STORY WITH A MORAL........!!
*Once there lived an old and pious man, renowned for his honesty. One day
his neighbor, a rich merchant comes to him with a request. The merchant was
leaving on a voyage and wants the old man to safeguard his wealth, until his
return. The old man agrees and with God as witness promises to protect and
safeguard the merchant’s wealth. *
*The old man then entrusts the safe keep of the merchant’s wealth to his
son, from whom he takes an oath of propriety and honesty. Slowly the son
starts dipping into the merchants wealth, people notice this and warn the
old man of the son’s misdeeds. The old man calls his son asks him to
explain, he also reminds him of his oath on following the right path. The
son rubbishes the accusations as rumors and the idle gossip of jealous
people, who could not bear to see his prosperity. The old man accepts the son’s
explanation and things go on as before.*
hands over a quarter of the merchant’s wealth saying that is all there was.
The merchant realizing that he has been cheated approaches the King. The
King listens to the merchant’s complaint and summons the old man. The old
man comes to the court with his son and handing him over to the King says
“your majesty, the merchant is right. My son has confessed to the crime.
Please punish him.”*
*The king has the son flogged and imprisoned. He then praises the old mans
honesty and dismisses the case. But the merchant demands punishment for the old man saying, “I have still not received justice. I had entrusted my wealth to the old man which he swore by God to safeguard. The old man’s integrity is intact, but what of me, I have been robbed of my life’s savings, and made a pauper. It was the old man’s decision to entrust my wealth to his son for safe keeping that has caused this loss. As far as I am concerned the old man is the real culprit, and should be punished.*
*The king is astounded by this demand. The old man, was neither a party to
the theft nor did he benefit from it. In fact, he had sent his son to jail.
Yet, the merchant was asking for the old man’s punishment.*
*The Betal asks Vikramaditya, “What should be the Kings decision.”*
*Vikramaditya’s replies, “Though the old man is innocent of the actual theft, he is guilty of dereliction of duty. The son’s crime was a straight forward one, the old man’s was a graver crime. He did nothing to protect the
merchant’s wealth. Far from being vigilant he failed to take action even when he was warned of his son’s misdeeds. Because of his laxity the merchant is condemned to a life of penury. He should be punished.”