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  • Writer's pictureanjali mohapatra

The story of a camel!

Updated: Jan 4

(Shanti Parva- Mahabharata) Vyasa Mahabharata.

King Yudhishthira joining his hands, humbly asked, ‘O noble Pitamaha, foremost of all persons! Tell me- what works should be performed by a king? And what are those works which make a king happy by doing so?’

Pitamaha Bhishma said, ‘O noble son of Pritha, I shall tell you a beautiful story through which you can obtain what you wish to know! The story of a camel that we have heard. And a king should not act like a camel. O son, now listen to that story—————-

Once there lived a huge camel who could remember his good deeds. He was of rigid vows and performed severe austerities in the jungle. Beholding his hard penances, Lord Brahma was extremely pleased. So, He desired to grant him a boon.

When Lord Brahma asked him, the camel said, ‘ O holy one! Let my neck be long through your grace, so that I may be able to get any food even if it is a hundred Yojanas away!’

Brahma was pleased and said, ‘So it be!’

After getting the boon, the camel returned to his forest. But the foolish camel stupefied by fate became idle and didn't go for grazing. He wished to get food without going outside.

Once he extended his neck of a hundred Yojanas and tried to pick up his food. Suddenly, a strong storm arose at that very time. Being idle, keeping his head and a portion of his neck within the cave of a mountain, the camel resolved to wait till the storm would be over. Adding to that calamity, a heavy downpour started. All the animals were puzzled. Thinking of the cave as a safe place, a jackal who had already suffered with rain and shivering with cold rushed towards it with his wife and entered into it. They were hungry and tired. When they saw this camel’s neck, they began to eat it. The camel tried to shorten his neck but failed. Perceiving the danger, the camel moved his neck up and down, but it was too late. As he moved, the jackal and his wife caught it again and continued to eat. At last, the camel was dead. The jackal couple came out from the cave after the rain had ceased.’

Once again Bhishma said, ‘O son, Yudhishthira, see what terrible consequence followed idleness! It would be best if you avoid idleness. Controlling your senses, you must do everything agreeable and beneficial to all. The great Manu himself has declared that victory rests upon intelligence. The acts that are performed using intelligence are regarded as the highest ones. The other works done physically are inferior to the previous one.

A kingdom lasts for a long time if the king controls his senses and performs his duties sensibly. O wise son of Pandu, those who listen to wise advice, who act after minute inspections, and who have allies always succeed in achieving all their objectives. This has been told by the sages conversant with scriptural injuctions! This is also my opinion as I have gone through the scriptures. O Sinless one using your intelligence, act in this world! If you can do this, certainly you will get happiness!’

The morals of the story——-

Do not follow idleness!

Always listen to wise advice!

Use your intelligence to achieve your goal!

Do proper inspection before doing any act!

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