Jataka Tale: The Brahmin And The Bull Nandivisala

Actors: Bull, Brahmin, merchant, merchant’s servants

Narrator: There was a small bull calf. His owner gave him to a Brahmin as a gift.

Brahmin: I shall call you Nandi-Visala. That means “Great Joy.”

Narrator: The Brahmin loved that calf and took very good care of him. He fed him and loved him very much.

When the calf became a big bull, he wanted to repay the kindness of the Brahmin.

Bull (to Brahmin): I am very strong now. Go to that rich merchant and make a bet with him. Tell him you have a bull who can pull 100 loaded carts.

Brahmin (to merchant): I have a bull who can pull 100 loaded carts at the same time.

Merchant: How can that be? No bull can pull such a heavy load. I’ll bet you 10,000 rupees that he can’t do it.

Brahmin: It’s a deal.

Narrator: The Brahmin fed Nandi-Visala with fragrant rice and hung a garland of flowers around his neck.

The merchant had his servants load 100 carts.  

Merchant (to his servants): Load these carts very heavy with sand and stones. Then tie them all in a long row.

Narrator: Then the Brahmin and the merchant sat to watch what would happen. At first Nandi-Visala just stood there.

Brahmin: You rascal! Pull the carts! If you don’t, I’ll lose 10,000 rupees!

Narrator: The bull was very hurt and unhappy because the Brahmin called him a rascal. He refused to move.

Merchant: You see? That bull can’t pull such a heavy load. Pay me 10,000 rupees.

Narrator: The Brahmin was not rich. It was very difficult for him to pay so much money. He felt so bad that he could not sleep all night. 

The bull felt sorry for him. The next day he went to the Brahmin again.

Bull: I’m sorry. When you called me a rascal, I felt very hurt so I didn’t pull the carts.  But I want to help you. Go back to the merchant and make another bet with him. I can pull the carts if you don’t call me a rascal.

Brahmin (to merchant): I still think my bull can pull those carts.

Merchant: You’re surely a fool. This time I’ll bet you 20,000 rupees that he can’t do it.

Brahmin: It’s a deal. Tie the carts to my bull.

Merchant (to his servants): Tie those carts to the bull again. His owner is a fool, and we’ll surely win this bet.

Narrator: After all the carts were tied to Nandi-Visala, the Brahmin spoke to him in loving words.

Brahmin: Pull the carts, my dear friend! Pull the carts, my dear friend!

Narrator: The bull was pleased with the simple kind words of the Brahmin. Without much effort, he pulled the whole line of 100 carts.

Merchant: I can’t believe it, but the deal must be settled. Here is your 20,000 rupees.

Narrator: The Brahmin was very happy to have the money, and he was very happy that his simple kind words were enough to get his bull to pull a huge load and win him ample money for them to both live on for a very long time.