The conspiracy…

Read the previous part here…

“If you give your permission, I will go and break their friendship.” said Damanaka as he rested his case.

Karataka replied-“Damanaka, if this is so, then you may proceed. May you have an auspicious journey.”


Damanaka waited for his chance, and got it soon enough. One day, when Pingalaka was alone, and Sanjeevaka had gone for a walk, Damanaka walked across to the king, saluted him, and sat down quietly. Pingalaka saw him and said “Damanaka! How are you? Where have you been? It’s been a while since we saw you here…”

Damanaka replied “My dear king, it seems that you don’t need us anymore, and so I stayed away. But lately, I have sensed grave danger to you, and even though I was apprehensive at first, I could not stay quiet. And so I am here. It is said…”

प्रियं वा यदि वा द्वेष्यं शुभं वा यदि वाशुभम् ।
अपृष्टो ऽपि हितं वक्ष्येद् यस्य नेच्छेत् पराभवम् ॥ २६२ ॥

priyaṃ vā yadi vā dveṣyaṃ śubhaṃ vā yadi vāśubham |
apṛṣṭo ‘pi hitaṃ vakṣyed yasya necchet parābhavam || 262 ||

He who does not like a person he cares for, to get adversely affected, should advise him of what is right, even if the advice is unpleasant.

Pingalaka heard the seriousness in Damanaka’s voice, and said “Go ahead and say what you want to say Damanaka. I am listening to you.”

Damanaka found his opening. He said “My Lord! Sanjeevaka has been conspiring against you! I managed to gain his trust and so he confided in me. He said “Damanaka, I know Pingalaka inside out now. It’s time – I will kill him and take over the forest as the king of all the animals, and you can be my trusted minister.””

Damanaka’s words hit Pingalaka like a thunderbolt…he could not take it, and fainted!

Seeing his reaction, Damanaka thought to himself…”Pingalaka is very attached to Sanjeevaka. For sure, this minister will bring about his destruction. It is said…”

एकं भूमि-पतिः करोति सचिवं राज्ये प्रमाणं यदा तं मोहाच् छ्रयते मदः स च मदाद् दास्येन निर्विद्यते ।
निर्विण्णस्य पदं करोति हृदये तस्य स्वतन्त्र-स्पृहा- स्वातन्त्र्य-स्पृहया ततः स नृपतेः प्राणान् अभिद्रुह्यति ॥ २६३ ॥

ekaṃ bhūmi-patiḥ karoti sacivaṃ rājye pramāṇaṃ yadā taṃ mohāc chrayate madaḥ sa ca madād dāsyena nirvidyate |
nirviṇṇasya padaṃ karoti hṛdaye tasya svatantra-spṛhā- svātantrya-spṛhayā tataḥ sa nṛpateḥ prāṇān abhidruhyati || 263 ||

When a king gives all his power to just one minister, that minister becomes arrogant. Due to this arrogance, he starts neglecting the affairs of the kingdom, and even starts disliking working under the king. This makes him long for freedom, and in this longing he slowly becomes the enemy of the king, and can go to any lengths to achieve his aims.


“Damanaka, what do I do now?” said Pingalaka, as he slowly came to his senses. “Sanjeevaka is my most loyal servant – I trust him even with my life. How can he conspire against me?”

Damanaka replied “My Lord, the one who serves, is always just a servant. Such deep affection does not exist anywhere. It is said…”

न सो ऽस्ति पुरुषो राज्ञां यो न कामयते श्रियम् ।
अशक्ता एव सर्वत्र नरेन्द्रं पर्युपासते ॥ २६४ ॥

na so ‘sti puruṣo rājñāṃ yo na kāmayate śriyam |
aśaktā eva sarvatra narendraṃ paryupāsate || 264 ||

There is not one servant who does not desire to be a king. It is only due to their lack of ability and might, that they continue to serve.

Pingalaka said ” What you say is right, but I still cannot bring myself to suspect his intentions. It is said…”

अनेक-दोष-दुष्टस्य कायः कस्य न वल्लभः ।
कुर्वन्न् अपि व्यलीकानि यः प्रियः प्रिय एव सः ॥ २६५ ॥

aneka-doṣa-duṣṭasya kāyaḥ kasya na vallabhaḥ |
kurvann api vyalīkāni yaḥ priyaḥ priya eva saḥ || 265 ||

Even if it is imperfect, who does not love their own body? If we love a person even if they commit many mistakes, that is true love.

Damanaka responded “And that is where mistakes happen. The more of a person that the king sees, the more that person is favoured by the king, whether that person is deserving or not. What is the special quality in characterless Sanjeevaka, that you keep him next to you always? My Lord,” continued Damanaka, “if you think he lends more muscle to you because of his huge size, and that you can kill all your enemies with his help, then you are wrong. He is a herbivore – he eats grass. All your enemies are carnivores – they feast on meat. He will be useless in front of them. Hence I feel it is better that you level a false accusation on him, and get rid of him.”

