Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The fate

There was a king pratapbhanu with no seeking for any reward in his heart; the king was a man of great
intelligence and wisdom. Whatever meritorious act he performed in thought, word or
deed, the wise king dedicated it to Lord .
Equipping himself with all the outfit of hunting, the king mounted a gallant steed one day
and, entering the dense forest of the Vindhya range, killed many a sacred deer. While
ranging in the wood he espied a wild boar. It looked as if with the moon in his mouth the
demon Rahu had hid in the forest. The orb was too large to be contained in the mouth,
yet in his rage he would not disgorge it. Thus have I chosen to portray the beauty of the
frightful tusks of the boar, while its body too was of an enormous size and bulk. Growling
at the tramp of the horse and pricking up its ears it gazed with a startled look . On seeing the huge boar, which resembled a purple mountain-peak, the king
whipped the horse and advanced rapidly, challenging the boar at the same time and
saying it could no longer escape.
While wandering in the forest he espied a hermitage. In that hermitage dwelt,
in the disguise of a hermit, a monarch who had been despoiled of his kingdom by
Pratapabhanu and who had run away from the field of battle deserting his army. Knowing
that the time was propitious for Pratapabhanu and most unfavourable to his own self,
he felt much disgusted at heart and refused to return home; and he was too proud
to come to terms with the victor. Suppressing the anger in his own heart the ex-king
lived in the forest like a pauper in the garb of an anchorite. It was to him that king
Pratapabhanu went and he for his part immediately recognized that the newcomer was
no other than Pratapabhanu. Overcome by thirst, the latter, however, could not recognize
the ex-king. Perceiving his holy garb Pratapabhanu took him to be a great sage and,
getting down from his horse, made obeisance to him. The king was, however, too astute
to disclose his name Said the anchorite, .So be it, O king. But there is one difficulty; hear it too. Even
Death shall bow his head at your feet (much more those who are subject to death). The
only exception shall be the Brhmins, O ruler of the earth. The Brahmins are ever
powerful by virtue of their penance; no one can deliver from their wrath. If you can reduce
them to your will, O king, even Brahm., Vishnu and the great Lord shiva shall be at
your command. Might is of no avail against the Brhmins; with both arms raised to
heaven I tell you this truth. Listen, O sovereign; if you escape the Brahmin.s curse, you
shall never perish.. Hearing his words, the king rejoiced and said, .My lord, I shall no longer
die. By your grace, O benevolent master, I shall be blessed at all times.. Knowing that the king was completely under his influence, the hermit, who was
clever at deception, said, .Listen, O king: I tell you the truth. For me in this world there
is nothing hard to obtain. I will surely accomplish your object, devoted as you are in
thought, word and deed to me. The power of Yoga (contemplation), planning, penance
and mystic formulas works only when secrecy is maintained about them. O king, if I
cook food and you serve it and if nobody comes to know me, whoever tastes the food
so prepared shall become amenable to your orders. Again, I tell you, whosoever dines
at the house of such people shall, O king, be dominated by your will. Go and operate
this scheme, O king, and take this vow for a whole year. A spirited foe, even though left alone, should not be lightly regarded. The hermit cooked four kinds of foods with six different tastes as mentioned .

Vedas. He prepared an illusory banquet and a variety of seasoned dishes more than
one could count. Dressing the flesh of a variety of animals the wretch mixed with it the
cooked flesh of Brahmins. All the invited Brahmins were then called for the dinner.
Their feet were duly washed and they were respectfully shown to their places.The
moment the king began to serve the food, a voice from heaven said, .Up, up,and return to your homes. Taste not
this food; it is most harmful. The dishes include the flesh of the Brahmins..Up rose all
the Brahmins believing the ethereal voice. The king lost his nerve; his mind was
bewildered with infatuation. As fate would have it, he could not utter a word. Listen, O people: whosoever incurs the displeasure of heaven, for him a grain
of dust becomes vast as Mount Meru, a father becomes frightful as Yama (the god of
death) and every rope a snake. Then exclaimed the Brahmins in wrath, regardless of consequences, .O foolish
king, go and take birth in the demon.s form, you and all your family..

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