Our hero, Yudhishtira, is chasing after a deer, when he happens by a beautiful lake. There, he is confronted by a Yaksha, who promises to kill him if he fails to answer the questions put to him, correctly. It is a test of wisdom and judgement.
This is a snippet called ‘Yaksha Prashna’ i.e ‘Questions of the Righteous Crane’, from the epic poem, Mahabharatha. I have included here, the questions that I found interesting, under the assumption that some cranes are naturally righteous.
Yaksha: What is more abundant than the Earth?
Yudhishtira: One’s mother.
Yaksha: What towers higher than the sky?
Yudhishtira: One’s father
Yaksha: What is faster than the wind?
Yudhishtira: The mind
Yaksha: What are more numerous than the stars?
Yudhishtira: Our worries
Yaksha: Which enemy is invincible?
Yaksha: What is an incurable disease?
Yaksha: What is that which, when renounced, makes one lovable?
Yaksha: Who is truly happy?
Yudhishtira: One who has no debts.
Yaksha: What is the greatest wonder?
Yudhishtira: Day after day countless people die. Yet the living wish to live forever.