Arrogance of Power]
a time, there was an old man who lived in Benares. He had a very
good friend, who was known to be wise. Luckily, or perhaps unluckily,
he also had a beautiful young wife.
The old man
and his young wife had a son. The man came to love his son very
much. One day he thought, "I have learned that my beautiful
young wife cannot always be trusted. When I die, I am sure she
will marry another man, and together they will waste the wealth
I have worked so hard for. Later on, there will be nothing left
for my son to inherit from his mother. So I will do something
to guarantee an inheritance for my deserving son. I will bury
my wealth to protect it for him."
Then he called
for his most faithful servant, Nanda. Together they took all the
old man's wealth deep into the forest and buried it. He said,
"My dear Nanda, I know you are obedient and faithful. After
I die, you must give this treasure to my son. Keep it a secret
until then. When you give the treasure to him, advise him to use
it wisely and generously."
the old man died. Several years later, his son completed his education.
He returned home to take his place as the head of the family.
His mother said, "My son, being a suspicious man, your father
has hidden his wealth. I am sure that his faithful servant, Nanda,
knows where it is. You should ask him to show you. Then you can
get married and support the whole family."
So the son
went to Nanda and asked him if he knew where his father had hidden
his wealth. Nanda told him that the treasure was buried in the
forest, and that he knew the exact spot.
Then the two
of them took a basket and a shovel into the forest. When they
arrived at the place the treasure was buried, all of a sudden
Nanda became puffed up with how important he was. Although he
was only a servant, he had the power of being the only one to
know the secret. So he became conceited and thought he was better
than the son. He said, "You son of a servant girl! Where
would you inherit a treasure from?"
son did not talk back to his father's servant. He suffered his
abuse, even though it puzzled him. After a short time, they returned
behavior was repeated two more times. The son thought, "At
home, Nanda appears willing to reveal the secret of the treasure.
But when we go into the forest carrying the basket and shovel,
he is no longer willing. I wonder why he changes his mind each
to take this puzzle to his father's wise old friend. He went to
him and described what had happened.
old man said, "Go again with Nanda into the forest. Watch
where he stands when he abuses you, which he surely will do. Then
send him away saying. "You have no right to speak to me that
way. Leave me."
up the ground on that very spot and you will find your inheritance.
Nanda is a weak man. Therefore, when he comes closest to his little
bit of power, he turns it into abuse."
The son followed
this advice exactly. Sure enough, he found the buried treasure.
As his father had hoped, he generously used the wealth for the
benefit of many.
moral is: A little power soon goes to the
head of one not used to it.