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Once upon a time in a dense forest, there lived a deer whose name was- Banyan. He was so prepossessing and as large as a young uncastrated male horse. He was golden like the sun and his horns glimmered just like silver. His big eyes flickered out with sagacity. He was famed as a King of Deer in the forest and looked over a herd of 500 deer. In the same forest, another flock of deer was watched over by another king of deer- named Branch. He was also sharp and golden in color. Although, in mammoth grass of the deep forest, the two herds lived in tranquillity.
One day, the emperor of the city of Ghats- Varanasi (Benaras) went for a hunt and to explore the picturesque green forest where the throng of deer resided. After taking a look, the king murmured: This is an absolute beguiling place for the hunting. He also declared that along with his thousands of hunters, he stopped himself upon the two herds of deer. Without giving a second thought he notched an arrow in his bow and noticed the two golden deer in the forest. He was amazed by their beauties and the attraction as he never saw such beautiful creatures on the Earth!!From that day onwards, the king declared that "No one would harm or kill these golden deer ever.
Following that day, he continuously visited the forest and used to kill more deer than was needed for his dinner table. As the time passed by, numerous deer were killed and died in great pain and grief.
Finally on a day, the two of the herds gather together on the call of Banyan Deer and said-"Friends, we know no one can defeat death but this needless killing can be prevented. He announced “Let the deer take turns going to the chopping block, one day from my herd and the next day from Branch's flock
Every dear nodded in Yes and agreed on his thought. Each day the deer whose turn it was went to the chopping block on the edge of the forest and laid its head upon the block for their dinner. However, one day, the turn fell to a pregnant doe from Branch's herd. She went to Branch Deer and begged, "My Lord, I will be chopped off once my fawn is born and would gladly take my turn." But annoyingly Branch Deer said, "It is your turn. You must go."
The poor doe went to Banyan Deer and explained her plight in anguish. Listening this, he gently replied, "Go rest in peace. I will put your turn upon another." The deer king- Banyan went and laid his golden head upon the chopping block. A deep silence fell in the forest for a while. The time when the king came, he saw the golden deer was lying on to the chopping block. His heart skipped a beat and he replied in rage, "You are the leader of the herd," "You should be the last to die!" Banyan Deer explained everything- how sacrificing himself, he had come to save the life of the doe apparently.
A tear rolled down the cheek of the king. "Great Golden Deer King," he exclaimed. "I have not seen anyone with such solicitude. I am going to spare both of your lives. "So we will be safe. But what shall the rest of the deer do?" "Their lives I shall also spare." The deer felt happy however thought for rest of the deer lives. The Banyan Deer questioned ". So the deer will be safe, but what will the other four-footed animals do?" "From now on they too will be safe. "And what about all the birds?" "I will spare their lives." "And the fish in the water" "The fish shall be spared- all creatures of the land, sea, and sky will be free." In this way, the lives of all creatures got rescued; the golden deer raised his head from the chopping block and returned to the forest delightfully.
Moral of the story: Nothing great was ever accomplished without making sacrifices.