Dileepa looked at Nandini. He saw the gleam in her eyes. And then he told the lion again,-
"0 Lion! I am a warrior by caste and it is part of my righteous way of life that I
should protect those who are in trouble. If that is not possible, why should I be king and
why should I live at all? The sage Vasishtha's anger would not be satisfied by giving
other cows. This cow is not in any way inferior to Kamadhenu,. There is none other equal
to this cow. You were able to attack her only because of your strength as Lord Shiva's
servant.Otherwise you would not be able to go anywhere near her. Therefore please eat me
up and let the cow go. By that you would get food for your hunger, and besides, this cow,
which is helping the sacrifices performed by the sages, would also survive. Appointed to
guard this cedar tree, you know the signi- ficance of your work. Similarly I have been
appointed to guard my Guru's cow and I know the importance of my work. What does it matter
if this body is no more? It is enough if I retain a good name.Thelearned say those
friendship sprouts when we come together and talk to one another. So
now we are friends. Please leave the cow. You can satisfy yourself by eating me. Do
oblige a friend."
Saying so, the king stood
looking at t lion, wondering what it would say.
"Be it so," the lion said, and released Nandini.
Though Dileepa had to give his body to the, lion now, he did not have the least bit of
sorrow. He went close to the lion, and sat down submissively with a bent head.