Sunday, 2 June 2013

Paari- the great giver

        One of the seven great ‘givers’ of the Sangam Era, was King Paari. I am tempted to narrate this story at a time when every school going kid is talking of ecology and how to save it.

      There cannot be a more apt example than this story of King Paari to emphasise the need to give more to nature than take as we have taken a lot in the past, giving very little.

       King Paari was believed to have reached Tamil Nadu as a refugee from Dwaraka. After the Dwaraka deluge, a group of refugees were believed to have reached Kashmir, while the other group set southwards. King Paari was believed to have followed the great sage Agasthya from Dwaraka. He was said to have ruled the Parambu Nadu.

         Paari belonged to the Velir clan and he had a heart of gold. He could not see anyone suffering and did what he could within his might to help them. One day Paari was going around the hill in his chariot. Suddenly a strong wind blew and a lone Jasmine creeper which was violently tossed in the wind caught the eye of the generous King.

         The creeper had no support and would not have withstood the strong wind which is usually a feature of the hills. It did not take the King long to decide what needed to be done. He asked his charioteer to move the chariot close to the creeper. He gently bent down and took the creeper wrapping it carefully around the chariot that gave him the status and honour that every King rightfully deserves.

         He set his horses to roam freely and walked to his palace along with his charioteer. This simple act of Paari, without any expectations or reward for his kindness, earned him a respectful place in history.

       Though it is an oft heard simple tale of chivalry, there are quite a few lessons for us to learn from it. Of course the lessons that a simple story carries are also simple. But most of the times simple lesson are difficult to practice.

     The act of saving a creeper and setting his horses free were simple eco-friendly theory put to practice. Being a refugee himself Paari was always kind towards every life form around. Only when we experience pain are we able to appreciate the pain and suffering of others. The words of Dr. Christiaan Barnard’s father, as quoted by him in “In celebration of being alive”go thus:

         Suffering ennobles you- makes you a better person.”

        Definitely, the hardships that King Paari went through had made him a better human being!