my marriage to the King of Mice , I shall be able to perform the household duties of my new clan'.
By the power of his meditation, the Guru turned her back into a mouse and gave her in marriage to the king of mice.
The wise indeed say What is inborn can never change.
35. THE STORY OF THE HUNTER AND THE BIRD WHOSE DROPPING TURNED INTO GOLD
On the top of a mountain, there was a huge tree.
In this tree, lived a certain bird, by the name of Sindhuka whose droppings always turned into gold.
One day, a hunter came to the spot to catch birds.
While he was watching, this bird discharged its droppings.
Immediately it turned into gold.
The hunter was wonder-struck and he thought to himself, 'I have been catching birds since I was a small child, but never have I seen the droppings of a bird turn to gold!'
So the hunter set a trap in the tree.
The foolish bird did not notice either the hunter or the trap and was caught.
The hunter took him out of the trap and put him in a cage.
Then he thought to himself, 'Now, before anyone finds out about this strange bird and reports it to the king, I had better go to him myself and present the bird to him.'
And so, he took the bird to the king and told him everything.
The king was delighted and said to his attendants. 'Look after this bird carefully.
Give him food and water to his heart's content'.
But the king's minister said to him, 'Your Majesty! How can you trust the words of a mere hunter? Could it ever be possible to get gold from a bird's droppings!
We advise you to take him out of the cage and release him'.
The king listened to his minister's advice and set the bird free.
Immediately, he perched himself on the top of a nearby gate and let fall his droppings which immediately turned to gold.
The wise indeed say : Check thoroughly even what seems to be impossible.
36. THE STORY OF THE LION, THE JACKAL AND THE CAVE
In a certain part of the jungle, there lived a lion, by the name of Kharanakhara.
One day, he felt very hungry and wandered everywhere looking for food, but he could not catch a single animal.
At sunset, he went into a big cave, thinking to himself, ' Some animal is bound to be living here and will certainly return during the evening. I shall hide in the cave and wait for him'.
Sure enough, after a short time, a jackal, arrived on the scene.
He noticed that a lion's footprints were leading into the cave but not coming out.
He thought to himself, 'Now I am dead! It is almost certain that there is a lion inside.
But how can I know for sure? What can I do to find out?'
Suddenly an idea struck him.
He stood at the entrance of the cave and began to shout, 'Hello, Cave! Cave.'
He waited in silence for some time.
Then he cried, 'Ho, Cave! Don't you remember the agreement we came to, that when I arrive here, I shall first call you and you will reply and only then will I come in.
Now, as you are not replying, I shall go to some other cave'.
When the lion heard this, he thought to himself, 'The cave really replies to the jackal, when he returns, but today, for fear of me, it is keeping quiet.
So, I shall invite him in myself and when he enters, I'll make a meal of him'.
With this idea in mind, the lion replied to the jackal, 'Hello, jackal! It's all right, you can come in.'
The cave echoed with his roar so loud that even animals far away were frightened.
The jackal bolted.
The wise indeed say : Use you tactics to protect yourself from destruction.
37. THE STORY OF THE FROG AND THE BLACK SNAKE
Near a Mountain, there lived an old snake, by the name of Mandavishya.
One day, he thought to himself, 'I am getting old to hunt for food.
How could I manage to maintain myself without having to work hard for it?'
Then he hit upon a plan.
He went to a pond that was full of frogs and began to behave as though he had given up everything, and renounced the world.
A frog came out of the water and asked him, 'Why aren't you moving about in search of food as usual?'
'Ah! Replied the snake, 'Unfortunate fellow that I am! I no longer have any desire for food. I'll explain to you: Last night, when I was wandering about in search of food, I saw a frog.
When I tried to catch him, he got frightened and jumped in amongst a group of Brahmins, who were reciting the holy books and vanished.
I could not reach him there, so I sat waiting for him to come out.
Meanwhile my eyes fell on a Brahmin's son and out of frustration, I bit him.
He died on the spot. His father was heart-broken and he cursed me with these words:
"Wicked demon of a serpent! You have bitten my son and killed him when he did nothing to you.
For this, from today on, you shall serve the frogs and they will use you to ride on.
You will live off whatever they are pleased to offer you".
'And so, 'said the snake, 'I have come to serve you'
When the frog heard the snake's story, he went and told it to the others.
Finally, the king of frogs came to know about this.
He thought it very strange and visited the snake himself in the company of his ministers, in order to ascertain the facts.
After the snake had assured him that his life would be safe, the king climbed on his back.
Other frogs also took their turns, according to age.
And those who did not find any place on the snake's back, hopped after him.
To please the frogs, the snake exhibited to them various type of crawling.
The king of the frogs was delighted and he said, 'I have never had so much pleasure riding an elephant, a horse, a carriage or a human being, as by riding the snake'.
Next day, the snake started crawling slowly on purpose.
When the king noticed this, he asked him, 'Friend, why aren't you crawling as you usually do?'
'I've had nothing to eat!' Replied the snake.' I'm too weak to crawl properly'.
So the frog king replied, 'All right then, you can eat small frogs'.
When the snake heard this, he pretended to be surprised and said, ' Well, well.
This is exactly the second part of the Brahmin's curse that has come true, for he said, that I should have to live on whatever the frogs were pleased to offer me.
You Majesty, your kindness makes me very happy'.
After that, the snake began to eat small frogs daily and, in a short time, he became very strong.
The snake thought to himself with a smile, 'I have beguiled them enough to allow me to eat the small frogs, but how long will this supply last?'
The frog king, was so completely taken in by the snake's talk that he did not understand his real motive.
After a few days, a big black snake came to the same place.
He was flabbergasted to see frogs riding on the snake and he said to him ' My friend! Those frogs are our food! Why are you carrying them on your back? It is beneath you!'
'I do agree with you', said the first snake, 'but I am playing it cool and waiting patiently.
And he explained everything to the black snake.
One day, the snake said with a laugh, 'Eating all these frogs, I have discovered different tastes'.
And the frog king, hearing this, was dumb- founded and said to the snake, 'My good fellow, what kind of talk is that!'
To cover up his slip, the snake replied, 'Oh, nothing at all'.
And then, with his clever talk, he succeeded in putting the frog king at ease.
In due course, the snake started eating even the larger frogs and in the end, he ate the frog king himself and all the frogs were utterly wiped out.
The wise indeed say : Beware of deception from all quarters including your friends.
38. THE STORY OF THE KING OF FROGS AND THE SNAKE
In a certain well, there lived a king of frogs, by the name of Gangadatta.
He was tormented by the nagging of his relatives, so he climbed up the water-wheel and slipped out, thinking to himself, 'How can I have revenge on them?'.
While he was thinking this, the frog king saw a snake going into his hole.
He thought to himself, 'I know what I will do. I will take this snake down into the well and get all my relatives eaten up'.
Thinking this over, the frog king went and stood outside the entrance of the snake's hole and called, 'Ho, you! My friend!! Come out!'
When the snake heard this, he thought to himself, 'I am sure that is not one of my own kith and kin calling me, for he speaks differently from us.
And anyway, I have no friends whatsoever. So, I'll stay right inside my hole until I find out who he is Maybe he might try to catch me through Mantra( magic verses),flute music or herbs.'
So cautiously he called out, 'Who is it ? '
The frog king replied, 'I am the king of frogs, and I have come to make friends with you'.
' Well! Said the snake. 'That is very hard to believe! Can grass and fire ever be friends? 'So why are you talking such nonsense!
'You are indeed my natural enemy. But I am being tormented to death and I have come to you for your help. I want you to eat my enemies'.
"Tell me", said the snake, "who is tormenting you?"
"It's my relatives", said the frog king..
"Well", said the snake, 'where do you live? In a well, a pond, or a lake?'
'In a well, build by layers of stone', replied the frog king.
'But I have no legs', said the snake, 'how can I get into the well? And even if I could, where could I sit and eat your relatives? Go away!'
'Please!' said the frog king, I'll show you how to get into the well comfortably and inside, at the edge of the water level, there is a very nice hole where you can sit and eat them. Come with me'.
When he heard this, the snake thought to himself, 'I have grown old and can't even catch a mouse without great difficulty.
Now this fellow, an enemy of his own species, is showing me a way to live in comfort. I shall go and live there'.
And so, the snake said aloud, ' Oh frog king !
If this is really true, then lead the way and I shall follow you.'
