Faqja 12 prej 12 FillimFillim ... 2101112
Duke shfaqur rezultatin 221 deri 224 prej 224
  1. #221
    i/e regjistruar
    96 falenderime nė 84 postime
    The Lord who steals vanity
    never tolerates anyone's vanity.
    If one is proud and vain,
    one is bound to be defeated.

    Two princes set out
    to capture the theif of the golden lotus.
    They hoped to be victorious.
    They surrounded the blue sea
    with boats, ferries, sampans
    and all variety of local craft.

    They were sure of catching the flower stealer
    and exposing the fairy's evil tricks.

    But their minds and hearts were full of vanity.
    They were not aware
    that God was mysteriously smiling at their vanity.

    The fairy carried magic arrows,
    and managed to steal away the flower
    without the least fear.

  2. #222
    i/e regjistruar
    96 falenderime nė 84 postime
    The colourful fairy flys far to an unknown land.
    Clutching the golden lotus to her breast,
    she flys high into the blue sky
    to a far off land.

    The atmosphere becomes lighter.
    The realm of clouds fades away.
    The fairy flys, ever increasing speed.

    She crosses the boundaries of fairy land.
    The stars glitter more brightly here,
    and the moon is smiles more than before.
    The fairy will dedicate this flower to her God.

  3. #223
    i/e regjistruar
    96 falenderime nė 84 postime
    On the Blue Sea a golden lotus bloomed.
    No one knew.

    Its scarlet petals remained untouched.
    Full of vivacity,
    its vital golden pollen
    exuded delectible floral nectar.
    And yet, no black bees approached
    to hover lightly
    and savour her bounty.

    A colourful fairy from the land of clouds
    was enamoured of the beauty of the lotus.
    Clutching the golden lotus to her heart
    away she flew.

    Nobody knew, no one paid heed to it.

  4. #224
    i/e regjistruar
    96 falenderime nė 84 postime

    The Golden Lotus of the Blue Sea

    P.R. Sarkar

    * * * * * *

    Once there was a great lake in the farthest part of the Kingdom of Light where the blue sky bends over the green meadow. The people around called it "The Blue Sea" because of its crystal-clear blue water.
    When the morning sun flooded the blue water with its crimson rays, when groups of ducks joyfully made their way through the water, the little boys and girls of the Kingdom of Light standing on the banks of the blue sea thought, "The Blue Sea is very ungenerous! It begets neither lily, nor lotus." Even the king was not unaware of this particular grievance of the children.

    The King sent for the renowned sailors of his Kingdom, and said to them, "Ransack the whole Blue Sea! Is there not a single lotus?" A long time passed. At last news reached the King: There was a Lotus, but it was beyond human reach, in the farthest end of the Kingdom of light where the Kingdom of darkness starts. Just in that spot, there was a small lotus garden. On every full moon night, a small, golden-coloured lotus peeped its little head above the blue water. Its petals were made of real gold with pink on them. No goldsmith on earth could ever produce such a fine work.
    The King said, "That place is within my reign. Then why do you say it is beyond reach?" They replied, "We have seen that lotus, but never have we seen it in full-bloom. As the full moon day approaches, it also grows bigger; but in the moon of the night, when it is most likely to be in full bloom, someone comes stealthily and steals it away. But O King! Our every endeavour to catch that thief has been in vain." The King said, "Oh, I see!" Then he declared, "Whoever will be able to catch the thief, he will be the future owner of my Kingdom."
    Now the eldest prince realised that his right to succeed the throne was in danger. So he went to the King immediately and said, "It is I who will catch the thief of the golden lotus." The King said, "Well, prove yourself worthy."

    So the firstborn prince set out on his voyage. He put on a chocolate-coloured dress and a sky-coloured turban. He rode a yellow horse holding its violet rein. The retinue of the prince had already gathered around the Blue Sea. They had been awaiting the prince in their tents. The prince had to dismount from his horse, as the horse could not cross the water, and board a huge peacock boat. His retinue accompanied him - some in lavishly decorated boats, some in fish-boats and so on. The Blue Sea resounded with their hue and cry. The prince reached the lotus garden when the sun was about to set. There they all sang and danced and feasted in joyous festivity.
    Naturally, they all became very tired and fell asleep at midnight. Suddenly the prince was awakened by a gust of wind and a fluttering of wings. Amidst his drowsiness, the prince saw someone soaring towards the Fairy Kingdom. He began to grieve, but it was to no avail, He instructed his sailors to sail quickly towards the shore. Reaching the shore, he rode towards the north on his yellow horse. The next day, when the prince had dismounted and was taking rest under a tree, a farmer came along and asked him why he was sitting there. Hearing everything from the prince, he said, "O Prince! Your horse cannot fly in the sky! You need a Peacock Horse to fly in the sky like the Peacock Boat in the water." "Where is such a horse to be found?" asked the Prince. The farmer replied, "In the whole universe, only one such horse is available. The Strange Demon, the king of the Very Odd Kingdom, is the owner of that horse at present." The Prince asked, "Where is that Very Odd Kingdom?" The farmer replied, "Let your horse run directly northwards. When you reach a sixty-storied house with a golden dome, you will know that you have reached the capital of the Very Odd Kingdom. That very house is the palace of the Strange Demon." The prince at once disappeared from sight on horseback.

