The great Shrī Rāma Bhakta, Kāka Bhuśuṇḍi

(This is the second story with main theme as Bhakti (this was the first). Hence we recommend readers to go through all previous morals before reading about Bhakti.)
The story of Kāka Bhuśuṇḍi is well known. Once Garuḍa Bhagavān came to Kāka Bhuśuṇḍi and Kāka Bhuśuṇḍi told his previous janma vṛttāntam:

O Vihageśvara! I was an Ayodhyāvāsī for many years in Kaliyugam. Once durbhikṣham came and I left the divya Kṣhetram. Finally I reached Ujjaini, lived there for sometime and earned some sampada. There only I continued my Śiva seva. In Ujjaini there used to live a sādhu vipra who was a parama śānta murti, dayālu, nīti-nilaya and a great Śambhu upāsaka. However he never used to do Hari-ninda (see this story too). I started to do seva to him with Kapaṭam. The great vipra used to look after me as his own putra and give me Vidya. Once he gave me the upadeśam of Śiva mantram. I used to go to the Śivālayam and do Śiva mantra japam. Since I was a duṣhṭa, nīca, pāpasaṅkulamati; dambham and ahaṅkāram started increasing in me and I, becoming a mohavaśa, started Haribhakta ninda and Sādhu, Vipra ninda. My Gurudeva became very sad seeing my Viṣhṇu, Sādhu -droham and tried to teach me good many times. Will hitabodhas and nīti be liked by a person who has dambham? (No)

One day my Gurudeva called me and taught me many nītis and said "O kumāra! The phalitam of Śiva seva is avirala bhakti on Śrī Rāma Pādam. Even Parameśvara and Brahmadeva do nāmasaṅkīrtanam of Śrī Rāma. O abhāgya! doing Viṣhṇu droham do you think of getting sukhas?" He continued "Śiva is the greatest Rāma bhakta". Listening to those words my heart was burning. I never obeyed and believed in these words of my Gurudeva. Like this everyday I used to do Gurudeva-droham. However my Gurudeva was a kṛpālu; he did not even get slightest krodham on me. He always used to teach me good.

A nīca will first destroy that satguṇam which gave him the greatest unnati. One day I went to Haramandiram and as usual started doing Śiva nāma japam. My Gurudeva happened to come there and with my ahaṅkāram I did not get up and do yathāvidhi namaskāras to him. Since my Gurudeva conquered krodham, he did not say anything. Doing an avamānam to Guru is a mahāpāpam. Maheśvara could not bear this. Through akāśavāṇi He said like this: "O Hatabhāgya, ahaṅkāri, mūrkha! Your Gurudeva is not having any krodham, since he is a kṛpālu, yathārthajñāni. Even then I am giving you a śāpam. O śaṭha! a nīti virodhi can never be a bhakta of mine. A person who has īrṣha on his Gurudeva will suffer in Raurava-narakam for 1 crore yugas. From there after many paśu-pakṣhādi janmas, he will have great duhkhas for 10000 years. O pāpī! You sat like an ajagaram before your Gurudeva. O duṣhṭa! go become a sarpam and keep living in some hole of a tree trunk."

On hearing to Lord Śiva's dāruṇa śāpam, my Gurudeva did mahākāras, his hṛdayam had atyanta paritāpam for me and I was shivering with bhayam. My Gurudeva did sāṣhṭāṅga praṇāmam to Paramaśiva, doing praṇāmāñjali, in gadgada svaram he did the adbhuta Rudrāṣhṭakam to make Paramaśiva prasanna.

"Īśā, Īśānā, Mokṣhaswarūpā, Prabhū, Sarvavyāpakā, Brahmasvarūpa,…. " like this he called the Lord with divya Śiva nāmas. Śiva, the Sarvajña, heared the sannuti of my Gurudeva and noticed the anurāgam of my Gurudeva and "O ḍvijavara! Please ask me some varadānam. I will give it." said the Ākāśavāṇi. My Gurudeva said "O Prabhu! If you really became prasanna by me, first give me acañcala Śiva bhakti, then please donot do krodham on this jaḍa. This jīva came into the grips of your māya and became a pāpi. Dīnadayālu, Saṅkara, please show kṛpa on this fellow. Please bless him that he will get śāpavimukti is very less time and get many śubhas". Seeing the parahita vākyas of my Gurudeva Ākāśavāṇi said "May it happen like that only" and it continued like this:

"Even though this person did ghora pāpam and I gave him a śāpam, seeing your sādhutvam I will show viśeṣha karuṇa on him. A Kṣhamāśīla, Paropakāri are very priya to me like the Kharāri, Śrī Rāma Candra. However my śāpam cannot be vyartham. Surely this person must take 1000 janmas. Janana, maraṇa duhkhas are unbearable. However he will not have pain due to these duhkhas. In any of his janma he will always know who he was and never loose this jñānam". Śiva continued "O śūdrā! Listen to my words:You were born in the great Ayodhyā nagaram. Always you did My seva. Because of Ayodhyāpura prabhāvam and my kṛpa, in your hṛdayam will arise Śrī Rāma bhakti. O Sodara! Now listen to my satyavacanas: Sādhu, satpuruṣha, dvijas are equal to Ananta. People who cannot be destroyed even by Indra's Vajrāyudham, My Viśāla Triśūlam, Yama's ḍaṇḍam, Hari's Cakram, will be easily destroyed by the sādhu, vipra – droham".

