The Foolish Barber

Once in the city of Ayodya lived a man called Chudamani. He was a great follower of Lord Siva. For years together he did great penance as he wished to get a boon from the Lord.

One day, pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him what he wanted Chudamani prostrated in front of the Lord and asked him to make him very wealthy. Lord Shiva said “This morning, shave your head and stand hidden behind a bush in your garden. When the begger comes in front of you spring upon him with a stick and he will turn into a pot of gold immediately,” saying disappeared.

Accordingly Chudamani called his barber, shaved his head and hid near the gate, the barber’s curiosity aroused, he too stood watching, When a begger came to the house, Chudamani hit him with a stick and he at once turned into a pot of gold. Chudamani picked it up and went inside happily.

The barber who was watching this was amazed. Aha, so this is how he makes his wealth, he thought. Hurrying home, the barber too shaved his head and hid in his house hoping for a begger to pass by. When a begger came asking for alms, the foolish barber jumped on him and killed him by one mighty blow of his stick.

The people around raised a commotion and the barber was led off by the King’s soldiers and put into* prison. Later on he was hanged. He had paid for his stupidity and greed with his life.

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