The Tale of Two Fishes and a Frog

Two large fishes, Sahasrabuddhi and Satabuddhi lived in a big pond, and were close friends with a frog called Ekabuddhi. They spent a lot of time together on the bank of the pond. One evening, as they were assembled on the bank of the pond, they saw a few fishermen approaching. They had nets and big baskets with them, which were full of fishes that they had caught.While passing by the pond, they noticed that the pond was full of fishes. One of them said to the others, “Let us come here tomorrow morning. This pond is not very deep, and is full of fishes. We have never caught fishes in this pond.” They agreed to return the very next morning, and continued their journey homewards. The frog was depressed on hearing the fishermen and said, “O Friends, we should decide what to do, whether to run or hide. These fishermen will return tomorrow morning!” The fishes however did not care much. The first fish said, “O Friend, It is just mere talks of few passing fishermen. Don’t worry, for they will not come. And, even if they do, I know innumerable tricky water movements. I shall save myself and my family with ease.” The second fish joined, “I am as talented in tricky water movements as you! I will be able to save myself and my family too. I support your stand, for I will not abandon the home of our ancestors for the sake of some mere talk of few passing fishermen.” But the frog was not convinced, he said, “My friends, my only talent is that I can foresee danger. You may stay, but I will leave with my family to some other pond before morning.” The very next morning, the fishermen came and cast their nets all over the pond. They had a big haul, and caught many fishes, frogs, tortoises and crabs.Sahasrabuddhi and Satabuddhi tried hard to escape, but none of their tricks worked. They were caught, and when the fishermen dragged their net on the bank of the pond they were already dead. Being the largest of the fishes the fishermen caught, they proudly displayed Sahasrabuddhi and Satabuddhi, and carried them separately as they started homewards.Meanwhile, the frog, Ekabuddhi, had already found a well for shelter. Being worried and anxious, he came to the surface. But as he saw the fishermen departing with his friends, he became sad. He told his wife, “They were very talented, but lacked the only talent that was most important. As for me, I may have only one talent, but I swim happily with my family!”

The wise indeed say:
At the first hint of danger, act quickly to save yourself.

Advertisements

The Lion that Sprang to Life

There lived four friends in a certain town. Although, all four of them were young Brahmins, one of them was a complete ignorant in matters of learning but had good common-sense. The other three were very learned in matters of the Holy Scriptures, but lacked common-sense. One day, as the four friends were assembled together, they decided,”The scholarship that we have over the Holy Scriptures is no good, if we cannot use it to impress the king, or otherwise to earn money!” They decided to travel, in order to earn money using their learnings. But the fourth friend was not learned, so they thought of leaving him behind. They agreed, “What good is common-sense? His talents would not help in earning money, let only three of us travel.” After much pleading by the fourth Brahmin, they decide, “It will not be correct to behave like this to a dear friend, Let us take him along with us! We should also share a part of our earnings with him!” As decided, the four of them started travelling. As they were travelling through a jungle, they noticed the bones of a dead lion, lying on their way. One of them said, “Let us start using our scholarship! We have a dead lion in front of us. Let us test our scholarship, and try to bring life into it!” While the three Brahmins agreed, the fourth Brahmin did not like the idea. But his preference was ignored by the other three Brahmins, and they started holy rituals. One of the Brahmins collected the bones of the lion and using his scholarship, created a skeleton of the lion. Another Brahmin used his scholarship to cover the skeleton with flesh and skin. As the lifeless lion stood in front of them, the third Brahmin initiated the rituals to put life into the lion. The fourth Brahmin was alarmed,”O friends, if the lion comes to life, he will kill all of us! Please stop what you are doing!” The Brahmins ridiculed him, “After reaching so far, are we going to waste our knowledge? You say so, because you are jealous of our scholarship!” The fourth Brahmin knew there was no point in arguing with them. He pleaded, “Please give me a moment. I wish to climb a tree before you make use of you scholarship.” He started climbing up a big tree, and could see from above the third Brahmin use his scholarship, to put life into the lion. As soon as the lion became lively, he noticed the three Brahmins, who were celebrating their successful implementation of their scholarship.The lion immediately pounced on them, and killed them. The fourth Brahmin could do nothing but wait till the lion had gone. Then, he climbed down the tree and returned home alone.