The frog king replied, 'I shall take you by an easy route and show you the hiding place, but you must spare my friends. Eat only the ones, I point out to you'.
"We are friends now", said the snake, "so don't be afraid. I shall do exactly as you've told me".
With these words, the snake came out, embraced the frog king and started along with him.
When they reached the well, the frog king led the snake down by way of the water-wheel and took him to the hole.
He made the snake comfortable and then pointed out to him those relatives who were not on good terms with him.
And, one by one, the snake ate them up.
When these frogs had been exhausted, the snake said to the frog king, 'Please give me some food.
Afterall, it was you who brought me here, so you are responsible to feed me'.
'Snake" said the frog king, 'you have done me a friendly service.
Now go home the way you came down the water-wheel'
'Oh frog king !' Said the snake. 'That's not fair! The hole where I used to live, must have been occupied by someone else by now.
No, I will stay here. Go on giving me your relatives one by one. If you don't I will eat up every one of you'.
When the frog heard this, he was overwhelmed with grief and he thought to himself, ' What a stupid thing I have done in bringing the snake here. If I oppose him, he will eat us all.So everyday, I will allow him to eat a friend'.
So, the frog king came to a decision and he began to offer the snake one frog everyday.
The snake ate what was offered to him and also began to eat the other frogs as well, without the knowledge of the frog king.
One day, the snake also ate up, the son of the frog king, along with some others.
When the frog king came to know this, he began to wail in a loud voice, 'Oh, the wretched fellow that I am!' And he was inconsolable.
Then the wife said to him, 'What is the good of crying now? You are the cause of the destruction of our own kith and kin. Who will rescue us? You had better work out a plan to escape or else to kill the snake'.
Now, in due course, all the frogs were finished off. Only the frog king was left.
Then the snake said to the frog king, 'I am hungry! There are no frogs left. Please get me something to eat, for after all, you brought me here'.
'My friend', replied the frog king' As long as I am here, you have no need to worry on any account. Now if you allow me to leave this well and go to another one, I shall win the confidence of other frogs and bring them here'.
'You have been like a brother to me!' Said the snake. 'I shall never eat you. Now, if you carry out what you have promised, you will be to me like a father, so, please go'.
And so, the frog king offered prayers to innumerable Gods and left the well.
The snake waited anxiously for his return, but all in vain.
After a long time the snake said to a female lizard living nearby, 'Madam please give me a little help. You have known the frog king for a long time. Would you find him for me in one of the other wells and give him a message? Tell him, "If the frogs aren't coming, at least you return quickly.
I can't bear to be separated form you'. And tell him, 'If I ever harm you, may I lose all the merits I have earned in my life so far!'
The lizard found the frog king in one of the other wells and said, " Oh you frog king !! Your friend , the snake,is anxiously waiting for your return. He won't harm you.
He has staked all his good deeds as a guarantee for your safety. So come along, don't be afraid.'
'But ', the frog king replied, ' what sin will a starving man not commit? Weak people become cruel. Madam! Please tell the snake that the frog king will never again return to the well'.
And with those words, he sent her away.
The wise indeed says : Fight your own battles else you will surely be destroyed.
39. THE STORY OF THE LION AND THE DONKEY
In a certain jungle, there lived a lion, by the name of Karalakesara.
He had a servant, a jackal, who was his constant companion.
Now, once the lion fought a very fierce battle with an elephant and his body was so severely wounded that he was unable to walk.
Consequently, the jackal too began to starve and become very weak.
One day, he said to the lion, "Master! I am starving and I can't even walk a single step. How then can I serve you!"
"Well, my friend", said the lion, "go and search for an animal that I can kill even in my present condition.'
So, the jackal started on a search and arrived at a nearby village.
There he noticed a lean donkey, eating grass along the bank of the river with great difficulty.
The jackal approached the donkey and said, 'Uncle! Greetings ! I am seeing you after a long time. Tell me, why have you become so thin?'
'Nephew!' He replied. 'What can I tell you? The cruel washerman, my master, tortures me with heavy burdens and never gives me so much as a handful of clean grass.
So I have to eat this grass, mixed with dust. How then would my body be fat?'
"Uncle!" replied the jackal. "If that's the case then I know a very pleasant place where the grass is as green as emerald.
Come along with me and you can stay there. We will pass our days happily, telling each other moral stories and talking about philosophy".
"Nephew!" said the donkey. 'How nice of you to say so! But we villagers are easily killed by jungle animals, so what good would such a spot be to me?'
'Uncle', said the jackal, "please don't talk like that. That part of the country is well protected by my powerful claws.
No other animal dare enter there! For the very same reason because they were being tortured by their masters, three female donkeys are living there too.
They are young and well fed. They said to me, 'If you are really our uncle, please find some suitable husband for us in one of the villages.' That's why I am taking you there."
When the donkey heard the jackal's words, he was fired with lust and he said, ' Well if that's the case, you go ahead and I'll follow you'.
And so, enticed in this way, the donkey went with the jackal to the lion.
As soon as the suffering lion saw the donkey, he got up to strike him with his paw, but missed.
And the donkey ran for his life.
When the donkey had gone, the jackal said angrily to the lion, ' Is that the way you aim a blow!. Even a donkey could escape from you. So, how could you fight an elephant?'
The lion smiled shamefacedly and said, 'What could I do? I wasn't ready to attack him, otherwise even an elephant would not escape me'.
"Well", said the jackal. 'I will him to your presence once more, but this time stay on the alert to attack him'.
"My dear fellow", said the lion, "how will he come back, when he actually saw me and ran away? Please find some other animal".
"What's that to do with you?" said the jackal. "All you have to do is stay ready to attack.
And the jackal followed the donkey's trail.
When the donkey saw the jackal, he cried 'Nephew! You took me to a really nice place! I nearly fell into the jaws of death! Tell me, who was the animal whose lighting blows, I so narrowly escaped?'
Then the jackal said with a smile, 'Uncle! It was a female donkey, who wanted to embrace you when she saw you. But you, like a coward, ran away. So, come on now. She has said that she will starve herself to death because of you.
"If this donkey does not become my husband", she told me, "I shall burn myself in fire or drown myself in water.
I cannot bear to be separated from him". So please come to her or you will be responsible for the death of a female and Kamadeva, the God of love will be angry with you.'
The donkey was once again coaxed into going with the jackal.
This time, the lion was lying in wait for him and the donkey was killed.
Afterwards, the lion asked the jackal to guard the donkey and went to the river to take a bath.
The jackal could not control his hunger and ate up the donkey's brain.
When the lion returned from taking his bath and worshipping the gods and his forefathers, he found that the donkey's brain missing.
He turned on the jackal angrily and said, ' You villain! What have you done? You have polluted my food by eating his brain.'
'Please! Master, said the jackal, 'don't speak to me like that. This donkey had no brain.
Otherwise how would he have come back after once seeing you?'
The lion believed him. He had his fill of the donkey and left the rest to the jackal.
The wise indeed say : Deception with sweet words succeeds beyond limit.
40. THE STORY OF THE POTTER CALLED YUDHISTHIRA
In a certain town, there lived a potter, by the name of Yudhisthira.
One day, he was drunk, and stumbling on the broken pots, fell down.
The sharp edges caused a wound in his head and blood began to ooze out.
With great difficulty, he got up.
Owing to improper care, the wound got worse and even when in the end it healed , it left a big scar on his forehead.
After some time, there was famine in the country and the potter became very thin.
Accompanied by some servants of the royal family, he went off to another part of the country, where he got himself employed in the king's service.
When the king noticed the big scar on the potter's forehead, he thought, 'No doubt this wound on his forehead was caused when he was fighting face to face with an enemy. He must be a very brave man'.
So, the potter was placed amongst the princes with great honour.
When they saw that he was being favoured by the king, although he did not deserve it, they became jealous but could not say anything because they feared the king.
One day, a battle was impending.
The king invited all the warriors so that he could bestow honour on them and thus encourage them.
While the elephants and the horses were being equipped and the soldiers inspected, the king took this potter aside and said, 'Prince! What is your name? What is your caste? And in which battle did you get this wound on your forehead?'
'Your Majesty!' replied the potter. 'This wound wasn't caused by a sword! I am a potter by profession.
And in my house there used to be many pots lying around. One day, I got drunk and tripped over some broken ones and that's what caused this scar on my forehead'.
When the king heard this, he was very embarrassed and said to his soldiers, 'This potter has deceived me by pretending to be a prince. Drive him away quickly'.
