The Story of The Weaver
There was a weaver called Mandharaka in a southern city. One day, when he was weaving clothes, the wooden frames necessary for weaving were totally damaged. He went to the forest to bring wood to make new frames. From the forest he drifted towards the seashore where he saw a gigantic tree and thought that if he could cut wood from the tree it would stand him in good stead throughout his life.
As he started to cut the tree, a Yaksha living on that tree said, “O weaver, this tree is my home. So I have to protect it. I am very comfortable here enjoying the cool breeze coming from the sea.”
Mandharaka said, “Sir, If I do not cut the tree and take home its wood, my family will starve and die. So, please go somewhere else. I have to cut this tree.”
“All right, if you do not cut the tree, I will give you a boon of your choice,” said the Yaksha.
The weaver said, “Sir, in that case, I will go home and consult my wife and friends. You can give me the boon later.”
On the Yaksha agreeing to it, Mandharaka went home and on his way he met his friend who was a barber and asked him, “Friend, a Yaksha has given me a boon of my choice and gave me time to consult friends and my wife. What boon do you want me to ask him?”
“Ask him to give you a kingdom. You will be the king and I will be your minister. Both of us can enjoy life here and hereafter,” said the barber.
“True. But let me ask my wife also,” said Mandharaka. The barber warned the weaver against consulting his wife and said quoting learned people:
“A wise man can give to his woman
Fine clothes, pearls and diamonds;
But never consult her on his affairs
Because women have low wits.”
And as Shankaracharya said that home that is run by women or children or tricksters will meet ruin in the end.”
The weaver gently ignored the advice of the barber saying that he would nevertheless consult his wife and went home. He told his wife the whole story of the Yaksha and the boon he had offered.
Mandharaka also told his wife that his friend, the barber, had advised him to ask for a kingdom. His wife said, “O my lord, how intelligent is a barber? Never listen to his word. No wise man would consult children or barbers or servants or beggars. Also,
“Kingship has too many problems;
Conspiracies take away your peace.
With the crown come not only thorns
But also sinister plots and treason.
It was for the sake of kingdom
Lord Rama lived in the woods,
Pandava brothers fled into exile,
The Yadava dynasty disappeared,
King Nala embraced anonymity.”
“Therefore, no wise man will invite kingship that leads to killing brothers, friends and relatives,” said the weaver’s wife.
The weaver replied, “My dear, what you say is true. But you haven’t told me what boon I should choose.”
The wife said, “Every day you are able to weave a single piece of cloth. That’s barely enough to meet our daily needs. Therefore ask the Yaksha to give you another head and two more hands. That helps you to weave two pieces of cloth every day instead of one. The first piece will help us meet our daily needs. The second one will help us meet special needs. We can sail through life comfortably and happily.”
The weaver was happy with the advice his wife gave and went to the Yaksha and prayed to him, “Sir, you have kindly given me a choice. I request you to give me two more hands and an extra head.”
At once, he had four hands and two heads. Happily, he began his homeward journey. On the way people saw him and mistaking him for some monster hammered him with sticks and stones. The poor weaver died on the spot.
Chakradhara continued, “That’s why, as I have said earlier:
“He who has no wits of his own
Or does not heed advice of friends
Perishes like the weaver, Mandhara.”
“When the devil of greed dances on their head, people will become objects of ridicule like me.” The elders have said:
“He who covets the impossible
Or builds castles in the air
Comes to certain grief like
Poor Soma Sarma’s father.”
Suvarnasiddhi asked him how. Chakradhara tells him the following story about Soma Sarma’s father.