The merchant and the barber


A blind imitation is always dangerous
Once upon a time, there lived a merchant called by the name of Manibhadra, in a town known as Patliputra. He was of a charitable nature. But, somehow, due to misfortune, he lost all his wealth and became a pauper. His status in the society gradually came down. He became sad and dejected.

One night, as he lay in his bed, he started cursing his fate and thought of committing suicide by starving himself to death.

While thinking thus, he fell asleep. A jain monk appeared in his dream and said to him, "Don't worry! I'm wealth, gathered by your forefathers. You are their legitimate heir. It's your legal right to possess me. Tomorrow, I shall come to your house in the guise of a jain monk. Just hit me on my head with a stick and I'll turn into solid gold."

The next morning, when the merchant woke up he felt pain in his head. He didn't believe his dream. In the meantime, his wife had called in a barber to massage her feet. Soon after the arrival of the barber, a jain monk came to the merchant's house. The merchant welcomed the monk. He offered him seat and a glass of water. Then he hit the monk's head with a stick. The monk fell down and turned into gold from head to toe.

The merchant picked up the gold and hid it in a basement room.

The barber who was a witness to all this thought to himself: 'I'll also invite these magical monks to my home to dine with me. When they come, I'll hit them on their heads, to turn them in gold. Soon I'll be a wealthy man'.

Then the barber went to the head monk and invited him and other monks to his house to dine with him. But the head monk refused the invitation. He said, "We are no Brahmins, who're invited to the houses to eat. Everyday, we collect alms and accept food only from the first devotee of the day. We eat to live only and not live to eat."

The barber then waited outside the monastery. When the monks came out, he requested them to come to his house and conduct prayers. A few monks agreed to it and went to the barber's house.

As soon as the monks entered the house, the barber hit them on their heads with a heavy stick. A few monks died, whereas a few others were badly injured.

The news of the barber hitting the monks spread in the town like wild fire. The barber was arrested by the authorities and taken to the court of law.

The judges, in the court, asked the barber, "Why did you do this?"

The barber then narrated the whole story. He said, "I did it because saw the merchant doing it."

Then the merchant was ordered to appear before the court. The merchant narrated the whole story.

The judges then ordered, "Let this wicked barber be hanged till death." The barber was then hanged to death.

Panchatantra Stories

1. A poor brahmin's dream
2. Beware of mean friends
3. Brahmadatta, the crab and the snake
4. Courtesy
5. Dantila the trader and gorambha the sweeper
6. Death and lord indra's parrot
7. Dharambuddhi and paapbuddhi
8. Hello! cave
9. King chandra and the monkey chief
10. King nanda and vararuchi
11. Somilaka the weaver
12. The bad lady and the wolf
13. The bats
14. The bear and golu and molu
15. The bird with two heads
16. The brahmin and the delicious dishes
17. The brahmin and the diamonds
18. The brahmin and the snake
19. The brahmin and the three thugs
20. The bullock and the lion
21. The camel with a bell round his neck
22. The cat, the rat and the hunter
23. The clever jackal
24. The cow and the tiger
25. The crow and the monkey
26. The crow and the water pitcher
27. The cunning judge
28. The cunning snake
29. The devta and the weaver
30. The dhobi's donkey
31. The dog in a foreign country
32. The donkey and the cunning fox
33. The donkey and the leopard's skin
34. The donkey who sang a song
35. The fake king
36. The falcon and the crow
37. The fool and the crooks
38. The foolish jackal
39. The four foolish brahmins
40. The four friends and the hunter
41. The fox and the elephant
42. The frog and the serpent
43. The giant and the helpless brahmin
44. The giant and the horse thief
45. The golden bird and the king
46. The golden birds and the golden swans
47. The golden goats
48. The hermit and the jumping rat
49. The horse and the lion
50. The hunter and the doves
51. The jackal and the arrow
52. The jackal and the drum
53. The king and the parrots
54. The king cobra and the ants
55. The lapwings and the sea
56. The lion and the hare
57. The lion and the woodcutter
58. The lion's bad breath
59. The lioness and the young jackal
60. The little mice and the big elephants
61. The louse and the bed-bug
62. The marriage of a snake
63. The merchant and the barber
64. The merchant's son
65. The mice that ate balance
66. The mongoose and the baby in the cradle
67. The monkey and the crocodile
68. The monkey and the log
69. The monkeys and the red berries
70. The mouse and the bull
71. The old greedy crane
72. The old wise crow
73. The peacock and the fox
74. The potter's truth
75. The prince and the bear
76. The prince and the seedling
77. The rabbits and the elephants
78. The revenge of the elephant
79. The rich mohan and the poor sohan
80. The rotating wheel
81. The sage and the mouse
82. The shepherd and the wolf
83. The stag and his antlers
84. The talkative tortoise
85. The thief and the sanyasi
86. The thief, the giant and the brahmin
87. The trick of the crow
88. The useful thief
89. The village mouse visits town mouse
90. The visit of the swan
91. The wind and the sun
92. The wise crab
93. The wolf and the crane
94. The wolf and the lamb
95. Three fish and the fishermen
96. Two fish and a frog
97. United we stand: divided we fall
98. When the lion came back to life
99. Who will bell the cat
100. Why the owls became enemies of the crows

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