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Mahanayak Kharvel Ep. 4





Mahanayak Kharvel English


( Emperor Samprati, along with his vast army, entered the capital of Magadha, Pataliputra. On the advice of Arya Balissahaji, Kharavela also arrived in Pataliputra. Seated on the throne in the royal court, Bhikkhuraya Kharavela is deep in thought upon seeing Emperor Samprati.

Continue reading to find out what happens next. )

 

At present, the same Khāravela Bhikkhuraya was standing before Emperor Samprati, joining both hands in reverence.

 

Walking with a dignified and calm gait like a lion, the emperor approached the throne and became emotional. By appearance, he seemed to be around 75 years old. Yet, upon reaching the side of the throne, his eyes welled up. This was the ancient throne of the Mauryan Empire. The responsibility of preserving it was his, and it had been the final wish of his grandfather, Ashoka. Still, the emperor had not been able to fulfill it. All those scenes... events from fifty years ago... passed before the emperor's eyes. Oh! He was coming here after fifty years. Without sitting on the throne, he stood and looked at the assembly, "May the Mauryan Empire remain united!" the emperor said. And the entire assembly was filled with emotion.

 

"On this throne sat my great-grandfather Chandragupta Maurya, with Chanakya as its guardian. On this throne sat my grandfather Bindusara. On this throne sat my mentor, Arya Ashoka. Samprati does not have the courage to sit on this throne. Therefore, I place this sacred sword of the Mauryas on this throne and decide to sit on the adjoining throne."

 

The entire assembly erupted in cheers. Brihadratha remarked, "Showman!" Pushyamitra joined his hands in respect. And Prince Khāravela of Kalinga thought, "He has influence, talent, and just as much humility. A true 'emperor'."

 

The purpose for which Aryabalissah had sent him was sinking in   Prince Khāravelas mind. What is essential in a king of the emperor's caliber—impact, virtue, and humility. "An extraordinary human being," Khāravela thought.

 

Emperor Samprati had the secondary throne placed in front of the main throne and sat on it, then began to speak. "I greet every Magadhan who is like the lifeblood of the Mauryan Empire!" He joined both hands in salutation.The joyous citizens of the Magadha region responded with elation, "Hail Emperor Samprati!"

 

"The administration of an undivided India is being efficiently managed by the vassal kings subordinate to the Mauryan Empire. Following the path set by Emperor Ashoka when he initiated the spread of the Dharma Chakra, I, his devoted successor, Emperor Samprati, am also eager to propagate the Dharma Chakra under the guidance of my revered teacher, Acharya Arya Suhastasuriji." Brihadratha seemed to be pushed far into the background. No one even asked for his opinion. He was completely overshadowed and agitated by the glory and brilliance of this emperor. He sat there, fuming, waiting for an opportunity to play his move.

 

On the other hand, Prince Khāravela of Kalinga, keeping all  his five senses alert and sharp, was grasping the situation. He recalled the words of Arya Balissah: "Prince Khāravela! You must go to help a great Jain follower."

 

"Bhante! He is  going to his  own empire, his own home. Why fear his own people?"

 

"Politics, the lust for power, and being blinded by indulgences," Balissah had said. "What a pitiful condition it is, Prince, when your own family members are eager to take your life..."

 

Remembering this, Prince Khāravela's gaze fell upon Brihadratha. His face was like an old garment made to shine with a coat of paint. Khāravela didn't think this man could confront anything head-on. However, he did seem capable of plotting conspiracies by inciting others. Khāravela became cautious. Deception and conspiracy could arise from any direction at any time, so he became increasingly vigilant. One hand firmly gripped the dagger hidden behind his cloak, ready to strike.

 

Then the emperor's voice was heard. “There is an important and genuine reason for my eagerness, and today I want to reveal that reason—this secret—to you.”

 

"Fifty years ago, when I was in the prime of my youth, my father, Maharaja Kunal, received the Avanti region in Kumarbhukti. We were managing the state affairs in Ujjayini.” The emperor spoke to the citizens as if conversing with family. Khāravela noted this, thinking, "A true emperor is one who can forge a deep bond with the people, who can make them his own. Not just by acts of benefaction, but by dedicating time and making the people feel like their own. One who can win over the people is the real king."

 

"One day, standing at the balcony, I was watching the city. There was a religious procession going on. The crowd was gathered, filled with joy. The idol placed in the chariot was magnificent. Devotees adorned in new beautiful garments were pulling the chariot. My gaze was fixed on those travelers and got stuck at one place.

 

"A saint was leading this entire chariot procession. I was seeing the white-robed saint for the first time. Yet, I felt as if I had met them somewhere before—an inexplicable experience," the king continued speaking, and the whole assembly was deeply engrossed in listening. There were two individuals who didn't want to flow with this current: Brihadratha and Prince Khāravela of Kalinga.

