Today's Beautiful Gem: The first part of a
passage from the Mahabharata
entitled "The enchanted pool or Yaksha's questions" retold
by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari.
"Yudhistira also descended into the pool, in his turn drawn to
the water by a consuming thirst. At once the voice without form
warned as before: `Your brothers died because they did not heed
my words. Do not follow them. Answer my questions first and then
quench your thirst. This pool is mine.'
"Yudhistira knew that these could be none other than the words
of a yaksha and guessed what had happende to his brothers. He
saw a possible way of redeeming the situation. He said to the
bodiless voice: `Please ask your questions.' It asked:`What makes
the sun shine every day?' Yudhistira replied: `The power of
Brahman.' `What rescues man in danger?' `Courage is man's
salvation in danger.' `By the study of which science does man
become wise?' `Not by studying any sastra does man become wise.
It is by association with the great in wisdom that he gets wisdom.'
"The yaksha asked: `What is more nobly sustaining than the earth?'
Yudhistira replied: `The mother who brings up the children she
has borne is nobler and more understanding than the earth.'
`What is higher than the sky?' `The father.'
`What is fleeter than the wind?' `Mind.'
`What is more blighted than the withered straw?' `A sorrow-stricken
`What befriends a traveller?' `Learning.'
`Who is the friend of one who stays at home?' `The wife.'
`Who accompanies a man in death?' `Dharma. That alone accompanies
the soul in its solitary journey after death.'
`Which is the biggest vessel?' `The earth, which contains all
within itself is the greatest vessel.'
`What is happines?' `Happiness is the result of good conduct.'
`What is that, abandoning that man will be loved by all?'
`Pride-- for abandoning that man will be loved by all.'
`What is the loss that yields joy and not sorrow?' `Anger--
giving it up we will no longer be subject to sorrow.'
`What is that, by giving up which, man becomes rich?'
`Desire-- getting rid of it, man becomes wealthy.' "
Om Santih! Peace! - J. K. Mohana Rao