Raam Charit Maanas | Biographies
Once upon a time, there lived a king, named Raajaa Shibi. He was very famous for giving shelter to any living being whosoever came into his shelter. Once Dev Raaj Indra and Dharm Raaj thought to test him for this. Dev Raaj Indra took the form of a pigeon and Dharm Raaj took the form of a Baaz (pelican, a stronger and larger bird than the pigeon, eats the pigeon). Now the Baaz followed the pigeon.
One day Raajaa was sitting in his court, that the pigeon came flying and fell into Raajaa's lap and hid himself there. He was a bit wounded and a little blood was also flowing from his wounds. In the meantime the Baaz also came following him and seeing the pigeon hiding in Raajaa's lap said to Raajaa - "Hey Raajan, This is my prey, so give it to me."
Seeing Baaz the pigeon got scared and hid more in his lap. Raajaa caressed the pigeon kindly and said to the Baaz - "Maybe, it was your prey, but now he is in my shelter, and whosoever comes in my shelter, it is my duty to protect him, so I cannot give him to you."
Baaz said - "O King, It will be injustice to me if you will not give me my prey. He is my food. If you don't give him to me, then I will be hungry." Raajaa said - "That is not a problem at all. I am a king. I have lots of food in my kingdom, you can take as much as it can satisfy you." Baaz said - "You cannot kill others to protect one. This is against religion. I cannot accept such food."
Raajaa thought for a few moments, then spoke - "Well, I cannot give you this pigeon because it is my duty to protect him, but at least I have the right to offer you my flesh in exchange of this pigeon, don't I?"
Baaz accepted his offer. All courtiers were astonished at Raajaa's decision. A large scale was set in the court. Raajaa kept the pigeon on one side of the scale, and he started cutting his flesh and keeping it on the other side of the scale to make it equal to the flesh of the pigeon. He continued to cut his flesh and keeping it on the scale but it never became equal to the pigeon's flesh. Pigeon always remained heavier than his own flesh. In the end he himself sat on the scale to make his flesh equal to the pigeon's flesh.
As Raajaa himself sat on the scale, all courtiers shouted - "God bless the king, God bless the king." Then pigeon and Baaz also appeared in their real form as Dev Raaj Indra and Dharm Raaj and made him all right. They were very happy to see Raajaa and his duty to protect living beings. They made him whole and he ruled for many years to come.