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The White Elephant Story
Once upon a time, there lived a herd of eighty thousand elephants in the foothills of the majestic Himalayas. Their leader was a magnificent and rare white elephant who was an extremely kind soul. He loved his mother very much who had become blind and weak and unable to care for herself.
This white elephant used to go inside the forest every day in search of food. He kept looking for the best wild fruits to send to his mother. But alas, his mother never got anything. The reason for this was that his angels always ate them themselves. Every night, when he returned home he was surprised to hear that his mother remained hungry the whole day. He was absolutely disgusted by his flock.
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Then one day, he decided to leave them all behind and disappeared in the middle of the night with his beloved mother. He took her to live in a cave on the banks of a beautiful lake on Mount Candorana that was covered with gorgeous pink lotuses.
It so happened that one day when the white elephant was eating, he heard a loud crying sound. A forester from Banaras had lost his way in the forest and was very scared. He had come to the area to meet relatives and could not find his way out.
Seeing this big white elephant he became even more frightened and ran away as fast as he could. The elephant followed him and told him not to be afraid, as he only wanted to help him. He asked the forester why he was crying so bitterly. The forester replied that he was crying because he had been wandering in the forest for the last seven days and could not find his way out.
The elephant told him not to worry because he knew every nook and corner of this forest and could take him to a safe place. Then he lifted him on his back and carried him to the edge of the forest, from where the forester went on his merry way back to Banaras.
On reaching the city, he heard that King Brahmadatta’s personal elephant had recently died and the king was looking for a new elephant. His messengers were roaming around the city announcing that anyone who saw or heard of an elephant suitable for the king should come forward with information.
The forester was very excited and immediately went to the king and told him about the white elephant he had seen on Mount Candorana. He told him that he had marked the way and that he would need the help of elephant trainers to capture this magnificent elephant.
The king was very pleased with this information and immediately sent several soldiers and elephant trainers along with the forester. After several days of travel, the group reached the lake next to which elephants lived. They slowly moved towards the lake shore and hid behind the bushes. The white elephant was collecting lotus shoots for its mother’s food and could sense the presence of humans.
When he looked up, he saw the forester and realized that it was he who had led the king’s men to him. He was deeply saddened by the ungratefulness but decided that if he fought, many people would be killed. And he was too kind to hurt anyone. So he decided to accompany them to Banaras and then request the merciful king to be freed.
When the white elephant did not return home that night, his mother became very worried. He had heard all the commotion outside and guessed that the king’s men had taken away his son. He feared that the king would take him to war and that his son would certainly be killed. She was also worried that there would be no one to take care of her or feed her, because she could not see. She lay down there and started crying bitterly.
Meanwhile his son was taken to the beautiful city of Banaras where he was given a grand welcome. The entire city was decorated and his own stables were brilliantly painted and covered with garlands of fragrant flowers. The trainers set up a feast for their new kingdom the elephant, who refused to touch a morsel. He did not react to any kind of stimulation, be it fragrant flowers or beautiful and comfortable stables. He sat there completely dejected.
The worried trainers went straight to explain the situation to their king, as they feared that the elephant would perish without any food or water. When the king heard what they were saying he became extremely worried and went himself to the stable. He offered the elephant food from the royal table and asked him why he was so sad. He thought that the elephant should be proud and honored that he has been chosen as the state elephant and will get the opportunity to serve his king.
But the white elephant replied that he would not eat anything until he met his mother. So the king asked him where his mother was. The elephant replied that she was back to her home on Mount Candorana and must be worried and hungry because she is blind and there is no one to feed and care for her. She was afraid that she would die.
The kind king was impressed by the elephant’s story and asked him to return to his blind, old mother and take care of her.
I had been doing all along. He set him free in love and kindness. The happy elephant went running home as fast as he could. And he was relieved to find that his mother was still alive. He filled his trunk with water and poured it over his sick mother who thought that it was raining. Then she cried out as she thought that some evil spirit had come to harm her and wished and prayed that her son was there to save her.
The white elephant gently bent over his blind mother and stroked her lovingly. She immediately recognized his touch and was overjoyed. Her son lifted her up and told her that the kind and compassionate King of Benaras had set him free and he was here to love and look after his mother forever.
His mother was absolutely thrilled and blessed the kind King with peace, prosperity and joy till the end of his days. She was so thankful to him for sending her son back home. The white elephant was able to take good care of his mother till the day she died. And when he died himself, the King erected a statue of him by the side of the lake and held an annual elephant festival there in memory of such a caring and noble soul.
Moral Story:- Always give affection and care to your loved ones. Always respect the feelings of others.
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