Read the previous part here…
“And this is why, as a consequence of my greed, we all got caught in this web. I need your help. Please free us!”
Hearing him speak, Hiranyaka said…
अर्धार्धाद् योजन-शताद् आमिषं वीक्षते खगः ।
सो ऽपि पार्श्व-स्थितं दैवाद् बन्धनं न च पश्यति ॥ २० ॥
ardhārdhād yojana-śatād āmiṣaṃ vīkṣate khagaḥ |
so ‘pi pārśva-sthitaṃ daivād bandhanaṃ na ca paśyati || 20 ||
A bird observes the piece of meat on the ground from very high in the sky; but when fortunes are against it, it fails to see a net spread very close to itself.
“The sun and the moon, even though they are so powerful, are affected by eclipses. Mighty elephants, dangerous snakes and fast birds are still captured…observing even the mighty and the intelligent being in the hands of fate, makes me think that fate is indeed very powerful”, mused Hiranyaka.
व्योमैकान्त-विचारिणो ऽपि विहगाः सम्प्राप्नुवन्त्य् आपदं बध्यन्ते निपुणैर् अगाध-सलिलान् मीनाः समुद्राद् अपि ।
दुर्नीतं किम् इहास्ति किं च सुकृतं कः स्थान-लाभे गुणः कालः सर्व-जनान् प्रसारित-करो गृह्णाति दूराद् अपि ॥ २२ ॥
vyomaikānta-vicāriṇo ‘pi vihagāḥ samprāpnuvanty āpadaṃ badhyante nipuṇair agādha-salilān mīnāḥ samudrād api |
durnītaṃ kim ihāsti kiṃ ca sukṛtaṃ kaḥ sthāna-lābhe guṇaḥ kālaḥ sarva-janān prasārita-karo gṛhṇāti dūrād api || 22 ||
Birds are trapped even though they fly high in the skies. Fish are caught even though they live in the deep oceans. And so what is good or bad conduct, what place is secure, and what place isn’t…this is tough to say. Time is the most powerful – it can affect anyone from anywhere.
And thinking this way, Hiranyaka reached close to ChitraGreeva and got ready to chew off that part of the net. ChitraGreeva stopped him and said “Oh Hiranyaka, I will have to wait. Please free my friends first, and attend to me once they all have been freed.”
Hiranyaka got annoyed. “You are wrong”, he said, “the master comes first always!”
ChitraGreeva replied ” No Hiranyaka, this is not right. These poor souls are under my care. They have left their families behind, and have flown with me. Can’t I do just this much for them? It is said…
यः संमानं सदा धत्ते भृत्यानां क्षितिपो ऽधिकम् ।
वित्ताभावेऽपि तं दृष्ट्वा ते त्यजन्ति न कर्हिचित् ॥ २३ ॥
yaḥ saṃmānaṃ sadā dhatte bhṛtyānāṃ kṣitipo ‘dhikam |
vittābhāve’pi taṃ dṛṣṭvā te tyajanti na karhicit || 23 ||
If a king treats his servants with respect, they feel grateful to him and do not desert him even when he faces difficulties.
विश्वासः सम्पदां मूलं तेन यूथपतिर् गजः ।
सिंहो मृगाधिपत्येऽपि न मृगैः परिवार्यते ॥ २४ ॥
viśvāsaḥ sampadāṃ mūlaṃ tena yūthapatir gajaḥ |
siṃho mṛgādhipatye’pi na mṛgaiḥ parivāryate || 24 ||
Trust is the basis of prosperity. This is why the elephant while living in it’s tribe, sill stays with the other animals as family, and no animal stays close to the lion, even though he is called the king of all animals.
“Moreover, if your teeth get damaged while chewing off my part of the net, or the hunter manages to reach here, I will be held responsible. And so, it is better that you attend to them first.”
Hearing ChitraGreeva speak this way, Hiranyaka smiled happily. “My dear friend, I know you are right; I merely wanted to test you. I will help free the other pigeons first, and then rush to you. And by speaking this way, you have demonstrated your ability to lead. You will always be a good leader, and blessed. It is said…
कारुण्यं संविभागश् च यथा भृत्येषु लक्ष्यते ।
चित्तेनानेन ते शङ्क्या त्रैलोक्यस्यापि नाथता ॥ २६ ॥
kāruṇyaṃ saṃvibhāgaś ca yathā bhṛtyeṣu lakṣyate |
cittenānena te śaṅkyā trailokyasyāpi nāthatā || 26 ||
He who treats all those who serve him, with compassion and dignity, is fit to rule the three worlds.
Having said this, Hiranyaka released all the birds from the net and said to ChitraGreeva-“My friend! You can now return home. You are free to come to me any time you are in trouble again.” He bid them farewell and went back to his fortress. ChitraGreeva flew back home along with his people, happy and content.
It has been said…
मित्रवान् साधयत्य् अर्थान् दुःसाध्यान् अपि वै यतः ।
तस्मान् मित्राणि कुर्वीत समानान्य् एव चात्मनः ॥ २७ ॥
mitravān sādhayaty arthān duḥsādhyān api vai yataḥ |
tasmān mitrāṇi kurvīta samānāny eva cātmanaḥ || 27 ||
As a man having true friends by his side can accomplish even the most difficult tasks, one should always develop good friendship with like-minded people.
Meanwhile LaghuPatanaka, who had been keenly observing the proceedings, thought to himself “Hiranyaka is so intelligent! And he is strong as well, and he has such an impregnable fortress! They way he managed to free all the pigeons demonstrated his intelligence and his bravery. Even though I don’t trust anyone myself, and am a bit unstable in nature, I would like to make Hiranyaka my friend. It is said…
अपि सम्पूर्णता-युक्तैः कर्तव्याः सुहृदो बुधैः ।
नदीशः परिपूर्णो ऽपि चन्द्रोदयम् अपेक्षते ॥ २८ ॥
api sampūrṇatā-yuktaiḥ kartavyāḥ suhṛdo budhaiḥ |
nadīśaḥ paripūrṇo ‘pi candrodayam apekṣate || 28 ||
Even though he may be the most intelligent and skilled person around, a wise man should always seek the friendship of other men. The mighty ocean is full to the brim, yet seeks the friendship of the moon (with it’s waves rising high during the tides).
And having thought this, LaghuPatanaka climbed down from the tree and stood near the entrance of the fortress where Hiranyaka lived. He imitated ChitraGreeva and called out “Hiranyaka, come out, come out fast!”
Hearing this, Hiranyaka thought to himself…
to be continued…