When they began to drive the potter away from the palace, he cried out, 'Stop! Please don't do that. Put me to test in a battle'.
The king replied, 'No doubt you have some excellent qualities but it would be better for you to go home. Because if these warriors recognize you to be a potter, they would ridicule you and kill you'.
When the potter heard this, he immediately left the palace.
The wise indeed say : Continue being what you are else you pay for it.
41. THE STORY OF THE LIONESS AND THE YOUNG JACKAL
In a certain jungle, there lived a couple, a lion and lioness.
One day, the lioness gave birth to two male cubs.
Now the lion would go out hunting and when he had killed the prey, he would bring it home and present it to the lioness.
However, one day, he wandered, everywhere in search of food but all in vain.
Meanwhile, the sunset set in.
As he was returning home, the lion came across a baby jackal. He did not kill him because he was only a baby.
Catching hold of him carefully in his teeth, he took him home and presented him to his wife and said,'My dear, you may kill him and satisfy your hunger but I could not kill him for he belongs to our race and is only a baby'.
"My dear husband", said the lioness, "You wouldn't kill this baby, so how could I kill him and feed myself.
This is our ancient religion. And so, I won't kill him but I shall look after him as my third son".
So, she began to feed the baby jackal on her own milk and soon he became fat.
The three babies began to grow up together without realizing any difference between them and spent their childhood playing the same games.
One day, a wild elephant appeared on the scene.
When they saw him, the two lion cubs rushed forward furiously to attack him but the young jackal said, "Stop! He is an enemy of our species. Don't go near him",
And with these words, he ran home.
The lion cubs also got discouraged because of their brother's cowardice
When the two cubs returned home, they told their parents, laughing about their elder brother's behaviour and said, . "When this fellow saw the elephant coming, he took to his heels".
When the young jackal heard this, he got very excited.
His lips quivered, his eyes grew red, furrows appeared on his forehead and he began to reprove the two cubs harshly.
The lioness took him aside and said to him, "My dear, don't talk like that. After all they are your younger brothers".
But the young jackal became still angrier and he said to her, "Am I in any way inferior to them in bravery, looks, education or intelligence, that they should ridicule me? I shall certainly kill them!"
When the lioness heard this, she smiled within herself and, to save his life, she said to the young jackal, "My son, it's true you are brave, good looking, intelligent and well educated, but no elephants are killed in the family you were born in.
My child, listen! . You are actually the son of a jackal, but I took pity on you and brought you up, giving you my milk.
Now, before the cubs recognize you to be a jackal, go away from here and return to your own clan or they will kill you".
When he heard this, the young jackal became frightened, fled from the place and joined his own clan.
The wise indeed say : Know the truth about yourself and act accordingly.
42. THE STORY OF THE DONKEY AND THE WASHERMAN
In a town, there lived a washerman, by the name of Shuddapatta.
He had only one donkey.
Because of lack of grass and other things to eat, the donkey had become very lean.
One day, while the washerman was wandering in the jungle, he came across a dead tiger.
He thought to himself, 'Oh, this is a piece of good luck. I know what I'll do.
I will put the tiger's skin on the donkey and let him loose in the barley fields at night. The farmers will think it's a tiger and for the fear of him, they won't come out'.
This, the washerman did.
From that time onward, the donkey would eat the barely to his heart's content during the night time, and early in the morning the washerman would lead him back to the stall.
With the passage of time, the donkey grew so fat that the washerman had to strain himself to drag the donkey back into the stall.
One night while the donkey was feeding in the barley fields, he heard a female donkey braying in the distance. He couldn't help braying in return.
Immediately the farmers realized that it was only a donkey dressed up in a tiger's skin.
They rushed out, caught hold of him and killed him with sticks.
The wise indeed say : Do not pretend to be what you are not.
43. THE STORY OF THE CAMEL WITH A BELL ROUND HIS NECK
In a certain town, there lived a cart-maker, by the name of Ujjwalaka.
As he got no contracts, he became very poor and he thought to himself, ' To hell with this poverty! All the other people in this town are engaged in one job or the other but I don't get any suitable work.
Everybody else owns four- storyed buildings while I don't have even a proper home to live in. What is the use of staying here!'
And so, the cart-maker and his family left the town to settle somewhere else.
On the way, whilst they were still deep in the jungle, the sun set.
Suddenly, the cart maker saw a female camel, suffering from labour.
She had left behind by a caravan.
Soon, she gave birth to a baby camel.
The cart-maker tied the female with a rope, fetched a sharp hatchet and went to cut fresh tender leaves for her to eat.
He put them in front of her and slowly she started feeding on them.
Next morning, when the female camel had partly recovered, the cart-maker took her and the baby camel with him to his new home.
Under his proper care, the female camel fully recovered and the baby grew to full size.
Fondly, the cart-maker tied a bell round the young camel's neck.
Everyday he would sell the female camel's milk and, in this way, supported his family.
Then, he thought to himself, ' Why should I take to any other profession, when I can well support my family merely by looking after this female camel and selling milk!'
So, he said to his wife, 'My dear, this business is very profitable.
If you agree, I shall borrow some money from someone wealthy and go to Gujarat to buy a young camel. Whilst I am away, please look after these two.'
His wife agreed.
So the cart-maker went to Gujarat and returned home after buying a young camel.
Fortune smiled on him and in due course, he was the owner of quite a number of camels.
He employed a servant to look after them and paid him one baby camel every year in return for his services.
He also gave him free camel milk everyday to drink.
And so the cart-maker lived happily, looking after the camels and their young, and subsequently selling them.
Every morning, the camels would graze in the jungle nearby and eat tender creepers and other goods things.
Then they would go to drink water from a big lake and afterwards return home, playing games on the way.
Now the camel, with a bell round his neck, was conceited and used to trail behind the other camels, all on his own.
When the others noticed this, they said, 'This foolish fellow always strays away and walks behind us with his bell ringing.
One day he will fall in the clutches of a wild beast.'
They all scolded him about this and tried to make him understand, but he took no notice of them.
One day, a lion heard this ringing of a bell in the distance.
He followed the sound and saw a caravan of young camels moving ahead.
They were going to drink water from a lake.
But he observed that one, camel with a bell round his neck, had stayed behind, all alone and was still grazing.
The others finished drinking and started off for home.
This camel now began to stray in every direction and he lost his way.
The lion followed the sound of the ringing bell, overtook the camel and stood hiding in his path.
When the camel came near enough, the lion sprang at him, struck him on the neck and killed him.
The wise indeed say : A foolish person who refuses to follow a good advice surely comes to grief.
44. THE STORY OF THE JACKAL, THE LION, THE LEOPARD AND THE TIGER
In a certain part of the jungle, there lived a jackal, by the name of Mahachaturaka.
One day, he came across a dead elephant. He went round and round trying to tear the elephant's thick skin but he could not.
Meanwhile a lion wandering about here and there, arrived on the scene.
When the jackal saw the lion approaching, he bowed himself low on the ground, joined his paws in obeisance and said very humbly, 'Your Majesty! I am keeping watch over this elephant for you. Now that you have come, please be good enough to eat him'.
When the lion saw the jackal behaving so humbly, he said, 'Thank you very much, but I never eat a prey that has been killed by someone else.'
'And so', continued the lion, 'I shall make you a present of this dead elephant'.
"It's very proper on the master's part', said the jackal, 'to treat his servants so gracefully."
After the lion had left, a leopard arrived on the scene.
When the jackal saw him, he thought to himself, 'I got rid of the wicked lion by bowing humbly before him, but how shall I manage this one? He is extremely brave, so I cannot handle him except by cunning.'
With this, the jackal raised his shoulders proudly and said condescendingly to the leopard.
'Uncle! Why have you ventured into the jaws of death? The lion killed this elephant, appointed me to watch over him and is now gone to wash himself in the river.
When he left, he said to me, " If any leopard turns up, come to me quietly and inform me.
I shall then see that this jungle is wiped out of all leopards.
For once, one of them polluted my kill of an animal and I have been very angry with leopards ever since
When the leopard heard this, he got frightened and said to the jackal," Nephew!
Please save my life. Don't tell the lion that I've been here'.
And with these words, he bolted.
When the leopard had left, a tiger arrived on the scene.
When the jackal saw him, he started thinking. 'He has very strong sharp teeth.
I will make him tear open the elephant's hide'.
