Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Story from Mahabharata
Retold by Vijaya Murthy

Dear Children:

Summer is at the doorstep. And to protect yourself from the heat of the day and the glaring sun you would take out and dust your umbrellas and start unfurling them to protect yourselves while walking. You would anyway be wearing your shoes! But do you know who created the umbrella and shoes and how? Well. I will tell you a little story about it.

Did you hear about Sage Parasu Rama? Well. His parents were Jamadagni and Renuka. When they were young once after finishing their daily chores, prayers etc. they wanted to relax and play. So they took a bow and arrows and went into open fields. Jamadagni would shoot an arrow and Renuka would run after it and before it fell, she would pick it up and bring it back. Every time Jamadagni would shoot the arrow farther and farther away and Renuka would still bring it.

The day was advancing and it was getting hotter and hotter. And then when Jamadagni shot his arrow and Renuka ran after it, the time was lapsing and she was not to be seen returning. Rushi waited and waited and started getting worried when he saw her coming panting and puffing, wiping her sweat with the end of her pallu. Jamadagni was worried. She came closer and he saw that her face was red from the heat, body swathed in sweat.

“What happened my dear? Why were you late?” He asked.

“My Lord, the sun is so hot that I had to rest under a tree to protect my self from the hot sun. My feet are swollen and burnt from the hot earth and sand”, Renuka said.

Rushi Jamadagni was very angry with the sun for hurting his dear wife. He took some water from his kamandalu into his hand and wanted to curse the sun.

Sun god came running. He said, “Oh Jamadagni! Please don’t curse me. It is my duty and my nature to become hot in summer. Then only water on earth will evaporate and rains will come which will give rise to crops. I am only doing my duty”. He then created two things and gave them to Jamadagni. “Please give them to your wife. They will protect her from my heat.

Those two things were, a cute little umbrella and a pair of slippers. They were so pretty that every one had fallen in love with them. Then slowly they started creating them in different colors and designs. And even to day after so many thousands of ears they are so popular. The slippers/shoes protect you from the hot roads and the umbrella protects your head from scorching sun and pelting rain.

So children, learn to respect the shoes and umbrella which were created by the Sun God himself and use them when ever necessary.