Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum -5

(continuation of this story)

Shri Krishna paramaatma used to play different kinds of games with gopabaalakas. “I am the ox. You are the cows”, saying this He used to run behind them. “I am the King and you are the poeple”, saying so He used to give orders and make them do many things. Together, they used to play hide and seek, swings and many kinds of ball-games. Aha! What tapas would the gopabaalakas have done to play with the Yogeeshvareshvara, Shri Krishna!

One day Shri Krishna set out for playing with His friends and went into the house of a Gopika. Baala Krishna saw that the daughter-in-law of the house was sleeping. Seeing that, Shri Krishna ate away all the curd in her house. Not only that, He put little curd on the Gopika’s mouth, who was sleeping, and ran away. Thinking that the daughter-in-law herself eat away all the curd, the mother-in-law punished her. Not able to understand the Mahopadesham of the Lord, a gopika complained this to Yashoda as an act of mischief.

Let us see what Jagadguru Shri Krishna wanted to teach us through this story:

Note that, the time of the day when this episode happened was not a night. In fact, it must have been the ideal time of the day for work and satisfiying one’s kartavyams (duties). This is because it is mentioned that Baala Krishna was going to play with His friends. Shri Krishna did not like the daughter-in-law of the house sleeping at such useful hours of the day. Hence He punished her in that way. Through this story, Jagadguru Shri Krishna thus taught us that one must never waste productive hours of the day by sleeping or keeping idle and utilize each and every moment of their maanava-janma kaalam by performing satkarmas.

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Published in: on June 24, 2008 at 11:48 pm  Comments (7)  

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 Kashyapa and Takshaka

In the Kalikaalam, Lord Shri Venkateshwara is the pratyaksha-daivam. In kali-kaalam only adharmam will be encouraged and people do not even know what is right and what is wrong. Rewards will be given to the bad people and people do not even get chance to realize their mistakes. In order to save the patitas Shri Venkateshwara came to Bhuloka and made the Saptagiris in Tirupati as His abode. May be the following story is the earliest of Shri Venkateshwara Maahaatmyams:

Takshaka in order to fulfill Shrugi's shaapam, starts for the place where Parikshit mahaaraaja was listening to Bhaagavatam from Shri Shuka maharshi (see this). On his way he meets a great scholar by name Kashyapa (not the Kashyapa Prajaapati). He is a very great mantra-vetta. On listening to the news that parikshit mahaaraaja will be bitten by Takshaka, Kashyapa immediately sets out to save Parikshit mahaaraaja's life. He was very confident that with his mantra-shakti he can counter any great vishaagnijwaalas. Takshaka and Kashyapa exchage their identities and Takshaka challenges Kashyapa saying that nothing can counter his teevra-visham. Takshaka to show the strength of his visham bits a huge vruksham and in a second it comes down to ashes. Kashyapa with his matra-shakti immediately restores the Vruksham to its original form.

Takshaka tells Kashyapa since Parikshit mahaaraaja has a shaapam given by Shrungi and it cannot be undone, while doing mantra japam for Parikshit mahaaraaja Kashyapa will have little doubt and mantras dont work unless 100% belief in them is there. Also, knowing that Kashyapa is in need for money, he offers him a lot of riches and wealth. Kashyapa with his divya-drushti sees that Parikshit's ayu is going to come to an end and returns back taking the gold and wealth from Takshaka.

After coming back Kashyapa repents a lot for his greed for money. He deeply feels that he should have done his duty of trying to save the king and instead he chose to listen to Takshaka, took money from him and neglected his kartavyam. Afraid of the narakas he has to experience because of his paapam, he decides none other than Shri Venkateshwara can save him. He immediately goes to Tirupati and at the Srivaari paadaas near the start of the mountain steps, he with his whole heart cries "Venkataachalapati" and falls. He smells something burning and realizes that the paapam inside him, in a purusha rupam, was getting burnt. He gets released from his paapams and becomes a great Bhakta.

Morals in the story:

  1. Nothing can precede one's duty. One must never neglect his duty and always strive for helping others.
  2. Total surrenderence to God is the only way for getting out of this paapa-punya cycle.

Message:

The story in no sense conveys the message — do whatever paapa kaaryas you want and then finally God will pardon. As all of the previous stories suggest God only likes people who never deviate from the path of Truth and Dharma. The message that is being conveyed through the story is the importance of Bhagavat-Naamasamkeertanam in Kaliyuga.

Published in: on June 1, 2006 at 6:30 pm  Comments (1)  

The story of two brothers

Once upon a time, there were two brothers Shankha and Likhita, who were Munis and used to live in their Aashramams on the banks of the river Baahudaa. One day, the younger brother, Likhita, went to the Shankha’s aashramam and on not finding his brother, sat under a mango tree. He started eating one of its mangoes, without taking the permission of the owner of the tree (Shankha).