With this in mind, he said to the tiger, 'Nephew !How is it that I see you after such a long time? And you look starved. Be my guest.
This elephant has been killed by a lion and he has ordered me to keep watch over him. But until he returns eat as much as you can and then leave quickly'.
"If that's the case", said the tiger, "I don't want anything to do with it, for the lion may kill me".
And so, continued the tiger, "I am leaving".
'You coward! :' said the jackal. 'Eat and don't worry about it. I'll tell you when the lion is coming back, while he is still quite long way off'.
The tiger was taken in by the jackal's cunning talk.
But hardly had he cut through the elephant's hide and taken a few mouthfuls, when the jackal shouted, 'Stop ! You had better run . The lion is coming'.
As soon as the tiger heard this, he took to his heels.
The jackal had just started feeding on the flesh through the opening made by the tiger, when another jackal arrived on the scene, looking very hungry.
He fought the other jackal, bit him with his sharp teeth and chased him away.
And he enjoyed the elephant's flesh all to himself for a long, long time.
The wise indeed say : Bow before the mighty, throw something before the low and fight the equally powerful.
45. THE STORY OF THE DOG IN A FOREIGN COUNTRY
In a certain town, there lived a dog, by the name of Chitranga.
Once, there was famine in the land, and due to lack of food, the dogs along with the other animals began to starve.
Some even died.
The dog couldn't put up with such conditions any longer and he left for a foreign country.
There, in a certain town, because of the negligence of a rich lady householder, he could get into the house and eat to his heart's content.
But no sooner would he come out, than out of spite, the other dogs would surround him and bite him all over his body with their sharp teeth.
So then, he thought to himself, 'Oh, it's far better to be in one's own country and live in peace in spite of famine: I 'm going home'.
And he returned to his own country.
When he arrived there, his relatives gathered around him and plied him with questions.
'Oh friend! Tell us the news about the foreign land. What is the country like? How did the people behave? What kind of food do they eat? What do they trade in?'
'What can I say about it?' he replied'In foreign countries, the women are careless and leave all the doors open.
One gets wonderful varieties of food to eat. But there is a disadvantage. You own kith and kin torment you to death'.
The wise indeed say : The outsiders may tolerate your lapses but not your own kith and kin.
46. THE STORY OF THE BRAHMIN'S WIFE AND THE MONGOOSE
In a certain town, there lived a Brahmin, by the name of Dev Sharma.
One day, his wife give birth to a son.
The very same day a female mongoose gave birth to a baby mongoose, but she herself died.
Out of compassion, the Brahmin's wife took the little mongoose to her house and brought him up as her own son, giving him her own breast milk and bathing him in oil.
However, she was always on her guard, thinking to herself, " This mongoose has inherited the defects of his species and may some day harm my son"
She was a very fond mother.
One day, the woman put her son to bed and then wanted to take her pitcher to fetch water.
So she said to her husband,' I'm going to the well to fetch water. Look after the baby and make sure the mongoose doesn't hurt him'.
But after she had gone the Brahmin also left the house and went to beg for alms.
Meanwhile, a black snake emerged from a hole.
To defend the child, who was like a brother to him, the mongoose attacked his natural enemy, fought with him, bit him to pieces and killed him.
His mouth and claws were all spattered with the snake's blood.
Then, in this eagerness to show how brave he had been, the mongoose went and stood outside the house, waiting for the Brahmin's wife.
But when she arrived and saw him covered with blood, the woman jumped to the conclusion that he had killed her son.
She brought the heavy pitcher, full of water, down heavily on the mongoose and killed him on the spot.
When she went inside, she found her child safe in his cradle, and a black snake, torn to shreds, lying nearby.
She was heart-broken. She felt as though she had been guilty of killing her own son and began to beat her breasts in self-reproach.
After some time, the Brahmin returned home.
'Damn you ,' cried his grief-stricken wife. 'Greedy fellow, you were so anxious for alms that you didn't listen to me.
Now repent the loss of you second son, eat the fruit of your greed'.
The wise indeed say : Think hard and do not do anything in haste.
47. THE STORY OF CHAKRADHARA
In a certain town, there lived four young fellows, who were Brahmins.
They were very friendly to each other. But they were utterly destitute,
So they met to decide what to do.
"Curse this poverty", they said , 'let us leave this place and go elsewhere.'
Then they gave up their homes, their friends and their relatives and started off on their travels.
After some time, they came to a city. They bathed in the river nearby and worshipped at Shiva's ( the God of death )temple.
As they were coming out, they met a Yogi.
They bowed respectfully before him and accomplished him to his hermitage.
When they arrived there, he asked them, "Who are you? Where do you come from? Where are you going? And what is the purpose of your journey?"
"We are going where we can either make money or meet our death", they said. "Now we have heard that you are gifted with wonderful powers.
So please tell us some way of making money, whether it be by going into a cave, living in a cremation ground ,by praying to the Goddess Kali by offering human sacrifice, or with the help of magic wicks. Please help us"
The Yogi took pity on them and gave them four wicks, made of cotton, one to each of them, and said, "Go in the direction of the Himalayas.
When any one of you accidentally drops his wick, you will be sure to find a treasure hidden in that spot.
Dig it out, collect the treasure and return home with it.'
The four Brahmins nodded their consent and started off towards the Himalayas.
After traveling for a few days, one of them dropped his cotton wick.
He dug where it had fallen and uncovered a treasure of copper.
He began to collect the copper and cried to the others, "Come on, you too take as much as you can carry and let's go home.
Why go any further!"
"Stupid ! "replied the others. "However much copper you may collect, you will still be poor. Let us go on."
"Well" he replied, "you can go on but I shall return home with this copper treasure.'
And so, he took as much copper as he could carry and returned home.
The other three continued their journey.
After a few days, the second Brahmin dropped his cotton wick.
He started digging and uncovered a treasure of silver.
He cried out in delight and said to the other two, " Come on, you too take as much silver as you can carry and let us go home. Why go further ?".
"Stupid" replied the others. "However much silver you may collect, you'll still be relatively poor. Besides, first we had copper and now we have silver. Next time we are sure to find gold. So let us go on".
"You can go on", he replied, "but I shall return home with this silver treasure.'
And so, he collected as much as silver as he could carry and returned home.
The other two continued their journey.
After a few days, the third Brahmin dropped his cotton wick.
Joyfully, he started digging in the ground and he uncovered a heap of gold.
"Come on", he cried to this companion, "you too take as much as gold as you can carry and let's go home. Why go any further ?"
"Stupid ! replied the other. "You don't understand anything. First it was copper, then silver and now gold.
Next time, we're sure to find diamonds and pearls, so that if we take only one, we shall never be poor again. In any case, what is the point of carrying all this heavy load? Let us go on".
"You can go on", replied his companion, "but I shall wait here and watch over this gold until you return"
So, the fourth Brahmin continued his journey alone.
When he had gone some way, the fourth Brahmin began to suffer from the tremendous heat and fell very thirsty.
Soon, he lost the way that the Yogi had directed him to follow, and began to go round and round in circles.
While he was wandering, he suddenly came across a man whose body was smeared all over with blood,
The man had a wheel whirling around his head.
Quickly the Brahmin went over to him and said, "Who are you and what is this wheel around your head? But whoever you are, for goodness sake, tell me quickly where can I get water?"
Now, the minute he uttered these words, the wheel shifted from the other man to him and began to whirl around his own head.
"Friend" he cried. "What is this?"
"This wheel attached itself to my head in similar circumstances", replied the man.
"But when shall I get rid of it?" wailed the Brahmin. "It pains me beyond endurance."
"Only when someone carrying a magic wick comes here and speaks to you", replied the man, "will this wheel leave you and attach itself to him".
"When did you come here?" asked the Brahmin.
"I cannot guess accurately when I came here", said the man. " but I remember that it was in the reign of king Rama that I was desperate with poverty.
I managed to procure a magic wick and in due course, ended up here.
I saw a man with a wheel whirling around his head.
I asked him the same questions you asked me and, in the same way, the wheel left him and attached itself to me".
"But friend", said the Brahmin, "how did you manage to get food and water, with a wheel whirling around your head all the time?"
"My dear fellow", replied the man, "anyone who comes here is free from hunger, thirst, old age and death, but he suffers pain all the time, as you do now.
Kuber( The God of wealth), afraid that his treasure would be stolen, prepared this device and even since no one can dare approach this place, except with the help of a magic wick. Now, may I take your leave?.I am going home".