    After riding for sometime, the prince saw a man looking like a skeleton standing beside the road. His eyes were sunken in their sockets and he was unable to speak distinctly. Saluting the prince, he said in a weak voice, "O Prince! I am about to die of starvation. Please give me some food! Then I will regain my strength and serve you as a servant in your house." Thinking that his prestige might be endangered if he spoke with such a person, the prince did not look at the man, or even return his salutation. Instead he rode even more swiftly along the shore of the Blue Sea.
    After going a little further, he saw a man sitting by a well in a very miserable mood. He saluted the prince and said, "O Prince! I am dying of thirst. But I cannot touch this well or bucket as these are reserved for higher caste people only. If I touch them, they will be contaminated. Please, kindly save me!" The prince thought that his prestige might be injured if he spoke with such a lowly person. So he rode on quickly, without thinking of saluting him in return.
    After proceeding a little, the prince saw a man standing by the road with a piece of paper in his hand. Saluting the prince, he said, "O Prince, will you please read this paper to me? I am an illiterate man and I can neither read nor write." The prince thought, "It does not befit me to speak with such illiterate people."
    So thinking, he rode on quickly without hesitating. Going on a little further, he saw a leper sprawling by the roadside with blood oozing from his sores. He was crying painfully, "Oh, is there anyone to put medicine on my boils?" But the prince rode past turning his face to the other side to remove his eyes from that horrible sight.

    Finally he reached the golden domed sixty-storied palace. He dismounted from his horse and sent the message of his arrival to the Strange Demon. After sometime he was called by the demon. He introduced himself to the demon in detail and begged his Flying Peacock Horse. The demon said, "I can give it to you, but on one condition. You should know that only he who can control the reins should ride a horse. So, if you can return the horse to me after tending it for four days, it will be yours permanently. But if you fail to control it, that is, if it flies away from you, you will be my slave forever." The eldest prince agreed to abide by this condition.

    The next morning, he set out on the Flying Peacock Horse. He rode directly northwards towards the place where the Three Great Meadows meet. The day passed smoothly. But towards twilight, the sky became overcast and a cyclone arose and there was a heavy downpour and hailstorm. Hailstones weighing one kilo or more were failing down and the sky was resounding with thunder and lightning. The prince lost his way. All of a sudden, the Flying Peacock Horse shook himself violently, reared up, and flew away, throwing the prince on the ground. When he came to his senses, there was no trace of the rain and storm; the sky was becoming bright all around. The prince was half-dead with shame to see that the horse's rein was in his hand, but the Flying Peacock Horse had disappeared from sight.
    Overwhelmed with shame and disgrace, the prince returned and narrated the happenings of that evening in detail to the Strange Demon. The demon listened to everything and at last said, "I see! But the main thing is that from now on, you are no longer my honoured guest, but my slave forever!"
    And so the eldest prince began to live the life of a slave.

    Days passed... weeks passed.... fortnights..... months passed by. The prince did not return. Everyone was full of remorse in the Kingdom of Light. The queen stopped taking her bath and eating, and kept throwing herself on the floor the whole day long. The king could not pay due attention to the matters of his court. He did everything in a vacant mood. He said to his cook, "Don't make any nice dishes like curry or fancy rice, spiced vegetables or sweetmeats for me. I won't eat any such thing until and unless my darling son returns in good health." The ministers opined, "O Lord! Perhaps the prince is in a financial crisis! Someone else said, "O Lord! I wonder if the prince has joined the films!" The king replied, "But how is that possible? He has finished his educational career. Had he wished to join the films, he could have done so in this country. What was the need of going to another country for that purpose? But yes, maybe he is in monetary trouble."
    So it was advertised in the newspaper: "Prince, return soon wherever you are. If you are in a financial crisis, inform us immediately giving your address, and I will send you a money order." But no reply came from the prince. Seeing no possibility of the eldest prince's return, the second prince said to the king, "O Father! Please give me permission! Let me also try." The queen cried aloud, "I will never make the same mistake again! I will allow no other son of mine to chase after the Flower Thief." But the second prince would not yield. He was firm in his decision. Finding no way out, at last the king and the queen gave their permission. Putting on a rainbow-hued dress, a pink turban, and holding a crimson-coloured rein in his hand, he rode towards the Blue Sea on a beige-coloured horse. This time also guards and sentries gathered around the Blue Sea. But this brought no result. The fairy again flew stealthily away with the lotus.

    The second prince followed the same route which the first prince had taken on his pursuit of the Fairy Kingdom. This time also, that farmer informed him of the strange Demon of the Very Odd Kingdom, showed him the path and gave him the necessary instructions to go to the palace.
    The second prince proceeded on. He also saw that hungry man by the roadside. But he, too, rode past not even hearing his words. Seeing that thirsty man of a lower caste he assumed him to be a thief and increased his speed. Going a little further, when he saw that illiterate man, he thought that he might have some heinous intention, so it would be better not to look at him. Going a still further, he saw that horrible leper. He said loudly, "Such people are the burden of the society. It is better to shoot them!"
    In due time, the second prince reached the front of the Demon's palace, and borrowed the Flying Peacock Horse. The next morning, he flew towards the place where the Three Great Meadows meet. The day passed smoothly. But towards the evening, the same fate befell the second prince. The horse flew away from his rein. From the next morning, the second prince also became the demon's slave.

