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Story Of Shuka Deva And Janaka

Shuka Deva, son of Sage Vyasa, was light and wisdom and he was pure being. But the fatherly love of Sage Vyasa used to bring Shuka Deva out of his blissful state into the transient world. On one such occasion, Shuka Deva asked his father what he had to offer him in the way of knowledge. Vyasa at once realized that he was in the presence of a great sage. Recognizing his inability to offer his son anything, he spoke of King Janaka, great in learning and wisdom.

Janaka became aware of Shuka Deva's intention to visit him and at once made plans to test the boy. The palace guards rudely refused him admission, but Shuka Deva bore the humiliation and waited for three days and nights outside the palace walls.

At last King Janaka himself came with his courtiers to receive the young saint. The face of Shuka Deva was as calm as before. He was the same whether he was scorned or praised.

A banquet was prepared in his honor with heavenly delights around him. There was music, there was dancing and there was food in abundance. Amidst many alluring temptations Shuka Deva was able to walk around the great hall with a cup of milk filled to the brim without spilling a drop. King Janaka promised to teach Shuka Deva if he successfully completed this feat.

The king's minister suddenly transformed himself into a damsel of exquisite beauty who appeared before the boy in order to tempt him. With the innocence of a child Sukadeva turned towards her and addressed her as 'mother'.

Returning to the king, the minister reported that the mind of the boy was pure and without blemish.

When the cup of milk was returned, the King spoke, saying: 'What a man should know in life, O Shuka, is known to you. Return to your father, for I have nothing to teach you.'