With these words, the man took his leave and left the Brahmin alone.
Now, when the Brahmin's friend, found that he was talking so long to return,he followed his footprints and finally arrived at the same place.
He found his friend drenched in blood, his eyes flooding with tears and a wheel whirling around his head.
"Friend ! ", he said, "What has happened?"
"It's the result of fate being against me", he replied.
And he told him, the whole story of the whirling wheel.
When he had finished, his friend said, "Brother, you are a good scholar, but you lack common sense. You would not listen to my good advice when I said, "Let's pick up the gold and go home". 'You wanted pearls and diamonds. Now my friend let me go home'.
'But how can you go away and leave me like this?"cried the Brahmin.
"I agree with you, "replied his friend,'but only one can give company in a case where one can be helpful.
In your case, no human being can do anything about it and I have no power to free you. In fact, the more I see your face in pain, the more my heart tells me to get away from here as quickly from here, in case the same fate befalls me.
So let me go home. You will have to stay here and pay for not listening to my good advice'.
'You are right', said the Brahmin'Go home'.
And his friend took his leave and left the Brahmin to his fate.
The wise indeed say : Greed only brings misery.
48. THE STORY OF THE BRAHMINS WHO PUT LIFE INTO THE LION
In a certain town, there lived four young Brahmins. They were great friends.
Three of them were very well versed in the holy scriptures, but lacked in common-sense.
The fourth was completely ignorant of the holy scriptures, but had good common-sense.
One day, these four friends had a discussion together.
They said, " What is the good of scholarship, if you cannot impress kings in far off lands by it, or earn money with it? So, let us travel east".
Accordingly, they set out.
When they had covered some distance, the eldest of them said, "One of us has only common-sense and no scholarship.
Now, no one earns the king's esteem by mere common-sense, so let us not give him any of our share of the profits. In fact, let him go home".
The second Brahmin turned to the one with common-sense and said to him, "My friend, you are no scholar, so you had better go home".
But the third one said, 'we shouldn't behave like this towards our friend.
After all, we have all grown up together and played games with one another since we were children, so let him come.
What is more, he should get his share of our earnings'.
Finally, the others agreed and they all proceeded on their way.
After sometime, they came to a jungle and found the bones of a lion lying there.
Then one of them suggested, 'Let's put our scholarship to test. Here lies a dead lion.
We'll see if we can bring him to life'.
And so, one of them collected bones and made a skeleton of a lion.
The second one put flesh and blood into it, covering it with skin.
The third one was on the verge of putting the very life back into the lion, when the fourth restrained him.
'Stop friend ! he cried.' For goodness sake, don't do that! Look here, if you bring this dead lion to life, he'll kill the whole lot of us!'
But the third Brahmin shouted,"You don't think I am going to waste my knowledge after we have come so far."
'All right then' said the fellow with common-sense', but just wait a minute, while I climb up this tree'.
And off he went up the tree.
The third Brahmin brought the lion to life.
The lion immediately set on the three of them and killed them.
The one with the common-sense waited until the lion had gone, then he got down from the tree and went home.
The wise indeed say : Common sense is preferable to knowledge.
49. THE STORY OF THE FOUR LEARNED FOOLS
In a certain town, there lived four Brahmins who had become great friends. They were all extremely na´ve by nature.
One day, they said to each other, 'Let us all go to another kingdom, study hard and then make some money there'.
So, they set off for a city to study further.
They joined a hermitage and began a course of study.
They worked hard at this hermitage for twelve years.
Then, one day, they said to each other, 'We have now acquired sufficient knowledge in all branches of the sciences.
Let us go to our Guru, get his permission and leave'
So, they did this and left the hermitage, taking all their shastras ( Holy Books ) with them.
After they had been travelling for a short time, they came to a place where two paths met.
They stood and pondered.
One of them said, 'Which way shall we go?'
Now, the son of a merchant had died in the town and, at this very moment a huge funeral procession, including several prominent citizens of the town, passed by, on its way to the cremation ground.
Then one of the Brahmins consulted his holy scriptures and read:
'Whichever road is followed by great men, is the right one to follow'.
So they said, 'Let us go the same way as these people.'
And they started following the road taken by the prominent citizens.
When they reached the cremation ground, they saw a donkey standing there.
As they could not decide what to do next, the second Brahmin consulted his holy scriptures and read:
'Whosoever stands by you on all occasions whether joyous or sad, is your true friend'.
So they came to the conclusion that the donkey was their true friend.
And so, one of the Brahmins put his arms round the donkey's neck, the second kissed him, whilst the third began to wash his hoofs.
For they said, 'He is our true friend'.
Meanwhile, they saw, in the distance, a camel marching quickly towards them.
The third Brahmin consulted the holy scriptures and read: 'Righteousness marches rapidly'.
So they all decided that this camel must be nothing but righteousness incarnate.
Then the fourth Brahmin opened the holy scriptures and read: 'A wise man should lead his friend to righteousness'.
And so they decided that the donkey should be introduced to the camel, and when the camel approached, they tied them up together.
When the donkey's master, a washerman, heard the news that his donkey was being dragged along by a camel, he picked up a stick and ran after the four learned fools to beat them.
And they ran for their lives.
When they had gone a little way, they came to a river.
The leaf of a holy tree was floating by.
One of them cried, 'This holy floating leaf will take us across the river'.
And with this, he jumped on it and immediately began to drown.
The secound Brahmin caught him by the neck and remembered the quotation:
When total destruction is imminent, a wise man sacrifices half and - works with the rest.
So he concluded, ' He should be cut in two!'
And they cut him in two halves with a sharp sword.
The three remaining Brahmins wandered on, until they reached a village.
There, they were invited by the villagers in the usual traditional hospitable style and lodged in different houses.
One of the Brahmins was served with sweet noodles and he remembered a quotation from the holy scriptures:
When a man makes use of long tactics, he is sure to be destroyed.
And so he did not touch the food and went away hungry.
The second Brahmin was served with another dish.
When he saw the bowl of frothy food, he remembered the verse that said:
Whatever is frothy and distended, will not last long'.
So, he too left his food and went away hungry.
The third Brahmin was given a another tasty dish.
But when saw little holes in it, he remembered the verse:
The presence of defects is a sure sign of approaching disaster'.
So he too left his food and went away hungry.
Thus the three learned fools began to starve and started on their journey home with all and sundry ridiculing them on the way.
The wise indeed say : Empty knowledge brings ridicule.
50. THE STORY OF TWO FISHES AND THE FROG
In a certain pond, there lived two fishes.
They had made friends with a frog.
The three of them used to spend their time together, on the bank of the pond, conversing about philosophy.
One evening, while they were thus engaged in conversation, some fisherman passed by, carrying baskets of fish on their heads and nets in their hands.
When they came to the pond, they said to one another, 'This pond seems to be full of fishes and, besides the water is not very deep. Let's come here tomorrow morning and throw our nets.'
With these words, they continued on their way home.
When the fishes and the frog heard this, they were depressed and held a discussion together.
'Friends', said the frog, 'did you hear what the fishermen said? What shall we do? Should we run away or stay on?'
The first fish laughed and said, 'My dear fellow, don't be frightened by mere talk. To begin with, I don't expect they will come.
But even if they do, I shall protect you with my talents, for I know innumerable tricks of movement in the water'.
'Friend', said the secound fish,'you have spoken very convincingly. I know you are very talented and so am I... So, we should not abandon our place of birth, the home of our ancestors, for the sake of mere talk'.
When he heard this, the frog said, " Well.my friends, I have only one talent, the ability to foresee, and it counsels me to go away.
I am leaving with my wife for some other pond this very night".
Accordingly, the frog left the pond.
Next morning the fishermen arrived, cast their nets and caught all types of water dwellers, large and small fishes, tortoises, frogs and crabs.
The two fishes along with their wives tried to escape, by making use of their talents in maneuver, but all in vain.
They were caught in the net and died.
At midday, the fishermen started off joyously for home. As the first fish was heavy, it was carried on a fishermen's head.
The secound fish was carried hanging from his hand.
The frog had meanwhile taken shelter in a well.
He came to the surface and saw the fishes being carried by the fishermen.
He turned to his wife and said, 'My dear, look! A fisherman is carrying the first fish on his head and the secound one is hanging from his hand.
Both these were very talented but were caught.
Bur I with my single talent of being able to foresee, am swimming happily in this water.'
