Damanaka took a deep breath, and said – “Yes, I saw it by the grace of your highness.” Pingalaka wasn’t’t convinced, he asked again – “Did you really see that creature??”
Damanaka was patient. “Can a lie be uttered in the presence of your highness? It is said…”
अपि स्वल्पम् असत्यं यः पुरो वदति भूभुजाम् ।
देवानां च विनश्यते स द्रुतं सुमहान् अपि ॥ १३० ॥
api svalpam asatyaṃ yaḥ puro vadati bhūbhujām |
devānāṃ ca vinaśyate sa drutaṃ sumahān api || 130 ||
If one utters even the smallest lie in front of kings or God, he is bound to be destroyed, even if he is a great person.
सर्व-देव-मयो राजा मनुना सम्प्रकीर्तितः ।
तस्मात् तं देववत् पश्येन् न व्यलीकेन कर्हिचित् ॥ १३१ ॥
sarva-deva-mayo rājā manunā samprakīrtitaḥ |
tasmāt taṃ devavat paśyen na vyalīkena karhicit || 131 ||
A king has been regarded to have the essence of the gods. And hence one should think of the king as a god, and not harbour any ill-feelings towards him.
सर्व-देवमयस्यापि विशेषो नृपतेर् अयम् ।
शुभाशुभ-फलं सद्यो नृपाद् देवाद् भवान्तरे ॥ १३२ ॥
sarva-devamayasyāpi viśeṣo nṛpater ayam |
śubhāśubha-phalaṃ sadyo nṛpād devād bhavāntare || 132 ||
Though the king is the essence of all gods, one special quality lies with the king alone. Any good or bad acts towards the king, yield it’s fruits in this life only, whereas the results of one’s good and bad acts towards the gods may occur in other lives.
Pingalaka seemed satisfied with the explanation. “You must have really seen that creature. Great beings do not get angry with persons who are weaker than them. That is why you were not hurt by him. Because…”
तृणानि नोन्मूलयति प्रभञ्जनो म्र्डूनि नीचैः प्रणतानि सर्वतः ।
स्वभाव एवोन्नत-चेतसाम् अयं महान् महत्स्व् एव करोति विक्रमम् ॥ १३३ ॥
tṛṇāni nonmūlayati prabhañjano mrḍūni nīcaiḥ praṇatāni sarvataḥ |
svabhāva evonnata-cetasām ayaṃ mahān mahatsv eva karoti vikramam || 133 ||
The mighty wind uproots huge trees, but does not uproot the soft and gentle blades of grass. This is indeed the quality of great men. They do not use their power on the weak, and only fight with those who are equally strong and mighty.
मत्त-भ्रमद्-भ्रमर-पाद-तलाहतो ऽपि ।
कोपं न गच्छति नितान्त-बलो ऽपि नागस् तुल्ये बले तु बलवान् परिकोपम् एति ॥ १३४ ॥
matta-bhramad-bhramara-pāda-talāhato ‘pi |
kopaṃ na gacchati nitānta-balo ‘pi nāgas tulye bale tu balavān parikopam eti || 134 ||
The mighty elephant does not get angry with the bees which hover around it’s neck, attracted by temporin secretions, even though these bees constantly hit the elephant’s neck with their legs.The strong show their anger only on equally strong persons.
Damanaka agreed – “True! He is a great being and I am a lowly creature. Even then, if the master so wills and commands, I can get him here to become one of your servants.”
Pingalaka took a deep breath. “Do you think you can do it?”, he asked.
Damanaka replied – “What is impossible for the intelligent? It has been said…”
न तच् छस्त्रैर् न नागेन्द्रैर् न हयैर् न पदातिभिः ।
कार्यं संसिद्धिम् अभ्येति यथा बुद्ध्या प्रसाधितम् ॥ १३५ ॥
na tac chastrair na nāgendrair na hayair na padātibhiḥ |
kāryaṃ saṃsiddhim abhyeti yathā buddhyā prasādhitam || 135 ||
The task that cannot be accomplished even by using weapons, elephants, horses, and foot-soldiers, is possible to be completed, by using one’s brains.”
Pingalaka said, “If that is so, then you are appointed as my minister. From now onwards you are completely responsible for all the tasks associated with being my minister, and this is my decision.”
The first part of the trap has been laid. Damanaka finally convinces Pingalaka to give him the post of minister – a well-thought of plan, and supported by intelligent deliberation! Damanaka now has to convince the “other party”, Sanjeevaka, and let’s see if he is able to do it. With his intelligence and cunning, do you think he will fail?
Damanaka quickly went back to Sanjeevaka and addressed him angrily- “Hey you wicked bull, come here, come here. The mighty King Pingalaka has called you to be present in front of him. How dare you bellow so loudly, without any fear?”
Hearing his words, Sanjeevaka asked him innocently – “O good sir! Who is this Pingalaka?”
Damanaka looked angry. “What! You don’t even know who King Pingalaka is? Then wait here for a short while. You will know for sure by the result of your actions. The great lion king Pingalaka, lord of this whole forest, has camped nearby, surrounded by his entire assembly of all the animals of this forest.”
Hearing this, Sanjeevaka got very worried – he felt that his end was near! He pleaded to Damanaka – “O good sir! You appear to be a good person, and you speak well too. If you want to take me to your Master, then please promise me sanctuary, and make him merciful towards me!”
Damanaka said – “You are indeed speaking the truth. That is the right thing to do. Because…”
पर्यन्तो लभ्यते भूमेः समुद्रस्य गिरेर् अपि ।
न कथञ्चिन् महीपस्य चित्तान्तः केनचित् क्वचित् ॥ १३६ ॥
paryanto labhyate bhūmeḥ samudrasya girer api |
na kathañcin mahīpasya cittāntaḥ kenacit kvacit || 136 ||
You can reach the ends of the earth, and know the limits of oceans and mountains. But you can never know the depth of thoughts in a king’s mind.
“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…
to be continued…