Pingalaka replied “

उक्तो भवति यः पूर्वं गुणवान् इति संसदि ।
तस्य दोषो न वक्तव्यः प्रतिज्ञा-भङ्ग-भीरुणा ॥ २६७ ॥

ukto bhavati yaḥ pūrvaṃ guṇavān iti saṃsadi |
tasya doṣo na vaktavyaḥ pratijñā-bhaṅga-bhīruṇā || 267 ||

Others should not lose trust in my words, and hence once I have spoken so well about about him in public, and praised his good qualities, I cannot accuse him of treachery.

“And also, I had promised him sanctuary, on your request. Then how can I go back on my words, and kill him? Sanjeevaka is a dear friend. I am not even angry with him.”

“And again-I have promised him sanctuary as per your request only. Then how can I kill him myself? Sanjeevaka has always been my friend. I am not annoyed with him in the least. It is said…”

आदौ न वा प्रणयिनां प्रणयो विधेयो दत्तो ऽथवा प्रतिदिनं परिपोषणीयः ।
उत्क्षिप्य यत् क्षिपति तत् प्रकरोति लज्जां भूमौ स्थितस्य पतनाद् भयम् एव नास्ति ॥ २६९ ॥

ādau na vā praṇayināṃ praṇayo vidheyo datto ‘thavā pratidinaṃ paripoṣaṇīyaḥ |
utkṣipya yat kṣipati tat prakaroti lajjāṃ bhūmau sthitasya patanād bhayam eva nāsti || 269 ||

One should avoid being affectionate in the first place. If affection occurs by chance, then it should only increase with time. The person who shows a lot of affection, and then suddenly stops, is a mean person. And so, instead of stopping being affectionate, one should avoid it altogether. A person who is already on the ground, has not fear of falling.

उपकारिषु यः साधुः साधुत्वे तस्य को गुणः ।
अपकारिषु यः साधुः स साधुः सद्भिर् उच्यते ॥ २७० ॥

upakāriṣu yaḥ sādhuḥ sādhutve tasya ko guṇaḥ |
apakāriṣu yaḥ sādhuḥ sa sādhuḥ sadbhir ucyate || 270 ||

How is your goodness worthy, if you only good to people who are good to you? He who is good to people who have even harmed him, is a truly good man, so say the wise.

“And so, even if he has conspired against me, I should not act badly with him.”

Damanaka said- “My Lord! This is not the proper of a king to forgive a conspirator! Also, you have neglected your own duties because of his friendship. Your other servants are all annoyed with you. Sanjeevaka eats grass; you eat meat. We all also eat meat. But since you haven’t hunted for so long, how can we all get meat to eat? With no food, everyone will leave you and go away, and you will be left alone. Because of Sanjeevaka’s company you will never ever get interested in hunting. It is said…”

यादृशैः सेव्यते भृत्यैर् यादृशांश् चोपसेवते ।
कदाचिन् नात्र सन्देहस् तादृग् भवति पूरुषः ॥ २७२ ॥

yādṛśaiḥ sevyate bhṛtyair yādṛśāṃś copasevate |
kadācin nātra sandehas tādṛg bhavati pūruṣaḥ || 272 ||

A man acquires the qualities of the people who serve him, and becomes like them, and likewise, servants acquire the qualities of their master, and become like him.

सन्तप्तायसि संस्थितस्य पयसो नामापि न ज्ञायते मुक्त-कारतया तद् एव नलिनी-पत्र-स्थितं राजते ।
स्वातौ सागर-शुक्ति-कुक्षि-पतितं तज् जायते मौक्तिकं प्रायेणाधम-मध्यमोत्तम-गुणः संवासतो जायते ॥ २७३ ॥

santaptāyasi saṃsthitasya payaso nāmāpi na jñāyate mukta-kāratayā tad eva nalinī-patra-sthitaṃ rājate |
svātau sāgara-śukti-kukṣi-patitaṃ taj jāyate mauktikaṃ prāyeṇādhama-madhyamottama-guṇaḥ saṃvāsato jāyate || 273 ||

A water drop that falls on the hot iron ceases to exist, but the same drop of water shines like a pearl when it falls on the leaf of a lotus. And it becomes a pearl when it falls into an oyster shell in an ocean. And so, one tends to become the best, or the worst, by the company one keeps.

“That is why the good people avoid the company of the bad. It is said…”

न ह्य् अविज्ञात-शीलस्य प्रदातव्यः प्रतिश्रयः ।
मत्-कुणस्य च दोषेण हता मन्द-विसर्पिणी ॥ २७५ ॥

na hy avijñāta-śīlasya pradātavyaḥ pratiśrayaḥ |
mat-kuṇasya ca doṣeṇa hatā manda-visarpiṇī || 275 ||

One should not offer shelter to a person,whose character is not known. It was due to the Matkuna’s fault, that Manda-Visarpinee got killed.”

Pingalaka said “How did that happen?”

Damanaka replied…

to be continued