Romaka Jataka

ROMAKA JATAKA

Image Source: Pexel

Once the Bodhisatta was born as the king of the pigeons in a cave of the hills. His name was Romaka. Close to those hills there lived an ascetic. Romaka visited him time to time to listen to his sermons. But one day, the ascetic left his hut and went to some other place. By and by, a spurious hermit came to live in the same hut.

One day, the villagers served some sumptuous spicy dish to the false ascetic, who in turn relished it much. Having learnt that it was the pigeon’s meat, he developed a strong yearning to eat more of the pigeons’ meat. He then recalled that several pigeons lived close by in the hills, and often visited his hut. So, he planned to kill and cook them.

Next day, he made all preparations to cook the pigeons’ meat. He went outside and brought some rice and ghee, spices, salt and pepper to cook the pigeons’ flesh. He then concealed a staff inside his robe and waited at the hut-door for the pigeons. Luckily, that day, the pigeons flew close to the hut under the leadership of Romaka, who before landing ensured the safety of the site. There, he smelt the spicy odour inside the hut and was alarmed. So, he ordered his followers to keep flying and not to descend there.

When the spurious ascetic noted that the pigeons were flying away, he coaxed them in sweet words. Romaka then expressed his distrust in response. When the false ascetic learnt that his plot to kill them was no longer a secret, he angrily hurled the staff upon the pigeon king, which, however, missed him. So, he muttered “Oh! I missed you!”

Hearing so, Romaka shouted back, “Yes, you missed us, but you will not miss the purgatories where you will suffer for ages. Further, if you stay here, in the place of a hermit any longer, I shall reveal your real identity to the villagers, who in turn shall punish you.”

Frightened with the threat, the spurious ascetic left the hermitage for some unknown place.

Source: http://www.ignca.gov.in/online-digital-resources/jataka-stories/027-the-story-of-romaka-pigeon/


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta JatakaThe previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Sīhacamma Jataka

SIHACAMMA JATAKA

Image Source: Wikimedia

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta was reigning in Benares, the Bodhisattva was born in a farmer’s family, and when he grew up he got a livelihood by tillage.

At the same time there was a Merchant who used to go about hawking goods, which a donkey carried for him. Wherever he went, he used to take his bundle off the donkey, and throw a lion-skin over him, and then turn him loose in the rice and barley fields. When the watchmen saw this creature, they imagined him to be a lion, and so dared not come near him.

One day this hawker stopped at a certain village, and while he was getting his own breakfast cooked, he turned the donkey loose in a barley field with the lion-skin on. The watchmen thought it was a lion, and dared not come near, but fled home and gave the alarm. All the villagers armed themselves, and hurried to the field, shouting and blowing on conchs and beating drums. The donkey was frightened out of his wits, and gave a hee-haw! Then the Bodhisattva, seeing that it was a donkey, said:

“Nor lion not tiger I see,
Not even a leopard is he:
But a donkey–the miserable old one!
With a lion-skin over his back!”

As soon as the villagers learnt that it was only a donkey, they beat it with sticks till they broke his bones, and then went off with the lion-skin. When the Merchant appeared, and found that his donkey had come to grief, said:-

“The donkey, if he had been wise,
Might long the green barley have eaten;
A lion-skin was his disguise:
But he gave a hee-haw, and got beaten!”

As he was in the act of uttering these words, the donkey expired. The Merchant left him, and went his way.

Source:

http://www.tipitaka.fandom.com/wiki/-J%C4%81taka


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta JatakaThe previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka The story of Vidhura and how he ends up giving a happy ending to not one, but all characters in the story… Read Now

Sama Veda

SAMA VEDA

Image Source: Wikipedia

The Vedas are the Oldest scriptures of India and one of the oldest extant texts in the Indo-European languages. Among those the Samaveda, is the Veda of melodies and chants the earliest parts of which are believed to date from as early as the Rigvedic period, the existing compilation dates from the post-Rigvedic Mantra period of Vedic Sanskrit, c. 1200 or 1000 BCE.

It is the shortest among the Vedas and is a liturgical text which consists of 1,549 verses in which all but 75 have been taken from the Rigveda. 

The Samaveda comprises two major parts. The first part include four melody collections and the second part three verse “books,” and just like Rigveda, the early sections of Samaveda typically begin with Agni and Indra hymns but shift to abstract speculations and philosophy, and their meters too shifts in a descending order. 

