Shri Panchapakesa Aiyyar, Indian After-Dinner Stories (Charity)

King Yudhistira was very proud of his charity in feeding 16008 Brahmin everyday from the magic all-providing pot which he had. All these Brahmin used to follow him wherever he went and eat the sumptuous meals given to them gratis. Sri Krishna wanted to humble Yudhistira’s pride. one day, He took him to the underworld where the righteous King Mahabali ruled. Mahabali received the Lord Krishna with all proper worship. Sri Krishna told Mahabali, “This is my cousin Yudhistira.” At once, Mahabali went and most respectfully invited Yudhistira to his kingdom.

“Ah!” said Sri Krishna to Mahabali, “you don’t know the full glories of my cousin who is the abode of charity. He feeds 16008 Brahmin gratis three times every day and they follow him wherever he goes.”

“Pooh!” said Mahabali spitting on the ground. “What a wretch he must be to keep 16008 people so helplessly dependent on him simply to satisfy his vanity! Even if I offer a kingdom, no man will come to me every day three times shamelessly for meals. Oh, Lord, is this cousin of yours the abode of charity, the Model King of whom I have heard so much?” Yudhistira was humbled to the dust at this well-merited reproach.

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