 

"I tried hard to recall. I exerted immense pressure on my mind, but I couldn't remember. You won't believe it, but the contact with my mind was completely lost, and I fell unconscious on the ground," he said.

 

There were hundreds of thousands of people present. Even if a needle fell, there was such profound silence. The entire assembly was completely absorbed in listening to the emperor.

 

"One day, I was standing by the window, gazing at the city. A religious procession was passing by. A crowd had gathered. There was joy in the air. The idol installed on the chariot was magnificent. Devotees dressed in new, beautiful clothes were pulling the chariot with masked faces. My eyes were roaming over those travelers and got fixed on one spot.


"A saint, dressed in white, was leading the entire procession. It was the first time I was seeing this saint, yet somehow, I felt as if I had met him before," the king continued speaking, and the entire assembly was engrossed in listening. Two people, however, did not want to get carried away by this flow—one was Brihadratha and the other was the prince of Kalinga, Kharavela.


"I strained my mind, made a lot of effort. I had seen him somewhere. I tried to recall by putting a heavy burden on my brain. And you won't believe it, I completely lost connection with my brain and fell unconscious to the ground."


Hundreds—thousands of people were present. There was such a profound silence that even the sound of a pin drop could be heard. The entire assembly was deeply absorbed—totally focused on listening to the emperor.


"Strange! I lost all control over my mind. I was sinking—losing myself in a vast, unfathomable sea of darkness. And at that moment, I saw some images unfolding before my inner eyes like a motion picture."


"I saw that in a wealthy city, a tattered beggar was wandering. He didn't even have full clothes to wear. He hadn't eaten anything for three days. His stomach had caved in. The ribs on his chest were clearly visible and could be counted. His hands and feet had become like ropes."


"No one was giving him any food. Finally, he saw two monks on the road. Their begging bowls looked heavy and they had compassion in their eyes. The beggar approached them and asked for food. The monks said, 'This food belongs to our master. Come with us and speak to him.'"


"The beggar was scorned everywhere, but these monks spoke to him with respect. He felt very good. After that, I saw that the beggar was asking for food from an influential saint and became a monk for food."


"Brothers! I saw that this influential saint was the same saint I had just seen. But who was this beggar? I couldn't understand."


"In the next scene, I saw the beggar in the guise of a monk, being worshipped by wealthy merchants. That monk-beggar had severe stomach pain. He had eaten after many days, and overeating had caused indigestion. That night, the beggar died. But his master, the influential teacher, comforted him greatly, recited the Namokar mantra. The beggar died among those monks, and in the next scene, I saw myself—the son of Maharaja Kunal, Samprati..."


"So, friends! I found the connection. I regained consciousness. I ran and fell at the feet of that great teacher. I said, 'Gurudev! Do you recognize me?' The guru replied, 'Who doesn't recognize the ruler of Avanti, brother!'"


"I said, 'No, not from that identity. Your connection with me is even older. Try to remember.' And he meditated for a moment. Then he said, 'Beggar monk! Is it you?'


"I was astonished. My guru recognized me. The guru who had shown me compassion in my past life had come to me again. I told him, 'Gurudev! I lay the crown of this kingdom at your feet.' And the guru said, 'What will an ascetic monk do with this? But if you want to do something, work for the spiritual upliftment of all the subjects. Distribute the benefits that you have received to all your people. Let our teachings reach everyone. May you and all your people gain spiritual benefits and be blessed.'


"So, my dear friends! From that day on, I have dedicated myself. I have realized the truth, the ultimate principle. This is my personal experience. I feel that even if you are Brahmins, Buddhists, Kshatriyas, or Vaishyas by tradition, you should all worship this ultimate principle. It is possible that in your next life, you too may become an emperor!"


"I do not desire any kingdom. All this is subject to ‘punya’, our good karma and punya is like a breeze. When it comes and goes, no one can tell. Therefore, as long as I am the emperor, as long as I am the king of all of you, may you all gain great spiritual benefits. May your future be as bright as mine, that is my only wish."


"And because of this, I have invited Gurudev to reside here. A ten-day festival for the installation of the Jain idol is going to take place. A grand Jain temple has been built in Pataliputra. A gigantic idol will be installed there."


"All the citizens should participate in it with joy, and everyone should benefit from the divine words of Gurudev Aryasuhasti Suriji. Religion never forces itself upon anyone. Religion is a matter of personal faith. But my earnest request is that all citizens understand, accept, and incorporate the principles of this religion into their lives, benefit from the festival, and achieve prosperity and glory like me. Praise the Lord Arhat..."


The entire assembly cheered and in that joyous atmosphere, when everyone was in a state of euphoria, suddenly there was a flash of lightning. No one noticed it, but the Prince of Kalinga, Kharavela, understood. With incredible swiftness, he drew a dagger and aimed it at the emperor's chest.


( To be Continued... )

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