    Sorrow reigned in the kingdom of Light One prince after the other had gone but none of them had returned. This matter was being discussed very much in the streets, parks, street-corners and shops.
    Now the youngest prince thought within himself. "It is not important to catch the Flower Thief, nor is it important to possess the Kingdom. The most important matter is to find my two elder brothers. Otherwise, my parents will not survive." He touched their feet and said, "I beg you not to object. Bless me that I may be able to bring back my elder brothers in good health." The king and queen did not object. They had a notion that the youngest prince must come back victorious. Then the youngest prince proceeded towards the Blue Sea. He wore a yellow dress and butter-coloured turban on his head, and a silver-coloured rein in his hand. He moved swiftly, riding a milky-white horse.

    The youngest prince knew that it was foolish to make such ado about catching the thief. One has to set a net very secretly to catch a thief. Without telling anything to anybody, the prince got into a sampan, a Chinese boat. He himself could row very well. When he reached the lotus garden, the sun was hiding beyond the horizon and darkness was pouring down into the azure water of the Blue Sea. The drones and butterflies were still flying around the golden lotus, saying to it, "Why do you look so gloomy on such a beautiful moonlit night, O Friend?" The lotus replied, "My friend! After some hours, I shall depart from here forever. So I cannot laugh heartily. The cruel Fairy will forcibly snatch me away from you all." Water rolled down her cheeks. Possibly she was crying. The prince was on guard on his Chinese boat. He swore not to give any indulgence to sleep or drowsiness. It is best to remain wakeful when there is a possibility of danger.
    Suddenly in the dead of the night, the prince saw a very beautiful fairy coming down from the sky. She stretched her two wings like a bird and flew slowly around the lotus garden. The prince stared at her in utter amazement. How beautiful her two wings were! They looked like golden velvet wrapped in the finest silk. On the wings there was fine artistic work of filigree and gold, and the most delicate embroidery. The prince was determined that the fairy should not be allowed to proceed any further. He advanced very speedily in his Chinese boat to catch hold of the fairy. The sound made by the Chinese boat broke the trance of the fairy. The stalk was broken as soon as it was struck by this fairy's hand, and the fairy flew away instantly, fluttering her wings, towards the Kingdom of Fairies, far beyond the reach of the prince.

    The prince sailed speedily to the shore where his horse was tied. It was dawn when he reached the shore. The sandy beach was dazzled by the touch of the mild sun. A group of children surrounded the prince, leaving their play, and entreated him, "We will accompany you to any distance you go to catch the thief." Encouraged by the human children, the children of the tigers, and bears, leopards, lions, hyenas, wolves, ostriches, deer, antelopes, zebras and high-necked giraffes and camels came forward. Little goats, sheep, yaks, rhinoceros, hippopotamuses and buffaloes also came. They all paid salutation to the prince and, offering him bouquets of flowers, said, "O Prince! We too shall accompany you."
    Seeing the children of the land, the children of the underworld also became restless. They came out, gnawing through the earth with their little nails and teeth, little hares, marmots, moles, rats, civets or pole-cats, porcupines, and snakes of all varieties - poisonous and non-poisonous, black cobra, king cobra, blue snakes and crescent-marked snakes. They all came out in a body and said, "O Prince! We can't leave you alone on such a distant journey. We too shall accompany you."
    Seeing the crowd of land children and underworld children, there came a flock of birds' children - weaver birds, roller birds, fork-tailed birds - all sorts of birds. Sailing through the air came the children of the bats - house bats and monkey bats - and the children of various species of owls, and they all said, "O Prince! We too shall follow you". Then the children of the cuckoo, myna, nightingale (Indian variety) and parrot assembled around the prince and said, "We shall fly with you singing songs, and the crickets will take charge of the background music in accompaniment. The children of vultures, eagles, condors and pigeons said, "You know, we are the most renowned fliers in the kingdom of birds, we shall pick you up and carry you on our wings. We may not be able to follow you up to the Kingdom of Fairies, but we can cross seven or eight kingdoms at a stretch without any difficulty".
    Then the children of the frogs came in their colourful costumes. The frogs croaked in their frog language. "It is a matter of shame that such an asset of our kingdom is regularly stolen from it." The little golden-coloured frog (Sona' Vya'un) glanced at his golden body with his bulging eyes and said, "Actually the golden lotus should be mine. And if I had it I would have certainly presented it to the prince." Another frog (Kat'kat'e Vya'un, of hyla species) uttered in his distinctive voice, "Such theft is a matter of disgrace for any civilized country. We want an end to such occurrences." The Toad (Kuno Vya 'un) that likes to hide in holes said, "Every frog specialist knows that any decent kuno frog does not come out of his residence in any event except earthquake and volcanic eruption. But this case of stealing the lotus is such a national crisis that every citizen, irrespective of class or opinion, has become restless. That's why this very kuno frog has had to come out of his secret corner into the open sea-shore to voice his protest. We want to see the end to this. Until and unless this problem is solved, we cannot enjoy swimming, we have no pleasure in puffing ourselves up or swallowing juicy mosquitoes. The children of the frogs croaked in a body, "O Prince! We too shall go with you!"

