Dharmabalam

Ugraayudha, the Raaja of Ajaamiidha vamsham, was very famous. He was a balavanta. He even got the Chakraayudham from Shri Hari. However he then got Ahankaaram. With Bala-garvam, he used to unnecessarily do Yuddhams with other Kings. He stopped thinking about Dharmam-adharmam, Nyaayam-anyaayam, Saadhyam-asaadhyam. None used to stand before him in Yuddham. Many became his saamanta-raajas, others lost their lives in the Yuddham. This increased his Ahankaaram.

Once he heard that Devavrata (Bheeshmaachaarya) was a Veeraadhiveera. He heard that in the Bhuu-mandalam, no one can defeat him. Ugraayudha then decided to do Yuddham against Gaangeya, so took a huge Sainyam and reached Hastinaapuram.

Just at that time the Pita of Bheeshmaachaarya, Shantana mahaaraja became a Svargastha. Bheeshmaachaarya had great duhkham. The Shraaddha-karma was not yet over by that time. Only few days were over. Ugraayudha thought it was the right chance and sent a duuta to Devavrata:

“Bheeshma! There is no one who can defeat me. You also know this. You also know the power of the Chakraayudham. I dont want your Aishvaryam, Raajyam. I want Matsyagandhi, Bhuvanaika-sundari, Satyavatii Devi. I will give you one day time”. Bheeshmaachaarya became very angry listening to the Dur-bhaasha of the Dushta. He couldnt bear that someone spoke like this about his Maata, Pativrata, Satyavatii Devi. Immediately he ordered Yuddham against the Dushta, Ahankaari Ugraayudha.

However, the Panditas, Purohitas, Nitya-hita-kaamas said “O Dharmaatma! Bheeshma! Ugraayudha is like a Pipiilakam (ant) before you. There is no need for you to go for Yuddham. Also your Pita’s Shraaddha-karma is not yet over. Shraddha is the most important thing in Pitru-kaaryas. You must not take Aayudhas, Divya-vastras now. Also one must always try to avoid Yuddham, because of its evil effects on the samaajam. Hence you send a Duuta, use Saama-daana-Bheda Upaayas and try. Then you can try Danda-upaayam. By that time the Pitru-kaaryam will also be over”.

The Dharmagnya, Bheeshma, listened to the advise of the Panditas and sent a Duuta to Ugraayudha. However all the efforts of the Duutas went waste. The Durahankaari never listened to them. Infact he immediately used his Chakraayudham on Gaangeya. However even the Chakraayudham became nistejam because of the Paativratyam of Satyavatii Devi and Dharmabalam of Bheeshmaachaarya!

The Chakram kept on spinning but didnt move an inch!! Ugraayudha used all his aatma-shakti, but the Chakraayudham never moved. Ugraayudha thought “Chakraayudham is more powerful than Brahmaastram. What is stopping it? May be because Bheeshma now has Aashouchakam, the Chakram is not approaching him. I will wait till the Aashouchakam is over”. However, even after the Pitrukarma was over, the Chakraayudham didnt move, it stayed in the same place in the air, spinning. Ugraayudha was amazed.

In no time Bheeshma reached the place, along with his Anuja Vichitraveerya. In the hands of the Veera, Bheeshma, Ugraayudha lost his life. Seeing the Bala-paraakramam of Bheeshma, even the Devatas were surprised. All the people who were supressed in the Paalanam of Ugraayudha, then did Stuti of Bheeshmaachaarya.

Morals in the Story:

  1. Ahankaaram destroys the person having it. One must always remember that there is always someone who is greater than us. Even though Ugraayudha got Shri Hari’s Chakram, just because of Ahankaaram, he was destroyed.
  2. A real Veera never shows off his Balam (see this too). Ugraayudha, with Bala-garvam, always did Yuddhams. Whereas Bheeshma, even though he had the Shakti to kill Ugraayudha, tried to send Shaanti-sandesham to Ugraayudha.
  3. One who wishes a Para-strii, that too a Pativrata, will be destroyed. Before the Paativratyam of Satyavatii Devi, and Dharmabalam of Bheeshma, even the Vishnu-chakram became equivalent to a grass-shoot!
  4. The amruta-vaakyas of the Panditas must always be remembered. Bheeshma followed the Dharmabodha of his Purohitas and was able to complete the Pitru-kaaryam and also teach Ugraayudha a lesson.

