The unlucky Somilaka

Read the previous part here…

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?

Mantharaka continued “My dear Hiranyaka, you are intelligent, and will understand this easily.

उत्साह-सम्पन्नम् अदीर्घ-सूत्रं क्रिया-विधिज्ञं व्यसनेष्व् असक्तम् ।
शूरं कृतज्ञं दृढ-सौहृदं च- लक्ष्मीः स्वयं वाञ्छति वास-हेतोः ॥ १२६ ॥

utsāha-sampannam adīrgha-sūtraṃ kriyā-vidhijñaṃ vyasaneṣv asaktam |
śūraṃ kṛtajñaṃ dṛḍha-sauhṛdaṃ ca- lakṣmīḥ svayaṃ vāñchati vāsa-hetoḥ || 126 ||

Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, seeks those who are passionate about their work, who are not lazy, who know how to get work done, who do not run behind worldly pleasures, who are courageous, grateful and who are surrounded by good friends.

Also, sometimes, by a quirk of fate, you lose all what you earn. You enjoyed your wealth till it was in your destiny to enjoy it. Now that it is gone, that too is destiny, You cannot enjoy more that what is destined for you.

Even if you obtain it by chance, you will lose it due to fate. It is said…

अर्थस्योपार्जनं कृत्वा नैवाभाग्यः समश्नुते ।
अरण्यं महदासाद्य मूढः सोमिलको यथा ॥ १२७ ॥

arthasyopārjanaṃ kṛtvā naivābhāgyaḥ samaśnute |
araṇyaṃ mahadāsādya mūḍhaḥ somilako yathā || 127 ||

Having earned a lot of wealth through hard work, but being not fated to enjoy it, foolish Somilaka lost it all when he reached the huge forest.

Hiranyaka said “How did that happen?”

Mantharaka replied…


The story of unlucky Somilaka

In a city not far away from here, lived a weaver named Somilaka. He was an expert artisan, and made intricate designs on fine silks – clothes worthy of being worn by royalty. Even though he was such a craftsman, he had never been able to earn handsomely – he earned just enough to make ends meet.

On the other hand, weavers who were much-less skilled that he was made a very good living, and had built up a little fortune for themselves.

This frustrated Somilaka a lot, and one day, he could take it no more. He called his wife and said “My dear. Look at this injustice. Those weavers who weave ordinary clothes make much more than an expert craftsman like me. They have a higher standard of living, eat well, and their wives wear gold ornaments. I don’t think this city is worth living in anymore. I will go elsewhere and make the money that I deserve.

His wife held his hand and said “My dear, it is not true that one has to leave one’s place in order to make money, or that one can be more prosperous elsewhere and not where he currently lives. It is said…

उत्पतन्ति यद् आकाशे निपतन्ति महीतले ।
धरण्यन्तमपि प्राप्ता
नादत्तम् उपतिष्ठति ॥ १२८ ॥

utpatanti yad ākāśe nipatanti mahītale |
dharanyantamapi prāpta nādattam upatiṣṭhati || 128 ||

You can fly high in the sky, or dig deep under the ground, even search to the end of this world…but you will never get what is not destined for you.

न हि भवति यन् न भाव्यं भवति च भाव्यं विनापि यत्नेन ।
कर-तल-गतम् अपि नश्यति यस्य तु भवितव्यता नास्ति ॥ १२९ ॥

na hi bhavati yan na bhāvyaṃ bhavati ca bhāvyaṃ vināpi yatnena |
kara-tala-gatam api naśyati yasya tu bhavitavyatā nāsti || 129 ||

That which is not supposed to happen, does not happen. That which has to happen, happens even without any effort. If your fate is against you, even something that you have obtained easily slips out of your grasp.

And also…

यथा धेनु-सहस्रेषु वत्सो विन्दति मातरं ।
तथा पूर्व-कृतं कर्म कर्तारम् अनुगच्छति ॥ १३० ॥

yathā dhenu-sahasreṣu vatso vindati mātaraṃ |
tathā pūrva-kṛtaṃ karma kartāram anugacchati || 130 ||

Just as a calf finds its mother from among thousands of cows, and goes to her, the results of our past actions find us and follow us wherever we go.

यथा छाया-तपौ नित्यं सुसम्बद्धौ परस्परं ।
एवं कर्म च कर्ता च संश्लिष्टाव् इतरेतरम् ॥ १३२ ॥

yathā chāyā-tapau nityaṃ susambaddhau parasparaṃ |
evaṃ karma ca kartā ca saṃśliṣṭāv itaretaram || 132 ||

Just like the sun and the shadow are related – they walk together, so is man and his karma – they are intertwined, and your karma always follows you.

“Your karma and destiny will follow you wherever you go. And so it is better that you stay here and continue to work hard…”, she advised.

Somilaka replied…

to be continued…

2 thoughts on “The unlucky Somilaka”

  1. Pingback: The unlucky Somalika – Part 2

  2. Pingback: The unlucky Somalika – Part 3

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