A Plate of Hot Rice

by Dr. Pran Rangan

After a major defeat in a battle, Chandragupta came to Acharya Chanakya. He reported him the latest status of the situation and sought his advice.

Acharya looked at him for a few seconds and told him to have some food before having a discussion. But Chandragupta said, "I am in no mood for the dinner because I am quite upset due to the defeat."

But Acharya insisted pointing his finger towards the plate, "First you must eat the dinner." Chandragupta could not disobey anymore as he respected Acharya the most.

Chandragupta sat down for dinner and suddenly Chanakya said, "I have thought of a wonderful plan; finish the food fast."

The rice in the plate was very hot and Chandragupta found it quite difficult to pick that up with his hands. He nearly burnt his mouth and fingers in the attempt.

Chanakya was watching him carefully and suggested that he must pick the rice from the corners instead of digging from the center. After finishing dinner, they both started the discussion.

Chandragupta said, "So, Acharya, what do you suggest for the victory?"

Chanakya replied, "The lesson has already been taught," and continued, "Attack an enemy at his weak points instead of engaging him at his strongholds, just like it's easy to pick the hot rice from corners of a plate than its center."

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