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Story On Legacy In Hinduism – King Indradyumna And Turtle


The story on legacy is based on King Indradyumna and turtle and is from the Vana Parva of Mahabharata.

Due to his good karma, King Indradyumna had gone to heaven. After many centuries in heaven, he was cast out and told that he could return only if people on earth still recalled his good deeds.

The king first went to Sage Markandeya who had lived longer than most humans. Sage Markandeya did not remember him and asked him to meet an owl who had lived longer than him.

The owl did not remember the king but asked him to meet a stork who might be able to recollect him.

The stork was not able to remember him but informed him about a turtle named Akupara, who had outlived almost all living beings on earth.

Akupara, the turtle, remembered King Indradyumna as the king who had built the lake in which he lived.

But the King did not remember about ever digging the lake.

The turtle explained that though he had not had the lake dug, it existed as a result of his generosity.

During his reign, the king had given away many cows. These cows had kicked up so much dusts while leaving their sheds that they had created a depression that turned into a lake following the rains.

That lake later became home to many fishes and turtles. Birds and animals drank water from the lake throughout the year. Thus, King Indradyumna could never be forgotten – there were many on earth who had benefited from his actions. Thus, an old, forgotten deed allowed Indradyumna to regain his place in heaven and live among gods once again.




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