Search Terms: Bhishma, Bhiishma, Ugrayudha, Sathyavathi, Sathyavati, Satyavathi, Vichitravirya, Vichithraveerya

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Published in: on September 24, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments (18)  

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  

Vinayam gives Vruddhi. Ahankaar Destroys.

The story of Nahusha, the son of Aayu and father of the Yayaati, clearly shows us what un-attainable high positions one can achieve as long as he has vinayam and what drastic downfall can happen if one has ahankaar.

Nahusha was raised in his childhood by the great Brahmarshi Vasishta. Since he was unaffected by happiness or sorrow and did not feel the slighest ahankaar when once Devatas praised him in his childhood, he was named Nahusha. He learnt all shaastras and after his education became the King. Due to his great qualities his fame spread quickly to all directions. Everyone was in praise of him, to such an extent that even vedas praised him. He performed 100 Ashwamedha Yaagas and hence was deserving the position of Indra.

Once, Indra killed an asura by name Vrutraasura. Though Vrutra was an asura, he was a braahmana and hence Indra had to suffer brahmahatyaa-paatakam and Nahusha was offered the position of Indra. Nahusha continued to be good, until one day he realized that he was the ruler, king of all the 14-lookas! He suddenly became very proud and once a person has Ahankaar, he does not think, he assumes he is the greatest and that he can never be wrong. Such was the power of being the king for the Devatas and all the worlds! He sends a message to Sachi-devi, the great Pativrata and wife of Indra (the previous Indra, the eldest brother of Devatas) that she must serve him as he is the Indra now. The very moment he wanted a Pativrata, all his good qualities, tapas-shakti everything were lost and his end was destined.

Sachi-devi tells Nahusha "O great Indra! You are the God of the Gods. You are very great, please come to my house. But you being so great deserve to be carried by none other than Saptarishis. So please come in a pallaqi beared by them". Nahusha really feels that what Sachi-devi said is true (did not realize that she was a pativrata and hence the real meaning behind her words) and immediately ordered the Saptarishis to do so. Obviously the Saptarishis have conquered anger and ahankaar so they carry him. Nahusha sits in the pallaqi beared by them and in the height of his pride says "Sarpa Sarpa" (go fast) to Agasthya muni, since he was very short and was taking small small steps. Agasthya muni said "sarpobhava", in order to teach Nahusha a lesson. And immediately from the high position of Indra, he falls as a Ajagaram (huge Python) in some deep forest.

He spends thousand and thousands of years repenting for his mistake. Once when Paandavas were in the aashramam of Vrushaparva, Bhima goes to the forest and sees Nahusha who was in the form of an incredably huge Ajagaram. Bhima gets surprised by the amazing strength of it and asks it who it was. Nahusha tells his unfortunate story and says only the great Yudhishtira, who never deviates from the path of truth, can save him from this form. Meanwhile, Yudhishtira searching for Bhima reaches that place. Yudhishtira on knowing that the ajagaram is his ancestor Nahusha, he prostrates to him and takes his blessings. Later he answers all the questions of Nahusha and Nahusha gets freed from the terrible form, takes the form of a divya-purusha and goes to urdhva lokas in a divya vimaana.

