Atmarupa was a Brahmin who lived in a village near a forest on the banks of a holy river. He was a pious person and his wife was a greedy and short-tempered women. She always wanted more and more wealth and had no inclination to help even the poorest of the poor. These two had no issues and this worried Atmarupa. One day he went into the forest quite dejected. He came across a sage who was a yogi. Atmarupa knew that he was the person who could satisfy his wish. He approached him with reverence and pleaded to bless him with a child. The sage took pity on him and explained to him that in this birth he is not destined to have a child and only in the next birth he would have a child. But he was so obsessed he almost pestered the sage to accede to his request. The sage finally relented and gave him a mango and asked him to give it to his wife who would bear a devote child for him! He made pranams and happily left the forest and reached his home. He narrated the events to his wife and gave her the fruit and wanted her to eat it. She was a selfish woman and lazy too. She did not want to have a child and go through all the physical strain! Instead, she made a plan to deceive her husband and also be free of trouble. She spoke to her sister who was pregnant and told her that she would take her child at the time of its birth and tell the husband that she had given birth to the child and till then pretend to be carrying! Since her sister was poor she readily agreed to this proposal and the mango fruit was to be given to some one. Both of them pondered over the issue and decided that the fruit shall be given to the cow in the house of Atmarupa! They started to implement their plan. Months passed and one day the child was born to the sister of Atmarupa’s wife and promptly the child was brought to his house and she announced that she had delivered the baby boy! Atmarupa’s joy knew no bounds. He immediately announced the good news to the entire village and arranged for a grand feast and gave away lot of gifts to the poor and needy! Though these acts of his annoyed her but she could not resist him. In the due course Atmarupa performed the Upanayana to the child and also sent him to school. Days passed and another miracle happened in his house, the cow also delivered a baby boy! But his ears were like that of a cow! The entire village turned to look at this unique child and advised Atmarupa to retain this child as God’s gift and bring him up too! Atmarupa accepted their advice and brought up that child also. The child was named Gokarna Go refers to cow and karna refers to ears and was initiated through upanayana and made to learn the Sastras and Vedas. Soon he became a very brilliant child with profound knowledge where as the other child had fallen into bad ways and did not continue his studies and took to robbery and acquired all the vices. Atmarupa felt bad and tried in all possible ways to prevent his elder son from going astray, but he could not succeed. Atmarupa sent Gokarna to a nearby town to learn higher knowledge. Due to advancing age he could not earn as he used to and his son did not care to do anything responsible. Atmarupa’s wife became restive and started pestering her husband for more money and finally both her son and herself joined together and drove Atmarupa away to the forest since he was no more useful to them. Though humiliated much Atmarupa, felt relieved and retired into the forest and led a life of a mendicant and died. But unfortunately her son did also not spare her too (Atmarupa’s wife) ! His need for money grew as his bad ways and he started selling off all the wealth that his father had left behind and soon became poor. But his girl friends kept on asking him for more money. In order to satisfy them he intensified his robberies and extortion and committed a lot of crimes! How long this could go on? He soon got tired and was unable to bring the money they demanded. In the meanwhile he had driven out his mother stripping her of her frugal belongings. She begged in the village, grew old and sick and finally died! One day the son returned to his friend’s house without any money, which angered her and her friends, and they decided to get rid of him once and for all. When he felt thirsty and asked for some water to drink they tied him up and poured molten metal into his mouth. Writhing in pain he died a miserable death. He soon turned into a Brahmarakshas (Goblin). The Brahma rakshas was eating people who happened to pass by. This went on for long time. One day Gokarna visited his native village and went about enquiring the whereabouts of his ancestral house and was shown a dilapidated house. He went around the house and felt sad deep within his heart and as he was very tired due to his long journey he felt sleepy and rested in the courtyard. Suddenly he was rudely shaken and he woke up to a shrieking sound! It was dark all around but some thing strange; dark was lurking in the dark! It was a huge beast. It advanced menacingly towards Gokarna. But Gokarna was unmoved. He cast a cool and calm look and asked the beast who he was. The beast obviously could not tolerate this indictment and changed its form into a bison and then into a wild goat. All this only amused Gokarna and he persisted with his question. He addressed the beast as an unfortunate one and asked it to come clean. Hearing this the beast assumed its original Brahmarakshas form and talked to Gokarna. He inquired why Gokarna was here. Gokarna reassured the goblin that he was here in search of his ancestral home and also to know about his lost brother. Immediately the goblin came very near to Gokarna and was sure that he was his own brother. The goblin narrated the whole story of his and pleaded with him to somehow get rid of this curse that has befallen on him. Gokarna felt very sad at the plight of his brother and promised him to find a solution. Saying so he went towards the forest in search of great seers who could give him a solution. On the way he met many Sadus and Seers but none of them could give him a solution. At last he came across a sage who asked Gokarna to go to Kasi and said the solution would be found there. So Gokarna rushed to Kasi and there he found many seers were discussing the outcome of bad karmas or deeds and methods to atone them and get salvation. He approached them with reverence and narrated the story of his brother. They listened to him and said that observing the vow and discipline for a fortnight and reciting the Srimad Baghavata Mahapurana the story of Krishna for seven days and making his brother listen to the discourse would cure him of his curse and he will be rid of the goblin form! Gokarna went back satisfied and immediately took steps to organize the discourse as suggested by the seers. On an auspicious day on a decorated stage duly observing all the rules and injunctions. In front of pious audience Gokarna performed the initial poojas and started his discourse. Having been told by Gokarna about the discourse, his brother Dundukari who was in the form of a goblin came to the venue and hid himself in a bamboo stalk with seven nodes! At the end of the first day after listening to the discourse the first node exploded with a thud! Like this all the seven days the discourse was heard by all devotees and also by Dundukari and every day one by one the nodes exploded and the last day, from the bamboo, Dundukari emerged not with his goblin form but with brilliant princely form. There stood a celestial vehicle with attendants ready to receive him. Dundukari saluted all the pious ones gathered over there and boarded the celestial vehicle and departed to the heavens! Among the awe struck on lookers was his brother Gokarna with a satisfied look. This story illustrates the greatness of Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. The story also tells us how important it is to treat parents with respect, and observe just ways of living, importance of having company of good people, and engage oneself in listening to sacred stories of the Lord frequently. Above all the story highlights the travails of going astray in life.