Deepaka was a naishthika Brahmachari. He was once doing shastra-adhyayanam and saw this sentence — “For a pativrata, her bharta is the only Daivam. For a putra, his parents are only Devatas. For a shishya Guru is himself Parabrahma. There are no teerthas, vratas, upavaasas greater than Guruseva”. He immediately decided to approach a Guru, do seva to him and learn all shastras.
On the great Godavari-nadi-teeram, there used to be the ashramam of Vedadharya. He used to teach many shastras, Vedopanishats to his shishyas. Deepaka approached Vedadharya, did saashtaanga-pranaamam to him and asked him to accept him as a shishya. Seeing the Vinayam of Deepaka, Vedadharya accepted him as his shishya. Because of his Guruseva and interest in learning Vidya, Deepaka in no time learnt all shastras.
One day Vedadharya, seeing the Adhyaatmika Vidya-tejas in Deepaka, asked him “Vatsa! I did prayashchittam for my previous janma paapas. However two more paapas are left and they are very frightening. I must go to Kaashi Kshetram and do praayashchittam. In Kaashi the phalitam for a Karma will be 10 times. Hence I will go there and do aavaahana of these paapas. Then I will get dreadful diseases like leprosy, my body will be oozing blood and puss. I will get a ghora-rupam and become blind. My svabhaavam also will change: Saadhutvam will go and I will become a Kathinaatma. There will be no sahanam in me. In that pitiable situation can you help me and do my seva?”
Deepaka, who only had Guruseva in his mind, was very happy to do his Guruseva and said “Guruuttama! Since I am young, I will do the aavaahanam of the paapas and experience the leprosy, blindness etc.” Vedadharya replied “O my son Deepaka! One is responsible for his own paapas. They must be experienced by the karta only. It is not very difficult to experience it, the more difficult thing is to do seva to a paapa-piidita. You need a have a lot of sahanam”.
Deepaka and Vedadharya reached the great Kaashi Kshetram. They arranged a place for their living near Kamaleshvara Mahadeva Mandiram, which is to the North of Manikarnikaa-Ghat. After doing Kaashi Vishvanaatha, Jaganmaata Annapurna puja, Vedadharya did aavaahanam of the 2 previous janma paapas. He started suffering from the diseases as he explained before.
He had no sahanam and used to show it on Deepaka. Deepaka used to cry seeing the Dusthiti of his Guru. He used to take great care of his Guru: neatly wash his wounds, clean blood and puss, apply medicine, tie bandages. He even used to clean the mala-mutras and put new clothes for his Guru. He used to do Bhikshaatana and get food for his Guru. Vedadharya used to eat the whole of it and used to blame Deepaka for not bringing sufficiently more. Deepaka never used to get angry and without any viraamam and with great care he used to do his Guru’s seva.
One day, impressed by the Guruseva of Deepaka, Lord Vishveshvara appeared before him and said “Vatsa! Your Guruseva is amogham. Please ask me what you want”. With great aanandam Deepaka replied “Sarveshvara! In this world I dont know anything except my Guru. I will ask him after he wakes up from his sleep and tell you”. After Vedadharya woke, Deepaka told him what happened and asked him “I will go to Shiva and ask Him to heal you”. Vedadharya didnt accept and said “One must experience the result of his paapam. Then only they will be destroyed. Only in that I will have trupti”.
The next day, Deepaka went to Vishveshvara sannidhi and didnt ask for any varam. Seeing the Aadhyaatmika-saadhana of Deepaka, Parameshvara took him to Nirvaana-mandapam along with Parvati Devi. There Shrimannarayana and other Devatas were there. There Shiva told everyone about the Guruseva and Sevaasakti of Deepaka and praised him. Shrimannarayana said “Please tell Us your abhishtam. We are ready to grant it”. Deepaka did saashtaanga-vandanam and replied with gadgada svaram “Devaadideva! I never did your Naama-smaranam. Neither did I do your puja or archana. Why are you ready to give me varam?”.
“O Vatsa! Guruseva is equivalent to doing seva to all Devatas. Hence please ask Us what you want” said Shrimannarayana. “Then please grant me achanchala Guru-Bhakti” said Deepaka. All the Devatas were happy with Deepaka and granted him the same.
Morals in the Story:
- Guruseva is equivalent to seva to all Devatas. Deepaka, with his unparalled Guruseva, had the Durlabha-darshanam of all the Devatas.
- Vinayam, Guru-Bhakti and interest in learning are very important for a Vidyarthi. One who has these qualities can learn all shastras in no time, like Deepaka.
- One must experience the result of his paapam some or the other time. This was told by Vedadharya many times in the story. Hence one must be very careful not to do paapa-karyas.
Search Terms: Dipaka, Papam, prayashchittam, Kaasi, Kashi, Manikarnika