Shibi chakravati was the son of Ushiinara maharaja. Shibi was a maha-daata and his daanam gunam was praised by many in the 14 bhuvanas. Devendra and Agnideva once wanted to test the greatness of Shibi’s daana gunam. Agnideva took the form of a Kapotam (pigeon). Devendra took that of a Grudhra (vulture).
The Kapotam, which was chased by the Grudhra, came to Shibi chakravarti’s sabha and pleaded “Sharanam, Sharanam O maharaja!”. Seeing this, a Raja-purohita said “Maharaja! With praana-bhayam this Kapotam came to your sharanam. Every jeevi has praana-preeti. Also there is no greater uttama-karma than Praana-rakshana. However we know that giving aashrayam to a Kapotam is a mrutyu-suuchakam. Hence prayashchittam will be necessary”.
Kapotam replied “Maharaja! Afraid of the Grudhra I have asked you sharanam. Actually I am a mahamuni, now in this rupam. Vedas say that a raja must protect the diina and asamartha”. The Grudhra, which reached the sabha by then, said “Maharaja! Every jeevi takes many forms. This jeevi came to your sharanam in the Kapota rupam. Dont forget that Kapotam is aahaaram for a Grudhra. Please leave this Kapotam, which is my aahaaram, and save my life”.
Shibi chakravarti thought “In a Desham ruled by a king who does not give abhayam to a sharanaarthi who has praana-bhayam, there will be no rains, no crops and it will be the nilayam for Kshaama-devata. Also the people will have to face many difficulties and finally such king will reach narakam.
However, the Grudhra is with hunger and has put in a lot of effort chasing its aahaaram. Taking away food from its mouth is also a paapa-karyam. Now what should I do?”.
Shibi: O Grudhra! I will give you a better, tastier aahaaram than this. Please leave this Kapotam.
Grudhra: Maharaja! No other thing can be tastier than this maamsam. It was decided by Brahmadeva that they are aahaaram for us.
Shibi: O Grudhra! I cannot leave this Kapotam that is in my sharanam and do Dharma-haani. I am also ready to leave my life to save that of the Kapotam. All lokas also know this. You ask me whatever you want except this.
Grudhra: Maharaja! If you are really such a dayaamaya, give me the maamsam from your right thigh which is equal in weight to that of the Kapotam.
Immediately Shibi chakravarti got a balance and kept the Kapotam on one side and started to cut his thigh and weigh it. Howmuch ever he cut it was not enough. He tried cutting maamsam from his right thigh, then he himself sat on the balance. Grudhra said “enough. I am going” and went away. Seeing this Shibi chakravarti asked “O Kapotama! Who are you? What is your story?”
“Maharaja! I am Agnihotra. This Grudhra is Devendra, We came to test your Sharanaagata-rakshana, Daana-shakti. You qualified it. Your keerti will spread to Bhuvana-bhuvanaantaras. Your son will also keep your name” said the Kapotam and flew away.
Because Shibi did his shariira Daanam to save the life of a sharanaagati, we now also remember him. Whenever people talk about maha-daatas, his name will surely be taken.
Morals in the story:
- The Daana-gunam and Dharma-rakshana of Shibi must be learnt by all of us.
- The knowledge of the Dharma-shastras helped Shibi decide what to do in the difficult situation.
Search terms: Sibi, Pigeon, Eagle, Ushinara, Indra, Agni