The great Kushika Maharaja

Once the great Chyavana maharshi went to Kushika maharaja. Kushika did ghana-puuja to Chyavana maharshi. “Muniindra! Please give us aagnya what to do” said Kushika with great Vinayam. Chyavana maharshi replied “Raja! You and your arthaangi do seva to me”. “Ok. Svaami!” replied Kushika. Kushika arranged for Chyavana maharshi Hamsa-tuulikaa-talpam (bed) and a Manipeetham. “Maharaja! Now I will take rest. Dont disturb me until, I by myself, wake up. Till then do my paada-seva” said Chyavana maharshi. For 42 days, Kushika and his arthaangi did paada-seva of Chyavana maharshi, forgetting Nidra-aahaaram.

The next day Chyavana maharshi woke up and said “get me a Ratham. You both must pull it. I will go on it, giving Suvarana (gold), Ratna, Go (cow), Ashva daanams to the poor”. Immediately Kushika arranged for it. The King and Queen started pulling the ratham. Chyavana maharshi started to hit them with the horse-wip until they were bleeding and kept travelling. Finally they reached the end of the Raajyam.

He saw that the King and Queen have a smiling face, even though their bodies were bleeding! Chyavana maharshi said “Raaja! Now you both got extremely exhausted. Please go back. I will stay here a do Tapas. Come again tomorrow”. Saying thus, Chyavana maharshi, the Aayurveda-nipuna, just touched them on their wounds and the wounds just disappeared. “Muniindra! Just by your Kara-sparsha we got new shakti in us and all our wounds have disappeared. How do we praise your greatness”, saying this, Kushika returned to his Raajyam. When they came back the next day, Chyavana maharshi was not there, but a Vishaala-sundara-divya Bhavanam was there. “Devi! did you see. Because of Maharshi, we are able to see such unbelievably beautiful Bhavanam, that resembles Svargam”. They went in and saw that Chyavana maharshi was lying down on a Mani-maya-paryankam (bed). But as soon as they came near him, everything disappeared. They saw that Chyavana maharshi was doing Tapas.

“Raani! Did you see this Maharshi’s Tapobalam? We can rule many Raajyams. But getting this Tapas is very difficult” said the King. Then Chyavana maharshi called them and said “Maharaja! You have great Indriya-nigraham. You are great. You both didnt even get slightest Krodham even if I inflicted great pain. You always served me with great Vinayam. Please ask me what Varam you want”. “Swaami! Your paada-seva is only what I want. I dont need anything else. But please tell me why did you do all this?”

“Kushika! I heard about you from Brahmadeva. I tested you very much and would have given you shaapam if you didnt keep up your word. But you are an Uttama. I was impressed by you and hence showed you both Svargam. But even then you didnt get attracted and said ‘Tapas is great’. Your Pautra (grandson) will be a great Brahmarshi. He will be the Mantra-drashta of the great Gaayatri mantram. There has been no King who attained the Brahmarshi-padavi. Your pautra will achieve with his will power, Satya-nishtha and parishrama.

Kushika’s putra was Gaadhii-raaja and his putra was the great Vishvaamitra maharshi.

Morals in the story:

  1. The sadgunams Vinayam and Atithi-Seva-bhaavam of Kushika are well shown in the story. Kushika and his Raani, did paada-seva of Chyavana maharshi for 42 days continuously without even taking food and sleep.
  2. Kushika and his arthaangi had full control of their Indriyas (Indriya Nigraham). Even when their bodies were bleeding, they didnt get Krodham on Chyavana maharshi. Svargam will be at the will of such people.
  3. Story shows how doing seva to great sat-purushas like Chyavana Maharshi will give Shubhams. Doing seva to Chyavana maharshi, they got the great Vishvaamitra maharshi as their Pautra.
Published in: on September 14, 2006 at 11:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Shri Gautama maharshi -1

Gautama maharshi is one of the Brahma-maanasa-putras and is one of the great Saptarishis. Gautama maharshi is a mantra-drashta and gave us the famous “Gautama Smruti” in which he showed us many Dharma-sutras. Proving the Shodasha (16) Padaarthas like Pratignya, Hetu, Udaaharana, he wrote a Nyaayashaastram too. He gave us the Jyotishshaastra Grantham by the name “Gautama Samhita”. Sitadevi’s gotram is Gautama gotram only!