The wise indeed say : At the first hint of danger, act quickly to save yourself.
51. THE STORY OF THE SINGING DONKEY
In a certain town, there lived a donkey, by the name of Uddhata.
He belonged to a washerman.
During the daytime, he carried the washerman's heavy loads, whilst at night, he was allowed to wander, as he liked, across the fields.
But every morning, the donkey would return to the washerman on his own as he was afraid that if he failed to do so, the washerman would keep him tied up all night.
One night, while the donkey was wandering about in the fields, he met a jackal and got friendly with him.
Now, the donkey, being fat, could break down the hedges, and he and the jackal used to get into the cucumber fields.
Whilst the donkey was gorging himself on the cucumbers, the jackal would eat poultry from the nearby farm.
Then, in the morning, they would return to their respective homes.
One particular night, the donkey was standing in the middle of the cucumber fields, when he suddenly said to the jackal, 'Nephew, Look at the full moon and the beautiful cloudless night. I feel like singing.
Tell me, what Raaga (Note combination,)shall I sing?'
'Uncle", replied the jackal, 'you have come to steal and you'll only be asking for trouble if you sing.
Thieves should always stay quiet. Besides, your singing isn't all that pleasant. It sounds as though somebody is blowing a conch.
And you can be heard a long way off. The farmers are sleeping.
If you wake them up , they'll come out and beat us. So, eat some of these nectarous cucumbers and give up the idea of singing'.
When the donkey heard this, he said, 'My dear nephew ! You are a wild animal, so you talk like this, You don't appreciate the value of music.That's why, you are talking like this'
' Uncle !That's very true but you don't know how to sing.
You only know how to bray. And what is the use of such singing if it only beings disaster?'
'Go on!' said the donkey.' you say, I do not know t how o sing but I know all about music.
'Uncle,' said the jackal, 'if you're so determined to sing, I'll stay outside the hedge and be on the lookout for the farmers.
Then, you can sing to your heart's content.'
And the jackal hid himself behind the hedge.
Now when the farmers heard the donkey braying, they clenched their teeth angrily and ran to the spot, with sticks in their hands.
When they saw the donkey, they beat him so hard that he fell to the ground.
Then they picked up a wooden mortar, with no bottom in it, and tied it to the donkey's neck with a rope.
Then they returned to their quarters and went back to sleep.
When the donkey jumped over the hedge, with the wooden mortar hanging from his neck, the jackal saw him and said with a smile 'Uncle! What a song! This I exquisite necklace is your reward for singing!'
Moral : There is always a proper place and time for doing anything.
52. THE STORY OF KING CHANDRA
In a certain city, there lived a king, by the name of Chandra.
His sons kept a troop of monkey. They always fed them on a variety of choice foods and the monkeys had become fat.
The chief of the monkeys was a follower of the precepts of great philosophers.
Not only did he follow them himself, but also he was always advising others to do the same.
Now at the palace, there was also pair of rams, who used to draw the carriage for the young princes.
One of the rams was a glutton and he would go into the kitchen at all odd hours and eat whatever food, he could find there.
The cooks would get mad at him and hit him with anything they had handy: sticks, earthenware pots, copper pans and so on, and chase him out.
"When the chief of the monkeys noticed this, his intuition told him: ' This quarrel, between the cooks and the ram, is going to lead to the destruction of the monkeys.
This ram craves for food, runs into the kitchen and makes the cooks mad.
They hit him with anything they happen to have handy. One day, when they can't find anything else, they'll hit him with a piece of burning wood.,'
The monkey chief continued, ' The ram is covered with wool and it will easily catch fire.
Blazing, he may well rush in to the stable, which is full of dry grass, and set that on fire. Then the horses will be burnt.
Now our famous veterinary doctor has said that the wounds caused by fire disappear when monkey fat is applied to them.
And that will be the end of monkeys! Somehow, I have premonition that it will all eventually happen like this'.
And so, the monkey chief called all the monkeys to him and told them, ' This quarrel, between the cooks and the ram, is going to have repercussions on us, monkeys! Anyone, who wants to stay alive, should leave this palace immediately, before we are all destroyed.'
But the crazy monkeys paid no attention to him.
They merely laughed and said, ' You 're getting old and going a bit off your head! That's why you talk like this.
We shall certainly not leave this heavenly palace where the princes feed us, with their own hands, on all kinds of nectarous foods.
In the jungle, all we shall get, will be disgusting fruits- bitter, raw or over-ripe'.
When he heard this, with tears in his eyes, the monkey chief said, ' You fools! You don't understand what this happy life will lead you to. This tasty food will, in the end, become poison.
I don't want to see the destruction of my own tribe before my eyes, so I am leaving for the jungle'.
Then the chief of the monkey gave up everything and went to the jungle.
One day, shortly after, the ram entered the kitchen again.
The cook unable to lay hands on anything else, picked up a half burnt log and struck the ram with it.
The ram's body, being covered with wool, started blazing and he rushed into the stable, bleating.
He rolled on a heap of grass lying there and it immediately caught fire, and soon the flames were enveloping everything around.
Some of the horses were burnt to death, some lost their eyes Some half-burnt, broke free from the ropes and began to dash about in great panic.
There was pandemonium.
The king was very distressed when he heard the news.
He assembled his veterinary surgeons and said to them, 'Please prescribe some remedy to heal the horses' wounds, caused by the burns'.
The veterinary surgeons referred to the scriptures and said, 'Your Majesty, in this connection, our great veterinary doctor has said, that the wounds caused by the fire disappear when monkey fat is applied to them'.
And so, the king ordered the massacre of the monkeys.
The people killed them all with sticks and anything else that came to hand.
When the monkey chief heard about the dreadful death of this brothers, sons, nephews, grandsons and the rest of them, he was heart-broken.
He gave up eating and began to wander from one part of the jungle to another.
He thought to himself, 'How can I make this king pay for this wicked deed!'
One day, the monkey chief, in the course of his wandering, felt thirsty and came to a lake full of beautiful lotus blossoms.
Now, being observant, he noticed that the footsteps of men and animals were going towards the lake but none were to seem returning.
So, he began to think, 'There must be a hideous monster in the lake who drags them in, while they're drinking water.
I will fetch the hollow stem of the lotus plant and drink form a safe distance'.
So that is what he did.
While he was drinking, out from this lake emerged a Monster with a necklace of jewels around his neck.
'Ho, you! He cried to the monkey. 'I feed on whoever enters the lake.
But I have never seen anyone as shrewd as you, for you are drinking water without coming in. I am pleased with you.
You can ask for whatever you like and I will grant it to you'.
'Thank you', replied the monkey chief, 'but first please tell me, how many people can you eat at one time?'
'I can eat hundreds, thousands and even millions', replied the Monster, 'but they have to enter the lake.
Outside it, I can't touch even a jackal!'
'You see', said the monkey chief, 'I have a great enmity with a certain king.
Now, if you give me that necklace of yours, I promise to persuade the king and his court to enter the lake'.
The Monster took the monkey chief at his word and handed over his necklace, saying, 'I'll leave it all to you'.
The monkey chief put the necklace around his neck and swung from tree to tree, until he came to the capital.
When the people saw him dressed up like this, they said, 'Monkey chief! Where have you been all this time! And where did you get this necklace? Its splendor puts even the sun to shame'.
'Kuber the Lord of treasure gave it to me', replied the monkey chief. 'He has secretly made a lake in the jungle.
And whoever takes a bath in the lake on a Sunday, when the sun has just half risen, gets a diamond necklace around his neck and the blessings of the God Kuber.'
Finally, the king too came to hear of this.
He called the monkey chief and asked him, 'Monkey chief, does this lake full of diamond necklaces really exist?'
'Your Majesty,' said the monkey chief,' This necklace adorning my neck, is a positive proof of it. If you want one,come with me and I'll show you the lake.'
'In that case', said the king, 'I'll come personally and bring my entire court with me, so that we can have many of the necklaces'.
'Please do so ', said the monkey chief.
And so, greedy for diamonds, everyone in the king's household, his wives, ministers servants and everybody else started off.
The monkey chief was fondly put in the king's lap, stroked and patted.
The party reached the lake early in the morning.
The monkey chief said to the king, 'Your Majesty, whoever enters the lake, when the sun has half risen, gets the present, but everyone must go in simultaneously. However, you can enter the lake at another place that I will show you'.
