Meeting old friends…

Read the previous part here…

The Sun is red at the time of rising, and red at the time of setting too. Likewise, great men remain alike in both good times and bad times.

And so, here is what we will do…

Let us all rise up in the sky together, along with net which has trapped us. We will fly someplace where the hunter cannot follow us, and then free ourselves. If, due to fear, we don’t act fast, or work together, we will all die. It is said…

तन्तवो ऽप्य् आयता नित्यं तन्तवो बहुलाः समाः ।
बहून् बहुत्वाद् आयासान् सहन्तीत्य् उपमा सताम् ॥ ८ ॥

tantavo ‘py āyatā nityaṃ tantavo bahulāḥ samāḥ |
bahūn bahutvād āyāsān sahantīty upamā satām || 8 ||

Threads that are very thin and of different lengths, when woven together, have the capacity to bear a lot of load; this is the case with the good people too.”

Good people also can work wonders when they get together – and they can bear any difficulty and overcome any obstacle.

And so, on cue, the pigeons all flapped their wings together, and rose to the sky, with the net still attached to them. The hunter had not expected this, he was caught unawares. He started to run behind them, thinking that the birds would not be able to keep going if some of them break out or fail to fly in sync with the rest.

LaghuPatanaka, who had watched these happenings with amazement, was curious to know what would happen next. He gave up his quest for food and followed the huge flock of pigeons, as they flew on.

The hunter ran for a few meters, but then quickly lost sight of the birds. He started walking back in disappointment, thinking to himself…

नहि भवति यन् न भाव्यं भवति च भाव्यं विनापि यत्नेन ।
करतल-गतम् अपि नश्यति यस्य हि भवितव्यता नास्ति ॥ १० ॥

nahi bhavati yan na bhāvyaṃ bhavati ca bhāvyaṃ vināpi yatnena |
karatala-gatam api naśyati yasya hi bhavitavyatā nāsti || 10 ||

That which is not supposed to happen, does not happen. That which has to happen, happens even without any effort. If your fate is against you, even something that you have obtained easily slips out of your grasp.

“If fate is against you, even if you obtain wealth, it vanishes – not just that, it takes with it what you already have as well. And so, forget about eating pigeon meat, now even the net that I used to feed and sustain my family, has been lost” he lamented. And thinking this, he slowly made his way home.

ChitraGreeva and his flock flew for a while, and when he was sure that they were out of danger, he spoke. “My dear people, we are now out of sight of the wicked hunter – he can do us no harm. Let us fly towards the city of Mahilaropya. My friend Hiranyaka ( the one with a golden hue) the mouse, lives there. He will free us from this net. It is said…

सर्वेषाम् एव मर्त्यानां व्यसने समुपस्थिते ।
वाङ्-मात्रेणापि साहाय्यं मित्राद् अन्यो न सन्दधे ॥ १२ ॥

sarveṣām eva martyānāṃ vyasane samupasthite |
vāṅ-mātreṇāpi sāhāyyaṃ mitrād anyo na sandadhe || 12 ||

When a man is in trouble, only a true friend will help him; others don’t even offer him sympathy.

Hiranyaka was a learned mouse. He stayed secure in his ‘fort’, that was a hole under the ground, with a thousand doors. They said this about him…

अनागतं भयं दृष्ट्वा नीतिशास्त्रविशारदः।
अवसन्मूषकस्तत्र कृत्वा शतमुखं बिलं ॥ १३ ॥

Anāgatam bhayam drśtva neetishastra vishāradah |
avasanmūshakastram krutva shatamukham bilam || 12 ||

The mouse named Hiranyaka, who was learned in the science of administration, anticipating trouble in the future, had constructed an underground tunnel with thousand doors.

This was his fort, and Hiranyaka was proud of it. It kept him safe, and he had designed this fort himself. He knew, that a thousand elephants and lakhs of horses did not equal the usefulness of a good fort, when battling one’s enemies.

ChitraGreeva approached the ‘fort’, and called out loudly ” My friend Hiranyaka! Please help me, I am in trouble. Come quickly!”

Hiranyaka heard this, but didn’t step out. Instead, he shouted back, from the secure fortress of his. “But who are you? And why have you come here?What sort of trouble are you in? Can you please explain?”

ChitraGreeva replied “Hiranyaka, I am your friend ChitraGreeva, the king of the pigeons. Do come quickly – it is urgent. I have a big favour to ask of you.”

Hearing this, Hiranyaka felt extremely happy. He lost his apprehensions, and quickly ran out of one of the entrances to his fort. it is said…

सुहृदः स्नेह-सम्पन्ना लोचनानन्द-दायिनः ।
गृहे गृहवतां नित्यं नागच्छन्ति महात्मनाम् ॥ १६ ॥

suhṛdaḥ sneha-sampannā locanānanda-dāyinaḥ |
gṛhe gṛhavatāṃ nityaṃ nāgacchanti mahātmanām || 16 ||

Affectionate friends only visit the houses of good people, and give them joy as well. No one likes to visit a bad person’s house.

But his happiness was short-lived. Seeing ChitraGreeva and his entourage trapped in the net, his face fell. “How did this happen?” he asked with concern.

“Oh, you must have guessed what happened”, said ChitraGreeva. It is said…

यस्माच् च येन च यदा च यथा च यच् च यावच् च यत्र च शुभाशुभम् आत्म-कर्म ।
तस्माच् च तेन च तदा च तथा च तच् च तावच् च तत्र च कृतान्त-वशाद् उपैति ॥ १९ ॥

yasmāc ca yena ca yadā ca yathā ca yac ca yāvac ca yatra ca śubhāśubham ātma-karma |
tasmāc ca tena ca tadā ca tathā ca tac ca tāvac ca tatra ca kṛtānta-vaśād upaiti || 19 ||

By whom, by what, when, where, in what manner and for how long one has to undergo the consequences of one’s good or bad actions, by him, by that, then, there, in that manner and for that long will these consequences present themselves.

“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…

to be continued…

2 thoughts on “Meeting old friends…”

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