In the Indian epic Mahabharata, there is a story where Yudhishthira, one of the five Pandava brothers, is put to a test by a serpent or "Naga" named Nahusha in the underworld.Nahusha captured the Pandavas.
The reason they were captured is because they had journeyed to the underworld to visit their ancestors and pay their respects. The underworld is considered a dangerous place and it was not uncommon for travellers to get lost or captured.
Nahusha was a great king who was transformed into a serpent as a result of a curse.
As a king, Nahusha became very proud and arrogant, and as a result, the gods cursed him to become a serpent. In this form, he went to the underworld where he captured Yudhishthira and his brothers.
Nahusha who was knowledgeable in the ways of virtue and righteousness, put Yudhishthira to a test, by asking him a series of questions. The questions were designed to test Yudhishthira's morality, wisdom, and knowledge of dharma.
Nahusha asked Yudhishthira whether he would rather be a king or a truthful man, to which Yudhishthira replied that he would rather be truthful. Nahusha asked Yudhishthira if he would rather be rich or virtuous, to which Yudhishthira replied that he would rather be virtuous. Nahusha asked Yudhishthira if he would rather be long-lived or righteous, to which Yudhishthira replied that he would rather be righteous.
Yudhishthira was able to answer all the questions correctly, and as a result, Nahusha was able to regain his human form and was released from the curse.Nahusha also release the Pandavas from his captivity. This story teaches that wisdom, virtue, and righteousness are more important than power and wealth.
It also teaches that even in the darkest of places, one can find a teacher and a path to redemption. And that a man's true worth is not in his present state, but in his actions, and his adherence to righteousness.
Art Credit - Genzoman
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