    The prince tried hard to dissuade them and at last said, "You all are very young and my journey is full of danger. My duty is very grave. But with your good wishes, may I be able to return safely with the thief and tell the tale of his capture on this very sandy shore one golden morning. O children of land, sky and underworld, we shall have a lot of fun on that day!" Just at that very moment there appeared a flight of flying fish and frogs. They said, "O Prince! Have you completely forgotten the children of the water?" Nearby, the young fishes, sharks, crocodiles, dolphins, crabs, snails, oysters and octopi were angrily talking, saying, "The prince is more friendly with the children of the land, sky and underworld. Have we, the children of the water, no importance to him?" The prince was embarrassed and said, "No, no, of course not! The children of the water are also my brothers and sisters! They must also hear my story on that happy day." All the children of the water peeped their little heads above the water and heard the prince's words. They too became full of joy and began splashing playfully in the water.
    So the prince continued on his journey. Like his elder brothers, he too met that farmer and enquired from him about the Strange Demon of the Very Odd Kingdom, the Flying Peacock Horse and the direction to the palace, and gathered all the necessary information from him. The prince proceeded along, riding his milky-white horse. The horse was galloping at a tremendous speed - greater even than typhoon, tornado, hurricane or cyclone, running over narrow paths through green paddy fields, traversing pools and tanks full of lilies and jumping over boulders of mountain streams. He raced through meadows full of white 'Kash' flowers and 'Jhau' graves and soared through the air. The prince proceeded onward towards that sixty-storied palace with the golden dome, the palace of the Strange Demon.

    Suddenly it occurred to him that someone was standing beside the road. Indeed, that person must have fallen in grave danger to be standing beside such a solitary road! The prince dismounted from his horse and, saluting him, asked, "Are you in difficulty? Please tell me what I can do for you!” Without waiting for his reply, the prince said, "It is evident from your countenance that you are very hungry. Please eat something before answering my question" Then the prince took out bread smeared with butter from his tiffin-carrier and milk from his flask and offered this to the man. After the man had finished eating, the prince repeated, "Please tell me whether I can be of any service to you". The man's eyes were full of tears. He said, "I have nothing more to say to you, prince! I was hungry, so I was waiting for food. Now I understand that God has endowed you with a mind full of love for humanity, so God sent food for me through your hands".
    The prince could not find any reply. He thought that he did not deserve any praise for giving food to a needy person. Then the man said, "Prince! You really love me. Please keep this stalk of rice with you. If you want to remember me, slap this stalk on the ground, and I shall appear that very moment". Then the prince bade him farewell after giving him salutations and thanks.

    The horse proceeded on. After riding for some time, the prince again felt someone's presence by the roadside. Seeing a man standing in that scorching heat, he thought, "That man must be in danger.” The prince alighted from his horse and, saluting him, asked, "O Brother! Are you in difficulty?” Before the man could answer, the prince understood from his countenance that he was thirsty and, as he had not drawn water even though he has a bucket and rope by his side, he must be a so-called 'untouchable'. So that prince himself raised a bucket of water and said to him, "Methinks you are thirsty. Drink this water and then tell me of your needs." The man drank water to his heart's content but could not say anything to the prince. Suddenly he spoke, his eyes full of tears, "O prince! Everyone hates the poor, but you love them, I shall never forget you. Please keep this stalk of wheat with you as a present from this poor man. If you ever need me, slap this on the ground and I shall appear." The prince again mounted his horse, saluting him and giving him thanks.

    Again the prince galloped forward. All of a sudden the prince felt someone's presence by the road. He assumed that the man must be in danger. Alighting from the horse and saluting him, he asked, "Methinks you are in danger. Can I be of any use to you?" Before the man could utter anything, the prince saw that the man had a letter in his hand. It was evident from his manner of holding the letter that he was illiterate. But the prince did not want to hurt his feelings by questioning him. So he said, "Methinks you want to give me some auspicious news! Let me read this letter." The prince read out the letter fluently. The letter really did contain happy news. The man's eyes glowed with gratitude toward the prince. He said, "Prince! You are really great. Please keep this flowering stalk of barley with you. If you ever want to call this illiterate man, slap this stalk on the ground and I will appear instantly. I will never forget you, prince!" And the prince climbed on his horse after saluting him and giving him thanks.

    The horse raced forward. All of a sudden, the prince felt that someone was lying by the roadside. He must be suffering from some disease, otherwise he would not have been lying by the road in this manner, he thought. The prince could not pass by, so he got down from his horse and, approaching him, he saw that the man had been suffering from leprosy for a long time.
    Pus was oozing from his sores and he was tormented by flies and worms. Tears rolled down the prince's cheeks. He said, "Ah! How you suffer! You should have called - suppose I had not seen you!" Then the prince washed his sores and applied the healing juice of neem leaves, and bandaged them with his own yellow turban. Then he sat him on his own horse and took him to a leprosy hospital. The leper stared at him for some time with eyes full of gratitude. Then he placed a stalk of corn in his hand and said, "If you ever need me, slap this stalk on the ground and I will appear instantly."

