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The Jeweled Serpent
Upset by the death of their parents, the two
brothers decided to live the life of ascetics
and resided on the river bank of Ganga in the
leaf-huts. The elder brother had his hut built on
the upper side of the Ganga river while the younger one
on the lower side of the same.
One day, Nagaraj, who was the king of the
serpents came out of the river and crawled
around. He was not an ordinary snake as he had a
wish-fulfilling gem which was
kept in his throat for which he was called as Manikantha.
Moreover, he also overcome the
power to presume any form. That day, moving on
the bank of the Ganga in the form of a human
being he came by the recluse of the younger
brother and exchanged greetings with him. When
he was invited, he entered inside the hut for a
conversation with him. There they exchanged
dialogues and soon became very good friends.
then, Manikantha became a regular visitor to
the recluse. As they were good friends they often
hug each other before going.
After sometimes, the serpent king lean-to his
human form and appeared before the hermit in his
original form of a snake, which made the man
frightened. And before leaving, he hug the
hermit in the serpent form in a daily manner.
The fear caused by the hug of the
serpent made the hermit so frightened that he
lost his hunger and became sickly and pale. So,
one day, when he visited his elder brother with
his shrunken and pale look, the man enquired
into the sudden break down in his health; and
having learnt the whole story, he recommended that
one could easily get relieve of anybody by demanding
his dearest ownership. As the most precious
ownership of the snake was his mani, so, if he
be approached for the gem, he would himself
Next day, when the serpent was saying good-bye
to the ascetic, the man asked for his mani.
The serpent, in turn, then bade goodbye without
hugging or kissing him. On the second day,
too, when the snake appeared before him to enter
the hermitage, he again asked for his gem. The
serpent then left from outside without entering
the hut. On the third day, when the hermit
saw Nagaraj coming out of the river he shouted
at him, “Give me your gem, oh my friend!”
The serpent then said:
"Rich food and lots of drink in plenty I can have,
By means of the gem you desire.
You ask for too much;
Which I cannot give.
Nor shall I visit you again.
So long I shall live."
With these words the king of the serpents dived
back to the water and never came back to the
While scared, the hermit too loved the serpent
king; and his absence made him suffer more than
the fear and in a few days he looked sickly.
One day, the elder hermit paid a visit to his
brother and found him upset and sickly.
Having learnt the reason for his sadness he
pleased him by saying that
"To long for one, whose love you prize
When by begging you become hateful in his eyes.
Begging the gem made the serpent uncomfortable
That he disappeared to come back not any more."
These words of the truth pacify the younger
brother and he stopped upsetting himself for the snake
friend and concentrated on the ascetic