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Maarkandeya Muni-5
Story of Rishi Bak

[3-192] Yudhishthir and Rishi asked Maarkandeya Jee - "How did Rishi Bak live for so long?" Maarkandeya Jee replied - "Royal sage Bak was a great ascetic, you should not have any doubt in that." Yudhishthir said - "We have heard that both Bak and Dalvya were great sage and immortal. They were worshipped in the whole Universe and were friends of Indra. I wish to hear the story of meeting of Bak and Indra which is of great joy. Please tell us that history."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "When the Dev-Asur war had ended Indra became the ruler of the three worlds. Clouds rained proportionately and the people had good crops. People became happy and lived in prosperity. That killer of Bal (Indra) also got happy to see his people happy. So he sat on his elephant Airaavat and set off to see the happiness of his people. He saw many things, mountains, rivers, lakes, Rishi etc. Seeing Rishi he descended on the Earth and proceeded towards an Aashram where many birds and animals were roaming about. It was situated by the side of the eastern sea. Indra saw Bak in that Aashram. Bak also saw Indra coming to him, so he also got very happy to see him. He got up and welcomed Indra in his Aashram. He washed his feet, offered a carpet to sit upon and Arghya, fruits and roots to eat. Indra asked Bak - "You have lived for 100 years, tell me which sorrows are immortal?"

Maarkandeya Jee continued - "Bak answered - "Living with disagreeable people and separation from agreeable and beloved people are the sorrows are immortal. The death of wives and sons, kinsmen and friends, and dependence on others are some of the greatest evils. Seeing a poor man insulted by others is a pitiable sight. It is also pitiable to see mortal suffering from divine calamities. The foolish and ignorant are happy while learned and wise suffer misery." Indra said - "Tell me again O sage, What are the joys of the immortals which they adore?" Bak answered - "If a man cooks only a little vegetable with no wicked companion, in his own house, in the 8th or 12th part of the day, nobody is happier than him. For him the day is not a bad day. O Maghavaan, His happiness is in that little vegetable which he has cooked. Who eats his own vegetable or fruit in his own house without depending on anybody, he is a respectable man, but if a man eats good food in others house, that is not good. There is nothing sweeter and sacred if that person eats that food fist offering his guest. Each mouthful of such food is equal to the donation of 1000 cows." After talking to Bak, Indra went away to Heaven.

Greatness of Kshatriya - Suhotra and Shibi

[3-193]  Maarkandeya Jee continued - "Paandav again said to Maaarkandeya Jee - "You have told us the greatness of Brahman, now please tell us the greatness of royal Kshatriya also. There was a Kuru king named Suhotra. Once he went to visit some Rishi. When he was coming back from there, he saw the King Shibi, the son of Usheenar, coming in his chariot. As they came before each other, they greeted each other according to their age, but considering them equal in might, both refused to give way to each other. At the same time Naarad Jee appeared there and asked them - "Why are you standing like this in front of each other blocking each others way?" Both spoke - "Do not ask this. Wise people say that he should give the way to whoever is superior and abler to him. We are blocking each others way because we are equal to each other. There is no superior between us." Hearing this Naarad Jee spoke three Shlok - "O King of Kuru race, he that is wicked behaves wickedly even to him that is humble; he also that is humble behaves with humility and honestly unto him that is wicked! He that is honest behaves honestly even towards the dishonest. Why should he not behave honestly towards him that is honest? He that is honest regards the service that is done to him, as if it were a hundred times greater than it is. Is this not common amongst the gods themselves? Certainly it is the royal son of Usheenar, Shibi is possessed of greater goodness than yours. One should conquer the mean by charity; the untruthful by truth, the man of wicked deeds by forgiveness; and the dishonest by honesty. Both of you are large-hearted. Let one amongst you stand aside, according to the indication of the above Shlok." And having said so Naarad Jee became silent, and hearing what Naarad Jee had said the king of the Kuru race walking round Shibi, and praising his numerous achievements, gave him the way and went on in his course. It was even thus that Naarad had described the high blessedness of the royal Kshatriya."

[3-194] Maarkandeya Jee said - "Now you listen to another story. One day Yayaati, son of Raajaa Nahush, was sitting on his throne, that a Braahman came to him and asked for some wealth for his Guru according to his promise. Raajaa asked him what was his promise. The Braahman said - "When men are asked for alms, they contempt to them who asks for it. So I ask you with whatever feelings you will give me what I ask for." The King replied - "I never boast for the thing after I have given it away and I always feel happy. I give you a 1,000 cows. The Braahman who asks me a gift is always dear to me. I am never angry with the person who asks from me and I never feel sorry after giving it away." Braahman took the cows and went away."

