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:
- Dharmo Rakṣhati RakṣhitaH. Since Pravara firmly followed his Dharmam, he was saved from the difficult situation.
- The importance of Atithi seva is well shown by Pravara.
- 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