By Kamlesh Tripathi
Long time ago. In a far away kingdom, there lived a king. He wanted to know about. The complete history of mankind. Beginning, right from the birth of the first man. Till the present day man. He therefore, decided to summon all the Vidvans (scholars) in his kingdom. To understand from them. How much time they will take to provide him with this valuable and unique knowledge. Vidvans, discussed the matter amongst themselves. After which. The senior most, out of them got up and humbly said, ‘Your majesty. This otherwise will take a very long time. But we shall try and complete the exercise for you in about 20 years. And it will cost around 27,000 gold coins.
Although, the cost of the assignment was exorbitant and time frame much-much more, than what the king had expected. He was still eager to know about the history of mankind. Therefore, he agreed to their proposal and handed over the gold coins to them. And thereafter, he decided to wait for the findings.
When the king had given a go ahead for the exercise. He was 50 years old. Since then, some twenty years had passed and he was now 70. Upon completion of the promised period. All the Vidvans, reached the palace of the king with some 2000 books in 20 elephants. But by now the king had grown old. His eyesight and hearing had receded. Even his general health was not as good as before. So, he couldn’t have sat and attempted to read these voluminous books. Because, to read them, one would have required at least a time frame of ten years.
King softly said. ‘With this health condition of mine. Ten years is a long period. So kindly reduce the number of books for me. So that I can read them in lesser time.’
Vidvans, again got into a huddle. To discuss the issue and came out in consensus, ‘Your Majesty. We will surely fulfill your wishes. By reducing the number of books. But it will take five years and 5000 gold coins.’ The king had no choice being midway, than to accord his approval. And after 5 years. The team of Vidvans, as agreed. Entered the King’s palace with some 200 books.
But in the last 5 years. The king had fallen sick and had become extremely weak. So very weak, that he couldn’t even move. Even his eyesight and hearing capability had reduced substantially. And in no way. He could have gone through these books.
The king therefore smiled and politely said, ‘I am obliged. That you all worked so hard for me. But now, I am physically not capable of reading these huge books. And in case, someone tries to read it to me. Then also, it will take a lot of time. So kindly reduce the number of books further.’ Vidvans had no choice but to agree to the King’s request. So, they told him. Your Majesty, this time it will take. At least a year and some 1000 gold coins to complete the exercise. To which the king readily agreed.
After a year. All the Vidvans, as agreed reached the king’s palace with three voluminous books. But by now the king’s health had further deteriorated. Where, the doctors had given up hopes. Pundits and priests in the kingdom had now started their prayers. To save him.
One Vidvan went close to the king and said, ‘Your majesty we have finally summarized the entire history of mankind, into just 3 voluminous books. For you to read and benefit.’ King replied in dejection, ‘Now it is too late. As I am on my death bed. My wealth, time and efforts, all went for a waste in pursuit of this knowledge. Before, I even start reading the history of mankind. That you all have brought for me, my death will take me far away.
‘Nahi Rajan’ (No Your Majesty) replied the Vidvan, who standing close to him, ‘you’ll surely learn about the history of mankind. And, in fact. Should I tell you about it in your ears now?’ King was in deep pain, but he made an effort to say, ‘Well if you can narrate it, in my ears. Please do it fast.’
Vidvan respectfully bowed at the king and whispered in his ears, ‘a man is born. He eats all his life and at the end he dies. In short. This is the ultimate reality of mankind.’
‘That’s all, only this much,’ said the king and he expired, thereafter.
This is one such a story out of the Vedas (religious scriptures). That narrates, how the majority of mankind, have spent their time in this world. They are born, they eat and in spare time they do some work and one day because of tension and disease they expire.
Can we not do better than this?