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Children's Corner - Stories - Shravan Kumar

Once upon a time there lived a boy named Shravan Kumar. He had parents who were blind. He had to do all the work for them, since they could not see. Shravan took great care and did everything for his mother and father with earnestness and love. He fulfilled every wish of his parents. One day his parents expressed their desire to go on a pilgrimage. Shravan wanted to take them so he made a device like a balance, to carry them on his shoulders. His parents were pleased that their only son was fulfilling their wish. During the journey, Shravan managed to get them some roots and fruits from the forest. They ate them and never accepted corn or cereal offered by anyone else. They were on a pilgrimage and wanted to eat simple food offered only by their son.

While on pilgrimage they arrived in a forest near Ayodhya. His parents were thirsty and requested Shravan to get water to quench their thirst. Shravan Kumar took a vessel to fetch water from the river Sarayu. He left his parents and went to the banks of the river.

Dashrath was the king of Ayodhya and he was fond of hunting. He had come to the forest alone to hunt. He had a unique skill of shooting a mark with his arrow from where he heard the sound. As soon as Shravan Kumar dipped the vessel to fill water, Dashrath thought it was the sound of a deer drinking water. He received the arrow precisely, aiming at the place from where the sound came. The arrow pierced into Shravan. He gave out a cry and fell on the ground. 

On hearing the moaning sound, King Dashrath came to the place to see who it was. He saw an innocent boy crying in pain. The vessel was lying on the ground. His body was all splashed with blood and mud. When King Dashrath saw this young boy, he became very sad and started cursing himself.

When Shravan saw the king, he told him, “O, King! Please don't worry. I came to take water for my parents. They are thirsty. I am in severe pain. Please pull out this arrow and take some water to my parents and tell them the sad news.” The king sadly removed the arrow and went to Shravan's parents with water. He silently gave them water to drink, which they refused to accept unless the carrier revealed his identity. The parents had in fact grown suspicious of some foul play. Their intuition had warned them that the carrier was not their real son. He conveyed the message about the death of their son. Shravan's old and blind parents were shocked and were in utter grief. They cried out loud and told the king to take them to  their dead son. 

King Dashrath carried them on his shoulders to the place where Shravan Kumar had died. Just then, Shravan Kumar spoke to his parents, “Through my services to you I have attained a place in the heaven. Do not worry about me. I shall wait for you both and provide my service to both of you when you come to me.”

Shravan's mother and father both took a dip in the Sarayu River. Soon after, they died by their son Shravan's side because of unbearable shock. But before dying they cursed Dashrath, “Just as we are dying because of our son's loss, you would also die one day for the same reason, O' King.” Their curse came true and King Dashrath died when Lord Ram was sent out in exile for fourteen years to the forest.

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