The story of Cyavana and fishermen

The story of the great Cyavana maharṣhi, the vaidyanipuṇa, is well known. Cyavana was the son of Bhṛgu maharṣhi and Pulomā devi. Once Bhṛgu maharṣhi asked Agnideva to protect Pulomā, who was a garbhavati, till he comes back and went away. A rākṣhasa by name Puloma came and asked Agnideva "is she Pulomā?" (if yes then he was planning to take her away!). Agnideva did not know what to do. If he tells the truth Bhṛgu maharṣhi may get angry, else he may get anṛta-doṣham. So finally after being forced by Puloma, Agnideva said "She is the wife of Bhṛgu maharṣhi." Immediately Puloma took the form of a varāham and forcibly took Pulomā. In this, from her garbham, the baby slipped and fell down (and hence was known as "Cyavana").

The baby had the tejas of Brahma and Puloma rākṣhasa turned into ashes on seeing Cyavana. Later Cyavana did many years of tapas and became a very great ṛṣhi. He and his wife Sukanya had dadhīci, pramati and āpravān as santānam. After a long time passed, once Cyavana maharṣhi did 12 years of tapas inside water. During his tapas, some fishermen came and as usual threw thier fishing net and were trying to catch fish. To their surprise, they saw Cyavana maharṣhi caught in their nets. The fishermen trembled with fear. But Cyavana maharṣhi said "it is not wrong to do your duty. Please do not be afraid that you disturbed my tapas". But the fishermen thought they were responsible for stopping the tapas of the maharṣhi and reported their mistake to their King, Nahuṣha (see this story).

The maharṣhi told the King that it was not the mistake of the fishermen, they were just doing their duty. In addition he said "Please decide a rate for me and give that money to the fishermen, since their effort must not go waste." King Nahuṣha did not know how to rate the maharṣhi. He offered his artha-rājyam. Cyavana said that wont be enough. Then the King said then take my entire rājyam! Cyavana said that is not the approriate rate for him. Meanwhile a maharṣhi named Kavijāta came and told the King "Please offer one cow. That will be equivalent to a ṛṣhi." Knowing the greatness of the cow from Cyavana, Nahuṣha gave away a best quality cow to the fishermen and sent them off.

The fishermen were not any less in good character. They thought "we can get money anytime. Let us utilize this chance and get godāna phalitam by giving this cow to the great maharṣhi." Thus they gave off their cow to Cyavana. Cyavana blessed all of them with svargalokam.

Morals in the story:

  1. Cyavana, though his deep tapas was disturbed by the fishermen, did not get angry on them. This is because the fishermen did their duty and were unware of the presence of Cyavana.
  2. The fishermen, knowing that if not now sometime or the other the must face consequence of their acts, reported their mistake (what they thought was a mistake) to the King.
  3. Importance of Gomāta and Godānam is well displayed in the story.
  4. Nahuṣha was prepared to give away his entrire sāmrājyam for doing his duty as a King.

Search Terms: Chyavana, Bhrugu, Puloma, Kavijaata, Nahusha

Published in: on June 13, 2006 at 6:13 pm  Comments (1)  

The story of Dilīpa Mahārāja

The story of the great Raghuvamśa rāja Dilīpa is well known. As other Raghuvamśa kings, Dilīpa was a firm follower of Dharma, a Satya vādi, a mitabhāṣhi, a Vidvān and ruled his praja, loving them as their own father. However, he had only one cinta. He and his wife Sudakṣhiṇā did not have santānam.

Once he, along with Sudakṣhiṇā devi, went to the āśramam of their kulaguru Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi. He did yathāvidhi namaskārās to his Guru and told him about his cinta. Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi with his divya dṛṣhṭi saw the reason for Dilīpa not having santānam. He told Dilīpa "Once you went to Devalokam. While returning from there, knowing the Dharmaśāstra that a bharta needs to be in the company of his patni who is ṛtusnāta, you were in a hurry to come to Ayodhya to follow that Dharma. And in that hurry you did not notice the presence of the great Kāmadhenu, who was sitting under the shade of the Kalpavṛkṣham. The uttamās, especially the Gomāta, are always pūjanīyam. Pūjya pūjāvyatikramam was done by you. Shreya will stop if such a mistake is committed. Hence, Kāmadhenu told you that you will get santānam only after you do yathāvidhi pūja to Her or Her santānam. However, you did not hear Her words because of the noise from the running of aśvas and ratham". Dilīpa asked his Guru to bless him with a chance to do Goseva to Kāmadhenu and thus do prayascittam for his mistake. Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi then told Dilīpa "Do not worry. At present Kāmadhenu went to pātālalokam to help the ṛṣhis in their yajñam. Till She returns do seva to her daughter Nandini. Kāmadhenu will then surely save you from the doṣham and bless you with the great Raghu mahārāja, who will equal you in his good character."