The text contains notated melodies, and these are probably the world’s oldest surviving ones. The musical notation is written usually immediately above, sometimes within, the line of Samaveda text, either in syllabic or a numerical form depending on the Samavedic school. Interestingly, The samhita is not meant to be read as a text, it is like a musical score sheet that must be heard. 

The Veda shows two primary Upanishads of Hinduism are embedded inside the Samaveda – the Chandogya Upanishad and the Kena Upanishad. Both are notable for the lifting metric melodic structure and the Indian classical music and dance, is rooted in the sonic and musical dimensions of the Sama Veda. 

The Samaveda, in addition to singing and chanting, also mentions instruments. The rules and suggestions for playing various instruments form a separate compilation, called the Gandharva-Veda, and this Upaveda is attached to the Samaveda. The structure and theory of chants in the Samaveda have inspired the organizing principle for Indian classical arts and performances, and this root has been widely acknowledged by musicologists dealing with the history of Indian music.


Quotes


“Laziness erodes a person of his enthusiasm and energy. As a result the person loses all opportunities and finally becomes dejected and frustrated. The worst thing is that he stops believing in himself.”


“The light of knowledge is fully capable of destroying the darkness of ignorance. This also help us in overcoming all the difficulties and in achieving success in all our endeavours.”


“We should take inspiration from the sun and work constantly for the benefit of mankind, so that peace and prosperity prevails everywhere.”


“A real ‘karma-yogi’, who first acquires knowledge and then works for the welfare of people, quite naturally becomes popular and famous. There is no enemy of such a man but even if there are, he is able to vanquish them. His popularity in the society increases on account of his successes and good deeds.”


“Pride of wealth destroys wealth, pride of strength destroys strength and in the same manner pride of knowledge destroys knowledge.”


“Life has been compared with a battle and rightly so, as each day comes up with a new set of challenges which we must meet. One can just not shy away from the problems if he has to survive. He has to meet to challenges with courage”


“Life devoid of struggles is a life bereft of happiness because the value of happiness is realized only after pain.”


“Only those, who work hard can think of achieving something. Sitting idle or hoping for results without making any effort is nothing but foolishness.”

“Great people give inspiration by their deeds. They lead by examples. Common people always emulate them.”


“Knowledge removes the darkness of ignorance and thus helps even the most ignorant man to become knowledgeable.”


“Just as an arrow once released from the bow can not return, in the same manner painful and harsh words can not be taken back.”


“We should guard ourselves against pride because pride leads to downfall.”


“We should always refrain from speaking harsh words that inflict pain. Our speech should be such that it gives joy to others.”


“As the saying goes that a man is known by the company he keeps. Good company can make a man whereas bad company can ruin him.”


“Anybody desirous of success should spend some time in introspection and contemplation.”


“A raindrop coming in contact with fire looses it’s existence while that falling on a shell becomes a ‘pearl.'” 


“As are your thoughts so will be your actions. One should therefore refrain from listening to anything that is bad and negative lest his mind should not gets polluted.”


“A man will never attain satisfaction, despite all his riches until and unless he is spiritually sound.”


“A man, who realizes the potential of his mind by means of introspection and contemplation, he does not lack self-confidence. He has control over his mind and he is able to realize it’s full potential.”


“A man, who is constantly engaged in action and works hard until he has achieved his goal undergoes lots of metamorphosis and positive change which helps in his self improvement.”


“The mettle of a man is tested in adversities and he, who remains firm in his beliefs comes out shining.”


“If one is determined and honest and also willing to give his best efforts then attaining liberation is not impossible.”


“A king, who adheres to the path of righteousness and truth, naturally becomes famous and immortal.People have high regards for a ruler who is truthful, just and kind. Peace and prosperity prevails in his kingdom.”


“Destroy ‘people of hatred’ with the help of knowledge.”


“One, who maintains cleanliness keeps away diseases.”


“People of double standards never experience happiness.”


“Nothing can be achieved without enduring the ‘fire of tapa.’”


“Deities never favour the lazy and indolent. Deities bless the diligent.”


“You fight a battle everyday.”


