The Vanamahotsav Competition

“Hey! Ankur. You seem to be in a hurry so early in the morning” exclaimed Rishi. Ankur was flying past without noticing his presence.

“Sorry Rishi, did not notice you. I was in a hurry. I am on my way to Naimisaranyam. All the animals there are celebrating vanamahotsav and have invited me and Ankita as Chief Guests. Ankita left last week, as they had requested her help during the week-long celebrations.” replied Ankur.

“That seems quite interesting. Do you have some time to elaborate, Ankur?”, requested Rishi.

“Sure Rishi”. Ankur readily obliged and started explaining, “All the animals have taken efforts to make this a grand event. They have various competitions like running race, tree climbing and jumping, flying, swimming, burrowing, hopping, crawling, etc.,. All the animals are going to take part in all the events. That is the reason they have requested Ankita for a longer stay.”

Rishi was shocked to hear this. “Come again! Don’t tell me that Elephants will take part in tree climbing and lions will take part in crawling, while rabbits take part in flying. How can all animals take part in all the events?” he exclaimed.

“No need to worry Rishi. The animals are being trained to do so” clarified Ankur.

“Intelligent…” responded Rishi tapping its beak as usual, “Ok… let’s catch up after your return. Wish you and Ankita All the BEST”

Knowing Rishi well, Ankur felt he was trying to communicate some message.

Is he trying to awaken my intelligence or Is he doubting it?

With the thought flow thus initiated Ankur, continued the journey to Naimisaranyam.

He recollected his and Ankita’s visits to Naimisaranyam during the past couple of years; their efforts to make them intelligent… “Are we really making them intelligent? Can we make animals intelligent like humans? Are humans acting intelligently?…” the flow of questions continued… Ankur got into flying meditation, trying to find answers to his questions. As the time proceeded clarity emerged. In such a relaxed state of thought flow and awareness, Ankur became clear on the task ahead. He thanked Rishi mentally for alerting him. Better late than never, he thought…

As he neared the festival venue there was loud noise and arguments. Ankita was caught in the midst of all this turmoil, waiting eagerly for Ankur’s help. As he landed at the venue all the animals surrounded him. Ankur took the shape of the Lion. Ankita got the message.

She announced, “The King of the Jungle for the Festival period is your friend ANKUR. You may make your representations to him in an orderly manner. I request the Lion King to take the seat next to his best friend and chief guest, ANKUR”

Surprisingly, the Lion King also looked relaxed. He was relieved of the burden of resolving the chaotic situation and restoring peace in the jungle.

“I am the strongest animal in the forest? I deserve the all-rounder cup? The monkey did not train me properly to climb trees and jump across them. He cheated me to win the cup. See how his poor training hurt me badly.” complained the elephant. Ankur’s eyes fell on the elephant’s wounds and broken trees at the tree-climbing venue.

“Don’t lie elephant. I did not win the cup. The eagle cheated me. She did not train me well to fly.” the monkey pointed to his broken legs.

“You speak as though, I have won the cup. I truly deserve the honour. There is no one who can reach the skies. The fish did not teach me to swim. See, what happened to my wings.” the eagle lamented.

The fish was jumping restlessly. Ankita asked her to cool. “If you can reach the skies, I can reach to the bottom of the oceans. Can anyone do so? I too missed the cup, because the frog did not teach me to hop. He did not even teach me to come out of the water and stay alive. If not for Ankita’s help, I would have died the moment I came out of water to take part in the hopping race.”

The frog reacted immediately. “My time was completely spent on following the rabbit requesting him to teach me burrowing. The rabbit was absolutely non co-operative.”

All eyes turned to the rabbit. He sat calmly chewing the carrot in his hands. Then he slowly responded, “I am glad to see you my friend Ankur. I felt it was foolish to teach a frog make burrows. Sorry, I disobeyed your instructions.”

The Lion King got furious. “Rabbit is the main culprit. He did not co-operate and all the animals suffered. The entire festive mood got disturbed because of non-coperation of one tiny rabbit. He should be sent out of Naimisaranyam.” he recommended to Ankur.

“Yes he should be sent out” echoed the entire forest. All animals were in unison.

Ankur roared. There was a firm message in his voice. Everyone became silent. He invited the rabbit to the daïs. “I declare Rabbit as the winner of the festival.”

Everyone was surprised. “This is unfair” they cried in unison.

“We have a lot of regard to you Ankur. But, this act of yours isn’t convincing and unacceptable. You owe an explanation.” The LION King expressed his dissent.

“Thank you Dear Friend” responded Ankur with a smile. With re-assuring poise, he continued”, I very much understand and appreciate your reservations. I am also to be blamed for the current state of affairs at Naimisaranyam. This is a divine forest, where Srimadbhagavatham was revealed to the humanity by revered sage Suka Brahma. So, Ankita and I chose this place to start our mission of making animals also intelligent like humans and started our work two years ago. Out of ignorance and ego, we thought we are intelligent than God, who created us. There is a purpose behind this creation. If He made animals to act based on instincts, there is a purpose behind it. We tried to overrule it. We tried to make you all intelligent like humans. You all have some distinct features and qualities. Eagle is right in mentioning, there is no one who can fly as high he can. Monkeys are made to jump, not fly. Fish is created to stay within water. Snakes are destined to crawl and not fly. There can be no comparison or competition between un-likes. Each one of you is unique”, explained Ankur.

“How does that justify your crowning the Rabbit”, Lion King is still not satisfied. His Ego is hurt badly.

“Rabbit maharaj opened up our eyes. He acted as God destined him to. He did not get misguided by what Ankita and I suggested”, clarified Ankur.

Rabbit continued to enjoy his carrot, undisturbed by what Ankur had to say.

“See the humility of this animal. We declare that the moon shall from now on carry rabbit’s image to remind all animals of their duty”, declared Ankita.

“Thank YOU rabbit maharaj” croaked the frog.

“Thank YOU Ankur and Ankita” all animals expressed gratitude.

Ankita turned into a swan, took dip in the Holy Ganges and flew over all the animals sprinkling the holy water on them. “May the intelligence, we showered on you be withdrawn. Let all the wounds caused to you during the competition be cured. Let all the Naimisaranyam animals live in tune with nature here-after, as ever.” With this sankalpa, Ankur and Ankita chanted some mantras. The nature responded with showers. Their sankalpa took effect immediately.

Bye friends, all the animals bid adieu to Ankur and Ankita happily.

“Love you all friends!” responded Ankur and Ankita regaining their original forms. They started on their return journey.

“Ankur, you came at the right time and saved the jungle and all the animals. That was simply brilliant” appreciated Ankita.

“Rishi deserves the credit, Sis. He hinted me at the right moment.” Ankur briefly narrated his interaction with Rishi that morning.

“I read another message from the interaction, Ankur.” responded Ankita.

Ankur kept a blank face ?!?!

“Humans have a well developed brain and they can act intelligently. But most of them act based on their instincts. They need to rise above their instincts, past memories and act intelligently. That is how God has destined them to act.” Ankita started explaining.

“Ah! I get it. Rishi made us intelligent and gave all powers to help humans. We need to start our work with humans. We started our mission at the wrong place,” added Ankur.

“Another perspective, Ankur! Humans, because of their intellect and free will, are all unique. They cannot and should not compete with each other. Else, they will face challenges like these animals in Naimisaranyam faced” expressed Ankita.

Nodded Ankur in consensus. “I’m just waiting to get back to Rishi to share this insight…”


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  1. What Should I Do? | Ankur Learning Solutions

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