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Story of Nriga, the king who became a chameleon

When Sri Krishna was living on earth, a chameleon entered a well, the only source of water in a village. People thought the chameleon would spoil the water so they attempted to remove it. All the efforts of the villagers failed. Sri Krishna who heard about the problem visited the well. On seeing him, the chameleon changed into a human being and he narrated his previous life.

The chameleon was a king named Nriga in his previous life. The king used to perform charity. He distributed cows and wealth among the poor and needy.

The king derived lot of pleasure from the charity and this made him arrogant and careless.

Once, the king donated a good looking cow to a Brahmin. But the cow escaped from the house of the Brahmin and joined the king’s herd.

King Nriga was careless and without noticing donated the cow again to another person.

Soon, the Brahmin and the new owner had a fight over the issue.

They then approached Nriga for a solution.

Nriga realized that he had erroneously donated the cow twice.

The king was readr to correct the mistake by donating 1000 cows to them. But they did not agree to it and wanted only the disputed cow.

Nriga died without finding a solution.

When Nriga deposed before yama, he told about the donation of a cow twice.

As redemption of sin, Yama punished him to be born as a chameleon.

Yama also told that he will get back his human form when he happens to see Sri Krishna.

Symbolically, the story narrates that one should be careful while performing good deeds and one should not be arrogant.