The wise indeed say:
Common sense is preferable to knowledge.

The Four Treasure-Seekers

Four Brahmins lived in a certain town, who shared a good friendship among themselves. However, they were utterly poor. They discussed their condition and concluded, “Let us leave this place, where we are languishing in poverty. Let us go somewhere else and prosper” After meeting their friends and relatives, they started on their travels. After some time, they reached a town, where they decided to stay for some time. There was a Shiva’s (the God of death) temple nearby on the bank of a river. They worshiped in this temple after bathing in the river. It was there, that they met a Yogi, and accompanied him to his hermitage. The Yogi enquired, “Who are you? And where do you come from? What did you come in this town for?” They explained their condition to the Yogi, “We took this journey to earn money. We are in a state of poverty, that we would have died in our town. Since, you are an accomplished Yogi, we believe you must be gifted with wonderful powers. Please guide us to the path of earning money.” They continued, “We dedicate ourselves to you, and ready to undertake whatever path you guide us to. Please help us.” On observing their pitiable condition, the Yogi agreed. He took out four cotton wicks, and gave each of them a wick. He said, “With the wick in your hand, take the path that takes you to the Himalayas. Keep walking till one of you accidentally drops his wick. The location where the wick drops accidentally would be the location you would find hidden treasure. Digit out, and return home with the collected treasure.” The four Brahmins took his blessings, and started their journey towards the Himalayas. They travelled for days, when one of them dropped his wick accidentally. He dug the place where the cotton wick had fallen, and uncovered a treasure filled with copper. He asked his friends,”Come on! There is too much treasure for even four of us to carry. Let us collect, and go home. We are now rich! You need not go any further!” The other three discussed and said,”You were destined to this copper treasure. We may be destined to richer treasure. You may collect all the copper you can and return home. We will continue with our journey.” Thus, the Brahmin collected his treasure and started travelling homewards, while the rest of the three Brahmins continued their journey with their wicks in their hands. They travelled for few more days, when one of them dropped his wick accidentally. He dug the place where the cotton wick had fallen, and uncovered a treasure filled with silver. He asked his friends,”Come on! There is too much treasure for even four of us to carry. Let us collect, and go home. We are now rich! You need not go any further!” The other two discussed and said,”You were destined to this silver treasure. We may be destined to richer treasure. You may collect all the silver you can and return home. We will continue with our journey.” Thus, the Brahmin collected his treasure and started travelling homewards, while the rest of the two Brahmins continued their journey with their wicks in their hands. After a few more days of travelling, one of them dropped his wick accidentally. He dug the place where the cotton wick had fallen, and uncovered a treasure filled with gold. He asked his friend,”Come on! There is too much treasure for even four of us to carry. Let us collect, and go home. We are now rich! You need not go any further!” The fourth Brahmin replied,”Stupid! You don’t understand what is happening. First copper, then silver, now it is gold! You all were destined to these treasures. Next time, I am sure I’ll find a richer treasure of diamonds and pearls. You may go home, but I will continue my journey. I am sure I am destined to a richer haul of treasure.” His companion said, “You may continue with your journey, but I will not return homewards. I will stay here and guard this treasure of gold, and we will return home together after you return.” Thus, the fourth Brahmin continued his journey with his wick in his hand. After travelling alone for a few more days, he felt tired. He was suffering from the tremendous heat and got very thirsty. Soon, he lost his way, and started travelling in circles. Trying to figure out the right direction, he came across a man with a whirling wheel around his head. His body was smeared with blood. The fourth Brahmin was so thirsty, that instead of helping the man, he asked, “Please tell me where I can get some water. Whoever you are, with a wheel around your head, Please tell me quickly” No sooner had he uttered these words, the wheel shifted from the other man to this fourth Brahmin. It began whirling around the fourth Brahmin’s head; and it pained beyond endurance. He cried, “What is the meaning of this? Why has the wheel attached itself to my head? Please tell me how I can get rid of this.” The man relieved from the wheel, replied, “When someone carrying a magical cotton wick is to come here, and speak to you. Only then, will you be freed from this wheel, and attach itself to him.” He explained, “I do not remember how long I have been here. It was during the reign of king Rama, that I procured a magical wick from a Yogi to rid myself of poverty. Out of greed, I continued my journey even after I got treasure. I met a man here under the same circumstances, and that is how I got this wheel on my head from his. You shall be free from hunger, thirst, aging or death. But you will have to endure the pain.” He continued, “It was Kuber (God of wealth) who prepared this device so that no one date approach this place and steal his treasure. Only a man with a magical wick can enter this place.” Thus, the other man who was relieved from the wheel, took his leave. The fourth Brahmin was left alone. But his companion was worried, as it was taking so long for his fellow Brahmin to return. He decided to follow and reached the place where his friend was suffering in pain, with blood smeared all over his body and wheel whirling around his head. The third Brahmin enquired, “What has happened to you? How can I help you?” With tears in his eyes, the fourth Brahmin replied, “I was destined for this. This is the result of my fate”. And, he told the entire story of the wheel to his friend. As there was nothing his companion could do, he prepared to leave,” Even being a scholar, you lacked the sense to control your greed. You wanted diamonds and pearls, when you already had gold. There is no point in giving you company, for no human being can do anything to help you. I should depart from this place.” Thus, his friend started his journey to return home, and the fourth Brahmin was left all alone.

