Contributed By: Rajalakshmi SrinivasaGopalan

One day Devatas, Munis, Maanavas, did seva of Parameshvara and asked “Svaami! Devaadhideva! make someone an adhipati of vighnams and ganams (give us a Ganapati, Vighneshvara) and bless us”. Both Gajaanana and Shanmukha, the putras of Paarvati-Parameshvara, said “Please grant Me Ganaadhipatyam”. Seeing this Paramashiva said “Kumaaras! I will give Ganaadhipatyam to the one of you two who does tiirtha-snaanams (holy-dips) in all the punya-nadis (sacred rivers) in all tribuvanams and comes back here first”.

Hearing this, Kumaarasvamy took His mayuura-vaahanam and left at great speed. Disappointed, Gajaanana, approached His pita, Shankara and said “knowing My weakness why did You put such a competition? I dont know a greater thing than Maata-pita seva. So please have Krupa on Me and tell Me an upaayam” and did seva of Them. Impressed with Gajaanana, Paramashiva replied

“सकृत् नारायणॆत्युत्वा पुमान् कल्पशतत्रयम् गङ्गादि सर्वतीर्थॆषुस्नातॊ भवति पुत्रक!”

Gajaanana did namaskaarams to Maata-pita and with great bhakti did “Naaraayana” Naama-smarana and stayed in Kailaasam. Because of this, whichever punya-nadi Kumaarasvaamy went, there He saw that His bhraata, Gajaanana, already took bath and was going to another nadi. Like this He saw in all 3 crore 50 lakhs punya-nadis. Finally He reached Kailaasam did namaskaarms to Paramashiva and said “please give this Ganaadhipatyam to Bhraata only. Not knowing His shakti, I challenged Him”. Thus Gajaanana was made Ganapati on Bhaadrapada Shukla Chaturthi.

Morals in the Story:

  1. Importance of Maata-Pita seva is well shown by Gajaanana. He said there is nothing greater than Their seva and did seva to them. Impressed by this, Paramashiva told Him a way to win the competition.
  2. Greatness of Bhagavat-naama-smarana is well shown in the story. As Parameshvara said by doing Naaraayana-naama-smarana, one gets the punyam of doing punya-snaanam in all tiirthas in tribhuvanams.

Search Terms: Vinayaka, Vinaayaka, Ganesh, Ganapati, Gajanana, Parvati, Shiva, Subrahmanya.

Published in: on December 24, 2006 at 11:09 am  Comments (4)  

The story of Gajam – Kachchhapam

“Long long time ago, two brothers, Vibhaasa and Suprateeka used to live. Both of them used to wake before Suuryodayam, do Snaana-sandhyaavandana aadi Kaaryams and then with Niyama-vratam used to do Parabrahma aaraadhana.

However once the younger brother, Suprateeka asked Vibhaasa to give him his share of the father’s property. Then Vibhaasa replied “Priya Sodara! People with Pralobham only divide things. We are brothers. We must not have Pralobham. In addition Dhana-kaaksha leads to duhkhas. Some dushtas may interfere between us and increase the conflict. With that both of us will be destroyed. Hence let us share and live, forget about division. Jyeshtha Bhraata is equivalent to Pita and you are like my putra”.

However Suprateeka didnt accept. He said that property must be divided. Seeing this, Vibhaasa got Krodham and said “you dont have respect to elders. Become a Gajam (Elephant) in a mahaaranyam”. With greater Krodham Suprateeka replied “In a pushkarini in the same Aranyam you will become a Kachchhapam (Tortoise)”. Both of them left pavitra maanava-shariiram and took birth according to their shaapas.

Gajam used to come near pushkarini and do ghiinkaaram; the Kachchhapam used to created huge waves. The battle used to start. Everyday they used to fight each other. Also both of them had bahu-sthuula-kaayam (they were extremely huge). So no other animal was able to peacfully live. No one could use the pushkarini. In that Aranyam all the animals were being disturbed by these huge creature’s fights.” said Kashyapa maharshi to Garuda Bhagavaan, when Garuda Bhagavaan asked His Pita, Kashyapa maharshi, to show him some aahaaram before going to bring Amruta-kalasham from Devendra to save His Maata, Vinata, from Daasyam to Kadruva.

Kashyapa continued “Putra! If you take these two creatures as Your aahaaram, then all the animals in the Aranyam will live happily. The pushkarini will then again become aadhaaram for many creatures”. Garuda Bhagavaan then did Namaskaaram to His Pita and flew to the Aranyam.

