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Hearing Hiranyaka’s arguments, Laghpatanaka was at a loss of words. He didn’t know how to give an answer to these clever responses, and instead thought to himself “Amazing! Hiranyaka is so learned, and so well-versed in the strategic and administrative sciences! Its no wonder that I thought of becoming his friend.”
And so Laghupatakana said “Dear Hiranyaka…
सतां साप्तपदं मैत्रम् इत्य् आहुर् विबुधा जनाः ।
तस्मात् त्वं मित्रतां प्राप्तो वचनं मम तच् छृणु ॥ ४८ ॥
satāṃ sāptapadaṃ maitram ity āhur vibudhā janāḥ |
tasmāt tvaṃ mitratāṃ prāpto vacanaṃ mama tac chṛṇu || 48 ||
The wise say that a friendship is developed even if one walks seven steps with the other. And so, you have now become my friend. Please listen to what I have to say to you.
“Though you do not trust me, there is no harm in you conversing with me while inside your secure fortress – you are safe there, and I will have the pleasure of your company and the opportunity to discuss various topics on philosophy and strategy. I hope that at least this will be acceptable to you?”
Hearing this. Hiranyaka’s heart softened. He thought to himself “LaghuPatanaka is well versed in the art of conversation, and he sounds sincere and honest. It will be good to become his friend.” And so he said “Before accepting your friendship, I would like to request you never to try to trespass into my fortress. For it is said…
भीत-भीतैः पुरा शत्रुर् मन्दं मन्दं विसर्पति ।
भूमौ प्रहेलया पश्चाज् जार-हस्तो ऽङ्गनास्व् इव ॥ ४९ ॥
bhīta-bhītaiḥ purā śatrur mandaṃ mandaṃ visarpati |
bhūmau prahelayā paścāj jāra-hasto ‘ṅganāsv iva || 49 ||
Just like a lustful man approaches a woman cautiously, merely touching her hand, and when offered no resistance, has no hesitation in touching any part of her body…an enemy too approaches slowly and cautiously, but then makes fast ground when offered no resistance.
“Do you agree?” asked Hiranyaka. “Yes!” replied LaghuPatanaka. And so they become friends, spending time with each other, discussing matters of scripture and philosophy. They helped each other as well – LaghuPatanaka brought his new friend food from far and wide – small pieces of meat, food offered at temples and houses, and offered them affectionately to Hiranyaka.
Hiranyaka also saved grains and other pieces of food that he found on his nighttime rounds, and offered them to LaghuPatanaka when he came to visit him in the day.
And so their friendship grew steadily with time. After all, it is said…
ददाति प्रतिगृह्णाति गुह्यम् आख्याति पृच्छति ।
भुङ्क्ते भोजायते चैव षड्-विधं प्रीति-लक्षणम् ॥ ५० ॥
dadāti pratigṛhṇāti guhyam ākhyāti pṛcchati |
bhuṅkte bhojāyate caiva ṣaḍ-vidhaṃ prīti-lakṣaṇam || 50 ||
There are six signs of friendly love – giving and accepting gifts, sharing each other’s secrets, and feeding each other with care.
नोपकारं विना प्रीतिः कथञ्चित् कस्यचिद् भवेत् ।
उपयाचित-दानेन यतो देवा अभीष्टदाः ॥ ५१ ॥
nopakāraṃ vinā prītiḥ kathañcit kasyacid bhavet |
upayācita-dānena yato devā abhīṣṭadāḥ || 51 ||
Friendship or love cannot develop without the feeling of mutual benefit. Even gods fulfil desires only after being offered something.
तावत् प्रीतिर् भवेल् लोके यावद् दानं प्रदीयते ।
वत्सः क्षीर-क्षयं दृष्ट्वा परित्यजति मातरम् ॥ ५२ ॥
tāvat prītir bhavel loke yāvad dānaṃ pradīyate |
vatsaḥ kṣīra-kṣayaṃ dṛṣṭvā parityajati mātaram || 52 ||
Friendship or love remains only until there is mutual benefit. Even a calf leaves the mother once she stops giving milk.
पश्य दानस्य माहात्म्यं सद्यः प्रत्यय-कारकम् ।
यत्-प्रभावाद् अपि द्वेषो मित्रतां याति तत्-क्षणात् ॥ ५३ ॥
paśya dānasya māhātmyaṃ sadyaḥ pratyaya-kārakam |
yat-prabhāvād api dveṣo mitratāṃ yāti tat-kṣaṇāt || 53 ||
Observe the greatness of ‘giving’, that shows results instantaneously. By ‘giving’ even an enemy becomes a friend in an instant.
पुत्राद् अपि प्रियतरं खलु तेन दानं मन्ये पशोर् अपि विवेक-विवर्जितस्य ।
दत्ते खले तु निखिलं खलु येन दुग्धं नित्यं ददाति महिषी ससुतापि पश्य ॥ ५४ ॥
putrād api priyataraṃ khalu tena dānaṃ manye paśor api viveka-vivarjitasya |
datte khale tu nikhilaṃ khalu yena dugdhaṃ nityaṃ dadāti mahiṣī sasutāpi paśya || 54 ||
Not only humans, animals also prefer benefits to their own children. An ordinary buffalo, who does not have a discriminating mind, gives away all it’s milk to the one who feeds it fodder, even if it has a child who is needy.
And so Hiranyaka and LaghuPatanaka become as inseparable as the nail and the finger. Forget not stepping out of his fortress, Hiranyaka now started to sit close to LaghuPatanaka, shielded from the sun under his wings, discussing matters of the world.
One day, LaghuPatanaka approached Hiranyaka and…
to be continued…
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