Patronizing Religion by Kodavatiganti Kutumbara
Telugu original by Kodavatiganti Kutumbarao, in Yuva, Jan 1977. Translated and posted with permission by Ananda Kishore.
One fine day, a Buddhist monk came to a small kingdom and convinced the king that Buddhism was the greatest of all religions. The king liked everything but the non-violence part of it. He couldn't think of dining without five varieties of meet curries.
"You shouldn't kill animals. But you can surely eat the killed ones," said the monk. The satisfied king made the monk his guru.
To spread Buddhism, the king imposed taxes on other religions. Everyone became a Buddhist. Even the meat sellers declared they would accept Buddhism and stop killing animals.
Worried, the king sought the monk's advice. The monk was even more worried - he would die for rabbit's meat - but without showing his worry, he said, "Your Majesty! Repeal the tax on them. Raise meat prices so that the hunters' and tanners' income gets doubled."
The king followed his advice. Even then the meat sellers converted themselves en masse to Buddhism, shaved their heads, and declared they would practice non-violence.
Neither the king nor the people could swallow this. Meanwhile a disciple of Sankaracharya arrived to the country and started preaching vedic dharma.
The minister advised the king, "Your Majesty, banish this Hindu from the country."
The monk browbeat the minister, "Don't give an advice if you don't know what you are talking about." He then gave his advice to the king.
Later a relative of the king became a disciple of the disciple of Sankaracharya. He preached animal sacrifices to gods. No royal decree was made banning the rituals, but it was decreed that the meat of the immolation belonged to the king.
Two years later not one Buddhist was to be seen in that country. But hunters and meat sellers were aplenty.eet!"