Shravan – The Boy who Symbolizes Devotion, Service and Duty

The story of Shravan is mentioned in the Ramayana epic. Shravan was the son of Sage Shantunu and his wife who were blind and old. The boy dedicated his entire life catering to the needs of his parents. One day the old couple requested Shravan to take them on a pilgrimage to all the holy places in India. In order to fulfil the wishes of his parents, Shravan took a bamboo stick and tied two baskets at either ends. He placed his parents on the baskets and carried the bamboo stick on his shoulders.

After visiting different holy places they reached the outskirts of Ayodhya, where the old couple felt thirsty and requested Shravan to fetch some water. The boy immediately lowered his parents from his shoulders and went to fetch water from the Sarayu river. At the same time, King Dasharata of Ayodhya was hunting for deer. Mistaking the boy for a deer, the king shot an arrow thereby mortally wounding Shravan. Hearing cries of the boy, the king rushed to his side and begged for forgiveness. In his dying moments, Shravan asked the king to take water to his parents. On listening to the incident from the king, the elderly couple cursed the king that he would also suffer from Putrashoka, i.e sorrow due to loss of a son. Shravan is remembered even today for his devotion and duty towards his parents.

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