Shravan Kumar's Story

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Shravan Kumar belonged to the time when King Dashratha ruled Ayodhya. He was born of poor and blind parents, but they had brought him up remarkably well. He was strong healthy and honest, and he had a good character. He bore sincere love and respect for his parents. He was also a great devotee of God. Everyday he worked hard to make his parents as comfortable and happy. In his leisure time he prayed to God and attended to his poor, blind and aging parents. One day his parents told him that they had be- come quite aged. They, therefore, wanted him to take them to the various places of pilgrimage : this could make them fully satisfied and give them abundant peace of mind. It is a typical Hindu belief that a pilgrimage to the various shrines and holy places under- taken in old age, purifies the soul and takes one nearer to one's Maker ere the icy hand of Death touches one. To a Hindu mind nothing is more precious, than becoming one with the great Maker of this Universe. In those days means of transport were scarce and costly, and Shravan Kumar could not afford to hire- them. He, therefore, decided to place his parents in two baskets and carry the baskets on his shoulder to the places of pilgrimage. He took a strong bamboo- stick, at its two ends he tied the two baskets with strong ropes, and placed his father in one of the baskets and his mother in the other. Carrying on his shoulder this bamboo stick with a basket at either end, Shravan started on the pilgrimage. After having visited a few places of pilgrimage, he found himself on the banks of the sacred river Sharayu. Pleased with the beautiful scenery around. he decided to take a little rest there, with his parents. Shravan then placed the baskets in the shade of a tree. And after describing the beauties of the scene to his blind parents, he told them that he wanted to take a dip in the river Sharayu- The bath was sure to re- fresh him. His parents asked Sharavan to take his bath leisurely: they also asked him to...
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