Dilīpa and Sudakṣhiṇā devi followed the instructions of Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi and with very great care did seva to Nandini. They followed it like a shadow wherever it goes. They continued this Dhenuvratam for 21 days. On the 22nd day, impressed by the seva of Dilīpa, Nandini wanted to test his character. It went into a cave in the Himālayas and Dilīpa as usual followed it. Seeing Nandini, the lion in the cave started to pounce on Her. Dilīpa immediately tried to take his dhanurbāṇas in order to protect Nandini. But the simhabhīkara, Dilīpa, could not raise his hand, he stood like a picture, unable to move! Seeing him, the lion said:

"O Dilīpa! You cannot stop me; I am a Śiva kinkara. I am living here with Śivājña. I am Kumbhodara, the friend of Nikumbha. Everyday Lord Śiva uses me as a pādapīṭham while mounting Nandīśvara. Do you see this Devadāru vṛkṣham — it is like a son, equal to Subrahmaṇya, for Pārvatī mātā. Once an elephant rubbed against it and a piece of its bark fell and caused pain to it. Seeing this Pārvatī devī asked Parameśvara to give her a means of always protecting it. Paramaśiva ordered me to protect it and gave the adhikār to eat any creature that enters and spoils the sanctity of this forest". Dilīpa was worried why all his valour, dhanurvidya did not help him protect the dhenu and got pacified once he came to know that the lion was Lord Śiva's kinkara. Because he knows before Bhagavat-śakti his śakti is ati-alpam. He said "O great Kumbhodara! Lord Śiva's ājña must be followed by me too. But Nandini is my Guru's property. I must return Her to Him safely. Please understand and I will suggest one thing which is ubhayaśreyodāyakam. Please kill me and lower your hunger and leave Nandini." Kumbhodara laughed and said "O mūḍha. You are the eka chatrādhipati of this chatussamudravelāvalayita medinīchakram. You resemble Manmatha in beauty and you are very young. Why are you paying adhikamūlyam for such an alpa-prayojanam? You are offering your life for one cow. If you loose it, you can give crores of cows to Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi. If you really have bhūtadaya, what about the crores of people who live happily under your rule? Will you make them anāthas? Leave this idea. I will make sure u will not get apakīrti and Guru droham." Dilīpa answered "One who gives rakṣha from kṣhatam is a kṣhatriya. A kṣhatriya who cannot be an āpadāt- praharta, how can he be a king? Before my eyes this Nandini dhenu is getting an āpada. How can I stand seeing it? Then what will be the use of such nindā-mālinya jīvanam? O great Kumbhodara I cannot fight a Śiva kinkara please help me."

Finally Kumbhodara accepted and Dilīpa was able to move. He happily bent down and waited for being eaten by him. To his surprise puṣhpa-varṣham started and Nandini took Her divyākṛti. She told Dilīpa "O great Dilīpa! Not only this lion, nothing can harm me because of the tapobalam of Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi. I just wanted to test your character. I am impressed with you. Please take my divya kṣhīram. Eat it with your wife and you will get sat-santānam". Dilīpa, who was a vidvān in all Dharmaśātras replied like this "O Gomātā! I am dhanya to have your anugraham. I will take your kṣhīram, once your hungry calf and the ṛṣhis, who need it for their pūjas and yajñas take it. After they take I will take a share of 1/6 of your kṣhīram" (Since a king can take at the maximum 1/6 of the property of his people as tax!).

Cow is the most sacred animal for Bhārateeyas. Devatas, Trimūrtis, many punya tīrthas reside in different parts of Gomāta.

Morals in the story:

  1. The uttamas must always be given due respect. Especially sarva-Devatā-swarūpa like Gomāta, must always be worshipped with Bhakti. (Dilīpa, even though he did it unknowingly, had to face the consequences.)
  2. The importance of a Guru is shown well in the story. It is a Guru who guides what to do and not. Without Vasiṣhṭha mahaṛṣhi's help Dilīpa would not even know the reason for not having santānam.
  3. Though Dilīpa was a great śūra, he had no ahankār. He thought before Bhagavat-śakti his śakti is ati-alpam.
  4. When he offered his life to save Nandini, Dilīpa showed his Guru-bhakti and respect on Gomāta.
  5. The knowledge of Śātras helped Dilīpa decide what to do and what not, when advised by Kumbhodara.
  6. The mahonnata vyaktitvam of Dilīpa is shown when he said he will take kṣhīram after the calf and the ṛṣhis take.
  7. The Rājaneeti of Dilīpa is displayed when he said he will take 1/6 of kṣhīram.

Search Terms: Dileepa, Dilipa, Vasishtha, Sudakshina

Published in: on June 8, 2006 at 5:42 pm  Comments (12)  

Stories of Bhaktas related to our Ancient Temples


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