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Sudarsan’s Journey to Enlightenment Through Trials and Tribulations

Sudarsan's Journey to Enlightenment Through Trials and Tribulations

Sudarsan, a respected Brahman from Banapur(Odisha), was the village’s chosen officiant for all their religious happenings. His presence was expected at every wedding or thread ceremony – events where his priestly duties were indispensable. Yet, his income was unreliable, for such celebrations were rare in his modest village, often leaving him in need.

One fortunate day, a wealthy man from a nearby village sought Sudarsan’s services for his daughter’s marriage. As the festivities concluded, Sudarsan was lavished with an unprecedented reward – generous sums of money, a selection of garments, heaps of rice, and a few coconuts, a compensation far exceeding any he had previously received.

Filled with joy, Sudarsan carried his newfound wealth home. A connoisseur of fine food, he had a particular fondness for pithas, a type of rice cake he craved above all else. Eager for a treat, he said to his wife, “I’ve been dreaming of pithas for so long. Now, with all these ingredients at hand, could you please make some? Let’s feast to our heart’s delight.

His wife immediately set to work, busily preparing the pithas. Once ready, she served Sudarsan a plate brimming with the warm, inviting cakes. But just as Sudarsan was about to savor the first bite, a mournful plea from outside pierced the air. “Maa,” a beggar wailed in desperation, “I am on the brink of death from hunger. Please show mercy and save me. I haven’t eaten for two days.” The beggar’s lament reached Sudarsan at the critical moment of indulgence. Despite his own hunger, compassion flooded his heart – he knew too well the cruel bite of starvation. With resolve, he rose, carrying the plate to the beggar, and filled the man’s bowl with every last pitha. The beggar, gaunt as a ghost, devoured the pithas with a hunger born of desperation. After eating, he wiped his face, looking up at Sudarsan with gratitude shining in his eyes. “I’ve knocked on many a door, faced closed hearts in grand homes, yet not a single soul spared a morsel for me. But you – you have saved my life. May prosperity be yours in abundance, and may scarcity never darken your doorstep again,” he blessed the Brahman. Casting a glance around and seeing no one, he whispered, “Come with me, sir. I wish to repay your kindness.

The beggar took the lead, with Sudarsan trailing behind. Together they ventured onward until they reached a dense forest. They trekked further in, navigating through the thick underbrush. Around them, the towering trees stood like silent specters, their branches resembling the outstretched arms of phantoms taunting Sudarsan with their hollow, starving forms. Exhaustion took its toll, and Sudarsan felt his strength wane, his legs faltering until he nearly collapsed.

Suddenly, the beggar was nowhere to be seen. Sudarsan blinked, disbelieving the empty space where the man had just been. It seemed like an illusion, a trick of the forest shadows. But then, as quickly as he had disappeared, the beggar reemerged, a mysterious pan now in his grasp. “Here, take this pan,” he declared to Sudarsan, “and simply ask for whatever food you desire, whenever hunger strikes.” With those final words, the beggar vanished into thin air, leaving Sudarsan alone with the miraculous pan.

Everything about the situation felt incredibly surreal and magical. Sudarsan gazed at the pan and uttered, “Give me some pithas.” And just like that, the pithas appeared in front of him. Overwhelmed with joy, Sudarsan indulged in the pithas and then headed home, the pan securely in his grasp. His heart was buoyant with anticipation, imagining how thrilled his wife would be with this extraordinary gift.

Feeling thirsty during his journey, Sudarsan stopped and placed the magical pan at the base of a towering tree. A few boys were frolicking nearby. He caught their attention and cautioned, “Look after this pan for me. But remember, don’t ask it to give you any food.” With those words, he strode off toward a nearby stream to quench his thirst.

Curiosity is a powerful lure, especially for children. The boys, intrigued by the Brahman’s peculiar warning, could not resist testing the pan’s powers the instant Sudarsan disappeared from view. In unison, they commanded, “Oh pan, give us sweets.” To their amazement and delight, an assortment of the most delicious sweets they had ever encountered materialized before them. After hastily devouring the treats, they realized they couldn’t possibly leave behind such a wondrous object. They craftily replaced the magical pan with an ordinary one and scampered off with the true source of abundance.

When Sudarsan returned from quenching his thirst, he picked up the decoy pan and proceeded home, oblivious to the swap. He arrived home filled with excitement, conveying to his wife tales of their newfound prosperity. “You will be queenly, and I will be kingly, indulging in the finest of sweetmeats and cakes all day long! This pan,” he proclaimed, “will grant us any food we desire in abundance! Go on, ask it for something to eat right this moment.” But when they commanded the pan to produce food, it remained inert, disappointing them with its silence. Their hopes shattered, they faced a night deprived of both sleep and sustenance.

