Shishu Sansaar | Stories-Panchtantra
|112-Meaning of Sacrifice|
112-The Meaning of Sacrifice Was Alien
There lived an erudite Braahman in a city by name Jeernadhan. As if by a quirk of fate he became a thief and he took up cheating others as his means of livelihood. With his great knowledge he was quite successful in this field also. Even otherwise it is well-known that most of the people with great knowledge also possess the capacity of cheating but usually they do it in such a way that they are not caught. Only in old parables that you can have the professions like thief being mentioned as a practical way of livelihood.
Once it came to his knowledge that four Braahman from another town had reached his city as traders and that they had earned amassed substantial wealth in very little time selling their merchandise. Our Braahman was now eager to divest them of their wealth by hook or crook. So he cultivated their friendship meticulously, taking out his extraordinary charm and gift of the gab and putting them to good use. They fell to his friendly behvior. It is true, when the opportunity suits even a prostitute will pretend to be shy. The arrogant will show his good sense and even the greatest rogue will hover around you with sweet words.
Time passed, and the four Braahman had sold all their merchandise, and with the profit earned, they purchased some valuable gems and set out for their own town. The Braahman thief who was looking for the opportunity awaiting to cheat them and steal away their wealth, was now desperate. "Fie, on me, these fellows are ready to leave with precious stones, which should have been taken over professionally by me and I am still unsuccessful. Now I shall accompany them when they travel to their native town, and en route I shall poison them and take away their wealth."
Having decided so, he approached the four Braahman with genuine tears in his eyes - "My venerable friends, Are you going away leaving me alone? I have developed very great affection for you in the course of the last few months and a separation from you four is unthinkable for me. So pray, have kindness on me and take me also along with you on your journey." The Braahman by nature were very softhearted. The plea of the servant Braahman was irresistible for them. They permitted him to follow them on their journey. While they were traveling through a village inhabited by wild fowlers, the crows in the trees started crowing - "People who are owning Lakh in money are coming. Hunters came running around and robbed the Braahman.
The group of hunters believed in the indication given by the crows and accosted the five and beat them to pulp and removed their clothes to see where the money was. But the could not find it. The four Braahman had apparently swallowed the gems. The leader of the fowlers guessed this and ordered that the five Braahman be killed and their stomach cut open to find the gems.
At this time the power of knowledge and the greatness of the Shaastra came to the mind of the thief Braahman. He thought - "By my evil activities till day I have lost all the virtues of a Braahman. If I could be of some service to these poor Braahman, my existence in the nether world at least will be less miserable. I have to do something about it." Thinking so, he addressed the chief of the hunters - "You say you are going to kill all of us to find the gems. In truth we do not have anything with us. Those crows should be mad. But to satisfy your doubt I offer myself to be killed and searched. If you find nothing inside me it should be sufficient proof for you that all the five of use have nothing with us.
The king of hunters agreed. They cut up the thief Braahman who throughout his lifetime was busy in cheating and stealing the things of others but through his noble gesture of trying to save his four friends from death by offering the supreme sacrifice, atoned for all his sins and started his journey towards Heaven. The other four Braahman were saved because the leader of the hunters was sure that no one would have given up his life if the group had real treasure with them. For the hunter the meaning of sacrifice was alien.
Not everybody is wholly good, and not everybody is wholly bad. Even the worst people have some magnificent streaks of greatness in their character. That is why all the people should try to look for the good things in others.
Created by Sushma Gupta on August 9, 2007
Modified on 12/06/11