The wise indeed say:
Greed only brings misery.

The Brahmani and the Mongoose

Dev Sharma was a Brahmin who used to live with his wife in a certain town. One day, his wife gave birth to a son and they were very happy. On the very same day, a female mongoose gave birth to a baby mongoose very near his house. As destiny would have it, the mother mongoose died soon after the birth. When they observed this, they took pity on him and the Brahmin’s wife adopted the little mongoose and started looking after him as his own son. She served her own breast milk to both her own son and the little mongoose, bathed them together and put oil on them together. She was a fond mother for both of them. Both her son and the mongoose were very fond of each other, and spent all the time together. However, she was not a fool and knowing that the mongoose was an animal in reality, she always kept a guard, “He is a mongoose and will soon develop the animal instincts that he has inherited from his species. Some day, he may harm my own son. I shall always keep a watch on him.” One day, she had to fetch some water. So, she put her son to bed, and while going outside with the pitcher, asked her husband to keep a watch. She said, “I am going to the well to fetch some water. Please look after our son and make sure the mongoose does not hurt him by mistake.” The Brahmin was careless. Without informing his wife, he got prepared and went to beg for alms leaving the little mongoose and their son alone by themselves. As it happened, during the very time they were alone, a poisonous snake entered the house through a hold and started approaching the Brahmin’s son. When the mongoose saw this, he attacked his natural enemy to defend the child, who was like a brother to him. Although he was small and the snake was strong, he fought with all might and bit the snake into pieces and eventually killed the snake. His mouth and claws were all smeared with the snake’s blood. The little mongoose was very proudof itself; and waited outside the house for the Brahmin’s wife. He was eager to show his mother how brave he was. Knowing her husband’s carelessness, the Brahmin’s wife was tensed and was returning in a hurry when she saw the little mongoose coming towards her. She noticed that he was covered in blood, and without thinking, jumped to the conclusion that the mongoose must have attacked her son. Angered and frustrated, she threw the heavy pitcher – full of water, that she was carrying on the little mongoose. The little mongoose was severely wounded. She ran inside, and she was amazed to see her son safely sleeping in his cradle. She then saw the snake near the cradle that had been torn into shreds. At once she realized what had happened. She was heart-broken with the thought of having hurt the little mongoose, who was like a son to her. Not knowing who to blame, when her husband returned home, she explained, and they were both very sorry for the suffering of their second son.