Even today if two people always fight each other we say “why are you fighting like Gaja-kachchhapas?”.

Morals in the story:

  1. The Pitrubhakti and Vinayam of Garuda deva are well shown in the story. Though He was extra-ordinarily strong, capable, still He asked His Pita to show Himself some aahaaram! The greatest sad-gunam of Sat-purushas is Vinayam.
  2. Nyaayam is what is concerned to an individual. Whereas Dharmam concerns a society. Hence in order to protect the creatures in the Aranyam, the two trouble causing animals had to be killed. Hence, the Dharmagnya, Kashyapa maharshi, asked his putra to take the Gaja-kachchhapas as His aahaaram.
  3. The amruta vaakyas of Vibhaasa must be remembered. Pralobham and Dhana-kaaksha always lead to difficulties.
  4. A family where brothers remain united like Shri Raama and Lakshmana will always prosper; a family where the brothers fight each other like Vibhaasa and Suprateeka will be destroyed with their own Krodham.

Search Terms: Vibhasa, Supratika, Kasyapa

Published in: on September 16, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments Off on The story of Gajam – Kachchhapam  

Story of Dharmavyaadha

Its a beautiful forest near by a village. There is a prashaanta-pradesham in that forest, where a small river used to flow. On the banks of the river was a huge tree giving shade to many. Under the treeKaushika, a Vipra, was doing Tapas. At afternoons he used to go to village, do Bhikshaatanam and divide the aahaaram into four parts — 3/4 he used to use for Daanam and other Dharma-kaaryas. The remaining 1/4 he used to eat.

When he was living such a life, one day, a baka (crane) put its droppings on him. The baka got burnt just as he saw it with Krodham. That day as usual he went for bhikshaatana. He stood in front of one house and said “Bhavati! Bhikshaam Dehi”. On hearing this the Gruha-lakshmi went towards the kitchen to bring him some food. But at the same time, her Bharta came back after a long journey. On seeing him, she washed his feet with cool water, fanned air for him for sometime, gave him someaahaaram and made him sleep. After doing pati-seva like this, she came with some aahaaram for Kaushika. Again Kaushika saw with Krodham. Seeing this the Gruha-lakshmi said

“Svaami! I not not the baka to get burnt. After Pati-seva-dharmam only there are other Dharmas for me”. Surprised, the muni replied “Amma! How did you come to know about the story that happened far off in the forest? Please do Gnyaana-bodha to me”. She replied “Muniishvara! Little away from here is Mithilaanagaram. There lives a Vyaadha who makes his living by selling maamsam. Approach him, he will tell you everything”.

Immediately he left for Mithila. He enquired about Dharmavyaada and reached his shop. Seeing different jantu-maamsam, he stood away. Dharmavyaadha, seeing the Muni, went and did Yathaavidhi namaskaaram and said “Muniishvara! Namaskaaram. Is the Pativrata who sent you to me doing well?” Kaushika was awe-struck to listen to these words of Dharmavyaadha. He thought “there that woman and here this person. Even after doing so much Tapas, Idont have so much power. May be because that woman was a Pativrata, she was able to know what happened in the forest. But how come this kasai, who lives selling maamsam, have Divya-drushti?” Seeing Kaushika thinking, Dharmavyaadha continued “Svaami! You cant tolerate this smell. Please come I will take you to my house and show you how I got all these divya-shaktis”. With great Vinayam, Dharmavyaadha took Kaushika to his house.

Just on entering his house, Dharmavyaadha did pranaamam to his Pita who was taking rest. After asking him Kushala-prashnas, he went to his Maata and did Yathaavidhi namaskaaram to her. He then did her seva. After this he told Kaushika “Svaami! This is the only thing that I do. Many ever Vratas, Japams, Tapas we do, if we dont do the seva of Maata-Pita, there will be no prayojanam. A Maata carries her shishu in her Garbham for 9 months, experiences prasava-vedana and then protects the shishu like how an eye-lid protects the eye. A Pita gives us this shariiram to do paropakaaram and Daiva-praarthana. He experience many difficulties in doing our poshana. Our very existence is because of them. Howmuch ever seva we do to them, we will never to able to repay this runam.

