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Book 4: Labdhapranásam: Loss of Gains

The fourth of the five volumes of Panchatantra.

Pandit Vishnu Sharma begins the fourth part of the Panchatantra with the following verse:
Loss of Gains
Once upon a time there lived a monkey named Raktamukha on a tree near the coast. It was a blackberry tree which was always full of fruits. One day, a crocodile named Karalamukha was loitering in the sand out of water, came near the tree.
The Greedy Cobra and the King of Frogs
A big well was the home to a kingdom of frogs, led by the king of frogs named Gangadatta. One day, unable to bear continuous harassment by his relatives, he decided to abandon his kingdom. He came out of the well and thought,
The Lion and the Foolish Donkey
A forest was ruled by a lion named Karalakesara, who was loyally served by a jackal named Dhoosaraka. He always accompanied the lion, wherever he went. One day, there was a fight between the lion and an elephant, due to which the lion got severely injured. The lion was unable to hunt for prey, due to which, both the lion and the jackal went without food for some time. Unable to bear the fangs of hunger for any longer, the jackal pleaded the lion to organize some food for themselves.
The Story of the Potter
There was once a potter named Yudhishtira in a small village. One day, Yudhishtira drank some liquor and got so intoxicated that he lost his balance and fell on some broken pieces of a pitcher. Somehow he went home. But the sharp edges of the pot pieces cut a big wound on his forehead, which took a long time to heal. Moreso because, he neglected the physician's instructions.
Lioness and the Young Jackal
Deep in the forest lived a couple of lions, and the lioness delivered two cubs. As he did every day, the lion went in search of food for himself and the lioness, when found a jackal cub after a futile attempt in search of a prey. The lion took fancy on him and instead of killing him, took him to the lioness.
A Three-in-One Story
Once there was a popular king named Nanda, who was respected by his people for his learning and valour. He had a man named Vararuchi, who was well versed in diplomacy and statecraft as his prime minister. One day, Vararuchi's wife got annoyed with her husband and kept away from him. The prime minister was extremely fond of his wife, but even after all his attempts to please her, he could not regain her affection.
The Donkey and the Washerman
There was a washerman named Suddhapata in a small village, who had a donkey. The donkey was very weak because he did not feed the animal enough. One day, while collecting wood in the forest, the washerman chanced upon a dead tiger. Suddhapata happily thought, "It is my lucky day. I will skin the tiger and cover my donkey with the skin. That way, it will be able to graze into wheat farms where people will keep away from him thinking he was a tiger. This way my donkey will have enogh food."
The Carpenter's Wife
Once there was a carpenter who kept hearing bad rumours about his wife, and wanted to know if they were true.
The Farmer's Wife
A young wife of an old farmer always had other men on her mind. She did not attend to her household jobs, as she spent time with younger men. One day, a trickster found her alone and went to her, "O beauty, I happen to be a widower. I have lost my heart to you from the moment that I saw you, please provide me with the pleasure of your company."
The Price of Indiscretion
There was a poor carpenter named Ujjwalaka in the city of Nagara. It pained him more to find that every other person in his profession were rich and happy. He decided that he would not be able to prosper in Nagara and that he will go elsewhere to seek his fortunes. On his way to a new town, he was passing through a jungle when the sun started setting. He reached a cave.
The Jackal's Strategy
Once there lived a jackal named Mahachataraka. One day, he found a dead elephant and he was happy that he now had enough food for some days. He was trying to bite into the thick hide of the elephant when a lion came that way. The jackal humbly said to the lion, "My lord, Being an obedient servant, I have been keeping vigil on the body of the elephant for you. Please help yourself".
The Dog who went Abroad
There was a famine in a city in the south where lived a dog named Chitranga. Dogs like him were dying due to lack of food, and there was a danger of the entire species being wiped out. So, Chitranga decided to leave the city and went to a far-off city in search of food. In the new city, he found the house of a wealthy man, who had a lazy and careless wife. She forgot to close the doors of the house.
Thus ended the dialogue between Raktamukha and Karalamukha. Thus ends the fourth part of the Panchatantra.
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