Power of always speaking the Truth

(Continuing Udanka’s story)
Paushya’s mahaarani gives her kundalas to Udanka, but warns him that “Takshaka always has an eye on this — so be careful”. Udanka thanks the queen and returns to Paushya to ask him for leave. Paushya, who knows the shaastras, pleaded Udanka to accept his aatithyam and eat at his place. Udanka accepted the King’s request and Udanka sat to eat in a separate Bhojana shaala for vidvaans. The very first piece he was about to eat had a hair strand in it!

For Indians, parishubhrata is of utmost importance and especially for eating. There are many rules in shaastras about how a person who eats must be, how the person who cooks must be and who clean the food itself must be etc. Even after following all the rules, some doshas might creep in. Hence Indians always put godhrutam (cow ghee) in the food before eating, considering the food as havis, the person who eats as havirbhokta and the the act of eating as a yagnyam!

Ukdanda gets angry on Paushya for offering uncleaned food. Since he knows all shaastras, he knows that neither the cook nor the person who served nor the head of the bhojanashaala must be blamed, it is the ajamaani who gave aatithyam, the King, who needs to be blamed for this (see this story). He, in the anger, says to Paushya “Since you gave me such food, may you become blind”. Knowing that Udanka gave him such a big punishment for a small mistake, Paushya says to Udanka “May you have no children”.

Since both Udanka and Paushya never deviated from the path of Truth, whatever they said now, in anger, became really true! The nature of a sajjana is that, he will never become angry and if he becomes angry, his anger will be like the spill of boiling milk, just for a fraction of a second. Immediately Paushya and Udanka realize their mistake and Paushya asks Udanka to save him from blindness. Udanka, with his tapas-shakti, told Paushya that he will be blind for a very short time. However Paushya could not give a shaapaavasaanam to Udanka. Paushya says “O great scholar! Since you are a sage and have immense tapas-shakti you were able to help me, but I cannot do it and my words cannot be changed, because of my satya-vaak-paripaalana”. Udanka then takes leave of Paushya and immediately resumes the work given by his Guru-patni.

Will Udanka be able to take the kundalas safely to his guru-patni? Wont Takshaka cause any trouble? Please keep reading to know the answers :).

Morals in the story:

  1. For a person who always speaks Truth, whatever he speaks will become true!
  2. Anger, even for a fraction of second, may cause disasters.
  3. Importance of parishubhrata, especially for bhojanam, is clearly displayed in the story. The otherwise calm Udanka, became angry because the food offered to him (an Atithi, knowing Atithi-devo-bhava) had dosham. One must do bhojanam as if he was doing a yagnyam.
  4. The knowledge of shaastras helped Udanka to immediately decide who needs to be blamed for the dosham in the food.
  5. The power in Tapas (Daiva-dhyaanam) is clearly displayed by Udanka. With his tapas-shakti, he was able to undo his mistake.

Draupadi, an ikon of a true Indian woman

Draupadi, the daughter of King Drupada, appears from the yagnyaagni as a full grown, in the bloom of her youth. One can observe that it is always Paramaatma who takes birth and avataaras (“Paritraanaaya sadhunam …”). However, always Yoga-Maaya (or Shakti) never takes birth, she just appears. It is the same case with Sita devi, Rukmini devi, Draupadi, Maatulungi etc. The following piece of story of draupadi shows the boundaries of following Dharma. May be none can be better!

Ashwatthaama, the chiranjeevi, does a daaruna krutyam after the Mahaabhaaratam. Unusual to his nature, He, without even little daya, beheads the sleeping babies of draupadi — the upa-paandavas. Draupadi realizes what happened. All her 10 sons, who were little baalakas, who were sleeping, who never did any kind of harm to Ashwatthaama and who cannot even react to the harm committed to them were lying in a pool of blood. Draupadi breaks down to tears and weeps in great sorrow. Arjuna very sad himself, consoles Her and says it does not look nice for a Veera maata to cry like this. He says that He will immediately avenge the act and kill Ashwatthaama. On killing him, she can take bath standing on his head. Immediately Lord Krishna and Arjuna set out on their Hanumadhdhvaja ratham to catch the fleeing Ashwatthaama.

Seeing that Arjuna is closing by his ratham and that his horses are a little exhausted, Aswaththaama sees Brahmaastra as the only way to save himself. Though not knowing the way of retrieving the astra, he immediately uses Brahmaastra on Arjuna, after stopping the ratham, doing aachamanam and purifying himself. Lord Krishna orders Arjuna to use Brahmaastra to counter Ashwatthaama’s. Arjuna also purifies himself, does achamanam, does a pradakshina to the Almighty and uses Brahmaastra. The two astras, one like Agni and the other like sun, fight each other and in no time the worlds start to burn under the influence of the astras. Krishna, the protector of the worlds, immediately orders Arjuna to take back both Astras, as only a Brahmachaari can take back a Brahmaastra!

Arjuna takes back both the Brahmaastras, showing clearly what a perfect Brahmachaari he was. Arjuna, who was the friend of the Askalita Brahmachaari Lord Krishna, obviously knows the shastras and the ways to maintain his Brahmacharyam, though married. Arjuna ties Ahswaththaama and takes him to Draupadi, like a Yagnya pashu is taken to the Yagnya shaala. The acts of Draupadi in this following episode make even Krishna praise Krishnaa (Draupadi) for her Dharma.

