Shri Gautama maharshi -1

Gautama maharshi is one of the Brahma-maanasa-putras and is one of the great Saptarishis. Gautama maharshi is a mantra-drashta and gave us the famous “Gautama Smruti” in which he showed us many Dharma-sutras. Proving the Shodasha (16) Padaarthas like Pratignya, Hetu, Udaaharana, he wrote a Nyaayashaastram too. He gave us the Jyotishshaastra Grantham by the name “Gautama Samhita”. Sitadevi’s gotram is Gautama gotram only!

Once Brahmadeva did srushti of Ahalya (Na halyati iti Ahalya. She lacked nothing). She was a divya Soundarya Murty. Brahmadeva wondered who derserved to be the Bharta of this apuurva Gunavati. He decided that a person with Akhanda Teevra Brahmacharya Nishtha and Nigraham can only be her Bharta and saw that Gautama maharshi was the one. He decided to test the Indriya Nigraham of Gautama maharshi. He came to Gautama maharshi’s aashramam and said “she is Ahalya. I will leave her in your aashramam. I will come back after some time”. Many years passed and since Gautama maharshi was a Samyami and his manas was always with Brahma (hence a Brahmachaari), he never even had faint skhalanam seeing Ahalya. Gautama maharshi, the parama Shiva Bhakta, easily passed the test of Brahmadeva. Brahmadeva then did Kalyaanam of Gautama maharshi and Ahalya. Their’s was an aadarsha daapatyam. They lived in Brahmagiri, which is in Dakshina-Bhaaratam.

Unlike modern technology, which tries to exploit Nature, our Bhaarateeya Vignyaanam explians ways how to use Nature without disturbing the Nature’s eco-system. Combining Bhautika Vignyaanam and Aadhyaatmika Vignyaanam is the speciality of Bhaarateeya maharshis. Gautama maharshi was a master of Bhuu, Jala, Vyavasaaya Shastras. Gautama maharshi, once for Kshaama-nivaaranam did Tapas for Varunadeva and made a reservoir filled with Akshayajalam. Shiva Puraanam tells that with this Jalam, many lands become fertile: (here goes the story)

Once a Kshaamam came and life of people became difficult. Except Yogis everyone was running for their life. Gautama maharishi, who had karuna-svabhaavam, was not able to see the difficulties of the people. He decided to do Tapas for Varunadeva to ask him from rain. Varunadeva appeared and said “this is Kaala-niyamam. I cannot go against it. Kaala-karta, Parameshvara, only controls Pancha-bhuutas and Grahas. Doing anusandhaanam of Punya-Paapas of people, using Us, Parama Shiva controls Nature (Aadi Shakti). According to this I must not rain now. Ask Me anything else”. Gautama maharshi, who had loka-shreyas in mind, asked Varunadeva “if You are really satisfied with my Tapas, give me Akshajalam. Other than that I dont need anything”. Varunadeva replied “Gautama! I must give phalitam to your Tapas. I am bound to My Mantram. You dig a reservoir and I will put Akshyajalam in it. Dayaalu like you will do only Praja-kshemam. Jayostu”. Thus Gautama maharshi saved many people. Aadhaaram to this Prapancham are four: “a person who has Bhuutadaya, a person who has no garvam, a person who has upakaara-buddhi, a person who has Indriya Nigraham”.

The seva that Gautama maharshi did to Dakshina Bhaaratam and in particular to Aandra Pradesh is also memorable. Using his Vyavasaaya Shaastram and Godaavari he turned this land fertile. (We will see this story in detail in Shri Gautama maharshi -2). He also changed the course of Krishnaa-nadii-jalam, using his Tapas-shakti, and made still many more lands fertile.

Atithi-seva and Praja-sankshemam were the important Dharmas which Gautama maharshi showed us. One Sajjana/Dushta is enough to save/destroy a whole Vamsham. Many maharshi’s in Gautama maharshi’s Vamsham are Mantra-drashtas. Gautama maharshi and Ahalya’s putra was Shataananda, the Purohita of Janaka maharaja.

Gautama maharshi after making one place fertile used to shift to the next place. Like this many maharshis bless the place with their Tapas and move on. The aashramams used by such Divya-rushis later become Siddha-aashramams. Aditi and Kashyapa maharshi did Tapas for Mahaavishnu in Gautama maharshi’s aashramam and got Mahaavishnu as their child. Mahaavishnu was born to them as Vaamana, Shri Raama and Shri Krishna. (Kaushalya, Dasharatha; and Devaki-Vasudeva are Aditi, Kashyapa only)

Morals in the Story:

  1. Bhaarateeya Vignyaanam was always respecting the Nature, not destroying it. The importance they gave to Agriculture etc. is well shown in this story.
  2. The greatness of Samyamam, Brahmacharyam are well shown by Gautama maharshi.
  3. The paropakaara buddhi and Bhuutadaya of Gautama maharshi are well shown in the story.
  4. The greatness of Siddha-aashramams and Divya Kshetras is shown in the story. We are indeed very very lucky to be born in this Bhaarata Desham, where there are countless number of Punya-kshetras. “Mera Bhaarat Mahaan“.

