Shri Krishna Paramaatma’s Deekshaaguru was Upamanyu. His father was Vyaaghrapaada maharshi. Vyaaghrapaada maharshi was an akunthita Shiva deekshaapara and a Shiva bhakti paraayana. He was a shadkaala Shivapuuja-dhurandhara. Vyaaghrapaada Brahmarshi used to goto the aranyas and carefully collect Bilva-dalas, vividha-kusumas, with a lot of prema, for Shiva puuja.
Once Sadaashiva, the Bhaktavatsala, gave His durlabha darshanam to Vyaaghrapaada maharshi. Parama Shiva asked the Brahmarshi to ask for abhiishtam. Vyaaghrapaada maharshi replied “nirantara Shiva bhakti is enough for me”. He had nirmala, nishkaama, nishchala Bhakti on Parameshvara. However Parama Shiva insisted the Brahmarshi to ask for something.
With that Vyaaghrapaada maharshi replied “Karunaamaya! I get Divyaanandam doing Your puuja. Collecting vividha-kusumas, dalas for Your puuja, using them for Your archana — these things give immense aanandam to me. When I try to collect these Vana-dravyas, huge thorns and sharp stones prick and cause pain to me. So make my paadas as kathinam as a Vyaaghra’s”. (In Aadhyaatma tattvam, Vyaaghram represents Moksham) Parama Shiva, with a chiru-mandahaasam, replied “tathaastu”. Vishveshvara was happy with the avyaaja-prema of the Bhakta. Thus the Brahmarshi got the name Vyaaghrapaada.
The great Chidambara Kshetram is known as “Vyaaghrapuri” or “Puliyuur” because Vyaaghrapaada maharshi did Shiva-upaasana here and saw the Divya Shiva Taandavam here. He is the Mantra-drashta of many Mantras in Rug-vedam. The great Paandavas were from Vaiyaaghrapada-gotram, for which Vyaaghrapaada maharshi is the Pravataka.
For Loka-shrayas and to protect Sanaata-Dharmam, Vyaaghrapaada maharshi also wrote “Vyaaghrapaada-smruti”. One can learn about Yuga-dharmas, Aashrama-dharmas, Pinda pradaana – Pitru tarpana Mahaatmyam, Teertha-Kshetra praashastyam, Shraaddhaadi Vignyaanam, Abhisheka, Snaana vidhis etc., by reading this Mahaa-grantham:
- On seeing a Deva-pratima, a Yati, a Sanyaasi, immediately one must do Namaskaaram. If one doesnt then praayashchittam is required.
- When doing Namaskaaram one must do Yathaavidhi by folding both the hands. If one does with one hand, then he will loose all the Punyam which he earned in that janma.
Like this many simple, nevertheless important things are discussed in this Shaastram.
Morals in the story:
- Nishkaama bhakti is what we all need to have. Vyaaghrapaada maharshi showed us that it is this which will impress Parameshvara, not Bhakti with Svaartham.
- Importance of respecting, doing Namaskaaram to Deva-pratima, Yati, Sanyaasi and elders is well shown in the story.
Search Terms: Vyaghrapada, Vyaghrapaada, Siva, Bilvam