Wednesday, May 16, 2012

5 Fall And Rise of A Merchant

© Munindra Misra

One should treat one and all, even the lowest with respect
Even if the king is unwilling to heed good advice, it is the minister’s duty to offer it to him
Pride goes before fall

In the city of Vardhaman, there lived Dantila a merchant wealthy,
His wedding graced by king, queen, ministers, rich, powerful of the city,
 Present there was Gorambha, a lowly sweeper in household of royalty,
 When Dantila saw him occupy a seat for nobles, he was thrown out rudely.
Panchatantra Book 1. 43.       
Thus insulted, Gorambha thought to himself – despondant completely,
“I am poor so cannot give a fitting reply to Dantila, who is a man wealthy,
I must some how see that the king stops his favours to him speedily”
And he hit upon a plan to take revenge on Dantila unhesitatingly.
Panchatantra Book 1. 44.       
One morning as king slept and Gorambha swept his bedroom diligently,
“Dantila is arrogant with cheeks to embrace the queen.” murmured loudly,
Hearing this, the king demanded to know if what he murmuring true be,
Had that haughty trader Dantila dared to embrace the queen in reality?
Panchatantra Book 1. 45.       
“Your majesty, I don't remember nor do I know what I was saying truly,
I was drowsy having spent the night gambling,” the sweeper said meekly,
Not content the king thought the sweeper had seen that Dantila actually,
Having equal access to the royal household as Gorambha’s home certainly.
Panchatantra Book 1. 46.       
He remembered the wise say that men talk in their sleep most definitely,
Regarding what they have done, seen or have desired in the day previously,
Women were chaste as men were unreachable or feared prying servants truly,
Thinking Dantila hugged the queen, the king barred Dantila from royal entry.
Panchatantra Book 1. 47.       
As Dantila was trying to enter the king's palace he was barred by the sentries,
The merchant grieved as he had not harmed the king even in his dreams surely,
Gorambha: “You fools, barring Dantila who won the king's favours unquestionably,
He is powerful – you may meet with the same fate I did at his hands formerly.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 48.       
Dantila thought it may help to win over Gorambha and make him happy,
So he invited the sweeper for tea and presented him with clothes costly,
And told him “My friend, I had never meant to offend you then actually,
When you occupied a seat set apart for the learned – pardon me kindly.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 49.       
Pleased, the sweeper promised to win the king's favour for Dantila finally,
Next day raved, “King eats cucumber in the rest room” as done previously,
 “What nonsense? You ever seen me do such things?” the king fumed truly,
Sweeper: “I know not nor remember; I spent the night gambling - am drowsy”.
Panchatantra Book 1. 50.       
The king thought if he could lie about him; on Dantila could similar be,
Dantila could not have done what Gorambha had stated previously,
Without Dantila, state affairs suffered; administration slowed visibily,
The king summoned the merchant and restored to him all the authority.
Panchatantra Book 1. 51.       
Damanaka: “So we know pride goes before fall” Sanjeevaka agreed easily,
Taking him to the lion king, Damanaka introduced Sanjeevaka accourdingly,
The king asked him to relate his past and point of stay in the jungle presently,
On hearing the bullock’s story, he said, “Fear not; I will protect you fully.”
Panchatantra Book 1. 52.      
The king then asked Karataka and Damanaka to tend to all affairs fully,
And enjoyed himself spenting his time in company of Sanjeevaka happily;
But the jackals worried – after Sanjeevaka become a good friend actually,
The king may give up his royal sports and pastime – becoming a saint finally.
Panchatantra Book 1. 53.      
The Jackal twins then thought, “The king does not confide in us currently,
After Sanjeevaka the bullock, became his best and close friend specially,
What shall we do now? He is also now indifferent to his kingly duties”,
Karataka: “The king may not heed but to give good advice it is our duty.
Panchatantra Book 1. 54.      
Elders held that even if the king is not heeding to good advice continually,  
To still offer him good advice it is the duty of his ministers’ unquestionabily,
Damanaka: “You are right, my fault – sage and jackal’s fate not ours should be,
Karataka pleaded: “Please enlighten me with the sage and the jackal’s story.
Panchatantra Book 1. 55.
© Munindra Misra

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