First Tantra - A Story Based on Differences Between Friends - The Loss of Friends

JaneSmith105

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Once, there was a city named Mahilaropya in southern India. A king Amarshakti ruled that city. He was benevolent, very pious and a great scholar. He had three sons- Bahushakti, Ugrashakti and Anantshakti. All the three princes were very importunate. The king was very anxious about their education because the princes were not at all interested in education. One day, the king summoned his minsiters and discussed the matter of his sons' education and sought their advice how to bring the princes on the right track. One of the ministers humbly said: "In our kingdom, there lives a Brahmin named Vishnu Sharma who is learned and has mastered in several faculties. Why not entrust our princes to his care? In my opinion, he will be the best teacher for our princes. Under his guidance, I am sure they will develop high degree of wisdom".

The king at once sent for Vishnu Sharma and invited him to his court and told him that he would like to entrust his sons in his care and would gift him with hundred villages in return as a reward. Vishnu Sharma listened carefully to the king's proposal and replied: "My Lord, I do not wish to have anything in return for my service. But I assure you that I will make your sons responsible". Taking the princes in his charge, Vishnu Sharma took them home. There, he began their formal education. He had devised his lessons in interesting stories woven beautifully around animal characters. One by one, he related these tales to the princes who imbibed their essence fully in their lives. These tales, in a way, transformed the princes completely. When the princes, after finishing their education returned to the kingdom, they were no longer importunate, rustic boys but they were now wise and prudent youngsters. Many ages have passed since then. King Amarshakti, the princes and Vishnu Sharma all have annihilated in the folds of time but the immortal tales retained their crispy nature. People still enjoy these tales which educate one in almost all faculties of life. Compilation of these tales originally devised and narrated by Vishnu Sharma are now known as Panchatantra.

THE FIRST TANTRA Union with friends On an auspicious day and on an auspicious moment, Vishnu Sharma started the education of the princes. He began with a tale of a bull, which was abandoned by its master in the dense forest.

There was a city named Mahilaropya in the southern India. In this city lived a pious merchant named Vardhamaan. One night, when Vardhamaan was going to sleep suddenly a thought came to haunt his mind that he might lose all of his wealth. Then even his family members would abandon him. All night long, Vardhamaan kept thinking about various ways to earn more and more wealth. At last, he concluded that commerce was the only way to earn money with honour. In the morning, Vardhamaan packed many utensils and pots on a bullock cart and set out for Mathura in a caravan of fellow traders. He was intending to sell those utensils in the city of Mathura. Two oxen, Mandak and Sanjeevak were hauling the bullock cart. When the caravan reached in the dense forest, Sanjeevak got stuck in marshy land and broke one of his legs. The accident caused great desperation for Vardhamaan. His love for his bullock made him stay for three nights. Seeing Vardhamaan's plight, his friends said: "This forest is inhabited by tigers and lions. You are risking our lives also along with this ox. Do not worry about the ox and leave it there. Believe us that it will recover in a few days or die. But in any case, you cannot help it".

Vardhamaan agreed to his friends and appointed some guards to protect the bullock and resumed his journey. After a while, the guards got tired of keeping watch on a seemingly useless animal. So, they deserted Sanjeevak and also came to join Vardhamaan. They falsely told him that the ox had died and that they had performed the final rites. Vardhamaan felt sorry to hear the news.

Here in he forest, fresh green grass and pure air and water had a transforming effect on Sanjeevak. It recovered and regained its health once again. It was even stronger than before. Buzzing with strength, Sanjeevak began to rub its horns against the heap of the sand and started making all sorts of noises.

A lion named Pingalak also inhabited the forest. One day, Pingalak came to quench his thirst in the river Yamuna. Incidentally, he heard the bellowing of the bullock Sanjeevak and mistook it for some ferocious animal. The bellowing had in fact frightened the lion. So, he hid behind the bushes under a Banyan tree. The lion Pingalak had two jackals as his minsiters. They always followed the lion everywhere. Their names were Damanak and Kartak. The frightened behaviour of Pingalak surprised them. They began to discuss about his behaviour.