Search Terms: Gauthama, Gowthama, Gouthama, Goutama, Gowtama, Indra

Published in: on July 26, 2006 at 6:21 pm  Comments (3)  


Once upon a time, in Kosala, there lived a brāhmaṇa by name Devadatta. Since he was not having santānam, he decided to perform the putrakāmeṣṭhi yāgam on the banks of Tamasā Nadi. Several great ṛṣhis were invited for the yāgam, such as Suhotra, Yājñavalkya, Bṛhaspati, Paila and Gobhila to preside over various aspects of the yāgam . Gobhila, whose expertise was in reciting the Sāmaveda, however, repeatedly committed errors in the mantrās, due to his failure to control his breathing. Angered by this, Devadatta accused Gobhila of spoiling the performance of the yāgam and called him a mūrkha.

Angered by Devadatta’s allegation, Gobhila retorted that he had been called a mūrkha without any justification and that the errors were caused only because he could not control his breaths. He further went on to curse Devadatta that he would beget a mūrkha as his son. Devadatta, realising his folly, apologised to the ṛṣhi for his haste and lamenting that it would be better to not have a son rather than have a mūrkha son! Gobhila ṛṣhi, moved by Devadatta’s pleas, said “Though the son would be a mūrkha, he will go on to become a māhakavi due to the grace of Mother Śakti.”

Following the completion of the yāgam, Devadatta’s wife Rohiṇī delivered a baby in due course of time. The boy, who was named Vuthadhya, was stupid, by virtue of the curse and could learn nothing; soon everyone began to humiliate him calling him a mūrkha. Unable to put up with this, Vuthadhya left his father’s āśrama and repaired to the banks of the Ganga, where he practised a life of brahmacharyam and satyavratam. The only good thing that Vuthadhya knew was the importance of speaking the truth on all occassions. Even though he did not know to perform Veda-adhyayanam, Gāyatrī, japa, tapa, dhyānam, prāṇāyāma etc. he never left the practice of speaking the truth, leading to people giving him the appellation Satyavrata. He never did any good or harm to anyone; he remained docile and innocent, though dejected about his stupidity. He consoled himself that this must be due to the sins committed by him in his previous janmās. He spent fourteen years thus.

One day, while a vyādha was chasing a kanṭakaśreṇī mṛgam, it ran from the vyādha’s arrow to save its life, shouting ‘I’, ‘I’, ‘I’ , coming towards a bush near Satyavrata’s kuṭīr. Satyavrata was overcome by sympathy. Also, Satyavrata, on hearing the mṛgam' s cries, had begun mentally repeating, ‘I… I… I…’ in his mind. This, being the bījākṣara, whose recital brings the grace of Mother Śakti, Satyavrata immediately became enlightened. With the blessings of Goddess Sarasvatī, he became a mahākavi. When the vyādha asked as to the whereabouts of the mṛgam he was hunting, knowing fully well that Satyavrata would only say the truth, the enlightened Satyavrata spontaneously uttered the following śloka:

यः पश्यति न स ब्रूते यः ब्रूते स न पश्यति।
अहो व्याध! स्वकार्यार्थिन्! किं पृच्छसि पुनः पुनः॥

yaḥ paśyati na sa brūte yaḥ brūte sa na paśyati| aho vyādha! svakāryārthin! kiṁ pṛcchasi punaḥ punaḥ||

“That which sees does not speak. That which speaks does not see! Oh vyādha! Why do you keep questioning me?” (In other words, he said "I did not see the mṛgam with my mouth, please do not ask me repeatedly." )

Thus Satyavrata neither told the whereabouts of the mṛgam — thereby he did not become the reason for the killing of the mṛgam, nor he stopped the vyādha from having his meal, nor he spoke false.

Morals in the story:

  1. One must never deviate from path of truth. By practising satya-vāk-paripālanam firmly and with the Jñānam gained by the blessing of Sarasvatī devi, one can avoid speaking false even in difficult situations, like Satyavrata.
  2. Krodham even for a short while must be avoided, this is shown through Devadatta and Gobhila ṛṣhi's conversation.

Search Terms: Saraswathi, Porcupine

Published in: on June 6, 2006 at 6:00 pm  Comments Off on Satyavrata  

Draupadi, an ikon of a true Indian woman

Draupadi, the daughter of King Drupada, appears from the yagnyaagni as a full grown, in the bloom of her youth. One can observe that it is always Paramaatma who takes birth and avataaras (“Paritraanaaya sadhunam …”). However, always Yoga-Maaya (or Shakti) never takes birth, she just appears. It is the same case with Sita devi, Rukmini devi, Draupadi, Maatulungi etc. The following piece of story of draupadi shows the boundaries of following Dharma. May be none can be better!

