Damanaka rests his case

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“And that is why”, concluded Damanaka, “If one starts a fight, without knowing the strength of his enemy, he will surely be defeated. like the mighty ocean was insulted by a small Tittibha bird. 

Hearing his arguments, Sanjeevaka replied “Damanaka, how can I know for sure that Pingalaka has evil intentions? All these days I spent in his company…not once did he show me anything else but affection and respect. And so what you say is difficult for me to believe. If you can prove what you have told me, then I will get ready to defend myself, and maybe even kill him if it comes to it.”

Damanaka didn’t give up. “What is there to prove, oh Sanjeevaka? All you need to do is observe him. If you see his reddish eyes, his frowning face and him licking his lips in anticipation, know that his intentions towards you are not good . Anyways, it is late and I have to head home. Please ensure that you do not reveal what I have told you to anyone. I suggest that you wait till nightfall, and then escape out of this forest. It is said…”

त्यजेद् एकं कुलस्यार्थे ग्रामस्यार्थे कुलं त्यजेत् ।
ग्रामं जनपदस्यार्थे स्वात्मार्थे पृथिवीं त्यजेत् ॥ ३८६ ॥

tyajed ekaṃ kulasyārthe grāmasyārthe kulaṃ tyajet |
grāmaṃ janapadasyārthe svātmārthe pṛthivīṃ tyajet || 386 ||

One should renounce a person for the sake of the whole family; one should renounce a family for the sake of the village; one should renounce a village for the sake of the country; and one should renounce the earth for the sake of the Self.

And also…

आपद्-अर्थे धनं रक्षेद् दारान् रक्षेद् धनैर् अपि ।
आत्मानं सततं रक्षेद् दारैर् अपि धनैर् अपि ॥ ३८७ ॥

āpad-arthe dhanaṃ rakṣed dārān rakṣed dhanair api |
ātmānaṃ satataṃ rakṣed dārair api dhanair api || 387 ||

One should collect money and store it for emergencies; one should protect his wife by spending any amount of money; but one should protect the self even if the wife and money are at stake.

“If the enemy is stronger, it is better that one escapes far way from his village; else he must be ready to surrender and accept the slavery of the victor. Therefore it is better that you leave this forest. If leaving is not an option, then you should use any strategy that you can to save yourself. It is said that a wise man should save himself at any cost, even if it means losing his family. If he lives, he can always build upon another family. You should try to overcome misery by any means, good or bad. Once you are prosperous, you can reflect on your good or bad actions, and can help others to undo any bad actions done earlier. “

यो मायां कुरुते मूढः प्राण-त्यागे धनादिषु ।
तस्य प्राणाः प्रणश्यन्ति तैर् नष्टैर् नष्टम् एव तत् ॥ ३९० ॥

yo māyāṃ kurute mūḍhaḥ prāṇa-tyāge dhanādiṣu |
tasya prāṇāḥ praṇaśyanti tair naṣṭair naṣṭam eva tat || 390 ||

The person who loves money and doesn’t want to part with it, even when there is a threat to his life, loses his life in the process. And life once lost, cannot be regained.

“And so”, concluded Damanaka, “it is up to you to save yourself, or still ponder about friendship, proof and your love for this forest. Good night!” And Damanaka slowly walked away towards his house, leaving Sanjeevaka deep in thought.

As Damanaka reached home, he saw Karataka waiting for him outside. “Oh Damanaka!” said Karataka, “Tell me what happened today. Did everything go as planned by you?”

Damanaka replied “Karataka, I have done my best, and planted the seeds of division and hate. The rest lies in the hands of fate. It is said…

पराङ्मुखेऽपि दैवेऽत्र कृत्यं कार्यं विपश्चिता ।
आत्म-दोष-विनाशाय स्व-चित्त-स्तम्भनाय च ॥ ३९१ ॥

parāṅmukhe’pi daive’tra kṛtyaṃ kāryaṃ vipaścitā |
ātma-doṣa-vināśāya sva-citta-stambhanāya ca || 391 ||

A wise man should continue to strive, even when fate is against him, for the sake for correcting his faults, and also for self-satisfaction.

उद्योगिनं पुरुष-सिंहम् उपैति लक्ष्मीर् दैवेन देयम् इति कापुरुषा वदन्ति ।
दैवं निहत्य कुरु पौरुषम् आत्म-शक्त्या यत्ने कृते यदि न सिध्यति को ऽत्र दोषः ॥ ३९२ ॥

udyoginaṃ puruṣa-siṃham upaiti lakṣmīr daivena deyam iti kāpuruṣā vadanti |
daivaṃ nihatya kuru pauruṣam ātma-śaktyā yatne kṛte yadi na sidhyati ko ‘tra doṣaḥ || 392 ||

Prosperity always favours men who are brave, and who work diligently. “Whatever happens is due to fate”, so say the lazy and the cowardly. One should leave the reliance on fate, and continue to work sincerely, as per one’s capabilities and talent. Even after working to the best of your ability, if you are unable to achieve success, you are not to be blamed, because you tried well.

Karataka said…

to be continued

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