'Punya Koti' is a simple moving allegory in which a hungry tiger comes and finds Punya Koti, a cow, and resolves to make her his day's feast. Punya Koti persuades the ravenous tiger that she will return to sacrifice herself as his great feast once she has fed her baby calf who has been waiting for her at home. She returns to be the tiger's dinner because she is trustworthy. This story seems to have taken us back to the ancient Panchatantra stories we used to hear in school.
This story is based on an occurrence in the Mahabharata (from the Shanti Parva or "Chapter of Peace"), which is based on a popular Kannada folk song called Govina Haadu (The Cow's Song).
Punya Koti, her friends, and her child resided in a big forest. She was smart and had kind eyes. Punya Koti's friends would come to her with their issues, which she would fix. She loved her friends. She loved her child, who was quite connected to her.
Punya Koti and her friends went to the jungle to eat grass one day. Her calf had been left at home. Punya Koti had moved away from her buddies and gone deeper into the forest while grazing on the green grass. A ravenous tiger halted her, much to her surprise.
Let us read the story in detail and understand more about it.
Kalinga used to be a cowherd. He was the owner of a herd of cows. Each of his cows had a name, and he addressed them by that name. They were a large, joyful family who lived in a pound. The calves happily played in a safe part of the jungle until their mothers returned from grazing. Kalinga would take his cows for grazing at dawn. He'd sit topped with a white pot and a few little mud pots under a fragile mango tree.
He would name each of his cows one by one:
"Ganga, you go first, Gauri, second, Kamadhenu, third, Bhumidevi, second, Ramagili, third."
They arrived one by one with love since he was so affectionate.
Kalinga (the cow) and Arbhuta (the tiger)
Arbhuta, a wild tiger who resided nearby and was eager to eat one of these cows. Kalinga was extremely cautious in this regard. When Arbhuta came into the valley howling madly one day, all the cows scattered and fled. Punya Koti became tangled in the thorn bush and was unable to escape.
Arbhuta had been waiting for this chance and dashed in front of Punya Koti.
Punya Koti was stunned. She was aware that her time was running out.
She pleaded, "Please listen to my humble request." "I have a calf waiting for my milk at the pound." Give me a little time; I'll feed him and get back to you as soon as possible. Please be gentle to my child. "She's starving."
He said, "I have discovered you while I am hungry." "Do you think I'm a fool for letting you go now?" I am certain you will never return. "Don't try to deceive me."
Punya Koti responded, "Truth is my life's motto, and it is my parents." "Honesty is my bloodline. God will never forgive me if I do not follow my honesty principle.
Arbhuta was unable to refuse because she was pleading for her child. He granted her permission on the condition that she return.
Punya Koti returned to feed her calf after making a firm promise to the tiger. When he heard her narrative, the calf's eyes welled up with tears.
"Why should you die, Mother?" he screamed. "What makes you think you should make me an orphan?" Why don't you remain a little longer? You will never be found by the tiger. She went on, "From whose udder shall I sip milk?" "Mamma, who will I sleep with, Mamma?" "Who will be as compassionate and loving as you?"
Punya Koti said, "I cannot breach the vow I made to Arbhuta." "I could never imagine deceiving somebody." I will devote myself to him. This is the conclusion I've made."
Punya Koti spoke as she looked around at the herd.
"Please treat my calf as if it were your own, mothers, sisters, and daughters." He is now a fatherless child. When he's behind you, don't kick him. When he's there in front of you, don't butt. Please consider this orphan as your own." "Now that you have become an orphan, my son," she added, with tears in her eyes, "I shall become tiger food." "We no longer owe each other anything." – She cried, held her calf, and walked away.
She went to the forest in search of Arbhuta after a good holy wash in the river. She approached his cave and took a position close to it. She stood there, feeling bad for keeping him hungry for so long.
"Please accept my heartfelt apologies for keeping you hungry for so long, Arbhuta." Please accept my invitation. Here is my flesh and blood; pounce on me, you hungry tiger, and fill your belly. Drink the hot blood gushing from my heart. Allow it to bring you happiness and pride."
Punya Koti's words were carefully listened to by Arbhuta. He couldn't believe what she said! His eyes welled up with tears as he stared at her in disbelief. "My God, if I consume this beautiful soul, God will never forgive me," the tiger said. – If he actually did eat her, he cringed at the thought of the consequences! "Oh my God, no!"
He stood there for a moment, staring at her, before looking up at the sky.
"Oh, Punya Koti, you're like a sister to me." What do you think I'll get if I kill and eat you? "I'm going to be a sinner."
He bowed down to the three Gods (Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma), gazed around in all eight directions, and then jumped high into the sky before collapsing and dying.
The gods were pleased, and a shower of flowers fell from the heavens on Arbhuta.
Punya Koti's small calf cried out, leapt, and danced joyously when she returned home to her family. Punya Koti related the account of Arbhuta's decision to let her leave.
Cowherds celebrate this day by singing 'Bhajans' to Lord Krishna.
Punaya Koti believed in truth, honesty, and honouring promises.
This is a well-known Karnataka folk tale written in poetry by an unknown author. For many years, this has been in children's school textbooks and as a children's narrative. The author has presented the story in a simple manner conveying the virtues of honesty, kindness, and the importance of keeping vows.
Honesty is always rewarded.
1. Who’s the author of the Story “The Punyakoti?”
This is a well-known Karnataka (written in Telugu as well) folk story written in poetry by an unknown author. For many years, this has been in children's school textbooks and as a children's story. The author has presented the story in a simple manner here.
2. What do you learn by reading this story?
When we make a promise, we should keep it and should never break it.