a tale of virtues – moral story

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The Pandavas and the kauravas were cousins. The eldest of the Pandavas was yudhishthira and he loved justice, but he was very fond of gambling. The eldest of the kauravas Duryodhan and his brothers were jealous of Pandavas. They wanred to ruin them. Once he invited them to a gambling game. The Pandavas lost their kingdom in the match and Duryodhan exiled them for thirteen years. Thus, Pandavas had to live a nomadic life in the forest. Once there was a drought and all the sources of water dried up. The Pandavas could not find water anywhere. However, Yudhishthira asked his youngest brother Nakul to climb up a tree to look for any sign of water in the distance. Nakul saw a beautiful lake a little far from their dwelling. So, Yudhishthira asked Nakul to fetch some water. Nakul put his hands in the water to quench his thirst, he heard a voice, ‘The lake is mine. If you want to drink its water, first you must answer my questions.’ Nakul was too thirsty to heed any sign of danger. So he drank a little water but at once he fainted and fell down. Yudhishthira got very worried when Nakul did not return for a long time. He sent Sehdev to find out what had happened to Nakul. Sehdev went to the lake and found Nakul lying on the ground. But he was very thirsty himself, he tried to drink some water, before he could drink even a drop the same voice warned Sehdev also. Sehdev too fell dead near the lake when he tried to drink water. Yudhishthira waited for Sehdev for a long time and later Bhima to look for their brothers. Both Arjun and Bhima also fell dead the moment they tried to drink water ignoring the ‘voice’, which wanted them to answer a few questions before drinking water. Now, Yudhishthira sat alone in the forest. He waited untill he got tired of waiting. He went in search of them and found them all lying on the ground near the lake. Grief- stricken he looked at his dead brothers. No one was around. He bent down to have some water. “Drink not till you have answered my questions.” Said the voice, “or you will die at once. This is the law of the lake I, the old Crane, rule over this lake and I forbid you to drink water here.” Yudhishthira at once thought that no crane would have so much power. ‘Surely it must be some being from the other world.’ “ You are right. I am a Yaksha, the spirit of the woods.” King Yudhishthira said,” Ask your questions, O Yaksha!” Yaksha started his question: Yaksha : which is the best of virtues? Yudhishthira : – Not to hate anyone is the best of virtues. Yaksha : – Who is the worst enemy of the man? Yudhishthira: Anger. Yaksha :- Which man is poor and rich at the same time? Yudhishthira : – The man who has much, but gives nothing. Yaksha :- How can a poor person become rich? Yudhishthira : – Contentment makes even a poor man rich. Yaksha :- Which is the most valuable thing of the world? Yudhishthira :- The love of parents. It is heavier than the world and higher than the clouds. Yaksha : – Who is the greatest man of all? Yudhishthira : – The one who takes joy and soeeow alike. Yaksha was satisfied with Yudhishthira’s answers. He daid, “ I can bring back to life only one of your brothers. Whom do you want to come alive again?” Yudhishthira said, “ I want Nakul.” The Yaksha said, “Why do you wanr Nakul.” The Yaksha said,” why do you want Nakul? Bhima has the strength of sixteen thousand elephants. Arjun is the greatest warrior. Why do you choose Nakul, leaving these two? Yudhishthira said, “Dharma alone will save men and not individuals. If one does not follow ‘Dharma’ he will suffer. My father had two wives –Kunti and MAdri. I am Kunti’s son. I want Nakul because he is Madri’s son. I want both the mothers Kunti and Madri should feel happy to see one of their sons alive on our return to the kingdom.” At this Yaksha appeared and said, “O King! I am Dharma. The God of justice. I heared that you are called the Dharmaraj Yudhishthira. I wished to know if you were really just, you are really so let all your brothers come to life.” At this all the brothers rose and drank water. Yudhishthira proved himself to be truly ‘just’. He showed what true morals are. A person who is just by nature will never think to benefit himself if it hurts the rights of other person. Live and let live is foremost in his mind.