The Ill informed Barber

Seth Rajrath was a wealthy merchant who lived in a small town in southern India. One day misfortune befell him and he became a panper. All his wealth and business were lost and Rajrath became a sad man. As a wealthy man Rajrath had not only enjoyed a luxurious life but also had been a good man at heart. He gave alms to the poor. One day he sat dejected thinking to himself, “Oh, I cannot take this anymore. Poverty has humiliated me in front of many. I shall starve myself to death and escape this state of poverty and day-to-day insults. With such thoughts in mind Rajrath fell asleep.

As he slept he had a strange dream. A monk appeared before him who said to Rajrath, “Look at me carefully. I am a trillion gold coins disguised as a monk. Tomorrow I will visit you in this guise. You must hit me on the head mith a cudgel. Soon I will turn into gold.”

Next morning when Rajrath woke up, he pondered over his strange dream. “Such a dream is nothing but my wishful thinking.No such monk will visit me,” thought Rajrath.

Just then the barber arrived to attend to Rajrath’s wife. She had summoned him for a manicure. A short while later Rajrath was taken aback when a monk arrived at his doorstep. He at once recognised him as the one whom he had dream of Rajrath was delighted and could not believe his luck. He soon ran into the house and got a cudgel. As soon as he hit the cudgel on the monk’s head, the monk turned into a trillion gold coins. Suddenly Rajrath became aware of the barber’s presence. He called the barber and said, “Here, take these two gold coins for yourself. Do not mention what you saw to anyone.” So saying he bid the barber a farewell.

The barber, greedy as he was and foolish too, thought, “If I can get some monks to visit me and I treat them the way Rajrath did then I too would become a wealthy man.” Little did he know about Rajrath’s dream.

The next day the barber rose early had a bath and in a pious mood visited the monastery. He went to the High Priest and said, “Sir, please pay me a visit with your disciples so that I can serve you with delicious food and receive your blessings.”

“You fool,” said the enraged Priest, “don’t you know that we do not go to people’s houses for food ? We have given up the luxuries of life.”

“But Sir, it was only a way to get you to visit me for I have some rare, holy manuscripts that I would give to the monastery. I shall also provide wrappings for the manuscripts which you have,” requested the barber.

Though the High Priest declined, some monks decided to visit the barber, enticed by the wrappings for their manuscripts. As soon as they entered the barber’s house the barber hit each of them on the head with a heavy cudgel. Soon all the monks lay moaning inflicted with head injuries. A passer-by who saw the sight in the barber’s courtyard informed the king’s soldiers who arrested the barber.

When the king enquired from the barber about the incident, he proceeded to narrate what he had witnessed at Rajrath’s house. Soon Rajrath too was summoned and was asked to present his story. Hearing the whole case the wise king commented.

“You acted without knowing. You were ill informed and you misjudged what you observed. I hope this incident stops you from committing further mistakes such as this.”

Ill informed men get nothing but remorse.

2 thoughts on “The Ill informed Barber

  1. Hi. I have received this story from a friend. Can you tell me which book is it taken from or who is the author. Thank you. 🙂

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