Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum – 3

(Continuation of this story)

Among the Gopabaalakas, Shri Krishna was the Uttama. His baalya-kreedas were not acts of mischief but great mahopadeshams. Gopikas, who were under the influence of Vishnu-maaya, thought that Shri Krishna was a baalaka and did not realize that He was aadi-madhya-anta rahita, the Parabrahma. One of the Gopikas, who was fed-up with the mischief of Baalakrishna, complained to Yashoda like this:

“O Maata! Yashoda! Your Son came to our house and realized that there was not enough ksheeram (milk) for him. With great anger, pushing away small babies in the house, he came out. The babies cried a lot. O! Yashoda! you are also a mother. Cant you understand our pain”?

Let us see what Jagadguru Shri Krishna wanted to teach us through this story:

Through this Story, Shri Krishna Paramaatma taught us about an important Gruhastha-dharmam. Gruhasthas must not only do poshana (look after) of their santhaanam and kutumbam (children and family) but also satisfy the needs of who come to their Gruham (house). Especially they must be in a position to satisfy basic needs of baalakas (kids), Vruddhas (the aged), atithis (guests) and arthis (the needy) who come to their house. If not done, it will lead to Vamsha-naashanam. The Gruhastha in the story took care about the needs of his kids but did not have enough milk to give to kids, who are considered to be Bhagavat-svaroopams, coming to his house. Hence Baalakrishna punished them as told in the story (and thus saved them).

For exactly the same reason, our elders advise us never to have important things like dhaanyam (rice/wheat), haridraa-chuurnam&kumkuma (turmeric and kumkum), dadhi-ksheeram (curd-milk) etc. empty in the house. Infact, in Bhaarateeya bhaashas, we never say these things are “empty”. We always say they “need to be filled”. Their intention was that such basic utilities should never be empty. In olden days, people used to always leave little food and never empty the food vessels by consuming everything, so that any needy can be fed if required. Thus the upadesham of Jagadguru Shri Krishna is that we must always keep the needy who come to us in mind and have the basic utilities enough for them also.

Published in: on June 13, 2008 at 11:35 am  Comments (15)  

Vishnuchitta -2

(continuation of this story)

Nirantara Bhagavanaama-smarana and Shrimanaaraayana puuja was Vishnuchitta’s Nitya-krutyam. He used to do Maanava-seva believing Maanava-seva is Maadhava-seva. He used to do Anna-daanam to many in Shri Valli Puttuur everyday, with whatever he earned without deviating from Dharmam.

In every season, according to the climate, he used to serve what pleases the Atithi. In rainy season, he used to serve rice made with paddy, Daal, 4-5 curries, many kinds of Appalams, curds etc. In summer, he used to first offer Shrii-chandanam to apply on their body. Then he used to serve hot rice, Sweet rasam, Sambar made with curd, Sugar-cane juice, coconut water, Bhakshyas, Phalas, sweet smelling water, Buttermilk. In winter, he used to serve rice made with grains that smelled like a sungandha Dravyam (punugu), pickle with pepper powder, hot curries, Paayasam, many kinds of pickles, ghee, milk etc.

In his house, all the while there used to be Vishnu-bhajans, Hari-kathas. Even though he used to take so much care while preparing the bhojanam for Atithis, he used to say “there are only a few curries, no special items. Please show your Krupa on us and eat in our house“. Saying this he used to invite Atithis.

Thus Vishnuchitta showed us the nirvachanam for the suukti “Abhyaagatah svayam Vishnuh“.

Search Terms: Abhyagatah, Periyalvar, Periyaalvaar, Bhattanaatha

Published in: on October 3, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Vishnuchitta -1

In Paandya-desham, there was a Nagaram by name Shri Valli Puttuur. It had very tall Bhavanams which touch the skies, all people used to follow their Sva-dharmam. There were many Pushkarinis and Udyaana-vanams (huge parks). The Sarovaras were filled with big Padmams and had many Hamsas. All the Nagara-maargams (roads) were wide and straight. Words are not enough to describe the Soundaryam of the Nagaram.

After Jala-kreeda in Sarovaram, the women used to take Shuddha-jalam in pots for Shri Hari Abhishekam. The also used to take Kamalam and other Pushpas for Vishnu puuja. Later they used to do adhyayanam of Bhaagavata-aadi Puraanas.

Ducks sleep with their heads covered in their feathers. Seeing them, some used to think they are the Vastrams (white clothes) of the Vipras who did snaanam in the Nadi before Suryodayam and enter the water to return them back to the Vipras. The ducks, disturbed from sleep, used to then go away from them. Instead of praising them for their honesty, the Baalikas who saw all this used to laugh at them.

The main Devaalayam of the Nagaram was that of Mannaaru Krishna Svaami. It is on the Northern side of the Nagaram. There were two huge Rathams for Krishna Svaami which resembled Meru and Mandara Parvatams.

