The mahonnata divya aadarshaas of Indians have always surprised everyone. Kalyaanam — Gruhastaashramam is one of the aspects of Bhaarateeya saampradaayam that show the aadarsha bhaavaas of Indians. According to our saampradaayam, Kalyaanam has two main motives:
- The main aim of Kalyaanam is to provide the society great individuals, who by never deviating from the path of Dharma and Truth, act as great resources and help their fellow humans and other living creatures.
- The other is to provide the Pitrudevataas a putra who saves them from punnaama narakaas (the very meaning of putra is one who saves from all narakaas that start with 'pu' aksharam) and to provide satgatis to them after leaving their physical body.
Like many great Bhaarateeyas, Jaratkaaru and Devala maharshis did Kalyaanam only to provide satgatis for their Pitrudevataas (and not for the sukhaas and bhogaas). Once upon a time, there was a great maharshi by name Jaratkaaru. He was always involved in following ghora vrataas, japaas and tapaas. He followed tapassvaadhyaayam, brahmacharyam very firmly and was never interested in samsaara bhogaas. He spent many years like this. Once he while going through a forest, saw some shallow waters and a small rat hole. In the rat hole, making a small grass shoot as support, hanging in inverted positions and taking only aaditya-kiranaas as aahaaram, some rushis were doing tapas. Seeing them, he asked them who they were and other details. They replied "What to tell about our poor state? In our vamsham there is a person by name Jaratkaaru. Because of him we are in this poor state. There is no one to send us to uttama-lokas. Here lives a rat by name Kaala (represents the Kaala, Yamadharmaraaja). He in course of time is consuming all shoots of this plant and now only this shoot is left. If that also is taken away by Kaala, we will have to go to adho-lokas. If you by any chance meet Jaratkaaru, please tell him our poor state and ask him to help us." Jaratkaaru then replied to them "Many namaskaaraas O pitrudevatas. I am only Jaratkaaru. Till now I never had samsaarechcha. But seeing your state I have decided to do Kalyaanam". He did his Kalyaanam with Jaratkaaruu, the younger sister of Vaasuki. Jaratkaaru and Jaratkaaruu lead their samsaaram happily, without being involved in any materialistic aspects of it and helped their Pitrudevatas.
Mahaabhaartam, written by Veda Vyaasa in three years with the help of Lord Ganesha, has 60 lakh shlokaas. Only 1 lakh shlokaas were brought to earth by Shri Vyshampaayana, the Shishya of Vyaasa Bhagawaan. The rest were propagated in different lokas — Naarada maharshi propagated It in Devalokam, Devala maharshi in Pitrulokam, Shri Shuka maharshi, the son of Veda Vyaasa, in Garuda, Gandharva, Yaksha, Raakshasa lokas and Shri Sumanta in Naagalokam. Devala maharshi was the son of Pratyuusha and was the shishya of Vyaasa.
Once when Devala maharshi went for teertha-yaatraas and was taking bath in Ganga doing Vishu dhyaanam, his Pitrudevatas appeared and asked him to save them from punnaama narakaas. They said "because of Brahmacharyam Rushi-runam will be returned and due to Agnihotraadi kaaryaas the Devataa-runam will be returned. A sat-santaanam can return the Pitru-runam. So please help us". Devala maharshi did namaskaars to them and replied "O Pitrudevataas! I have become old. How is it possible for me to do Kalyaanam now?" Pitrudevataas replied "Brahma created the daughter of Kaundinya muni for you only. Please ask Kaundinya for her". Devala maharshi then married her and saved his Pitrudevataas through his daughter Suvarchala. However, they were never interested in the bhogaas and lead life with Vairaagyam. Devala maharshi, due to his Pitru Bhakti, was chosen by Veda Vyaasa as the propagator of MahaaBhaarata aamnaayam in Pitru lokas.
Morals in the story:
- In the Bhaarateeya saampradaayam, Kalyaanam is mainly for providing the society great individuals and for helping Pitrudevataas. This story shows the unnata bhaavaas of Bhaarateeyas who do karma, but selflessly and without being involved in the materialistic aspects of it.
- The Pitru-Bhakti of Jaratkaaru and Devala maharshis is clearly portrayed in the story.
Ofcourse the story does not apply to Sanyaasis, who take the permission of their parents/elders before entering Sanyaasaashramam, and great people like Bhishmaachaarya, who had the consent of his father to live not having santaanam. Also, the motive 1 shows why our Indian education system was so intense and difficult. After all one must provide the society with an individual who follows the path of Truth and Dharma.