    The prince continued on. It was night when the horse reached the front of the palace of the Strange Demon of the Very Odd Kingdom. The prince introduced himself to the sentry as a common man. The sentry was very reluctant to allow him to go to the Strange Demon at first, but being impressed with his attractive personality and sweet behaviour he finally allowed him to enter.
    The prince was very straightforward and said to the king of the demons, "I need your Flying Peacock Horse badly and I am ready to abide by any condition for this." The Strange Demon repeated the same condition which he had imposed on the first two princes.

    The next morning the prince flew to a great distance on the Flying Peacock Horse. He was very careful lest the horse fly away from him. All of a sudden, towards evening, a great hailstorm, rainstorm and typhoon arose. The Flying Peacock Horse reared up suddenly and flew away, throwing the prince from his back. The prince lost his senses when he was thrown, but he recovered soon. When he opened his eyes, there was no trace of the rain and storm. The sky was studded with countless stars but alas! The Peacock Horse was nowhere in sight. What to do?
    He sat down in a mood of despair. Suddenly he remembered the stalk of rice. He slapped the stalk on the ground and the poor man whom he had met on the way appeared instantly. Hearing everything, he said, "O Prince! You need not worry! I will find out your horse."
    After some time, he came back with another poor man. He said to the prince, "O Prince! Everything is peculiar in this Very Odd Kingdom. The Flying Peacock Horse has disguised himself as a poor man and mingled with the poor. Now put your rein in his mouth, and just see whether he is not that very same Flying Peacock Horse!" Giving his deepest thanks to the poor man, the prince then returned to the stable of the Strange Demon, riding the Flying Peacock Horse. That night, when the Strange Demon saw the prince in good condition and the Flying Peacock Horse chewing grain in the stable, he became furious and began to whip the Peacock Horse shouting, "Is this the result of my long training? You have failed to cheat a common man! The Peacock Horse said in tears, "Has anyone ever heard of a prince who makes friends with the poor? The moment I came to know that the man was a prince I planned to put on rags and mingle with the poor, I thought the prince would surely hate them, so it should have been impossible for him to discover me. How could I have known that this prince is the friend of the poor?"

    The next morning the prince set out again on the back of the Flying Peacock Horse. He galloped very, very far, beyond the Mayna'mati ha't' (ha't' means market place) very very far. On that day also, towards evening a heavy rainstorm arose and the Peacock Horse cleverly flew away as before. This time the prince slapped the stalk of wheat on the ground and the so-called untouchable man appeared instantly before him. After hearing everything from the prince, he went away and returned after some time with another so-called 'untouchable' like him. He said, "Just put your rein in his mouth and see if it's your Peacock Horse!" It was just so. The prince again returned to the stable of the Strange Demon, riding the Peacock Horse.

    The demon flew into a rage to see the prince again returning on the Peacock Horse and began to beat the horse mercilessly. The horse cried, "Has anybody ever heard that a prince mixes with untouchables? Only this prince makes friends with such people." On the third morning, the prince again set out on his journey. He went very, very far, leaving behind the country of Hat't'ama'la'...... far, far away. The same thing happened that day as well, and this time the illiterate man brought back the Flying Peacock Horse.
    In the evening when the Strange Demon saw the prince and the Peacock Horse, he became insane with anger. Beating the Peacock Horse mercilessly until he was half-dead, he shouted, "You will have no grains today!" The Peacock Horse wept and said, "Please tell me what to do. I have never heard that princes make friends with illiterate people! Now I see that only this prince has become the friend of these illiterates!"

    The next morning the prince again set out on his Peacock Horse. That day he travelled very far, leaving behind the land of the thirteen-feet long seeds of the twelve feet long melons. He went far, far away. The same thing happened that evening also. This time the prince called the leper by slapping the stalk of corn on the ground and discovered the Peacock Horse with his help. Again he appeared before the Strange Demon on his Peacock Horse. However angry the demon was inside himself, he appeared outwardly very gentle. This is the nature of the demons! They are always very gentle even with those whom they suppress, whom they suffocate inch by inch.
    Now the demon started thinking whether any other means could be found so that he would not lose his Flying Peacock Horse. So he applied his first trick. He thought, "If I can confine the prince in this kingdom by the temptation of delicious foods, I will not have to lose the Peacock Horse." He then said to the prince, with a show of outward cordiality, "You have suffered a great deal in my kingdom during these few days. I heartily wish that you should taste the delicious food of my kingdom tomorrow. I hope you realize that this country is famous for its fine foods." The prince said, "Is it so?" The demon answered, "Yes, you know little about the pleasures of eating good food in this kingdom. Do you know what our daily menu is? We eat golden cakes fried in clarified butter, Pearl water mixed with coconut kernel, spiced Parble curry with salmon fish made of platinum and in the morning we brush our teeth with diamond powder!" The prince asked, "Is there such an arrangement for everyone here?" The demon said, "This arrangement is for us only - that is, for those who are learned, intellectual, rich, highborn and aristocratic. Those with whom you associate due to your ignorance - those poor, mean and illiterate people - where would they get such things? They neither know how to cook nor eat. They eat stale rice and scorched eggfruit and they brush their teeth with ash."

