Bhagavatam - Tenth Skandha , Chapter 64

The Story of Nriga !

One day the Yadu princes Samba, Pradyumna, Chaarubhaanu, Gada and others went to a small forest to play.


Story of Nriga

Suka Deva Continued

One day Yadava princes went to a nearby forest to play. They included Samba, Pradyumna, Chaarubhaanu, Gada and others.

After playing for a long time, they became thirsty and searched for water. They saw a well and as they looked inside they saw an amazing creature. The creature they saw was a huge lizard. They tried to lift the lizard out of the well without success. They then reported the matter to the Lord. Lord Krishna, the Supreme one came to the well and lifted the Lizard out with his left hand.

Touched by the Glorious Lord, the lizard giving up its form turned into a beautiful resident of heaven. The all knowing Krishna, as though not knowing, enquired of the heavenly person ,” O Fortunate one! Who are you? I assume from your exalted position that you must be from the Devas. What action brought you into this condition? Please explain we are eager to know if you think it is proper.”

Thus questioned by Lord Krishna the heavenly person bowed to Madhava and replied.

“O Lord! I am a King known as Nriga, son of Ishvaaku. O Master! What can be unknown to you, yet I will speak. I spent my life in giving charity. I gave away as many cows as grains of sand on the earth, or star in the skies or drops in a shower of rain. I gave away cows which were rich in qualities. I gave away cows which were earned honestly. I gave away the cows to Brahmans, who were in need. I gave away cows to Brahmans who were learned in Vedic scriptures, committed to truth and known for austerities too. I performed all austerities and pious activities.

Once a cow belonging to a Brahman wandered and entered my royal herd. I gave that cow to another Brahman in another charity, without realizing the same. When it was being led away the original owner claimed the cow saying it is his. But the new Brahman claimed the same also as his, since it is given by the King to him. And the two Brahmans came to me. Hearing the argument I was lost. Finding myself in a difficult situation and concerned about my duty I entreated both Brahmans requesting them that I will give one hundred thousand cows of best quality to any one of them who is willing to forgo his claim for the cow in dispute. I requested them to show mercy to me as their servant. The present owner said I do not want anything in exchange. The other said I don't want even ten thousand more such cows.

O Lord at this time the agents of Lord Yama took me directly to Lord Yama. The Lord himself asked “O King, you want to enjoy the fruits of your good deeds first or the fruits of the sins committed by you.” Then I replied.” oh Lord let me first suffer the sinful reactions ‘. The Lord Yama decreed so be it and at once I saw myself falling down in this form.”

“Oh Lord as your servant I was devoted to Brahmans and was generous to them. I always prayed for your audience so I retained my memory even today. Oh Lord how you are visible to me, as we know you are not visible to even those sages who perform unbearable austerities. It is indeed my good fortune “

“Oh Lord, Oh Lord of all Lord my obeisance to you. Oh Devadeva, Jagannatha, Govinda Purushottama, Narayana, Hrishikesa, Punyasloka, Achyuta, Avyaya please permit me to leave. Please bless me so that wherever I am residing my mind may seek the shelter of your feet.”

Being given the permission the King bowed to the Lord and after performing the traditional circumbulation departed.

Then Lord, who is always devoted to Brahmans and Dharma, addressed the retinue of family members and close associates. It is in effect instructing the Royal class about Dharma.

“The Brahmans property is indeed indigestible. Even if one takes a little of it, it is more powerful than fire. What to speak of Kings who assume they are rulers and grab the whole. I do not consider halahala as a poison, it has an antidote. Brahmans property is said to be poison and if consumed it has no antidote. Poison kills one who takes the same. Fire is extinguished with water. The fire from Brahmans property destroys the entire family. If a Brahmans property is enjoyed without permission it destroys three generations. If the Brahmans property is taken over by force it destroys ten generations. The Kings blinded by their royal power do not foresee their own fall. Hankering after such property, one is only hankering after hell.

Friends, not to me this Brahman wealth. Those desiring a bramans wealth will be short lived and defeated. Kingdom will be lost. They become creatures of distress like snakes. Even if a Brahman committed sin, do not treat him harshly. Even if he is cursing or attacks offer them obeisance. As I bow down to Brahmans carefully all the time, so should you. One who does otherwise I shall punish him. So dear friends if the property of Brahman is taken away it causes the taker to fall down, even if he is unaware like Brahmans cow did to Nruga.”

Having instructed his people, Lord Mukunda entered his palaces in Dwaraka


If the property of Brahman is taken away , it causes the taker to fall down even if he is unaware like Brahmans cow did to Nruga