The Brahmin thief and the Demon

Bharati Dayal

Crafts Museum

Crafts Museum
New Delhi, India

In a certain town, there lived a Brahmin who denounced all the luxuries of life. His name was Drona, and he did not wear fine clothes, or use perfumes, or practice any lavish means. He followed rigorous practices of worship even during cold, hot and rainy seasons. Due to this, his body had become lean and weak. His hair and nails also grew long through neglect. One of Drona’s devotees gifted him a pair of calves. He took great care of the calves and fed them well. In time, they grew fat. One day, a thief noticed the calves and decided to steal them. He made his plans and returned with a rope at night. On his way, he met a demon with a very hideous appearance. The thief was frightened upon seeing him and asked, "Who are you?" The demon replied, "I am a demon. I always speak the truth and hate liars. Introduce yourself!" The thief confessed, "I am a thief and I am on my way to steal two calves from a devoted Brahmin". The demon and the thief struck up a friendship and together planned that the demon could eat the Brahmin, and the thief could steal the calves. They slipped inside the Brahmin's home and hid themselves, waiting for the Brahmin to fall asleep. The demon readied his teeth and nails to eat the Brahmin. Fearing his purpose would be defeated if the Brahmin woke up when the demon went to eat him, the thief asked the demon to wait till he tied the calves with his rope and left. But the demon would not agree, saying that if the calves started mooing when the thief was stealing them, the Brahmin could wake up and escape. They got into an argument and the noise woke up the Brahmin. The thief told the Brahmin that the demon was planning on eating him. And the demon told the Brahmin that the thief was planning to steal his calves. The Brahmin at once started praying. Hearing the prayers, the demon ran off. The Brahmin then took out a stick and chased the thief away.


  • Title: The Brahmin thief and the Demon
  • Creator: Bharati Dayal
  • Location: Bihar
  • Physical Dimensions: Vegetable dyes and acrylic colours on handmade paper, 23 X 19 inches
  • Provenance: Bihar
  • Type: Madhubani Painting

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