    The next day the prince went to the demon's palace on invitation. He went there reluctantly, out of sheer courtesy. When he arrived, he found that there was a royal feast. Before him were spread so many dishes and bowls, some of gold, some of silver, some studded with diamonds, all finely carved. He did not even know the names of all the pots and utensils! The distance between some of the dishes was not less than one mile. There were some telescopes also to see the foods kept in the distant dishes. The prince was not familiar with most of the dishes served. Fancy rice, fried vegetables, green vegetables, mixed vegetables, breaded vegetables, seven hundred types of curry, roasted meats, braised meats, shik kabab, and besides these, something he could recognize very well - mangoes! There were small langra mangoes of Hazipur, Dasherii mangoes of Lucknow, Alfanso mangoes of Bombay, yellow Jardalu mangoes of Bhagalpur, Fazli mangoes of Malda, Ranipasand, Begampasand, and Kohitoor mangoes of Murshidabad, Sarikhas mangoes of Hooghly, Pearafuli mangoes of Sheorafuli, Begunfuli mangoes of Madras, and so many other kinds as well!
    Then there were lechees of Saharanpur, Muzzafarpur and Baruipur, watermelons from Lucknow, halwa-sweets; Rabri of Vrindaban, cream sweets, Ghiior sweets of Raiasthan, Shonpapri; Kalakanda Paura from Gaya and Deoghar, Morabba (Jam) from Suri, white milk sweet of Mankar, Sitabhog and Mihidana from Bardhaman, Gaja from Chandannagar, Khaichur of Janai-Dhanekhaii Langcha of Shaktigarh, tasty puffed rice balls from Jayanagar, Sarbhaja-sarpuria of Krsnanagar, Manohara from Beidanga, Chanabara; chanar-jellabee and Raskadamba from Murshidabad, curds from Natore and Nababganj, sweet rice pudding from Dacca, chandanchurd from Pabna, kancagolla of Muragacha (Nadia) and sweet laddu of Delhi - which is such a thing that one who has swallowed it and one who has not swallowed it - both have to repent afterwards.
    The prince began to taste a little of each item; but his stomach was full after tasting only some of these dishes. Thinking that over-eating was bad for his health and moreover, that as he was supposed to leave early the next morning, eating too much at night would not be good, he quickly finished his meal and got up from the table.

    After supper he talked with the Strange Demon for some time, so it was quite dark when the prince left the palace. Suddenly an idea flashed across his mind, "Let me see those cooks, servants and pages who prepared such delicious dishes and served them so elegantly," he thought.
    While passing by the servants' quarters, he suddenly reached the place where the kitchen staff was eating together after the day's hard labour. They were quite exhausted. Those who had cooked so wonderfully and served so carefully were eating only stale rice, scorched eggfruit and the sour sauce of some leaves, perhaps tamarind.

    The prince returned to his cottage with a heavy heart. So many thoughts were running in his brain. He was thinking that he had made a great mistake to eat and drink such delicious food and drink cooked and served by those poor people. The beautiful eyes of the prince were deprived of sleep that night. He was thinking continuously, "If I cannot free humanity from such meanness, what is the use of my education, my intellect? My coming to this earth as a human being bears no value."

    It was at the dead of night. All of a sudden, someone knocked at his door softly. As soon as the prince opened the door, the man instructed him to be silent by pressing his finger against his lips. Then he closed the door and said to him, "O prince! I am your friend. After you came out of the Strange Demon's palace, he was very restless. It seems he is thinking that he has failed to captivate you. Then he called an urgent meeting in which it was decided that you would be assassinated this very night. Within the next fifteen or twenty minutes, armed guards will surround this house lest you try to escape." The prince looked at him with eyes full of gratitude and asked, "Who are you?" Then the man took the prince to the storeroom where the provisions were kept, and said to him, "O prince! Please lift that cover in the corner of the room."
    Removing the cover, the prince saw that under it there was a long tunnel. The man handed a flashlight to the prince and said, "Prince! Go along that way."
    After crawling for about a mile, the prince suddenly saw the blue sky overhead. The place where the tunnel ended was an open field outside the city. Standing there, he began to think, "Now what to do? I might try to make my way across the boundary of the Very Odd Kingdom on foot but this will be quite dangerous. A few days ago, the passport and visa system was introduced, so no one can pass unnoticed. One may cross the border by giving some money as a bribe, but I have no intention to make my way by giving any bribe!"
    All of a sudden, an idea came to his mind. He slapped the stalks of rice, wheat, barley and corn together on the ground and before him appeared that poor man, the 'untouchable', the illiterate man and the leper. They heard everything and at last said, "O prince! Now there is no way to recede or retreat. Now we will have to fight with him face to face. Don't worry at all. We four will create a stir among the young people and they will help you in large numbers. Though the demons are powerful, they are very few in number. If human beings have a proper understanding of their rights, and unitedly stand to establish these rights, all the strength of the demons will disappear just like a piece of straw before a current!"