Damanak asked Kartak the reason why the lion hid? Kartak however cautioned him against meddling in the matters of their king and said why should they think about all that.

AVYADAARESHU VYAPARAM YO NARAHA KARTUMICHATI |
SA AEV NIDHANAM YATI KILOTPATIV VANARAHA||



A person who unnecessarily meddles with the matters not relevant to him is destroyed in the same way the monkey was killed while removing the nail. Damanak requested Kartak to tell him the tale of the monkey.
 

JaneSmith105

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Construction of a temple was on outside a town. Near the site, a huge wooden log was being split. At the lunch, the workers fixed a wedge between the split wood and went to dine. A monkey had been watching the activities of the workers since morning. When the workers were away, the monkey descended from the tree and began to meddle with that log of wood. During the play, he saw the wedge and began to withdraw it. But he forgot that his tail was hanging between the split ends of the log. As soon as the wedge was out, the split ends closed squeezing the tail of the monkey. The monkey tried hard to get himself free but in vain. No help was available nearby. By the time, the workers returned from their lunch, the monkey had died.

Kartak said that if an inferior person advises a king without being asked for, he is always dishonored. That is why, one should see the situation, think and then only talk..

Damanak argued that even the inferior people become superior when they serve the king. On the contrary, superior people, who do not guide the king, become inferior.

A king trusts all people around him even though they might be uncultured, uneducated and ignorant.

Though servants, who constantly contemplate on the causes and reasons behind a king's happiness and sorrow, are slowly graded to a higher position by a hostile king. Those people who think that it requires a lot of penance and hard work to please a king are infact uncautious, lethargic and stupid.

If one can train animals like a snake, elephant and lion using different methods, it doesn't need great efforts for wise people to control a king.

Kartak asked Damanak what did he want to do? "Today, our king along with his family is scared and terrified. We should therefore go to him and enquire about the cause for his terror". Kartak enquired how does one know that the king is terrified or not?

Damanak replied: "What is so great about knowing that. It is said that even an animal can understand spoken commands. With inspiration, a horse can bear the weight on an elephant and the wise people understand even the unspoken things.

One can understand the feelings of a person on the basis of following things: hints, thinking, actions, speech, eyes and facial expressions.

That is the reason why I shall approach the terrorized king and using my intellect appease him and regain the post of the minister once again", said Damanak.

Kartak said: "You don't even know what is service, how shall you serve the king then". Damanak said: "I am well acquainted with principles of service. When I was a child, I had heard, in my father's lap, practical rules of wisdom from saints".

People, who don't recognize individual's merit, should not serve the king because it is like ploughing a barren field and one is sure not to get fruit in lieu at all.

It is still good to serve the king even if he lacks wealth and powers because doing so one reaps the fruits of his service in future.

The wise people should never think of material gains from an ignorant king in return of their service.

Those, who criticize the king, should be their own critics first, because either they are not fit for service or not aware of the rules to serve. The servant should pay due respect to the queen, the prince, the princess, the chief minister, the priest and the sentries of the royal palace as well. He who always greets the king and knows his dos and don'ts well and acts accordingly is beloved to the king. One who stands at forefront in the battle, walks behind the king in the city and waits at the door of the royal chamber is beloved to the king. Kartak asked, "What shall you say first to the king when you approach him"? Damanak said: "When the rain is good, a seed germinates and grows into a tree and from the tree many more seeds take birth. In the same way, one tale gives birth to another tale and so on. I shall, therefore, not talk about his bad times because even the Lord feels insulted by the talks that highlight omens about him". With these words, Damanak proceeded towards Pingalak. When the king saw Damanak arriving, he instructed the guard to let him in for Damanak was the son of his former minister. The lion king was pleased to see him. Very respectfully, Damanak said: "Although my visit appears purposeless, but all the inferior as well as superior people find a purpose to visit a king".

Pingalak said- "Let us keep this discussion aside. I have allowed you in because you are the son of my former minister. I do not know whether you are capable or incapable, so please speak openly and express what you desire".

Damanak said- "The king shouldn't express even the menial task in the court. If you intend to listen to my desire you may hear it in privacy".