Sedukaa and Vrish-darbh

[3-195] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yudhishthir again asked Maarkandeya Jee - "Now you tell us about the high fortune of royal Kshatriya." Maarkandeya Jee said - "There were two kings named Vrish-darbh and Sedukaa. Both of them were very well conversed with morals and weapons. Sedukaa knew that since childhood Vrish-darbh had taken a vow that he would give Braahman no other metal except gold and silver. Once a Braahmna came to Sedukaa after finishing his studies. he greeted him, and asked him 1,000 horses to give to his Guru. Sedukaa said - "It is not possible to give me these to your Guru, so you go to Vrish-darbh. He is highly virtuous king, ask this alms from him." So the Braahman went to Vrish-darbh and begged him 1,000 horses. Vrish-darbh struck him with a whip. The Braahman said - "I am innocent, why did you hit me like this?" And the Braahman was about to curse the King that the King said - "Do you want to curse him who does not to give what you asked for? Or is this a proper behavior for a Braahman?" The Braahman said - "King Sedukaa has sent me here, that is why I have come here." The King said - "I will give you whatever gift will come to me before the morning. How can I send you empty handed who has been whipped by me?" And the King gave him the entire proceeds which came on that day, it was more than the value of 1,000 horses."

Raajaa Shibi

[3-196] Maarkandeya Jee said - "Once Devtaa thought they should come to Prithvi and try the goodness and virtue of Raajaa Shibi, the son of Usheenar. So Agni Dev assumed the form of a pigeon and Indra took the form of a hawk. Pigeon flew away from the hawk, and the hawk followed him. Pigeon came flying and fell in the lap of the King Shibi. The priests who were sitting in his court said to the King - "This pigeon has come to you to seek refuge afraid of the hawk. The learned say that falling of a pigeon on one's body is a mark of a great danger. Give some wealth to remove this danger from your life." The pigeon said - "I have come to you to seek protection from the hawk. I am a Muni. I have assumed the form of a pigeon, save me. I am in Brahmcharya mode and I have never spoken any disagreeable word to my Guru. I am sinless, I study Ved and I have studied them letter by letter. I am not a pigeon, do not give me to hawk. Giving up a learned Braahman can never be good."

At the same time hawk came there and said to the King - "Creatures do not come in this world in the same particular order. When this world was created, maybe that you have been the son of this pigeon in your previous birth. it is not proper to take my food by protecting this pigeon [ even though he might have been your father]. The King said - "Has anyone seen birds speaking the language of human beings? After hearing both, pigeon and hawk, what do you suggest what should be done? If somebody does not protect any one coming to him frightfully to seek protection, he himself does not get protection when he needs it for himself. Rain does not fall for him according to seasons, and the seeds do not grow for him. He who does not protect the refugee he sees the death of his own children and his ancestors can never live in Heaven and Devtaa do not accept his offerings. Indra hits him by his Vajra (thunderbolt). O Hawk, Let my people cook a bull with rice and offer you as your food instead of this pigeon, and let them carry it wherever you can eat it comfortably."

Hearing him the hawk said - "I do not ask for a bull, or any other meat, or more meat in quantity, I want to have only this pigeon. Devtaa has given it to me. They have given me it as its death has approached by my eating. So Hey Raajan, Give it to me." The King said - "Let my people carry the whole bull for you, it will be a ransom for this frightful creature, but please do not kill this pigeon. I can give my life but I will not give this pigeon to you. Do you know that this creature looks like a sacrifice with Som Juice? So do not take it. I cannot give you this pigeon by any means. Or O Hawk, You may ask me to do some other thing which I may do for you, which may satisfy you and by doing which me men can admire me." At this the hawk said - "If you can give me as much equal meat of your own body as this pigeon, cutting off your right thigh, then only this pigeon can be saved. When you will do this for me, your people will praise you."

The King agreed and he started cutting off his flesh from his right thigh and weighed it against the pigeon, but the pigeon weighed heavier. The King again cur off his flesh and added it to the previous one but the pigeon still weighed heavier. Now the King had cut off all his body parts one by one and weighed against the pigeon, but still the pigeon was heavier than his flesh. So the King himself sat on the scale. Seeing this the hawk disappeared saying "the pigeon has been saved." The King asked the pigeon - "O Pigeon, tell me who is the hawk. Only the Lord of the Universe could do this. O Pigeon, Please reply." Pigeon said - "I am Agni called also Vaishwaanar. And the hawk is none other than Shachee's husband Indra. O Son of Surath, You are a bull among men. We came to try you. The pieces of your body which you put on the scale to save me will again be the part of your body. I will make these marks auspicious, of gold color and emitting a sweet perfume. You will be respected by Devtaa and Rishi and rule your people for long time. You will have a son named Kapot-romaa from your own body and you will see him beautiful, brave, mighty and famous."

