The Harm We Do
Unto Others !

Damanaka was narrating the story of Mallu & Allu to Karataka. They approach village head to settle a dispute regarding missing money which they saved and hid in a pit together. On inquiry, Mallu claimed with the village head, the tree will stand witness for his innocence. The village head was surprised. However, he asked them to assemble near the tree the next day

Meanwhile Mallu asked his brother to hide in the pit in the tree and give evidence in his favour

Mallu’s brother warned against this. He advised, “The harm we do unto others will come back to hurt us later”. To substantiate he started narrating the story of cranes and the snake

Once there lived a snake in a pit under a tree. Unawares, two cranes made nest on that tree. The cranes’ eggs would go missing, when they go out to fetch some food

on enquiry another bird mentioned about the snake that lived under the tree. He also said, we did not build our nest there, as the snake would eat all their eggs

However the bird gave a free advice, to get rid of the snake’s menace

As per the advice, the cranes dropped fishes all along the route from a nearby tree where a mongoose used to live. The Mongoose reached snake’s pit while eating the fishes. Being natural enemies, the mongoose fought with the snake and killed it.

The mongoose did not stop there. It climbed the tree and ate the cranes eggs also.

Even though the cranes got rid of snake’s menace, their situation did not improve

Mallu’s brother narrated this story and repeated, “if we harm others, it will come back to haunt us badly”.

However, Mallu as unrelenting. His brother had no option but to hide in the pit in the tree for giving wrong evidence.

The next day as per schedule the village head, Allu and Mallu assembled near the tree. The village head asked the tree to name the culprit. To everyone’s surprise, the tree responded, “Mallu is innocent. Allu has swindled the money”

The village head guessed foul play. He instructed men to fill the pit with dry straw and set fire on that. The moment fire was lit, Mallu’s brother jumped out of the hole and ran to safety

The village head punished Mallu and instructed to give the entire money to Allu.

On hearing this Karataka agreed, “I agree with what you say Damanaka” and started narrating the story of Dhana Gupta and Guna Gupta

Dhana Gupta and Guna Gupta were two friends. Once Guna Gupta was leaving overseas for a business trip. He approached his friend and said, “I have lot of silver in my house. It is not safe to leave it in my house in my absence. You may please keep it safely in your home. I will collect it on my return”. Dhana Gupta consented to help..

On the chosen day Guna Gupta transferred all the silver to Dhana Gupta’s house and left on his trip. On return, they met a couple of times, but Dhana Gupta did not open the subject of Silver.

On the third occasion, Guna Gupta raised the subject

Dhana Gupta kept a sad face and said, “As you know there are lots of rats in my house. They ate the entire silver. I did not know what to do and how to answer you. I did not want to reveal the sad news immediately on your return. Hence, I did not raise the subject.”

Guna Gupta responded, “Oh! Do not worry. What can you also do about that? Forget that.”

Both the friends continued to interact and mingle with each other as earlier

One day while they were having a chat at Dhana Gupta’s place, Dhana Gupta’s 5 year old son requested for sweets from a passing mobile cart vendor. Being miser, Dhana Gupta refused to buy. Guna Gupta scolded his friend and said, “Let me buy the sweet for the child”

As the cart vendor had already reached the end of the street, Guna Gupta carried the child to the street corner.

After a while Guna Gupta returned empty handed. The child was missing. Dhana Gupta enquired about his son

Guna Gupta responded with a sad face, “I am sorry friend, I dropped your son on the road to pick up the sweet packet. Suddenly an eagle came from nowhere and took your son away. I was helpless”

Dhana Gupta got into an argument and dragged Guna Gupta to village head for justice.

Dhana Gupta complained to the village head, “Guna Gupta had done something to his child. Eagles can pick up chicks but not a 5 year old child”.

To this Guna Gupta responded, “When rats can eat away silver equal to five times the child’s weight, what is surprising in eagle taking away the child”. The village head did not understand the statement. He enquired about the silver story.

Guna Gupta narrated what had happened. The village head understood the facts and instructed Dhana Gupta to return the entire silver to Guna Gupta. On receiving the silver, Guna Gupta handed back Dhana Gupta’s child safely.

Karataka concluded, “If we do harm unto others it will come back to bite us”. I agree

Karataka concluded, “If we do harm unto others it will come back to bite us”. I agree

While they were discussing this, the rift between Pingalaka and Sanjeevaka intensified. Pingala bit Sanjeevaka on his neck and killed him.

That gave space for Damanaka and Karataka to return back as ministers under Pingalaka.

Thus, Damanaka and Karataka benefitted by creating difference between two friends. “This is called as Mitra Bhedam”, Vishnu Sarma concluded his narration to the princes. Mallu asked his brother to narrate the story of the cranes and snake. Come let’s learn about the story of the cranes and snake, and what happened to Mallu near the banyan tree, in the next month’s edition.

– Translated by Balaji Gorantla from Telugu Original by Srimathi Molagu Krishna Priya, Veerullapadu