The Snake God
A Gold Coin in the Bowl.
There was a former named Nagappa who was very poor. He lived with his wife in a small village and worked hard in a little piece of land. But somehow all their efforts seemed to be in vain as nothing would grow well. For a long time they struggled for their livelihood.
One day as he was hoeing. The farmer saw an enormous snake disappear into an ant hill. Immediately he stopped working and went to tell his wife what he had seen.
The strange thing is I have never noticed any snake in our field until now, though I have worked here for so many years’ said Nagappa. It looked like a King Cobra.’ there must be some significance then,’ said Nagappa’s wife. You were also named after the Snake God. Come, it is the best if we go and propitiate it,’ she suggested may be our fortunes will take a better turn.’
So Nagappa and his wife took a bowl, poured some milk in it and took it to the field. They had taken a portion of milk which they used to save for their only son. Once in the field, Nagappa placed the bowl of milk in front of the anthill and bowed low. `O great King of the Snakes, please forgive our ignorance. We did not know of your existence all these days. We believe you are the guardian of our land. Henceforth we shall worship you every day.Please accept our token offering.’
So saying Nagappa and his wife left the bowl of milk and went away. The next morning when they returned the bowl was empty. Instead to their surprise, they found a gold coin in the bowl. Nagappa realised that the snake king must have taken the milk repaid them by leaving a gold coin.
From that day onwards Nagappa and his wife would worship the snake god and offer a bowl of milk every day. Instead to their surprise, they found a gold coin the bowl. Nagappa realized that the snake king must have taken the milk and repaid them by leaving a gold coin.
Snake in the Anthill
Nagappa’s son went to collect the bowl, he found a gold coin
From that day onwards Nagappa and his wife would worship the snake god and offer a bowl of milk every day. In return they would get a gold coin promptly every day. Their troubles were solved and soon Nagappa became very rich, but he still continued to worship the snake. As days passed, the snake would come out of the ant hill and drink the milk right in front of their eyes.
Years passed, Nagappa grew old and his son grew up to be a handsome young man. Nagappa and his wife had safely guarded secret of their sudden wealth. In fact, even their son was not aware of it. One day it so happened Nagappa and his wife had to go to another village for a few days. Nagappa called his son and told him that he should go to the field everyday and place a bowl of milk in front of the ant hill.
Nagappa’s son, dutifully did what his father had asked him to do. He took a bowl of milk for the snake king. When he came near the ant hill, he said loudly, `O snake king, my father asks me to feed you every morning. I will not move from here until you drink all the milk.
He stood without moving in front of the ant hill for a long time. He did not see any snake, but he still kept his vigil. At last he saw a snake coming out of the ant hill. It came directly to the bowl of milk and began to drink. After finishing the snake slithered into the ant hill once again. When The Nagappa’s son went to collect the bowl, he found a gold coin in it.
Their riches had also disappeared with the snake.
Why did my father not mention anything about this before? He wondered.
The next day the same thing also happened. The snake drank the milk and disappeared, leaving a gold coin behind. Seeing this, Nagappa’s son became very greedy. Why should I wait for one gold coin each day?’ he thought to himself. There must be a fortune in that ant hill.’
So, on the third day, he came prepared with a stout stick. As soon as the snake came out to drink the milk, he hit it soundly and began to break the ant hill, hoping to find a treasure trove. The wounded snake was so furious at his greedy nature that bit and slithered away.
Nagappa returned to find his son almost on the point of dying. Upon hearing what happened during his absence, he at once went to the field along with his wife. They're both of them paid their respects to the snake king and offered a bowl of milk as usual, but the snake refused to come out. `O great Nagaraja (snake), please forgive our son and bring him back to life. We promise you that we will continue to worship you ourselves for e rest of our lives. We will not let some others even know of your existence,’ pleaded Nagappa.
At last the snake came out and spoke, all these years you have looked after me well and have taken care not to disturb me. I appreciated your devotion and rewarded you accordingly. Now your son has wronged knowingly or unknowingly. For your sake, I will revive him, but you will not find me here anymore.’
The snake then disappeared. Nagappa and his wife returned home sadly. They found their son had recovered completely and quite repentant for his greed and rash behavior. So once again Nagappa and his family were back in their old position. Their riches had also disappeared with the snake.