The story of Prataapabhaanu

This is a very praachiina-gaadha, told by Parama Shiva to Shri Paarvatii Devi. Satyaketa used to rule the Raajyam of Kaikaya. He was a Dharmaatma, Tejaswi, Balashaali, Susheela. He had two putras: Prataapabhaanu was the jyeshtha putra. Arimardana was his younger brother. Both of them also were great Yoddhas and had many Sadgunams. Also their Aikamatyam is apuurvam. They never had any quarrels between themselves. After making Prataapabhaanu the King, Satyaketa took Vaanaprastham.

Prataapabhaanu’s matri was Dharmaruchi. He was equal to Shukraacharya in Raajaneeti. With the help of Arimardana, Dharmaruchi and the Chaturanga-bala-sainyam, Prataapabhaanu used to do Dharmapaalanam of the Sapta-dviipams. All the other Kings used to pay him taxes. All this praja were happy. Dharmaruchi was a great Shri Hari Bhakta. Because of Dharmaruchi, Prataapabhaanu did many Satkaaryas, Daanams, Tiirthams, Devata-archana and Yagnyas with Bhakti. Prataapabhaanu was a viveka and hence did “Bhagavat-arpanam” of all his Karma.

One day Prataapabhaanu went for Mrugayaa-vihaaram. He did vadha of only those animals which were Vadhaarham according to the Shaastras. Vidhivashah he saw a wild-pig and tried to kill it using his Dhanurbaanam. But he could not; everytime he missed it. Prataapabhaanu, who fought many fierce Yuddhams, was not able to catch a mere wild-pig. The wild-pig ran into deep forest and Prataapabhaanu followed it. Because he was a Dhiira, he followed it into the very dangerous deep jungle too. The wild-pig then ran into a cave and Prataapabhaanu could no more follow it. Prataapabhaanu got separated from his army and got lost in the jungle. He was very thirsty and exhausted. He became unconscious and gained consciousness after sometime. He then found an aashramam in the jungle.

Vidhivashah, it was the place where a Kapata Raaja, who was once defeated by Prataapabhaanu, was living. He had antah-krodham, antah-shatrutvam on Prataapabhaanu. He immediatelty identified that the one who came is Prataapabhaanu. However Prataapabhaanu didnt recognise the Kapata Sanyaasi (the enemy King). Seeing the Sanyaasi, Prataapabhaanu did Yathaavidhi namaskaaram. The Kapata Sanyaasi welcomed Prataapabhaanu and asked to take snaanam in the near by pushkarani. After snaanam he gave cool water to Prataapabhaanu.

The Kuhana-sanyaasi (Kapata-sanyaasi) then took Prataapabhaanu into his aashramam and with Mrudu-vachanas asked kushala-prashnas to Prataapabhaanu. Prataapabhaanu, following Raaja Neeti, told “I am Prataapabhaanu’s mantri. I came for Mrugayaa and got lost. It is my adrushtam that I found you here”. The Kuhana-sanyaasi replied “Your Raajyam is 10 yojanas from here! So please take rest for tonight and leave tomorrow”. Prataapabhaanu is a Nishkapati, whereas the Sanyaasi was a Kapati. Sanyaasi replied “I am a Bhikaari. Nirdhana. I took Sanyaasam and came to this forest to do Daiva-dhyaanam”. Prataapabhaanu did seva to the Sanyaasi and said “you are a great Sanyaasi. You are a dhanya”. Seeing that Prataapabhaanu believed his Kapata-vesham, Sanyaasi continued “I have been here for a long time. No one came here other than you”.

A peacock looks beautiful, but its aahaaram is a snake. Even a viveka like Prataapabhaanu could not see who actually the Kapata-sanyaasi was.

