Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
There was a shrine of Lord Shiv in the city of Mahalee Aaropya. A mendicant by name Taamrachood was residing near the temple and performed the daily worship of the Lord regularly. Daily he would go round the town begging alms, as it was his duty as a Sanyaasee, and in the evening he would eat whatever was necessary for him from his alms-bowl and would place the remaining food in the bowl itself tying it on a peg just out of reach of pests. This food was meant for his servants.
The rats who were residing in the temple were watching this. They thought that the remaining food available after the mendicant's meal was rightfully theirs especially when they were languishing for food and starving almost to death. They went and complained to their leader, Hiranyak the wise rat, and said.. "Sir, you know that we are all roaming around aimlessly in constant search of some food. But this mendicant at the temple is getting a lot of food daily and after eating to his heart's content, he ties his bowl with a lot of food left in it, on a tall peg out of our reach. You are our leader and a very wise person. If you can help us, we can get hold of that food and we all can eat well."
Hearing this, Hiranyak rushed to the temple with his followers, and jumped into the alms-bowl, snatched all the food and divided it amongst his followers. He also ate good food that day. Then onwards, this became a practice and the rats were all happy. The mendicant tried his level best to prevent the rat from stealing his food but all such attempts were futile.
Then he found a novel method. He procured a sturdy stick and he would hit the bowl all the time, even during his sleep, to drive away the rats. With constant repetition this became the habit of the mendicant. The rat comes stealthily, approaches the bowl, and then the stick hits the bowl with a thud, and the rodent flees in fright. But Hiranyak was persistent. He also would come back again and again. The enterprising Hirnyak was managing to thwart the designs of Taamrachood and steal his food.
One day another mendicant came as a guest to our poor stick-rattling Tamrachood. he was wearing a longer beard and more colorful robes Brihalspik was his name. The guest was received with honor and provided food and a bed of grass. The host and the guest were in animated conversation. Even though the guest was telling many great stories, the host was distracted and at short intervals he was going and hitting his begging bowl with a stick.
Brihalspik, the guest, got annoyed hearing the continuous sound of the stick. He said - "You Taamrachood, I understand everything now. You think that I am not your friend any longer. You are not talking to me with interest. I would like to leave this place immediately. One should go to the houses of hosts who are ready to receive you with pleasure. If the host is looking sideways and fidgeting and keeps down his face at the sight of a guest, it is evident that the guest is unwelcome. You are beating your alms bowl in addition. To visit such a host is even more shameful than a vagrant bull entering an unguarded field. You have a temple in your occupation, is that why you are so arrogant and you are treating me like this? You are not realizing the fact that by holding on to this abode you have already ensured a permanent place in hell. If one wants to get a permanent Visa to hell one can select between two professions - be a priest for one year or be the head of a madam or monastery for three days. Both are sure paths to hell. You miserable fool, I am leaving just now."
The host Taamrachood was full of remorse. He replied - "My Lord and friend, I never meant any disrespect for you. There is no better friend for me than you. But a wily rat lives here had made me half mad. He is stealing my food even if I keep my alms bowl at any high place. This wily rat could jump heights which would be a dream for a cat or even a monkey. It is in mortal fear of this rodent that I am hanging my bowl on a tall peg and beating it with a long stick all the time. I do it even when I am in sleep. It has become an obsession for me."
The guest Brihalspik
was very wise. He asked - "Can you show me the hole where the rat resides?"
The two mendicants, with the help of the servants dug up and razed the hole. The wily rat Hiranyak fled the fortress and true to the prediction of Brihalspik, they could discover a huge treasure of gold and precious stones hidden underneath.
Even the proximity to great wealth makes one absolutely powerful.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 05/06/13