Of camels and bells…

Read the previous part here…

You have double the intelligence that I have. Your lover is gone. You lost your husband as well. Oh naked lady, what are you waiting for?

As KarālaMukha concluded this story, another friend of his came around and said…

“O KarālaMukha! What are you doing here? Your house has been occupied by a huge crocodile, and he doesn’t seem to be in a mood of leaving anytime soon!”

KarālaMukha felt like he had been hit in the stomach. “Oh no!”, he lamented. “What other bad news do I have to hear? मित्रं ह्य् अमित्रतां यातम् अपरं मे प्रिया मित्रा, गृहम् अन्येन च व्याप्तं किम् अद्यापि भविष्यति – My friend stopped being my friend, my wife is dead, and my house has now been taken over. What more is left to happen?”

“It is well said…”

क्षते प्रहारा निपतन्त्य् अभीक्ष्णम् अन्न-क्षये वर्धति जाठराग्निः ।
आपत्सु वैराणि समुद्भवन्ति वामे विधौ सर्वम् इदं नराणाम् ॥ ७२ ॥

kṣate prahārā nipatanty abhīkṣṇam anna-kṣaye vardhati jāṭharāgniḥ |
āpatsu vairāṇi samudbhavanti vāme vidhau sarvam idaṃ narāṇām || 72 ||

When wounded, we tend to get hurt in the same place again and again. We feel the most hunger when we have no money, our enemies increase when we are already in trouble – in short, when a person is already in trouble, his misfortunes keep increasing.

“What should I do?”, he thought to himself. “Should I go and fight with him? Or should I try to talk it over? Do I try to deceive him and get him out of my house, or do I bow before him and pacify him? No, I think I should consult RaktaMukha…after all, it is said…”

यः पृष्ट्वा कुरुते कार्यं प्रष्टव्यान् स्व-हितान् गुरून् ।
न तस्य जायते विघ्नः कस्मिंश्चिद् अपि कर्मणि ॥ ७३ ॥

yaḥ pṛṣṭvā kurute kāryaṃ praṣṭavyān sva-hitān gurūn |
na tasya jāyate vighnaḥ kasmiṃścid api karmaṇi || 73 ||

He who consults the wise, those who desire one’s welfare, those who are elder and experienced, before taking decisions, seldom meets with any obstacles in whatever he does.

“My dear RaktaMukha”, he said, as he came out of his thoughts. Look at my misfortune…My wife died, and now a big crocodile has also taken over my house. I need your valuable advice. Please tell me what to do.”

RaktaMukha shouted back at him. “You are a sinner, not a friend. I told you many times already, that I don’t want to be your friend anymore, not after what you did. Then why do you bother me again and again? I will not give you any advice.”

“I know I have wronged you RaktaMukha”, said KarālaMukha softly. “But we shared a warm friendship once. Please, think of those days, and consider the time we spent as friends, and help me to decide what needs to be done…”

RaktaMukha smirked. “I will not help you. You took me to the middle of the ocean to drown me, all because of your wife. That was not the right thing to do. Everyone’s wife is dear to them, but one doesn’t throw friends and relatives in the ocean, just because she said so! You are a fool and will be destroyed by your own foolishness. It is said…”

सतां वचनम् आदिष्टं मदेन न करोति यः ।
स विनाशम् अवाप्नोति घण्टोष्ट्र इव सत्वरम् ॥ ७४ ॥

satāṃ vacanam ādiṣṭaṃ madena na karoti yaḥ |
sa vināśam avāpnoti ghaṇṭoṣṭra iva satvaram || 74 ||

He who is arrogant and foolish enough to disobey the words of the wise and his well-wishers, perishes quickly, much like the camel with the bell tied around it’s neck.

KarālaMukha said “How did that happen?”

RaktaMukha replied…

to be continued…