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Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, Nepal (1914-1982)
(Translated and Edited by Shreedhar Lohani)

About the Author:

Bisheshwar Prasad Koirala was born on September 8, 1914 in Banaras, India. He was the second son of Krishna Prasad Koirala who was a leading businessman in Biratnagar. In the beginning, the family was well off but due to the resentment of the then Rana Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher Rana, the family's property in Biratnagar was confiscated. The entire Koirala clan, altogether 45 members, were forced to live in exile in Banaras, India.

B.P. was also attracted to politics from an early age. As a young student, he was involved in the fight against the British regime in India. Later on, he fought against the Rana regime in Nepal and after its overthrow, he was appointed the first prime minister of Nepal. B.P. was also against the Panchayat system. For this, he was jailed for eight years at Sundarijal. During this time, he wrote some of his best works. In time, his political beliefs grew strong and he passionately wanted to give Nepal a new vision. Through his political activities, he met Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, King Tribhuwan, King Mahendra, King Birendra, and Mao Sedong among others. An interesting aspect of B.P.'s works is that one does not find politics influencing his writings. Although a passionate politician - he was bound to conventional rules and norms of society - he hardly wrote about the constraints of his real life. It seems B.P. was able to place his feet in two different boats and bring both of them successfully to the bank. He once said: "I am one person in politics and a completely different person in literature. In this way, I feel that the two persons inside me are doing two different things and that they have never met. Politics has never influenced my writing." B.P. suffered from throat cancer and died in 1982 in Kathmandu.


Many years ago, human beings, competed with the gods who would request the human beings to help them in fight against the demon. God did not hesitate to request for help with human beings. The human beings wanted to become gods through penance (Remorse for your past conduct) but gods used to be envious (jealous) and tried to destroy the penance of the people who left all the worldly pleasures. The clever gods broke their penance by sending beautiful nymphs. 

Once, a man wanted to achieve supreme knowledge and godhood. So, he went to the forest for penance. He lived in the forest ate wild roots and drank water from the river. He started hard penance. He sat in front of tongued fires in summer and plunged into ice-cold water in winter. The wild animals surrounded him as guards. Tigers and bears tiptoed (आवाज ननिकाली हिड्ने) not to disturb the sage. Termites (white ant/धमिरा) build their nest one his leg. But the sage went on sitting motionlessly in a deep meditation. The sage's penance started to threaten the seat of Indra. So, Indra, king of gods sent an attractive and beautiful nymph in the forest to destroy the sage's penances.

She came down and started playing in the river which was near to the sage. She put off her clothes and stepped into the river, playfully sprinkling its water. Her breasts seemed so lovely like twin birds. At that very moment, the sage's eyes were suddenly opened as he was going to get godhood but he left his penances. He went towards the nymph because she was so attractive.

They married in the forest. The sage and his wife built a house in village. Looking at such, king becomes happy and appreciates the sage. They gave birth of sons (two) and started living a normal life. They helped their neighbors, nursed sick and fed hungry people. But the villagers did not like the woman because she destroyed the sage's penance. This story may be trying to give massage that people can easily be defeated by the beauty.


The writer may be trying to tell us that over ambition leads towards destruction. He is also trying to tell us that the state of bliss and relax of beauty are similar. Passion is very strong and undying. It blocks the path of progress. One, who cannot control his senses, can hardly reach his goal. Running away from our own desire to achieve unknowable is not justifiable, reasonable and praiseworthy. We need to adjust and make balance between our heart and mind, desire and need. Being idealistic is against our practical life, happiness and better future. Even great personalities get defeated against desire. Inner peace and outer peace are two parts of life. We should be able to balance them. This story tells us that passion or lust is great and never dies. Some people look indifferent to family life and even leave home to get peace but ultimately they return home.

Critical Thinking:

After reading this story, I knew a very good moral lesson. It teaches us to live simple life with high thinking and not to be over ambitious. Yet there are some points to the writer which are not easily agreeable. Do gods exist? Can anyone live by sitting before seven tongued fire in the summer and plunging into ice cold water in winter? Can't the harmful and poisonous insects and beast disturb a man's penance in open place in the jungle? If people feel bliss in simple domestic life, why do they leave home and become hermit or saint? So, I don't totally agree with the writer.


This story tells us that passion or lust is great and never dies. Some people look indifferent to family life and even leave home to get peace but ultimately they return home. There is a man in my locality who said that married life would block the way of progress. So, he promised to live a single life. He even made friendship with hermit (One retired from society for religious reasons). But after some years, he changed his idea and married a girl. He had two children but he again got married with another woman. He was charged in other many cases with his immoral relation with other women. Thus, man can never win the nature and its system.


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