The Enchanted Pool
This lesson is an extract from 'The Mahabharata'.It reflects the character of Yudhishthira, the Dhram Raj; his patience, kindness,love for his brothers and intelligence.He pleases Yaksha by giving satisfactory answers to his questions.The Yaksha was pleased with Yudhishthira's impartiality.The Yaksha was 'Yama' the lord of Death who had taken the form of Yaksha to see Yudhidhthira and test his knowledge. Being satisfied with his answers he blessed him and disappeared.
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About the Author
Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972), informally called Rajaji or C.R., was an Indian lawyer, independence activist, politician, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He also served as leader of the Indian National Congress, Premier of the Madras Presidency, Governor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state. Rajagopalachari founded the Swatantra Party and was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna. He vehemently opposed the use of nuclear weapons and was a proponent of world peace and disarmament. During his lifetime, he also acquired the nickname 'Mango of Salem'.
Rajagopalachari was born in the village of Thorapalli in the Salem district of the Madras Presidency (now the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu) and educated at Central College, Bangalore, and Presidency College, Madras. In 1900 he started a legal practice that in time became prosperous. On entering politics, he became a member and later President of the Salem municipality. He joined the Indian National Congress and participated in the agitations against the Rowlatt Act, joining the Non-Cooperation movement, the Vaikom Satyagraha, and the Civil Disobedience movement. In 1930, Rajagopalachari risked imprisonment when he led the Vedaranyam Salt Satyagraha in response to the Dandi March. In 1937, Rajagopalachari was elected Premier of the Madras Presidency and served until 1940, when he resigned due to Britain's declaration of war on Germany. He later advocated co-operation over Britain's war effort and opposed the Quit India Movement. He favoured talks with both Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League and proposed what later came to be known as the C. R. Formula. In 1946, Rajagopalachari was appointed Minister of Industry, Supply, Education and Finance in the Interim Government of India, and then as the Governor of West Bengal from 1947 to 1948, Governor-General of India from 1948 to 1950, Union Home Minister from 1951 to 1952 and as Chief Minister of Madras state from 1952 to 1954. In 1959, he resigned from the Indian National Congress and founded the Swatantra Party, which stood against the Congress in the 1962, 1967 and 1972 elections. Rajagopalachari was instrumental in setting up a united Anti-Congress front in Madras state under C. N. Annadurai, which swept the 1967 elections.
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Summary of the Prose
The enchanted pool is a part of the great indian epic 'Mahabharata' narrataed by saint Vyasa. The pandavas are sent to an exile of 13 years by thier own cousin brother, Duryodhana. During the exile, the pandavas feel thirsty and start looking for a pool. Sahadeva, the youngest pandava finds a pool and as soon as he is going to drink water from it, the yaksha who owns the pool forbids him from doing so. Sahadeva neglects his warning and drinks. As a result of this, he falls down unconcious. One by one, the other three pandavas come searching for him. They too fall into the same trap and fall unconcious. The eldest pandava, Yudhisthira reaches the pool in search of his brothers. On hearing the warning, he doesnt drink from the pool. He agrees to answer the yaksha's questions in exchange of his brothers' lives. Yudhisthira's answers pleases the yaksha and he returns back the lives of the unconcious pandavas. In reality, the yaksha was God Yama himself who had created this scenario to test the dharma of Yudhishira.
Text of the Prose
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