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Humanitarian Ideals




Page: 12/36

Hindu Books > Dharma And Philosophy > Hindu Ideals > Humanitarian Ideals

Hindu Ideals Page11

The Story of Mahabali

In the same work. we have the thrilling episode of the famous King Maha Bali. This king performed a great sacrifice in which he vowed to make generous gifts to all those who came and asked for anything from him. Lord Vishnu approached him in the guise of a dwarfish Brahmacharin and asked for a gift of three feet of ground to be measured by his own diminutive feet. The Preceptor of King Bali Sukracharya discovered who the Brahmacharin was and for what purpose he was asking for such a gift. He tried to-dissuade the King from his intended act of generosity.

The Acharya also pointed out that the Brahmacharin would seize the place, the power and the wealth of the King and would hand them over to Indra. But the King stuck to his promise and propounded in the following weighty words the highest ideal of charity Righteous men like Dadeechi and Sibi do good to other beings even at the expense of their own lives, which are difficult to abandon. Then what concern should there be about land and such other things? It is even common to see men who fight in the battlefield without turning there back, give up their life. But it is rare to see those who would make a gift to a deserving person."

What is meant by this is that at the spur of the moment or in a fit of heroic anger a person may give up his life in the battle-field fighting the enemy. But in a calm moment in ordinary life he will not give up his wealth to a deserving person approaching him for help and assistance. Saying this, King Bali stuck to his promise in spite of the remonstrations of his Preceptor, lost all his kingdom and came to grief. Here again we have the instance of a person who pursued this glorious ideal of charity and sacrificed his all for the sake of it. In the historic pronouncement of King Bali quoted above. the King gives the example of Dadeechi and Sibi.




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