The wise indeed say:
Think hard and do not do anything in haste.

The Lion and the Foolish Donkey

Karalakesara was a lion, who was constantly accompanied by a jackal, as his attendant. One day, the lion was severely wounded in a fierce battle with an elephant. He could not walk properly, let alone hunt for prey. As a result, the jackal had no food either. As days went by, without food, the jackal said, “O Master, I am not being able to serve you because I am too weak. I have not eaten for several days.” The lion replied, “O Jackal, please find an animal that I can kill even inmy present weakness. Otherwise, we will both die of starvation.” Thus, the jackal went out of the cave in search of food. He wandered in a jungle and reached close to a village. He noticed a donkey from the village had strayed into the borders of the jungle to eat green grass.The jackal greeted the donkey warmly, “Greetings uncle! I see yougave grown thin and look tired. Why is that so?” The donkey replied, “I have a cruel master! He would make me work the entire day with heavy burdens, and hardly provide me a handful of green grass. Although there is danger here, I could not stop myself from grazing in these green grasses.” The jackal replied, “Uncle! Come with me! Deep inside the jungle, my master protects all animals from the cruelty of humans. There are green grasses all around that shines like emerald. You can finally lead a relaxing life!” Enticed in this manner, the donkey believed the jackal and followed him to the lion’s cave. The lion on the other hand, saw the jackal bring a donkey with him; he was too delighted to wait for them to come closer and jumped on the donkey. The lion had grown weaker than he could have anticipated himself, and missed the donkey. The lion fell on the ground near the donkey. When the donkey saw this, he ran as fast as he could, to save his life. The lion was ashamed of his actions, and the jackal said, “Today, even a donkey can escape from you! I will try to bring him back. But this time, please wait for us to come closer. You are not strong to jump much distance now” Saying thus, the jackal ran after the donkey. Knowing the ways of the jungle, he was able to overtake himand stop him on the way. The donkey said, “Some nice place you took me to! You took me to the very jaws of death. What animal was it, which tried to jump on me?” The jackal at once replied, “O Uncle, you ran because you misunderstood! It was a female donkey who wanted to embrace you! She had not seen a male donkey for years, and could not stop herself from jumping on you.”The jackal continued, “If it was any other animal, a lion or a tiger, would he have missed you? Could you be able to escape from him?” The donkey was thus coaxed by the jackal once more, and followed him back to the lion’s cave. This time, however, the lion made no mistake and attacked only once he was sure. The donkey met his death. But, the lion grew tired, as he was very weak. He asked the jackal to guard over the carcass till he arrived back from the river to take a bath and drink some water. The jackal, on the other hand, could not bear the hunger anymore. He had not eaten for several days, and he had food spread right before his eyes. Out of hunger, he ate the donkey’s brain. When the lion returned, and saw that the donkey’s brain was missing, he got angry. He asked the jackal to explain how his food had been contaminated. The jackal replied, “Please master, don’t be angry. This donkey had no brain at all! If he had any brain, would he come back to you, after you attacked him?” The lion was satisfied with the reply, and the both of them finally had a good meal after several days.

The wise indeed say:
Deception with sweet words succeeds beyond limit.