I do seva of my Maata-Pita and so poshana of my Samsaaram. Thats all. Also I dont cheat people while selling maamsam. I dont expect adhika-laabham and be happy with what I get. I never leave my Sva-dharmam of being a Vyaadha, neither do I take up Para-dharmam. I try to do poshana of people who come under my aashrayam and enquire their Yoga-kshemam. More important than all of these, one must have Samyamam. We must never have Raaga-dvesham. WIth Nirmala-chittam, we must always do Parameshvara-aaraadhana”. Listening to these Amruta-vaakyas of Dharmavyaadha, Kaushika went away and continued his Tapas, this time with a nishchala-manas.

Morals in the story:

  1. Importance of Maata-Pita seva is well shown in the story. Just by doing this, Dharmavyaadha got many great shaktis and was always involved in Parameshvara-dhyaanam.
  2. Greatness of a Pativrata is also shown in the story. What, even with great Tapas, Kaushika could not achieve, the Gruha-lakshmi achieved with her Paativratyam.

Search Terms: Dharmavyadha, Kowshika, Kausika, Kousika, Kowsika, Koushika, parents

Published in: on August 22, 2006 at 8:56 pm  Comments Off on Story of Dharmavyaadha  

Maata-Pita seva is alone enough!

This Dharma-rahasya katha, known as “Pitrutiirtha Katha”, was first told by Mahaavishnu to Vena-chakravarti, then to Shaunaka-aadi munis by Shri Suuta Muni.

In the pavitra-punya-kshetram, Kurukshetram, there used to be a Viprottama by name “Kundala”. His putra was a gunavanta by name “Sukarma”. Doing seva of his Maata-pita, who were very old, was his Vratam. He got sakala-samruddhi by doing Pitru-seva.

At that time, “Pippala” did ghora-Tapas for 3000 years, being a Jitaahaari, Jitamatsara and Jitendriya. Devatas did pushpa-varsham seeing his divya-tapas. Pippala asked the Devatas to make him a Vidyaadhara. He also asked to make the Vishvam his aadhiinam. Devatas granted him the Varam, he was made a Vidyaadhara and whatever he wanted used to be in his Vasham.

However Pippala thought there is no one to match him and got antar-Garvam. Once seeing the antar-Garvam of Pippala, a Saarasa-pakshi came near him and said “O Dvija! Why are you having so much Garvam? Garvam will lead to your downfall. You dont have the proper gnyaanam to make Vishvam into your Vasham. This is because you dont know ‘Arvaachiina-Paraachiina’ gnyaanam.

Sukarma, the putra of Kundala, knows about Arvaachiina-Paraachiina and hence this entire Vishvam is in his Vasham. Indeed there is no one to match Sukarma in the Bhuulokam. He is a Pitru-Maatru-sevaarata, Punyaatma, Vignyaani. What gnyaanam that the baalaka, Sukarma has, you also dont have. So leave this useless Garvam”.

Not liking these words Pippala replied “Who are you? Why are you doing my ninda. Are you Brahma, Vishnu or Maheshvara? Can you tell me what is Arvaachiinam-Paraachiinam?”. Saarasa-pakshi replied “I am not going to tell. Come with me to Sukarma, he will tell you”. Both of them reached Sukarma’s house:

Pippala saw the Punyaatma, Sukarma, who was doing Paada-seva of his Maata-Pita. Sukarma did Yathaavidhi Atithi satkaaram to Pippala and answered his question. (He told Pippala that the Saarasa-pakshi is Brahmadeva and explained what is Vishvaavasham and Arvaachiinam-Paraachiinam)

Pippala, surprised, asked Sukarma how he got so much gnyaanam. Sukarma replied “I did not do any Tapas nor Shariira-shoshanam. I didnt do any Vratas. I only know one thing — Maata-Pita seva and puuja:

  1. I do snaanam with the water which my maata-pita use for snaanam. This gives me Bhaagiirathii-snaana phalam.
  2. By doing Jananii-janaka puuja, one gets phalam of doing all Yaagams and doing Veda-pathanam.
  3. The place where Maata-pita of a bhaktiyukta putra live, are equal to Ganga, Gaya-kshetram, Pushkara-tiirtham.
  4. The putra who gives Mrushta-annam and satisfies his Maata-Pita, will get Ashvamedha Yaaga phalam.
  5. There is no tiirtham in Iham or Param, which is greater than Maata-pita.
  6. A place where Maata-pita are worshipped, there sarva-Devatas will be worshipped.
  7. One can do poshana of Trijagas by doing Pitru-sushruusha.
  8. A putra, whose character/nature/sadgunams gives happiness to parents, is one who follows all Dharmas.
  9. A Putra who eats Mrushta-annam before (without giving) his Maata-pita is a paapi.
  10. A putra who does ninda of Maata-pita will have to experience 1 crore janmams as a Grudhra (vulture)”.

