We will wrap up this month posts with a few more short stories from the Maha Bharata:
A greedy hunter chanced upon a strange animal in the forest, which he had never seen before. He killed the creature without remorse. The creature roared aloud as it fell down. Immediately angels from above showered flowers on the hunter. The animal he had killed was a dangerous demon in disguise who had eluded the gods for a long time. For his act of killing an animal he did not even recognize the hunter earned a place in heaven.
There was once a sage living in the forest who had sworn to tell the Truth, whatever the circumstances. One day a few men who were pursued by robbers ran past his hermitage. The robbers who followed accosted the sage and asked him about the fugitives. The sage, true to his vow to always tell the Truth, pointed out to the robbers where the fugitives were hiding. The robbers caught the men, killed them and made away with the loot. By speaking the Truth, the sage had only committed a sin for which he was sent to hell.
Surabhi, the celestial cow, was found weeping by Indra, the lord of the gods. Indra asked the cow the reason for her sadness. Surabhi said, “Glorious lord. I am well fed and everybody treats me with affection. But on earth my son is being ill treated by the farmer. This bull is yoked along with another and the farmer is ploughing the land. While the other bull is strong, this one is lean and without strength. The farmer is beating my son with a stick to make him work.” Indra asked Surabhi, “You have thousands of sons. Why then do you grieve for this one alone?” Surabhi replied, “I grieve for any son of mine who is in pain.” Indra realized what a mother’s love meant. Using his Vajra weapon, he released heavy rain on the field so that the farmer had to stop ploughing.
A fowler laid his net in which two birds were trapped. The birds intelligently caught the net in their beaks and started flying. The fowler began running after the birds which were carrying the net. A sage observed this and asked the man, “How can you chase on earth the birds which are flying in the air?” The fowler replied, “O sage, I know for certain that these two birds would quarrel amongst themselves and would then fall to earth.” Just as the fowler predicted, the birds started arguing between themselves and neglected to keep the net in the air. They fell down and became an easy prey to the hunter. Moral? Fights between kinsmen would lead to danger and destruction.