The Gruhasthas in the Nagaram, on seeing an Atithi, used to do Saashtaanga-namaskaaram. Then they used to take them to their Gruham, wash their feet, always remembering that “Abhyaagatah Svayam Vishnuh”. After the Atithi took some rest, they used make him sit on a mat made of Naarikera-patrams (coconut leaves) and put aahaaram in a Vishaala Kadalii-patram (plantain leaf). They used to serve rice (Odanah) made from best quality grains (tandulaah), Daal, Go-ghrutam (Cow ghee), many varieties of Vyanjanams (curries), Go-ksheeram (Cow milk) and Go-dadhi (curds). After the Bhojanam, they used to give the Atithi Taambuulam and do their Paada-seva. As soon as the Atithi says “ok, I must go”, they used to do satkaaram to the Atithi according to their Sampada, go along with him for some distance and come back sad to have got only that much chance of doing Atithi-seva.

In such Shri Valli Puttur Nagaram, in the 46th samvatsaram after the start of Kaliyugam (that is around 5000 years ago, see this too), Svaatii-nakshatram, was born the great Bhaagavatottama Bhattanaatha (Bhaṭṭanātha), with the amsha of Shri Garuda Bhagavaan.

For him, Kashtam and Sukham were both same. Before doing Vidyaabhyaasam also, he had Gnyaanam and Vairaagyam. He was a parama-Vishnu-bhakta. Impressed with his Bhakti, Mahaavishnu started to make Bhattanaatha’s hrudayam as His nivaasam! Hence everyone used to call Bhattanaatha as “Vishnuchitta”.

(Sashesham … to be continued)

Morals in the Story:

  1. The Atithi-seva tattvam of Bhaarateeyas is well shown in the story. They consider Atithi as Vishnu.
  2. The unnata-samaajam of Bhaarata-desham is well shown in the story. They were always near to the Nature, followed their Sva-dharamam and always did Daiva-chintanam.

Message to the present society:

If we read Amuktamaalyada, from which this series of stories will be taken from, or ShrimadRaamaayanam, or Raghuvamsham, we will find descriptions of how well the cities of those days were developed. Once we contrast with the present “modern” city we will really come to know whether we have really made “progress, development” by leaving our Bhaarateeya Smaskruti and Saampradaayam and copying the West?

Search Terms: Periyalvar, Periyaalvaar, Bhattanatha

Published in: on September 20, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments (1)  

The great Kushika Maharaja

Once the great Chyavana maharshi went to Kushika maharaja. Kushika did ghana-puuja to Chyavana maharshi. “Muniindra! Please give us aagnya what to do” said Kushika with great Vinayam. Chyavana maharshi replied “Raja! You and your arthaangi do seva to me”. “Ok. Svaami!” replied Kushika. Kushika arranged for Chyavana maharshi Hamsa-tuulikaa-talpam (bed) and a Manipeetham. “Maharaja! Now I will take rest. Dont disturb me until, I by myself, wake up. Till then do my paada-seva” said Chyavana maharshi. For 42 days, Kushika and his arthaangi did paada-seva of Chyavana maharshi, forgetting Nidra-aahaaram.

The next day Chyavana maharshi woke up and said “get me a Ratham. You both must pull it. I will go on it, giving Suvarana (gold), Ratna, Go (cow), Ashva daanams to the poor”. Immediately Kushika arranged for it. The King and Queen started pulling the ratham. Chyavana maharshi started to hit them with the horse-wip until they were bleeding and kept travelling. Finally they reached the end of the Raajyam.

He saw that the King and Queen have a smiling face, even though their bodies were bleeding! Chyavana maharshi said “Raaja! Now you both got extremely exhausted. Please go back. I will stay here a do Tapas. Come again tomorrow”. Saying thus, Chyavana maharshi, the Aayurveda-nipuna, just touched them on their wounds and the wounds just disappeared. “Muniindra! Just by your Kara-sparsha we got new shakti in us and all our wounds have disappeared. How do we praise your greatness”, saying this, Kushika returned to his Raajyam. When they came back the next day, Chyavana maharshi was not there, but a Vishaala-sundara-divya Bhavanam was there. “Devi! did you see. Because of Maharshi, we are able to see such unbelievably beautiful Bhavanam, that resembles Svargam”. They went in and saw that Chyavana maharshi was lying down on a Mani-maya-paryankam (bed). But as soon as they came near him, everything disappeared. They saw that Chyavana maharshi was doing Tapas.

“Raani! Did you see this Maharshi’s Tapobalam? We can rule many Raajyams. But getting this Tapas is very difficult” said the King. Then Chyavana maharshi called them and said “Maharaja! You have great Indriya-nigraham. You are great. You both didnt even get slightest Krodham even if I inflicted great pain. You always served me with great Vinayam. Please ask me what Varam you want”. “Swaami! Your paada-seva is only what I want. I dont need anything else. But please tell me why did you do all this?”

