Dantila and Gorambha – Part 2

Read the previous part here…

Gorambha, who was sweeping the floor next to the bed of the king, muttered casually. “How insolent is Dantila, he now even dares to embrace the queen!”

This got the king thinking…


And also…

अन्तः-सारैर् अकुटिलैर्नाग्निस् तृप्यति काष्ठानां नापगानां महोदधिः ।
नान्तकः सर्व-भूतानां न पुंसां वाम-लोचना ॥ १४८ ॥

nāgnis tṛpyati kāṣṭhānāṃ nāpagānāṃ mahodadhiḥ |
nāntakaḥ sarva-bhūtānāṃ na puṃsāṃ vāma-locanā || 148 ||

Fire is never satisfied no matter how much the fuel, oceans are not satisfied no matter how much water comes in from the rivers, death is never satisfied no matter how many beings it takes…likewise, women can never have enough of men.

रहो नास्ति क्षणो नास्ति नास्ति प्रार्थयिता नरः ।
तेन नारद नारीणां सतीत्वम् उपजायते ॥ १४९ ॥

raho nāsti kṣaṇo nāsti nāsti prārthayitā naraḥ |
tena nārada nārīṇāṃ satītvam upajāyate || 149 ||

May be there is no privacy; may be there is no time to spare; maybe the man they like is not available. O Naarada! It is only because of these reasons that a woman remains chaste!

यो मोहान् मन्यते मूढो रक्तेयं मम कामिनी ।
स तस्या वशगो नित्यं भवेत् क्रीडा-शकुन्तवत् ॥ १५० ॥

yo mohān manyate mūḍho rakteyaṃ mama kāminī |
sa tasyā vaśago nityaṃ bhavet krīḍā-śakuntavat || 150 ||

A man who stupidly thinks, ‘This pretty maiden loves me’,  is completely under her control like a pet bird.

The king lamented in this manner for a while, and then came to a decision. From that day onwards, he started to treat Dantila with disdain, and also restricted his entry into the royal palace.

Dantila didn’t understand what had gone wrong, and he felt unhappy about this sudden turn of events. He thought…”it has rightly been said…”

को ऽर्थान् प्राप्य न गर्वितो विषयिणः कस्यापदो ऽस्तं गताः स्त्रीभिः कस्य न खण्डितं भुवि मनः को नामा राज्ञां प्रियः ।
कः कालस्य न गोचरान्तर-गतः को ऽर्थी गतो गौरवं को वा दुर्जन-वागुरासु पतितः क्षेमेण यातः पुमान् ॥ १५७ ॥

ko ‘rthān prāpya na garvito viṣayiṇaḥ kasyāpado ‘staṃ gatāḥ strībhiḥ kasya na khaṇḍitaṃ bhuvi manaḥ ko nāmā rājñāṃ priyaḥ |
kaḥ kālasya na gocarāntara-gataḥ ko ‘rthī gato gauravaṃ ko vā durjana-vāgurāsu patitaḥ kṣemeṇa yātaḥ pumān || 157 ||

Who has not become arrogant after becoming prosperous? Which satisfied man has seen an end to his troubles? Who has not being heart-broken because of a woman? Who has been always treated well by a king? Who has escaped the God of Death? Which beggar has ever been treated with respect? Who has managed to emerge safely, after getting entrapped by the wicked?

“And also…”

काके शौचं द्यूत-कारेषु सत्यं सर्पे क्षान्तिः स्त्रीषु कामोपशान्तिः ।
क्लीबे धैर्यं मद्यपे तत्त्व-चिन्ता राजा मित्रं केन दृष्टं श्रुतं वा ॥ १५८ ॥

kāke śaucaṃ dyūta-kāreṣu satyaṃ sarpe kṣāntiḥ strīṣu kāmopaśāntiḥ |
klībe dhairyaṃ madyape tattva-cintā rājā mitraṃ kena dṛṣṭaṃ śrutaṃ vā || 158 ||

Who has seen cleanliness in a crow, honesty in a gambler, forgiveness in a snake, satiation in a woman, courage in a coward, philosophical thinking in an alcoholic, and unconditional friendship in a king?

Also, I have not in any way offended the king, nor his relatives, even in my wildest dreams, then why has the king disfavoured me so suddenly?”


