The animal army
Brahmadatta was a virtuous king who ruled over the kingdom of Banaras. Under him, the kingdom prospered and the people were happy. Ramanand was his royal priest who helped him in ruling the kingdom wisely. Ramanand was a very learned man. He had learnt all the Vedas and Shasta’s. Once, he decided to go to the forest and learn the magic spell. By using magic spell, one could bring the forces of nature, man and animal under control.
He entered a thick forest and sat down under a shady tree. He chanted the magic spell 10001 times. He also performed the various rituals that were necessary for learning the magic. He was now ready to use the magic spell. Being a wise man, he decided to use it only when necessary. He went back to the palace.
Now, it so happened that when he was reciting the magic spell, a fox heard the spell and learnt to use it. He stated using it for meeting his own selfish ends. He married a beautiful vixen. They went to the lion and recited the magic spell.
The lion came under his control and the fox proclaimed himself the king of the forest. In few days, all the animals of the forest came under his control and were ready to do whatever the fox desired. The fox made two elephants walk side by side and asked the lion to stand on the elephants. He and his wife rode on the lion back and wandered throughout the forest.
The fox was not satisfied by bringing the animals under his control. He wanted to become the ruler of Banaras. So, he called all the animals of the forest and formed an army. The animals obeyed his command. He, then, marched towards Banaras. When the people of Banaras saw an army of animals attacking their city, they were terrified. They ran to the king. The king was also greatly disturbed. His soldiers were not trained to fight an army of animals. He sent for Ramanand. Ramanand meditated for a while. Through his powers, he came to know why and how the animal army was there.
He decided to make use of the magic spell. He asked all the people of the city to remain indoors and shut their doors and windows. He then went to the top most part of the palace and said to the fox, “ Wicked fox, you learnt the magic spell by unfair means. Now you want to defeat king Brahmadatta. Tell me how you intend to overpower the king’s army. ” The fox laughed and said, “ You taught me the magic spell. Therefore, I will tell you my secret. I know that human beings are afraid of the lions, tigers, leopards and all such wild animals. I will make them roar as loud as they can. Hearing them roar, the king’s men will flee. Then, I will enter palace and imprison the king and his courtiers. I will then sit on the throne and become the ruler of Banaras. ”
The secret was out. Ramanand went to the palace and made an announcement to the people that they should close their ear holes and do not panic when they hear the roar of the wild animals.
The priest then went to the fox and said, “ You may do whatever you want. But you will never be able to defeat the virtuous king Brahmadatta .”
Hearing him speak thus, the fox ordered the wild animals to roar loudly. The lion who was standing on the elephants’ back also roared. His roar scared the elephants and they ran away. The fox and his wife fell down on the ground and were trampled under the feet of the running elephants. The magic spell broke and the animals ran away to the forest.
Thus, Ramanand saved the kingdom from the animal army.