O Garuḍa! From then onwards I took many janmas, but in any of them I did not leave Śrī Rāma bhajana, did not leave Sādhu jana seva and because of Śivānugraham, never felt the duhkhas of the samsāra-sāgaram. However I use to feel great paścātāpam for the Guru-droham I did.

Later in his last janma, Kāka Bhuśuṇḍi gets the upadeśam of Śrī Rāma Carita Mānasam from the great Lomāśa maharṣhi and becomes a paripūrṇa Śrī Rāma Bhakta. He always goes to Ayodhya whenever Śrī Rāmāvataram happens, sees the divya bālya līlas of Śrī Rāma and gets ananta divya paramānandam. (The long story of Kāka Bhuśuṇḍi's last janma is very beautiful and out of scope of Moral Stories.)

Morals in the story:

  1. The importance of repecting the Gurudeva and adhering to his ājña is clearly explained in the story. Even the parama dayālu, Parameśvara could not bear śiṣhya not respecting his Gurudeva.
  2. The greatness of a Gurudeva is shown through Kāka's Gurudeva. It is well known that if God gets angry a Guru can save, but if a Guru gets angry none can save.
  3. The paropakāra svabhāvam, śāntam, kṛpa and karuṇa of Kāka's Gurudeva must be inculcated by all of us.
  4. Though Paramātma is all prevailing, there are a few sthalas in which He gives Pratyakṣha darśanam and have great Māhātmyam. In our Karma-bhūmi, Bhāratadeśam, we are blessed with innumerable such divya Kṣhetras. As Paramaśiva said, just by taking birth in the great Ayodhya nagaram, Kāka qualifed for His anugraham, though he did many pāpas.
  5. Kāka's Gurudeva was always a Śiva bhakta only, but never did Viṣhṇu-ninda.

Message to present society:

There are many great Divya Kṣhetras in our Bhāratadeśam. We are indeed very lucky to be born in this Deśam. In our Āndhra Pradeś itself, itseems there are around 32 thousand prācīna Devasthānams and in very very high percentage of these Devālayas itseems, there is no one even to give a Dīpārādhana to the God, leave aside pūja-punaskāras!!

Let us utilize the opportunity of being born in this Karma-Bhūmi, let us try to make sure atleast everyday Dīpārādhana is done in all of these Divya-dhāmas. (Please contact Chilkur Devālayam for exact details to help these Devālayas)

Search Terms: Kaaka, Kaka, Bhushundi, Lomaasa, Lomaasha, Lomasa, Rama Charita Manas

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Published in: on June 20, 2006 at 4:36 pm  Comments (7)  

The story of Cyavana and fishermen

The story of the great Cyavana maharṣhi, the vaidyanipuṇa, is well known. Cyavana was the son of Bhṛgu maharṣhi and Pulomā devi. Once Bhṛgu maharṣhi asked Agnideva to protect Pulomā, who was a garbhavati, till he comes back and went away. A rākṣhasa by name Puloma came and asked Agnideva "is she Pulomā?" (if yes then he was planning to take her away!). Agnideva did not know what to do. If he tells the truth Bhṛgu maharṣhi may get angry, else he may get anṛta-doṣham. So finally after being forced by Puloma, Agnideva said "She is the wife of Bhṛgu maharṣhi." Immediately Puloma took the form of a varāham and forcibly took Pulomā. In this, from her garbham, the baby slipped and fell down (and hence was known as "Cyavana").

The baby had the tejas of Brahma and Puloma rākṣhasa turned into ashes on seeing Cyavana. Later Cyavana did many years of tapas and became a very great ṛṣhi. He and his wife Sukanya had dadhīci, pramati and āpravān as santānam. After a long time passed, once Cyavana maharṣhi did 12 years of tapas inside water. During his tapas, some fishermen came and as usual threw thier fishing net and were trying to catch fish. To their surprise, they saw Cyavana maharṣhi caught in their nets. The fishermen trembled with fear. But Cyavana maharṣhi said "it is not wrong to do your duty. Please do not be afraid that you disturbed my tapas". But the fishermen thought they were responsible for stopping the tapas of the maharṣhi and reported their mistake to their King, Nahuṣha (see this story).

The maharṣhi told the King that it was not the mistake of the fishermen, they were just doing their duty. In addition he said "Please decide a rate for me and give that money to the fishermen, since their effort must not go waste." King Nahuṣha did not know how to rate the maharṣhi. He offered his artha-rājyam. Cyavana said that wont be enough. Then the King said then take my entire rājyam! Cyavana said that is not the approriate rate for him. Meanwhile a maharṣhi named Kavijāta came and told the King "Please offer one cow. That will be equivalent to a ṛṣhi." Knowing the greatness of the cow from Cyavana, Nahuṣha gave away a best quality cow to the fishermen and sent them off.

The fishermen were not any less in good character. They thought "we can get money anytime. Let us utilize this chance and get godāna phalitam by giving this cow to the great maharṣhi." Thus they gave off their cow to Cyavana. Cyavana blessed all of them with svargalokam.

Morals in the story:

  1. Cyavana, though his deep tapas was disturbed by the fishermen, did not get angry on them. This is because the fishermen did their duty and were unware of the presence of Cyavana.
  2. The fishermen, knowing that if not now sometime or the other the must face consequence of their acts, reported their mistake (what they thought was a mistake) to the King.
  3. Importance of Gomāta and Godānam is well displayed in the story.
  4. Nahuṣha was prepared to give away his entrire sāmrājyam for doing his duty as a King.

Search Terms: Chyavana, Bhrugu, Puloma, Kavijaata, Nahusha

Published in: on June 13, 2006 at 6:13 pm  Comments (1)  

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.

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)  
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