Once Brahmadeva did srushti of Ahalya (Na halyati iti Ahalya. She lacked nothing). She was a divya Soundarya Murty. Brahmadeva wondered who derserved to be the Bharta of this apuurva Gunavati. He decided that a person with Akhanda Teevra Brahmacharya Nishtha and Nigraham can only be her Bharta and saw that Gautama maharshi was the one. He decided to test the Indriya Nigraham of Gautama maharshi. He came to Gautama maharshi’s aashramam and said “she is Ahalya. I will leave her in your aashramam. I will come back after some time”. Many years passed and since Gautama maharshi was a Samyami and his manas was always with Brahma (hence a Brahmachaari), he never even had faint skhalanam seeing Ahalya. Gautama maharshi, the parama Shiva Bhakta, easily passed the test of Brahmadeva. Brahmadeva then did Kalyaanam of Gautama maharshi and Ahalya. Their’s was an aadarsha daapatyam. They lived in Brahmagiri, which is in Dakshina-Bhaaratam.

Unlike modern technology, which tries to exploit Nature, our Bhaarateeya Vignyaanam explians ways how to use Nature without disturbing the Nature’s eco-system. Combining Bhautika Vignyaanam and Aadhyaatmika Vignyaanam is the speciality of Bhaarateeya maharshis. Gautama maharshi was a master of Bhuu, Jala, Vyavasaaya Shastras. Gautama maharshi, once for Kshaama-nivaaranam did Tapas for Varunadeva and made a reservoir filled with Akshayajalam. Shiva Puraanam tells that with this Jalam, many lands become fertile: (here goes the story)

Once a Kshaamam came and life of people became difficult. Except Yogis everyone was running for their life. Gautama maharishi, who had karuna-svabhaavam, was not able to see the difficulties of the people. He decided to do Tapas for Varunadeva to ask him from rain. Varunadeva appeared and said “this is Kaala-niyamam. I cannot go against it. Kaala-karta, Parameshvara, only controls Pancha-bhuutas and Grahas. Doing anusandhaanam of Punya-Paapas of people, using Us, Parama Shiva controls Nature (Aadi Shakti). According to this I must not rain now. Ask Me anything else”. Gautama maharshi, who had loka-shreyas in mind, asked Varunadeva “if You are really satisfied with my Tapas, give me Akshajalam. Other than that I dont need anything”. Varunadeva replied “Gautama! I must give phalitam to your Tapas. I am bound to My Mantram. You dig a reservoir and I will put Akshyajalam in it. Dayaalu like you will do only Praja-kshemam. Jayostu”. Thus Gautama maharshi saved many people. Aadhaaram to this Prapancham are four: “a person who has Bhuutadaya, a person who has no garvam, a person who has upakaara-buddhi, a person who has Indriya Nigraham”.

The seva that Gautama maharshi did to Dakshina Bhaaratam and in particular to Aandra Pradesh is also memorable. Using his Vyavasaaya Shaastram and Godaavari he turned this land fertile. (We will see this story in detail in Shri Gautama maharshi -2). He also changed the course of Krishnaa-nadii-jalam, using his Tapas-shakti, and made still many more lands fertile.

Atithi-seva and Praja-sankshemam were the important Dharmas which Gautama maharshi showed us. One Sajjana/Dushta is enough to save/destroy a whole Vamsham. Many maharshi’s in Gautama maharshi’s Vamsham are Mantra-drashtas. Gautama maharshi and Ahalya’s putra was Shataananda, the Purohita of Janaka maharaja.

Gautama maharshi after making one place fertile used to shift to the next place. Like this many maharshis bless the place with their Tapas and move on. The aashramams used by such Divya-rushis later become Siddha-aashramams. Aditi and Kashyapa maharshi did Tapas for Mahaavishnu in Gautama maharshi’s aashramam and got Mahaavishnu as their child. Mahaavishnu was born to them as Vaamana, Shri Raama and Shri Krishna. (Kaushalya, Dasharatha; and Devaki-Vasudeva are Aditi, Kashyapa only)

Morals in the Story:

  1. Bhaarateeya Vignyaanam was always respecting the Nature, not destroying it. The importance they gave to Agriculture etc. is well shown in this story.
  2. The greatness of Samyamam, Brahmacharyam are well shown by Gautama maharshi.
  3. The paropakaara buddhi and Bhuutadaya of Gautama maharshi are well shown in the story.
  4. The greatness of Siddha-aashramams and Divya Kshetras is shown in the story. We are indeed very very lucky to be born in this Bhaarata Desham, where there are countless number of Punya-kshetras. “Mera Bhaarat Mahaan“.

