(We recommend readers to read all previous morals before reading this story (Bhakti is main theme). This story is very deep and must be analyzed carefully with the help of elders.)
In ancient times, there used to live a brahmana by name Aatmadeva. He was a Pandita and was very rich. His wife’s name was Dhundhuli. Aatmadeva was very sad because they did not have santanam. One day when he was sitting under a tree thinking about santanam, he saw a Sanyasi and approached him to ask for a way to get santanam. The Sanyasi replied “O Viprottama! Sukha-duhkhas are a result of your previously done karma. Instead of being sad please turn your mind towards God. Do Bhagavannaama-smaranam”. Aatmadeva said “Mahatma! Please dont do these kinds of Hita-bodha to me. Please tell me a way to get santanam, else before your eyes I will do Praana-tyagam”.
Seeing the strong will of Aatmadeva, the Sanyasi gave him a phalam and said “if your arthangi eats this – you will have santanam”. Aatmadeva was happy and gave the phalam to Dhundhuli and told her what happened.
Dhundhuli had dushta-svabhaavam. She was afraid of the pains of garbha-dhaaranam etc. and gave the phalam to their cow. However she took the word from her sister, who was a garbhavati, to give her the child when she delivers. The sister kept her word and gave her child, Dhundhukaara, to Dhundhuli.
After three months, the cow gave birth to a human. All his body parts were like a human, but for the ears. Hence Aatmadeva named him Gokarna. In a very short period, Gokarna became a vidvan and a gnyaani. However Dhundhukaara became a thief, dushcharita and a vyabhichaari. Aatmadeva was very sad seeing the dushkarmas of Dhundhukaara. Gokarna did Upadesha to Aatmadeva and Aatmadeva left for the forests, did Bhagavannaama-smaranam and reached para-lokas.
Then Gokarna also left for Teertha-yatras. Dhundhukaara lavishly spent all his father’s money. Dhundhuli also lost her life when she fell into a well and this gave an oppurtunity for Dhundukaara to do whatever he wants. He had no one to control him. He brought 5 veshyas to his house. One day the veshyas killed him for money. Because of his dushkarma and because he had none to do his uttara-karma, Dhundhukaara became a Preta (Pishaachi).
Gokarna later returned from his Teertha-yatras. One day when he was sleeping, Dhundhukaara came in his preta-rupam and told his story. He requested Gokarna to tell him a way of getting out of his difficulties. Gokarna took the anugnya of Surya-Bhagavan and started Bhagavata-saptaaham in order to give vimukti to Dhundhukaara. Many people from the near-by villages also came to hear the madhura Bhaagavata Katha.
As soon as Gokarna started the Bhaagavata-pravachanam, sitting on a Vyaasa-vedika, Dhundhukaara settled in a Bamboo stick that had 7 holes and listened to him carefully. Because of listening to Bhaagavatam for 7 days, the 7 holes in the stick broke and Dhundhukaara left the preta-rupam and reached Kaivalyam. Once, after this, in Shraavana maasam, Gokarna did Shrimadbhaagavata katha-pravachanam again and because of this, all the shrotas and Gokarna reached Vaikuntham.
Morals in the story:
- The Bhaagavata Saptaaha Mahaatmyam is well shown in the story. Especially in Kaliyugam, Bhagavannaama-smaranam is the easiest way for Kaivalyam. This is what even the Sanyasi tells Aatmadeva and later Gokarna also.
- The importance of uttara-karma and other such aacharas is shown in the story.
- Dhundhuli even though had a chance to utilize the divya phalam given by the Sanyasi, did not use it because of her dushta-svabhaavam. Dushtas dont even utiize the adrushtam that comes to them. They instead will be sad that everyone else has adrushtam but not them.
- We must be careful and be away from the durgunas that Dhundhukaara had. Such durgunas completely destroy the people having them.
Search Terms: Bhagavatham, Bhagavatam, Bhaagavatham, Sapthaaham, Saptaham