The Merchant and The Bullock - Panchatantra Stories

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In the south of India, there was a city called Mahil-aropyam. The son of a very rich merchant who lived there, named as Vardhamanak.

One night, as he lay awake in bed, he began to the thought that, even when a man has plenty of money, it is still a good thing for him to try to make more. As it is said:

‘There is nothing in life that money cannot achieve, so a wise man should be bent on increasing his wealth. If a man has money, he has friends, and he is recognized by his relatives. In this world, even a stranger becomes kinsman to a moneyed man, whilst a poor man is avoided even by his family. A man with money will even be considered as scholar. Money makes the old young and the young grow old for want of it.’ Money is everything. Vardhamanak came to a decision to earn more money.

On an auspicious day, he took leave of his elders and made preparations to travel to Mathura. He had two bullocks named as Sanjivak and Nandak, both born in his house and able to carry heavy loads.

He harnessed them to a cart and set out, accompanied by a few servants.

After a few days, as he reached near the bank of the river Yamuna, one of the bullocks, Sanjivak, broke his leg and collapsed.

Vajdhamanak was distressed to see his bullock in this condition and for love of Sanjivak, he dropped further traveling and waited there for three nights.

When the driver of the cart saw Vardhamanak so dejected, he said “Most noble sir, why to loiter in a jungle full of lions and tigers for the sake of one bullock when it may mean sacrificing everything. It is said that a wise man should never sacrifice big interests for smaller ones.”

Hearing this Vardhamanak left a couple of men to look after the injured bullock and set out for journey.

The following day, these men left the jungle due to the fear of lions and left Sanjivak alone and went to Vardhamanak. They lied to Vardhamanak, “Sir, Sanjivak is dead. We burnt him in fire.” On Vardhamanak performed the last rites, out of gratitude to his devoted bullock. Sanjivak was alive there in the jungle. He ate tender plants from the bed of the river Yamuna, thereby regaining a little of his strength and somehow managed to get up.

The cool breezes refreshed him. He ate grass that was green and shining and within a few days, he became fat and strong. It is said that he whom fortune smiles on, though unprotected, eludes destruction, but he who has luck against him, is clone for, even though he be well protected.

In that jungle, there lived a lion called Pingalak, with an entourage of other animals.

One day he was parched with thirst and went to the bank of the river Yamuna to drink water. While drinking water, he heard from a great distance the hideous roar of Sanjivak. The lion was terrified in his heart but outwardly he hid his feelings and went and sat down under a tree. His court gathered around him.

Lion Pingalak had, in his retinue, two jackals called Karatak and Damanak. When they saw the lion returning without having quenched his thirst, they began to consult with each other.

“My dear Kartak,” said Damanak, our master went to drink water but has returned without doing so and now he sits under the tree surrounded by his retinue.”

“What has that to do with us?” said Karatak. You might have heard that the man who takes on work that was never meant for him, causes destruction, like the monkey who took out the wedge from the log.”

“How was that? - asked Damanak. On this Karatak told this story. THE MONKEY AND THE LOG

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