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The story of doves serving an unknown guest


In the Brahmagiri Mountain there lived once a hunter who made a living by killing birds and animals. One day he could not get anything, so he went deep inside the forest. He was lucky in capturing some birds but as he had penetrated too much inside the forest he lost his way. Hungry and thirsty he decided to spend that night under a tree.

For many years a dove and its family had lived happily on that tree. Both the male and the female had gone out to look for food on that fateful day. When the male dove had returned to the nest, the female dove was not there as usual. In fact, the female had been captured by the hunter and was now inside his cage. The male did not know this. He mourned for his wife.

These words of mourning were heard by the female dove inside the cage and she made a quick response. The male dove came down and found the terrible seen of his wife inside the cage. The Male dove cursed the hunter and tried to free the female but she stopped and said, “One living being makes a living by eating on another, I can’t find any fault with the hunter; the hunter is only collecting his food. Not only that, he is our guest tonight so it is our earnest duty to offer up our bodies for the sake our guest”.

Though the male dove finds it difficult to bear his sorrow, he felt his wife’s argument as vey valid and thus said, ” You are quite right, we have to serve our guest. But before serving him with food we can make him comfortable by making him warm, the night is very cold”

“I am already in cage it is my turn to became a food for him” the female dove said. But before completing her words the male dove hurled into the fire.

The tired hunter was listening to the whole affair and felt ashamed at his action and opened the cage and let the bird free. The female dove only followed her husband’s path and immolated herself in the fire.

Gods were surprised at the sacrifice of the doves; they come down from Swarloka to take doves into their abode.

The place where the doves immolated themselves became a holy tirtha known as kapotatirtha. The word kapota means dove.

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