“Kushika! I heard about you from Brahmadeva. I tested you very much and would have given you shaapam if you didnt keep up your word. But you are an Uttama. I was impressed by you and hence showed you both Svargam. But even then you didnt get attracted and said ‘Tapas is great’. Your Pautra (grandson) will be a great Brahmarshi. He will be the Mantra-drashta of the great Gaayatri mantram. There has been no King who attained the Brahmarshi-padavi. Your pautra will achieve with his will power, Satya-nishtha and parishrama.

Kushika’s putra was Gaadhii-raaja and his putra was the great Vishvaamitra maharshi.

Morals in the story:

  1. The sadgunams Vinayam and Atithi-Seva-bhaavam of Kushika are well shown in the story. Kushika and his Raani, did paada-seva of Chyavana maharshi for 42 days continuously without even taking food and sleep.
  2. Kushika and his arthaangi had full control of their Indriyas (Indriya Nigraham). Even when their bodies were bleeding, they didnt get Krodham on Chyavana maharshi. Svargam will be at the will of such people.
  3. Story shows how doing seva to great sat-purushas like Chyavana Maharshi will give Shubhams. Doing seva to Chyavana maharshi, they got the great Vishvaamitra maharshi as their Pautra.
Published in: on September 14, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Akshaya Paatra

When the great Paandavas left for Aranyavaasam, many Viprottamas followed them. Requesting them to go back, Dharmaraaja said “I have lost my Raajyam in Jyuudam. In the forests you will have to live on fruits. The difficulties of living in the forests are great. So please go back”. Then the Braahmanas replied “Mahaaraaja! Please dont worry about our poshana. We want your kshemam only. We will tell you many good stories and entertain you”.

Yudhishthira agreed, but was worried that being a Gruhastha, he was not able to even do poshana of his aashritas. Thinking like this, he approached his Purohita (Puratah hitam karoti — one who does hitam, before anybody else), Dhaumya, and said “Mahaatma! Atithi seva, satkaaram is sajjana’s prathama-kartavyam. We are ourselves in difficulties, so how to do Atithi seva?”. Dhaumya then told Dharmaraaja how to do Suurya-upaasana. He said “O Dharmanandana! Shrimannaarayana, in the form of Suurya-bhagavaan, does poshana of this shrushti. You everyday do Suryopaasana, by doing Paaraayana of Surya-ashtottara-shata-naamaavali. I am sure then Surya-bhagavaan will help you”.

With Kathora-niyamams, Dharmaraaja did Suryopaasana. Suurya-bhagavaan became prasanna and appeared before Yudhishthira. Yudhishthira had great aanandam, did stotram and said “O Bhaaskara! You are the netram of this jagat and the aatma of all the living creatures. This jagat is having prakaasham because of You only. Without any Svaartham, You are doing poshana of this prapancham. I am krutagnya to have Your divya-darshanam”.

Suurya-bhagavaan said “Dharmaraaja! I am pleased with your aaraadhana. I will make sure you all will never have kshut-baadha all these 12 years”. Saying this, He gave him the Akshaya-paatra. Due to Daiva-prabhaavam, akshaya aahaaram comes from the divya-paatra. Using the Akshaya-paatra, Draupadii devi used to serve the Atithi-abhyaagatas first, then following Pativrataa-dharmam used to serve Paandavas and then eat aahaaram provided by the Akshaya-paatra. The divya-paatra everyday used to provide whatever they wanted till Draupadii devi has her aahaaram.

Morals in the story:

  1. Once a person has sat-sankalpam and does Daiva-praarthana, as suggested by elders, God Himself will show the way. Yudhishthira, with the sankalpam of doing Atithi-seva, did Suryopaasana as directed by Shri Dhaumya. With this he was able to provide aahaaram to the Viprottamas.
  2. Atithi-seva of Dharmaraaja and Pativrata-dharmam of Draupadi are shown in the story. Panditas say that a Pativrata has greater power than even the Tri-muurtis!

Search Terms: Dharmaraja, Akshaya Patra, Sun God, Suryadeva

Published in: on August 12, 2006 at 9:27 pm  Comments (2)  

Story of Saktuprastha

In the bheekara Mahaabhaarata yuddham, out of 11 akshauhini sena of Kauravas and 7 akshauhini sena of Paandavas, only Ashwatthaama, Krutavarma and Krupaachaarya were left on the Kauravas side and Paandavas, Shri Krishna and Saatyaki were left on the side of Dharmaaatmas, the Paandavas. (1 akshauhini = 21870 Ratham, 21870 Gaja, 65410 Ashva, 109350 Padaatidalam). Dharmaraaja’s pattaabhishekam was done and Bheeshmaachaarya did bodha of sarva-Dharmas to Paandavas, gave the world Vishnu-Sahasranaamam and reached Vaikuntham.

Yudhishthira, who was a parama Dayaalu, was very sad that he lost all his relatives and aatmiiyas in the yuddham. Vidvaans suggested him to do Ashvamedha-yaagam and lighten his heart. According to the Pandita’s aadesham, Dharmaraaja immediately started Ashvamedha-yaagam. Chakravartis from Desha-Videshas, many Panditas from different Nagaras, lakhs of praja from various janapadas came to see the Divya yaagam.

