Once upon a time, there was a king who kept a monkey as his pet. The monkey always tried his best to serve the king in whatever way he possibly could. Just because he was king’s pet he had the right to freely roam around everywhere in the palace and get whatever he wanted of the royal household facilities. On one hot day, the monkey was fanning sitting by the side of the king who was sleeping peacefully on the bed. He meanwhile doing his job noticed that there was a fly on the chest of the king who was having a taste of king’s blood. Seeing him monkey tried to swish it away. The fly was very stubborn, what he was doing is to go away for the moment but come back very soon once again to sit on the king’s chest.
The monkey couldn’t take it any longer and decided to teach the fly a lesson. He quickly made a plan and started looking for a dagger here and there to kill the fly. When he found it, he brought it down with all of his force on the fly. But the fly wasn’t an idiot to stay there instead he was fast he flew from there but the king died as a result of the dagger blow delivered by the monkey.
Karataka said, “Therefore, this story gives this lesson that a king who cares for his life should not in any state have a fool as his servant.” Further Karataka did not stop, he went on to relate a second story to show how shrewd people save the lives of others.
Karataka started telling the story, Once upon a time a Brahmin lived in a big city and as a result of his misdeeds done by him in his previous birth he became a thief. He saw four other Brahmins who came from another city and they were selling a variety of goods in his city to earn wealth. He thought he should somehow manage to deprive the four Brahmins of their money and through sweet words become their good friend. To win their trust, he started helping them in whatever way he could. True, it comes naturally for women of vice to act coy and for charlatans to pretend to be learned.
The four trade visitors finally did for what they were staying in the city, they sold all their goods in the market and earned a lot of money With the money from the sales they bought pearls and very precious jewels. The Brahmin thief was looking closely at what they were doing with their money even as he pretended to serve them faithfully but secretly keeping an eye on them. One day, in the presence of the thief Brahmin, traders cut their thighs open and stored the jewels and pearls in there to save it from thieves or anyone. They kept all their precious items in their thighs and sewed them back.
The Brahmin was disappointed with the other 4 visitors that they did not give him even a tiny part of their wealth, to win the trust he became their servant but didn’t get reward even a bit. He made a plan, he decided to follow them from here in their travel back home. He thought it would be the right moment for me to get all those wealth from them after killing them in the middle of their journey.
He started with his acting and went to the traders with tears in his eyes to pretend well in front of them so that they get convinced. He began to tell the traders with tears in his eyes, “Friends, it seems like you people are ready to take your leave by leaving me behind. My heart is broken because it’s not that easy for me to snap the bonds of friendship I shared with you people. What else is left here for me after you people have gone? If you will be so kind as to take me with you, I will be very grateful to you.”
Those traders’ hearts melted and they took the Brahmin theif with them to homeward journey. Brahmin theif became successful in his plan’s first stage by accompanying them. They passed through several villages, towns, and cities before they reached a village inhabited by thugs alone. Suddenly, the traders and the Brahmin theif heard a group of crows loudly shouting in the sky, “Wake up thugs, very rich and loaded people are coming this way. Come fast, kill them this instant and become rich by stealing what they have.”
The thugs didn’t wait for the moment after listening to such a delightful message from crows, they at once attacked the Brahmin traders with sticks and forcefully took their bag and began examining roughly. But they found nothing precious there in their bags. They didn’t believe and were surprised because this was the first time that the words of the crows turned out to be false, the message delivered by the crows was never false up to this date. They told the traders, “O traders, this is not possible that you have nothing, crows always tell the truth. I know you have the money somewhere kept. I am giving warning to you all take it out or we will cut every limb of yours and bring it out, options are yours.”
The Brahmin thief pondered, “These thugs are not going to wait to pierce the body of the traders to grab all the precious jewels. Certainly, my turn will also come after them. It will be better if I offer myself to these thugs and do this good work by saving the lives of the Brahmins. There is no point in fearing death because it will come today or after a hundred years but the reality is no one can’t escape. and that’s the fact.”
With these thoughts in his mind, the brahmin theif asked the thugs to first check him and kill him to see if there were anything valuables hidden inside in his body parts. The thugs accepted this offer merrily and found nothing on him after piercing his body. They were satisfied that there was nothing with these visitors that they were trying to hide and surprise from the fact that the crows lied. They decided to let go other four Brahmins after that believing that the other Brahmins also have nothing precious on their bodies. This way that Cheat Brahmin saved all those visitors whom he served with deceptive thought.
As Karataka and Damanaka were discussing the ways of the world, Sanjeevaka engaged Pingalaka in a short battle in which Pingalaka didn’t hesitate to claw him to death. In this way, Sanjeevaka died in the end. But the lion after killing his friend was immediately struck by remorse and recalling the good days he had spent with the bullock. Pingalaka couldn’t believe what he did to his friend and began moaning instantly after what he has done to his died friends. He began repenting:
King was very upset with his deed “O Lord, I have committed a great sin by killing my friend. There cannot be a greater sin than killing a trusted friend like Sanjeevaka who believed me in all those times. They who forget favor or breach a trust or let down a friend will all go to hell as long as the sun and the moonshine in the sky. A king will perish if what he loses is his kingdom or a faithful servant. A servant and a kingdom are not the same because you can always regain the kingdom but not a trusted servant. In court, I have always praised Sanjeevaka. How can I explain his death to the courtiers??”
Damanaka couldn’t see this state of the king of this forest so he approached the grief-stricken king and told him to lessen his regretful feeling, “O Lord, crying the death of a grass eater is cowardice. It is not good for a king like you to feel like this, stay strong don’t get weak. Don’t feel bad, The learned have always said that it is not a sin to kill a person for treason even if that person is a father, brother, son, wife or friend. Similarly, we must learn that there is no place for a weak person. It has been seen and told that one must abandon a tender-hearted king, a Brahmin who eats all kinds of food, an immodest woman, a wicked assistant, a disobedient servant, and an ungrateful person.”
Damanaka continued and tried to make his king calm at the spot. He wanted his king to not get stricken by killing a vegetarian animal as he could see that his king Pingakala was extremely sorry even more than necessary for what he did, He tried to convince him by saying further, “You are mourning the death of someone who does not deserve sympathy. Though you speak like a learned man, you forget that wise men do not think of the past or the dead. Please don’t be hard on yourself, let go of this feeling.”
Damanaka did what he wanted from the very start and he made the king and Sanjeeaka fight. Sanjeevaka was dead, everything went as per plan with Damaanaka. Those words of Damanaka worked like a tonic providing relief to Pingalaka’s troubled mind. He started feeling like okay. Pleased with this advice, the lion king reappointed Damanaka as his minister and continued to rule the forest once again and there was no more bullock in that forest.