So the king went off with the monkey chief and everyone else went into the lake and was eaten up by the Monster.
When the his people did no reappear, the king said to the monkey chief , 'Oh, Monkey Chief! Why have my people taken so long to come out?'
Then the monkey chief climbed up a tree and addressed the king, 'Wicked king! Your court and the member s of your household have been eaten up by a Monster who lives in this lake. You killed my family and I have had revenge on you. They say that it is no sin to return evil for evil.
Well, you annihilated my race and I have destroyed yours. I saved you because you were once my master'.
When the king heard this, he went back to his kingdom all alone on foot.
The wise indeed say : Greed surely brings disaster and destruction in the end.
STORIES FOR PARENTS
A. THE STORY OF THE MERCHANT'S SON
In a certain town, there lived a merchant whose name was Sagardatta.
He had one son.
One day the young man bought a book that was being sold for a hundred rupees.
Inside the book, the only thing written was a single verse.
It went like this: 'You always get what's coming to you.'
When the merchant saw his son's book, he asked him, 'How much did you pay for this book?'
'A Hundred rupees', replied his son.
'You stupid fellow! Said the father. 'You ought to be ashamed of yourself.
If you pay a hundred rupees for a book with only one verse in it, how will you fare in business! From today onward never enter my house again!'
With these harsh words, he drove him out of his house.
Utterly dejected, the merchant's son went off to another city to settle down there.
After a few days, one of the residents said to him, 'What's your name and where do you come from?'
'You always get what's coming to you', he replied.
And whoever asked him the same question received the same reply.
And so, the merchant's son came to be known by the name of 'Get-what's coming to you'.
One day, a young and very beautiful princess, accompanied by a lady-in-waiting, went to a certain festival in the city.
While she was there, by chance her eyes fell on a very handsome prince and immediately Kamadeva, the God of Love fired an arrow into her heart.
The princess turned to her lady-in-waiting and said, 'Find a way for me to meet this prince!'
And so, the lady-in-waiting went up to the prince and said, ' The princess has asked me to speak to you.
This is the message she sends "The minute I saw you, the arrow of love has pierced my heart. Come to me quickly or I shall die."
'But how can I enter the palace to meet the princess?' said the prince.
"Well, replied the lady-in-waiting, 'when it's dark, you will find a rope hanging from one of the windows of the palace. You can climb up on it and get into the princess's room.'
'Well', replied the prince, 'if the princess really wants me to, I shall certainly come'.
However when the time came, the prince thought to himself, 'It would be very wicked of me to meet the princess like this'.
And so, having thought the matter over carefully, the prince decided not to go to the princess.
Meanwhile, Get what's coming to you' was wandering about in the dark, when he came to the white palace and saw the rope hanging down. Curious to know what it was for, he caught hold of it and climbed up.
When he arrived at the princess's window, as it was dark, she took it for granted that it was the prince.
She received him warmly, gave him food and drink and entertained him lavishly.
Afterwards, she said to him, 'I fell in love with you at first sight and I belong to you, body and soul.
In my heart I shall never have any husband except you. But why don't you speak to me?'
'You always get what's coming to you', replied the merchant's son.
Perplexed by this curious reply, the princess took a closer look at her companion and realized that it was not the prince at all.
She was furious and turned him out immediately, making him descend the same way he had come up.
' Get-what's coming to you' made his way to an old temple nearby and went to sleep.
Now, a night watchman, who had made an appointment with a woman of bad character in the same dilapidated temple, woke him up and asked him, ' Who are you?'
'You always get what's coming to you', replied the merchant's son.
Now, this watchman wanted to cover up his wicked carryings-on, so he said to Get -what's coming to you, ' This is a very broken-down old temple, no one ever stays here.
You had better go over to my house and rest there
And he pointed out his house
' Get-what's coming to you' agreed and went there.
However, he entered the wrong room.
In this room, the watchman's beautiful daughter, was waiting for her lover, with whom she had made an appointment.
When Get-what's coming to you appeared on the scene, it was pitch dark
Thinking it was her lover, the girl married him by exchanging garlands before a picture of God.
Afterwards she asked him, 'Why don't you talk to me?'
'You always get what's coming to you', he replied.
As soon as the watchman's daughter heard this, she realized that it was not her lover at all but someone else.
She said, 'Whenever you rush into something, without thinking about it sufficiently, this sort of thing happens'.
Then she cursed Get-what's coming to you' and threw him out of the house.
When he came out, he saw a huge marriage procession passing by.
The bridegroom was coming from another village to get married.
"Get-what's coming to you' joined the procession making its way to bride's house.
Now the bride's father had a special rostrum erected on the main highway for the marriage ceremony and the bride was seated on it in magnificent clothes and jewels, waiting for the bridegroom.
Suddenly, a mad elephant, which had already killed his master, appeared on the scene.
When they saw him, one and all ran helter-skelter to safety.
But the bride was too terrified to move.
When Get-what's coming to you saw this, he rushed to her, took hold of her hand and pacified her.
Then he pulled a huge nail out of the rostrum and very courageously went up to the elephant and jabbed the nail into him.
As luck would have it, the elephant got frightened and ran away.
After some time, the bridegroom, along with this friends and relatives, returned to the scene.
When he saw someone else holding the bride's hand, he said to her father, 'Look here! You promised me this girl's hand and now you have given her away to someone else'.
'Listen!' replied the girl's father, 'I was so terrified when the elephant appeared on the scene, that I ran off, like the rest of you. I really don't know what happened during my absence'.
Then he turned to his daughter and said, ' What did happen? Tell me!'
She replied, 'When my life was in danger, this man showed great courage and saved my life.Now, I'll marry no one else but him'.
After this, the whole night elapsed in argument.
By morning, the whole city was humming with the news.
The king and the princess also heard about it and came personally.
The night watchman's daughter also heard the news and arrived on the scene.
'What's all this about?' the king asked 'Get-what's coming to you.' 'Explain to me'.
'You always get what's coming to you,' he replied.
When the princess heard this she immediately remembered the previous night's incident and said, 'Even the Gods cannot oppose the laws of destiny'.
When the night watchman's daughter heard his reply she too remembered the previous night's incident and said, 'So, I regret nothing and nothing astonishes me'
When the bride heard this reply, she said 'What destiny gives me, no one can take away.'
When the king heard them talking like this, he felt there was something mysterious behind it all and he insisted on knowing the truth.
The princess and the two girls told him in detail exactly what had happened.
between them and' Get-what's coming to you'.
Then, with great pomp and ceremony, the king gave the princess in marriage to Get-what's coming to you' and presented him with a thousand villages and all sorts of ornaments.
As he had no son, he appointed' Get-what's coming to you as his heir apparent to the throne.
The night watchman also gave' Get-what's coming to you' his daughter in marriage, with a dowry that he could afford.
The merchant also gave' Get-what's coming to you'his daughter in marriage and showered him with presents.
When it was over,' Get-what's coming to you' arranged for his parents and relatives to be brought to him and they all lived happily ever after.
The wise indeed say: Do your best but leave it to destiny.
B. THE STORY OF THE DOVE AND THE HUNTER
A wicked bird hunter, with the appearance of Yama, the God of death, used to roam about in the jungle.
He had neither friends nor relatives.
He was deserted by everyone because of his cruel deeds.
One day, while the hunter was wandering about in the jungle, he caught a female dove and threw her into a cage.
It was now evening.
Suddenly a storm accompanied by heavy rain broke loose, so ferociously that it seemed as if the end of the world was at hand.
The hunter was terrified and began to shiver from the rain and cold.
He searched for a place where he could find shelter and went and stood under a tree.
After sometime, however, the sky cleared and when the hunter looked up, he saw a bright star.
Then he said in a loud voice, "I seek shelter from whoever may be living in this tree. Let him protect me! I am bewildered by cold and hunger ."
Now a pair of doves had, for a long time, made their nest in this tree.
This particular evening, the female dove had not come home and her husband was desperately worried about her.
"The wind blows fiercely along with the rain,' he said, "and my wife has not yet returned. My home is empty without her."
Now the bird hunter had caught this very dove's wife and put her in his cage.
When the trapped dove heard her husband talking like this, she replied to him, "I want to tell you something for you own good.
Please listen. If someone comes to your house for shelter, he should be protected, even if it means risking your own life.
This hunter is cold and hungry and he asks you to protect him.
So make him welcome. And don't hate this hunter because he has caged you beloved.
