The Matchless Pearl And Other Mythical Tales

24 stories from around the world
The Matchless Pearl And Other Mythical Tales
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Author: Swapna Dutta & Ramendra Kumar
Format: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN: 9788178061030
Code: 9321B
Pages: 125
List Price: Rs. 80.00
Price: Rs. 48.00   You Save: Rs. 32.00 (40.00%)

Publisher: Unicorn Books
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How the snake helps Helga; a dragon and phoenix are friends and defeat the wicked fairy; an old man challenges the god of mountain; and a giant tries to trick God.
Written in a simple language, these mythical tales create a sense of wonderment in the minds of the children, and make an entertaining reading.

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About the Author(s)

Swapna Dutta is a prolific writer for children of all ages. She has written several enthralling short stories and articles. These have been published as books and in children's magazines.

Contents

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1. Betushka's Adventure (Czechoslovakia)
2. The Matchless Pearl (China)
3. The Lake that Found a New Home (Estonia)
4. How the Sea was Created (Melanesia)
5. The Devil's Gift (Norway)
6. Saint George and the Dragon (Libya)
7. The Lake that Saved a Love (Scotland)
8. The Enchanted Bottle (Ireland)
9. Betty and Her Baby (Wales)
10. Helga's Friend (Austria)
11. The Challenge (Switzerland)
12. How River Ganga Came Down to the Earth (India)
13. There is no king as God (Africa)
14. The Foolish Old Man of the North Mountain (China)
15. Thor in the Land of the Giants (Scandinavia)
16. The Land of Eternal Youth (Ireland)
17. The Divine Trinity (Egypt)
18. The Great Land Master (Japan)
19. Vasilisa and Baba Yaga (Russia)
20. The Legend of Gilgamesh (Mesopotamia)
21. The Bridge of Gods (North America)
22. How Music Came to Earth (Mexico)
23. The Adventures of Theseus (Greece)
24. Urvashi (India)