A few days passed. One day, Gorambha was sweeping the corridors when he saw Dantila being stopped by the gatekeepers of the palace. He shouted out to them ” hey there! Be careful! This man is Dantila; he is favoured by the king! He has the power to reward you, and punish you as well. If you try to stop him, you will also be held by the scruff of your neck and get thrown out, much like I was!”

Dantila heard this, and started to think…”this sudden change of heart in the king is certainly Gorambha’s doing! It is rightly said…

अकुलीनो ऽपि मूर्खो ऽपि भूपालं यो ऽत्र सेवते ।
अपि संमानहीनो ऽपि स सर्वत्र प्रपूज्यते ॥ १५९ ॥

akulīno ‘pi mūrkho ‘pi bhūpālaṃ yo ‘tra sevate |
api saṃmānahīno ‘pi sa sarvatra prapūjyate || 159 ||

Even if born in a bad family, even if he is an idiot, even if he is not worth any respect, a person who is in the service of the king is worshipped everywhere.

अपि कापुरुषो भीरुः स्याच् चेन् नृपति-सेवकः ।
तथापि न पराभूतिं जनाद् आप्नोति मानवः ॥ १६० ॥

api kāpuruṣo bhīruḥ syāc cen nṛpati-sevakaḥ |
tathāpi na parābhūtiṃ janād āpnoti mānavaḥ || 160 ||

Even if the king’s servant is worthy of contempt, and a coward, no one will dare offend him.

As he thought of all this, Dantila felt embarrassed, and returned home. In the evening, he invited Gorambha to his house, honoured him by gifting him clothes and said – “My good man, I did not throw you out the last time because I had anything personal against you. You had sat in a seat reserved for some of my royal guests, and hence insulted them. That is the reason I reacted that way. Please do forgive me”.

Gorambha was satisfied. He bowed to Dantila and said – “Oh great man! I have forgiven you. You honoured me with gifts; in return, allow me to use my intelligence to get you back in the favour of the king!”. Having said this, Gorambha walked back home. pleased with his gifts.

It is rightly said…

स्तोकेनोन्नतिम् आयाति स्तोकेनायात्य् अधो-गतिम् ।
अहो ससदृशो चेष्टा तुलायष्टेः खलस्य च ॥ १६१ ॥

stokenonnatim āyāti stokenāyāty adho-gatim |
aho sasadṛśo ceṣṭā tulāyaṣṭeḥ khalasya ca || 161 ||

Wicked and lowly people both are similar to a weighing balance – just a little is enough to make them go up ( become angry), and just a little is enough to make them come down (become happy).

Next day Gorambha went to the palace as usual. When he was sweeping the floor near the king’s cot, he saw the king half asleep and said loudly “Aha! This king is a fool. He eats cucumbers while shitting in the toilet.”

The king was shocked by his words. He rose up and caught Gorambha by the collar and exclaimed -“Gorambha! What are you blabbering? I am not punishing you, because you have served us for long. But tell me, have you ever seen me doing such a vile thing?”

Gorambha seemed shaken, fell to the king’s feet, and pleaded “My Lord! I spent the whole of last night gambling, and didn’t sleep a wink. I must have dozed off for a moment now; I don’t know what I said. Please forgive me!”

Hearing this, the king thought…”I haven’t eaten cucumbers in the toilet, not in this birth, not in any birth of mine! Just as this idiot spoke nonsense about me when he dozed off for a moment, he must have spoken nonsense about Dantila too that day. I have been unjust to Dantila by ill-treating him; he would never misbehave with the queen. Now, in his absence, all the work in the palace and in the city lies unfinished. I should make it up to Dantila”.

The king called Dantila the very next day, honoured him with gifts and once again treated him with respect, as he was treated before.


“And that is why I say”, said Damanaka,

यो न पूजयते गर्वाद् उत्तमाधम-मध्यमान् ।
नृपासन्नान् स मान्यो ऽपि भ्रश्यते दन्तिलो यथा ॥ १४१ ॥

yo na pūjayate garvād uttamādhama-madhyamān |
nṛpāsannān sa mānyo ‘pi bhraśyate dantilo yathā || 141 ||

Due to his arrogance, he who disrespects persons who occupy the highest, the lowest and mid-level positions in the employment of the king, loses his respect and high position much like Dantila.

Sanjeevaka, on hearing this story, said…

to be continued