Read the previous part here…
In a few hours, the third pill dropped. The young man dug, and found huge deposits of gold. “I told you, there will be gold further ahead!” he said with excitement. “The other two lost out on so much wealth! Nothing can be better than gold. Come, let’s take as much as we can, and return home.”
The fourth youth, whose name was VairāgyaKumar (the youth who has renounced the world), looked at him and said…
“You are foolish. We first found copper, then silver, and now gold. Surely there are diamonds further up in the mountains. This gold will make us rich, but not extremely rich. If there is a promise of more, then why settle for less? We have a limited amount that we can carry, and there is one pill more. So let us keep walking, until the fourth pill drops.”
The other young man replied “Fine. In that case, you keep walking. I will sit here and wait till you are back.” And so VairāgyaKumar set out on his own.
He walked for a few days, but didn’t reach anywhere. It was hot, and he felt very thirsty and wanted to rest. And so he left the path, and started to wander around in search of water instead.
As he walked a little further, he came across an unusual scene. In front of him was a man, who was bleeding profusely, and had a wheel whirling on his head. Surprised, VairāgyaKumar walked up to him and said “Excuse me, but I can’t help wondering what that wheel is doing on your head. You are bleeding too! Who are you and why are you carrying this wheel? Also, please help me find some water since I am very thirsty…”
He had just finished speaking when the wheel jumped from the other man’s head, and settled on his own. “What is this?”, said VairāgyaKumar, astonished.
The man replied “This is how the wheel came on my head as well.”
The wheel was already causing VairāgyaKumar a lot of discomfort. “Please tell me how to get rid of it. It is very painful!”
The man replied” Well, if some other man also comes searching for wealth, carries a Varti like you do, and speaks to you, then the wheel will jump from your head, to his.”
VairāgyaKumar said “From how long have you been standing here?”
“Who is the king now?”
“Veena Vatysa Raja…”
The man looked confused. “Then I don’t have a clue as to how much time has passed. I was very poor, and at that time, Sri Rama ruled Bhāratvarsha. I was given the varti by a yogi, and landed up here in search of treasure. I saw another man with this rotating wheel on his head, and when I spoke with him, the wheel jumped onto my head.”
“If you have been standing like this from so long, how did you manage to feed yourself?”
“King Kubera, the god of wealth, didn’t want his treasure to be stolen. And so he made this arrangement right above the place where the treasure was hidden. Any unfortunate soul who makes his way here, gets trapped with this whirling wheel. He does not feel hunger or thirst, and he never ages, never dies, but only experiences pain every single moment.” The man joined his palms together. “Thank you for saving me from this torture. I have to try to make my way home now, if I have a home that is. I wish you the best…” And he walked away, leaving VairāgyaKumar crying in pain, with the whirling wheel on his head.
In the meantime, the other Brahmin youth, who had been waiting near the deposits of gold, became worried. He had waited for many days, and now wondered if something bad had happened to his friend. He started walking in the direction taken by VairāgyaKumar, and in a few days, reached the spot where VairāgyaKumar stood, the whirling wheel on his head, bleeding profusely, and crying for help.
“My dear friend! What happened? Who did this to you?”
“This is all what fate had written for me”, said VairāgyaKumar, sobbing.
“But how did this happen? Tell me everything in detail.”
And so VairāgyaKumar narrated the whole incident to his friend.
“Oh no!”, exclaimed his friend, who was named TruptaKumar (the one who is satisfied). “I had told you that we should turn back…see what happened now. You are well-educated, have been brought up in a good family, and yet, how could you be so foolish? It is rightly said…”
वरं बुद्धिर् न सा विद्या विद्याया बुद्धिर् उत्तमा ।
बुद्धि-हीनो विनश्यन्ति यथा ते सिंह-कारकाः ॥ ३५ ॥
varaṃ buddhir na sā vidyā vidyāyā buddhir uttamā |
buddhi-hīno vinaśyanti yathā te siṃha-kārakāḥ || 35 ||
Education ranks lower than common sense, and so seek intelligence. Senseless Brahmins in their pride of being educated, made a lion, and then they died.
“How did that happen”, said VairāgyaKumar.
to be continued…