TOP
Home Background Stories Complete Works Sanskrit Manuscripts
 »   »   » 

The Unlucky Weaver

(Story found in:  Franklin Edgerton's reconstruction Durgasimha's Kannada translation Purnabhadra's recension Hitopadesha by Narayana )

Once, there lived a cloth-weaver called Somilaka, who wove very exquisite clothes that served only kings and princes. However, he earned very less and could hardly afford to live.
 
Other weavers in the locality were rich, despite the fact that they weaved much inferior clothes.
 
One day, he said to his wife, "My dear, this place does not deserve me! I weave superior clothes, and yet I earn so little. On the other hand, the other weavers grow richer by the day with their inferior clothes. I shall seek my success somewhere else."
 
His wife, however, did not want to leave, for there was no assurance of betterment somewhere else. But the weaver had made up his mind, and left the place in search of better prospects.
 
He went to another city, where he indeed was successful. His clothes became popular for the high quality, and in three years he had saved three hundred coins of gold. Now that he was rich, he decided to return home to his hometown and his wife.
 
During his journey, in the middle of the jungle, he heard two voices:
Destiny: "Action, you should not have let the weaver earn three hundred coins of gold. He does not require that much for his living!"
Action: "Destiny, I had to reward him according to his efforts, but you may decide how much he should retain!"
 
He checked into his bag to find that the gold coins were lost. He became very sad. He thought, "I will not be able to face my wife! All my efforts for the last three years have been lost."
 
So, he discontinued his journey, and returned to the city. He worked very hard, and within a year, earned five hundred gold coins. Now that he was rich again, he decided to return home to his wife.
 
During his journey, in the middle of the jungle, he heard the two voices again:
Destiny: "Action, you should not have let the weaver earn five hundred coins of gold. He does not require that much for his living!"
Action: "Destiny, I had to reward him according to his efforts, but you may decide how much he should retain!"
 
When he heard this, remembering the last time, he quickly checked into the bag and found that the gold coins were missing. He became very sad, and wished he died.
 
He sat down and thought, "There is no point in living. I have lost my money again, and cannot face my wife in this state of poverty! I shall hand myself on a tree!"
 
He wove a rope from the nearby grass, and tied it in a Banyan tree. He made a noose around his neck.
 
Just as he was about to hang himself, he heard a voice from heaven, "I am Destiny! I have taken the gold coins from you as you did not need the money for your living. But I am pleased with your industrious deeds. I permit you to ask for a boon that I shall grant."
 
Somilaka replied, "Please give a lot of gold coins, that is the only boon that I ask you to grant"
 
Destiny asked, "You are not destined to earn more than you need for a living. Why do you ask for the money that you cannot enjoy?"
 
But the weaver was adamant. So, the wish was granted, "I shall grant you your wish, but you must return back to the city and visit any two merchant's house. Study their behaviour and let me know how you would like your money to be"
 
So, he discontinued his journey once again, and returned to the city. He went into a merchant's house, and was greeted as a guest according to local traditions.
 
This merchant was very rich, but did not like this unwanted guest. They gave him food in the most insulting manner, and offered a dirty bed for the night.
 
At night, he heard the two voices again:
Destiny: "Action, you should not have let the merchant provide food to the weaver. He has forced himself as an unwanted guest!"
Action: "Destiny, the weaver needed to be provided for the night, and the merchant did so in his miserly ways, but you may decide the outcome!"
 
Next morning, he went into another merchant's house, where he was warmly welcomed. He was provided with new clothes and water to bathe. He was then served a lavish dinner, and a comfortable bed to sleep in. During his stay, he realized that the second merchant was not rich.
 
At night, he heard the two voices again:
Destiny: "Action, you should not have let the merchant provide entertain the weaver so extravagantly. He has forced himself as an unwanted guest!"
Action: "Destiny, the weaver needed to be provided for the night, and the merchant did so in his generous ways, but you may decide the outcome!"
 
Next morning, the weaver watched the king's servants bring money for the second merchant. Destiny had rewarded him for his good deeds.
 
The weaver thought, "The second merchant is not rich, but he leads a life which is better than the first merchant, who is very rich"
 
On his way homewards, the voice from heaven asked, "How do you want your money to be?"
 
The weaver at once said, "Please give me only the money that I will be able to enjoy to the fullest like the second merchant."
 
His wish was granted, and Somilaka returned home with some money that made his wife happy. They lived happily, and were content with whatever they earned.
 
The wise indeed say:
Action and destiny are two sides of a coin. Work with all your might but leave it to destiny. And stay happy and content.
 
« Story of the Merchant's Son Of Crows and Owls »
 
 
 
Share this page:

 

 
 
Copyright © 2010-16. All Rights Reserved
Tales Of Panchatantra

helpdesk@talesofpanchatantra.com