“Fire enkindles fire”


“There are 10 characteristics of ‘Dharma’ – (1) Stability of mind, (2) forgiveness, (3) benevolence, (4) abstinence, (5) purity, (6) Control of senses, (7) intellect, (8) knowledge, (9) truth , (10) abstinence from anger.”


“Thou are great just like all-capable deities.”


“People, who rise above their petty individual selfishness and work for the welfare of society are considered patriots.”


Sources:

https://www.successories.com/iquote/author/17467/sam-veda-quotes/1

https://www.quotetab.com/quotes/by-sam-veda

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Sama_Veda

https://www.onelittleangel.com/wisdom/quotes/saint.asp?mc=1613

http://101sharequotes.com/authors/Sama_Veda

http://motivation-scribe.blogspot.com/2012/06/quotes-sam-veda.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samaveda#:~:text=The%20Samaveda%20(Sanskrit%3A%20%E0%A4%B8%E0%A4%BE%E0%A4%AE%E0%A4%B5%E0%A5%87%E0%A4%A6%2C,which%20consists%20of%201%2C549%20verses.

Samaveda

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Samaveda

https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sv.htm

http://www.vedicgranth.org/what_are_vedic_granth/the-four-veda/sam-veda

https://www.hinduwebsite.com/upanishads/essays/samaveda-upanishads.asp

Samosa

SAMOSA

Image Source: Wikimedia

Our very own and favourite delicacy, the samosa was never ours. The neatly folded, tightly packed savoury goodness actually travelled far and wide thanks to its amazing social networking skills, it adapted to the local’s tastes and settled here like no other. It even left its footprints along the way and different forms and names of this stuffed triangle can be found from Egypt to Libya and Central Asia to India. 

Historically, the word samosa can be traced to the Persian word sanbosag, that originated in the Middle East and Central Asia. Here, small mince-filled triangles were easy to make around the campfire during night halts and were packed into saddlebags as snacks for the next day’s journey.

It then spread to Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and so on. The chamuças spread to Portugal, Mozambique, and Brazil as ‘pastéis’. 

Today, while the Arab countries have semi-circular ‘sambusak’ containing minced chicken or meat with onion, feta cheese, and spinach. In Israel, it includes mashed chickpeas also. In Central Asian Turkic-speaking countries, the ‘somsa’ is baked instead of being fried and minced lamb and onion is the most popular filling. In Africa, the ‘sambusa’ is a staple of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. The snack is traditionally served at Ramadan, Christmas and other special occasions. 

However, it can be noted that all these dishes are rather different from the Indian Samosa, as they  are non vegetarian. This is because it was only after the “samosa” arrived in India, that it adopted vegetarianism. This happened, following the invasion of the Central Asian Turkic dynasties and the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate in the region, through traders around the 13th-14th century.

Amir Khusro wrote in around 1300 CE that the princes and nobles enjoyed the “samosa prepared from meat, ghee, onion, and so on”. Even Ibn-Batuta describes a meal at the court of Muhammad bin Tughluq, where the samushak or sambusak, a small pie stuffed with minced meat, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and spices, was served before the third course, of pulao. Nimmatnama-i-Nasiruddin-Shahi, a cookbook started for Ghiyath al-Din Khalji also mentions the art of making samosa. However, today, it is hard to imagine a samosa containing anything but potato for most people residing in the subcontinent. Thus, it was not immediately with the entering the subcontinent that samosa was filled with aloo (potato) as it had to be transformed further by successive waves of migrants into India. Even though addition of coriander, pepper, caraway seeds, ginger and most importantly vegetables began.

A samosa began to be filled with potato and flavoured with green chillies as late as the 16th Century as they were introduced from the New World by Portuguese traders then.

The samosa offers you the ultimate tongue seduction, yet is worth noting is that in India itself, there are many variations of the same, for example, in Hyderabad, the samosa is known as ‘lukhmi’ and has a thicker crust and is usually filled with minced-meat. Bengali ‘shingaras’ are smaller and sweeter than samosas. It has a flakier crust made from white flower instead of wheat flower. The filling includes unmashed boiled potatoes. The Goan samosa is known as a ‘chamuças’, which is made with minced pork, chicken, or beef.

And, of course, the samosa’s journey did not end in India. After centuries of refinement and reworking here it followed new routes back out into the world. The British loved the samosa and spread the now uniquely Indian innovation across their vast empire – along with shampoo, bungalows, verandas and pyjamas. And, as the Indian diaspora has spread around the globe in the last few centuries, they too took samosas with them. Which is why what began as a tasty titbit for ancient Persian emperors is now enjoyed in virtually every country on Earth.

