Nīlākṣa-nakula

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By Swami Harshananda

Sometimes transliterated as: Nilaksa-nakula, NIlAkSa-nakula, Nilaaksha-nakula


Nīlākṣa-nakula (‘the blue-eyed mongoose’)

After the performance of the Aśva-medha sacrifice, king Yudhiṣṭhira, the

eldest of the Pāṇḍavas, was puffed up with pride.

Suddenly, there appeared in the Yāgaśālā (sacrificial shed) a big mongoose with blue eyes, half of whose body had become golden. It rolled on the ground where there were scattered grains but seemed to be disappointed, since the other half too did not turn golden as it had hoped for. Then it spoke, like a human being, disparagingly of Yudhiṣṭhira’s so-called great sacrifice, comparing it with the sacrifice with life of a whole brāhmaṇa family out of hunger, after everyone of them gave away his or her share of food to hungry souls who begged for the same. Accidental contact of the body of the mongoose with a small portion of the leftover food in the brāhmaṇa’s house had turned that half of its body into golden colour! Since that day the mongoose was trying to convert the other half of its body also into golden colour by visiting places where great sacrifices were being performed.

Naturally, Yudhiṣṭhira was humbled.

See Mahābhārata (Āśvamedhika- parva, Ch. 90).


References

  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore

OLD CONTENT

Nīlākṣa-nakula (‘the blue-eyed mongoose’) B29 After the performance of the Aśva- medha sacrifice, king Yudhiṣṭhira, the eldest of the Pāṇḍavas, was puffed up with pride. Suddenly, there appeared in the Yāgaśālā (sacrificial shed) a big mongoose with blue eyes, half of whose body had become golden. It rolled on the ground where there were scattered grains but seemed to be disappointed, since the other half too did not turn golden as it had hoped for. Then it spoke, like a human being, disparagingly of Yudhiṣṭhira’s so- called great sacrifice, comparing it with the sacrifice with life of a whole brāhmaṇa family out of hunger, after everyone of them gave away his or her share of food to hungry souls who begged for the same. Accidental contact of the body of the mongoose with a small portion of the left¬over food in the brāhmaṇa’s house had turned that half of its body into golden colour! Since that day the mongoose was trying to convert the other half of its body also into golden colour by visiting places where great sacrifices were being per¬formed. Naturally, Yudhiṣṭhira was humbled. See Mahābhārata (Āśvamedhika- parva, Ch. 90).