For everyone Vastra, Anna daanams were done continously. Yudhishthira did Suvarna, Mani, Ratna daanas to Yogyas. There was not even one who was not satisfied. Seeing this Ashvamedham in which everyone was satisfied Devatas started Pushpa-varsham and did abhinandana of Dharmaraaja.

A mongoose then came to the Yaaga-shaala. Everyone was surprised to see how it came there. Smiling, it said “This is a Yaagam which even the Devatas praised”. Everyone became vismayas. Half of the mungiisa’s body was gold. It continued “compared to Saktuprastha’s Dharma-buddhi, where is this Daanam?”. Everyone asked who is that Mahaatma Saktuprastha and what is his story? The mongoose replied

“Very long time back in this Divya Kurukshetram, there used to live a Gruhastha by name Saktuprastha. He had only one putra, for whom he did Kalyaanam. All of them had Daya on sarva-bhuuta-koti (see this too). They left Kaama-Krodha-aadi arishadvargas and were doing Tapas. The putra and snusha always were involved in the seva of Saktuprastha-dampatis. They used to never harm anyone and live with samtrupti eating whatever they used to get by Vidhi, Praaptam. They used to take aahaaram only for living to do Parambrahma-dhyaanam.

Once they didnt get any aahaaam to eat for a long time. One day they collected some Dhaanya-beejas that fell in their surroundings, powdered them, cooked and shared it equally. Just when they were about to eat, a Vruddha came. He was very weak, thin. He had little energy to say that he was hungry. Saktuprastha brought the Vruddha in, with great aadaram, made him sit beside him and said

“Aarya! Please accept our aatithyam and bless us. We got this aahaaram by doing as less harm as possible to other creatures and without doing any Paapa-kaaryas. Also we cooked it as told in our Shaastras. Please lessen your hunger by accepting my share”. After eating it, the Vruddha said that he was still hungry. Immediately Saktuprastha’s arthaangi gave her share. After knowing that the Vruddha was still hungry, the putra and snusha also did the same. With great aanandam, the Vruddha said

“My son! Your atithi-satkaaram, annadaanam gave me Santrupti. Even though you all were hungry, you gave of all your aahaaram to me. You have also gained immense Punyam. You will be praised by many lokas from now on. A person who is suffering from Kshut-baadha, will dare do any Paapa-kaaryas. For aahaaram he may do any Daaruna-krutyas. In such a state, the aahaaram given to such a person will do immense hitam to the lokam too. Anna-daanam is one of the greatest daanams. It will give ananta-punyam too…” As the Vruddha was saying like this, a Divya-vimaanam came and before everyone, Saktuprastha and his family went to Uurdhva-lokas.

Seeing all this, after the Saktuprastha family went, I drank the water with which Saktuprastha washed the feet of the Vruddha and the parts of my body that touched the water became gold. After that I went to many many Daanams, but no where my other half of this body became gold. Here too it was the same case”.

Morals in the story:

  1. Saktuprastha and his family showed us what an Uttama daanam is. Saktuprastha had no ahankaar that he was giving and gave something he also wanted and something which is very useful to the daana-grahiita.
  2. Atithi-seva, Bhuutadaya, Samtrupti and other gunas of Saktuprastha must be learnt from the story.

Search Terms: Sakthuprastha, Dharmaraja, Pandava

Published in: on August 5, 2006 at 4:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shri Gautama maharshi -2

(continuation of this story)

Thus many benifited from the Tapas-shakti of Shri Gautama maharshi. Many great munis used to live under his aashrayam. He with the help of his wife and shishyas used to grow vegetables, rice etc., then cook and serve to all the aashritas. Thus everyday Gautami maharshi, Ahalya and his shishyas used to get the entire phalam of Annadaanam. Thus they used to live happily following their nitya-naimittika-aadi Karma.

Maanava buddhi is chitraatichitram. When something is not there one feels its need and longs for it. Whereas once he gets it steadily, he completely forgets its importance and leaves Krutagnyata. Instead Krutaghnata starts. Iirsha, asuuya started in the muni-patnis first and then in munis staying with Shri Gautama maharshi. Everything which Gautama maharshi and Ahalya do, used to make the munis feel Gautama-Ahalya have ahankaaram that they got the Akshaya-jalam for them. This was because of the Asuuya they developed on Gautama-Ahalya, without having any Krutagnyata.

Once the munis and muni-patnis decided that somehow they must drive away Gautama-Ahalya from their place. They thought of doing apakaaram to the great Upakaari who saved them from Praanaapaaya-kshaamam. They used their Mantra-shakti and did puuja of Ganapati. Ganapati gave His divya-darshanam and asked the munis for a varam. They asked Ganapati to somehow make Gautama-Ahalya go away.

