Friday, October 29, 2010

The Great - Hearted Monkey

  The Great - Hearted Monkey
High up in the Himalayas, in a forest glade by the banks of the river Ganga, there lived a noisy band of monkeys and their giant King Monkey. By the side of the clear gushing water, stood a tall shady tree bearing big, beautiful and juicy mangoes. All the monkeys loved these mangoes and ate them as soon as they ripened.  Their wise giant king had warned them not to let a single juicy fruit fall into the river.  If the current carried the fruit down the river, to the land where humans lived, they would surely come in search of delicious fruit and destroy the peace in the land of the monkeys.  Many days later, a branch of the tree that hung low over the river, fell into the water.  A mango hidden behind an ant's nest accompanied the log downstream.  Due to the rapid flow of the river it reached the city of Benaras. One morning, when Brahmadutta, the king of Benaras was bathing in the river, a couple of fishermen found a bright golden fruit caught in the mesh of the net.  Excited with this exotic fruit, they took it to show the king.  The King examined the fruit carefully and asked where it had come from and what it was called.  The fishermen guessed that it must have flowed down the river from the valleys of the far-flung Himalayas. He asked them to cut the fruit and taste it.  It was delicious.  He shared the rest of the delicious fruit with his ministers and the Queen who loved its flavor.  A few days passed, but the king could not get this exotic fruit out of his mind.  He could not work, rest or sleep.  Unable to control his temptation, he set sail in search of this mysterious fruit.  He organized a fleet of rafts and sailed up the river accompanied by his men and a few fishermen.  Many days and nights went by and they passed many valleys until they finally came to the one where the mango tree stood.  The King was delighted by his discovery and began enjoying the mangoes to his heart's content.  At nightfall, the king lay down to sleep under the mango tree while his faithful soldiers stood guard.  Fires were lit on either side for protection against wild animals.  In the middle of the night when the guards had dozed off to sleep, the monkeys came and finished all the mangoes that were left on the tree.  The King awoke with all the noise and ordered his guards to shoot at the monkeys so that they could feast on monkey flesh along with the mangoes.. On hearing this, the monkeys trembled with fear and escaped to inform their king.  They told him what had happened and he assured them not to worry.  The King Monkey came up with a plan.  He climbed up the tree and swung across the river on a branch.  He found a bamboo shoot, which he measured and cut carefully.  Then he tied one end of it around his waist.  He tied the other end around a tree trunk.  He decided to leap back to the mango tree and help the rest of the monkeys across the bridge with the help of the bamboo shoot.  He had not taken into account the portion that he had tied around his waist.  When the King Monkey sprang into the mango grove, he was just able to cling to a branch of the mango tree.  He quickly summoned his monkeys to climb over his back and onto the reed, in order to escape to the other side.  In this way, the entire troupe of monkeys climbed over his back one by one and made it to safety.. Unfortunately, there was one evil monkey, Devadutta, who hated his leader and wanted to destroy him.  This mean monkey purposely jumped hard over his poor king's back and broke it, while he himself escaped to the other bank. King Brahmadutta, who had been awake for a while, had observed this whole episode.  He felt extremely sorry for the King Monkey and asked his men to help lower him to the ground.  He had him gently bathed and wrapped in a soft yellow cloth and asked him why he had sacrificed himself for his tribe.  The great monkey answered that he was their guide and chief; they were his children and it was his duty to protect them.  He had absolutely no regrets as he had ensured their safety.  He said that the king should always be mindful of his subjects' welfare, even at the cost of his own life.  Saying this, the King Monkey died at peace with himself. King Brahmadutta ordered his men to organize a funeral fit for a king.  He then built a shrine in the King Monkey's memory where he offered flowers, lit candles and incense.  Returning to Benaras, he built another shrine and asked his people to pay homage to this great soul.  He always remembered the last words of the King Monkey and ruled his subjects with wisdom and compassion.  King Brahmadutta learned a great deal that day.  The monkey demonstrated great leadership and care for his people.  He placed the safety of his subjects before anything else.  The King Monkey was a great example of sacrifice and care for others.
Moral:  Willingness to give of oneself and one's possessions and putting others needs before ours, is a noble virtue and an important one in the service of God and His creations.  
This story is selected from the book, Bal-Mukund Character Building Series - Vol 3 (A collection of  21 inspiring stories with beautiful illustrations)
Must have for all kinds! Get your collection of Bal-Mukund books TODAY Visit Bal-Mukund Gift Shop

No comments:

Post a Comment