As dawn unfurled its light, the Brahman ventured once more into the embrace of the forest, his heart a mixture of hope and remorse. Miraculously, the beggar, understanding of Sudarsan’s misfortune, reappeared before him. “You have been deceived of the pan,” he acknowledged. “Take heed this time. Here is a box that will yield the most exquisite and valuable garments upon your request. You can sell these for all your needs,” imparted the beggar with a tone of solemn advice.

Yet, the Brahman, still unwise to the ways of the world, left the precious box under the watchful gaze of the same tree, near where the playful boys gathered. “Guard this briefly for me,” he instructed, “but dare not command the box to produce any attire.

Once the Brahman had disappeared, the boys, now well-versed in the man’s ways, approached the box. With a mix of eagerness and command, they said, “Oh box, grant us garments to don.” In an instant, the box unveiled an array of attire, splendid and costly. Adorning themselves, the boys were transformed in appearance, akin to youthful royalty. They cleverly switched the magic box with an imitation and absconded with the true chest of opulence.

Later, the Brahman retrieved the box, ignorant of the deceit, and presented it to his wife with grand declarations. “Behold,” he exclaimed, “endless riches in the form of splendid apparel await us. Simply ask, and the box shall grant us our desires. Poverty shall no longer darken our doorstep, for we can trade these fine clothes for gold as we please.

The Brahman’s wife, with a flutter of anticipation, implored the box for silk saris, yet the box remained unyielding, void of magic. Overcome with frustration, she spurned the box with her foot, her faith in her husband’s words shattered.

Accusing him of deceit, she cried out in anger, “How dare you trick your own wife? First with promises of confectioneries and now with tales of silk saris! You’re nothing but a liar! Remember this – if you continue to mock me so, I shall not stay here anymore. I will return to my family.

The following day, Sudarsan wandered back to the forest, his spirit laden with sorrow. The thought of his wife’s departure and the ensuing solitude weighed heavily upon him – a future marred by hunger and isolation. Engulfed in these woeful reflections, he wandered through the wilderness until, once again, he stood before his mysterious benefactor.

You have been foolish,” he chastised, “for I provided you with food and clothing, yet you managed to lose both. Forgiving such blunders is difficult, but I will grant you one more opportunity. Here is a stick – use it to confront those mischievous boys.

With the stick in hand, the Brahman approached the usual gathering place of the boys and set the stick down, cautioning them, “Do not request anything from this stick.” The boys concealed their glee and promised the Brahman they would not touch his stick.

Remembering the delights produced by the pan and the riches from the box, they couldn’t help but think, ‘What wonders might this stick provide?

As soon as the Brahman disappeared from view, the boys eagerly chanted, “Oh stick, bestow upon us a gift, oh stick, bestow upon us a gift.” Their anticipation turned to dread as the stick levitated and began to mercilessly strike their heads with forceful blows. Wracked with pain, the boys fled towards their village, the relentless stick in pursuit, thumping them without reprieve. They shrieked, seeking refuge with their parents, but to no avail. The parents, witnessing the chaos, with tears streaming down their faces, prostrated themselves before Sudarsan, pleading, “Please, spare our children from harm. Show them mercy and stop this torment.

The Brahman, simmering with anger, stood firm, “Only when my pan and box are returned, will I intervene.

“Please take your pan and box,” the parents exclaimed, hastily presenting the items they had recovered. Satisfied, Sudarsan commanded the stick, “Stop!” Instantly, the assault ended, and with a heart now lightened, the Brahman returned to his home, reclaiming his magical pan, box, and club.

Thereafter, Sudarsan and his spouse lived in abundance, never lacking sumptuous fare or fine attire. Comfort enveloped them, and with the enchanted stick at their side, they were ensconced in safety.

Sudarsan learned that true wealth comes not just from what is given, but from wisdom and the protection of one’s blessings. The moral: Guard your treasures with care, for it is not enough to possess them; one must also be wise to retain them.

Disclaimer: The stories shared on this website are folklores and have been passed down through generations. While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the information presented, we cannot guarantee the original source of these stories. Readers are advised to use their own discretion and judgment when reading and interpreting these stories. We are not accountable for the source of these stories or any claims that may arise from their use.


Quote of the day

A hero is one who knows how to hang on one minute longer.

Norwegian proverb

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