Cautionary Tale: Beware of Selfish Motives

Cautionary Tale: Beware of Selfish Motives

In the heart of a vast forest, a lion resided in a cavern alongside a tiny mouse dwelling in a small hole. The mischievous mouse troubled the lion with its antics, nibbling on the lion's majestic mane and playing on him during slumber. The lion, vexed by these pranks, attempted to catch the nimble mouse, but it always darted into its tiny hole, leaving the lion frustrated. Desperate for a solution, the lion devised a plan: enlist the help of a cat, a natural enemy of mice.

Finding a willing cat, the lion promised ample treats and care in exchange for protection from the troublesome mouse. The cat happily accepted the arrangement, enjoying its stay with the lion. The intimidated mouse, hungry but fearful of the cat, refrained from venturing out. Eventually, the cat seized the mouse, relishing the meal earned through its new alliance.

Days passed, and the lion noticed the absence of the mouse's usual sounds. Believing the mouse had left, the lion realized it no longer needed the cat's services. Ignoring the cat, which had grown accustomed to attention and treats, the lion dismissed its former ally. When the cat, now hungry, reminded the lion of the promised food, the lion callously instructed it to find its own sustenance.

This fable imparts a valuable lesson—people often value others only for the benefits they provide. Relationships may seem significant only as long as they serve a purpose. The Sanskrit verse shared at the end underscores this point, likening a person's value to that of a boat or bridge—essential only until the task is complete.

In navigating relationships, understanding the transient nature of others' needs prevents heartbreaks and disappointments. A cautionary tale reminding us to be mindful of selfish motives.

By Anuradha Sundara Raman

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