REAL SACRIFICE

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REAL SACRIFICE

After having won Mahabharata war, King Yudhisthir, the eldest of Pandavas, performed the Ashwamedha Yagna in which he gave away his riches to the deserving.  Just then a half golden mongoose sneaked in and began rolling all over the ground. It then looked at its fur and seemed disappointed. The mongoose said sadly, “Ah! This is no sacrifice.”

Yudhisthir and others were puzzled for they had performed the yagna on grand scale. How dare the mongoose proclaim that it was worthless? Curious, they asked for explanation. The mongoose sighed, “During a famine, I witnessed a grand sacrifice. I had gone without food for days. Elsewhere there was hunger, starvation and death. With no strength to look for food, one night I crept into a hut of a peasant who lived with his wife and child. They too were hungry for days. One day the husband brought home a little wheat flour. The wife cooked it and just as they were about to eat it, a beggar cried for food. The man gave him his portion. There was second knock and this time he found a hungry child, crying. The wife gave the child her share. As they were about to eat third share, a famished dog crawled inside the hut. The child gave up her share and the family now faced hunger and certain death.”

“The beggar, the child and the dog came back to bless the family. The guests transformed into Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh. Blessing the generous family they took away them in a beautiful chariot. I ate the food they had left behind and fell asleep. In the morning when I went home, my family found that I had turned half golden. I found that the side I had slept on had turned golden. I am looking for such a sacrifice so that my other half side also turns golden. So you see, this sacrifice cannot be great.”