Shankha returned to his aashramam and found Likhita eating the mangoes. Shankha then told Likhita that, one must never take the things which do not belong to them. He said “You should have eaten it only after taking my permission”. He further told Likhita to go to the King, Sudyumna, tell him the mistake he did and take the appropriate punishment, according to the Danda-neeti-shaastram.

Likhita adheres to the word of his brother and immediately goes to Sudyumna. The King warmly welcomes the Muni and upon being asked the reason for coming, Likhita tells what had happened and begs the King for punishment.

The King who knows all the Dharma shastras, replied that “O great Muni! You leave all the pleasures of normal humans and do Tapas for the welfare of everyone. How can I give you punishment?”. Likhita replies saying that a King must never deviate for his duty and hence, must punish him. The King accepts and orders that Likhita’s hands must be cut-off (following Danda-neeti).

Likhita then returned to Shankha after experiencing the punishment. Shankha was very happy to see his brother and said “O Putra! you did a good thing. Because of you our entire vamsham will be saved. Dip in the Baahudaa Nadi and do Deva, Muni, Pitru Tarpanam and come. Suraapaanam, Guru Bhaaryaa Vyaamoham, Vipra-hatya, Vipra-Dhana-apaharanam and doing friendship with these four kinds of people are the Pancha-mahaa-paatakas (5 main sins). You became punyaatma because you experienced Dandanam (punishment) from Raaja. Go.”

Likhita immediately goes and takes a dip in the Baahudaa Nadi and to his surprise sees that he gets back his hands. Knowing that his hands came back due to the power of Shankha, he asked his brother that if he has so much power why did he ask him to go to the King for punishment, instead he himself could have given it. The elder brother said that everyone must do his own duty. Our duty is to do Tapas for the benefit of the society and the King’s duty is to punish the bad. Hence, he said, he had no right to punish his younger brother.

This story was told by Vyaasa Bhagavaan to Dharmaraaja when he was worried that all relatives, friends etc. are killed in the Yuddham. Vyaasa Bhagavaana says Dushtas must be punished. Duty of the King is to do that. So there is nothing wrong in Yudhishthira doing the Mahabhaarata Yuddham, to kill the bad.

Morals in the story:

  1. Respecting elders, though sometimes their words may seem harsh, is a very important aspect of Indian culture. The younger brother always respected his elder brother and adhered to his words. Also, the elder brother always wanted the good of his brother. Thus did not pamper him by neglecting the mistake he did, considering it small.
  2. Everyone in the story performed their duties. The sages did tapas, the King did Dharma-paalanam, younger brother listened to the elder one. The elder brother always thought about the good of the younger one.
  3. One has to experience the results of his own karma some or the other time. Knowing this, the elder brother asked his younger brother to experience the punishment given by the king rather than postponing it to hell.
  4. Stealing, knowingly or unknowingly results in big paapam. For stealing one mango, that too being a sage, the punishment was as severe as cutting off hands. The bad result of stealing (even by mistake) is well illustrated in King Nruga’s story too.

Message:

If stealing one person’s belonging is such a crime, imagine how much magnitude of crime is committed by stealing public/government money/property (bribes). Similarly, destroying public property must never be done. Since, it will effect many individuals not only one.

Published in: on May 24, 2006 at 5:46 pm  Comments (29)  

The story of two yogis

A person who does anything that he does to utmost perfection, without being involved in its materialistic aspects and benifits is called a Yogi. However, since it is very difficult for a person to attain such a state, principled ways like vaanaprastham, sanyaasam have been suggested, to train a person to be dettached from the materialistic world. The following story shows the importance in maintaining the central idea of vairaagyam (see Bhagiratha story's introduction).

Once upon a time, there was a sanyaasi. He used to visit all the kingdoms and used to preach the people "for attaining moksham one needs to give away everything he owns. He should not have any vyamoham or desire on anything. He should not think of the next minute. He should not store anything for future. He should not tell who he is to anyone and should do dhyaanam with peace and no desire. Then he can achieve moksham". The preachings of the sanyaasi were all very good, however, were very difficult for people to understand. One day Magadha raaja was inspired by the teachings of the sanyaasi. He gave away his kingdom and went to the forest for daiva-dhyaanam. In the same manner, Kaambhoja raaja was also inspired and went to the forest for daiva-dhyaanam. He also had given away everything he had.

Both the kings met each other in the forests, but they did not tell to each other that the were kings. They both used to go for bhiksha for their food. According to the rules, they used to eat the food that day itself without storing it for future. One day, they got only ganji (rice starch or rice soup). Kambhoja raaja commented to Magadha raaja that it would be better if there was some salt for the taste. Then the Magadha raaja told that he had some. The Kambhoja raaja questioned him "where did u get the salt from?". The Magadha raaja replied that he had picked small amount of it from the vindu bhojanam to which he was called. He had taken some with him in case he needed in the journey. Then the Kaambhoja raaja told Magadha raaja that he has given his whole empire but was unable to keep up the rule that they should not store any thing for future. The Magadha raaja replied that Kambhoja raaja who also left his kingdom with ease was not able to control his taste. Both were shocked realizing that they broke the rules.

