Read the previous part here…
“And so, after experiencing all the good and the bad that the world had to offer, I felt disillusioned with that place and decided to come here with LaghuPatanaka. This, in short, was the cause of my loss in interest and dispassion.
Mantharaka smiled, and said “My dear, LaghuPatanaka is your true friend. There was a draught, and he was so hungry. Yet he didn’t eat you, which is surprising considering that you are his natural food! Not only that, he carried you safely on his back and brought you all the way here. That is why it is said…
विकारं याति नो चित्तं वित्ते यस्य कदाचन ।
मित्रं स्यात् सर्व-काले च कारयेन् मित्रम् उत्तमम् ॥ ११४ ॥
vikāraṃ yāti no cittaṃ vitte yasya kadācana |
mitraṃ syāt sarva-kāle ca kārayen mitram uttamam || 114 ||
A true friend is one whose heart does not change seeing his friend’s wealth or status. We should always make such friends.
आपत्-काले तु सम्प्राप्ते यन् मित्रं मित्रम् एव तत् ।
वृद्धि-काले तु सम्प्राप्ते दुर्जनो ऽपि सुहृद् भवेत् ॥ ११६ ॥
āpat-kāle tu samprāpte yan mitraṃ mitram eva tat |
vṛddhi-kāle tu samprāpte durjano ‘pi suhṛd bhavet || 116 ||
He who stands by you in times of trouble, and does not change his behaviour towards you in troubled times, is a true friend. When you are prosperous, even the wicked will stand by you.
And so, I have begun to trust LaghuPatanaka, even though it is unnatural for us tortoises to be friends with meat-eating crows. It is well said…
मित्रं को ऽपि न कस्यापि नितान्तं न च वैर-कृत् ।
दृश्यते मित्र-विध्वस्तात् कार्याद् वैरी परीक्षितः ॥ ११७ ॥
mitraṃ ko ‘pi na kasyāpi nitāntaṃ na ca vaira-kṛt |
dṛśyate mitra-vidhvastāt kāryād vairī parīkṣitaḥ || 117 ||
No one is a friend and no one is an enemy forever. It is one’s behaviour and actions that are the true test of friendship or enmity.
It is due to one’s good or bad actions that one becomes someone’s friend, or enemy.
You are both welcome here. You both can stay here on the banks of this river. Consider this your own home. Don’t dwell over the loss of your wealth, or that you had to leave your house and come here to settle. It is said…
अभ्रच्-छाया खल-प्रीतिः समुद्रान्ते च मेदिनी ।
अल्पेनैव विनश्यन्ति यौवनानि धनानि च ॥ ११८ ॥
abhrac-chāyā khala-prītiḥ samudrānte ca medinī |
alpenaiva vinaśyanti yauvanāni dhanāni ca || 118 ||
The shade of a cloud, the love of a cheat, food that is ready to eat, pleasure, youth and money – all these enjoyments are short-lived.
And that is why the yogis and the intelligent do not run behind wealth. It is said…
सुसञ्चितैर् जीवनवत् सुरक्षितैर् निजेऽपि देहे न वियोजितैः क्वचित् ।
पुंसो यमान्तं व्रजतो ऽपि निष्ठुरैर् एतैर् धनैः पञ्चपदी न दीयते ॥ ११९ ॥
susañcitair jīvanavat surakṣitair nije’pi dehe na viyojitaiḥ kvacit |
puṃso yamāntaṃ vrajato ‘pi niṣṭhurair etair dhanaiḥ pañcapadī na dīyate || 119 ||
Man collects money with a lot of care, he protects money more than himself, he does not spend this money even for the comfort of his own body…yet, when he sets out to meet the God of Death, this cruel money does not walk five steps, even out of sympathy.
यथामिषं जले मत्स्यैर् भक्ष्यते श्वापदैर् भुवि ।
आकाशे पक्षिभिश् चैव तथा सर्वत्र वित्तवान् ॥ १२० ॥
yathāmiṣaṃ jale matsyair bhakṣyate śvāpadair bhuvi |
ākāśe pakṣibhiś caiva tathā sarvatra vittavān || 120 ||
A piece of meat is sought after and eaten by fish in the water, by dogs on land, and by birds in the sky. So is the fate of a wealthy man, wherever he goes.
निर्दोषम् अपि वित्ताढ्य दोषैर् योजयते नृपः ।
निधनः प्राप्त-दोषो ऽपि सर्वत्र निरुपद्रवः ॥ १२१ ॥
nirdoṣam api vittāḍhya doṣair yojayate nṛpaḥ |
nidhanaḥ prāpta-doṣo ‘pi sarvatra nirupadravaḥ || 121 ||
Even if innocent, a wealthy man is accused by everybody. Even if guilty, a poor man is left untouched.
अर्थानाम् अर्जने दुःखम् अर्जितानां च रक्षणे ।
नाशे दुःखं व्यये दुःखं धिग् अर्थाः कष्ट-संश्रयाः ॥ १७४ ॥
arthānām arjanaṃ kāryaṃ vardhanaṃ rakṣaṇaṃ tathā |
bhakṣyamāṇo nirādāyaḥ sumerurapi hīyate || 122 ||
Earning wealth is painful, and protecting the earned wealth is painful. Gaining wealth is painful and spending wealth is also painful. Wealth is indeed the cause of pain every time.
अर्थार्थी यानि कष्टानि मूढो ऽयं सहते जनः ।
शतांशेनापि मोक्षार्थी तानि चेन् मोक्षम् आप्नुयात् ॥ १२३ ॥
arthārthī yāni kaṣṭāni mūḍho ‘yaṃ sahate janaḥ |
śatāṃśenāpi mokṣārthī tāni cen mokṣam āpnuyāt || 123 ||
The amount of hardship a man endures to obtain wealth, if even a hundredth of that hardship he endured to seek liberation, he would have surely become liberated.
And Hiranyaka, don’t feel anxious or worried about living far away from home. It is said…
को धीरस्य मनस्विनः स्व-विषयः को वा विदेशः स्मृतो यं देशं श्रयते तम् एव कुरुते बाहु-प्रतापार्जितम् ।
यद् दंष्ट्रानखलाङ्गुल-प्रहरणैः सिंहो वनं गाहते तस्मिन् एव हत-द्विपेन्द्र-रुधिरैस् तृष्णां छिनत्त्य् आत्मनः ॥ १२४ ॥
ko dhīrasya manasvinaḥ sva-viṣayaḥ ko vā videśaḥ smṛto yaṃ deśaṃ śrayate tam eva kurute bāhu-pratāpārjitam |
yad daṃṣṭrānakhalāṅgula-praharaṇaiḥ siṃho vanaṃ gāhate tasmin eva hata-dvipendra-rudhirais tṛṣṇāṃ chinatty ātmanaḥ || 124 ||
What difference does it make if it is one’s own land, or a foreign land? A person who is brave, and steady in mind and thought, can make any land his own by his determination. Whichever forest he moves into, the lion uses his teeth and nails as his weapons to kill the chief of the elephant herd and quench his thirst by its blood.
को ऽतिभारः समर्थानां किं दूरं व्यवसायिनाम् ।
को विदेशः सुव्द्यानां कः परः प्रिय-वादिनाम् ॥ १२५ ॥
ko ‘tibhāraḥ samarthānāṃ kiṃ dūraṃ vyavasāyinām |
ko videśaḥ suvdyānāṃ kaḥ paraḥ priya-vādinām || 125 ||
What can be burdensome for an able man? What task is far-fetched for one who is hard-working? What place is alien for the wise? Who can be distant from a man who speaks well?
to be continued…