Search Terms: Gauthama, Gowthama, Gouthama, Goutama, Gowtama, Indra

Published in: on July 26, 2006 at 6:21 pm  Comments (3)  

Story of the famous Pravara

In Aruṇāspadam, once upon a time, there used to be a brāhmaṇa gṛhastha by name Pravara. He used to do atithi-abhyāgata seva always. He had great interest in doing Tīrtha-yātras. He used to give ātithyam to people who returned from Tīrtha-yātras and know the Yātra-viśeṣhas from them. Once a great Siddha, who in a very young age did many Tīrtha-yātras, came to Pravara.

Pravara gave atithyam to him, did satkāram and asked him how he was able to travel so many Divya-kṣhetras at such a young age. The Siddha told him that he had a Divya Pāda-lepanam with him which can take him to whatever place he wants to go in no time. The Siddha gave Pravara the Pāda-lepanam and went away. Pravara did all his nityānuṣhṭhānas, did all the work needed to be done for his Māta-Pita, others, gave the responsibility of atithi satkāram etc. to his wife Sahanaśīli, took the anujña of his parents and with the saṅkalpam of returning back by the time of Sāyam-sandhya, he started to see the Divya Siddha-pradeśas, Kṣhetras in the great Himālayas using the Pāda-lepanam.

From the Ākāśa-mārgam itself he saw the great Himālayas, the puṇya ṇadīs, Tīrthas. The sounds of the flows of water were like mṛdaṅga-dhvani and the peacocks (mayūra) responded to the dhvani by dancing, with their feathers open. He saw, with surprise, the female elephants shaking the huge trees with their trunks, in the forests. Āha! The beauty of the Himālayas can it be explained by Brahmadeva Himself? Due to the Sūrya ātapam snow used to melt and fall on the heated Sūryakānta maṇis and immediately evaporate with “chisss” sounds. Knowing that it became Madhyāhnam, he thought that it was enough for that day and he can return the next day to continue his Yātra.

But Pravara was not able to move. He realized that the Pāda-lepanam got melted in the ice-water. He became a niśceṣhṭa. He thought “O Bhagavān! What strong Karma-pāśam? With the help of Siddha I came such a great distance from my house. Where is Aruṇāspadam and where is this place. Why did I act in haste, without thinking much?” He became sad thinking about his parents, who would search his entire village if they dont see him for a minute. “What will be the situation of my Bhārya, who follows me like a shadow? How sad will my Śiṣhyas be not seeing me? Who will do the necessary arrangements for Atithi-abhyāgata satkāras? What about the nityāgnihotras? Even my nitya-anuṣhṭHānas will be stopped is it? O Bhagavān! No one else must face a situation like this” thought Pravara. Seeing Pravara, a Gandharva kanya by name Varūdhinī came and tried to do attract Pravara. Not knowing what to do Pravara maintained maunam. One side was Varūdhinī who was doing Śruṅgāra-ceṣhṭas and on the otherside it was getting time for his nityānuṣhṭhānas.

As the Sūrya-bhagavān started to set, Pravara thought his jīvitam is becoming vyartham. He got bhrānti and thought “is all these days of my Anuṣhṭhānas be waste?” Believing in Agnideva — manasā, vācā, karmaṇā; Pravara, the nityāgnihotra, controlled Varūdhinī, with dṛḍha saṅkalpam of doing his Anuṣhṭhānas, said “if I really do all my duties, follow the path of Dharma and am I nityānuṣhṭhāna-tatpara then may the Agnideva show me the way”.

The next moment Pravara was in his house at Aruṇāspadam. He did kṛtajñatas to Karmasākṣhi, Agnideva and brought back happiness to all his family members.

Morals in the story:

  1. Dharmo Rakṣhati RakṣhitaH. Since Pravara firmly followed his Dharmam, he was saved from the difficult situation.
  2. The importance of Atithi seva is well shown by Pravara.
  3. Samyayam and self-control of Pravara is well displayed when he did not, even a little bit, get attracted to Varūdhinī.

