These days the newspapers are full of stories of match-fixing in cricket in the ongoing IPL tournament; apparently the amounts run to hundreds of crores, and has resulted in a few people getting fabulously rich within a short span of time. In these times of unabashed greed, it is worthwhile remembering a story from India’s past which cautions us against the urge to make a fast buck.
The story goes that a Brahmin was passing through a forest; it was hot and he felt thirsty. He approached a well but when he tried to pull the bucket up, he heard a voice calling for help. He looked down and saw a squirrel drowning in the water. ‘Pull me up’, cried the squirrel, ‘and I will let you have the finest nuts and berries you can find anywhere.’ So the Brahmin pulled out the squirrel and received a handful of fresh nuts and berries. He quenched his thirst and continued on his way.
A little later, he saw a wolf caught in a trap. ‘Help me, please,’ cried the wolf, ‘and I will give you the finest piece of cloth you ever set your eyes upon.’ Though he was a little afraid, the Brahmin freed the wolf and received a square of the finest silk he had ever seen. As he was nearing the end of the forest, he heard the roar of a tiger. He turned to flee, but overcome by curiosity, he peeped around the tree to see the tiger meditating and a large gold bangle lying at its feet.
The tiger opened one eye and said, ‘O noble Brahmin, I have now given up flesh eating and spend my hours meditating under this tree. I have no use for the world’s riches. I have a gold bangle here and since I have no use for it, I urge you to take it.’ The man was terrified but overcome by greed and completely taken in by the tiger’s words, crept near the tiger to get the glittering bangle. As his hands closed around the bangle, the tiger attacked him and tore him to pieces. The moral of the story is that one should be satisfied with what one has in life.