From EKAKSH PRADESH to EKAKSH SAROVAR - The Saga Continues… By Dr. M.R.K Prasad

People lived in Ekaksh Pradesh happily.  After Ekaksh agreed to their terms, they remained in a celebration mood for quite a while.  The story of how the mighty Ekaksh was tamed had become a national folk lore in many languages and also turned into plays.   All felt that at last there is peace in Ekaksh Pradesh and the resultant  prosperity too.  Time kept rolling. Months and years went by.  Nevertheless, I cannot say they lived happily ever after as in a fairy tale.

The next generation in Ekaksha Pradesh had their own troubles and turmoil. The population grew and so the need for food too was felt alarmingly.  Quite considerable proportion of the food produce had been spent on Ekaksh.  However it was worth it, as for years, there was not a threat to Ekaksha Pradesh from any external force.  And slowly as the fear of an attack from outside faded out of their memory, the people started feeling the burden of maintaining Ekaksh. The situation further deteriorated when the monsoon failed.

Food became insufficient for the populace. Women and children were the worst affected. As the wise men say, “Difficult times need difficult decisions”.  The younger generation not having known the fear of the giant, decided to stop feeding him as food grains was in scarce and the livestock had to be attended too.  The elders were petrified by the idea of refusing food to Ekaksh as they knew that he was a giant and a powerful one too.  The elders however failed to convince the younger folk, who sent a word to Ekaksh that they will not able to provide food for him in future. 

Ekaksh fumed in anger and told the messenger that the village would have no protection from him and also would bear his wrath.  It was also true that Ekaksh was terrified with the news that there would be no food for him.  He realized that over a period of time he lost the skills for hunting and was accustomed to the cooked food and has lost appetite for raw food.  He no more reveled in any violence and wasn’t sure if he could attack the village as he had developed good relation with many elders of the village.  With no plausible options left, he desperately wandered in the jungle and came across the Monk who previously negotiated with him on behalf of the villagers
Enraged, he told the Monk, “You are the one to be blamed. I am ruined.”

The Monk, indeed surprised at the accusation reverted, “What do you mean? In what way have I ruined you?” 

“You are the one who made me accustomed to cooked food and cozy village life.  You are the one who made me renounce my violence”, shouted Ekaksh.

The Monk, as puzzled as he was, muttered, “Yes I did that and it turned out to be in your favour too.  You are enjoying a peaceful life with a good supply of sumptuous food.”

“Oh really!” screamed Ekaksh, “Now I received the message from the village that they no longer would supply food to me.  It is you who negotiated with me, now I need you to negotiate with them and see that they somehow send me the food.”

The Monk thought for a while and said, “Okay, let me talk to them.”

The Monk took up the mission and visited the village. He spoke to the people and understood the problem, but wasn’t really convinced that stopping food supply to Ekaksh was the sole solution to the issue. So he suggested that the villagers should give an audience to Ekaksh and should explain to him why they had taken the decision and should also listen to what the giant has to say.  Reluctantly they agreed and selected a committee of young and old to speak to  Ekaksh with a condition that the Monk would mediate between them.   

At the meeting, after listening to the issue of food scarcity, Ekaksh said, “I am not responsible for your problems.  If you have more people, cultivate more land.  Why to cut my food?”

The Committee reasoned, “The cultivable land is limited, as most of the land is laced with big stones and trees.  It is not possible for us to clear them, as it would take years to do that mammoth task.  The water resource is also far and it is not an easy job to get a lake done.”

The Monk sensed an opportunity and asked Ekaksh, “Do you think you can help in any way to mitigate this difficulty?”

Ekaksh seemed to sense what the monk looked for.  He was in deep thought, “Hmm… I can help them by clearing the stones, and trees.  With my strength, it is nothing.  But, if I do, will they think I am afraid of them and that is why I agreed. Further, do I have really any option as I am no more really required for the villagers and I am without any hunting skills?”

He asked the Monk if he could talk to him privately and the monk readily walked out out with him to the shade of the huge peepul tree.  Ekaksh confessed his fears to the Monk. The Monk said, “You became obsolete and did nothing to adopt to the new challenges. Let me handle the issue with the Committee.”

He walked back to the Committee and said, “Listen to me.  Your real problem is that you do not have enough land to cultivate.  If you have enough land to cultivate, would you agree to continue to supply food to Ekaksh?”

The Committee concurred that they would be happy to do that as they have no grudge against Ekaksh and in fact they did hold a respect to him as he abided by his vow of not killing any one. 

To this acceptance, the Monk said, “Okay, in that case I would convince Ekaksh to help you in clearing the stones and trees on the unused land and also to build a lake”.  The Committee was suddenly thrilled and sounded that if Ekaksh could help them in doing so, they would even name the lake as ‘Ekaksh Sarovar’.

The Monk conveyed the decision to Ekaksh and Ekaksh was delighted with the proposal of naming the lake after his name.  He worked hard with the villagers and within few weeks he could help them in clearing the land and building the lake – Ekaksh Sarovar.  Ekaksh never had to fear about his food, thereafter.

Principle of Negotiation
In a continuing relationship, never be content with what you got from a negotiated agreement. Always keep yourself relevant, lest you become redundant.
Had Ekaksh abreast himself with the new developments, he would have been in a better position to negotiate.  As he had become vulnerable to the emerging challenges he had no other option but to accept the proposal.  However, he was wise enough to understand his vulnerability.


Popular Posts