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Story No 7-Enlightened Butcher

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7-Enlightened Butcher
From   Mahaabhaarat

There was a man whose name was Kaushik. He was the only son of his parents. One day he said to his mother - "Mother, I want to go to forest for spiritual studies." His mother said - "But my son, Your father is so sick that he cannot move by himself, if you will go away, then who is going to assist us in our daily needs?" But Kaushik did not listen to her and went to forest. His mother watched him going to forest but could not do anything. Eventually Kaushik acquired great mystic powers.

One day he was meditating under a tree, that a crane perched on a branch of a tree and his some droppings fell on his head. Kaushik got very furious, as he gazed at him the bird fell dead. Seeing him dead, Kaushik got very sorry, he thought how it so happened that the anger took over him that way. In the evening he went to ask for some alms. The woman asked him to wait and went inside to bring some food for him. She was bringing it outside that her husband came home. She put the pot of food aside and attended to her husband. After she had attended her husband, she brought the food for Kaushik.

Kaushik had seen his powers already, so he was very proud of his powers. He said to her - "You attended your husband before me, are you aware of Braahman's powers?" She calmly replied - "Yes, I am aware of them. Braahman is he who has controlled his anger. Please do not threaten me, I am not the crane who will die by your gaze." Kaushik was astonished to hear this, he thought, "How does she know about the crane incident?"

She continued - "You are a learned Braahman but you have not understood the truth about virtue. If you want to be enlightened, then go to Dharm Vyaadh (Vyaadh means killer of animals) who lives in Mathuraa city. Anyone will tell you his address." Kaushik thought, "He must be a great sage. I should go and meet him." So he set off to Mathuraa. But when he reached his place, he found himself standing in front of a butcher's place. He thought, "How can a butcher be a great sage?"

Seeing Kaushik standing near his shop, he said to him - "Just wait for a while, let me finish the work in my hand, then I will attend you." He finished all his customers and came to him and said politely - "I know the story of crane and the woman who has sent you here. Come home with me." Now Kaushik got more surprised than before, "How the hell this Vyaadh knew about both the incidents?" He could not hold his ideas longer, so he said - "Butchering animals is a sinful profession, are you not ashamed of yourself?" The butcher said - "No, No, not at all. This is my ancestral profession. I work hard and honestly at it, there is no reason to be ashamed of it. If you think that I injure other animals, you also injured the crane. When we walk on the ground we kill many living beings and so in the air too."

Talking thus they came to the butcher's house. Butcher's wife was doing her house job and their two children were playing outside. Butcher entered the house, introduced Kaushik to his wife and touched his parents' feet. He said to his old father - "Here is a learned Braahman who has come here from a far place." His father welcomed him. The butcher said - "My parents are God for me. My wife and children attend to them sincerely and with great devotion. One finds the true virtue lying in performing his duty cheerfully. This is why that Pativrataa woman has sent you here to learn." The butcher continued - "You have run away from your duties and deserted your old parents, that is not good. Spiritual achievement is useless if one neglects his Dharm (duties)."

Butcher had opened Kaushik's eyes. He remembered his mother's crying face - "Who will take care of us when you are gone?" He said to butcher - "O holy one, You have shown me the path of true virtue, I am deeply indebted to you." He immediately returned to his parents and served them with love and devotion till they lived.

[One should never neglect his Dharm or duties. The knowledge of Dharm and duties comes by reading scriptures and Dharm Shaastra.]



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 06/04/13