Prthu’s two boons

Srimad Bhagavatam tells the story of Prthu, a righteous

king, said P.T. Seshadri in a discourse. Lord Vishnu appears

before Prthu and tells him that he can ask the Lord for anything he desires. Prthu says, “You are called Varada, because You are the giver of boons. Some people will ask for worldly joys. But that kind of joy is present even in hell. Will a sensible person ask for such things? He will ask only for


The Lord then asks Prthu if he wants moksha. But Prthu

says that he doesn’t! He then explains why. “Here, I listen to

Your devotees sing Your praises. If I attain moksha, will I

have this joy? Listening to the words of Your devotees gives

me great happiness. If listening with two ears affords me so

much pleasure, will the pleasure not be magnified if I have

ten thousand ears? So give me ten thousand ears.”

Prthu then goes on to say that celestials ask for wealth,

and they pray to Lakshmi for wealth. But Lakshmi Herself is

with the Lord. The Lord is the embodiment of all wealth. A

man who has heard the Lord being praised will want to hear

more and more of such praise. If he were to be satisfied with

listening to such praise just once, then he must be less than

human, says Prthu.

Besides the joy of listening to the Lord’s devotees, Prthu

has yet another request. The second boon he asks for is the

opportunity to serve the Lord the way Mahalakshmi does.

Lakshmi never leaves Him and never serves anyone else.

Likewise, Prthu also does not want to be separated from the


Prthu says he will not ask for anything from the Lord. The

Lord being the father of everyone knows what a person

needs. Does not a parent know what the child needs?

Thus Prthu, through his two requests, shows that he is a