Morals in the story:

  1. As long as Nahusha had Vinayam he was respected by everybody. Once taken over by Ahankaar, he committed great mistakes and later had to experience the result.
  2. Even for a great person like Nahusha, the power of simhaasanam made him bad. One must be more and more careful to be good and humble as his power in the society grows.
  3. Yudhishtira showed the way elders must be respected. One must never evaluate an elder for respecting them. According to our culture they always must be respected.
  4. Gnyaanam, knowledge of shaastra helped Yudhishtira answer the questions of Nahusha. One must always give utmost importance to gnyaanam and vigyaanam — using them one can acheive great wonders and help others.
  5. Pativratas power is graeater than anyone. One must never want a para-kaanta.
Published in: on May 28, 2006 at 6:31 pm  Comments (10)  

Satyameva Jayate

No collection of moral stories will be complete without the mention of Satya Harishcandra. His story is well known and praised by everyone. Truth is the most fundamental moral to be learnt by everyone and it is alone enough to reach God. The following is a small incident showing the satya vaak paripaalanam of Harishchandra:

When travelling in the forest, with his family and Nakshatraka to the great kaashi kshetram, Harishchandra sees un-controllable Daavaagni (forest fire) sorrounding them. They donot understand the reason for it and Nakshatraka worries a lot, not knowing any way of getting out of the fire. Harishchandra worries for a different reason. He was not worried for loosing his life, but if he dies in the agni, then he will not be able to return the debt to Vishwaamitra maharshi and thus will not be able to keep up his word.

Seeing this, Agnideva (sent by Vishwaamitra) tells them a way to cross the fire safely. He says anyone who says that his name is not his own name, can safely walk through him. Immediately Nakshatraka, to attract them to say a lie, says I name is not Nakshatraka and walks into the fires. Nothing happens to him and he walks back suggesting Harishchandra and his family to try out the same. Obviously Harishchandra will not say a lie, but gets worried since he will be not be able to repay Vishwaamitra maharshi. Seeing the worry of her husband, Chandramati devi does a stotram to agni saying that if she were a pativrata, then the agni must stop. Immediately the huge daavaagni vanishes and they cross the forest safely.

The whole episode of Vishwaamitra maharshi testing Harishchandra starts with a conversion at Indra Sabha: A discussion will be raised to zero-in on a vratam which anyone whether rich or poor, whether king or servant, kid or elder, male or female can follow, exists or not. Vasishta maharshi suggests that satya vratam (speaking truth always) is there and tells that Harishchandra is a firm follower of it. Vasishta and Vishwaamitra both challenge each other, Vasishta saying "In the impossible event of Harishchandra uttering a lie I will leave sandhyaavandanaadi aahnikas, japa, tapas, remove yagnyopavita, become Bhrasta, have wine and behave in a way co-rishis will hate me, throw me out of there community and eventually goto naraka!". Vishwaanitra says "If Harishchandra stands my tests I will give half of my till now earned entire tapashshakti, make him rule the earth for many years and for 14 manvantaras will make him occupy the ardha-simhaasanam of Indra". Harishchandra in the end qualifies the tests of Vishwaamitra, enjoys all these bhogas and in the end with Lord Shiva's anugraham gets Moksham.

Morals in the Story:

  1. Let even death may came, one must never leave the path of truth.
  2. Though a person has to face temporary difficulties for following the path of truth, in the end always truth only wins.
  3. The power of pativrata is enormous. It seems the power of Agni or howmuch ever tapashshakti cannot equal that of a pativrata. This is evident by the power of Chandramati devi.
  4. निन्दन्तु नीतिनिपुणाः यदि वा स्तुवन्तु
    लक्ष्मीः समाविशतु गच्छतु वा यथेष्टम्।
    अद्यैव वा मरणमस्तु युगान्तरे वा
    न्याय्यात्पथः प्रविचलन्ति पदं न धीराः॥
    — भर्तृहरेः नीतिशतकम्
    nindantu nītinipuṇāḥ yadi vā stuvantu
    lakṣmīḥ āgacchatu gacchatu vā yatheṣṭam|
    adyaiva maraṇamastu yugāantare vā
    nyāyyātpathaḥ pravicalanti padaṁ na dhīrāḥ||
    — bhartṛhareḥ nītiśatakam

    “May those proficient in law praise or decry;
    May the Goddess of Wealth come or go as she pleases;
    Let Death come today or at the end of the yuga;
    The resolute will not deviate from the path of righteousness!”

Published in: on May 19, 2006 at 5:12 pm  Comments (13)  

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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