Thus, the samosa has a surprisingly rich, diverse, and storied history, having traveled far and wide through Central Asia and across the Himalayan Steppe to reach the place that in modern times is thought of as its home. And it is a historic artefact – as well as delectable evidence that there is nothing new about the process of globalisation.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samosa

https://qz.com/india/335836/a-short-history-of-the-samosa/

https://www.desiblitz.com/content/history-samosa

https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-36548445

https://scroll.in/article/701243/a-short-history-of-the-samosa

Rakhigarhi

RAKHIGARHI

Image Source: Wikimedia

Rakhigarhi, is a village in Hisar, Haryana. It is a pre-Indus Valley Civilization site going back to about 6500 BCE that was also a part of the mature Indus Valley Civilisation (2600-1900 BCE). 

Located in the now dry Sarasvati river plain, it encompasses a set of seven mounds, and many more settlement mounds in the immediate vicinity not all which were occupied at the same time. The discovery of additional mounds resulted is extremely important as it led to Rakhigarhi becoming the largest Indus Valley Civilization site, overtaking Mohenjodaro.

Unfortunately, a lot of the area hasn’t excavated and published. However, the most concerning thing is that in May 2012, the Global Heritage Fund (non-profit organization that operates internationally, co-funding for global heritage sites to ensure their sustainable preservation and responsible development), declared Rakhigarhi one of the 10 most endangered heritage sites in Asia. 

In 1963, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) began excavations at this site, still, little has been published about it. Further excavations were conducted the ASI headed by the archaeologist, Amarendra Nath, between 1997 and 2000. The more recent excavations have been performed by Vasant Shinde.

Evidence of paved roads, drainage system, large rainwater collection, storage system, terracotta bricks, statue production, and skilled working of bronze and precious metals have been uncovered. 

Digging so far reveals a well planned city with 1.92 m wide roads, pottery, pits surrounded by walls thought to be for sacrificial or some religious ceremonies. There are also brick lined drains to handle sewage from the houses, terracotta statues, weights, bronze artefacts, comb, copper fish hooks, needles and terracotta seals have also been found. 

In April 2015, four complete human skeletons were excavated belonging to two male adults, one female adult and one child. Pottery with grains of food as well as shell bangles were found around these skeletons. As the skeletons were excavated scientifically without any contamination, archaeologists think that with their DNA obtained, it is possible to determine how Harappans looked like 4500 years ago. DNA tests have been carried out on a single skeleton. Results announced in September 2018 showed that the skeleton had no Steppe DNA which may support the idea that Steppe DNA was introduced to India later by the Indo-Aryans.

From some other skeletons we know that bone remains of secondary burials were not charred hence ruling out the possibility of cremation practices. Parasite eggs which were once existed in the stomach of some of those buried were found in the burial sites along with human skeletons. Analysis of Human DNA obtained from human bones as well as analysis of parasite and animal DNA will be done to assert origins of these people.

Sources:

https://www.drishtiias.com/daily-updates/daily-news-analysis/rakhigarhi-to-be-developed-as-an-iconic-site

https://www.hindustantimes.com/chandigarh/haryana-s-harappan-site-rakhigarhi-to-have-museum/story-kV97aSZ2NQix63pcsOSyFJ.html

https://www.incredibleindia.org/content/incredibleindia/en/destinations/hissar/ancient-site-of-rakhigarhi.html

http://haryanatourism.gov.in/Destination/ancient-site-of-rakhigarhi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakhigarhi

Rig Vedic Quotes

RIG VEDIC QUOTES

Image Source: Wikimedia

The Vedas are the Oldest scriptures of India and one of the oldest extant texts in the Indo-European languages. The Rigveda samhita being the oldest among the four (Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda) and is dated between 1500 to 1200 BCE.

The text in the Rig Veda is layered, consisting of the Samhita, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads. However, it is the Rigveda Samhita that is of most prominence, it consists of 10 books or mandalas with 1028 hymns or suktas in about 10,600 verses that have been written in the form of dialogues, dramatic play or pedagogic style.

