Of hunger and hunger games…

A very productive day, and a monster dinner to wrap things up!

As we returned, stuffed to the brim, I recalled one of the episodes of the epic Panchatantra, which, while not completely relevant to the topic, does work in a tangent.

Hope you like it:)

What sin will a hungry man not commit, in order to satisfy his hunger? Those who are hungry, have no pity. O Good lady, tell Priyadarshana the snake, that GangaDutta will not enter the well again.

KarālaMukha said “How did that happen?”

RaktaMukha replied…

गङ्गदत्तप्रियदर्शनयोः कथा

The story of GangaDatta and PriyaDarshana

In a well, not so far away from here, lived the king of frogs named GangaDatta (The one born in the Ganga). One day he fought with some of his relatives, and in a bid to get away from them, climbed up the bucket, the rope and finally the pulley-wheel and sat there…lost in thought.

“How can I get even with them?” he said to himself. “It is said…”

आपदि येनापकृतं येन च हसितं दशासु विषमासु ।
अपकृत्य तयोर् उभयोः पुनर् अपि जातं नरं मन्ये ॥ १७ ॥

āpadi yenāpakṛtaṃ yena ca hasitaṃ daśāsu viṣamāsu |
apakṛtya tayor ubhayoḥ punar api jātaṃ naraṃ manye || 17 ||

A person who didn’t help in times of difficulty, and a person who ridiculed in times of distress…by paying them back as they deserve, a man is considered born-again.

As he was thinking this, he noticed a black snake named PriyaDarshana (the good-looking one) slithering towards a hole in the ground. “Why not lead this snake to the well and get all my relatives killed?”, thought GangaDatta. It is said…”

शत्रुभिर् योजयेच् छत्रुं बलिना बलवत्तरम् ।
स्व-कार्याय यतो न स्यात् काचित् पीडात्र तत्-क्षये ॥ १८ ॥

śatrubhir yojayec chatruṃ balinā balavattaram |
sva-kāryāya yato na syāt kācit pīḍātra tat-kṣaye || 18 ||

One should make a stronger enemy fight your own enemies and get them killed. By doing this, one’s enemies get destroyed, and one doesn’t have to put in too much effort in the process.

And also…

शत्रुम् उन्मूलयेत् प्राज्ञस् तीक्ष्णं तीक्ष्णेन शत्रुणा ।
व्यथा-करं सुखार्थाय कण्टकेनैव कण्टकम् ॥ १९ ॥

śatrum unmūlayet prājñas tīkṣṇaṃ tīkṣṇena śatruṇā |
vyathā-karaṃ sukhārthāya kaṇṭakenaiva kaṇṭakam || 19 ||

Just like a thorn stuck in one’s foot is removed by another thorn, a wise man should get rid of a cruel enemy, by engaging him with an enemy who is more cruel.The means is painful, but it leads to relief.

And so GangaDatta went near the hole and called out “O PriyaDarshana, come out…come out soon!”

PriyaDarshana heard this and wondered “Who could be calling me? It is definitely not a snake, and I don’t know anyone else in this whole wide world. It is better that I stay safe in this hole and try to understand who is calling me, before replying. After all, it is said…”

यस्य न जायते शीलं न कुलं न च संश्रयः ।
न तेन सङ्गतिं कुर्याद् इत्य् उवाच बृहस्पतिः ॥ २० ॥

yasya na jāyate śīlaṃ na kulaṃ na ca saṃśrayaḥ |
na tena saṅgatiṃ kuryād ity uvāca bṛhaspatiḥ || 20 ||

The wise say that one should not keep the company of those whose character, antecedents and place of stay are not known.

“It is possible that this is a tantrik, or a vaidya (doctor) who is here to catch me, bind me and use my venom for his nefarious purposes…or someone who wants me to bite and kill his enemy. Let me be careful”, thought the snake.

“Who is this?” cried out PriyaDarshana.

“I am GangaDatta, the king of frogs”, replied GangaDatta, ” and I have come here to make friends with you.”

“A frog wants to be friends with me?” thought PriyaDarshana to himself. “This is very difficult to believe, that grass and fire can be friends”, he retorted loudly. “It is said…”

यो यस्य जायते वध्यः स स्वप्नेऽपि कथञ्चन ।
न तत्-समीपम् अभ्येति तत् किम् एवं प्रजल्पसि ॥ २१ ॥

yo yasya jāyate vadhyaḥ sa svapne’pi kathañcana |
na tat-samīpam abhyeti tat kim evaṃ prajalpasi || 21 ||

You do not, even in your dreams, approach an enemy who can kill you instantly. Then why are you talking things that make no sense?

GangaDatta replied “What you say is correct. We are natural enemies. But I have approached you because I am being harassed by my own enemies. It is said…”

सर्व-नाशे च सञ्जाते प्राणानाम् अपि संशये ।
अपि शत्रुं प्रणम्यापि रक्षेत् प्राणान्धनानि च ॥ २२ ॥

sarva-nāśe ca sañjāte prāṇānām api saṃśaye |
api śatruṃ praṇamyāpi rakṣet prāṇāndhanāni ca || 22 ||

In the face of imminent destruction, or when one’s life is in danger, one should do anything to safe his life and prosperity, even if it means falling at the feet of one’s enemy.

PriyaDarshana said “Who is harassing you?”

GangaDatta replied “My own relatives.”

“And where do you live?” continued PriyaDarshana. “In a well, in a lake. in a tank or in a water hole?”

“Inside a well, made of stone walls.”

“In that case”, said PriyaDarshana, ” I would not be able to enter, since I don’t have any legs. Even if I managed to enter, I would not have a place to hide, from where I can kill your relatives. And so it is better that you go away. It is said…

यच् छक्यं ग्रसितुं यस्य ग्रस्तं परिणमेच् च यत् ।
हितं च परिणामे यत् तद् आद्यं भूतिम् इच्छता ॥ २३ ॥

yac chakyaṃ grasituṃ yasya grastaṃ pariṇamec ca yat |
hitaṃ ca pariṇāme yat tad ādyaṃ bhūtim icchatā || 23 ||

If one wishes to be well, he should only eat what suits his body, and get’s digested properly, and also what is ultimately good for his health.

Read more here!