Page No 27:
What are the two strange things the guru and his disciple find in the Kingdom of Fools?
When the guru and the disciple reached the Kingdom of Fools, the first strange thing they noticed was that there was no one about. There was not a single soul to be found on the streets, not even cattle. They were amazed by what they saw around them and wandered here and there till evening. The second strange thing was that everything cost the same in the Kingdom of Fools i.e., a single duddu. Whatever they bought, a bunch of bananas or a portion of rice, cost the same i.e., a duddu.
Why does the disciple’s decide to stay in the Kingdom of Fools? Is it a good idea?
The disciple was a great lover of food. He decided to stay back in the Kingdom of Fools because all food items were cheap here. He could buy whatever he wanted for a rupee and all he wanted was good, cheap food.
The disciple decision to stay back was not a good idea because anything could have happened to him in the Kingdom of Fools, as he was rightly told by the guru.
Name all the people who are tried in the king’s court, and give the reasons for their trial.
Four persons were tried in the king’s court: the owner of the house, the bricklayer, the dancing girl and the goldsmith.
The owner of the house in which the theft had occurred was the first person to be summoned to the court. He was pronounced guilty as his wall was weak because of which the thief had died. The owner of the house cleverly passed the guilt on to the bricklayer by saying that it was actually the bricklayer who had built the wall in the first place.
When the bricklayer was told about his fault, he passed the blame to the dancing girl. He said that she kept going up and down the street with her anklets jingling and he could not keep his eyes off her. As a result, he lost his concentration and built a weak wall.
The king decided to punish the dancing girl and she was summoned to the court next. In her defence, she said that at that time, she had given some gold to a goldsmith to make some jewellery for her. Since the goldsmith was extremely lazy, he made several excuses and made her walk up and down to his house a dozen times and that was when the bricklayer had seen her.
The king then came to the conclusion that the goldsmith should be punished. When he was summoned to the court, he claimed that he was very poor and it was because of a rich merchant, who would not wait for his order to be complete, that he kept delaying and making excuses to the dancing girl. Incidentally, this merchant was none other than the father of the owner of the house.
Who is the real culprit according to the king? Why does he escape punishment?
According to the king, the owner of the house was the real culprit. The owner arrived crying and said that it was not him but his father who had ordered the jewellery. Since his father was long dead, he could not be held responsible for the death of the thief. On consulting his ministers, the king came to the conclusion that the merchant’s father was the culprit. However, since he was dead, the punishment would be carried out on the owner of the house.
As the servants sharpened the stake for the punishment, the minister realized that the merchant was too thin to be properly executed on the stake. The king then realised that they needed a man fat enough to fit the stake. Hence, the owner of the house escapes the punishment.
What are the Guru’s words of wisdom? When does the disciple remember them?
The guru’s words of wisdom were that it was the city of fools. He advised the disciple to leave the city because he would not know what they would do next.
The disciple remembered these words when he was being carried to the place of execution. Even though he tried to explain that he was innocent and was just a disciple, the servants said that it was a royal decree to find a man fat enough to fit the stake. As he was waiting for his death, he remembered his guru’s words of wisdom and prayed to him in his heart.
How does the guru mange to save his disciple’s life?
Since the guru had magical powers, he saw in a vision that the disciple was praying to him. As soon as he arrived to save him, he whispered something to him. He then went to the king and asked who was greater, the guru or the disciple. The king answered that the guru was greater. Immediately, the guru asked the king to put him to the stake first and then his disciple. The disciple understood the guru’s trick and began saying that he was brought there first and therefore, he should be put to death first.
The guru and disciple got into a fight. The king was puzzled. He knew there was something mysterious about the fight. So, he promised the guru that he would put him to death first if he told him what the mystery was. The guru told him that he and his disciple had been all over the world, but they had never found a city like that or a king like him. The stake was the stake of the god of justice. It was new and a criminal had never been put on it. Whoever would die on it first would be reborn as the king of that kingdom and whoever would die next, would be the future minister. The guru said that they were tired of their ascetic lives. Hence, they wanted to be reborn as king and minister.
The king started thinking immediately. He did not want to lose his kingdom to someone else in the next life. He postponed the execution till the next day and talked to his minister and decided that they would go on the stakes themselves and would be reborn as king and minister. The king and the minister secretly released the guru and his disciple and took their place and got executed on the stake. Hence, the guru used his cleverness to save his disciple’s life.