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The Story of King Nriga: Lessons on Justice, Karma, and Divine Grace

Sep 16th, 2020 | 2 Min Read
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Category: Vedic Tales


Language: English

Lord Krishna's relatives, the Yadavas, are going to a forest to have fun. On their journey, they find a giant lizard in a well and try to rescue it. After several failed attempts, they return to the palace and report the incident to Lord Krishna. Upon hearing about the unusual giant lizard, Lord Krishna arrives at the well and effortlessly draws out the lizard. To everyone's amazement, the lizard transforms into a celestial man as soon as it comes into contact with Lord Krishna's divine touch. 

Intrigued by the sudden transformation, Lord Krishna asks the man to introduce himself. The celestial man humbly narrates his story, "O Lord! I am a king named Nriga, son of Ikshvaku. I have in all my life honoured innumerable brahmins and holy men with many life-sustaining charities to meet their needs".

Nriga continues by saying, "On one occasion, I had the good fortune of giving away a certain cow to a Brahmin in need. However, out of negligence, I promised the same cow to another Brahmin. When both the brahmins arrived at my doorstep, I could not make a just decision. So, I asked them to leave the cow in dispute and, in return, accept one hundred cows each. The original owner of the cow refused and walked away with the cow. The other Brahmin cursed me and left."

"Taking this as an opportune moment, Yama arrived at the scene and asked me to choose which one I wanted to receive first - the fruit of my good deed or the consequences of my known-unknown bad actions? I chose to bear the consequences of my bad actions first. As a result, Yama told me to go down, so I slipped inside this well of lowly thoughts and state of being. Only with your arrival, my Lord, have I ascended back to my celestial glory."

Upon listening to Nriga's story, Lord Krishna asks him for a boon. Nriga exclaims, "It is my good fortune that you - the Supreme Lord - appeared before my eyes and granted me your infinite mercy. Please bless me that my mind rests at your lotus feet and never deviates from it; this is my only wish."

Lord Krishna grants Nriga his wish, and Nriga leaves for the Divine abode.

3 Key Lessons from the Story of King Nriga

  1. King Nriga's story teaches us the importance of fulfilling our promises and being just in our actions. 
  2. The story emphasises that good deeds come with a reward, and bad deeds come with consequences.
  3. The story also highlights the importance of seeking the blessings of the Supreme Lord and leading a life devoted to serving Him.