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  • Writer's pictureanjali mohapatra

The story of Manki.

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

(Shanti Parva- Vyasa Mahabharata)


King Yudhishthira very humbly asked, ‘O Pitamaha! If any person is desirous of accomplishing acts of charity and sacrifices but fails to find wealth, then what is that he must do to obtain happiness?’

Bhishma said, ‘O Yudhishthira! A person who regards everything equal like joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, honor and insult, who never hankered after worldly possessions, who is truthful in speech, and who freed himself from all types of attachment and renounced the desire for action is a happy man!' 

These are the five means by which perfect tranquility could be obtained. These are called heaven and these are also called Dharma. One can get the highest happiness out of these! Regarding this, O high-souled Yudhishthira listens to a story. Thus Bhishma began————

There was a man named Manki. Desirous of getting wealth, Manki had undergone a lot of difficulties. He was disappointed and at last, he bought a couple of young bulls with a yoke with a little remnant of his property ( for the agriculture).

One day the two bulls yoked were taken out for training in the field. Out of nervousness at the sight of a camel who was lying down on the road, the bulls suddenly ran to the camel and fell upon its neck. The camel enraged seeing the bulls fall upon his neck, ran with great speed carrying away the two animals dangling on the either sides of his neck.

Beholding his bulls thus carried away by the camel and both of them were on the point of death, Manki began to say—- if it is not ordained by destiny, wealth can never be obtained even by an intelligent man how much skill he may try to achieve his object! 

He babbled out, 'I tried my best to put all my effort and devotion into acquiring wealth but my misfortune was already ordained by the Destiny! My strong desire to acquire wealth is the cause of the pain of my two innocent bulls! I put exertion though, nothing but Destiny is the root of every success! He who is indifferent to worldly objects and wealth can obtain happiness easily!' He then accused himself and said, 'O fool! No more I would be a toy of yours! Your origin is Will and I would destroy that 'will'. Then I would get tranquility.'

Thus, Manki concluded by saying that desire is the root cause of all misery. There is no end of desire and no one on this earth can ever get happiness forever if he does not renounce worldly attachment and desire. A person can get peace only after renouncing everything! Furthermore, he said a person who casts off the desire with all the passion of his heart can maintain the feeling of equality in every living creature. He went on cursing his foolish soul who had been hankering after wealth and unending desire. After realizing the truth, he succeeded in freeing himself from all attachments and attained immortality. At last, Manki obtained supreme happiness!

Yudhishthira was happy listening to the story of Manki. And Pitamaha Bhishma began a new story of the value of wealth citing the example of King Janaka!

A great lesson is taught from this story!

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