The Kapata-sanyaasi started telling Dharma, Hita-vaakyams. He said “Shri Hari is Paramaatma. There is nothing greater than Him”. Prataapabhaanu was impressed listening to the words of the Sanyaasi. The Kuhana-sanyaasi continued “Sodara! I am Ekatanu”. Prataapabhaanu asked the meaning of Ekatanu. The Baka-dhyaani continued “I was there since the start of this Shrushti. I have never left this shariiram. Hence people know me as Ekatanu. Dont be surprised, nothing is impossible through Tapasshakti”. Prataapabhaanu’s anuraagam on the Kapata increased with these words. The Kapata Sanyaasi then told Prataapabhaanu many Puraanams, Itihaasams, did Vyaakhyaanam about Gnyaanam, Vairaagyam. He also told many many ashtonishing stories about Shrushti-sthiti-laya in detail. Prataapabhaanu then completely came into the control of the Kapata-sanyaasi.

Prataapabhaanu said “I am Prataapabhaanu”. Sanyaasi then said “you did a correct thing by not disclosing your name previously. You know Raaja-neeti. Giving your identity to strangers may lead to the destruction of your Raajyam and praja. I am happy with you”. Prataapabhaanu was also happy with the Kapata-sanyaasi’s reply. The Baka-dhyaani continued “your father is Satyaketa. You came for Mrugayaa and got lost due to the wild-pig. I know all this due to my Guru-krupa. Please ask me a Varam, I will grant it to you”.

Prataapabhaanu did namaskaaram and replied “O Dayaa saagara! Your darshanam is durlabham. Make my shariiram Jaraa-marana-rahitam! No one must be able to defeat me and make me Eka-chatraadhipati of this Bhuumandalam for 100 Kalpams“. Kuhana-sanyaasi said “tathaastu. Mrutyu wont come near you. But there is one problem. Viprottamas have a lot of Tapas-shakti. It will be difficult to make them your Vasham. Except Vipra-shaapam, nothing can destroy you. Not even Yamadharmaraaja”. Seeing Prataapabhaanu’s aanandam, Kuhana-sanyaassi continued “dont tell this to anyone. Else I am not responsible for the consequences. If you tell this to anyone else, you will get many difficulties”.

Prataapabhaanu said “Muniishvara! I have one doubt. How to bring a Viprottama into my control?”. “There are many many ways. One simple thing I can tell you. But I have never stepped in anybody’s house till now. And without me it will be difficult” replied the Kapata-sanyaasi. “Greater people must show mercy on the lesser ones. How Bhuumi bears the sands, how Parvatas support the grass, similarly bear me”. Kapata-sanyaasi replied “Since you believe me 100%, I am accepting. But Mantram, Yogam, Yukti and Tapas must always be done in secret. They only one gets its phalam. So do this. Invite 1 lakh Viprottamas everyday for Anna-daanam for 1 year. If you do this, not only the Vipras who eat, but also their entire family will come under your control. Automatically Devatas will come into your control, because you do seva to Viprottamas who do Havan, Yagnyam Puuja and Daiva-seva. I will do apaharanam of your purohita with my maaya-shakti, take his form and cook food for these invited people everyday for 1 year. Dont tell this to anybody and three days from now you will have my Darshan again. Also, after you sleep tonight, I will take you to your Antahpuram with my Tapas-shakti and leave you there”. Prataapabhaanu, happy with the kapata-sanyaasi’s words, slept happily.

Then Kaalaketa rakshasa, the mitra of the Kapata-sanyaasi, who took the form of a wild-pig and made Prataapabhaanu loose his path, came. He had many maaya-shaktis. He had 100 putras and 10 Bhraatas. All of them are dushtas and ajeyas. Once they did himsa of Devatas, Sajjanas and Braahmanas — so Prataapabhaanu killed all of them. Hence both the Kapata-sanyaasi and Kaalaketa raakshasa have krodham on Prataapabhaanu and now they united to destroy him. Poor Prataapabhaanu did not know this.