    The four friends of the prince then set out on their respective duties. They sent the message of a famous poet of the Kingdom of Light to all the young people of that country. "Awake, brothers and sisters! Today you will have to awake and stand up against the tyranny of the demons! You will have to stand unitedly to fight against them. The hollow message of peace is meaningless today. As long as the demons are alive, the message of peace is sweet to hear, but is of no use to the society.
    The forces of destruction are spreading venom in all directions. The sweet gospels of peace have been reduced to mockery. Before I depart I send my clarion call to those who have been preparing themselves, in every home, for the battle against the demons. The huge wastes of the villains will never add any glorious chapter to human history."

    Young people joined the struggle in large numbers. They said, "We have promised our everything to bring an end to the reign of the demons. We have borne tyranny for a long time - but no more! Wearing ragged clothes we have supplied the commodities of enjoyment for the demons - but no more. We want to lead a life worth living. All the wealth of this universe is the common property of all living beings. We won't tolerate deception any longer! We want food, clothes, shelter, medicine and education. We want to lead an honourable life."
    The prince said, "These are the very words I wanted to hear from you. We want the end of the Demonic Rule. But before discharging the final blow, the opponent party should be given a chance to amend itself; that's why we want to give the Strange Demon a chance."

    At first, the demon was quite unwilling to hold any discussion with them. At last, seeing them many in number, he said with reluctance, "Well, I have no objection to talk with some of your representatives." In the course of discussion, the demon pretended that he did not deny that the demands of the humans were legitimate but where is the money? "In order to rebuild the state," he said, "'expenditure has to be curtailed; exports have to be increased and imports decreased, and it is necessary to accelerate the production of agricultural and industrial goods. If people today are busy with trifling demands, how then is it possible to rebuild the Very Odd Kingdom? So people should raise only one slogan today "Labour - more labour - and still more labour! Demands of housing, education, medical treatment - we have heard enough of your demands! Now I advise you, forget your demands for the right to higher wages, education, medical treatment, and better accommodation, for the time being - and go and labour hard!" The representatives of the human beings said "How wonderful! But then the question is, if you don't accept our right to live how can we labour hard?"

    The discussion was interrupted. The demon and his associates now became active to create divisions among the youth. They said to the religious leaders, pundits, priests and mullas (religious leaders), "Do you see what is happening? Religion is becoming polluted, society is becoming polluted, everything is spoiled. After some time perhaps these loutish youth will say, "These pundits, priests and mullas, they are the parasites of the society; they suck the lifeblood of humanity by taking advantage of the weakness of their minds!"
    So a big group of priests, pundits and mullas joined the demons. They declared, "What people are saying now is sheer injustice. People starve as a consequence of their own sins committed in their previous lives. So to fight for the establishment of their rights is to try to overmaster God!"
    But there were some good people even among the priests and mullas and pundits, of course. They declared. "What the prince's group, the human beings, are saying, is right. To support them is right." Ministers and vice-ministers were giving them high posts in government service. Some were trapped in this way, too, but most of the people said, "We are going to be deceived by such temptation no longer-we have long been cheated for our foolishness, but no more!!"

    The Strange Demon noticed that each of his arrows was missing its target. Then he captured some good orators by spending much money. The work of these orators was to make the rank and file of human beings understand that the proper way to achieve their demand was to bear injustice silently and not resort to struggle." By tolerating injustice," they said, "When a person becomes non-violent, a kind of spiritual power awakens in him. And as a result of this spiritual power peace and equality prevail throughout the country. So you should rather engage yourself in the practice of self-purification than have recourse to struggle." But the humans paid no heed to this either.

    Now the demon became restless. He began to run to and fro like an insane person, tearing his hair and shouting violently. In no time his mask of gentleness was rent asunder. Then he started crying out loudly in his demonic tongue.

    "O devils, O demons,
    Man-eaters, ghost-children,
    Where are you my friends and comrades?
    Come and save me from the humans.
    O black-marketers and bribers,
    O pot-bellied.
    Come, O come! Where are you?
    I am going to be killed by Humanity."

    Devils, demons, black-marketers and [adulterators] joined the gang of demons in large numbers. But even among them, a few felt the pangs of conscience; they repented their own misdeeds and joined the group of humans. But most of the bribers and big officials, police officers and military officials, ticket-collectors, goods-officers and ticket checkers and many others - and along with them those who had mixed sand with sugar, mud in cement, dust of tamarind seeds with flour, and poison in medicine - all ran to join the gang of demons.
    However, all were not of the same mentality, and of course all the officials of the Demon Kingdom were not corrupt. Those who were honest joined the group of humans.

    The struggle grew serious. What a grim struggle it was! No one had ever seen such a struggle. In that fight, land, water and sky - hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, and stratosphere shuddered. People were fighting without even sufficient food to eat and wearing tattered clothes.
    The soldiers of the demon, on the other hand, were getting good food and plenty of fine clothes. But in spite of all these hardships, the smiles of the human beings had not abated and their songs never stopped. They constantly upheld the sublime ideal of life, singing:

    "We are all brethren in this universe,
    We will equally share all pleasure and pain."

    Building up many small squads of soldiers, the youths fought on, singing:

    "Proceed on and on!
    The sky above is resounding with the sound of drums
    And the earth below is waiting expectantly
    to welcome the glorious dawn,
    O the Youths of the crimson dawn
    March ahead! March ahead!"