Search Terms: Pravarakhya, Pravaraakhya, Varudhini, Varuudhini, Himalaya, Arunaspadam

Published in: on July 5, 2006 at 7:12 pm  Comments (13)  

Story of the great Parikshit maharaja

Parikshit, the great Bhaagavatottama, was the son of veera Abhimanyu and Viraata's daughter, Uttara and was the only successor of Pandavas (see Aswatthaama killing Upa-Paandavas story). He, while in maatru-garbham itself, used to examine carefully all directions (paritaH eekshate) for God! Krishna, the sthiti kaaraka, saved Parikshit in Uttara's garbham, from the devastating Brahmaastra of Ashwatthaama. Parikshit was such a great favourite of God, to the extent that God suppressed the unstoppable Brahmaastra, because he was a great Bhakta and never deviated from the path of Dharma.

After Shri Krishna left to Vaikuntam, the Bhu-devi (who is realized to be in the form of Goomaata) again sank into uncontrollable sorrow. The Dharma-devata (who is realized to be in Vrishabha form) was tortured and legs cut off by Kali. Due to the entrance of Kali, all kinds of adharma kaaryas were encouraged. There is no shuchi-shubhrata, no daya-daanam, no vedas, puraanaas, or shaastra knowledge, no adherence to satyam etc. But Parikshit, with his power, controlled everything and taught Kali a lesson. Kali begged Parikshit mahaaraaja not to kill him saying that, following the kaala-dharma, since it is the start of Kalikaalam, he must be allowed to come and must not be killed. Parikshit to obey the kaala-dharmam allows him some specific places to stay in.

Though Parikshit was so great, due to Kaala Mahima (also see Kaala mahima story) and due to the effect of Kali, unfortunately did a mistake — for which the punishment was death! Once after Mrugaya-vihaaram and killing the trouble causing wild beasts in the forest, completely exhausted, Parikshit reaches the ashram of the great Semeeka maharshi. The maharshi at that time was in deep Daiva-dhyaanam and completely detached from his karmendriyas. Hence, he did not notice the exhausted Parikshit mahaaraaja. King Parikshit, completely exhausted, thought that the maharshi, knowing his exhaustion, did not offer him even water, leave aside aatithyam. So he puts a dead snake around the neck of Semeeka to insult him and leaves the place. Shrungi, the kid of Semeeka, realizing that Parikshit did such an insult to his father, who was a great maharshi, gives Parikshit a shaapam that in seven days Parikshit will die of Takshaka's vishaagnijwaalas. Meanwhile Semeeka maharshi comes back from dhyaanam and comes to know about the entire story.

Semeeka tells Shrungi "Krodham is the main hinderence to tapas. Krodham only stops Animaadi Ashtasiddhis. It is a big hurdle for following the path of Dharma. A tapaswi never should get krodham. Similar to how water unknowingly leakes away quitely from a filled pot, the tapas of a tapaswi who does not have kshama, the dhanam of a dhanavanta who has garvam and the kingdom of a ruler who does not follow Dharma also fade away. Parikshit mahaaraaja is not an ordinary king. It is because of him that Dharma-devata has all four legs. It is because of him Kali has been restricted. Why did you give such a big irrevocable shaapam for a small mistake Parikshit mahaaraaja committed? One must always think twice before he acts and never come into the clutches of anger. One's anger is his greatest enemy. A person looses his dharma-adharma gnyaanam, does not think and causes harm to others and himself because of anger. On receiving scoldings or beatings or whatever harm, a parama-bhakta will experience it with shaantam and will not take pratikaaram. I am quite sure, Parikshit mahaaraaja will not give you a prati-shaapam. Sajjana's do Upakaaram to Upakaaris and Apakaaris. Mahaatmas do not even feel the pleasures and sorrows, everything is same". Semeeka, knowing that now nothing can be done (since the words of Shrungi, who is a firm satya-vaak-paripaalaka, cannot be undone!), sends his shihsya, Gauramukha, to atleast inform Parikshit about the Shrungi's shaapam. Parikshit mahaaraaja comes to know about Shrungi's shaapam.

Parikshit mahaaraaja, thinking why he was taken over by kaama-kroodhaadi (Arishadvargas), says to himself "Why did I insult the great maharshi, knowing that they must always be respected? Why did I venture into such unpardonable Paapakaaryas? Anyway, who can change Daiva-sankalpam. One has to experience the result of his own paapam. Truly speaking what is the mistake of Shrungi? With the ahankaar of a king I act like this. Which son wont give shaapam for such an insult to his father? How can I always make sure that I wont unnecessarily cause pain to goomaatas, devatas and braahmanas?". Being a winner over Arishadvargaas, due to his undisturbed Bhakti on Parameshwara, Parikshit mahaaraaja did not get even a bit angry on Shrungi. Being capable of giving a pratishaapam, he did not give shaapam to Shrungi. Later, due to listening to Srimad Bhaagavatam from none other than Shri Shuka maharshi, Parikshit attains the unattainable Moksham.