The Greedy Cobra and the King of Frogs

Gangadatta was a king among frogs. He ruled over a group of frogs that lived in a well. His relatives were always nagging tohim over small things, and he was fed-up with them. One day, he climbed up the water-wheel and left his kingdom. He sought revenge on his relatives, due to whose constant torment; he had to leave his kingdom. Just then, he saw a cobra entering his cobra. He thought of a plan of having his relatives eaten up by the cobra. He went to the entrance of the hole, and said, “My friend, I have come to make friends to you. I am the king of frogs!” On hearing this, the cobra realized that it was not the voice of his kith or kin, but his natural enemy. He decided not to leave his hole and come out, for he suspected some foul reason. He suspected someone might be trying to catch him through mantra (magic spell), or maybe flute, or even herbs. He answered cautiously, “Who are you? Why do you talk this nonsense about friendship? Can timber and fire ever be friends? You are my natural enemy!” The king of frogs replied, “Indeed, your words are true. But I seek revenge on my relatives who have tormented me for years. I ask your help. I can lead you to the well, that is my forsaken kingdom, and you can eat as many frogs as you want” The cobra enquired, “A well is built by layers of stone. I have no legs. How can I possibly get into the well? And even if I manage to do so, where will I be able to sit and eat the frogs? Go away!” The king of frogs assured, “There is a nice comfortable hols at the edge of the water, where you can sit and eat. I will lead you to the inside of the well, and to the comfortable hole. But you will have to promise me that you will eat only my annoying relatives and not my friends.” The cobra thought of his old age, and this offer was not good to be turned down. The greedy cobra agreed to the friendship and followed the frog. He went into the hole as promised. Once there, he would eat one frog whenever he would feel hungry. As days went by, the number of frogs went down and finally all annoying frogs were exhausted. One day, the cobra called out to the king of frogs and said, “There are no more frogs to eat here, only your friends remain. Please give me some more food. You are my friend, and it is you who have led me here, so you are responsible for my food.” The king of frogs realized his mistake for the cobra wanted more, so he could do nothing but watch the cobra eat all the other frogs. Even his close friends, and his son were eaten. He was hungry and wanted the king of frogs to send some more frogs. The king of frogs realized, that only he among the frogs remained alive. He assured the cobra that if he let him leave the well, he will bring frogs from other wells, so that the cobra would be able to satisfy his hunger. The cobra got greedy, and let the king of frogs go. But even after his anxious wait for several days, the king of frogs did not return. After a long time of waiting, the cobra requested a female lizard that lived in the walls of the well, to request the king of frogs to return, as he could not bear the separation of his dear friend. The lizard conveyed the message to the king of frogs, who replied,”Madam, please convey to him that I will never return to the well again. He is starved, and a starving person can be cruel, and go to any extent of sin.” Thus, the king of frogs saved himself, and the greedy cobra had to perish inside the well without any food.

The wise indeed say:
Fight your own battles; else you will surely be destroyed.

The Musical Donkey

There lived a washerman’s donkey, whose name was Uddhata. During the day, the donkey would carry the washerman’s bags, but during the night, he was set free to eat the green grass in a nearby field. However, instead of grazing in the nearby fields, he crept into nearby farms and ate vegetables of his choice. Before day-break it would come back to the washerman’s house. One night, the donkey met a jackal while wandering in a nearby farm. They became good friends, and started meeting every night. The donkey, being fat, was able to break the fences of the farms. While he ate on the vegetable, the jackal would enter through the broken fence and ate the poultry on the farm. Before day-break, they would return to their respective home to meet again next night. This continued for many days.

image

One night, the donkey said to the jackal, “Nephew, I feel like singing on nights like tonight, when the moon is full and beautiful. What Raaga(note combination) shall I sing?” The jackal cautioned, “Uncle, we are here to steal. Thieves should keep as quiet as possible. I may add, your voice is not as pleasant as you think, and sounds like conch being blown! Your voice can be heard over a long distance. It will awaken the farmers who are sleeping, and you will have us caught.” The jackal assured,”Please uncle, eat as much as you like, and forget about singing!” This annoyed the donkey and he said, “Dear nephew, it is because you are a wild animal that you don’t appreciate music. I shall sing a melodious Raaga. Wait till you hear it!” Observing that the donkey was determined to sing; the jackal did not risk staying there anymore. He said, “Uncle, if you must sing, please wait till I go outside the fence and keep a watch on the farmers.” He ran outside the fence, and hid himself. Then, the donkey started to bray at the top of his voice. When the farmers heard the donkey braying, they could see easily in the fullmoon-lit farm that the donkey was in their farm. The angry farmers chased the donkey with sticks, and beat him so hard that he fell on the ground. Then, they tied a wooden mortar around his neck and let him go.When the donkey was returning through the broken fence, the jackal laughed, “Musical uncle! That was a great Raaga! I see the farmers have rewarded you with this necklace!”

