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Now when Victor was gone, Lively reflected: "What am I to do? Suppose I go elsewhere, then some other merciless creature will kill me, for this is a wild wood. Indeed, when the master is furious, it is not possible even to depart. For the proverb says:

Impunity comes not
By fleeing far away:
The long arms of the shrewd
Make careless sinners pay.

"My best course is to approach the lion. He might regard me as a suppliant, might even spare my life."



Having thus set his mind in order, he started very slowly, with troubled spirit, and when he perceived the lion in the posture foretold by Victor, he sank down at some little distance, thinking: "Ah, the unfathomable character of kings! As the proverb says:

Tis a house with serpents crawling,
Wood with beasts of prey appalling,
Lotus-pond where blossoms smile
O'er the lurking crocodile,
Spot that sneaking rogues deface
With repeated slanders base
Timid servant never learns
Whither kingly purpose turns."




Rusty for his part, perceiving the bull in the attitude predicted by Victor, made a sudden spring at him. And Lively, though his body was torn by sharp claws as formidable as thunderbolts, also scored the lion's belly with his horns, contrived to break away from him, and stood in fighting posture, ready to gore again.  

Sculpture from Ulu Mosque, Diyarbakir, Turkey
Credit: Dick Osseman, Pbase



At this point Cheek perceived that both of them, red as dhak trees in blossom, were intent on killing each other, and he said reproachfully to Victor: "You dunderhead! In setting these two at enmity, you have done a wicked deed. You have brought trouble and confusion into this entire forest, thus proving your ignorance of the true nature of statecraft. For the saying runs:

Those are counselors indeed,
Wise in statecraft, who succeed
In composing reckless strife
That, unhindered, threatens life:
Those on petty purpose bent,
Keen to visit punishment,
Quick in wrong and folly, bring
Risk to kingdom and to king.

Ah, poor fool !

Men of true discernment, first
Try conciliation;
For the victories of peace
Suffer no frustration.

Victor and Cheek
in "Kalila wa Dimna," a Translation of Panchatantra
Source: Manuscript Dated circa 1200 AD, Syria



Ah, poor simpleton ! You seek the post of counselor, and are ignorant of the very name of conciliation. Your ambition is vain, since you love harsh measures. As the proverb puts it:

Lord Brahma bids the statesman try
Conciliation first,
Postpone or shun (it can be done)
Harsh deeds, of all deeds worst.

It is neither sun nor flashing gem
Nor fiery spark,
It is peace, from bitter foemen's hearts
That routs the dark.




And again:

Try peaceful means, not harsh, to make
Your quarrel flit:
Take sugar, not cucumber, for
A bilious fit.




And once again:

The doors that wit unlocks are three
Peace, shrewd intrigue, and bribery;
The fourth device that brings success
In struggle, is plain manliness.

It is womanish, no doubt, to show
Small strength, abundant sense;
But power is merely bestial, if
Without intelligence.

Snake, lion, elephant, and fire,
With water, wind, and sun,
Have power. From undirected power
Is little profit won.




Now if it was overweening pride in being the son of a counselor that has led you to outrage decency, the result will be merely your own ruin. As the proverb says:

What is learning whose attaining
Sees no passion wane, no reigning
Love and self-control?
Does not make the mind a menial,
Finds in virtue no congenial
Path and final goal?
Whose attaining is but straining
For a name, and never gaining
Fame or peace of soul?




"Now in the treatises on the subject statesmanship is subsumed under five heads, to wit: proper inception; resources, human and material; determination of place and time; countermeasures for mischance; and successful accomplishment. At the present moment, the master finds himself in serious peril. So, if you have any such capacity, devise countermeasures for his mischance. For the wisdom of a counselor finds its test in the patching of friendship. Ah, you fool! That you cannot do, because you have a perverted mind. As the saying goes:

No trickster can further others' work,
But can deprave it:
The moles uproots the mulberry,
But cannot save it.




"After all, the fault is not yours, but rather the master's, who trusts your words, dull-witted as you are. And the proverb says:

Educating sluggish wit
Kills no pride but fosters it:
In the sunlight others find
Aid to vision; owls go blind.

Education thrusts aside
Man's fatuity and pride;
If it foster them, who can
Cure the educated man ?
Remedies are useless when
Heaven's nectar poisons men."




And Cheek, beholding his master in pitiful plight, sank into deep dejection. "Dreadful," he cried, "dreadful is the penalty the master pays for taking
evil counsel! Indeed, there is wisdom in the verse:

Monarchs who adopt a plan
From the mean and vicious man,
Who refuse to tread the way
That the prudent counsel they
Enter misadventure's cage
Where the adversaries rage;
Thence deliverance's gate
Crowns an issue rugged, strait.




"Fool! Fool! All the world seeks the service of a master whose retinue is righteous. How, then, can such an evil counselor as you, who, like a beast, understand nothing but destruction how can such a one enrich the master with righteous companions? For the proverb says:

Monarchs, ill-advised, repel,
Even though they purpose well:
Sweet and placid waters smile,
But beware the crocodile.

