Akupara - The Tortoise

Other languages: Kannada

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Akupara (अकूपारः) is the name of a tortoise that lived in a lake in the Himalayas. Rajarshi Indradyumna fell down from Swargaloka after the punya he acquired through good deeds on earth had apparently exhausted. He was told that someone can stay in Swargaloka only as long as his good deeds are remembered on earth.

Indradyumna went to Chiranjeevi Rishi Markandeya and asked whether he remembered him. The Rishi did not. Then they both went to an owl and a crane who were older than the Rishi. Even they did not remember him.

Then finally Akupara, a tortoise who lived in the lake remembered Indradyumna as a great king who had performed 1000 yagas. Akupara said that even the lake in which he lived was formed from the footprints of the cows that the king had given away as danam. Since Indradyumna was still remembered on earth, he could go back to Swarga.

Author

Ramaswamy Sastry and Vighnesh Ghanapaathi

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