The Panchatantra – Story 42a


There was once a Brahmin called Yagnadatta. His wife was an adulteress who was always thinking of her paramour and was constantly going to him with sweetmeats cooked in ghee unknown to her husband. Once, the Brahmin accidentally saw her cooking the sweetmeats and said, ‘Darling, why are you cooking these, and where are you going daily? Speak the truth,’ She fraudulently replied thus, ‘Not far from here is the temple of the goddess. Having fasted for the day, I am taking the sacred rice and sweetmeats there to be offered to the deity.’ So saying, she took the sweetmeat and rice in his presence and went in the direction of the temple. 

She thought to herself, ‘If I go to the temple to-day my husband will think that I am doing this daily and that I am cooking the sweetmeats only for the deity.’ So she went to the temple, got down into the tank and began ta bathe in it preparatory to entering the temple. Her husband went to the temple by another path and hid himself securely behind the idol . Soon, his wife came after her bath into the temple, and after offering the incense, unguents, camphor and sweetmeats, bowed to the goddess and prayed, ‘Oh Goddess, how can my husband be made blind?’. 

Hearing this, her husband from behind the idol said in a voice different from his usual one, ‘If you give him daily sweetmeats cooked in ghee, he will soon become blind.’ His wife was deceived by these fraudulent words and gave her husband plenty of such sweetmeats every day. Some days afterwards, he told her, ‘Darling, my sight is gone.’ She thought, ‘This is by the grace of the goddess.’ Then she informed her paramour of this and asked him to go to her house. He thought, ‘This Brahmin has become blind. What can he do to me?’ and so went to her house unhesitatingly. The Brahmin pretended to be completely blind and not to notice his entry. The paramour, thus reassured, began to visit the house every day without the least fear. One day, when he was carelessly sitting in the house, the Brahmin suddenly dashed at him from behind with a stout cudgel and beat him to death. Then he cut his wicked wife’s nose and drove her out. 

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