It is ironic that Books 2-9 were composed first, while books 1 and 10 were added later. This is evident from the fact that the older books have hymns dedicated to discussions of cosmology and praises of the deities while the younger books also deal with philosophical and speculative questions, virtues, questions of origin of the universe and gods.

The corpus of Vedic texts had been orally transmitted from generation to generation before they were finally written down. The scripture was written on palm leaf manuscripts, copied for preservation in Hindu temples and monasteries.

Some of its verses continue to be recited during Hindu rites of celebrations and prayers, for example the Gayatri Mantra, making it probably the world’s oldest religious text in continued use.


Quotes


“Where do the gods fit in this creation scheme?”


“Who knows for certain?
Who shall here declare it?
Whence was it born, whence came creation?
The gods are later than this world’s formation;
Who then can know the origins of the world?
None knows whence creation arose;
And whether he has or has not made it;
He who surveys it from the lofty skies.
Only he knows-
or perhaps he knows not.”


“Truth is one, but the wise men know it as many; God is one, but we can approach Him in many ways.”


“One should eat nutritious food and exercise regularly to have sound health. Virtuous deeds performed with intelligence shall naturally bring good wealth.”


“Praises make the wicked deaf(they can’t tolerate criticism) while people who praise become successful because of their humility.”


“Ego is the biggest enemy of humans.”


“From it the horses were born and all that have cutting teeth in both jaws. The cows were born from it, also. From it were born goats and sheep.”


“The person, who imparts knowledge also gives numerous added advantages.”


“To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan.


“May there be unison in the speech and action of humans. Only by this shall, unity emerge and serve each other purpose. The nation shall emerge stronger and mightier because of this.”


“Laziness begets nothing but failure and lost opportunities.”


“One should never fear sorrow because it is the stepping stone to happiness.”


“One should always ensure a pure environment while making food. One should never prepare food with dirty hands. This could lead to a number of ailments and make the body weak.”


“One should strongly resent miserliness and indulge in charity because one can acquire the never-ending wealth of immortality by doing so.”


“People who are proud do not adhere or acquire anything and as a result of which the ego gets destroyed.”


“Only by attaining knowledge can one become free from ignorance and eliminate his sins. Such a man dwells independently as his mind become free from fear.”


“Lack of faith, treachery, arguments and animosity only breed malevolence. It is in the best interest of all to avoid this tread on the path of progress.”


“It is important for a person to remain healthy and sound because a healthy mind dwells in a healthy body.”


“Without knowledge a man is no better than an animal.”


“Even God blesses only those who are contemplative, intelligent and the protectors of the weak.”


“Darkness was hidden by darkness in the beginning. All this was an indistinguishable sea. That which becomes, that which was enveloped by the void, that alone was born through the power of heat.”


“The non-existent was not; the existent was not at that time. The atmosphere was not, nor the heavens which are beyond. What was concealed? Where? In whose protection? Was it water? An unfathomable abyss?”


“Intelligence is the mightiest and nothing is beyond its reach.”


“By practicing concentration the mind can be made stable. A stable mind helps in taking right decisions and achieving the desired result.”


“The mind is fickle like a fast galloping horse and the only way to control him is by involving him in good actions beneficial for the welfare of all. The person who does so shall achieve success and peace.”


“The first form of happiness is sound health, one should partake nutritious, balanced food to keep the body healthy. So it is essential to maintain the health of the mind and body simultaneously.”


“In real worship, we just not do ritualistic worship but we try to imbibe the qualities of the one we are worshipping.”


“Just as the Sun is respected for providing heat and energy to the world, in the same manner you too can attain respect in this world by acquiring knowledge.”


“Knowledge brings power.”


“Play not with dice, cultivate your corn-land. Enjoy the gain, and deem that wealth sufficient.”


“In the beginning
There was neither existence nor nonexistence,
Neither sky nor heaven beyond …
That One breathed, without breath,
By his own breathless power.
The first born was the Creative Will,
The primordial seed of the mind.
All else followed.
The sages, searching for the truth within themselves,
Discovered the eternal bond between the seen and unseen.
This bond was an endless line stretched across the heavens.
What was above?
What was below?
Primal seeds were sprouting, mighty forces were moving;
Pulsation from below, pure energy above.
Who here knows? Who can say for sure?
When it began and from where it came-this creation?
The gods came afterwards
So who really knows?
From where this creation came,
By what means it was formed,
Only He who watches from the highest heaven knows
or perhaps even He does not know!”