They then realized the true meaning in the teachings of the sanyaasi and returned to their duties as kings and ruled with love,peace and harmony. But because of the learning from the forest, they were never involved in the bhogas of a king and were totally dettached. They got the unattainable moksham in the end.

Morals in the story:

  1. There is no need to go to the forest and to do the daiva-dhyaanam for moksham. One can achieve it while doing all his duties, but being a viraagi.Even Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavadgita:

    अनाश्रितः कर्मफलं कार्यं कर्म करोति यः।
    स सन्यासी च योगि च न निरग्निर्न चाक्रियः॥६-१॥
    "He who does his duty without expecting the fruit of action is sanyasi and yogi both, and not the one who has simply renounced the fire or given up all activity."

  2. The easiest way is to do nishkaama karma and surrender everything to God. Then one will not be attracted to the benefits of karma, whether good or bad.यत्करोषि यदश्नासि यज्जुहोषि ददासि यत्।
    यत्तपस्यसि कौन्तेय तत्कुरुष्व मदर्पणम्॥९-२७॥

    "Arjuna, whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer as oblation to sacred fire, whatever you bestow as a gift, whatever you do by way of penance, offer it all to Me. "

    सर्वधर्मान् परित्यज्य मामेकम् शरणं व्रज।
    अहं त्वा सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः॥१८-६६॥

    "Resigning all your duties to Me, the all-powerful and all-supporting Lord, take refuge in Me alone, I shall absolve you of all sins, worry not. "

Published in: on May 23, 2006 at 6:31 pm  Comments (5)  

Importance of keeping one’s word

We all know that the pandavas left their kingdom for 13 long years for keeping up their word! Well, for Arjuna going away from the bhogas of a king, for the sake of truth, was not new. He did it once well before the aranyavaas. The story goes like this:

The kalyaanam of pandavas with Draupadi was an unusual one. However, it was perfectly according to dharma shastras. Infact Draupadi is one of the greatest pativratas and praised even by Lord Krishna for her Dharma vartana. A few reasons to justify the kalyaanam:

  1. Kunti Devi, the mother of pandavas, who never knew what a lie was, gave her will.
  2. Vyaasa Maharshi, one of the avataar of Lord Vishnu, ordered the kalyaanam to be done.
  3. Lord Shiva, pleased with her tapas, gave a boon to Draupadi to marry the pandavas.
  4. Pandavas, though were five physically, were all amshas of Indra, the King of the Gods. Hence, pandavas were actually one.

Naarada, again an avataar of Lord Vishnu, suggested some rules to be followed by pandavas and Draupadi for living together. This is because, though they were amshas of Gods and Godesses, since they had a human form some addition rules according to dharma shastras needed to be followed. One of the rules was that: Draupadi should spend one year with each of the pandavas and while she was with one of them, no other pandavas should visit the palace where they might be. In case of any breach of their rule, one-year pilgrimage was prescribed by way of penance leaving the kingdom.The pandavas and Draupadi were living happily until one day: a brahmana came running to Arjuna saying that the thieves had stolen his cows. Arjuna wanted to rush with him to catch the thieves but he realised that his bow and arrows were kept in Yudhisthira's palace and he was there in the company of Draupadi. He hesitated for a while, then seeing brahmana's plight he rushed in to Yudhisthira 's palace took his bow and arrows and ran to catch the thieves. After he caught the thieves and punished them, after restoring the cows of the brahmana, Arjuna came back to Yudhisthira and told him about his transgression of the rule.

Yudhisthira, knowing the reason of the breach of their rule, said their is no need for Arjuna to take the pilgrimage. Since it is a mistake committed towards him, and that too for a good reason, he will pardon arjuna . However, Arjuna would never break his word. He immediately set out for a one-year pilgrimage. May be this is why Arjuna is such a favourite sakha of Lord Krishna.

Morals in the Story:

  1. The story shows how important it is to keep up ones word, whether it is of any consequence or not, how much ever difficult it is.
  2. Arjuna, knowing that he will be punished for breaching the rule, did not stop doing his duty as a king to protect his people and punish the theif. Thus, one must always perform his duty without any laziness or any kind of fear.
  3. Rewards for such people do show up as immediate difficulties, but in the end – it is truth is what always wins (Satyameva jayate). Arjuna's win was in the way of gaining eternal friendship with the Lord.

Message:

  1. Imagine if everyone keeps his word and always speaks truth — will we have corruption? will we have poverty? Though its a very difficult to inculcate, unless we are truthful there will be no development.
  2. Like Arjuna if everyone does they duty — will there be such slow development for such a large community of intelligent people?
  3. Temporal gains got by saying lies never will be permanent. They will not only bring us down on a long run in life, leave aside winning the heart of the God.
Published in: on May 14, 2006 at 9:09 am  Comments (35)  
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