Devatas are aadhinas to Their Mantras. Many things which cannot be done otherwise can be done through Mantras. What the munis did was kaamyopaasana (they used their Mantras for satisfying their wants). Since Bhakti had no sthaanam in it, the munis were entirely responsible for their varam. For such upaasana their will be no Aadhyaatmika gains. The Tapas of Bhasmaasura and others were of similar nature (Svaartham is the only reason).

Vighneshvara was surprised by the Krutaghnata of the munis. He told munis “you thought of doing apakaaram to that person due to whom you are existing. Uttamas do Upakaaram to apakaaris. What should I say about you people who do apakaaram to a Upakaari? This will never cause Kshemam to you (so dont ask for it)”. Munis didnt like the hita-vaakyas of Mahaganapati. They still insisted on it. Ganapati said “ok. Praarabdham can never be changed. But you can never ever escape the phalitam of this Krutaghnata. Even though Gautama-Ahalya leave this place, because of them this Prapancham will only gain” and gave them the varam.

Ganapati did Shrushti of a maaya-dhenu. It started spoiling the crops (which Gautama-Ahalya were growing for Annadaanam). Knowing that a Gomaata must never even be driven away harshly, he took darbhas and put on the Gomaata. To his great surprise the maaya-dhenu died there only. Seeing this the muni-patnis and the munis did Haahaakaaras. They said “we thought that Gautama maharshi is an Uttama, but he did Go-hatya!”.

Gautama maharshi became a Vihvala. He called Ahalya and said “what is this Vidhi-vaipariityam? Did Paramashiva get angry on me? What must be done now? With Darbhas a Gomaata getting killed is unbelievable — and Go-hatya-mahaapaatakam!”. The munis and muni-patnis continued “we must never see your face. Devatas wont come to this aashramam to recieve Havis if such patitas stay here. You must immediately go away from here”. They started throwing stones on Gautama-Ahalya.

With Teevra-vedana, that he did Go-hatya-mahaapaatakam, Gautama-Ahlaya left the place and returned after going for some distance (1 krosha) to ask the munis for Praayashchittam.

This is Saampradaayam. One must immediately go to elders and ask for a way of Praayashchittam if one knows he committed a paapam. Munis replied “Gautama! You can either do (and try saving yourself from Go-hatya-paatakam):

1. 3 times Bhu-pradakshinam and do a maasa-vratam here.
2. Do 101 times Giri-pradakshina of this Brahma-giri. After that do 1 crore Linga-aaraadhana. Then Ganga-snaanam.”

Gautama maharshi did Brhama-giri Pradakshina and then Paarthiva-Linga-aaraadhana. Paarvatii-Parameshvara became prasanna seeing the puuja of Gautama-Ahalya and gave them Their Divya-darshanam, along with Pramadha-gana. Gautama maharshi did stotram of Shiva and then asked Him to save himself from Go-hatya-mahaapaatakam. Maheshvara said

“Gautama! My boy! You are a Krutaartha. You are a Dhanya. There is no paapam for you. You are an aajamna-shuddha. You were cheated by the kutantram of these Braahmanas who were bitten by asuuya. If anyone even does your naamasmaranam or has your Darshanam will loose all his paapams.

There is no praayashchittam for these krutaghnas (see this too). From today they will be Bhrashtas. They will be away from Me, leave Veda-Dharmas and their entire santaanam will become patitas. You please ask Me a varam”.

Gautama maharshi with great Vinayam and aanandam replied “Saamba-Mahaadeva! I think these Braahmanas did Upakaaram to me. Because of them only today I had the adrushtam of Your Darshanam”. Aadi-deva became happy seeing the Kshamaa-gunam of Gautama maharshi. Gautama maharshi continued “Parameshvara! If You are really impressed with me, please give Ganga for Loka-kalyaanam”. Ganga-devi appeared as soon as Parama Shiva did Sankalpam. Seeing Ganaga-maata Gautama maharshi said

“Ammaa! You are the one who makes the Trijagas pavitras. Once you blessed Bhagiiratha and saved the Sagara-kumaaras. Entire Uttara-Bhaaratam became sasya-shyaamalam because of You. Please bless the Dakshina-Bhaaratam too.”

Taking Shiva-aagnya Gangadevi took Jala-ruupam and said like this to Parama Shiva “I will go make Gautama and his parivaaram puniitam and return soon to Your Lotus feet”. Shankara said “Gangaa! You stay till the end of Kaliyugam in the 28th Mahaayugam (present Mahaayugam) of Vyvasvata-manvantaram (see this too). Then You return to Your nija-dhaamam”. Gangadevi agreed and requested Parama Shiva “Svaami! Please stay on My nadii-tiiram and bless Us”.

Shankara then became a Jyotirlingam at Tryambakeshvara. Ganga then became paravasha and started flowing from a tree (Medi chettu) on Brahma-giri. This pavitra sthaanam became Gangaa-dvaaram and Ganga got the name Gautamii because Gautama maharshi brought Her. It also got the name Godaavarii because it flowed on the place where a maayaa-gomaata fell. Many great rushis like Vasishtha and Bharadvaaja, with thier Tapobalam, did vistaaram of Godaavarii. There are many Shiva-Keshava kshetras on Godaavarii-nadii-tiiram.