We must always give santosham to our Maata, not make her angry. We know how the great Sarpa-kumaaras (one kind of snakes) had to die in the Sarpa-yaagam, due to Maatru-shaapam. We know how great is ‘Puuru’, who gave happiness to Yayaati and what difficulties other sons like Yadu had to face because of Yayaati-shaapam.

We also know how Upamanyu and Dhruva, in childhood only, got Iishvara darshanam and Vishnu darshanam respectively. This was because they listened to their Maata. Karna got ananta-kiirti due to his Maata, Raadha, seva. Arjuna too got Vijayam due to his Maatru-vaakya-paalanam.

Maata is tiirtham. Pita is Guru. After taking their permission only a putra must attend to other Dharmas. I got all this gnyaanam only through Maata-pita seva. You also do Pitru-sushruusha”. Feeling bad for his unnecessary Garvam, and Agnyaanam Pippala went away.

Morals in the story:

  1. Importance of Maata-Pita seva is well shown by Sukarma. He achieved more gnyaanam than a Vidyaadhara (who is supposed to know all Vidyas), just by doing Maata-Pita seva.
  2. Garvam, Dambham and Ahankaaram lead to one’s downfall. Hence we must always have Vinayam. We must remember that there will always be someone greater than us. Brahmadeva told Pippala, who had Garvam that he had Vishva-vashitvam, that Sukarma had greater gnyaanam.
Published in: on August 15, 2006 at 10:53 pm  Comments (2)  

Shri Raama — Yashasvi

(continuation of this series of stories)

This series of stories on Shri Raama Chandra Murty try to showcase the 16 important sadgunas or the Shodasha-kalas in Shri Raama.

A person becomes a Yashasvi by doing two things:

  • Doing Muni, Rushi, Saadhu, Satpurusha seva
  • Doing Pritrukaaryas

Shri Raama Chandra leaves for Aranyavaasam to keep the word given by His father, Shri Dasharatha maharaja. Shri Raama hears from Bharata that Dasharatha became a Svargastha. Perhaps the sadest moment for Shri Raama, who loved His Maata-Pita very much.

Shri Raama Chandra goes to Mandaakinii Nadii, does snaanam, Jala-tarpanam and comes back. Then together with His sodaras, He does Pinda-pradaanam for His Pitrudevatas. He says: (addresing His Pita, Dasharatha)
“O Maharaja! We are giving you the same things as We are eating (in this Munivesham)”. Saying this They do Yathaavidhi Kaaryam according to Dharma-shaastras. All these Pitruseva Kaaryams gave Shri Raama ananta Kiirti and Yashas.

Also, in the name of Aranyavaasam, Shri Raama got the opportunity of having Darshanam and doing seva of many many Rushis like: Bharadvaaja, Valmiki, Sharabhanga, Sutiikshna and Agastya. He also comes to know about the greatness of Agastyamuni, through Agastyamuni’s brother. Agastyamini’s brother also tells Shri Raama how Agastyamuni did dushta-samhaaram of Vaataapi and Ilvala:

(the following story is very very deep and must be carefully understood by reading the original with the help of elders. It is presented here in short for the sake of completness)

Once upon a time, two very strong Raaksha brothers by names Vaataapi and Ilvala were there. Ilvala used to take the form of a Braahmana, speak nirdushta bhaasha (pure Samskrutam) and invite Braahmanas as bhoktas for Shraaddham. Vaataapi used to take the form of a sheep and Ilvala used to kill him, cook and serve to the Bhokta. After the Bhokta ate the Prasaadam, Ilvala used to call “Vaataapi come out” — and Vaataapi used to come out tearing the Bhokta’s stomach. Then both of them used to eat the Bhokta. This kruura krutyam was their everyday habit.

