STORIES THAT SADDENED MAHATMA
There are two stories that saddened Mahatma. In his autobiography, “My Experiments With Truth,” he had quoted so. They were, “Shravana’s Pitrubakthi” and “Honest Harishchandra,” from Indian mythology.
Shravana’s Love for his parents: Youth Shravana was very much attached to his aged, feeble, disabled and blind parents. Shravana always carried them by means of slings, whether rain or shine.
One afternoon his parents had asked for water. Shravana left them near a tree and went to the stream. At the same time, King Dhasaratha was on his hunting spree behind a thicket. On hearing the sound of water, he thought it was an animal and shot an arrow.
But it was Shravana who got killed! Before dying, Shravana told Dhasaratha to take the water to his blind parents. The death news of their only son plunged his blind parents beyond consolation. This story saddened Mahatma which he could not forget in his life time!
Harishchandra: Once, there lived a king called, Harishchandra. He was an upright man, full of all virtues. One day Lord Vishnu decided to test him. Vishnu and sage Vishwamitra jointly planned!
One morning while Harishchandra was walking in the forest, the cry of a woman brought him to a standstill. He saw a hut nearby. But when he went in, there was no woman, but a sage (Vishwamitra) meditating. The noise of his footsteps distracted Vishwamitra’s meditation.
Harishchandra apologized to him and as a penalty offered his kingdom. The sage took it, but demanded more. Harishchandra said he would pay up after a month. Meanwhile, he took his wife, Shaivya and the only son, Rohitashwa to Kashi where he sold them to a Brahmin and went back and paid. But it was not sufficient! So, he took up the job of an undertaker!
Meanwhile, Rohitashwa, bitten by a snake, had died! Shaivya carried her dead son for cremation. She did not have money. But as an upright man, Harishchandra asked for the charges. “Take my old sari,” so saying she was about to tear it when Lord Vishnu appeared, praised Harishchandra and revived Rohitashwa.