Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Giving, in style - I

Priya arangan adiyar,

Giving is definitely a virtue. But when you give with no thought of the self, it is a sign of divinity. Such persons with divinity writ across their hearts abound our Bharatha punya bhoomi from times immemorial.

At the end of the Mahabharat war, Dharmaputrar (Yudhisthira), the eldest of the Pandava brothers was crowned the king of India, known as Bharat Varsha. After an unchallenged victory in an Ashwamedha yagna and a successful beginning of his virtuous reign, he, along with his brothers would often organize feasts for the poor and hungry. Though, an epitome of goodness, the charitable acts, feeding of the brahmnas and the poor gave Yudhisthira a sense of pride. He wondered if there was another ruler in the whole world as kind to their subject as he was.

During one such function in which he had invited a large number of brahmnas and the poor whom he fed and looked after with great care, a strange incident took place. At the conclusion of the Yagna, he along with Lord Krishna was overseeing the departure of the assembled guests. Yudhisthira was sitting in the balcony of his palace and looking at the empty pandal and thinking what a great event it had all been feeding the poor and honouring the brahmnas. Lord Krishna being the God, the omniscient antaryami, seated in every living being's heart, obviously knew what was running in Yudhistira's mind. In his avatar form as Krishna, Emperuman was present on earth and in fact seated next to Yudhisthira at that moment. A great devotee like Yudhistira could not have been allowed to fall prey to an evil as harmful as pride. The Lord immediately acted and set up a leela (an act). The guests had left and the pandal had little remnants of foodstuff scattered in the areas where the guests had dined. Lord Krishna, Yudhdhistira and others sitting in the balcony saw a mongoose appear and run to the spots where there were the remnants of the foodstuff. The mongoose appeared to be very special; half of its body was of golden colour. The mongoose kept running here and there and appeared very restless. Seeing this Yudhdhistira called the mongoose and asked why it was so restless and what was troubling it.

 The mongoose could talk. It narrated its story.

( to be continued...)

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