In the city of Rajpur, there was a king
named Hansa. He was a fair and just king. He was known for his devotion to
truth and nonviolence. On the top of Mount Ratnasringa, there stood a
beautiful temple that was dedicated to the first Tirthankar, Rishabhdev.
During the month of Chaitra, when the full moon appeared, people came from
far away places to visit and worship in the temple. Once the king also
decided to visit the temple. He gave control of his kingdom temporarily to
his council of ministers and left with the members of the royal household on
this spiritual mission.
A few days after king Hansa departed,
another king named Arjuna attacked king Hansa's city. In spite of strong
fight, king Hansa's army was defeated and many of the generals lost their
lives on the battlefield. King Arjuna gained the control of the palace and
the treasury. Arjun sat on the throne and enforced his authority over the
King Hansa heard the story of this defeat
on the way to the temple. The king's courtiers were very upset and advised
him that he should return to the city. The king said, "I have given up the
control of kingdom and we are on spiritual mission and that is what we
should be thinking about. So let us keep going to the temple." The king's
courtiers were unhappy about the king's decision and worried about the
safety of their families at home. One by one they all dropped out and now
only one umbrella-bearer servant was left with the king.
On the way to the temple the king got lost
in the forest. Now he was concerned about their own safety so he took off
his royal dress and jewelry and gave them to his servant. While walking
through the forest this servant also got separated from the king.
As the king walked further, all of a
sudden a deer ran in front of him and disappeared. Right after that a hunter
came running with a bow in his hand and asked the king if he had seen the
deer. The king knew that if he told the truth, the deer would get killed. So
he decided not to answer the question and kept on telling other irrelevant
things. So he said that he came from Rajpur. The hunter asked him again
about the deer and he answered that he was the king. The hunter was very
upset with his answers and left with anger.
By now the king was tired, and rested
under a tree. He over heard the discussion going on in the bush about
robbing the monks who would pass through this way in next two days. The king
got concerned about the safety of the monks. While he was thinking what he
can do, some policemen approached him and asked if he saw any suspicious
people looking like robbers. They said, "These people are very dangerous and
we have heard that they harm the holy people. We are sent to capture or even
shoot them if necessary to protect the holy people."
The king was once again in dilemma whether
to tell the truth. He was concerned that if he told about those people then
they would be harmed and if not, monks would be harmed. He thought, "By
telling the truth if someone is going to get harmed or killed then telling
that truth is not the truth. Truth is supposed to protect and not harm
anyone." He said, "My friends, you are asked to guard the monks. Why not go
and look after those monks and worry about robbers if they confront the
monks." The policemen felt better and left to join the monks.
The robbers who were hiding in the bush
heard all this. They were amazed by the mercy shown by this stranger. They
came out and thanked him for saving their lives, and told him that they were
at his service. The king advised them, "My dear friends, give up harassing
people and fugitive life and be good citizens." The robbers promised that
they would not harm the monks anymore and would try to give up robbery and
As if this was not enough, a group of
horsemen came and asked him if he had seen king Hansa. The king asked, "What
do you want from king Hansa?" They explained that they were the trusted men
of king Arjuna and they had been told to catch king Hansa and kill him. King
Hansa thought for a while and said, "I am king Hansa. Carry out your duty as
told by your king." After saying that, he closed his eyes and stood in
meditation, and started reciting the Navkar Mantra.
All at once, a dev (angel) made his
appearance and said, "Oh, king! I am overwhelmed by your truthfulness and
compassion. I have captured king Arjun as prisoner and gave control of your
kingdom to your ministers. Today is a great day for worship, and the temple
is too far from here. There is no way you would reach there in time. My
chariot is at your service. Please let me take you there."
The king Hansa was surprised by the
miraculous turn of the events. In the company of an angel god, he reached
the summit of Ratnasringa in time to worship. The angel god then escorted
him to his kingdom. king Hansa pardoned King Arjun and released his soldiers
immediately. The angel appointed four lieutenants to look after the safety
of the king and his kingdom and departed. Then king Hansa, once again, ruled
the city of Rajpur, and the people were happy.