Ashwatthaama, the chiranjeevi, does a daaruna krutyam after the Mahaabhaaratam. Unusual to his nature, He, without even little daya, beheads the sleeping babies of draupadi — the upa-paandavas. Draupadi realizes what happened. All her 10 sons, who were little baalakas, who were sleeping, who never did any kind of harm to Ashwatthaama and who cannot even react to the harm committed to them were lying in a pool of blood. Draupadi breaks down to tears and weeps in great sorrow. Arjuna very sad himself, consoles Her and says it does not look nice for a Veera maata to cry like this. He says that He will immediately avenge the act and kill Ashwatthaama. On killing him, she can take bath standing on his head. Immediately Lord Krishna and Arjuna set out on their Hanumadhdhvaja ratham to catch the fleeing Ashwatthaama.

Seeing that Arjuna is closing by his ratham and that his horses are a little exhausted, Aswaththaama sees Brahmaastra as the only way to save himself. Though not knowing the way of retrieving the astra, he immediately uses Brahmaastra on Arjuna, after stopping the ratham, doing aachamanam and purifying himself. Lord Krishna orders Arjuna to use Brahmaastra to counter Ashwatthaama’s. Arjuna also purifies himself, does achamanam, does a pradakshina to the Almighty and uses Brahmaastra. The two astras, one like Agni and the other like sun, fight each other and in no time the worlds start to burn under the influence of the astras. Krishna, the protector of the worlds, immediately orders Arjuna to take back both Astras, as only a Brahmachaari can take back a Brahmaastra!

Arjuna takes back both the Brahmaastras, showing clearly what a perfect Brahmachaari he was. Arjuna, who was the friend of the Askalita Brahmachaari Lord Krishna, obviously knows the shastras and the ways to maintain his Brahmacharyam, though married. Arjuna ties Ahswaththaama and takes him to Draupadi, like a Yagnya pashu is taken to the Yagnya shaala. The acts of Draupadi in this following episode make even Krishna praise Krishnaa (Draupadi) for her Dharma.

On seeing the killer of all her sons being brought by Arjuna, Draupadi, of the beauty of her nature out of compassion, does a namaskar to him and says as per the Vedas in the absence of the Guru, Guru-putra takes his place, so she is doing a namaskaar to Drona! It was unbearable for her having him brought being bound and she said: “Release him, for he is a brahmana, our Aacharya. Do not make his mother, Drona’s wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child”. Yudhishtira, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Saatyaki, Krishna and other queens supported the statements of Paanchaali as they were in accord with the principles of Sanaatana Dharma, of justice, merciful, without duplicity and glorious in equity. Krishna, amazed by the Dharmya vartana of Draupadi, praises her very much. However, Bhima also raised a valid point that a person who by nature has daya is a brahmana, is Ashwatthaama, who mercilessly killed the baalakas, worth being called one? Saying “surely death is the only punishment for such a person”, Bhima proceeds to kill Ashwatthaama, but the Lord, with His chaturbhuja’s stops Bhima and says the following with a smile:

Dhrmyam of Draupadi!

“The Guru-putra, a braahmana must not be killed – this both is by Me, certainly prescribed to be carried out abiding by the rules.” However, Arjuna has to keep to the truth as promised while pacifying his wife, and also act to the satisfaction of Bhima and Himself (by punishing the bad). So they remove the divya mani on the head of Ashwatthaama and remove his hair, as, for a veera, tonsuring is equivalent to killing him.

Morals in the story:

  1. The Dhramya vartana of Draupadi is well portrayed in the story. This shows us that, even at the time of great stress, sorrow, difficulty, one never must deviate from the path of truth, Dharma.
  2. Even though Ashwatthaama was great, in his momentary anger he committed an unpardonable crime. One must be very careful and need to think what is right and what is wrong before acting. This is what the pandavas do in the later part of the story, with the help of Krishna. They, though Kshattriyas, were not overwhelmed by revenge. They acted according to the words of Krishna, who is Dharma in human form.
  3. The importance given to keeping up one’s word is protrayed well. Arjuna promises Draupadi to kill Ashwatthaama, but according to Dharma is must not be killed. So they do an equivalent act of killing.
  4. The importance of cleanliness is also displayed. Both Ashwatthaama and Arjuna purify themselves, do aachamanam before chanting the mantras for Brahmaastra. They do this even when they were in such a great press for time.
  5. The power of Brahmacharyam is well shown through this story. Arjuna, who knew the Shatras, was a brahmachaari and hence could not only take back his, but Ashwatthaama’s astra too.
  6. The heart of a mother is well exposed when Draupadi comments “Do not make his mother, Drona’s wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child“. She knows the pain of loosing children, so did not want another mother to experience it!

Message to present society:

Being Kshatriyas, people with lot of Shauryam, Paandavas thought so much (analyzing what is Dharmam, what is adharmam) before avenging their son’s death. Now-a-days even films show people mercilessly killing each other in the name of revenge.

Published in: on May 15, 2006 at 7:47 pm  Comments (35)  

Stories of Bhaktas related to our Ancient Temples


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Moral Stories

A tribute to the great Bharatiya Samskruti.