“And so, you remain here for now; let me go back and wait for the right moment to take you there.”
Sanjeevaka agreed and waited there, while Damanaka strutted back to the king…
Pingalaka saw Damanaka rushing back to him, taking hurried strides and looking excited. “Master!” he exclaimed as he reached Pingalaka’s side, “that is no ordinary being…he is Nandi, the vehicle of none other than Lord Shiva himself! When I asked him what he was doing here, he said that the Lord Shiva was pleased with his services, and hence had allowed him to graze on the fine grass alongside the banks of the river Yamuna. In fact, he also said that Lord Shiva had granted him the permission to roam around elsewhere in the whole forest as well!”
Pingalaka panicked, and in a shaken voice said, “This now makes sense. Without the grace of the God, such animals who graze on grass cannot move so freely, and make such obvious noises, that too in a jungle filled with carnivores! So what did you tell him?”
Damanaka replied, “Master! I told him – this forest is the abode of the mighty lion king Pingalaka, who is the vehicle of Goddess Chandika herself. And so you are our honoured guest, and invited to eat, drink and spend time with the king, as his brother.”
Damanaka continued. “This made him happy, and he accepted my offer. He also asked me to make you promise him safe sanctuary, and that he would obey your command.”
Hearing this Pingalaka said – “You are very intelligent Damanaka. You are an able minister. Good! You have done exactly what I would have thought of doing. I promise him sanctuary. However, you would have to request him to vouch for my safety as well, and then bring him here quickly. It is well said…”
अन्तः-सारैर् अकुटिलैर् अच्छिद्रैः सुपरीक्षितैः ।
मन्त्रिभिर् धार्यते राज्यं सुस्तम्भैर् इव मन्दिरम् ॥ १३७ ॥
antaḥ-sārair akuṭilair acchidraiḥ suparīkṣitaiḥ |
mantribhir dhāryate rājyaṃ sustambhair iva mandiram || 137 ||
Ministers who are of stable mind, who have no malice or crookedness, and who have been well-tested provide able support to the kingdom, much like strong and well-constructed pillars support a great house.
मन्त्रिणां भिन्न-सन्धाने भिषजां सान्निपातिके ।
कर्मणि व्यज्यते प्रज्ञा स्वस्थे को वा न पण्डितः ॥ १३८ ॥
mantriṇāṃ bhinna-sandhāne bhiṣajāṃ sānnipātike |
karmaṇi vyajyate prajñā svasthe ko vā na paṇḍitaḥ || 138 ||
The intelligence of the doctor is known only when he treats an epidemic. The intelligence of a minister is known when he negotiates successfully with people who have differences of opinion with the king. When everything is alright who does not act wisely?”
Damanaka saluted him and went to meet Sanjeevaka. He was happy and thought on the way…“Aha! My master is pleased with me, and believes in me, so much so that he acts according to what I tell him. There is nothing more that could make me feel gratified! It is said…”
अमृतं शिशिरे वह्निर् अमृतं प्रिय-दर्शनम् ।
अमृतं राज-संमानम् अमृतं क्षीर-भोजनम् ॥ १३९ ॥
amṛtaṃ śiśire vahnir amṛtaṃ priya-darśanam |
amṛtaṃ rāja-saṃmānam amṛtaṃ kṣīra-bhojanam || 139 ||
Finding fire in cold weather, meeting a person dear to you, at the right time, praise from the king and tasty kheer prepared with milk are all obtained only through one’s good fortune.
He reached the place where Sanjeevaka anxiously awaited him, and then addressed him affectionately. “Oh dear friend! I requested the king to offer you sanctuary, and he has consented. You can now come with me, without any fear. But, keep one thing in mind. Don’t forget me, once you get into the good books of the king, you should maintain your friendship with me. You should not become arrogant, and try to do as you please. I give you my word that I will seek your advice during carrying out my tasks as minister, and thus working together, we can enjoy all benefits that come with the prosperity of the kingdom. For it is said…”
आखेटकस्य धर्मेण विभवाः स्युर् वशे नॄणाम् ।
नृ-प्रजाः प्रेरयत्य् एको हन्त्य् अन्यो ऽत्र मृगान् इव ॥ १४० ॥
ākheṭakasya dharmeṇa vibhavāḥ syur vaśe nṝṇām |
nṛ-prajāḥ prerayaty eko hanty anyo ‘tra mṛgān iva || 140 ||
The way to prosperity and happiness in affairs of the state, is the same as in the case of hunting. One man provokes the animal, and the other hunts it. Similarly, in royal affairs, one person influences the king to favour the other, and both share the resulting benefits.
यो न पूजयते गर्वाद् उत्तमाधम-मध्यमान् ।
नृपासन्नान् स मान्यो ऽपि भ्रश्यते दन्तिलो यथा ॥ १४१ ॥
yo na pūjayate garvād uttamādhama-madhyamān |
nṛpāsannān sa mānyo ‘pi bhraśyate dantilo yathā || 141 ||
Due to his arrogance, he who disrespects persons who occupy the highest, the lowest and mid-level positions in the employment of the king, loses his respect and high position much like Dantila.
Sanjeevaka said – “How is that so?”
to be continued…
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