Best laid plans…

Read the previous part here…

If one wishes to be well, he should only eat what suits his body, and get’s digested properly, and also what is ultimately good for his health.

GangaDatta replied ” You don’t worry about anything, I will show you an easy way into the well. There is a small hole where the stone wall meets the water. You can hide there. From that hiding place, you will find it very easy to kill my relatives.”

PriyaDarshana thought to himself “I have become old now. I rarely get to eat a mouse these days. This frog is showing me an easy way to get food and pass my days in content. I should go with him. It is said…”

यो हि प्राण-परिक्षीणः सहाय-परिवर्जितः ।
स हि सर्व-सुखोपायां वृत्तिम् आरचयेद् बुधः ॥ २४ ॥

yo hi prāṇa-parikṣīṇaḥ sahāya-parivarjitaḥ |
sa hi sarva-sukhopāyāṃ vṛttim āracayed budhaḥ || 24 ||

A man who is weak due to old age, and who has no one to take care of him, should search for a simple and easy way to sustain himself. That would be the intelligent thing to do.

And so he replied “Very well GangaDatta, I will come with you. Lead the way and I will follow you. Let’s set out right now.”

GangaDatta said “PriyaDarshana, I will take you through an easy way, and also show you the hiding place. But you should spare my family, and not eat any except those I point out.”

PriyaDarshana smiled and said “GangaDatta, you are my friend now, so don’t be afraid. I will only eat those who you point out to me.”

Saying these words, PriyaDarshana came out of his hole, and embraced GangaDatta. The frog then started to walk towards the well, with the snake following him closely. They reached the well soon, and GangaDatta guided PriyaDarshana through the pulley, onto the rope and further down, passing the bucket on his way to the hiding place that he had spoken about. He then pointed out the relatives who had troubled him, and then left PriyaDarshana to settle into the hiding place.

It didn’t take many days. Within a week, the snake had eaten all those who GangaDatta had singled out for revenge.

One day, PriyaDarshana called GangaDatta and said “My friend! Your enemies have been destroyed. Now please give me something to eat, since you brought me here.”

GangaDatta replied ” Thank you so much PriyaDarshana! You have done your duty as a friend. Now you can leave through the same way – up the rope, past the bucket and onto the pulley.”

PriyaDarshana looked surprised. “GangaDatta, you seem to have been mistaken. How can I go back to that hole? It was my fortress, but someone else lives there now. I cannot return. So I have to stay here now. You will have to send me a frog a day so that I can sustain myself, even if they are from your own family. If not, I will eat everyone.”

Hearing him speak this way, GangaDatta felt dizzy. He started to panic, and thought to himself “Oh, what have I done? Why did I bring this snake here? Now if I don’t agree to what he says, he will eat all the frogs and leave no one. It has rightly been said…”

यो ऽमित्रं कुरुते मित्रं वीर्याभ्यधिकम् आत्मनः ।
स करोति न सन्देहः स्वयं हि विष-भक्षणम् ॥ २५ ॥

yo ‘mitraṃ kurute mitraṃ vīryābhyadhikam ātmanaḥ |
sa karoti na sandehaḥ svayaṃ hi viṣa-bhakṣaṇam || 25 ||

He who befriends an enemy who is stronger than himself, consumes poison with his own hands, and there is no doubt in that.

“And so I will have to give him a member of my family to eat everyday.

यो दुर्बलो ऽणून् अपि याच्यमानो बलीयसा यच्छति नैव साम्ना ।
प्रयच्छते नैव च दर्श्यमानं खारीं स चूर्णस्य पुनर् ददाति ॥ २७ ॥

yo durbalo ‘ṇūn api yācyamāno balīyasā yacchati naiva sāmnā |
prayacchate naiva ca darśyamānaṃ khārīṃ sa cūrṇasya punar dadāti || 27 ||

A weaker person who refuses to give a stronger person even a little, when asked, ends up giving much more at the end.

And also…

सर्व-नाशे समुत्पन्ने अर्धं त्यजति पण्डितः ।
अर्धेन कुरुते कार्यं सर्व-नाशो हि दुस्तरः ॥ २८ ॥

sarva-nāśe samutpanne ardhaṃ tyajati paṇḍitaḥ |
ardhena kurute kāryaṃ sarva-nāśo hi dustaraḥ || 28 ||

The wise, when all is threatened, give half and make do with the rest, since losing everything is an unbearable feeling.

न स्वल्पस्य कृते भूरि नाशयेन् मतिमान् नरः ।
एतद् एव हि पाण्डित्यं यत् स्वल्पाद् भूरि-रक्षणम् ॥ २९ ॥

na svalpasya kṛte bhūri nāśayen matimān naraḥ |
etad eva hi pāṇḍityaṃ yat svalpād bhūri-rakṣaṇam || 29 ||

A wise man should not lose a lot in an attempt to save a little.Wisdom lies in losing a little and saving a lot.

And so GangaDatta ordered that the snake could kill one frog from his family everyday. PriyaDarshana complied, and then, when GangaDatta was not looking, also managed to kill other frogs and eat them on the sly. It is well said…

यथा हि मलिनैर् वस्त्रैर् यत्र तत्रोपविश्यते ।
एवं चलित-वित्तस् तु वित्त-शेषं न रक्षति ॥ ३० ॥

yathā hi malinair vastrair yatra tatropaviśyate |
evaṃ calita-vittas tu vitta-śeṣaṃ na rakṣati || 30 ||

A person wearing dirty clothes sits anywhere, he doesn’t think much about soiling his clothes since they are already dirty, much like a person who has lost most of his wealth, and doesn’t try to save what is left.

One day, after eating a couple of frogs, PriyaDarshana also ate YamunaDatta, the son of GangaDatta. GangaDatta came to know of this and…

to be continued…