VVindhya stood tall. He looked all around him. He could see many things indeed. Trees that stood tall and monkeys sitting on them. Rivers that were long and wells that were deep. But there was no one taller than him.
Just then a crow came flying and landed on Vindhya.
“Friend crow, you fly to far off places. You have seen the world. Surely, you have not seen a mountain taller than me!” said Vindhya with pride.
“ Has no one told you about the Himalayas?” asked the crow.
“Oh, Himalayas! Yes, I’ve heard about those mountains in the north. But surely, they are not as tall as me?” asked Vindhya anxiously.
“In fact, they are taller than you,” replied the crow and flew away.
Vindhya was determined to grow into the tallest mountain peak. He remembered the words of his guru, Agastya: “You can become whatever you want to become. “So, Vindhya began to say to himself, “Let me grow an inch taller, let me grow an inch taller…” Each time he wished to become an inch taller, he did grow taller by an inch. He was growing every minute, inch by inch. Slowly, but surely, he was growing taller and taller!
Meanwhile, on the banks of the river Ganga, Guru Agastya had just completed his penance. It was dawn. Sage Agastya slowly opened his eyes to look at the sun. To his surprise, he found Surya, the sun god, looking pale. “Oh, giver of light,” said the sage, addressing Surya, “Why are you looking gloomy?”
“It’s all because of your disciple, Vindhya,” complained Surya.
“What has he done? He is a good fellow. One of my best disciples,” said Agastya who was fond of Vindhya.
“He is growing taller by the minute,” said Surya.
“What’s wrong with that? Every child wants to grow tall.”
“But your Vindhya wants to be the tallest. He has grown so tall, he can almost knock me down as I move across the sky,” said Surya
“Really!” The sage was surprised to hear this.
“He lies on the path I take to travel from East to West. If he grows an inch more, he will be blocking my path and people on the western side will not get to see me.”
“That’s bad,” said Sage Agastya. “No one in the world should be deprived of your light. You are the life giver, Surya,” said the sage.
Agastya immediately got up and picked up his Kamadalu, a pitcher with a snout in which he carried water. Surya watched the sage going south: “Hope he’ll talk sense to his disciple.”
Vindhya saw Sage Agastya coming towards him. Such was his reverence for the sage, he bowed down. Even as he bowed down, the path was clear for Surya who quickly crossed over to the west.
The sage raised his hand in blessings. “Vindhya, I’m going south on some errand. I want you to remain as you are until I return,” said the sage.
“As you wish, O sage,” said Vindhya.
Agastya crossed over to the south, and there he remained forever.
Vindhya was very obedient remained bowed down, very much reduced in height. Surya could move across the sky from east to west without any hindrance.
Friend crow came to visit Vindhya once again.
“Tell me friend crow, have you come across a mountain shorter than me?” said Vindhya with a smile.
The crow bowed to Vindhya and said, “Let me tell you one thing, friend. You may not be the tallest, but surely you are the greatest mountain I’ve come across.”
Surya agreed with the wise crow, as he dipped into the western sea.