On seeing the killer of all her sons being brought by Arjuna, Draupadi, of the beauty of her nature out of compassion, does a namaskar to him and says as per the Vedas in the absence of the Guru, Guru-putra takes his place, so she is doing a namaskaar to Drona! It was unbearable for her having him brought being bound and she said: “Release him, for he is a brahmana, our Aacharya. Do not make his mother, Drona’s wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child”. Yudhishtira, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, Saatyaki, Krishna and other queens supported the statements of Paanchaali as they were in accord with the principles of Sanaatana Dharma, of justice, merciful, without duplicity and glorious in equity. Krishna, amazed by the Dharmya vartana of Draupadi, praises her very much. However, Bhima also raised a valid point that a person who by nature has daya is a brahmana, is Ashwatthaama, who mercilessly killed the baalakas, worth being called one? Saying “surely death is the only punishment for such a person”, Bhima proceeds to kill Ashwatthaama, but the Lord, with His chaturbhuja’s stops Bhima and says the following with a smile:

Dhrmyam of Draupadi!

“The Guru-putra, a braahmana must not be killed – this both is by Me, certainly prescribed to be carried out abiding by the rules.” However, Arjuna has to keep to the truth as promised while pacifying his wife, and also act to the satisfaction of Bhima and Himself (by punishing the bad). So they remove the divya mani on the head of Ashwatthaama and remove his hair, as, for a veera, tonsuring is equivalent to killing him.

Morals in the story:

  1. The Dhramya vartana of Draupadi is well portrayed in the story. This shows us that, even at the time of great stress, sorrow, difficulty, one never must deviate from the path of truth, Dharma.
  2. Even though Ashwatthaama was great, in his momentary anger he committed an unpardonable crime. One must be very careful and need to think what is right and what is wrong before acting. This is what the pandavas do in the later part of the story, with the help of Krishna. They, though Kshattriyas, were not overwhelmed by revenge. They acted according to the words of Krishna, who is Dharma in human form.
  3. The importance given to keeping up one’s word is protrayed well. Arjuna promises Draupadi to kill Ashwatthaama, but according to Dharma is must not be killed. So they do an equivalent act of killing.
  4. The importance of cleanliness is also displayed. Both Ashwatthaama and Arjuna purify themselves, do aachamanam before chanting the mantras for Brahmaastra. They do this even when they were in such a great press for time.
  5. The power of Brahmacharyam is well shown through this story. Arjuna, who knew the Shatras, was a brahmachaari and hence could not only take back his, but Ashwatthaama’s astra too.
  6. The heart of a mother is well exposed when Draupadi comments “Do not make his mother, Drona’s wife, cry the way I do in my chastity shedding tears constantly in distress over a lost child“. She knows the pain of loosing children, so did not want another mother to experience it!

Message to present society:

Being Kshatriyas, people with lot of Shauryam, Paandavas thought so much (analyzing what is Dharmam, what is adharmam) before avenging their son’s death. Now-a-days even films show people mercilessly killing each other in the name of revenge.

Published in: on May 15, 2006 at 7:47 pm  Comments (35)  

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Shuchi and Shubhrata were given utmost importance in our Indian culture, since ever. Right from small things like brushing teeth etc. fixed rules and regulations have been placed, such that utmost cleanliness prevails in the society. The following story portrays the obsession of Indian culture for cleanliness.

Long ago there used to live an obedient shishya of the great Paila maharshi. His name was Udanka. Udanka, due to his obedience, learnt quickly his lessons. After completing his Vidyaabhyaasam, before leaving the Guru-aashramam, Udanka requested his Guru to take Guru-dakshina. Paila maharshi replied “you being a shishya of me is itself enough. It is difficult to get good shishyas like you. Please go on”. Upon many times being requested by Udanka, finally Paila maharshi said “do the work that your Guru-patni tells you and then leave”.

He approached Guru-patni, did Yathaa-vidhi namaskaaram, with Vinayam, asked her to give him some work. She asked him to get the kundalas of the country’s Mahaaraani for a Vratam. Udanka immediately set out for it. On the way he sees a radiant brightly glowing God coming on a huge Vrushabham. He does the required namaskars to him and the God gives him goomayam. He eats the goomayam, takes leave from the God and continues his journey to meet Poushya, the king of the country. Poushya was a very great king, ruled his subjects as his own kids and made dharma walk on its four legs.

Poushya welcomed Udanka and offered him a warm welcome when he arrived at his courtyard. Udanka tells the reason for his arrival and immediately the kings granted him permission to collect the kundalas. He asked udanka to go to the queen’s palace and collect them from her personally. Udanka went into the palace and searched for the queen everywhere. Failing to find her returns to poushya informing that he could not find the queen. Poushya hesitantly says “O great Brahmana! How can I say that you are not clean? My queen is a Pativrata and hence only people who are clean can see her”. Udanka recalls why he was not in a clean state and realizes that in the hurry to finish gurupatni’s task, he forgot to wash his hands, feet and mouth and do aachamanam, after eating the gomayam. He immediately washes and does aachamanam and goes back to see the queen and sees her in her palace.

Story will be continued later in some other contexts. So will Udanka be able to complete his gurupatni’s task? who was the God? Keep reading for answers …. 🙂

Morals in the Story:

  1. It is very basic and important to always be clean.
  2. The mahima of pativratas is immense. It seems even the trimurtis do not have power to go against the will of a pativrata.

Message:

Neglecting the Indian aacharams and culture seems to be the main cause for today’s “modern” Indian’s un-cleanliness and other related ill-effects. So let us strive to uphold our culture reforms ourselves and think twice to act in this mad run for “technological advancement”.

Also now-a-days we miss our olden education system. Peviously Guru used to give Vidyaa, housing, food everything, expecting nothing in return. Shishya also used to learn with great Vinayam and try his best to give Guru-dakshina. This Unnata-aadarsham of Bhaarateey-Vidyaabhyaasam is well shown in the story through the conversation of Udanka and Paila maharshi. Contrast it with present day education — it has reached a level where educational institutes, in their hunger for money, do advertisements!!

Published in: on May 14, 2006 at 1:54 pm  Comments (49)  
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