Sources:

https://www.onelittleangel.com/wisdom/quotes/book.asp?mc=291

https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/452304-the-rig-veda

https://www.successories.com/iquote/author/24879/rig-veda-quotes/1

https://www.quotetab.com/quotes/by-rig-veda

https://www.inspirationalstories.com/quotes/t/rig-veda/

Proverbs and Sayings

PROVERBS AND SAYINGS

Atharva Vedic Quotes

The Atharvaveda is the oldest literary text of Indian medicine believed to be the origin of Ayurveda (Indian medical science)… Read Now

Rig Vedic Quotes

The Vedas are the oldest scriptures of India and one of the oldest extant texts in the Indo-European languages, consists of 100 books or mandalas with 1028 hymns or suktas in about 10,600 verses… Read More

Sama Vedic Quotes

The smallest of the Vedas, the Sama Veda contains notated melodies and mentions instruments from the contemporary world… Read More

Yajur Vedic Quotes

Among the Vedas the Yajurveda is the Veda of mantras for ritual worship and is datable roughly between 1200-1000BCE … Read Now

Vidhura Pandita Jataka

VIDHURA PANDITA JATAKA

Image Source: Noble Silver

Once there lived a wise man named Vidhura Pandita. He became the minister of king Dhananjaya, who ruled the kingdom of Kuru with Indapatta as his capital. The king was virtuous; and so were the other three contemporary kings, namely, Sakka, the king of the devas; Varuna, the king of the Nagas; and Venateyya the king of the Supannas or garudas.

Once all the four kings met in a garden on some occasion, where each claimed to be the most virtuous. So, the dispute began, which was not resolved by them. So, they requested Vidhurapandita, the wisest person of the time to settle the dispute. Vidhura satisfied all of them by telling that each was equal just like the four spokes of a wheel. Pleased, the Naga king offered him a jewelled ornament from his own neck; and the other kings also rewarded him with some precious gifts.

When the king of the Nagas returned to his palace and Vimala, his consort noticed that his neckalace was missing she demanded an explanation. The king narrated the whole story and praised the wisdom of the Kuru minister for having resolved the dispute of the four virtuous kings. Charmed, Vimala craved to meet the minister. She asked the king, “O lord! Bring me the heart of Vidhura if you love me.” She then feigned illness.

That was the time when the yaksha General Punnaka was flying over the Naga kingdom on his white winged horse and saw the Naga princess Irandati amusing herself on a swing adorned with flowers and singing a melodious song all by herself in the royal garden. No sooner than he looked at her he lost his heart to her. So, he descended there and introduced himself to her. The princess, too, was equally charmed by his looks.

The General then went to the Naga king to ask for the Irandati’s hand. As the yakshas were far more powerful than the Nagas the Naga king could not reject his proposal outrightly on the ground by stating that the yakshas and Nagas belonged to two different species. He, therefore, obtained some time for consideration of the proposal. So, on one hand, he did not overlook the love for his daughter, who persisted for the marriage; and on the other he did not incur any hostility of his chieftains. Yet, he was indecisive.

So, he consulted his minister, who was cunning and jealous of Vidhurpandita’s wide-popularity. The minister advised him to ask Punnaka to bring the heart of the Vidhurapandita as a condition for the princess’s hands. The king accepted the suggestion as it was to fulfil the wish of the ailing Queen Vimala, too.

Punnaka accepted the condition for the marriage and went to the court of Dhananjaya in Indapatta. As he knew the king’s weakness for gambling he challenged him for a game of dice. He offered his wonderful flying horse and an all-seeing-gem at stake. Tempted for the gem when the king fumbled for his stake, Punnaka asked him to put his most precious gem, which was none other than Vidhurapandita. The game of dice was on and the king lost; so Vidhurapandita was put at the disposal of the Yaksha General. Vidhura’s wife Anujja fainted when she heard that her husband was to be taken away.

Flying on his horse with Vidhura on his back Punnaka reached a secluded place on a dark hillock called the Kalaparbata and dismounted upon it. There, he drew his sword out of the sheath and with a lightning speed struck it in the abdomen of his captive. The sword, however, did not hurt Vidhura; and was broken. Surprised, Punnaka asked the reason for this miracle but Vidhura told him that the answer to such a query would made at an appropriate time. Punnaka then wished to set him free and take him to Indapatta. But the virtuous minister so desirous to practise charity desired to help Punnaka. So, he preferred to accompany him to the Naga kingdom.