Morals in the story:

  1. The importance of being able to control one's anger (and other Arishadvargaas) is well portrayed in the story. One small mistake of Parikshit mahaaraaja costed him his life. (Think — Why Krishna who saved him from the Brahmaastra did not save him from this also)
  2. The conversations between Semeeka maharshi and Shrungi; Parikshit and himself, are a great treasure for morals. Importance of shaantam, being unaffected by joy and sorrow, nature of a true Bhakta etc. can be learnt from the conversations.
  3. The end result for good people is always good (also see King Nruga's story). So though Parikshit mahaaraaja had to experience the result of his mistake, in the end, because he was a true Bhakta and firm-follower of Dharma got Paramapadam in the end.
  4. Knowing that he will be dying in 7 days, Parikshit mahaaraaja did not want to, in hurry, enjoy off all the pleasures before he dies nor he wasted time in trying to protect himself from Takshaka. This shows what unnata-bhaavas a Bhaagavatottama's (true Bhakta) will have!
Published in: on May 25, 2006 at 5:06 pm  Comments (69)  

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)  

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)  

Following Dharma always

Doing right always is a very difficult task. Many a times we do not know what is dharma, what is not. Even though we know, unless it is a very usual habit of following it, at times of great stress it is impossible to follow the path of Dharma. The following story is a small example illustrating Shri DharmaRaaja’s character, who never deviated from the path of dharma.

One day, near the end of 12 strenuous years of vanavaasam of pandavas, a deer rubbing its head against the samidhas of a brahmana, by mistake carries it away and runs into the deep jungle. The brahmana, knowing that the samidhas were carried away by deer, cried for help. Without them he cannot perform yagnyas. On listening to the cries, immediately pandavas set out for them. They all run deep into the jungle but loose track of the maaya deer.

After a very long chase, with great thirst, they sit under a banyan tree with despair and wonder the reason for not being able to render even a trifling service to the brahmana. Yidhishtara to divert their thinking, asks Nakula to bring him some water. Nakula, who was suffering with very strong thirst, hurriedly wanted to drink water from the pond. An Yaksha’s voice from the pond said “Do not be rash. This pool belongs to me. O son of madri, answer my questions and then drink the water”. In his extreme thirst Nakula continues to drink water and falls dead. Rest of the pandavas follow nakula and fall dead, except Dharmaraaja.

Dharmaraaja instead starts answering the questions of the Yaksha. He, with great ease, answers all the questions of the yaksha. Pleased with dharmaraaja, the Yaksha grants him a boon. Dharmaraaja did not ask the lives of any of his brothers, instead he asked the yaksha to return the samidhas of the brahmana! Impressed by the character of dharmaraaja, the yaksha grants him another boon: “One of your dead brothers can now be revived. Whom do you want to revive?”. Yidhishtira asks for the life of Nakula, after thinking for a while. The yaksha asks him: “Bhima has the strength of 16000 elephants and is the most dearest to you. Arjuna, whose prowess in arms is your protection, is the greatest warrior. Why do you choose Nakula instead?” . Dharmaraaja replied: “O Yaksha, dharma is the only shield of man and not Bhima or Arjuna. If dharma is set at naught, man will be ruined. Kunti and Madri were the two wives of my father. I am surviving, a son of Kunti, and so, she is not completely bereaved. In order that the scales of justice may be even, I ask that Madri’s son Nakula may revive.” The Yaksha was pleased with Yudhishthira’s impartiality and granted that all his brothers would come back to life. The yaksha was none other than Lord Yama. He also blesses him saying that the agnyaatavaasam will go on fine.

(SEE THIS IMAGE)

Morals in the Story:

  1. Importance of sticking to the path of dharma, even in times of difficulty. Samavartitvam (impartiality) is well shown by Dharmaraaja. Even though his own brothers were lying dead before him, he asked for the Samidhas of the Braahmana instead of asking for his brother’s lives!
  2. Gaining the knowledge of dharma, without which dharmaraaja could not have answered the questions of the Yaksha.
  3. Self control and never loosing hope even at times of difficulty. This was very well displayed by dharmaraaja.
Published in: on May 15, 2006 at 6:52 am  Comments (6)  
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