Meaning: A man must never make the same mistake as the barber, who tried to accomplish his task without properly looking into its advantages and disadvantages, and without properly examining the consequences of his action.
In the city of Patliputra there lived a businessman named Manibhadra. He was initially very rich but lost all of his wealth because of his excessive involvement in religious and spiritual activities. He then used to worry about his poverty.
One day he decided to end his life by starving himself to death. The first day passed with out much ado. When the night came, however, he went to sleep and had a dream in which Padmanidhi was saying-
"I am the wealth accumulated by your ancestors. Tommorrow in the morning I would come to your home in the same guise as you are seeing me right now. If you hit me with a stick on my head, I would transform into gold."
Manibhadra got up from his sleep. He thought that perhaps he had such a dream because he worried about acquiring wealth all the time. In the morning his wife called a barber to get Manibhadra's head tonsured. Just as the barber arrived, a Jain monk arrived too. Manibhadra recognised him immediately. He hit the Jain monk on his head with a stick. The monk collapsed and transformed into gold.
Manibhadra presented the barber with lot of gifts and requested him not to reveal about the incident to anybody. The barbder went back to his home happily.
The barber too wanted to have gold, so he went to a temple and invited some of the Jain monks to visit his house. When the monks arrived, the barber started hitting them on their heads with a stick. Some of them died on the spot while the rest were severely injured. The injured monks started crying for help. A policeman heard their cries and arrived on the spot. Taking stock of the situation, he took the barber to the police station. Soon afterwards the whole matter was taken to the court.
When the judge asked barber why did he kill the Jain monks. The barber narrated the incident how Manibhadra had acquired gold applying the same technique. So Manibhadra was also summoned to the court. Manibhadra told about his dream. The judge finding the barber guilty gave him death punishment and said -
"Before doing any work a man should thoroughly investigate the negative and positive aspects of it, otherwise he will have to regret like that Brahmin."
Manibhadra curiously asked about the story. The judge then narrated the following story -
Once upon a time, there lived a Brahmin. His name was Devsharma. When he got married, in due course his wife gave birth to a child. At the same time, female-mongoose too littered a baby mongoose and died. The Brahmin's wife felt pity for the young mongoose and decided to look after. She even gave it her milk to drink. She looked after him just as her own son.
One day, the Brahmin's wife went to fetch water after instructing the Brahmin to take care of the child. After sometime, the Brahmin too went away to seek alms. Now the child was alone. In the meantime, a black cobra arrived there. The young mongoose, seeing his enemy got very angry. He fought with that cobra and ultimately killed him. The mongoose was very happy that he had saved the life of his brother (Brahmin's child). He waited for the Brahmin or his wife, standing at the door.
When the Brahmin's wife returned, she saw the mongoose's mouth smeared with blood. She thought that the mongoose had killed his son. In her anger she smashed the water pot she was carrying on the mongoose head. The mongoose died instantly.
When she entered the house, she was pleasantly surprised to find her child playing on the cot. A dead cobra was also lying under that cot. She understood everything. She now began to wail in grief. She cursed herself for killing the mongoose who had saved the life of her son.
When the Brahmin returned, his began to blame him for the mongoose's death. She said -
"It is only because of your greed that our fostered son mongoose has died. I had warned you against going anywhere, but you were enslaved by your greed and did not pay heed to my advice. Didn't you know that a man possessed by excessive greed has a spinning wheel on his forehead?"
The Brahmin curiously asked about that story. His wife narrated this following story -