Do not Judge a Book by its Cover

Heaven and Hell Within

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Related Articles : Stories with Moral Lessons

In the time of Ramayana there used to be a great sage called Rishi AshtaVakra. His body was twisted and uneven from 8 places and hence he got the name AshtaVakra ( Ashta means 8 and Vakra means twisted ).

One day Rishi AshtaVakra visited the Royal court of King Janak. As the Rishi entered the court, almost all of King Janak’s ministers and court officers starting laughing upon seeing the strange and twisted body of Rishi Ashtavakra. Upon this Rishi, Ashtawakra smiled and said, ” King Janak, I have heard so many good things about you but all I see is that your royal court is full of Cobblers and Shoemakers “.

Upon hearing this, all the people present there got very angry and the chief general asked for king’s permission to punish such ill speaking sage as none of the courtiers knew about Rishi Ashtavakra. King Janak refused the permission and said that whatever Rishi AshtaVakra said was truth and nothing but truth and then the king requested the sage to explain his words.

To this, Rishi AshtaVakra smiled and said, ” You are a wise and just king, Janak. The moment I entered your court, most of the people started laughing by looking at my body and skin, and the ones who deal in skin are either cobblers or shoemakers and they only judge the quality by skin and so I called them Cobblers and Shoemakers “.

King Janak bowed to the sage and all the courtiers felt very ashamed at their lack of wisdom.

Moral : Don’t Judge a Book by its cover and don’t judge people by their physical attributes. Always judge people by their character and conduct as looks may be deceptive but character and conduct is loyal. Always remember that physical beauty is only skin deep whereas the beauty of character and conduct is Soul deep.


Himanshu Shangari