Long back in the village of Madhavpur, there used to be two friends, Dharmabuddhi and Pappabuddhi. Dharma-buddi was an honest man with a kind heart. But Pappabuddhi was dishonest and cunning.
Pappabuddhi was very poor and wanted to get rich fast. “I have to find a way to earn money fast,” thought. “I will go to the town and try my luck there.”
But then Pappabuddhi didn’t know how to go about it. So he decided to take Dharmabuddhi along with him.
“My friend,” he told Dharmabuddhi, “What is life without exploring new things? Let us go to the town and try to earn money. When we grow old we will have enough to spend on our children?
Then one fine day, they worshipped the sun god and set forth. With hard work and diligence they earned enough money. After a few years, they decided to return home with their large savings.
As they were nearing the village, Pappabuddhi had a wicked plan in his mind. He told Dharmabuddhi, “It won’t be wise to take the entire amount home.
“If people come to know about it, it will surely be stolen. I have a better and safer idea. We can bury the money under this big banyan tree and put a mark on the trunk, to recognize it. Whenever the need arises, we can take it from here.”
They did as they planned and headed for their home. Time passed by and they lived happily.
However Pappabuddhi’s mind was all the time occupied with the buried treasure. One night he went to the banyan tree alone and took away the entire treasure.
After a few days, both the friends set off for the woods to get some money. When they dug up they found the container empty.
“How could you do this?” Pappabuddhi blamed the innocent Dharmabuddhi, “I knew you had an eye on my money! You give my share or else, take you to the court.”
Dharmabuddhi was shocked. “My friend, trust me! I have no clue where our money has gone. You can’t accuse me like that.”
Unable to settle their dispute, they went to the court. The judge asked, “Do either of you have any witness?’
“Yes sir!” replied Pappabuddhi promptly, “The forest god will serve as my witness.”
Dharmabuddhi understood that Pappabuddhi had planned something wicked.
The next morning, Pappabuddhi along with Dharmabuddhi and the judges, went to the forest, Reaching the banyan tree, the judges asked, “Oh the god of the forest, you are the only witness who can solve this case. Reveal to us who the thief is so that we may punish him.”
Pappabuddhi’s father who was hiding in the trunk promptly replied, “Dharmabuddhi is the thief.”
The judges were shocked. They decided to punish him. Dharmabuddhi was surprised at the Injustice done to him. He had his doubt and while judges were discussing among themselves, Dharmabuddhi set the banyan tree on fire.
Unable to bear the heat and smoke, Pappabuddhi’s father jumped out of the trunk.
The judges were astonished to see him. “Who are you and what were you doing there?” the judges asked.
Pappabuddhi’s father confessed his son’s wicked plot and accepted his son’s guilt. Pappabuddhi was given his punishment and the judges praised Dharmabuddhi.
“You cannot cheat somebody of what is rightfully theirs.”