Kill the enemy!

Read the previous part here

He first addressed Raktāksha. “Oh learned minister! As you are aware, I have the enemy’s minister under my control. What should we do now?”

Raktāksha replied…

“My king, what is there to think about? He should be killed! It is said…

हीनः शत्रुर् निहन्तव्यो यावन् न बलवान् भवेत् ।
प्राप्त-स्व-पौरुष-बलः पश्चाद् भवति दुर्जयः ॥ १३० ॥

hīnaḥ śatrur nihantavyo yāvan na balavān bhavet |
prāpta-sva-pauruṣa-balaḥ paścād bhavati durjayaḥ || 130 ||

An enemy that is weak should be killed immediately, he should not be given the chance to become strong again. For if he does, it will become very difficult to defeat him.

कालो हि सकृद् अभ्येति यन् नरं काल-काङ्क्षिणम् ।
दुर्लभः स पुनस् तेन काल-कर्माचिकीर्षता ॥ १३१ ॥

kālo hi sakṛd abhyeti yan naraṃ kāla-kāṅkṣiṇam |
durlabhaḥ sa punas tena kāla-karmācikīrṣatā || 131 ||

If one waits for the right time, it surely comes. But when it comes, if one does not make use of the opportunity and act on it, then the right time never makes an appearance again.

“It has also been heard…चितिकां दीपितां पश्य फटाम् भग्नां ममैव चभिन्नश्लिष्टा तु या प्रीतिर्न सा स्नेहेन वर्धते – Look at the flames of my funeral pyre. Look at my broken hood. Once broken, love cannot be rejoined, even after demonstrating much affection. A diya with a broken wick cannot burn, however much oil is added to it.”

“Why do you say that?”, asked AriMardana.

Raktāksha replied…


The story of the Brahmin and the snake

In a village not so far away from here, lived a Brahmin called Haridutta, He was a farmer. But however hard he worked, his crops never ripened, and so he was never able to make a harvest.

One day in summer, after toiling hard on his fields, he was resting under the shade of a nearby tree. He suddenly noticed a huge snake around 50 yards from where he was – it’s hood was raised and it looked menacing.

“This must be the Kuladevi (Goddess) of this field, and I have never worshipped her till now.” he thought. “No wonder I haven’t been able to make a good harvest. Let me worship her today.”

And so he borrowed some milk from his neighbours, put it in a shallow bowl, went near the house of the snake, and said “Oh Kuladevi of this field! I did not know that you lived here, and so I didn’t worship you till today. Please forgive me and accept my humble offering.” He then left the bowl of milk there and went home.

When he came back the next morning, he saw that the milk had gone, but instead of the milk, there was a gold coin in the bowl. Happy, he bowed to the snake’s house and took the coin home.

And so this continued for many months. Each afternoon, he would leave a bowl of milk there, and the next morning, would collect his gold coin.

One day, he had to go to a nearby village for some urgent work, and so Haridutta asked his son to feed the snake instead. His son did the needful. The next day, when his son went back to collect the bowl, he found the gold coin in it.

“This snake house must be filled with countless gold coins!” he thought to himself. “I will kill the snake and get all the coins, instead of waiting every day.” And so the next day, he again took milk for the snake, but this time, when the snake came out to drink the milk, he hit it on the head with a big stick.

Fortunately for the snake, it did not die; instead, it got angry and bit him. Haridutta’s son died instantly. Relatives found his dead body and cremated him on the same day, near the field. The very next day, his father returned home.

When he heard from his relatives as to what had happened, he thought that it was right – his son was the one to blame. After all,

भूतान् यो नानुगृह्णाति ह्य् आत्मनः शरणागतान् ।
भूतार्थास् तस्य नश्यन्ति हंसाः पद्म-वने यथा ॥ १३३ ॥

bhūtān yo nānugṛhṇāti hy ātmanaḥ śaraṇāgatān |
bhūtārthās tasya naśyanti haṃsāḥ padma-vane yathā || 133 ||

If one does not help those who come to him seeking shelter, his prosperity vanishes, much like the swans in the lotus pond.

His relatives asked him “How did that happen?

Haridutta replied…

to be continued…