The wise indeed say:
There is always a proper place and time for doing anything.

The Brahmin’s Dream

Swabhavakripna was a poor Brahmin who lived alone in a small village. He had no friends or relatives, and used to beg for alms for his living. He was also a miser, and kept whatever little food he received as alms in an earthen pot that he hung beside his bed. He kept a watch on the pot, and atefrom the pot only when he was very hungry.One day, he recieved a large quantity of rice gruel (porridge). He filled his pot with the rice gruel, and ate the remaining. He was so happy to have his pot full; he could not take his eyes off the pot as he lay awake in his bed.After a long time, he fell asleep and started dreaming about the pot full of rice gruel. He dreamt that there was a famine in his village. He sold his pot full of rice gruel for hundred silver coins. With this money be bought a pair of goats. His goats gave kids in months and he traded all goats for some buffaloes and cows. Soon, even the buffaloes and cows gave kids, and they gave a lot of milk. He started trading milk and milk products like butter and curd in the market. This way, he became a very rich and popular man. He kept dreaming that he then bought some horses and a large rectangular house with four buildings. He became popular, and another wealthy Brahmin was so impressed that he offered his beautiful daughter for marriage.

image

Soon after, they got married in a lavish ceremony. His wife gave birth to a son, who was named Soma Sharma. But his son was very naughty. He would play and make noise all day. One day, the Brahmin asked him to stop but he would not listen. Even his mother could not hear him shout as she was busy with her chores. Swabhavakripna became very angry, he kicked his wife. As he was in a dream, he kicked in air and his leg hit his earthen pot. The pot broke and all the rice gruel spilled down. This woke him up. At once, he realized that he had been dreaming. He also realized that all the rice gruel he had saved and was happily dreaming about was lost. He was shattered.

The wise indeed say:
One should not build castles in the air.

