Posts tagged ‘Raja Harishchandra’

Satyameva Jayate – Lesson of truth !!!

That was a breezy cold night and the child was still sitting with his grand father. The entire village had gone in slumber. Moon had also come straight at head. His grand father was saying a story, story of a King, who used to speak only truth. He has never lied in his life. His name was Harishchandra. The child was listening carefully. He was fascinated with the king. The king was renowned for his piety and justice. Apart from uttering truth he has one more quality. He never broke his promises. Whatever he promised he obeyed that. He always stood to his principles in the face of all ordeals and persevered to become a symbol of courage. Even in the second period of that breezy night he was not feeling sleepy. His grandfather asked him whether he wants to continue with the story or he’ll prefer to sleep. He enthusiastically said, “Please continue, I want to listen the complete story.”

His grandfather continues. Once great sage Vishwamitra approached Harishchandra and informed him of a promise made by the king during the sage’s dream to donate his entire kingdom. Harishchandra was so virtuous, that he immediately made good his word and donated his entire kingdom to the sage and walked away with his wife and son.

Since, the entire world was under the sage after he donated his kingdom; the king had to go to Kashi. It was a town dedicated to Lord Shiva. These days it is called as Benaras. This was now the only place outside the influence of the sage. But, the sage, proclaimed that for an act of donation to be completed, an additional amount as Dakshina (honorarium) had to be paid. Harishchandra, with no money in his hands, had to sell his wife and son to a Brahmin Grihastha to pay for the Dakshina. When the money collected still did not suffice for the purpose, he sold himself to a guard at the cremation ground, who was in charge of collecting taxes for the bodies to be cremated. Story was becoming more interesting for the child. He had started accumulating the hidden morale from it.

His grandfather asked for some water as others at home were sleeping. He went to the other part of his house where the kitchen was located. He filled the glass and quickly came back. After gulping the water in one go his grandfather continues with the story. The king, his wife and son had to sustain tremendous hardships doing their respective chores. The king helped the guard cremate the dead bodies, while his wife and son were used as household helpers at the house of the Brahmin. Once, the son had been to the garden to pluck flowers for his master’s prayer, when he was bitten by a snake and he died instantly. His mother, having nobody to sympathise for her, carried his body to the cremation grounds. In acute penury, she could not even pay the taxes needed to cremate him. Harishchandra did not recognize his wife and son. He asked the lady to sell her golden Mangalasutra and pay the tax. It is at this instance that his wife recognizes him. She has a boon that her husband only could see her mangalasutra. Harishchandra then came to her and recognized her as his wife and was stung by pangs of agony.

But, Harishchandra, was duty bound by his job to perform the cremation only after the acceptance of the tax. So, he asked his wife, if she was willing to undergo further hardships and stand by him in this hour of calamity. The faithful wife readily gave assent. She had in her possession only a saree, a part of which was used to cover the dead body of her son. She offers half of her lone dress as the tax, which Harishchandra could accept and perform the last rites of his son. When she proceeded to remove her dress, miracles happened.

Lord Vishnu, Indra and all Devas and the sage Vishwamitra himself manifested themselves on the scene, and praised Harishchandra for his perseverance and steadfastness. They brought his son back to life. They also offered the king and his wife, instant places in heaven. The virtuous king refused saying that he cannot leave behind his subjects. He asked for a place in heaven for all his subjects. But the gods refused, explaining that the subjects had their own Karma and they have to undergo them. The king was then ready to forego all his virtues and religiousness for his people, so that they could ascend to heaven leaving him behind. The gods, now immensely pleased with the unassailable character of the great king, offered heavenly abode to the king, the queen and all their subjects.

The sage Vishwamitra helped to populate the kingdom again and installed Harishchandra’s son as the king.

The story had a happy ending and his grandfather thought that the child would be happy see all smiling in he end. Yes, the child was smiling in the end but he also had lots of questions in his mind. He asked his grandfather, “If God does well to good people, why did the king suffer so much?” His grandfather says, “He also wants to test people. He wants to see whether you follow your principles in bad days also or not. People generally don’t do misdeeds when they are living a happy life. They do wrong things when the time is not with them. God wants to test you in all days. If you will be true he will not harm you in the last.” He also insisted him to remember, “Satyameva Jayate“, which means truth always prevails.

The story was finished and his grandfather asked him sleep now. He collected the blanket and closed his eyes. His eyes were closed but he was not sleeping. He was still in deep thinking. He was thinking about the King and he decided that he will also not do anything wrong in his life. He also decided that he will never break his promises. He didn’t remember when he went for sleep but next morning when he woke up it was a new morning for him. He had learned the lesson of truth which he was going to follow in his entire life.

October 11, 2007 at 9:51 am Leave a comment


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