Perhaps there will be no Bhaarateeya who did not hear about “Bhartruhari Subhaashitaani”. He was the Bhraata of the great Vikramaaditya maharaja. He was a great Samskruta kavi. In addition to Subhaashita-Ratnaavali, he wrote divya granthas like: “Vaakyapradeepam” (a vyaakarana grantham), “Raahata kaavyam”, “Kaarika” (Pantanjala mahabhaashya vyaakarana ruupam).
Vararuchi, Vikramaaditya, Bhatti and Bhrartruhari were the priya-putras of Keshava Sharma. Bhrartruhari was made the King and he did Raajya-paalana around 135 years before Shaalivaahana Shakam. From childhood, Bhartruhari was always interested in Saadhu, Sajjana seva.
Once a poor Braahmana in Bhrartruhari’s Raajyam did upaasana of Bhuvaneshvarii Maata. He knew sakala mantra-shaastras. Bhuvaneshvarii devi appeared before him and gave him a divya-phalam and said that whoever eats this phalam will not have jaraa-maranam (will not become old and be immortal). The Braahmana thought like this “I am a poor Braahmana. What rakshana of others can I do even by living for long. Anyway since I am Braahmana, I must do Bhiksha-aatana and eat. If I give this to the Raaja, he can do great seva to the praja and do their Rakshana”. Thinking like this he went to Bhartruhari and gave his aashiirvaadam, the divya-phalam and told its Mahima.
However Bhartruhari gave it to his priyaa, Anangasena. She in turn gave it to her priya-sakha, an ashva-poshaka. The ashva-poshaka gave the divya-phalam to his daasi and she in turn gave to her priya, a Gopaalaka. The Gopaalaka gave the divya-phalam to his priyatama. She kept it in the basket in which she was carrying cattle-dung and was going through Raaja-viidhi to her house. To his surprise Bhrartruhari saw that the divya-phalam finally reached in such a place. He called her and got to know the entire story.
Knowing what had happened, he got Virakti on samsaaram. He realized that everything is mithya and Bhagavat-bhakti is only shaashvatam. He then left for the aranyas to do Tapas, giving the Divya-phalam to Vikramaaditya. Aaha! Vidhi is great. Finally the phalam reached the person who deserved it.
Bhartruhari then wrote Neetishatakam, Shrugaarashatakam and Vairaagyashatakam. He spent the rest of his life as a Viraagi doing Daiva-dhyaanam. Once, taking pity on an old Braahmana, Vikramaaditya gave away the divya-phalam to him!
रत्नैर्महार्हैस्तुतुषुर्न देवा न भेजिरे भीम-विषेण भीतिम्।
सुधां विना न परयुर्विरामं न निश्चितार्थाद्विरमन्ति धीराः॥
— भर्तृहरेः नीतिशतकम्
ratnairmahārhaistutuṣurna devā na bhejire bhīma-viṣeṇa bhītim |
sudhāṁ vinā na parayurvirāmaṁ na niścitārthādviramanti dhīrāḥ||
— bhartṛhareḥ nītiśatakam
Morals in the story:
- Paropakaara buddhi of Bhaarateeyas is well shown in this story through the Braahmana who did upaasana of Bhuvaneshvarii devi and the great Vikramaaditya maharaja.
- The Braahmana showed us what is Nishkaama Bhakti. Though Bhuvaneshvarii devi gave him the divya-phalam, he gave it to the King, who can protect many more.
- Saadhu, Sajjana seva, respecting elders are great sadgunas. Bhartruhari was always interested in them.
Search Terms: Bharthruhari, Vikramaditya, Vikramarka, Vikramaarka, Bhuvaneshwari, Bhuvaneshvari