The Unforgiving Monkey

Chandra was a king, whose
sons kept a group of monkeys as pets. These monkeys were treated as royal pets, and were provided with the choicest of foods and the best of care. As they did not have much to do, they had become fat. The chief of these monkeys was very wise. The followed great philosophers and was learned in many sciences. He always tried to teach the other monkeys, but they had become too absorbed in their lavish lives to follow much of his teachings.On the other hand, the princes also had two strong rams (billy goats), which used to draw the carriage used by the young princes. One of the rams was a glutton, and would creep into the kitchen whenever he could and eat whatever he could get there. This made the cooks very angry, and they would keep a watch. The cooks would throw anything they could lay their hand on, to hit the ram, when he would be near the kitchen. Noticing the cooks trying to hit him with sticks, earthen pots, copper pans and anything they found handy, the chief of the monkeys thought, “This behaviour could lead to accidents, and this entire city may perish. What if they threw something with fire?” The chief of monkeys summoned the other monkey and said, “The behaviour of the cooks towards the ram can lead to some mishap any day, and we may well be on the losing side, if that is to happen. Let us get away from here, before some accident is to happen.”But, the other monkeys were enjoying their lavish treatment, and did not go back to the jungle. They refused to heed the chief’s warnings, and decided to stay. They assumed that the chief was getting old, and having all types of weird thoughts. Thus, the chief of monkeys decided to leave alone. He said, “You are more fools than crazy not to foresee the danger. I shall leave here, as I value life more than the abundant foods served here!” After the chief of monkey had departed to the jungle alone, one day, the ram entered the kitchen and ate some food that was being organized to be served to the king. One of the cooks got very angry, and unable to get anything else handy, threw a half-burnt log from the oven. The log hit the ram. As the ram’s body was covered with wool, it instantly caught fire. In the pain of fire on him, the ram ran to the stable. The dry grass for the horses caught fire, and in a moment the whole stable was engulfed in fire. There was a pandemonium, and by the time, the fire was extinguished by the palace workers, the horses suffered grave burnings. When the news reached the king, he was very depressed that such a thing had happened to his favourite horses, and summoned veterinary surgeons to prescribe him remedy.After referring many scriptures, the veterinary surgeons advised, “O King, the wounds caused by fire will recover fast, if they are applied with monkey’s fat.” Thus, the king ordered all the pet monkeys be caught, and killed immediately. The fat from their bodies were then used to treat the horse’s wounds. When this news reached the chief of the monkeys, he was very sad. He thought, “The monkeys were foolish not to heed the warnings, but the king is wicked for doing this to his pets. I will make him pay for his actions!” He had not eaten food, or drunk water for several days as he was heart-broken. Absent-mindedly, he came to a lake full of beautiful lotus. He was thirsty, and decided to drink some water. As he came near the lake, he noticed that there were many footprints of both men and animals, that led to the lake, but not a single footprint led away from the lake. He became aware, and concluded there must be something wrong in this beautifully decorated lake. He fetched some hollow stems of lotus plant nearby, and using them as a pipe, drank water from a distance. As he was doing so, a monster emerged from the lake. He had a necklace of jewels around his neck. He said, “I am a monster who lives in this lake. Whoever enters this lake to bath or drink water, ends up in my tummy. For so many years, I have not seen anybody as wise as you! You drink water from the lake, but maintain a distance where I cannot touch you. I am so pleased with you, that I shall grant any wish you may want!” The chief of monkey immediately remembered that he had a revenge to take, and said, “Tell me, how many can you eat? I have a certain king as my enemy. If you give me your necklace, I shall use it to persuade the king and his men to enter the lake.” The monster replied, “If they enter the lake, I can eat thousands of them. Go ahead and bring as many as you can!” The chief of monkey wore the necklace in his neck and jumped from tree to tree to reach the palace as early as possible. He went straight into the king’s court.When the king and everybody else saw the chief of monkeys wearing a beautiful necklace of jewels, they became curious. They asked the chief of monkeys all sort of questions. The chief of monkey said to the king, “O king, while wandering in the jungle, I have come across a large treasure that Kuber(God of treasures) has hidden. It is secretly hidden inside a lake. Anyone, who takes a bath in the lake on a Sunday, can have as much treasure as he can carry. This necklace is nothing compared to the other treasures there! The diamonds in the lake would even put the sun to shame!” When the king heard this, he said,”Hey Monkey Chief, if this lake really exists, please take lead us to it. I will come to see it myself, and even bring everybody in the palace along with me.”It was decided, and in the early morning of the very next Sunday, the king and the chief of the monkeys set to travel inside the jungle. They were followed by the princes, queens, ministers, household workers and everybody else in the palace.When they reached the place, everybody was awe-struck to see the lake full of lotus. The chief of monkeys said, “Everybody should enter the lake at the same time, or only the first few will received the blessings. As for you, my king, you should wait. I will show you a special place to enter the lake after they have gone into the lake.” The greedy king, and everybody else followed his instructions and got into the lake. One by one, they started to disappear. The king kept anxiously waiting for them to return with treasures. When his people and relatives did not come out of the lake after a long time, the king asked, “O Monkey Chief, why do they not come out? Why is it that they take so long time?” The chief of the monkeys jumped to the top of a tree and replied, “O wicked king, a monster lives in this very lake that has eaten all your court members, and relatives. I have now killed all your family, as you have killed mine. The scriptures say, it is not a sin to return evil for evil deeds.” He continued, “I have saved you, for you were once my master! You may return to your palace, empty-handed and alone.” Thus, the king returned to his palace after losing all his relatives and household members, while the chief of monkeys had his revenge.

