Once a thought came in the mind of King Prataparudra of Prayag kingdom, he wanted to know whether after punishing people for any crime, whether there is any feeling of repentance in their mind or not.
On the second day, King Prataparudra reached the prison of his kingdom. The king started asking all the prisoners one after the other, for what reason they committed the crime.
A prisoner said, “Your Majesty! I didn’t commit any crime. I am innocent, I have not committed any crime.”
The second prisoner said: “Oh my king! Somebody has implicated me in this crime. I have not committed any crime, I am innocent.”
Similarly, all the remaining prisoners also started claiming their innocence. Then, King Prataparudra saw a man sitting down and crying.
When asked by the king, he said with great humility: “Your Majesty! I had stolen out of poverty. I have full faith in your justice system. I had committed a crime, for which I was punished.”
King Prataparudra had found the answer to his question. He said in his mind,
“The law of punishment does not create a sense of remorse among all criminals. But he is the among all the prisoners who had the sorrow of having committed the crime, and also the feeling of repentance.”
The same person had completed the atonement for his crime in that prison.
The king continued, “If this person is freed from the prison, then surely he can reform himself.”
So King Prataparudra liberated the man from the prison.
Moral: Firstly do not went to wrong path and it is good to have regret for your bad activities. It proves you are good human. Never give up the truth even in adverse circumstances.