Like this thousands and thousands of Braahmanas were killed by the Vaataapi brothers. Seeing this Devatas approached the great Agastya maharshi and asked for sharanam. Agastya maharshi went as a Bhokta when invited by Ilvala and after eating the Prasaadam said “Jeernam Jeernam Vaataapi Jeernam”. When Ilvala called Vaataapi to come out, with chiru-mandahaasam, Agastyamuni replied “You brother Vaataapi who was in mesha-rupam became Jeernam in my stomach and reached Narakam. Now he wont come out”. On knowing that his brother was killed, Ilvala attakced Agastyamuni, but became ashes through the Agastyamuni’s Netra-agni.

Doing which Dharma-aacharana Shri Raama got Ananta-Yashas, the same was made fun of by Vaataapi and Ilvala, by doing many bad things while doing it.

Jayam to Agastya-aadi munis, rushis of this Bhaaratadesham.

Sadgunas to be learnt: Maata-pita seva and Saadhu-Sajjana seva. Doing them leads to Ananta Yashas.

Search Terms: Rama, Agasthya, Vatapi, Vathapi, shraddham, Pitru karyam

Published in: on July 30, 2006 at 6:22 pm  Comments (1)  

Kaikasī’s Śiva Bhakti

Rāvaṇa’s śakti increased day by day and we all know what ghora pāpa kāryas he did once he got Ahaṅkār seeing his own śakti. Devendra, hence, wanted to reduce the śakti of Rāvaṇa (Devatas, the Aditi putras, do not have kāma-krodhādi Ariṣhaḍvargas). He learnt that his śakti was mainly due to his Mātṛ-bhakti and her (Kaikasī’s) śakti was due to her niścala Śiva bhakti. Hence Devendra, once attempted to stop the Śiva pūja of Kaikasī: Kaikasī used to do Śiva pūja everyday on the banks of the ocean and on one day the ocean with its high tide came and washed away the Śiva saikata (made of sand) Liṅgam; stopping her Śiva pūja.

On seeing the great duhkham of her mother, Kaikasī, Rāvaṇa immediately gets angry on Mahāviṣhṇu and blames him to have stopped her mother’s Śiva pūja! Kaikasī then does hita-bodha saying that “if really my Śiva bhakti had no doṣhas then nobody could have stopped it. This happened means there is some mistake committed by us only and it is more important to please Paramaśiva and correct our mistakes than blaming others. Also none can stand against the great Viṣhṇu and even though we are Śaivas must never do Viṣhṇu droham (see this too)”. Realizing his mistake Rāvaṇa immediately sets out to do a tapas for Parameśvara for Śiva Ātma-Liṅgam (to replace his mother’s Saikata Liṅgam)!!

Morals in the story:

  1. Before blaming others for the mistakes they committed it is very important to correct ourselves. Anyway no one will be spared by the God for the mistakes they have done (if they escape King’s punishement on the earth).
  2. The importance of Mātṛ-bhakti is well shown by Rāvaṇa.
  3. The story also shows how a mother, not encouraging the durguṇas of her child, can instead inspire him to do wonders. The parents must always try they level best to teach their children what is good and bad, rather than leaving them on their own.

Search Terms: Ravana, Kaikasi, Shiva, Indra, pooja

Published in: on June 28, 2006 at 5:42 pm  Comments Off on Kaikasī’s Śiva Bhakti  

Unnata aadarshaas of Bhaarateeyas – Kalyaanam

The mahonnata divya aadarshaas of Indians have always surprised everyone. Kalyaanam — Gruhastaashramam is one of the aspects of Bhaarateeya saampradaayam that show the aadarsha bhaavaas of Indians. According to our saampradaayam, Kalyaanam has two main motives:

  1. The main aim of Kalyaanam is to provide the society great individuals, who by never deviating from the path of Dharma and Truth, act as great resources and help their fellow humans and other living creatures.
  2. The other is to provide the Pitrudevataas a putra/putri who saves them from punnaama narakaas (the very meaning of putra/putri is one who saves from all narakaas that start with ‘pu’ aksharam) and to provide satgatis to them after leaving their physical body.

