KNOWLEDGE


       Having knowledge of the world and beyound is a mingalar. It  is a source of great benefits and happiness.An examplary story  follows:
        Once upon a time, Maha Sammada ruled the kingdom of Kusawaddy. During his reign, seven ponnars formed an association among themselves, and together they roamed the countryside, visiting towns and villages in the kingdom. They earned their living by reading horoscopes and palms. They had saved their income to an  amount of five hundred units, when they came to an agreement that the savings be split on accrual to seven hundred. They deposited the money for safekeeping with a poor woman in a village. They told the  woman,  " You keep a good watch of this five hundred units of money.  Only when seven of us in  full number ask for the return, you will give back the money. On no account will you give it back if we are not in  full company of seven."
     And then they all went away together. There was a stream  not far away, but within hearing range of a shout from the woman's dwelling, where the ponnars prepared to wash their hair. Because they had not brought the shampoo-making bark and beans, they asked a young ponnar who came with them to go and fetch the materials from  the woman.
      The young ponnar was not an honest man. From the woman, he asked not only for the shampoo materials but also the five hundred units of cash. But the woman did not give the cash, seeing not all the seven people. Then the ponnar said, "If you don't believe me , shout and ask the remaining elder ponnars." So, the poor woman shouted, "Oh elder ponnars,must l give what you left me with?" The six ponnars thoght she meant the shampoo things, and so they shouted back, " Yes, give it." The woman gave the young man the five hundred units of  money.
       The young ponnarhid the money at a secret place. He took only the shampoo things to the other ponnars.After the auspicious hair-wash ceremony,they all proceeded on theirjourney. When night came,however, the young ponnar collected the money from the secret place,and ran away. At daybreak, the elder ponnars came to know of the young crook's plan. They went to the poor woman and blamed her, saying, "We told you to give the money only when we present our full company of seven. Why did you give it to the lone young ponnar."
       In reply, the woman said, "I shouted to you and asked. You all  said to give it, and so I gave it.I am not responsible."
      The ponnar were not satisfied, and so they went to the king and submitted their complaint.The king sent for the poor woman and heard the case. He decided that the woman was guilty and so decreed she  must pay five hundred cash units to the ponnars.
      The poor woman pleaded, "Sire,I am but a poor widow with a  small daughter for a companion.Ihave no money to pay."
      The king then made his final decree," If you connot pay, you  will serve the elderly ponnars in rotation as a slave."
      The poor woman, abiding by the decree, served the ponnars as a slave in rotation, six months at a time. Meanwhile, the woman's little  daughter was growing. She was a particularly good girl. She learned  to read and studied many books. She also listened to old people and  learned lessons well, thus she became a knowledgeable person. By and  by, she grew up and reached the age of eighteen.
      "Mother," said she, " I cannot content myself with the situation you are in. You should not serve in slavery."
      She took herto the king. The young lady pleaded with the king,  submitting,  "Sire, I am not satisfied with the case of my mother  serving in slavery. I would like to contend in court with the ponnars."  The king allowed her plea and sent for the ponnars.
          When the six ponnars arrived, the young lady took a loan of  five hundred money units from the king. Andt hen,holding the bundle of the money, she confronted the ponnars.
     "If I give you  five hundred units of money now, will you release my mother from bondage," she asked." Yes, we will ", promised  the ponnars. Then the lady said, " Now,  I have the money.I will give it  to you. But, first get all the seven ponnars who originally entrusted my mother with the money."
       There were only six men, not seven. They could not get the money. They did not know where the thief had gone. There was no assistance from any quarter.
       All the courtiers talked in praise of the young lady, so young  and so wise. Even the six ponnars praised her. Then the king made a  decision, "The decree I declared had gone wrong. From today on, let  the poor woman go free. Because my former decision was wrong, let  the young lady take the five hundred units of money she had loaned  from me as compensation."
       Afierwards, the king respected and adored the young lady for  her learning and wisdom so much that he made her his queen, and  consulted her in the affairs of the state.

Written By Sayar Min Thu Wai
Translate by Sayar U Nyi ( Myanmar to Eng)

Source : Dhammagann reader and the book of purana