Good Will Grow Out of Good
In a certain town there reigned a king named Patnîpriya, to whose court, a poor old Brâhmiṇ, named Pâpabhîru, came every morning, with a yellow lime in his hand, and presenting it to the king, pronounced a benediction in Tamil:—
Nanmai vidaittâl, nanmai vil̤aiyum:
Tîmai vidaittâl, tîmai vijaiyum:
Nanmaiyum tîmaiyum pinvara kâṇalâm.
“If good is sown, then good will grow:
If bad is sown, then bad will grow:
Thus good or bad the end will show.”
The king respected as much the noble benediction of the Brâhmaṇ as he did his grey hairs.
In this way the presentation of the fruit continued daily, though the Brâhmiṇ had nothing to request from the king, but simply wished to pay his respects. On observing that he had no ulterior motives, but was merely actuated by râjasêvana, or duty to his king, the king’s admiration for his old morning visitor increased the more.
After presenting the fruit the Brâhmiṇ waited upon his sovereign till his pûjâ(worship) was over, and then went home where his wife kept ready for him all the requisites for his own pûjâ. Pâpabhîru then partook of what dinner his wife had prepared for him. Sometimes, however, a Brâhmiṇ neighbour sent him an invitation to dinner, which he at once accepted. For his father, before he breathed his last, had called him to his bedside, and, pronouncing his last benediction, had thus advised him in Tamil:—
Kâlai sôttai taḷḷâde,
Kaṇṇil Kaṇḍadai śollâde,
Râjanukku payandu naḍa.”
“Morning meal do thou never spurn,
Nor say thou what thine eyes discern,
But serve thy king for fame to earn.”
Thus it was that Pâpabhîru began his visits to the king, nor did he ever reject an invitation to dinner, though it might come at a very inconvenient time.
Now on a certain êkâdaśi morning, Pâpabhîru went to the king to pay his respects as usual, with the lime and the benediction, but found that he had gone to his pûjâ and so followed him there. On seeing the Brâhmiṇ, the king’s face glowed with pleasure, and he said:—
“My most revered god on earth, I thought that some ill must have befallen you, when I missed you in the council-hall this morning; but praised be Paramêśvara for having sent you to me, though it is a little late.