Like many great Bhaarateeyas, Jaratkaaru and Devala maharshis did Kalyaanam only to provide satgatis for their Pitrudevataas (and not for the sukhaas and bhogaas). Once upon a time, there was a great maharshi by name Jaratkaaru. He was always involved in following ghora vrataas, japaas and tapaas. He followed tapassvaadhyaayam, brahmacharyam very firmly and was never interested in samsaara bhogaas. He spent many years like this. Once he while going through a forest, saw some shallow waters and a small rat hole. In the rat hole, making a small grass shoot as support, hanging in inverted positions and taking only aaditya-kiranaas as aahaaram, some rushis were doing tapas. Seeing them, he asked them who they were and other details. They replied “What to tell about our poor state? In our vamsham there is a person by name Jaratkaaru. Because of him we are in this poor state. There is no one to send us to uttama-lokas. Here lives a rat by name Kaala (represents the Kaala, Yamadharmaraaja). He in course of time is consuming all shoots of this plant and now only this shoot is left. If that also is taken away by Kaala, we will have to go to adho-lokas. If you by any chance meet Jaratkaaru, please tell him our poor state and ask him to help us.” Jaratkaaru then replied to them “Many namaskaaraas O pitrudevatas. I am only Jaratkaaru. Till now I never had samsaarechcha. But seeing your state I have decided to do Kalyaanam”. He did his Kalyaanam with Jaratkaaruu, the younger sister of Vaasuki. Jaratkaaru and Jaratkaaruu lead their samsaaram happily, without being involved in any materialistic aspects of it and helped their Pitrudevatas.

Mahaabhaartam, written by Veda Vyaasa in three years with the help of Lord Ganesha, has 60 lakh shlokaas. Only 1 lakh shlokaas were brought to earth by Shri Vyshampaayana, the Shishya of Vyaasa Bhagawaan. The rest were propagated in different lokas — Naarada maharshi propagated It in Devalokam, Devala maharshi in Pitrulokam, Shri Shuka maharshi, the son of Veda Vyaasa, in Garuda, Gandharva, Yaksha, Raakshasa lokas and Shri Sumanta in Naagalokam. Devala maharshi was the son of Pratyuusha and was the shishya of Vyaasa.

Once when Devala maharshi went for teertha-yaatraas and was taking bath in Ganga doing Vishu dhyaanam, his Pitrudevatas appeared and asked him to save them from punnaama narakaas. They said “because of Brahmacharyam Rushi-runam will be returned and due to Agnihotraadi kaaryaas the Devataa-runam will be returned. A sat-santaanam can return the Pitru-runam. So please help us”. Devala maharshi did namaskaars to them and replied “O Pitrudevataas! I have become old. How is it possible for me to do Kalyaanam now?” Pitrudevataas replied “Brahma created the daughter of Kaundinya muni for you only. Please ask Kaundinya for her”. Devala maharshi then married her and saved his Pitrudevataas through his daughter Suvarchala. However, they were never interested in the bhogaas and lead life with Vairaagyam. Devala maharshi, due to his Pitru Bhakti, was chosen by Veda Vyaasa as the propagator of MahaaBhaarata aamnaayam in Pitru lokas.

Morals in the story:

  1. In the Bhaarateeya saampradaayam, Kalyaanam is mainly for providing the society great individuals and for helping Pitrudevataas. This story shows the unnata bhaavaas of Bhaarateeyas who do karma, but selflessly and without being involved in the materialistic aspects of it.
  2. The Pitru-Bhakti of Jaratkaaru and Devala maharshis is clearly portrayed in the story.

Ofcourse the story does not apply to Sanyaasis, who take the permission of their parents/elders before entering Sanyaasaashramam, and great people like Bhishmaachaarya, who had the consent of his father to live not having santaanam. Also, the motive 1 shows why our Indian education system was so intense and difficult. After all one must provide the society with an individual who follows the path of Truth and Dharma.

Published in: on June 5, 2006 at 7:06 pm  Comments Off on Unnata aadarshaas of Bhaarateeyas – Kalyaanam  

Seva to parents alone is enough!

Every person by birth becomes rini for parents — without whom the very existence on this earth would not have been possible, devatas — for all the panchabutas, rains, nature etc. and rishis — for giving us puraanas, shastras etc. Of these, the runam of parents cannot be paid back easily and is virtually impossible. Hence one needs to atleast do seva to them, listen and adhere to their words and give them a lot of respect. This is the least one can do to them. Our puraanas also show that one can attain moksha just by doing seva to parents.