Morals in the story:

  1. The importance of Krutagnyata, Kshama and Loka-shrayam are well shown by Gautama maharshi.
  2. Story shows what downfall can one durgunam like asuuya or Krutaghnata can bring even to great people. The muni-patnis and the munis coming under the influence of asuuya and iirsha even forgotKrutagnyata to Gautama maharshi.
  3. The importance of atithi-seva and anna-daanam is well shown by Gautama-Ahalya. They everyday used to grow vegetables, rice etc., cook and then serve them to the needy.
  4. Even though Gautama maharshi was driven away by the munis, he came back to ask them advice on what praayashchittam needs to be done. This shows how much importance one must give to aachaara-saampradaayas.

Search Terms: Gauthama, Gouthama, Goutama, Gowthama. Gowtama, Vighneshwara, Vinayaka, Ganapathi, Ganesh, Vighneshvara, Godavari, Gowtami, Goutami, Gouthami, Gowthami, Gauthami, Gautami

Published in: on August 3, 2006 at 4:03 pm  Comments (1)  

Story of the famous Pravara

In Aruṇāspadam, once upon a time, there used to be a brāhmaṇa gṛhastha by name Pravara. He used to do atithi-abhyāgata seva always. He had great interest in doing Tīrtha-yātras. He used to give ātithyam to people who returned from Tīrtha-yātras and know the Yātra-viśeṣhas from them. Once a great Siddha, who in a very young age did many Tīrtha-yātras, came to Pravara.

Pravara gave atithyam to him, did satkāram and asked him how he was able to travel so many Divya-kṣhetras at such a young age. The Siddha told him that he had a Divya Pāda-lepanam with him which can take him to whatever place he wants to go in no time. The Siddha gave Pravara the Pāda-lepanam and went away. Pravara did all his nityānuṣhṭhānas, did all the work needed to be done for his Māta-Pita, others, gave the responsibility of atithi satkāram etc. to his wife Sahanaśīli, took the anujña of his parents and with the saṅkalpam of returning back by the time of Sāyam-sandhya, he started to see the Divya Siddha-pradeśas, Kṣhetras in the great Himālayas using the Pāda-lepanam.

From the Ākāśa-mārgam itself he saw the great Himālayas, the puṇya ṇadīs, Tīrthas. The sounds of the flows of water were like mṛdaṅga-dhvani and the peacocks (mayūra) responded to the dhvani by dancing, with their feathers open. He saw, with surprise, the female elephants shaking the huge trees with their trunks, in the forests. Āha! The beauty of the Himālayas can it be explained by Brahmadeva Himself? Due to the Sūrya ātapam snow used to melt and fall on the heated Sūryakānta maṇis and immediately evaporate with “chisss” sounds. Knowing that it became Madhyāhnam, he thought that it was enough for that day and he can return the next day to continue his Yātra.

But Pravara was not able to move. He realized that the Pāda-lepanam got melted in the ice-water. He became a niśceṣhṭa. He thought “O Bhagavān! What strong Karma-pāśam? With the help of Siddha I came such a great distance from my house. Where is Aruṇāspadam and where is this place. Why did I act in haste, without thinking much?” He became sad thinking about his parents, who would search his entire village if they dont see him for a minute. “What will be the situation of my Bhārya, who follows me like a shadow? How sad will my Śiṣhyas be not seeing me? Who will do the necessary arrangements for Atithi-abhyāgata satkāras? What about the nityāgnihotras? Even my nitya-anuṣhṭHānas will be stopped is it? O Bhagavān! No one else must face a situation like this” thought Pravara. Seeing Pravara, a Gandharva kanya by name Varūdhinī came and tried to do attract Pravara. Not knowing what to do Pravara maintained maunam. One side was Varūdhinī who was doing Śruṅgāra-ceṣhṭas and on the otherside it was getting time for his nityānuṣhṭhānas.

As the Sūrya-bhagavān started to set, Pravara thought his jīvitam is becoming vyartham. He got bhrānti and thought “is all these days of my Anuṣhṭhānas be waste?” Believing in Agnideva — manasā, vācā, karmaṇā; Pravara, the nityāgnihotra, controlled Varūdhinī, with dṛḍha saṅkalpam of doing his Anuṣhṭhānas, said “if I really do all my duties, follow the path of Dharma and am I nityānuṣhṭhāna-tatpara then may the Agnideva show me the way”.

The next moment Pravara was in his house at Aruṇāspadam. He did kṛtajñatas to Karmasākṣhi, Agnideva and brought back happiness to all his family members.

Morals in the story:

  1. Dharmo Rakṣhati RakṣhitaH. Since Pravara firmly followed his Dharmam, he was saved from the difficult situation.
  2. The importance of Atithi seva is well shown by Pravara.
  3. Samyayam and self-control of Pravara is well displayed when he did not, even a little bit, get attracted to Varūdhinī.

