Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Duties of kings and Loyality

There are many stories about the duties of good kings. It is said that to protect the weak is the great duty of a King, and that he should always treat his subjects as a mother treats her own child. There is an old story about a good King called Shivi, and what he did to protect even the animals in his kingdom.

He was one day seated in his court, when a pigeon, being pursued by a hawk, flew in and seeking protection, fell upon the lap of the King who was seated upon his throne. The pigeon in terror cried out with a human voice and asked the King to save him and said: "Oh, do not give me up to the hawk, I have come to thee, who art King, for protection". while the King was gently stroking the pigeon's feathers the angry hawk also spoke with human voice to the King and said: "It is not proper for thee, O King, to take my food from me by protecting this pigeon". The king was much surprised to hear these birds talking in this way, and hearing what the pigeon said, and what the hawk said, he wondered what he ought to do.It would certainly be wrong to give up the poor pigeon who had come to him for protection, and so he said to the hawk: "O hawk, let my people place before thee a bull cooked with rice, instead of this pigeon. Let them carry it to the place where thou livest, and thou shalt have plenty of meat." But the hawk was not satisfied, and said: O king, I do not ask for a bull, nor in deed for any other meat except this pigeon. It has been given me by the Gods, therefore, O great King, give it up to me".

The King again tried to persuade the hawk to take the bull, and at last said that he would give him anything else for food, but not the pigeon. Then the hawk said: "I must have the pigeon, or if not, then give me as much flesh off they own body as shall be equal to the weight of the pigeon". The King agreed to this, and the scales were brought in to weigh the pigeon and the King's flesh. This brave King then cut off a portion of his own flesh and placed it on the scales on one side, and the pigeon on the other. Then he found the pigeon weighed heavier, so he cut off another piece of his flesh and added it to the other. Still the pigeon of weighed heavier, and he cut off more and more, till at last he put his poor mangled body into the scale, for there was no more flesh to be cut off. At this the hawk disappeared, saying: "The pigeon hath indeed been saved," and the King was much surprised and said to the pigeon: "Tell us, pigeon who the hawk is, for surely none but a great lord would do as he has done". Then the pigeon said to the King: "Know, O King, that the hawk is Indra, and I am Agni.We came to shew forth thy goodness. Truly thou art a King, and hast proved faithful to thy duty, as King, to protect the weak. Thy wounds shall be healed, and the marks shall be fair and beautiful and of great fragrance. Thou shalt have great fame and brave sons". And the pigeon flew away and the King was glad he had proved faithful to his kingly duty. The happiness of their subjects, observance of truth, and sincerity of behaviour are the eternal duty of Kings.

As kings have duty to their people, so have the people duty to their King. If we are the subjects of a King, we have duties towards him, so as to help him in his work, for no country can be rightly governed unless the people govern them-selves. We must obey the laws, we must keep the peace, we must be good citizens, even if the King himself does not perform his duty. The King Dhritarashtra sent away Yudhishthira on account of his own wicked son who wanted to be King instead of Yudhishthira, who was sent with his brothers into the forest. The people were very fond of Yudhishthira and followed him and wanted to go with him. But Yudhishthira said to them: "O friends, we are indeed happy that you love us and would be with us, but you must go back, for duty is to the King and the Royal family in the city of Hastinapura.

King Dhritarashtra and his son had indeed done wrong, but the people had to do their duty to the King, and wait for the Gods to put things right. The love of country should be in the heart of everyman, woman and child. There is no true man who does not feel that his own country is dearer to him that any other. How great should be the love of the Indian child, and the Indian man and woman, for this country of India, the home of the ancient wisdom. Each and all should do only those deeds that are worthy of their Aryan fathers and their great Indian motherland. There is a story that shows us that even animals may feel this love of home. There was once in the country of the King of Kashi a fowler who carried poisoned arrows with him. He went out of his village to hunt antelopes. He went into a large forest where he saw a herd of antelopes. He shot an arrow at one of them, but the arrow missed its aim and pierced a mighty forest tree. The tree being pierced with this poisonous arrow withered away, and its leaves and fruit fell to the ground. A parrot that had lived in the hollow of its trunk all his life did not leave his nest from affection for this lord of the forest. It remained there although the tree was quite dead. Then a Brahmana, who knew the language of birds, said to the parrot: "Why do you cling to this tree? It is without leaves and fruit and is unfit to be the refuge of birds. There are other beautiful trees in the forest covered with leaves; for-sake this old tree and go to one of them".

Then the parrot answered and said: "Here within this tree was I born. Here in this tree I was protected when I was young, and here I have learned all that I know that is good. Why should you advise me to leave this tree? When it had green leaves and fruit it supported my life; how can I forsake it now?" Then the Brahmana, who was Indra in disguise was well pleased with the parrot and said: "Ask a boon of me and I will grant it". Then the compassionate parrot prayed that the tree might be revived. Indra granted the boon and the tree quickly became full of leaves and fruit.As the tree was to the parrot, so should our country be to us. From our country we have received all that makes us Indians; our country is our home, and daily our prayer should be that our country may revive to its ancient splendour, and that goodness and learning may be spread abroad.What is the best way to revive the glory of our ancient land? Let every Indian man perform the duties that fall to his lot, let him keep the laws, let him work for others as well as for himself, and be an honest peace-abiding citizen. Let every Indian wife and mother fulfil the duties of her house-hold, love and honour her husband, train her children in right-doing and be kind and good to all who come to her. What can a little Indian child do for its country? A little child can be true and honest; one who does not tell the truth brings shame upon his father and his country. A little child can obey its elders, and follow the examples of the great teachers and wise men, which are given for our profit in the holy books.

May every little child thus be a true Aryan of the ancient Aryavarta.

My Native Land.

She's not a dull or cold land;

No; she's a warm and bold land--

Oh! she's a true and old land;

This native land of mine.

No men than bers are braver,

Her women's hearts ne'er waver,

I'd freely die to save her,

This native land of mine.

Stories for Young Children

Aspirations of youth.

Higher, higher will we climb

Up the mount of glory,

That our names may live through time

In our country's story;

Happy, when her welfare calls,

He who conquers, he who falls.

Deeper, deeper let us toil

In the mines of knowledge,

Nature's wealth and learning's spoil

Won from school and college!

Delve we there for richer gems

Than the stars of diadems.

Onward, onward may we press

Through the path of duty,

Virtue is true happiness,

Excellence true beauty,

Minds are of celestial birth

Make we them a heaven of earth.

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