Once there lived a lion named Vajradaunstra in a jungle. He has two employees, a jackal and a wolf. The jackal and the wolf fulfil all the needs of the lion. One day a caravan was passing by there. One of the camels in the caravan was a pregnant female, and she was not able to walk herself. She was in labour pains also, the caravan set her free and left her behind and itself moved ahead.
Within few moments the lion killed her and then all the three were eating the female camel. They cut the womb of the female camel from where a baby camel came out. As they already had a good meal of the camel and it was just a baby camel, the lion decided to save the baby camel’s life. The lion brought the baby camel in his home.
After reaching the home the lion said to the baby camel, “Baby, from now you will live with us. You will have nothing to fear from us and even me. I will make everybody know that you are now my responsibility and are under my protection. Nobody harm you, you fearlessly wander here and there and eat the grass of the jungle.”
From that day they all lived happily. They all told each other stories and enjoyed the company of each other. The baby camel was always remained with the lion.
One day during the search of his prey in the jungle, the lion had a fight with a wild elephant. He returned home badly injured and was unable to even walk alone. So he could not go out alone to hunt. One day he was very hungry and he was unable to bear hunger. He asked the camel, jackal and the wolf to go in search of some small animal in the jungle, so by killing them they all satisfied their hunger. All the three went in search of an animal, and even after their many efforts, they all returned empty handed in the evening. This happened for many days.
The jackal began meditating, “This young camel does not belong to us and if we shall kill him, he will be able to provide food to us for many days. But, I have to convince the lion very cunningly because he has promised not to harm him.”
He reached the camel and said to him, “Our king will soon die out of hunger and then we all. I and the wolf will die of hunger and after that some other animals will attack on you and killed you, when they come to know that there is nobody to protect you anymore. I suggest you must offer yourself to the lion to save him from dying of hunger. For this sacrifice, you will be born again in a body doubled the size of your body which you have in this life.”
After listening all this the young camel agreed immediately and said to him, “My life belongs to the lion. If he does not protect me I would have lose my life long ago. I shall be rewarded many times for my sacrifice, and will find a place in heaven. I ready to offer my body for lion.”
In the very evening the jackal reached to the lion and said to him, “Sir, the camel will be blessed with twice the size of his body in his next birth, if you kill him. You should worship him to god before eating him.” He continued explaining, “The camel is willing to offer his body for this sacrifice.”
The lion was convinced by the cunning jackal and he agreed to do so. As the lion agreed the jackal jumped towards the young camel and tore him into pieces. The young camel died within few moments. The lion remembered that he must worship for the young camel's next life before eating him. So he asked the jackal and wolf to guard the body of the young camel, until he returned. He then went for a bath and worshipped the gods.
At the time when the lion gone, the jackal thought, “How can I fool the lion and have the entire camel for myself?” Then he made a plan, and said to the wolf, “Hey dear wolf, I know you are unable to tolerate the hunger anymore. You can take a mouthful of the camel’s flesh to save his life. I will convince the lion by making up a false story.”
The wolf got believing into the jackal’s words and began eating the flesh of the young camel. Just then the jackal shouted, “The lion is coming, stop eating now.”
As the lion reached, the wolf stopped eating. The lion noticed that his food had been eaten up. He roared in anger, “How it happened that my food is eaten up by someone, despite you both were guarded it.” Then the jackal began to smile at the wolf and said, “I suggest you not to eat the flesh, but you would not listen. You could not tolerate your hunger, you should be ashamed of yourself. You have to wait until the lion return.” The lion noticed the blood on the wolf’s mouth and then he attacked on him. The wolf realised that if he did not ran away, he would be died. So he ran away from there to never return again.
At the same time a big caravan passing away nearby. The camels in the caravan had large bells in their necks, so that a jingling sound could be heard from a distance. The lion was surprised by this unusual sound and he wanted to know what made this sound and from where it produced.
At that time, the jackal used it as an opportunity to fulfil his desire of eating the flesh alone. He said to the lion, "O king, it is the same caravan which came last time. This time, it is led by Yama (God of death). He must be very angry on you for killing the camel before the time of his death. Look, he even brings the camels elders and relatives to take revenge of his death. I suggest you should run away from here."
The lion believed his words and was frightened. When he saw the caravan approaching there, he ran away to save his life. The jackal had finally gotten rid from the lion. He ate the camel’s flesh all by himself, and it lasted for many days.
The wise indeed say:
Avoid the company of the wicked; else you will come to grief.