Last Sunday I told you a tale of the Panchatantra already but how can one be enough? This one features – surprise! – no animals as actors but…well, also not quite only humans…
The Brahmin who Saves His Life by Asking a Question
In a forest somewhere, there is a Rakshasa – a demon – called Tshandakarman, the One Who Acts Wildly. When this one once wandered about, he met a Brahmin. Instantly he jumped upon his shoulders and said: “Ho! Go on!” The Brahmin whose heart was contracting with fear, went on his way with him. As he became aware of his feet which were as soft as the inner parts of a lotus flower, he asked: “Ho! Why do you have such soft feet?”
The Rakshasa answered: “I never lift my feet and never ever touch the ground on them. That is a vow I took.”
After the Brahmin had heard this, he – pondering for a way to free himself – came upon a big pond. The Rakshasa said: “Until I have bathed myself, worshiped the gods and have emerged from the pond again, you are not to leave this spot!”
After this had happened, the Brahmin thought to himself: “Certainly he will eat me as soon as he has worshipped the gods. Thus I will disappear as soon as possible! Because since he will not lift his feet, he can not follow me.”
After this had happened, the Rakshasa did not follow after him out of fear to break his vow. Therefore I say: ‘A wise man should always ask questions. Because a Brahmin was, even though captured by a demon, free again through a question.’
Copyright for translation from the German: TaleTellerin
Text source: Pantschatantra. Translated from the Sanskrit and with introduction and annotations by Theodor Benfrey. 1859.
Copyright for image: WikiMedia Commons
Very good point, don’t you agree?