Thursday, November 24, 2011

Glimpses from Mahabharata # 24 - The three brothers

Ekata, Dwaita and Trita were three brothers born to the sage Gautama who led an austere life on the banks of the River Saraswati.

Gautama taught his sons to be ascetic and left the world. Of the three brothers, Trita followed the most righteous path and came to be worshipped by sages and kings.

His mind was always fixed on doing penance. Ekata and Dwaita, however, became materialistic and desired to be wealthy.

Knowing the respect that Trita commanded over his devotees, the two brothers started collecting gifts from them, mainly cattle.

After acquiring a huge herd, Ekata and Dwaita, out of greed, pushed Trita into a deep, dry well and ran way. Trita tried his best to come out of the well but was unsuccessful. He then sat at the bottom of the well and did penance.

The gods were pleased by his action and appeared before him. Trita was told to seek any boon from them. He told the gods, “I am indeed fortunate that you have appeared before me and are offering me a boon. I was worried that I would die before doing sufficient penance to propitiate my forefathers. I would therefore like to be rescued from this pit.”

The gods got him out of the well. Trita quickly sought his brothers. He was enraged by their attempt to kill him as he did not want to die before fulfilling his obligations on earth.

He cursed the two brothers, “It is greed that drove you to this treacherous action. May you become jackals and roam the forest forever seeking food.” The two brothers have since become jackals and are roaming in the forest on Saraswati’s banks.

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