Search Terms: Pravarakhya, Pravaraakhya, Varudhini, Varuudhini, Himalaya, Arunaspadam

Published in: on July 5, 2006 at 7:12 pm  Comments (13)  

The King’s Daiva-Prārthana

Once upon a time Śūrasena used to rule Mathura. He once got separated from the rest of his army, when he went for Mṛgayāvihāram. At last he reached one small remote village and it was night. Hence we went to a house for āśrayam. A farmer couple used to live in that house and on seeing the King, they gave ātithyam to him with great affection. May be they were people who really believed that “Atithi devo bhava”. Even though they did not know who the King was, they cooked food for him and arranged a very comfortable bed for the King. Seeing their Atithi seva, the King felt very happy. The next day while leaving their place, the King gave his Rāja-mudrika to them and said “please do meet me in case you need something”. The farmer couple did not notice that it was a Rāja-mudrika and kept it safely somewhere.

Once after many years, there was a durbhikṣham and the life of a farmer became miserable. Same was the case with the farmer couple. Not knowing what to do, they remembered the mudrika given by the King and went to him. The gaurds took them to the King, who was doing Daiva-Prārthana at that time. They heard the King saying “O Bhagavan! give me siri-sampada, ratna-māṇikyas …”. Getting Virakti, they left the place. After his pūja, King enquired about the farmer couple and ordered his gaurds to bring them back. Not having another way, the couple came back to the King. The King asked them why they went away without asking for anything. The couple replied “We came for yācana to you, turned back on hearing that you were doing the same with God”. Knowing the inner meaning in the couple’s words, the King spent the dhanam in his kośāgāram for the benefit of the suffering people and saved them from their difficulties.

Morals in the story:

  1. Do we go to the Meru parvatam and ask for small pebbles? Similary Bhagavat-Prāthana must not be done for mere Aihika Vāñchas.
  2. The importance of Atithi seva is well shown by the farmer couple. They gave ātithyam to the King and did whatever sevas they could, though they did not know who he was.
  3. One must never forget the sūkti “Paropakārārtham idam śarīram”.
Published in: on June 23, 2006 at 4:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Story of the great Nāḍī Jaṅgha

Once upon a time in Naimiśāraṇyam, Śaunaka-ādi munis requested the great Pourāṇikottama, Sūta, to tell the Kṛtajñata-Dharma Vaibhavam. Sūta māhāmuni told the following story:

Kṛtajñata is a great sat-guṇam. Not forgetting a favour done is the minimum one can do. Kṛtajñata is one of the such Dharmas, where following the Dharmam does not carry any special Puṇya, but not following will give mahāpāpam. Saying thus, Sūta muni continued:

Once there lived a brāhmaṇa, a Kāśyapavamśajāta. But, he left his svadharmam and lived like a kirātaka in some forest. Everyday he used to hunt animals and lead a himsa-maya jīvanam. He was a māmsa-bhakṣhaka and had his interests in doing many other durita-kāryas. A person who believes that Indriya-sukhas are Paramārtham, runs behind viṣhayas and vañchas, always will want to earn more and more. To satisfy his vañchas, he dares to go against Dharmam and Nyāyam. A person who does not have Daiva-bhīti and Pāpa-bhīti not only does immense harm to himself, but also to the society.

Once he went to deśāntaras along with some vartakas for earning more money (in his durāśa). On their way, they reached a durgama parvata śreṇi. Meanwhile, a madagajam came running and chased them away. Each of them ran for their life and the kāśyapavamśajāta got separated from others and reached a still more gahana durgama-sthalam. He did not know how to get back to his svasthalam. He searched a lot for a way and finally reached the shade of an Aśvattha vṛkṣham, tired and exhausted.

On the top of the Vṛkṣham lived a mahābaka by name Nāḍī Jaṅgha (see this story too). He was not an ordinary baka. He had a mahākāyam and had Dharma-adharma vicakṣhaṇa, sambhāṣhaṇā sāmarthyam. He was the mitra of Lord Brahma and hence used to once in a while go and come to Brahmalokam. The Dharmajña, Nāḍī Jaṅgha, saw the exhausted human reaching the shade of the Vṛkṣham and gave sādara-ātithyam to him. He asked "O mahātma! who are you? Where are you coming from and heading to?". The brāhmaṇādhama told how he got lost and the reason for his exhaustion. With sānubhūti-vacanas, Nāḍī Jaṅgha invited the patita. He offered sweet water, very tasty food and with his big wings fanned air for him. Nāḍī Jaṅgha, seeing that it is dark, said "O mahānubhāva! You have now become a mitra of mine. So it is my kartavyam to remove your dāridryam and duhkham. Near to this place stays my priya mitra, Virūpākṣha, a King of the Rākṣhasas. He is a Dharmātma, has Madhuvrajam as his rājadhāni and lives 3 yojanas away from here. If you go to him and tell him that I have sent you, he will give you many dhana-ratnas. Tomorrow morning you can leave for his place, please take rest in my place for tonight". Nāḍī Jaṅgha prepared a kusuma-śayya and gave undisturbed sleep for the brāhmaṇādhama by guarding him all night from wild animals.

