It is grīṣhmam. Sūrya deva, the emporer of the sky, is shining brightly and showing his pratāpam. In the sky are going two infant cātaka pakṣhis, along with their mother. The mother is desparately searching for a shade. Who else, than the mother, will know the needs of the babies? Bhūmāta is showing her mātṛtvam to the cātaka birds, by allowing a huge aśvattha (vaṭa) vṛkṣham to tear her śarīram and grow. The aśvattha vṛkṣham is providing āśrayam to thousands of life forms. The holes of its root, are the homes of pipīlikas and mūṣhikas. The dry trunks, holed by age, are being used by many sarpas. The wide branches are having immense variety of pakṣhis. If a normal vṛkṣham can be an ādhāram for such a large number of jīvas, to how many more can an uttama, in whose buddhi are deeply rooted good character, lakṣhyam, sādhana and dīkṣha, be an ādhāram for!!
May be knowing the value of sāmājika saha jīvanam or may be out of pure daya towards the tired cātaka birds, two small pakṣhi brothers are telling to their mother "Ho! Ayyo! It looks like those cātaka birds do not have a house. How sad." The mother thought "āha! Now is when my janma became worthwhile. My mātṛtvam now has a meaning. All my years of efforts and pain are not waste. My kids are able to realize the difficulties of others and are trying to be compassionate." They happily invited the cātaka birds on to the shade of the aśvattha vṛkṣham.
It is like a new chance for life for the cātaka birds. But a sādhaka never deviates from his lakṣhyam and his niyamam. They asked the birds, who invited them, "Was this aśvattha vṛkṣham born with the first drops of svāti rain?". Kālagati, vidhi are never in one's control. The birds sadly replied "no". A dhīra never loses hope. Never blames adṛṣhṭam. He believes in God and his manobalam. The cātaka birds slowly carried on their fight for life and slowly disappeared in the bright sun light. Putting the finger on her nose, the mother pakṣhi, with her eye signal, told the brother birds to learn the character of dīkṣha from the cātaka birds.
hamsaH padmavanaM samicchati yathā nīlāMbudaM cātakaH, kokaH kokanadapriyaM pratidinaM candraM cakorastathā |
ceto vāñchati māmakaM paśupate cinmārgamṛgyaM vibho, gaurīnātha bhavatpadābjayugalaM kaivalyasaukhyapradaM ||
Jagadguru, Ādi Śankarācārya describes the yearning of a devotee's heart for the lotus feet of Śiva, by means of beautiful similes. The Hamsa eats the stalk of the lotus flower. So it is always longing for a lake filled with lotuses. The cātaka bird drinks rain drops as they fall down from the clouds. It does not drink water in any other form. The cakravāka pairs of birds are supposed to be separated from each other during the night and they are supposed to unite during the day. The cakravāka birds, therefore, long for the appearance of the sun. The cakora bird lives eating candra jyotsna. The devotee's heart longs for the lotus feet of Śiva which can be reached by the path of knowledge. Those lotus feet of Śiva bestow the bliss that is mokṣham.
Morals in the story:
1. The importance of pariśrama, dīkṣha, sādhana for achieving a particular lakṣhya are well displayed in the story. A person who has dīkṣha, if not now, sometime will achieve his lakṣhyam.
2. Parents will be happy with their santānam only when they do good deeds.
3. Nothing comes in the way of dhīras. They never loose their hope and progress towards their lakṣhyam.
Search Terms: Aadi Shankara-acharya, Chaataka, Chakora pakshi