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Book 2: Mitra-lábha/Mitra-samprápti: The Gaining of Friends

Pandit Vishnu Sharma begins the second part of the Panchatantra with the following verse:
 
The Gaining of Friends
A large banyan tree was present on the way, near a town called Mahilaropyam in south India. Many species of birds rested and ate the tree's fruits, while the hollow of the great tree was home to poisonous reptiles like snakes and scorpions. Travellers took shelter under the tree in their journeys.
 
The Crow-Rat Discourse
On seeing how Hiranyaka helped Chitragriva, Lagupatanaka came down from his tree and started calling out for the rat. He mimed his voice to resemble that of Chitragriva. On hearing this, the rat thought to himself, "Why am I being called again? Did I not free all the birds? The king of doves must be calling me for this reason."
 
Meeting a New Friend
A mouse named Hiranyaka, and a crow named Laghupatanaka, struck a great friendship. One day, the crow came to meet the mouse with tears in eyes. Worried at the sight of his friend weeping, the mouse asked,
 
The Hermit and the Mouse
Hiranyaka said, "A hermit named Tamrachud lived in a Shiva temple on the outskirts of a southern city called Mahilaropya. Every day he would travel into the city to collect alms, and come back to cook his food with the alms he had collected. Regularly, after his meal, he would store the leftovers in his begging bowl hanging on a peg, before going to sleep. The leftovers, he would give away to poor people who would render services to the temple. These poor people would wash, clean and decorate the temple with patterns of chalk."
 
Shandili and Sesame Seeds
Brihat begins the story thus, "One day, I sought hospitality from a Brahmin for sacred ceremonies in the monsoon season. This kind Brahmin offered me a space in his house in return for the services I rendered which he found useful in his rituals. One day, during this arrangement of my stay, I heard the Brahmin and his wife discussing their plans for the day. The Brahmin told his wife, "From today, the Sun commences his northward journey. This time of the year, the rich and pious people offer gifts to Brahmins. I will go to the next village to collect the offerings. At the same time, it will be proper for you to invite a Brahmin as a guest and offer him food in the name of the Sun."
 
The Hunter and the Greedy Jackal
While searching for a kill, a hunter went into the forest and spotted a well-fed boar. He took out his bow at once and shot a sharp arrow at the boar. Although, the boar was severely wounded, it made a wild charge at the hunter causing his death. Due to the wounds inflicted by the hunter, the boar also died soonafter.
 
Story of the Merchant's Son
In one of the India's big towns, there lived a merchant named Sagargupta. He had a son. Once, he purchased a book which contained only one verse in the entire book. The verse read:
 
The Unlucky Weaver
A weaver named Somilaka lived on the outskirts of the city. With his expertise, he made such fine garments that they would be worthy of kings and princes. Although he enjoyed the patronage of this nobility, he was much poorer than weavers who made coarse garments for common people. Worried with his condition, as compared with others, he said to his wife, "Look at how rich these weavers have become while making such coarse garments. There must be something wrong with this place, and I shall go elsewhere in search of success."
 
The Rescue of a Deer
A rich person who does not spend his money is no richer than a poor man, because both the poors and misers are equally not able to enjoy the lavishness that money can buy. While there is no greater thing on earth than doing charity, there is no bigger enemy of self than miserliness. Stating such, Mandharaka completed the story of Somilaka, which he was telling to Hiranyaka and Laghupatanaka.
 
Thus ends the second part of the Panchatantra.
« Book 1: The Separation of Friends Book 3: Of Crows and Owls »
 
 
 
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