The patita brāhmaṇa left for Virūpākṣha's place the next day morning and was taken with great respect to the king by the rakṣhaka bhatas, on hearing the name of Nāḍī Jaṅgha. A person's ācāras, Dharmādharmas, bhāvas clearly appear in his ākṛti. A Dharmātma can easily see these in a person. Also being a King, Virūpākṣha immediately recognized that the brāhmaṇa was a bhraṣhṭa. However, since he was sent by his mitra, Nāḍī Jaṅgha, the king did many great satkāras to the brāhmaṇa. In a suvarṇa sthālikā he offered good food, gave him many kinds of dhana-ratnas and sent him away. Not able to carry the huge dhana-rāśis, the pāpātma planned to take rest at Nāḍī Jaṅgha's place on his way back. As usual, Nāḍī Jaṅgha offered him ātithyam and requested him to take rest in his place for the night.

The patita brāhmaṇa woke up in the mid-night and saw Nāḍī Jaṅgha, who was near by. Seeing the well-built baliṣhṭa deham of Nāḍī Jaṅgha, the durātma got a durbuddhi. Our style of living determines our ālocanas. Because the patita always had himsa in his mind, his ālocanas were pāpa-bhūyiṣhṭhas. He did not see a mahātma who gave him ātithyam and ājīvana-dhana sampadas in Nāḍī Jaṅgha; instead he saw a mouth-watering meal. He thought that Nāḍī Jaṅgha will be a great meal for his next days exhaustive journey. He immediately took a big stick and banged Nāḍī Jaṅgha and killed him. The kṛtaghna removed the baka's feathers, fried the māmsam and took it in his bag. Virūpākṣha, being a priya mitra of Nāḍī Jaṅgha, woke up abruptly from his sleep and started worrying about him. He ordered his rakṣhaka-bhatas to see if Nāḍī Jaṅgha was alright. He immediately ordered the bhatas to bring the kṛtaghna, on learning what happened. Seeing the patita, the King ordered "O Rākṣhasas! Cut this fellow into pieces and eat him. Since you are Rākṣhasas you can eat nara-māmsam". The sevakas replied "Kṣhama mahārāja! We cannot even smell the māmsam of this kṛtaghna". Saying this, they offered the māmsam to dogs, which also did not touch it.

Our bhāvas, karmas go into the aṇu-paramāṇus of our śarīram and carry on to many janmas. This is why our Dharma-śāstras always warn us to do sat-karmas and have sat-bhāvam. Meanwhile, the sad Virūpākṣha did the kriya-karmas for Nāḍī Jaṅgha, to provide him with sat-gatis. Knowing the sad news, Brahmadeva brought back the life of Nāḍī Jaṅgha, using the Amṛta-kṣhīram of Kāmadhenu. Seeing his friend, Nāḍī Jaṅgha, Virūpākṣha was very happy and explanied him all the story. Nāḍī Jaṅgha became very sad on hearing that his mitra, the patita brāhmaṇa was killed!! He requested his priya mitra, Brahmadeva to give back the life of the brāhmaṇa. Brahmadeva, surprised seeing the mahaudaryam of Nāḍī Jaṅgha, gave back the life of the durātma. Nāḍī Jaṅgha gave back all the sampadas to the kṛtaghna and sent him off. The patita went away happily without having any kind of paścāttāpam.

Sūta muni continued: That pāpātma will not have any niṣhkṛti. Now he was saved by the audāryam and karuṇārdra-hṛdayam of Nāḍī Jaṅgha, but this mahāpāpam will carry over to his janma-janmāntaras. Because he has to experience the entire pāpa phalitam he did not even have paścāttāpam (If he had, then pāpam may be will reduce). One must have done atleast some minimum puṇyam to get paścāttāpam. Any pāpam might have a niṣhkṛti, but not kṛtaghnata. That too a mitra-droham is a mahāpātakam.

Brahmadeva gave āśīrvādam to Nāḍī Jaṅgha saying "because you are a śreṣhṭha Dharmācāri you will be known as 'Rājadharma'. Even devatas will do namaskāras for your Dharma-svabhāvam and kṣhamā guṇam".

Morals in the story:

1. Importance of kṛtajñatādharmam is well illustrated in the story.
2. Mitra-droham and kṛtaghnata will lead to mahāpāpas, which do not have any niṣhkṛti.
3. Nāḍī Jaṅgha taught us great sat-guṇas like atithi seva, mitra-lābham, karuṇa and kṣhama.
4. The importance of following once own svadharmam is well shown in the story. The patita brāhmaṇa left his svadharma and took to paradharmam. He did lot of himsāyuta-pāpakāryas without any daivabhīti or pāpabhīti.

Search Terms: Nadijangha, Nadi Jangha, Virupaksha, krutagnyata, kshama

Published in: on June 18, 2006 at 5:07 pm  Comments (4)  
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