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Sample Chapters


(Following is an extract of the content from the book)
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How River Ganga Came Down to the Earth (A Story from India)
All of you must know that the Ganga is the most important river in India. It is also a sacred river which was once said to be located in heaven. This is the story of how and why it came down to the earth.
Long ago, there lived a mighty king named Sagar in the kingdom of Ayodhya. He had two Queens. The elder Queen had just one son who was called Asamanja. The younger Queen had sixty thousand sons! King Sagar was childless for very many years. He was greatly worried and very unhappy, wondering who would look after his kingdom after him. One day, he trudged up the Kailasa mountains which was the abode of Lord Siva, taking both his Queens with him. All three prayed earnestly day and night that the Lord might bless them with children.
Lord Siva was moved by the sincerity of their prayers and gave them his blessings. Very soon, the Queens realized that their prayer was to be fulfilled. But, while a bonny son was born to the elder Queen, the second Queen gave birth to an object that looked like a gourd! Bitterly disappointed, she was about to throw it away, when she heard a voice commanding her to preserve it. The gourd contained sixty thousand little seeds. In a short while, each of the seeds turned into a little prince!
After many years of reign, King Sagar decided to perform the Ashwamedha yajna. This was a ritual attempted by only the most powerful of kings. It was done by letting loose a splendid white horse which would roam freely all over the kingdom. Whoever captured the horse had to fight the warrior guarding the horse and defeat him. If the horse returned unchallenged by anyone, it meant that the king had been accepted and acknowledged as the supreme ruler by all. It was the greatest honour a king could have.
The news that King Sagar was about to perform the Ashwamedha spread far and wide. Indra the king of heaven also got to hear about it. When Indra realized that the horse would be guarded by sixty thousand and one sons of king Sagar, he grew very nervous. How could any king be a match against so many? And yet, if Indra failed to capture the horse, Sagar would become the king of heaven instead of him. He couldn't even bear to think about it! Only a trick could save the situation. Indra thought and thought and finally hit upon an idea. He made himself invisible and quietly stole the horse one night and led it to the seashore where sage Kapila had his hermitage. He tied the horse to a tree within the hermitage and left the place smiling triumphantly. “Well, well, King Sagar, now you just wait and see what happens! No Ashwamedha yajna for you, that's certain! he told himself in glee. In the mean time, every one in Sagar's kingdom grew frantic at the sudden disappearance of the yajna horse.
Sixty thousand sons of the younger Queen set off at once, determined to find it. They finally discovered the horse tied to a tree inside Kapila’s hermitage.
Just look at that! cried the eldest of the sixty thousand.
Stealing our horse and keeping it tied up! cried another.
And he dares to call himself a sage! cried all the rest.
Sage Kapila who was in deep meditation at the time knew nothing about the horse. But the rude and angry shouting of the princes made him open his eyes. Furious at being disturbed while in prayers, he looked at them. And the fire that shot out of his angry eyes reduced all sixty thousand princes to ashes.
When the news reached king Sagar, he was prostrate with grief. Little Angshuman, king Sagars grandson (son of his eldest son Asamanja), found his way to sage Kapila's hermitage and begged him to return his grandfather's horse so that he might perform the yajna.
I didn't bring it, son said the sage, I have no idea how it came here. But take it by all means.
And sir, please bring my sixty thousand uncles back to life.
I am afraid I can't do that said sage Kapila, you see, they were not destined to live any longer.
Then tell me what I should do to make them live again cried the little boy.
Nothing can be done right now said the sage, shaking his head, but a boy named Bhagirath will be born in your family years later and he will bring them back to life.
And how will he do that? asked Angshuman .
He will bring down Ganges, the river of heaven, on earth. When its water touches the ashes of your uncles, they will come back to life.
If she is a river why can't she just flow down here? Why does she need someone to bring her down?
Because she is now locked up in the worshipping bowl of Lord Brahma. Don't ask me why! It is too long a story. said sage Kapila, but Lord Brahma will certainly release her when Bhagirath asks him to.
Angshuman returned to his grandfather with the horse. Sagar then performed the Ashwamedha yajna and was acknowledged the supreme ruler of the world.
Years later, when Bhagirath was born and was old enough to be told the story he renounced his kingdom and made for the Himalayas. There he prayed to Lord Brahma and he let the Ganges out of his worshipping bowl. Once released, the Ganges crashed down below with such force that the whole earth shook and trembled. She would have probably swept off every living creature from the face of the earth, had Lord Siva not intervened and held her captive in the matted locks of his hair! So the Ganges was imprisoned once again and once again Bhagirath had to pray to Lord Siva to set her free.
Finally, Lord Siva allowed the Ganges to fall on earth once again. But this time she fell in a mild seven-fold torrent. The wildest among the seven torrents followed Bhagirath as he walked. Bhagirath blew a conch shell all the way to let the people know that he was now escorting the Ganges to his own homeland. The Ganges rippled along joyfully over hills and dales. But Bhagirath's adventures were not yet over. Somewhere along the way the river passed the hermitage of sage Janhu. Janhu was deep in meditation when the gushing torrent of the Ganges swept away his prayer vessels. The sage was so angry that he drank up the entire river in a single gulp until there was not even a drop to be seen! Poor Bhagirath went down on his knees once again, begging sage Janhu to set the Ganges free. At last Janhu forgave the Ganges and let her out through his ears. At that point her name changed to Janhavi which means daughter of Janhu, as it was like a new birth for her. People who live there still call the Ganges by that name.
Finally, Bhagirath brought the Ganges to the hermitage of sage Kapila, where the ashes of his forefathers lay in a heap. The Ganges rippled over the ashes and all sixty thousand sons of Sagar came to life once again. Her mission fulfilled, the Ganges now rushed into the sea. The place where all this happened is now known as Ganga Sagar. It has been an important place for pilgrimage ever since. In Eastern India the Ganges is known as Bhagirathi in memory of King Bhagirath who had brought the river down on earth.

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