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Beyond The Fanciful Worlds-A Short Hindu Story From The Mahabharata

A short Hindu story from the Mahabharata reveals that realising the reality is the goal of spiritual pursuits.

God took the form of King Dhritarashtra to test a hermit who lived a quiet, peaceful and a principled life. This hermit had attended on a baby elephant that had lost its mother and tended it until it grew up to become a huge animal.

God in the guise of the King appeared in the hermitage of the monk. He told him that he wished to take away the elephant with him.

The hermit protested saying that he would not part with the animal as he had taken care of it all these years.

The king however argued that the elephant was a regal animal and hence fit to be owned by him.

The hermit who was put off retorted, “I will retrieve the elephant even if you have to take it to Yama Loka, the abode of death"

The king would not given in, “Only sinners go to the abode of death"

The hermit replied, “But there is truth in Yamaloka. Righteousness prevails there with no disparities between the strong and the weak"

The king spoke of a higher realm where the hermit argued that he would follow.

This way the argument grew as the king mentioned of realm after realm with the hermit saying that he would follow him everywhere.

Finally the highest realm, the Brahma Loka was mentioned.

The hermit said, “I will follow you there as well!"

However this time the hermit did not fail to recognize God. He said, “Now I understand that you are none other than the supreme power or the Brahman which, is the form of all manifestations in all the worlds. Please do forgive me for having not realised you in the very beginning itself!"

The story is a beautiful reminder of the truth of the reality or the Brahman. As one proceeds in his spiritual quest, he may encounter fanciful things or may attain certain powers. An earnest seeker should rise above them to realise the truth or reality which is the purpose of his quest.

Read more about: hindu stories short stories
Story first published: Thursday, August 18, 2011, 15:46 [IST]
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