Story to illustrate Vyasa’s Golden Saying Paropakaaraaya: Punyaaya (Post No.11,786)


Post No. 11,786

Date uploaded in London – –  9 MARCH 2023                  

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Vyasa was the greatest writer and compiler in the world. No one in the world of literature comes closer to him. He is credited with the world’s longest epic Mahabharata and 18 Puranas. He compiled all these along with his original mater. They run to millions of pages with billions of words. Mahabharata itself has 200,000 lines with over million words.

No one in his or her life can easily read and understand the real meaning of all his writings. He lived just before the beginning of Kali Yuga in 3102 BCE. He knew that in the Age of Iron/ Kali Yuga , no one will have time to read them in Sanskrit or in translations. So he summarised the message of the Eighteen Puranas in two lines:

अष्टादशपुराणानां सारं व्यासेन कीर्तितम् |

परोपकार: पुण्याय पापाय परपीडनम् ||

Ashtaadasa puraanaanaam saaram vyaasena keerthitham

Paropakaaraayah punyaaya paapaaya paapeedanam

The meaning of the above couplet is

Helping others earns good merits (Punyam)

Harming others is Sin (Paapam); that is the gist of the contents conveyed by Vyasa in his 18 Puranas.

Purana is translated as Mythology by half baked westerners. That is wrong. Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and Babylonian stories are rubbish myths. But Hindu Puranas are ancient lore, ancient history. They follow a structure. It is defined as the Pancha Lakshana (Five Principles) It has History, Geography, Morals etc.


Coming back to Vyasa’s message, ‘Help others’, we are told a story by famous religious speaker Sri Kripananda variar (kripaananda vaariyaar).

There was a king in a country who had 12 wise ministers. The king announced a big feast on a particular date, may be his birth day or his coronation day. All the government servants including the ministers were eagerly waiting for the day. Their imagination went wild. They thought of all the tastiest dishes in the country. The very thought made their mouths to water.

The big day came. The king took them to the dining hall. Their expectation was proved true. They were not disappointed. The tastiest dishes in the cookery book were all there. Hundreds of  dishes were arranged in order. All the invitees were seated.

The king made a big announcement. No, it was an order by the king.

No one should eat with their hands bent. If anyone sees bending their hands while eating, the hands will be cut off. Here are my soldiers who will keep an eye on you to execute my orders.

Enjoy your meals, saying this, he went out.

All were surprised and shocked; dumbfounded and stunned. One of the wisest ministers stopped panicking and thought laterally. His lateral thinking helped all in the hall.

He announced,

Please stretch your hand and mix the food as we do it at home; but don’t take it to your mouth; with the stretched hand feed the nearby person. Every one heaved a sigh of relief and did what he said. They enjoyed the meals fully without leaving a single bit on their plates. The king entered the hall to see how they were coping with his order. He felt very happy to see everyone enjoying the meal.

He said ‘Stop Eating and Listen to me’.

I want everyone in the country to help his neighbour this way. That is the message I wanted to convey. Now you can eat normally with your hands.

This is what Vyasa also conveyed through his Eighteen Puranas. If everyone in the country help others, the world will be a paradise.


Before finishing this story ,Sri Variar added one more illustration.

When you use your Index finger to say something, the other three fingers except thumb are folded and they point towards you.

If you say YOU ARE A FOOL pointing to someone the other three fingers say the same to you.

If you say YOU ARE A WISE MAN, the other three fingers say the same to you.

If you help one person, and many will help you or your family.

So helping others is Good and earns Punya.

(Hindus believe that earning Punya is like depositing money in your bank account in the heaven. Accumulating Paap/ sin is taking loan from the Bank of Heaven. Your bank balance will decide your fate after you die.)

— subham—

Tags- Paropakaraya, Vyasa, helping others, Punyaya, Papa, Sin, Harming others, Kripananda Vaiyar, King, Feast, Dining

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