#Panchatantra : Principle 1 – Enstrangement between friends (Mitra Bheda मित्रभेदः)

#Panchatantra

Principle 1 : Enstrangement Between Friends (Mitra Bheda मित्रभेदः)

Estrangement of Friends or the Loss of Friends is the first of the five Principles in the Panchatantra series. These are stories that figure in a dialogue between two jackals named Karataka and Damanaka.

Long, long ago, a merchant named Vardhaman lived in a town in the south of India. As he was resting on his bed one day it struck him that money was the axis of the world and that the more he had of it the more he would be powerful. Even enemies seek the friendship of a rich man, he told himself. The old become young if they have riches and the young become old if they do not have wealth. Business is one of the six ways that help man amass wealth. This was his logic. Mobilizing all his wares, Vardhaman set out on an auspicious day for Mathura in search of markets for his goods. He began his travel in a gaily-decorated cart drawn by two bullocks. On the way, tired of the long haul, one of the bullocks named Sanjeevaka collapsed in the middle of a jungle near river Jamuna. But the merchant continued his journey asking some of his servants to take care of the animal. But the servants abandoned the bullock soon after their master had left. Joining him later, they told him that the bullock was dead.

In fact, Sanjeevaka was not dead. Feeding on the abundant fresh and tender grass in the forest, he regained
strength and began to merrily explore the jungle, dancing and singing in joy. In the same forest lived
Pingalaka, the lion. Sanjeevaka, content with his new life in the jungle would sing and dance uproariously
with joy. One day, Pingalaka and other animals were drinking water in the Jamuna river when the lion heard the frightening bellow of the bullock. In panic, the lion withdrew into the forest and sat deeply lost in thought and surrounded by other animals.

Sensing the predicament of their king, two jackals, Karataka and Damanaka, sons of two dismissed ministers, were clueless as to what had happened to their king. “What could have happened to the lord of the forest,” asked Damanaka. “Why should we poke our nose into affairs that are not our concern? Haven’t you heard the story of the monkey which pulled out the wedge from the log,” asked Damanaka. Sounds interesting. Why don’t you tell me what happened to the monkey,” pleaded Damanaka. “Now, listen,” said Damanaka and thus he began narrating the story of the monkey…

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