Once upon a time there lived a very eminent king by the name of Chitraketu. He had many wives but no children. One day Maharishi Angiraj landed up in his Raj-Bhawan and with his spiritual powers he deciphered, Chitraketu was very unhappy and even desperate for a child. So, he decided to perform a yagya (Hindu ritual of sacrifice) to help his queen conceive and after it was over he handed over the leftovers, with the eldest queen Kritdhuti as blessings. And while leaving, Maharishi Angiraj said—‘Maharaj! You will soon be blessed with a son but he will be the reason for both your happiness and sorrow.’
Maharani Kritdhuti was soon pregnant and at the opportune moment, the king was blessed with a son. With this Maharaj Chitraketu’s happiness knew no bounds. The whole kingdom was under celebrations, as after remaining issue less for such a long time Maharaj Chitraketu was finally blessed with a child. Therefore, his love for the new born prince was boundless and was oozing all over his persona and to be in his company he even started spending more time at the residence of his eldest queen Kritdhuti. And he once again started loving her immensely for having given birth to the baby boy. This resulted in neglect of other wives by the king, who started feeling demoralised and even jealous of the eldest queen Kritdhuti. Soon, the situation aggravated to such a level that they even lost their noble senses and the main reason for that was the king’s neglect because of the child.
This led to a drastic consequence when all the neglected wives of the king consented to quietly poison the child and soon he died. Upon realising, the mammoth tragedy that had struck them, both Maharani Kritdhuti and Maharaj Chitraketu fell unconscious, next to the body of their child like an uprooted tree. The entire kingdom was now in a pall of gloom.
And, amid the cloud of sorrow and wail, two distinguished personalities arrived in the Raj Bhawan. Maharishi Angiraj this time was accompanied by Devrishi Narad. Upon coming to know of the tragedy Maharishi said to the king—‘Rajan (king) you are a great devotee of Brahmins and God. So, I was happy with you and because of that I had come to you earlier, thinking I would teach you the prowess to attain God’s darshan. But since it was written on your face that you desperately wanted a child. I instead, gave you a child as a blessing. Now that you have suffered the tragedy of losing your son, and there isn’t a tragedy, bigger than this, you would have known by now that this world is a place, full of sadness.’
King Chitraketu was still in mourning. He therefore could not understand the essence of Maharishi’s address. But he was spellbound at the sight of them. Devrishi Narad who was accompanying Angiraj could understand, that Chitraketu’s intense love for his child will not go like this. So using his divya-shakti (divine-power) he attracted the soul of the child and as it came he said—‘See my son! They are your parents and they are mourning for you. So please get into your body, to make them happy and start enjoying the royal life as the son of the king.’ And after this everyone out there clearly heard what the soul of the child had to say—
‘Devrishi they are my parents of which life? A soul does not have any parents, brothers or friends. Many a times I was their father and many times they were mine. Many a times they were my friends and even enemies. All these relations are because of your mortal body and as you leave your mortal remains behind, you also leave behind your relations. And then everyone is all by himself and has to suffer, as per his karmas.’
The soul, after saying all that vanished from the scene. King Chtiraketu’s deep affection for his son after hearing the conversation started waning. And after cremating him, with a fresh and sombre mind he appeared in front of Devrishi and Maharishi. Devrishi Narad then gave instructions to commence the prayers and the puja of Lord Shesh Narayan, and with that King Chitraketu got his darshan and soon he started on a long pursuit of spiritual knowledge and became a big scholar and was ranked as a Vidyadhar.
The story is from our mythology and gives a very bold message. That beyond your mortal life it is only your karmas that go with you and you are all alone after death. So, insist on doing good deeds.
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Translated by Kamlesh Tripathi
Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to contribute for the cause the bank details are given below:
NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION
Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)
IFSC code: BKID0006805