I have been imprisoned only as a result of my past actions ."
The female dove continued, " Poverty, disease, grief, imprisonment and disaster, all these come from one's own deeds.
So, stop hating the hunter because of my captivity, think of religion and welcome him according to our traditions."
When the male dove heard his wife's virtuous words, he approached the hunter warmly and said to him, "My friend, welcome! Consider this place as your own home and don't let any thing worry you."
When the hunter heard this, he replied, "Oh, dove! Please protect me from this terrible cold."
The dove flew to a place some way off and brought back a live coal.
He dropped it on some dry leaves and the flames began to spread rapidly.
He said to the hunter, 'Warm yourself and don't be afraid. But unfortunately, I have nothing here to satisfy your hunger.
Some people entertain thousands, some tens, but I am so wretched that I cannot even support myself.
But what is the good of staying in the house of someone who is so beset with troubles that he is unable to feed even one guest? "
The male dove continued , "S o, what I shall do is sacrifice this sorrowful body of mine and make myself useful.
Then I shall not have to admit that I turned a guest away hungry from my door."
And so, the male dove put all the blame on himself and said not a word of reproach to the hunter.
Then he said, " Just wait a moment, soon I shall satisfy your hunger."
When he had said this, with joy in his heart, the pious bird flew once round the fire and then entered it, as if it had been his own nest.
When the hunter saw all this, his heart was moved with pity and he said, " The mind of a man who lives wickedly is always in turmoil and ultimately he has to pay for his evil actions.
I, as a result of my sins, will undoubtedly go to hell.
But this virtuous dove has set an ideal before me.
From today on, I shall give up all my pleasures and lead a life of discipline."
And so the hunter threw away his net, released the unfortunate female dove and broke the cage into pieces.
When the female dove saw her husband burnt in the fire, she began to wail and sob pitifully. "Oh, My Lord! She cried, " what is the good of living without you?
Widowhood results in loss of pride, loss of respect in the household and loss of authority over servants.'
And so, heart-broken and crying pitifully, the devoted wife flew into the very same flames.
Sometimes after her earthly death, the female dove saw her husband transformed into a divine creature.
He was riding a chariot and wearing costly ornaments.
The female dove found that she too had assumed a divine form and she went over to her husband.
"My virtuous wife," said the male dove, "you have done well in following me."
And, so for the hunter, he renounced everything and began to live in the forest as a sage.
His mind became free of all desires.
One day, he saw a forest fire in front of him.
He walked into it and his body was burnt. Thus he paid for his sins and entered heaven with great joy.
The wise indeed say: Self-sacrifice is the highest stage of sacrifice.
C. THE STORY OF SOMILAKA
In a certain town, there lived a weaver by the name of Somilaka.
The cloth he wove was so exquisite that it was fit to be worn by kings.
But somehow, he could earn only just enough to make two ends meet.
On the other hand, the other weavers, who produced inferior cloth, had become very rich.
Seeing this, the weaver said to his wife, 'My dear, look at this! These weavers produce inferior cloth and yet they have become rich, while I remain poor. I am fed up with this place! I need to go to some other kingdom and make money there'.
'My dear husband', replied his wife, 'you're quite wrong in thinking that you will earn money somewhere else, when you can't make it here and so, carry on working here?'
'My dear', said the weaver, 'what you say isn't true, for even if destiny makes food available, you have to stretch out your hand and take it.
It does not fall into your mouth any more nor that a deer falls into the mouth of a reclining lion. It's the people who make a determined effort who succeed'.
'And so my dear', continued the weaver, 'I have made up my mind to go somewhere else'.
Soon afterwards, the weaver left his hometown and went to another city.
He lived there for three years and earned three hundred pieces of gold.
Then he started off on his journey home.
He was half way home, and still deep in the jungle, when the sun set.
For fear of the wild animals, he climbed up a big Banyan tree and went to sleep there.
While he slept, he had a dream.
He saw two terrifying looking people, arguing with each other.
'Action', said one of them to the other. 'Why did you allow the weaver to earn three hundred pieces of gold? Don't you know that he is destined to earn only what he requires for his food and clothing?'
'Destiny!' replied Action!. 'What could I do? This man put in a great effort and I had to reward him according to his actions.
But it is still for you to decide how much he is going to retain. So why blame me?'
"When the weaver woke up, he peered into his bundle and found that the gold coins had disappeared.
He began to think sadly, 'Oh, what ever has happened? I took so much time and trouble to earn this money and it has vanished in a moment. All my efforts were in vain. How can I show my face to my wife and friends in this poverty-stricken condition?'
"And so, he decided not to continue the journey home and he returned to the city."
In a year's time, he had earned five hundred gold coins.
Once more he started off on his journey.
As before, halfway home, he was still deep in the jungle when the sun set.
For fear of losing his gold coins, as on the previous occasion, he did not stop to rest but continued to walk fast, even though he was very tired.
After a while, he heard two voices arguing.
'Action!' said one of them to the other. Why did you allow the weaver to earn five hundred gold coins ? Don't you know that he is destined to earn only what he requires for his food and clothing?'
'Destiny', replied the other. 'What could I do? The man put in a great effort and I had to reward him according to his actions.
But it is still for you to decide how much he is going to retain. So why blame me?
When the weaver heard this, he peered into his bag and found that the gold coins had disappeared.
"He was so utterly disheartened that he thought to himself, 'Oh, what is the good of living, if I have lost my money once again. I shall hang myself from this Banyan tree'.
And so, he wove a rope of grass, made a noose and tied the rope to the tree.
He put the noose around his neck and was just about to throw himself down, when he heard a voice from heaven.
' Oh you weaver! Said the voice. 'Stop. Don't do such things: It is I, Destiny, who stole your gold coins. I cannot bear that you should earn even a coin more than what you require for your food and clothing.
But I am pleased with your industrious spirit. I have not revealed myself to you in vain. Ask any boon of me and I will grant it.'
'Very well then', replied the weaver.'please e give me a lot of money'.
'But what will you do with money that you can' t make use of?' asked the voice. 'You are not destined to earn more than what you require for your food and clothing'.
' Even if I cannot enjoy it', Said the weaver.' please give it to me..'
'Ah!' Said the voice from the sky. 'But first return to the city and go to the home of two merchants.
When you have studied their behavior, come back and tell me whether you would prefer to be like the first one and have money but not enjoy it, or to be like the secound one and have no surplus money because you enjoy spending all what you have?
Then the voice in the sky ceased.
And so, rhe weaver started back to the city in a dazed condition.
By evening he reached the city, absolutely worn out.
He inquired for thr first merchant's house.. and finally arrived there.
Although the merchant, his wife and his son objected very strongly, he forcibly entered their house and became their guest according to the local tradition..
"When it was meal time, they gave him food but in a most insulting manner.
When he finished eating, he went off to bed.
While he slept, he heard the same two people talking.
'Action' said of them to the other. 'Why did you force the merchant to provide the weaver with a meal when he gave it so begrudgingly. Don't you know this merchant is destined to have money but not enjoy spending it on himself or others?'
'Destiny', replied the other. 'What could I do? The weaver's needs had to be provided for and the merchant did it according to his own miserly nature. But it is for you to decide the final outcome. So why blame me?
"Early the following morning, when the weaver got up, he found that the merchant had an attack of cholera, and couldn't eat all day.
Then the weaver went on to the secound merchasnt's house.
He was welcomed with open arms.
His hosts provided him with excellent bathing fascilities and gave him new clothes.
Afterwards they gave him lavish dinner..
"At the night time, he retired to a comfortable bed and went to sleep.
While he slept, he heard the same two people talking.
'Action', said one of them to the other. 'Why did you allow the secound merchant to entertain the weaver so extravagantly, even to the extent of asking for credit at the grocer's.
Don't you know the secound merchant is destined to have no surplus money because he enjoys spending all what he has?'
'Destiny', replied the other. 'What could I do? The weaver's needs had to be provided for and the secound merchant did it according to his own generous nature. But it is for you to decide the final outcome. So why blame me?'
"Early next morning, one of the king's servants arrived and brought money for the secound merchant."
When the weaver saw this, he said 'This secound merchant is not a rich man and yet he is better off than the first one.
Let Destiny make me like him."
"His wish was granted and he began to enjoy his money to the full just like the secound merchant.
Wise indeed say: Action and destiny are two sides of a coin. Work with all your might but leave it to destiny. And stay happy and content.