Once upon a time, there used to live a great Bhakta of Krishna. He had a wife, who deserved to be his ardhaangi. However, they had a son, Pundarika, who had all kinds of vyasanas. In the attraction for a mere vaaraangana, he drives his parents out of his house, does not love his wife and finally looses all his money. The vaaraangana, whose love he thought was eternal, left him once his money was over. In the sorrow of being apart from the vaaraangana, he walks into a forest and finally reaches a lonely kutir of a great person by name, Kukkuta muni. He sees the following wonder when he reaches the place:

Three very ugly looking old females, suffering from terrible diseases, will be cleaning the ashram. After doing all the cleaning required, they go inside the kutir and to his surprise, three very beautiful, young women with the tejas of sun come out. Out of his usual attraction to women, he goes and holds the hand of one of the women and immediately she turns ugly like before. The woman tells Pundarika “because people like you take dip in our holy waters everyday, we get these ugly forms and have to bare with such dreadful diseases. We are Ganga, Yamuna and Sarawathi. Everyday we clean the kutir of Kukkuta muni and have his darshan to relieve the loads of paapas you maanavas leave with us and get back our divya shariraas.” She again has darshan of Kukkuta muni and all the three leave the place (They wondered why a common human, that too a bad person, was able to see them in human form at the first place).

Pundarika, just to see what is there inside, goes into the kutir. He sees nothing great — no jewels, no big furniture nothing. He sees a person totally immersed in pressing the legs of his father. The person was totally engrossed in it and the only other thing he had in mind was the thought of Lord Shiva.Seeing Kukkuta muni, Pundarika asks him many questions about the woman etc., but sees that the muni gave back no reply, since the muni was totally engrossed with the seva to his father. Not able to bear the rejection, out of ahankaar, he tries to kick the muni and immediately falls on the ground loosing both his legs. Pundarika cries for help and the muni gets disturbed by his cries and attends to his help. Pundarika begs the muni to pardon him and the muni immediately pardons him. Pundarika realizes all the mistakes he has done in his life and asks the muni for prayaschittam. The muni says that there is nothing that can help him except the seva to his parents and even a bhrashta can achieve moksha by serving his parents. Immediately Pundarika, pulling himself with his hands, sets off in the search for his parents, whom he drove away from his house. He truly and whole heartedly repents for his mistakes and continues his journey to his parents.

He does not think about food, water, his bleeding legs, the only thing he has in his mind is to search for his parents, beg them to pardonhim and do their seva. He does not care about thorny paths, heat of the sun, steep mountain cliffs etc. and continues his journey. When he falls off a cliff, Lord Krishna used to catch him safely and let him move on. At all stages,Pundarika’s heart was filled only with the want of doing seva to parents, and hence Krishna bhagavaan used to help him all along. Finally, he reaches the kutir of his parents and falls on their feet. He begs them to pardon him for being so cruel to them and pleaded them to grant him the chance of doing their seva. The parents immediately pardon Pundarika and Pundarika again gets back his legs. From that day onwards, he always used to be busy doing seva to his parents and always think of Krishna paramaatma in his mind.

Unable to bear the separation from his bhakta, one day Lord Krishna comes to see Pundarika. He waits at the door of Pundarika’s kutir and calls for him. Pundarika sees Krishna, the paramaatma for whose darshan even great munis spend their entire lives in tapas, standing at his door. But Pundarika was at that time pressing the feet of his parents, who were asleep, with legs in his lap. Krishna asks Pundarika to come and take Him inside. Pundarika, seeing the Lord becomes very happy, but asks Him to wait a bit, since he cannot stop seva to his parents and he will come after taking their permission. Lord Krishna waits at the door and by being touched by his lotus feet, Indra who was lying in the form of a stone because of the curse of Lord Shiva, takes back His original form and leaves to Indraloka.

Meanwhile Pundarika’s father wakes up and asks him what happened. Pundarika says that Lord Krishna had come but he was unable to receive him. Immediately Pundarika’s father runs to receive the Lord, but does not see Him. He then asks Pundarika to call Krishna. Krishna appears immediately on the call of Pundarika and blesses moksha for Pundarika, his wife and his parents. Krishna also stays permanently at the house of Pundarika to bless bhaktas and it became the well known kshetram of Pandarpur. The kshetram is so ancient that the legs of the Pandarnath’s idol are half eroded just by the touchings of bhaktas!

Morals in the story:

1. Only because Pundarika did true seva to his parents, did Krishna wait for him at his door and immediately come when called by Pundarika. This shows the importance of being obedient to parents ans doing their seva.
2. Seva of parents is the most basic thing that the Indian culture prescribes. A person going against the word of his parents will not be liked by God.

Search Terms: Pundariika, Pundareeka, Panduranga, Paanduranga

Published in: on May 20, 2006 at 4:25 pm  Comments (18)  

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