Manduka Muni in his hermitage, deep in meditation.
Muni: ‘Om, om,,,,,,,om……
Some police constables passing by.
Constable 1: This looks to be a safe place in an isolated area
Constable 2: Hmm; true. Let us go inside the hermitage in disguise. Maybe we will find the thieves here.
The constables go inside the hermitage and start searching. Meanwhile the thieves who have stolen large quantity of gold from a merchant’s house are removing their loot from their bag.
Thief 1: See, see this necklace, is so heavy, we will definitely earn a lot by selling this.
Thief 2: Look at this silver plate. This plate was used to offer bhoga to the Lord. He…he…he… now I suppose the Lord will have to eat in plantain leaf
Both burst into laughter.
Constable 1: What is this?…..In this serene place, I hear laughter (going further …trying to hear clearly)….Yes ….yes laughter..demoniac laughter….cultured people don’t laugh like this. Come let’s go in that direction.
They both follow the sound of the laughter.
The thieves meanwhile are counting the precious loot.
Constable 2: Got you. So you are hiding here, eh. And we got proof of your thievery too
Constables catch hold of the thieves and the loot and go towards the Muni
Constable 2: Hey Muni, so this is what your hermitage is for. To hide thieves and their loot.
Muni: Huh….what are you talking about?
Constable 1: Come with us to the magistrate and you will remember everything.
The constables drag the muni and the thieves to the magistrate.
Constable 2: My Lord, we caught hold of the thieves who stole the gold and other valuables at the merchants house. They were hiding in this Munis ashram
Muni: But…but….I don’t even know who they are.
Constable 1: Stop lying. These thieves were in your ashram and their loot was in your ashram. So how can you not know?
Muni: I am telling the truth. I was deep in meditation, how will I know who was living in my ashram
Magistrate: Because the thieves were found in your hermitage with the loot in their possession, you will be punished. Manduka Muni and your punishment is that you will be pierced with a lance.
Manduka Muni: But but…..
The news reaches the King when he learns that Manduka Muni is going to be pierced with a lance, He rushes to stop the punishment
King: Stop stop….Magistrate how can you punish such a great sage?
Falling at the feet of the sage
King: Forgive us Muni for such an offense
Muni: Mistakes happen King but you arrived at the right time…
So saying the sage leaves and goes to meet Yamaraja
Muni: My dear Sir, You keep track of all our good and bad deeds and accordingly award us with rewards and punishments. Pray tell me, what wrong I did to be awarded with piercing of a lance. My whole life I have spent in meditation and glorification of the holy name, then why was I subjected to such a fate
Yamaraja: True you are a great saint. But it so happened that when you were a small boy you had c aught hold of a small ant and tried to pierce it with a straw and so it was your turn today. Today you were about to be pierced with a lance.
Muni: But Sir, what I did was in my boyhood when I was an ignorant fool.
Yamaraja: Ignorance is no excuse Munivar. You have to reap what you sow
Muni: That is not fair.
Yamaraja: A law is a law and is equal to all.
Muni: I curse you…. I curse you Yamaraja, even though I did a mistake in my ignorance; you saw to it that I suffer ignoring all my good deeds. So I curse you for hundred years you will have to live in earth as a Shudra.
Yamaraja (Smiling): So be it
And that is how Yamaraj is born as Vidura, the brother of Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Because he was born from the womb of a maidservant, he becomes a Shudra, while his brothers are Kshatriyas.
Note;Adapted for children from the Shrimad Bhagavatam canto 1 Chapter 13 Text 1