    Then the youths raised slogans:

    "Equal rights for all humanity!
    One nation for all people!
    Tyranny will no longer be tolerated!
    No hypocrisy in the name of revision!
    All people of the world, unite!"

    More and more youths joined the humans, singing unitedly,

    "Victory is ours! Victory is ours!
    This beautiful earth is for the humans, not for the demons!"

    The struggle became very grim. Such a struggle was not fought even at the time of the Ramayana or the Mahabharata. The demons had powerful bombs - dangerous arms capable of killing many people at a time, and lethal weapons full of poisonous gas. But they could not use them because both the humans and the demons would fall victim by their use, as both of them were the inhabitants of the same earth.
    Ultimately the demons began to retreat. Finding no other alternative, the Strange Demon surrendered to the humans. The youths said, "Punish them! Give them capital punishment!" But the prince said, "No! We have accepted the real meaning of non-violence (Ahimsa). Not to use arms against harmless people but to fight the exploiters or those who torture innocent people - this is true non-violence - the sacred duty which we have performed. Those who are now captive in our hands, those demons, they are also our brethren. We should try to rectify their nature."
    So the prince formed a new government and advised that government to build a good number of rectification centres where those demons would get every facility for their mental and spiritual upliftment. Then the prince set his two elder brothers free from the slavery of the demons and requested them to return to the Kingdom of Light as soon as possible, since their parents must have been extremely anxious about them. The first and second princes set out on their way home. Then the youngest prince bade farewell to the inhabitants of the Very Odd Kingdom with tearful eyes and flew towards the Blue Sea on his Peacock Horse.

    This time there was no need of a Chinese boat. The Peacock Horse reached the lotus garden directly. That night, too, the fairy came. But as soon as she noticed the Peacock Horse, she jumped upon the golden lotus and flew away swiftly with it, just like a hawk. It was quite clear to the prince that the fairy had become quite frightened today. She understood that she now had her rival in the sky also, and that the glory of her Fairy Kingdom was going to decline.
    The fairy flew far and the prince followed her, crossing the Kingdom of Clouds, leaping across the Kingdom of the Moon, flying past clusters of stars, planets and meteors in that misty moonlit night, piercing through the nebula along the Milky Way. The prince felt that the fairy had now become quite tired, and she flapped her wings desperately. Gradually she became exhausted; no more could she fly. The Peacock Horse, too, had become very tired. He was perspiring from every pore even in such a cold atmosphere.
    Just then, all of a sudden the fairy entered the gravitational pull of her Fairy Kingdom, and flew rapidly downwards with the prince following swiftly behind. The fairy took shelter on the roof of a huge palace in the Fairy Kingdom. Just when she was about to escape down the staircase, the prince's Peacock Horse landed on the spot. The prince caught hold of the fairy's hand and said, "'O Flower Thief! Where will you escape to?" Her whole body was trembling with fear like a butterfly caught in a net, and both of her wings were trembling also. She was struck dumb. She lowered her head bashfully. The prince said, "Why are you silent? You must speak! Tell me why you used to steal that flower." The fairy, quivering with fear, replied, "O prince! This is my favourite pastime: On the full-moon night, I take a bath in the airy stream of the sky and then I pluck a flower from your Blue Sea. I offer that golden lotus to god in my worship. During the following month I place it in my hair-bun and count the days until the next full-moon night." The prince said, "You offered a stolen flower to God?" The fairy said, "What to do? Would you have given it to me if I had asked?" The prince said, "Of course! You should have asked for it!" With her face bent downwards, the fairy admitted her fault. Then the prince said, "Will you please go with me to our country, the Kingdom of Light?" The fairy replied, "I will agree to your proposal, but there is one condition. I myself will not fly, but will ride with you on your Peacock Horse. The prince asked, "Why?" and the fairy replied, "If I fly, the countless children around the Blue Sea will point at me crying," Look there! The fairy, the Flower Thief is coming down, and I can't tolerate that humiliation!"
    The prince felt that the fairy was now repentant for her past actions, so he said, "Then come into my Flying Peacock Horse!" The Peacock Horse moved forward through the hazy darkness towards the Kingdom of Light.

    The children were playing around the Blue Sea in the golden light. Just then, the prince alighted from his Peacock Horse with the fairy. The children were very happy to have him among them again. They started jumping and laughing around the prince, singing, "For he's a jolly good fellow, for he's a jolly good fellow...!"
    Seeing the joy of the children of the land, the children of the underworld and the children of the sky came running and flying. The children of the water peeped their heads above the water-"Ah! The youngest prince!" All the children gave shouts of joy, "Three cheers for the youngest prince! Hip, hip, HURRAY!" Immediately they surrounded the prince and demanded. "We want a story... many, many, beautiful, funny, colourful stories!" So the prince narrated his adventurous story in detail, only omitting one single point. He never told that this very fairy was that Flower Thief, because the prince noticed that her face was reddening with shame as the story was proceeding.

    From then onwards, the Golden Lotus of the Blue Sea was never stolen again.

Faqja 12 prej 12 FillimFillim ... 2101112

Ruaj Lidhjet

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