Chinna Katha-Satyam Vada
The Thief Who Became Virtuous
This story emphasizes the importance of speaking Truth (Satyam Vada).
A thief once approached a sage for guidance to get peace of mind. He was advised to give up any one of his bad habits. The thief promised to give up lying and practice Truth. Subsequently, during one night when the thief went out for stealing, the king, in the disguise of a thief followed and met him. After the thief introduced himself, the king also introduced himself as a thief; both of them entered the Royal Treasury and robbed two precious diamonds leaving the third one intact as it was impossible for them to share same equally.
The next day the thief was caught by the king’s men and brought to the court session to be briefed in his presence. The thief confessed having stolen one diamond and acknowledged that the second one was taken away by another thief. Subsequently the treasurer of the royal palace was summoned and asked to report on the theft the previous night after verifying with the royal chest. The treasurer, upon finding that two of the diamonds out of three were missing, pocketed the third one, hiding the same under his headgear, reported to the king that all three diamonds were missing. The thief was resolute in his stand about the third diamond denying repeatedly any knowledge about the third one. The king in an afterthought ordered the commander-in-chief to search the treasurer and the treasurer was caught red-handed.
The greedy treasurer was put behind the bars for his unpardonable crime and the thief who stood by his word was made the treasurer for his truthfulness and contentment.