Here’s another great story from the Panchatantra.
A long time ago, two young men named Mohan and Sohan lived in a small town. Mohan was a rich jeweler while Sohan was a poor man. Once, for his sister’s wedding, Sohan took jewels worth five thousand rupees on credit from Mohan’s shop. He promised to pay the money to Mohan in six months time.
But not even a month had passed from that day, that Mohan started asking Sohan for the money. Sohan replied, “I can’t make the payment so soon, friend. As it is we had an agreement that I will pay the money to you in six months. It has not even been a month yet. You know I am a poor man. Have some patience and give me time to collect the money.”
Actually, Mohan had his eye on Sohan’s property. In connection with this debt, he wanted Sohan to sign some papers that said that Sohan had mortgaged his house and other property to Mohan for buying the jewels. So, he insisted that Sohan should come with him to the court of law where these papers could be prepared.
Sohan again told Mohan about his poor financial state and reiterated that he would not break his promise of paying him back in six months. But Mohan did not relent. Seeing no other way out, Sohan said, “But I don’t even have a horse. How am I supposed to reach the court?”
“You can borrow mine,” said Mohan, not wanting to let this opportunity go.
“And what about clothes? I don’t have any decent clothes that I can wear to the court,” Sohan said.
“I’ll give you some of mine,” said Mohan.
“I don’t even have shoes,” Sohan said.
“Alright, take mine,” Mohan replied.
Finally, Sohan agreed to accompany Mohan to the court. Mohan lent him his clothes, shoes and horse.
When their case was called out by the judge, Sohan requested the judge to allow him to ask Mohan a few questions. The judge gave permission. Sohan asked Mohan, “Mohan, tell me, whose clothes are these that I am wearing?”
“Mine,” said Mohan.
“And whom do these shoes belong to?” Sohan asked.
“They’re also mine,” replied Mohan.
“And the horse that I rode on this morning to come here?” Sohan asked.
“That too is mine,” Mohan answered.
Everyone in the courtroom burst out laughing.
Sohan said to the judge, “Your Honour, you can see for yourself that Mohan’s mental condition is not stable. He thinks that all the things that I possess belong to him.”
The judge agreed with Sohan and dismissed the case. In this way, Sohan foiled Mohan’s evil plan.
The moral of this story is that greed is evil and must be destroyed with shrewdness.
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