The Inevitability of the Law of Karma

There was a weaver in the Karnataka, Haimantaka by name, who wove both coarse cloth and fine linen. Bat as his profits in the calling were very meagre, he was not able to make both ends meet. Adjacent to his abode was another of the same profession, Dhimanta who lived happily on the large income he derived by weaving coarse rough fabric. Once upon a time Haimantaka approached his wife and represented his grievances to her, told her how, despite his intelligence in his art, he was not able to eke out a livelihood, and how much better placed his brother-weaver was, though weaving only a coarse stuff. “My talents are unknown to any one in the place,” said he, and determined to quit his home for another place with the object of amassing as much wealth as possible.

His wife rejoined, “Of what avail is your going to a distant quarter? You will get only as much as it has fallen to your lot to earn.” Despite her remonstrances, he quit his abode, went and settled for a time in a far-off country, wove such clothes as were in consonance with the requirements of the place, made considerable money by the transaction, and wended his way home. On the way he stayed at an inn, and securing his treasure in a corner went to rest for the night. While he was enjoying ‘the honey heavy dew’ of slumber, thieves rushed into the inn and purloined every item of property, so that when he rose up the next morning, he found to his utter disappointment and distress that he had nothing left. He thus learnt, very dearly, indeed, the truth of his wife’s statements, from the school of experience. And, feeling very despondent, lived upon such small gains as he could make at home. The moral of this is ‘unlucky anywhere, unlucky everywhere’.

Image Attribution: The image above, sourced from Wikimedia Commons, shows the gouache painting of an Indian weaver at his loom (c. 1840 CE). It is the work of an artist from Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu and is part of the Wellcome Library collection in the United Kingdom.

References:

  • Folk-lore of the Telugus by GR Subramiah Pantulu (1919)