The Foolish Scholars

Hinduism is the main religion of India, although many Indians belong to other faiths, such as Buddhism. Hindus believe in the caste system and are divided into four main groups. The caste system began as a division of labor, so that everyone did the work assigned to them. But soon people began marrying and living within their own castes and the system became a rigid way of life in India. Hindus belong to the caste in which they are born. Brahmins are the highest caste; they are entrusted with reading the holy books, performing religious rites, praying and teaching. The Brahmins are considered intelligent and full of wisdom and are respected next to gods. Hindus all over the world consider it their duty to support them financially by making donations. They strongly believe that the donations please the gods and that this ensures a better place in their next life.The Foolish Scholars

Once there were four Brahmin friends. Three of them were scholars of scripture, while the fourth was illiterate. He was considered wise since he was the son of a Brahmin. One day the four decided to travel around the world to become rich.

They set out on their journey. They managed to earn a lot of money. One day, not long after they had set out, one of them was absent. The eldest scholar said to the other two, "Thank God he is not with us today. Now I have the opportunity to speak. We three are the great scholars, while he is illiterate. We have knowledge through education, while he does not. We can read the holy books and perform religious ceremonies, and he can only help since he can not read. Why, then, should we share our earnings with him?"

"I agree," said the second scholar. "Let us send him away."

But the third scholar was not happy with the suggestion. "No we can't do that. We have grown up together. It is not fair to abandon him now.

Eventually the three forgot their differences and remained friends with the fourth Brahmin. Soon the four were on the road again to continue with their long journey. "We must stop all this wandering about in search of wealth," though the fourth Brahmin. "We need to find jobs, and settle down."

Soon they came to a dense green forest, filled with birds and the sound of other animals. The forest was known to be home to tigers, lions and cobras.

"I don't want to go through the forest," said the first scholar. "The whole place is infested with snakes and birds.

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