If pandits have enjoyed pre-eminent position in the Hindu society for centuries, there is reason for it. Pandits have not tried to act as a moral force. Rather they have drummed up scriptural support for actions already taken by influential persons. The following is a true story. A young man came to vast landed estate on his father’s death. He decided to demolish an old structure standing in the fields. In the process there appeared from the ruins a majestic king cobra who immediately spread its hood. Ignoring the entreaties from the labourers to leave the naag devta alone, the young man smashed its head with a stone. His distraught mother immediately rushed to the family pandit. The snake was dead and the young man had come to a position of great wealth. No purpose would be served by trying to place him on the defensive. Wisely, pandit ji gave the ruling: On the contrary, the young man has performed a great service to the snake by liberating him from his lowly yoni. It can now hope to be born in a better form.
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