Kaalaketu said “mitrama now take rest. You did as we planned. Now on the 4th day i’ll meet you after destroying Prataapabhaanu along with his family”. He with his maaya-shakti, took the form of Purohita, hid the real Purohita in a cave and moved Prataapabhaanu to his bed in his palace. Prataapabhaanu after waking up, thought everything was happening as planned. For 3 days he spent his time doing Dhyaanam of the Kapata-sanyaasi (instead of God!). He invited 1 lakh Braahmanottamas. Kaalaketu cooked tasty food with 4 curries using his maaya. However he mixed flesh of many animals and Braahmanas. Prataapabhaanu welcomed and served the aahaaram to the Viprottamas. Then an Akaashavaani created by Kaalaketu said “donot eat this aahaaram it has Vipra-maamsam”. Without thinking Viprottamas gave shaapam to Prataapabhaanu “along with your family become a Raakshasa. In one year you, along with your family will die and no one will be left to give you tarpanam too”. Prataapabhaanu became very sad. Then real Aakaashavaani said “there is no mistake of Prataapabhaanu. without thinking you gave shaapam”. Prataapabhaanu ran inside and saw that there was no food, no Purohita and everything was maaya.

The Viprottamas replied “even though it was not your mistake, Vidhi cannot be changed. Kaala-mahima is great. One must experience the result of his paapam-punyam. Our shaapam cannot be taken back”. Knowing this, the Kapata-sanyaasi, along with other Kings, attacked Prataapabhaanu. Prataapabhaanu and his family died in the fierce battle.

Prataapabhaanu took birth as Raavana and Arimardana as Kumbhakarana. Dharmaruchi became Vibheeshana, the great Bhakta of Shri Raama Chandra. Prataapabhaanu’s family became raakshas and did many paapa-karyams.

(this was the reason for Raama-avataar in one of the Kalpams. Kalpa-antara-bhedam in Raamaayana, Bhaarata Kathas are hence usual).

Morals in the story:

  1. “Duraasha leads to difficulties”. For a human, aasha is necessary. But “ati sarvatra varjate”. Though Prataapabhaanu had everything — he was ruler of entire Bhuumandalam, he had great aishvaryam, good brother and Mantri, used to do Dharma-paalana, had everything, still he wanted more and asked the Kapata-sanyaasi for more.
  2. We must be very careful and choose a Guru/teacher/Purohita. With pralobham of being ruler of earth for 100 Kalpams, Prataapabhaanu blindly believed the “unknown” Sanyaasi, leaving his own Purohita, Mantri and Guru. Especially he being a King must be more careful, since his entire Raajyam will depend on him.
  3. Kapata buddhi is well shown in this story through the words of the Kuhana-sanyaasi. Kapatam is a very bad durgunam. (See this story, where God punishes a Kapata)
  4. One must be careful about enemies (either bahih-shatru or antah-shatru like Kaamam, Krodham etc.). They can anytime cause our destruction. So we must always have a check on them.
  5. The importance Bhaarateeyas give to Parishubhrata is also shown in this story. Though Prataapabhaanu was exhausted, he took snaanam in the pushkarini and then had the jalam to quench his thirst.

Search Terms: Ravana, Prathapabhanu, Pratapabhanu, Vibhishana, Vibhiishana

Published in: on August 16, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments (5)  

Bali chakravarti’s story

Maanavaas always want vyaapti — how much ever dhanam, yashas, aarogyam, kutumbam, power etc. one has, he always wants more and more. In the struggle to satisfy his wants he undergoes a lot of pain and experiences duhkha when the wants are not satisfied. A weaker mind may also resort to adharma maargas for achieving vyaapti. The story of Bali showcases his satya-vaak-paripaalana and the teaching of Vaamana murty about vyaapti.

Bali chakravarti is one of the greatest kings. Though he was a daitya, he never deviated from the path of truth or Dharma. He was a great Bhakta of Lord Vishnu and was praised by everyone. Since dharma was on his side, his power, strength kept on increasing. Once he decided to wage a war against Indra (as daityaas and devatas were always enemies). Indra, on knowing that Bali is coming for war, asked Mahaavishnu to save him. Bali was one of greatest bhaktas of Vishnu and also a firm follower of Dharma but only had the want for more and more vyaapti. Vishnu gave abhayam to Indra and took birth as the child of the Mahaapativrata Aditi and Kashyapa maharshi. Kashyapa and aditi did a very long tapas and hence Vishnu blessed them by being their child. After Upanayanam, the small vatu, Vaamana, taking tiny tiny steps, reached the palace of Bali.
Vishnu in vatu vesham

