Fleeing to danger
might was beyond borders. He was a true monarch with quite an empire
under his thumb. But his power was not scary. He tried his best to
maintain virtues that he believed in. He had Loving-kindness towards all
Any ruler, however powerful he may be, cannot last long. It’s an
And Sakka was no exception. He had numerous challenges from rivals.
Most of them were jealous of Sakka’s might. Most of them wanted to seize
Sakka’s might. And most of them - unbeknown to Sakka - were equipping
themselves to march against this powerful monarch.
In the forefront was a tribe called Asura. Asuras equipped themselves
against Sakka for a long time. So they had a well organized army. It was
quite massive, Sakka realized too late, compared with his own army. He
was too certain of his power to prepare against such attacks. But now,
he thought, it’s too late to do anything.
“Tell me, Mathali, what is it?” Sakka asked a horrified driver. Of
all his retinue, Mathali was the only confidante. He has been there in
both times of trouble and happiness.
“They have invaded our palace, sir.”
“Yes,” Mathali was a little hesitant to finish his line, “invaded.”
All under his rule have no knowledge of this. Asuras look only for
Sakka. They have no intention of harming others in the palace. Sakka had
to take a speedy decision.
“We must leave, Mathali.”
Mathali looked at Sakka. He could not understand his master.
“We must escape, Mathali. We must escape.” Though slightly, fear was
growing inside him - Sakka sensed it in himself.
Mathali took his small plane. It was called Dandumonara.
The Dandumonara was so noisy. The invaders knew when it flew away.
But those in the palace did not take notice of that. Sakka taking a
flight now and then is a familiar sight. As Sakka rightly guessed, the
invaders knew it was him fleeing away. They wished they had a different
army to capture the monarch fleeing in a plane.
The route was not familiar. Technology too was not familiar. But the
invaders did not give up. They captured the palace. Although they would
not harm those inside it, they could rule them from now onwards.
Sakka heard a creepy sound. He could not bear to hear it any longer.
“What is that sound, Mathali?”
Mathali knew where it originated. But he pretended not to have heard it.
“It’s Gurula birds’ sound, sir.”
“Why are they crying?”
“Our ride damages their nests. Some of them are killed too.”
Sakka fell into a thought, a deep one.
“You should have told me that before. Are there any further Gurula
“Yes. They have infested the whole area.”
Sakka looked down. He looked horrified.
“Turn the vehicle back.”
“You heard me, Mathali. Turn the vehicle back. For my sake turn the
vehicle back.” Sakka was stern in his order, but he was trembling
within. Mathali turned the vehicle at once.
He remained silent, but Sakka knew he had an unvoiced question.
“I forgot this whole area belongs to Gurulas.”
“But sir, we are fleeing back to danger.”
“That’s right Mathali. But I cannot compare Gurulas’ lives to mine.
No, I can’t let them sacrifice for me. Bring me to my palace. They won’t
harm you. They need me. Only me.”
Mathali was on the fence. Sakka has not only been his master, but
they also had a long-time friendship. Willingly or not, now he has to
take his master back to danger. He has never disobeyed his master. This
time too won’t be an exception. Even a minute before his death, he would
obey his master.
The Asuras heard the plane approaching the palace. This made the
Asura chief worried. Why would Sakka come back, he wondered. He must
have seen the army of his invaders. Definitely he is equipped far more
than the Asura army now, and now makes a comeback with confidence. That
sends a smoke signal: staying any longer at the palace is not safe for
Asuras. The chief summoned everyone, and left the palace soon.
It was Sakka’s turn to be surprised to see the palace sans his
invaders. All Asuras have left it. Mathali learnt the silent lesson. He
contemplated how precious it is to uphold virtue even in times of