A Vyaapaari was walking through an Aranyam near Himavat-parvatams. Suddenly a huge Daavaanalam (forest fire) spread and a Krishnaahi (Black Cobra) got caught in it. It trembled with fear seeing the sky-touching flames. It didnt know where to go. The Kaala-sarpam then saw the Vyaapaari and cried for help “O Aarta-jana-sharanya! Not knowing where to run to save my live, when I did Daiva-praarthana, like Bhagavaan you came. You look as great as Shibi Chakravarti to me. Please do my praana-raksha”.
The Vyaapaari was a dayaamaya. He couldnt even see the duhkhum of a dushta-jantu like the Krishnaahi. With aganya-kaarunyam, the Vartaka-shreshtha went into the Daavaanalam and found the Krishnaahi. He tied a syuutam (bag) to one end of his hand-stick, caught it by the other and put the syuutam near the Visha-sarpam. Krishnaahi crawled into the syuutam, coiled itself and stayed safely in it. The Vartaka then brought the Krishnaahi to a safe place and left it.
Instead of showing Krutagnya to the Vartaka, Krishnaahi said “Maanavas and Sarpas always have Shatrutvam. I will not leave you”. It immediately hissed and jumped on the Vartaka. Shocked, trembling with fear, the Vartaka ran for his life. Vartaka was running and the Krishnaahi was following. They ran into a Jambukam (jackal), which was sleeping in a cave. The Srugaalam (jackal) said seeing Krishnaahi “O Uragaraaja! Why are you chasing this Vartaka. Please tell me your story, I will help if I can”.
Krishnaashi then told the story to the Gomaayu (jackal). Putting an expression as if it was surprised, Jambukam said “I dont believe you. You are so huge. I dont believe that you fit in this small syuutam”. To show how it was possible, the Krishnaahi went into the syuutam and coiled itself. Gomaayu then hand-signalled the Vartaka, who was awe-struck and was looking on, to close the syuutam. Vartaka then closed the opening of the syuutam and then hit it with his stick and sent it to Narakam.
Morals in the Story:
- Krutaghnata is a paapa-kaaryam which doesnt have any Nishkruti (see this story). Though the Vartaka saved the live of the cobra, it instead of showing Krutagnyata went to kill him. A Krutaghna will always face difficulties in the end.
- The Bhuuta-daya of the Vartaka is well shown in the story. Even though it is a Visha-sarpam, without caring about his own life, the Vartaka went into the fire and saved the Cobra.