When Punnaka and Vidhura entered the Naga kingdom they were given a warm reception. The entire Naga kingdom was then decorated with flags and banners. Festoons adorned the house-tops and floral gates were erected all over the path to receive the prospective groom.

When the malicious Naga minister sought an explanation from Punnaka for not having killed Vidhura to bring his heart, Punnaka said, “As I won the costliest jewel of Indapatta from the Kuru king I did not find a matching casket for it”. The reply made the Naga minister dumb-founded.

In the Naga world, Vidhura first gave discourses to King Varuna and then to his consort Vimala. Both were delighted at his preaching.

Soon, Punnaka and Irandati were married, and lived happily.

Finally, Punnaka took Vidhura back to Indapatta and presented him the all-seeing-gem. Thus, Vidhura had the two best jewels of the time in his crown: one from the Naga king Varuna; and the other from the yaksha General Punnaka.

Source:

http://ignca.gov.in/online-digital-resources/jataka-stories/039-the-wisdom-of-vidhura-pandita/


Read Other Jatakas

Apannaka Jataka – Two merchants from the same city travel with caravans across a desert. One, beguiled by yakshas, throws away his drinking water in the desert and is devoured with all his people and cattle; will the other complete his journey?… Read Now

Chaddanta Jataka – The previous life of Buddha when he was born as a six tusked elephant… Read Now

Mahajanaka Jataka – In this life, Buddha was born as prince Mahajanaka who was born outside the luxuries of the royalty. When he finally became the king, he realized what actually matters… Read Now

Mahakapi Jataka – This story deals with a previous life of Buddha in which he was a king of monkeys and it also known as ‘The Great Monkey King’… Read Now

Romaka Jataka – The Bodhisattva was born as the king of pigeons. A man pretending to be an ascetic wants to eat the pigeons and it is the king’s responsibility to protect them… Read Now

Sibi Jataka – The Jataka deals with the life of king Sibi who was ready to give up his life to be able to save the life of a pigeon because it came asking for shelter… Read Now

Sihacamma-Jataka – What happens when a man makes his donkey wear the skin of a lion? … Read Now

Vannupatha Jataka – Travelling across a desert, a caravan through mistake throws away its water. In their despair the leader has a well dug, till far down water is found, and perseverance saves the caravan from death… Read Now

Vessantara Jataka -The story of the charitable king Vessantara who gives up more than just his kingdom to keep his people happy… Read Now

Tidbits

TIDBITS

Ajanta

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Buddhist Caves at Ajanta, in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra represent the earliest surviving paintings from the subcontinent, known to man… Read Now

Auroville

A universal town where people of all countries live in peace and progressive harmony above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities… Read Now

Loktak Lake

The largest freshwater lake in Northeast India with ‘landmasses’ floating over it. The lake is located at Manipur… Read More

Rakhigarhi

The largest and also the oldest of the oldest civilisation in India, this site has a history of over 7000 years… Read More

Samosa

A samosa is an ultimate tongue seduction from India. But the fact remains that it was never Indian to begin with… Read More

Loktak lake

LOKTAK LAKE

Image Source: Wikimedia

Loktak Lake in Bishnupur District of Manipur is the largest fresh water lake in North–East India and the world’s only floating national park in the world, Keibul Lamjao National Park, is situated on the southeastern shore of the lake. Ironically, it was initially declared as a Sanctuary in 1966, and only subsequently turned into a National Park in 1977.

It has circular floating swamps called phumdis that are in reality pieces of land with a heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at different stages of decomposition, floating on water, resembling miniature islands.

The lake covers an area of 300 sq. mtr. and serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water in the region along with being a source of livelihood for the fishermen.

Not only humans, the lake is also a home for 233 species of aquatic plants, over a 100 species of birds and 425 species of animals.

Unfortunately, the lake is now endangered, with innumerable threats like pollution, decline in diversity of avifauna, flaura and thinning of phumdis.

Sources:

http://www.manipurtourism.gov.in/in-around-loktak-lake/

http://www.thebetterindia.com/38244/loktak-lake-manipur-floating-national-park/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loktak_Lake