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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?
Yudhishtira: Anger

Yaksha: What is an incurable disease?
Yudhishtira: Greed

Yaksha: What is that which, when renounced, makes one lovable?
Yudhishtira: Pride

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.

One thought on “An Exercise in Sagacity

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