He did asheervaadam to Bali saying "Swasti". Bali did yathaavidhi namaskaars to the vatu and asked Him "divya vastra-abharanaas, very tasty mahaa phalas, huge vanyaas, best quality cows, rathaas, ratnaas, vimrushtaannaas, kanyas, elephants, gold, graamas, huge fertile lands, part of my kingdom (which includes all the 3 lookas!) and whatever you please I am ready to give you O great braahmana. Please ask me what you want". Vaamana murty replied "O mahaanubhaava Bali, I am a brahmachaari. What will I do with all these things? Please give me 1 or 2 steps of place. Also for a saamaanya like Me trupti is important. One must never worry if vyaapti is not achieved and must be always satisfied with whatever he gets by praaptam. A person who does not do like this will he be satisfied even if he gets the whole universe? (No)" Since Bali said that he will give whatever Vaamana asks, he was preparing to do the daanam. Sukraacharya, the guru of the daityaas, realizing that Vaamana is none other than Mahaavishnu who came to teach Bali a lesson, said "O Bali, in certain un-avoidable situations one need not keep up his word" and taught Bali his Raakshasa neeti. He also told Bali who Vaamana was. However Bali did not agree to break his word, infact he said "Aaha! what great punyaas have I done that the Hand of Srihari will be below & my hand will be above! It is not an ordinary hand. I will not loose this chance of giving daanam to the shrushti, sthiti, laya kaaraka of the entire universe, even if I loose my entire kingdom. Also what is there to think, as if this body will be forever." Saying this Bali gave 3 steps of place for Vaamana. Daanam must always be done assuming that the daana-grahita is none other than Vishnu avatar and Bali did it the same way. Immediately Vaamana murty started to grow like this to become Trivikrama:

He started growing, he touched the nabho-veedhi, he reached toyaja-mandalam, then prabhaa-raashi, crossed moon and sun, reached dhruva, touched mahavraati and then crossed satyalokam and finally filled the entire universe in all directions leaving no space! Then with one step he occupied earth, with the other the aakaasham. Since Bali did not have anything other than these, he showed his head as the third place and Trivikrama then took the third step and pushed Bali into rasaatalalokam. Seeing this un-believable, divya leela of Mahaavishnu Brahma deva asked Trivikrama "Naaraayana! You have ananta leelas. As soon as you asked Bali, he gave you daanam and kept his word. Also he is a great Bhakta of yours. What is your aantaryam in binding him?". Trivikrama murty replied "O Brahma! I will first take away all the arthaas of the person who I wish to bless. I will test my bhakta and remove any small buddhi-doshaas he has and give him moksham. Also I am making Bali the Indra during the Saavarni manvantaram."
satya-vaak-paripaalanam of Bali

Morals in the story:

  1. Vyaapti for a person is important but it must never be overdone. One must always be satisfied with what he has. The amruta vaakyaas of Lord Vaamana must always be remembered.
  2. Bali was prepared to loose anything for keeping up his word. God always likes such people only.
  3. Importance of atithi seva was well illustrated by Bali. He welcomed the vatu and offered to give whatever he asks.

Side Stories:

  • Seeing the adbhuta avataar of Lord Vishnu, Brahmadeva washed His feet. This water became the holy ganga maata, the daughter of Brahmadeva. Since Her birth was at Trivikrama murty'a feet, Ganga is the most sacred river for the Indians.
  • Jaambavanta, the avataar of Brahma (He created Himself in order to do tapas for Vishnu, since He was not getting free time from the task of creation 🙂 ) , seeing the divya roopa of Trivikrama, immediately made 7 pradakshinas to Lord Trivikrama!
  • Bali was the grandson of the great Bhakta Prahlada. He was born to King Virochana and Surochana.
Published in: on May 31, 2006 at 5:44 pm  Comments (27)  

Importance of this day!

Tīrtha Yātra

The glory of India

कः पन्थाः ?

महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः

Moral Stories

A tribute to the great Bharatiya Samskruti.