Losing Friends

A specific Lion and Bull lived in a great friendship in a forest. And a wily jackal, unable to tolerate such company, deliberately brought enmity between them.

Listen carefully; I shall tell you how it all came to pass.

Once upon a time, there was a vibrant city. In that city, there was a trader called Vardhamanaka, a brilliant man, nobly born. One night he went to bed, engaged in thoughts of making money. “For there is nothing on earth that one cannot buy with money. One must earn money. The man of money is also the man of learning. Indeed, he is the real man! Friends always surround him, and so do relatives. One may have many a desire, but if he should have no money, he is treated as one with no need for anything. While cash makes friends of enemies, its loss will make enemies of even near and dear ones. He is tempted by money men’s court, even the dismal graveyard. The very children leave off the aged parent who has lost his money. The senile rich are forever like the sweet six teens, while the sweet six- teen itself revolts like senility without it. So then, one must think out the various ways of making money.

“There are six ways of increasing wealth;

It serves the King, Begging Alms, Agriculture, Learning, Business, and lastly, Trade. Of all the six, trade is the best; it never fails.

Take begging. The beggars are SO many that the man of charity cannot distinguish the deserving from the undeserving. Take agriculture which is full of vicissitudes. It depends on the monsoon.

Then, usury may lead to poverty.

Service has its shortcomings. Trade, by all means, is the best of all

Thus concluding, the young trader prepared for a journey. With the idea of going to foreign lands, he packed his goods, found an auspicious day, took the blessings of his people, and started on the journey.

To pull his cart, he engaged his fine bulls, Sanjivaka and Nandaka, which were strong enough to draw any load and unrivalled in speed.

As the cart passed through the sands of the Jumna, the bulls felt every step painful.

Presently Sanjivaka got severely stuck in the sands, threw off the yoke and fell.

His master saw his plight and was worried. He could not leave his favourite bull half buried in the sands and stayed at the spot for three days.

Then his men said to him, “Sir, this is a dangerous and deserted spot. All of us may have to face danger because of this one bull.

“It is not good to lose the greater for the sake of the lesser. And it is deemed wise to sacrifice the least to achieve the most. Are we to be eaten by a pack of tigers while waiting for one animal?”

“That’s true,” said the trader. He decided to go forth. He kept ten men to look after the bull and left with the rest of his men.

And the ten who were left be- hind were mortally afraid.

They overtook the master the next day and told him, “Sir, the poor creature died.”

The trader shed tears on hearing this news. He performed the ceremony of grief and proceeded with his men.

Now, the bull that got stuck in the sand recuperated with the help of the cool breezes that came over the waters of the Jumna, slowly pulled himself out of the sand and stood up.

Eating the rich, emerald grass and moving about freely, the bull put on flesh and gradually came to resemble the Bull of Lord Shiva.

His hump fattened, his eyes gleamed, and he began to gore the ant hills with his horns and bellow till the mountain shook.

He pawed the ground, wandered in the jungles without hindrance, and played all along the banks of the Jumna.

By the grace of God, even the needy can thrive and prosper, while ill luck can bring ruin upon the well-protected.

They say prosperity can be found even in the jungle and ruination in the heart of a temple. This is quite true, and our bull is suitable proof thereof,

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