Victor and Cheek
in "Kalila wa Dimna," a Translation of Panchatantra
Source: Manuscript Dated circa 1200 AD, Syria



"Yet you, I suppose, seeking your own advantage, desire to have the king quite solitary. Ah, fool! Are you ignorant of the verse?

Kings shine as social beings, not
As solitaries;
Whoever wish them lonely are
Their adversaries.

And again:

Draw benefit from comments harsh;
No poison, this:
In flattery see treason, not
True nectar's bliss.




"And if you are grieved at seeing others happy and prosperous, that, too, is wicked. It is wrong to proceed thus when friends have fulfilled their nature. For

Those who seek, through treason, friends;
Seek, through humbug, righteous ends;
Property by wronging neighbors;
Learning's wealth by easy labors;
Woman's love by cruel pride
These are fools, self-stultified.





The happiness of subjects makes
The monarch gay and brave:
Nay, what would be the dancing sea
With no gem-flashing wave?

"Furthermore, for one who has enjoyed the master's favor, modesty is peculiarly proper. As the verse puts it:

According to his favored state,
A servant's modest, humble gait
Is notably appropriate.




"Your character, however, is marked by levity. And the proverb says:

The great are firm, though battered, as before;
Great ocean is not fouled by caving shore:
For petty cause the fickle change and pass;
The gentlest breezes ruffle pliant grass.




"When all is said, it is the master's fault. For in pursuit of virtue, money, and love, he recklessly takes counsel with one like you one who lives by the mere pretense of administrative competence, in total ignorance of the six expedients and the four devices for attaining success. Yes, there is wisdom in this:

If kings are satisfied
With servants at their side
Who ply a flattering tongue,
Whose bows are never strung,
Then kingly glory goes
Embracing manlier foes.




"Indeed, there is much sense in the story which is summed up in the familiar verse:

The counselor whose name was Strong
Attained his dearest heart's desire:
He won the favor of his king;
He burned the naked monk with fire."

"How was that?" asked Victor. And Cheek told the story of


Victor and Cheek
in "Kalila wa Dimna," a Translation of Panchatantra
Source: Manuscript Dated circa 1200 AD, Syria







Questions (From Text)

1. Name the main characters in this part of the story.

2. Identify & write the verse in which Cheek describes counselors who are wise in statecraft. (1 Verse)

3. What are the five heads of treatises on statesmanship? Answer

4. What are the pursuits of a king? Answer

[Note: These three are the pursuits of all human beings as per Hindu philosophy. Later, a fourth pursuit was added viz. salvation ("Moksha")]

5. Which proverb in this part of the story do you find most interesting or relevant? Please write it down.

6. What learning(s) does Vishnusharma want to teach thru this part of the story? (150 words)




Projects (Internet / Library)

1. What are "the six expedients and the four devices for attaining success"?

[Hint: Six expedients are mentioned 5 times in Panchatantra. The six names are listed in three stories - The Weaver's Wife; Crows and Owls (Scene 1); Slow, the Weaver. They are illustrated in details in 'Crows & Owls,' the frame story of Book-3.]

[Hint: The four devices mentioned in at least four stories. See 'The Lion, the Bull, and Jackals (Scene 16)';  'The Lion, the Bull, and Jackals (Scene 22)'; 'Crows and Owls (Scene 4)'; 'The Farmer's Wife'. The four are illustrated in details in 'How Supersmart Ate the Elephant' (Book-4).] Answer

2. The Charter of United Nations was signed on 26th Jun 1945 at end of World War 2. The very first bullet point in 'Preamble' of the charter talks of "scourge of war." Find and write down the first 28 words of the Preamble.  [Hint: Visit Link-1 .]




Activities (Home / School)

1. Paint and/or illustrate the most interesting proverb. Display on school notice-board.

2. Read the story aloud to others.

3. Read the story and then re-tell it. Don't memorize. Re-telling won't be perfect which is okay!

(i) Re-tell in your own words to others.
(ii) Re-tell in your mother tongue to a younger brother or sister.

4. The following verse in this story, recommends peaceful means to solve quarrels:

"Try peaceful means, not harsh, to make
Your quarrel flit:
Take sugar, not cucumber, for
A bilious fit."

The Preamble in Charter of United Nations spells four peaceful action 'to save succeeding generations from scourge of war ...', under the heading "AND FOR THESE ENDS". Discuss the UN organizations formed to achieve these four actions. (Discuss 4 actions*10 minutes each). [Hint: Visit Link-1 .] 

5. Role Play the story in your class. Reading from text has to be perfect. Click here for more Guidelines.

6. Enact this story as a drama or as a dance-drama.

Panchatantra Enacted, Aditi School, Bangalore
Credit: http://picasaweb.google.com/susan40



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