A secret heard by six ears is easily spread. On the contrary, a secret heard by four ears remains a secret. That is why a prudent king should perform the task in such a way that six ears don't even get a whisper of it.

In privacy, Damanak asked Pingalak: "Why did you hide that day while you were drinking water in the river". Pingalak replied: "Didn't you hear the strange roar and bellowing. It seems that some dangerous animal has come in the forest. I intend to abandon this forest for life".

Damanak said that: "Is it right for a king like you to run away just listening to the loud bellowing. It could possibly be noise of drums or anything else. That is the reason why one should not fear noise, like Gomayu". Pingalak asked in surprise "how"?
 

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STORY OF GOMAYU

Once, a jackal named Gomayu felt very hungry and was roaming in the forest in search of food. Suddenly, he stumbled upon a battlefield where two armies were standing face to face ready for a war. Incidentally, a branch of a tree struck the drum that had fallen besides the tree and produced a loud noise. The noise frightened the jackal to the extent that he began to worry about his life. He thought 'Now, I think I'll be destroyed. Before the creature who is making such a loud noise sees me I should run away from here.'

Then a thought surpassed his mind that it is not right for him to abandon the forest where his ancestors had lived. So, Gomayu decided to investigate the cause of the noise first.

Very cautiously, Gomayu moved ahead. He went near the drum and curiously started playing it himself. He thought that he had got lot of food after many days. There would definitely be lot of flesh below the skin. Thinking this, he made a hole in the drum and entered it. But as the skin of the drum was torn apart, it appeared empty with no trace of flesh inside.

Moral-"Without proper knowledge, one should not be obsessed by anything merely listening to the sound. A king who does not lose courage while fighting a formidable enemy shall never lose."

"That is why, we should first find out who was creating that loud sound. Please stay here until I get some information about the sound," Damanak requested the lion and left. Pingalak thought that it wasn't good of him that he believed the jackal's words. Perhaps the jackal could be interested in befriending with the enemy and dethrone him. Thus thinking, Pingalak decided to follow the jackal and hide at some safer place in the forest to see its movements. Pingalak accordingly went and hid in the forest. In the meantime, Damanak also entered the forest and approached Sanjeevak. He was pleased to find that Sanjeevak was only a bull. Having learnt about the identity of the sound's source, Damanak thought: 'A king stricken with the crisis is always dependent on his ministers. Therefore, the ministers always pray and make sure that the king should always be in misery.'

Thinking this, Damanak went to Pingalak, who sat in front of him suppressing his fear. Pingalak asked: "Have you seen the creature, Damanak?"

Damanak replied: "Yes, your majesty, I have seen him and possibly he might have also seen you. But strong and superior people don't inflict pains on the weaker and may be that was the reason he did not hurt you."

The gail does not uproot grass, which is tender and bent before the wind. Similarly, superior people with high thinking do possess humble nature. They show their bravery against stronger people.

Damanak said: "You majesty, it is true that the creature is courageous as well as strong and that we are weak and feeble. But if the king wishes I could bring that creature in your service."

Pingalak breathed a sigh of relief and asked: "Is this really possible?" Damanak replied: "Yes, it is possible to do anything with the help of intelligence." It has also been said:

"It is easier to win a war with the help of intelligence rather than trying to win with physical might."

Pingalak replied: "If it is so, I appoint you at the post of minister right now and authorize you with the discretionary powers to punish and reward accordingly."

After this, Damanak approached Sanjeevak and frightened him with the might of wild animals. He made friend with the bull and assured him that he would introduce him to Pingalak, the lion king. Damanak told Sanjeevak that it is in his best interest that he seek pardon from the king and earn his patronage. "Do not waste your strength whimsically. I will accordingly become the minister of the state and then we both shall enjoy the comforts and luxuries of the royal court", Damanak coaxed the bull.

The person who is egoist and does not respect all people equally is degraded and suffers a fall in the position like Dantil though he may be honored by the king. Sanjeevak asked Damanak: "How is that?" Damanak narrated the story of Dantil to Sanjeevak
 

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