In a small village, there lived two friends Papabuddhi and Dharmabuddhi. Their friendship was extraordinary. Their characters were opposite yet they were close friends. Papabuddhi was very dishonest at heart while Dharmabuddhi was a very honest man.
One day, Papabuddhi said to Dharmabuddhi, “Why don’t we start a business together?” Dharmabuddhi agreed and so the two set off together to a nearby city to set up and conduct their business.
After a few months of running a profitable business, the two friends decided that they had made enough money. They wound up the business and started back together to their own village. On the way back, they had to pass through a forest. That night when they stopped to take rest, Papabuddhi decided to keep all the money for himself. He spent the whole night planning and at daybreak had an evil plan ready in his mind.
When they were about to resume their journey, Papabuddhi turned to Dharmabuddhi and said. “You know, I have been thinking. We have made a lot of money. Maybe it is not wise to take all the money back to the village. Let us bury all the money here. We can come back together whenever we need money and take out as much as we need.”
“That is an excellent idea,” agreed Dharmabuddhi. They buried the money at the foot of a huge banyan tree and went on to their homes in the village. That night, Papabuddhi sneaked into the forest and dug out all the money from under the banyan tree and closed up the hole again.
The next morning, he went to Dharmabuddhi’s house and said, “I need some money urgently. Let us go and bring some of our money back.”
They both went to the banyan tree and began to dig. Not finding any money, Papabudhi accused Dharmabuddhi of stealing the money. They both went to the village judge to seek justice. The judge asked them both for proof of their innocence. Papabuddhi declared that the tree god was his witness. The judge decided to go to the tree god the next day.
That night, Papabuddhi sought the help of his father. The next day, they all went to the banyan tree. The judge turned to the banyan tree and spoke to the tree, “O god of this tree, who is the culprit?”
To the surprise of everyone, a voice from inside the tree said, “Dharmabuddhi is the culprit. He has all the money.”
While the judge and the elders of the village were busy discussing the case, Dharmabuddhi collected some dry leafs and twigs and placed them near a hollow in the huge trunk of the banyan tree and set fire to them. As the smoke entered the hollow in the tree, out ran a figure, coughing. It was Papabuddhi’s father.
Papabuddhi was severely punished for his wickedness.