This Dharma-rahasya katha, known as “Pitrutiirtha Katha”, was first told by Mahaavishnu to Vena-chakravarti, then to Shaunaka-aadi munis by Shri Suuta Muni.
In the pavitra-punya-kshetram, Kurukshetram, there used to be a Viprottama by name “Kundala”. His putra was a gunavanta by name “Sukarma”. Doing seva of his Maata-pita, who were very old, was his Vratam. He got sakala-samruddhi by doing Pitru-seva.
At that time, “Pippala” did ghora-Tapas for 3000 years, being a Jitaahaari, Jitamatsara and Jitendriya. Devatas did pushpa-varsham seeing his divya-tapas. Pippala asked the Devatas to make him a Vidyaadhara. He also asked to make the Vishvam his aadhiinam. Devatas granted him the Varam, he was made a Vidyaadhara and whatever he wanted used to be in his Vasham.
However Pippala thought there is no one to match him and got antar-Garvam. Once seeing the antar-Garvam of Pippala, a Saarasa-pakshi came near him and said “O Dvija! Why are you having so much Garvam? Garvam will lead to your downfall. You dont have the proper gnyaanam to make Vishvam into your Vasham. This is because you dont know ‘Arvaachiina-Paraachiina’ gnyaanam.
Sukarma, the putra of Kundala, knows about Arvaachiina-Paraachiina and hence this entire Vishvam is in his Vasham. Indeed there is no one to match Sukarma in the Bhuulokam. He is a Pitru-Maatru-sevaarata, Punyaatma, Vignyaani. What gnyaanam that the baalaka, Sukarma has, you also dont have. So leave this useless Garvam”.
Not liking these words Pippala replied “Who are you? Why are you doing my ninda. Are you Brahma, Vishnu or Maheshvara? Can you tell me what is Arvaachiinam-Paraachiinam?”. Saarasa-pakshi replied “I am not going to tell. Come with me to Sukarma, he will tell you”. Both of them reached Sukarma’s house:
Pippala saw the Punyaatma, Sukarma, who was doing Paada-seva of his Maata-Pita. Sukarma did Yathaavidhi Atithi satkaaram to Pippala and answered his question. (He told Pippala that the Saarasa-pakshi is Brahmadeva and explained what is Vishvaavasham and Arvaachiinam-Paraachiinam)
Pippala, surprised, asked Sukarma how he got so much gnyaanam. Sukarma replied “I did not do any Tapas nor Shariira-shoshanam. I didnt do any Vratas. I only know one thing — Maata-Pita seva and puuja:
- I do snaanam with the water which my maata-pita use for snaanam. This gives me Bhaagiirathii-snaana phalam.
- By doing Jananii-janaka puuja, one gets phalam of doing all Yaagams and doing Veda-pathanam.
- The place where Maata-pita of a bhaktiyukta putra live, are equal to Ganga, Gaya-kshetram, Pushkara-tiirtham.
- The putra who gives Mrushta-annam and satisfies his Maata-Pita, will get Ashvamedha Yaaga phalam.
- There is no tiirtham in Iham or Param, which is greater than Maata-pita.
- A place where Maata-pita are worshipped, there sarva-Devatas will be worshipped.
- One can do poshana of Trijagas by doing Pitru-sushruusha.
- A putra, whose character/nature/sadgunams gives happiness to parents, is one who follows all Dharmas.
- A Putra who eats Mrushta-annam before (without giving) his Maata-pita is a paapi.
- A putra who does ninda of Maata-pita will have to experience 1 crore janmams as a Grudhra (vulture)”.
We must always give santosham to our Maata, not make her angry. We know how the great Sarpa-kumaaras (one kind of snakes) had to die in the Sarpa-yaagam, due to Maatru-shaapam. We know how great is ‘Puuru’, who gave happiness to Yayaati and what difficulties other sons like Yadu had to face because of Yayaati-shaapam.
We also know how Upamanyu and Dhruva, in childhood only, got Iishvara darshanam and Vishnu darshanam respectively. This was because they listened to their Maata. Karna got ananta-kiirti due to his Maata, Raadha, seva. Arjuna too got Vijayam due to his Maatru-vaakya-paalanam.
Maata is tiirtham. Pita is Guru. After taking their permission only a putra must attend to other Dharmas. I got all this gnyaanam only through Maata-pita seva. You also do Pitru-sushruusha”. Feeling bad for his unnecessary Garvam, and Agnyaanam Pippala went away.
Morals in the story:
- Importance of Maata-Pita seva is well shown by Sukarma. He achieved more gnyaanam than a Vidyaadhara (who is supposed to know all Vidyas), just by doing Maata-Pita seva.
- Garvam, Dambham and Ahankaaram lead to one’s downfall. Hence we must always have Vinayam. We must remember that there will always be someone greater than us. Brahmadeva told Pippala, who had Garvam that he had Vishva-vashitvam, that Sukarma had greater gnyaanam.