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  • Writer's pictureanjali mohapatra

Words, that changed the mind!

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

I think the mind runs fastest, even faster than the speed of light! I feel my mind is very, very delicate! It should be handled with care. 'Mindset' has a key role in every success or failure in life! And since it is delicate, sometimes the words fed by others can change its entire program. Why I mentioned this because I want to elicit an example of the ‘impact of words over mind', through a short story. Here the story begins:

After a remarkable victory over 'Kalinga' (presently known as Odisha), King Ashoka was overwhelmed with joy and announced that 'whoever wishes anything', would be given to him or her without any hesitation. He announced, but he never thought of the repercussion of his words! Poor, remorseful people of Kalinga, marched towards the ground, where the King himself was offering the offers. It was a long queue. The proud, victorious King stood there, like a lion! One after another came and took the offer as they wished. After some time, it was the turn of an old lady. The King was stunned at her appearance! Perhaps, she was in her late eighty and she was lean and thin. Every part of her body was wrinkled. Her eyes were pushed inside, making her cheekbones prominent. Her most stunning feature was her sharp grey eyes. Even, she was incapable of walking properly. She took her support with an uneven stick. Looking at her miserable condition, the King felt pity for her and very politely asked, 'Oh, mother! Why didn't you ask someone of your family, to come and collect the thing you want? What do you want?'

The old lady lifted her head slightly. She glared at the King, her eyes sparkled, then said, 'First you promise me that you will fulfill my wish then I shall express it!'

The King was amazed at her expression, and said in a firm voice, 'Well then, I do promise that whatever in this earth you want, I am ready to pay you! This is the 'word' of a King! Trust me. Express your wish!'

The old lady looked at his face sternly, then said, 'O, noble, mighty King! I had three sons and all my three sons died in this battle. If you can, please return my three sons! I don't want anything, anything except my sons!'

The King was taken aback! He became speechless for a moment. He then tried to pacify the lady with other most valuable offerings. But the old lady was too stubborn to be pacified. When King Ashoka, failed to fulfill her desire, she said angrily, 'O, King! Why did you make a promise to me, the thing which you can not give? You have no right to snatch the things from others, which is beyond your capacity to return! And remember, if you fail to keep your promise, better not to make any promise at all!' The old lady turned her anguished face and slowly walked away.

The lady went away, but the words she uttered, drew a deep impact in his mind. Her voice echoed in his ears every second. King Ashoka stood like a statue for few moments! He felt as if his blood was drained out. He became helpless and powerless! All his bravery, reputation smashed out within a second. Slowly, the day was followed by the night and he left the place, with a heavy heart.

Perhaps, that was the turning point of, the then mightiest King Ashoka! That was the end of the chapter Ashoka as 'Chandashoka' and the new era of 'Dharmashoka' began thereafter. It is said that after this incident, King Ashoka changed himself completely and became a true follower of 'Lord Buddha'. He preached Buddhism as far as, and as much as he could.

What a transformation!!! Maybe, the 'Kalinga War' was a blessing in disguise in his life! Maybe, the old lady was an angel, sent by God, to inculcate the Divine love 'Ahimsa' in Ashoka's heart, so that it could be spread out, all over the world!

However, I heard this story, when I was a child. I have no evidence, whether this story is true or false. But, no matter what it is, undoubtedly it has a deep meaning. A meaning that everybody should understand. The 'Kalinga War', perhaps was the last remarkable war of the Mauryan Dynasty! May God bless all, with His Divine spirit 'Ahimsa' to save this beautiful planet!!! The gruesome murder of thousands of innocent soldiers on the battlefield came to a halt forever and became a turning point in the history of India, especially for King Ashoka.

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