Story of Maadhavee's Sons-Shibi

[3-197] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Yudhishthir again asked Maarkandeya Jee - "Hey Muni, Tell us about great good fortune of kings." Maarkandeya Jee said - "In Vishwaamitra's family there was a king named Ashtak (Ashtak was Vishwaamitra's son from Yayaati's daughter Maadhavee). Once Ashtak did Ashwamedh Yagya and many kings came in his Ashwamedh Yagya. His three brothers - Pratardan, Vasumaan and Shibi (son of Usheenar) also came. (Read the story of Gaalav Muni to know who were these kings and how they were brothers?). After the sacrifice was over Ashtak was going in his chariot with his brothers, that he saw Naarad Jee coming to him. They all greeted him and requested him to ride their chariot. Naarad Jee agreed and sat in their chariot. One of those brothers said to Naarad Jee - "O Holy One, I wish to ask you one thing." Rishi said - "Ask." He said - "All four of us are blessed with long lives, to be with every virtue, and we are permitted to go to a certain Heaven and live their for a long period. We want to know who amongst us will fall down first?" Naarad Jee said - "Ashtak will fall down first." he asked - "Why is it so?" Naarad Jee said - "Once I lived in the palace of Ashtak. One day he took me out of the town in his chariot. I saw there thousands of cows which were of many colors. Seeing those cows I asked Ashtak - "Whose cows are these?" Ashtak replied - "I have given these cows away." It showed his praise. So for giving me such answer he will come down first."

After that another one enquired - "Then amongst the rest of the three who will come down first?" Naarad Jee said - "It will be Pratardan." "Why Sir?" Naarad Jee said - "Once I went to Pratardan's palace and lived there for some time. Once he also took me out. On the way a Braahman said to him - "Give me a horse." Pratardan said - "After I come back, then I will give you one." The Braahman said - "It should be given to me soon." When Braahman said thus, Prataradan gave him his horse which was yoked towards his right wheel. Then came another Braahman who also wanted a horse. Pratardan gave him the horse which was yoked towards his left wheel and proceeded on his journey. Then came another Braahman who also wanted a horse. Pratardan said to him - "After I come back, then I will give you one." But the Braahman said -  "It should be given to me soon." The King gave him his only horse he had. He then yoked himself in the chariot and started drawing it. When he was doing so, he said - "Now there is nothing for Braahman." Although the King gave his horses but with detraction, and for that speech, he will fall down from Heaven."

After this from the two remaining, one asked - "Now from the two of us who will fall down first?" Naarad Jee said - "It will be Vasumaan." "Why is it so?" Naarad Jee said - "Once I went to Vasumaan's place. At that time Braahman were reciting Swastivaachan for a flowery chariot. After the Braahman finished their Swastivaachan, the flowery chariot became visible to them. I praised the chariot. Hearing its praise the King said to me - "You have praised the chariot, so this chariot is yours." After this I went to Vasumaan some another time when I needed that chariot. I admired the chariot and the King again said - "It is yours." Then I went to the king for the third time and I admired the chariot again. The King showed the chariot to Braahman and said to me - "You have praised the chariot sufficiently." Thus the King said this to me but never gifted that chariot to me. And for this reason he will fall down."

And the last one among them said - "And the one who is to go with you, who will go and who will fall down?" Naarad Jee said - "Shibi will go and I will fall down." "Why is it so?" Naarad Jee said - I am not equal of Shibi. One day a Braahman came to him for food, he said - "O King, I have come to you for food." Shibi said - "What shall I give to you, please order me." The Braahman replied - "This your son named Brihadgarbh should be killed and should be cooked for my food." I just stood there to see what happens next. Shibi took his son, killed him and cooked him properly. Placing that food in a pot he kept it on his head and brought it for Braahman, but he did not find the Braahman there so he went in search of him. When he was searching for that Braahman, people said to him - "The Braahman you are looking for, has gone towards city and is setting fire to your abode, inner apartments, treasury stable etc." Shibi, without changing the color of his face, entered the city and said to the Braahman - "Honorable Sir, Your food is ready." Hearing this, the surprised Braahman just stood there lowering his eyes. Shi again said to him - "O Honorable One, Please eat your food." The Braahman looked at Shibi for a moment and spoke to him - "You eat this food." Shibi said - "Let it be so." Shibi cheerfully took the food from the pot and was about to eat, that the Braahman caught his hand and said - "You have indeed conquered wrath. There is nothing you cannot give to Braahman." Saying this the Braahman praised Shibi and Shibi found his son standing like a Devtaa himself, adored with ornaments, emitting fragrance from his body. The Braahman himself showed his real form - Vidhaataa, and then he disappeared.

Counselors asked the King - "You know everything. For what did you do all this?" Shibi said - "It was not for fame, not for wealth, not for any other material benefit. I did this because it is not sinful and I do this because my heart is bent upon to do all this."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 10/05/13