The Gold Giving Serpent - Panchatantra Stories

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In a certain town, there lived a Brahmin, Haridatta. In spite of the fact that he worked hard on his farm, but he did not prosper.

One day, the heat was unbearable. Brahmin was resting under the shade of a tree, on the farm, when a cobra emerged from an ant hill and confronted him, his hood raised.

He thought to himself, ‘Perhaps this cobra is the deity of the farm. As I have not worshipped him before, my labor on the farm has proved to be fruitless. So, from today onwards, I shall start offering oblations to him.’

With this decision, the Brahmin brought milk and poured into a plate in front of the ant hill and said, ‘Oh, protector of the farm, I did not know of your presence here, that is why I have not worshipped you until now. Please forgive me.’

And when he had offered the milk to the cobra, in the traditional way, he went home. Next morning, when he returned, he saw a gold coin lying on the plate. In this way, everyday the Brahmin would make an offering of milk to the cobra and get a gold coin daily in return.

One day, the Brahmin went to visit another village, after duly instructing his son to make an offering of milk to the cobra.

Accordingly, his son did so and then went home. Next morning, when he returned, he found a gold coin lying on the plate. He was astonished and thought to himself, ‘This ant hill must be full of gold coins. I’ll kill the cobra and get all the gold at once.’

The morning after, when he should have been making an offering of milk, the Brahmin’s son hit the cobra with a stick. But, luckily for the cobra, it was not a death blow and the cobra turned angrily on the Brahmin’s son and bit him.

The boy died on the spot and the Brahmin’s relatives burnt his body in the field.

When the Brahmin returned, his relatives informed him of his son’s death and described to him the way he had died.

The Brahmin expressed his grief for his son’s rash behavior and subsequent death but defended the cobra’s action.

Then the Brahmin went to the cobra with an offering of milk, stood before the ant hill and prayed in a loud voice.

The cobra, sitting at the entrance of the ant-hill, said, ‘Good heavens! You’re so greedy for gold that you have even forgotten your son’s death to come here! Our friendship will not last long now. Your son, in his youthful rashness, attacked me and I, in retaliation, bit him. How can I forget your son’s attack, and how can you forget his death? Look at the funeral pyre and then at my injured hood. Love, once shattered, can never be restored by a show of affection.’

When the cobra had said this, he handed to the Brahmin a priceless diamond and re-entered the ant-hill, saying, ‘never come here again!’

The Brahmin accepted the diamond, and went home, regretting his son’s foolishness. “And so,” continued Raktaksh, “that’s why I said, ‘Love, once shattered, can never be restored by a show of affection? “That is why we should kill the crow and remove a potential danger to our kingdom.”

Arimaradan the king of the owls, had heard Raktaksha’s advice, he turned to Kruraksha and said, “My dear fellow, what do you have to say about this?”

“My Lord,” he replied, “what Raktaksh says is very cruel. We should not kill someone who has come to us for protection, for it is said—A dove entertained an enemy who came to him for protection. And even went for as to give his own flesh to him to eat.

How was what, “asked Arimardan. And Kruraksha told this story. THE DOVE AND THE HUNTER

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