Kapinjalam, a Pakshi (bird), used to live in the Vruksha-Kotaram (hole of the tree) in an Aranyam near Vindhya-Parvatas. One day, at Suuryaastamaanam, there was a very heavy rain, because of which Kapinjalam couldnt return to its home in time. Meanwhile, a Shasham (rabbit), by name Deerggha-karna, who was wet in rain, came to the Vruksha-Kotaram. Deerggha-karna took aashrayam in the Vruksha-Kotaram and slept.
Kapinjalam then reached its home and said “O Shashaadhama! Seeing the time when I am not there, you came and occupied my house. Now also its not late. If you want to live, leave the place”. With Garvam, Deerggha-karna replied “enough. Dont think I’ll be afraid of these warnings from you. Vaapii-kuupam, Tataakam (wells, lakes), Vruksha-Kotaram etc. belong to those who first occupy them. They will never be under the control of one person all the time. If you dont go away I am ready to fight”.
“Ok. I accept the challenge. Lets do Yuddham at Suuryodayam. Be patient till then” said Kapinjalam. Both spent the night thinking about the Yuddham. They woke up by Suuryodayam and then they thought who will be Dharma-nirneta? Deergha-karna then said “In Narmadaa-nadii teeram there lives a Maarjaala-shreshtha by name Dadhi-karna. He is a Dharmaatma, Samavarti, Shaanta-muurti”. By the time of Maadhyaahnikam, they reached Dadhi-karna, the Kapata-Dhaarmika, Kevala-jathara-puuraka (one who lives only for filling his stomach) and said “O Maarjaala-naayaka! We have a Sthala-vivaadam (fight for land). Please tell us what is Dharmam, without having Pakshapaatam. Please give your Dharma-nirnayam, without making us wait for long”. Dadhi-karna replied
“you are telling you are coming from a far off place. I am already weak with Jaraabharam (old age) and more because of Chaandraayana-vratam. So you both come near me and tell loudly in my ears your arguments”. Immediately Dadhi-karna continued, thinking that Kapinjalam and Deergha-karna wont believe in him, “it is time for my Maadhyaahnika-anushthaanam. After that I have to do Daana-dharmas. Even though there are many who can do Dharma-nirnayam, you came to me from a long distance. So it is not correct to send you away”. He then told the following Neeti:
“When Mrutyu comes, the only thing that saves is Dharmam. Nothing else will be of any use. Hence whatever difficulties may come, one must never leave Dharmam. All this is Parama-Satyam. One must never leave Satyam. It is the muulam for all Shubhams. Along with Satyam, one must have Bhuuta-daya. Bhuuta-daya is an alankaaram to all Dharmas. ‘Ahimsa Paramodharmah‘. Kruuraatmas who dont know this leave Bhuuta-daya and run only after protecting their own shariiram. ‘Svaashritaavanasamo na hi Dharmah‘ says Vedam. Hence we must never leave aashritas. So I will help you. A Sajjana must leave Lobham first. Duraasha makes even great people do paapa-kaaryams” (see this story).
Listening to these Neeti-vaakyams, Kapinjalam and Deergha-karna believed in the Kapata and came near Dadhi-karna. Immediately Dadhi Karna killed both of them and ate them happily. While dying Kapinjalam and Deergha-karna had pashchaattaapam and thought “Hatavidhi! Why did we fight over a small issue? What is there is he sleeps or I sleep or both share for one night? Then we believed in this Kapata. Even after knowing what qualities a Dharma-nirneta must have, we made a mistake. Vinaasha Kaale Vipariita buddhi”.
Morals in the Story:
- Yuddham always has many side-effects. Fighting for a small thing, both Deergha-karna and Kapinjalam lost their lives. Hence in our Raaja-dharmam, one always tries to send Shaanti-sandesham first. (Shri Raama and Yudhishthira do the same)
- One must be very careful while choosing a Dharma-nirneta. Not knowing about Dadhi-karna fully, Deergha-karna and Kapinjalam went to the Kapata-dhaarmika for Dharma-nirnayam.