Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Glimpses from Mahabharata # 29 - Five friends

Yet another short story from the Maha Bharata:

Five Friends were passing through a forest.

On the way they came across a river swollen with floods. In the middle of the river they observed a dark bundle floating.

They could not have known that it was in fact a bear which was struggling to keep afloat.

One of the friends, always known to brag about his own prowess, told the others that he could jump into the river and, swimming to where the bundle was, bring it to the shore.

“It may contain riches,” he said. He then jumped into the river and easily reached the bundle. He put his hands around the object and started to pull it towards himself.

The bear, in desperation, caught hold of the man hoping that would keep him afloat. What followed was a struggle between the man and the bundle.

The friends on the shore realized that something had gone wrong. They shouted, “Leave the bundle and get back to the shore.”

The man in the water shouted in reply, “I am prepared to leave it, but it is not prepared to leave me.”

Ultimately, the one who always was boasting of his skills and prowess, found himself drained along with the bear leaving behind a moral for others to understand.

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