The wise indeed say:
Greed surely brings disaster and destruction in the end.

The Monkey and the Crocodile

There was a Jamun (Black-berry) tree on the bank of a river, which was full of sweeet Jamun fruits throughout the year. This tree was home to a monkey called Raktamukha. He used to pass his days happily by playing and jumping, and used to eat the sweet Jamun fruits. One day, a crocodile named Karalamukha came out of the river to take some rest under the Jamun tree. When Raktamukha saw him from the tree, he said, “O Crocodile, this tree is my home and you have come under this tree to take rest. This makes you my guest. Please accept some Jamun fruits.” Raktamukha plucked lots of fruits and threw them in the crocodile’s mouth. Karalamukha loved the sweet fruits, and became friendly with Raktamukha. Karalamukha left in the evening after thanking the generosity of the monkey. Karalamukha started coming to the Jamun tree every day, and they became good friends. They would talk for a long time and enjoy eating the sweet Jamun fruits together.One day, Karalamukha said to Raktamukha that he wanted to take some of the Jamun fruits for her wife to let her know of the sweetness of these fruits. So, the monkey happily plucked more fruits for the crocodile to take home. Karalamukha took those fruits and offered his wife to eat them, and narrated the story of his friendship with the monkey who lives on the Jamun tree. The crocodile’s wife was overjoyed on eating those sweet fruits. She said, “O Dear, these fruits are as sweet as nectar. If the monkey eats these fruits every day, I wonder, he would be even tastier. Please bring the monkey’s heart for me.” Karalamukha was astonished on hearing this. He said, “O Dear, I cannot kill or deceive the monkey for his heart. He is my friend. It is unfair to think of such a thing.” But his wife pleaded for the monkey’s heart. When she could not convince the crocodile of doing it for her, she stopped eating, and insisted that we would rather die if the crocodile refused to do as she wished. Karalamukha was left with no other choice but to succumb to her wishes. Although he was sad, he devised a plan to catch his friend and went to Raktamukha. He said, “O Friend, my wife love the fruits very much and I told my wife about our friendship. Now, she is anxious to meet you. She is angryon me for not introducing you with her earlier. So, she has invited you to our home for dinner. Please accept our invitation.”The monkey accepted at once, but how could he go to the crocodile’s home? I could not swim. The crocodile said, “Sit on my back, and I shall carry you to my home” And so Raktamukha sat on Karalamukha and they entered the water of the river. Karalamukha took him to deeper water where he planned to kill him. At the same time, Raktamukha got very scared with so much water all around him. he pleaded his friend to move slowly.At this moment, the crocodile knew that he had succeeded in his plan and had the monkey totally under his control. He thought that it was not possible for the monkey to escape from him so he revealed hisplan, “O monkey, the truth is I am taking you to make my wife happy. She wishes to eat your heart. She believes that the taste should be even better than the Jamun fruits you have all the time.”Upon hearing this, Raktamukha was taken aback. But he did not panic. Instead, he wittingly said, “O Friend, Why didn’t you say that before? It would be my priviledge if I could serve your wife with my heart. You are such a good friend, and you should have told me earlier. I keep my heart in the burrow of the Jamun tree. Let us go back and bring my heart at once.” The foolish crocodile believed him, and turned around. Karalamukha took Raktamukha to the Banyan tree believing the monkey to bring his heart from the tree. But as soon as Raktamukha jumped down from the crocodile’s back, he climbed up the tree and sat on a high branch. He had finally saved himself from the crocodile’s evil plan. Karalamukha wanted to know,”What is causing this delay? We are getting late, and my wife has been waiting.” Raktamukha answered, “O foolish friend, how can one take out his own heart and keep it in the burrow of the tree? You deceived me to kill me, and in return I tricked you in saving myself. Let this be a lesson to you for being so unfaithful. Go away, and never return back.” The crocodile knew he had been tricked, and felt ashamed for his actions. He went away.

The wise indeed say:
Use intelligence to win in difficult situations.