Ashwamedhika Parva 4 – The Golden Mongoose
Hundreds and thousands of Brahmanas were honoured and given donations. Guests were treated with delicious food even as rites were held. Babruvahana, Uloopi, and Chitrangada arrived and were greeted by the Pandavas. 300 animals and the sacrificial horse were sacrificed even as sages carried out the rites.
Yudhishthira gave thousands of crores of coins to the Brahmanas. He gave the entire earth to Vyasa, who returned it back to him. The sacrifice was a grand success with wealth being given away, and everyone blessed Yudhishthira and his family.
A mongoose with a half-golden body arrived and announced that the sacrifice was not fruitful. The mongoose narrated the story of a Brahmana during the time of famine. The family would feed the hungry while keeping aside a little for themselves. Once a guest who was very hungry wanted more. Even though they were emaciated and starving, they gave away their share of the food to their guest.
The guest was none other than Dharma, who had come there to test the Brahmana. He then blessed the family and sent them to heaven in a golden chariot. The mongoose that witnessed all this rolled on the ground where some grains were kept. The grains represented the great sacrifice of the Brahmana and hence half of the mongoose’s body turned golden.
Since then, the mongoose would visit every sacrifice and roll on the ground to turn its other half into gold. The mongoose’s body did not turn golden anywhere, and it declared that the sacrifice by Yudhishthira was not equivalent to that of the Brahmana.
The mongoose was in reality Krodha, who was cursed by the sage Jamadagni. Having met Yudhishthira, Krodha was freed from the curse and the mongoose disappeared from there.
End of Ashwamedhika Parva