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Sri Krishna Kills The Pride Of Charity Of Yudhisthira

Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandava brothers in the Mahabharata, was highly compassionate towards the poor and the underprivileged. He used to give away generously in charity to those in need. Once, Yudhisthira became highly proud of his qualities of charity and hospitality. As soon as the shadow of pride enveloped his mind, Sri Krishna understood it. Immediately, Sri Krishna decided to correct Yudhisthira and show him the right path by teaching him a lesson.

One day, Sri Krishna took Yudhishthira on a journey on the pretext of having to go somewhere for an important work. At that time, King Mahabali was ruling the nether world. Mahabali used to perform charity in an unparalleled and grand manner. People across various worlds were amazed by and praised his hospitality.

Sri Krishna took Yudhishthira to the nether world. Both of them were moving through the various streets of the capital of Mahabali’s kingdom. At that time, Yudhishthira became thirsty and both of them went to a house in front of them. Yudhishthira requested the people in that house to give him some drinking water. The elderly woman of that house brought water in a golden vessel and gave it to Yudhishthira. Sri Krishna was observing all this with a divine smile on his face.

After drinking the water, Yudhishthira said to the elderly woman: ‘O Mother! Thank you so much for the water. This appears to be a golden vessel. Please take this back and keep it in a safe place.’ Saying this, he held out the golden vessel towards the elderly woman, who said in reply: ‘Sir, in our country, we do not have the habit of taking back something that has been once given, even if it is a golden vessel. Further, we are in the habit of discarding what has been used once, even if it is made of gold, and we never use it again.’

Hearing these words, Yudhishthira understood the extent of the wealth of the people of that country and their high standard of living, and was amazed at it.

From that house, Sri Krishna and Yudhishthira set forth for Mahabali’s palace. In the palace, Sri Krishna introduced Yudhishthira to Mahabali: ‘O King! Today I have brought Yudhishthira to your country. He is quite famous for his generosity. He feeds five hundred people daily.’

As soon as Mahabali heard these words, he closed his ears with his hands and said: ‘No, no! Please do not say that to me. I do not want to hear about such a person. In spite of my great efforts, I could not find even a single person to receive charity in my country. Here, there is no one in the plight of having to live on charity. There is no charity if there are no recipients. However, you say that Yudhishthira feeds five hundred people daily. That makes it certain that in his country there are five hundred poor people. This shows how “nice” his rule is! I am not interested in knowing about such a wretched person!’ Hearing these words of Mahabali, Yudhishthira hung his head in shame.

Thus, Sri Krishna blessed Yudhishthira by removing his pride before it could take a monstrous shape.