Stories of Bharat 5 - Destiny, Animal Sacrifice, Power of Surrender

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  • This part tells you about destiny-how karmas can alter it, animal sacrifice and the power of surrender.

Part One covered Guru, significance of Ganga Saptami and Sambaji Maharaj and son of Shivaji. Part Two covered Mohini Avatar, Tiger stories Ayyappa and Mother’s Day. Part Three tells you stories of Kamadhenu, Sita Navami and Narasimha Jayanti. Part Four is about Buddha Purnima, Athithi Devo Bhava and Tenzing Norgay.

 

Why did I start writing these Stories?  

As a mother of three I have realized that many children are deprived of hearing tales that are Indian in origin. This could be for various reasons, an important one being that parents themselves do not know these tales.

 

The desire to learn English and about Western Nations meant that atleast two generations were fed tales from the West namely Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, etc. Because of this when you ask a child to write an essay of their favourite character they will write about Santa Claus and Snow White but not Shivaji.

 

So I took it upon myself to write short stories about India’s cultural heritage. The stories have been written in such a way that they can be read to children. At the same time I added snippets of our culture, rituals, shlokas, food, etc. so that children get to know about them. Must add that these stories are not meant to be scholarly pieces of work.

Sadhus 

DESTINY

 

In the village of Rampur there were two boys Shyam and Madhav. They were chaddi-buddies, childhood friends. As time passed they grew up and finished their studies. Shyam was very short tempered and often spoke with a harsh tone. Madhav was gentle to speak to and very patient.

 

While they were looking out for a job, they came to know of a Sadhu living in the forest close to their village. The village folks believed that He could predict the future. Both, Shyam and Madhav decided to look for the Sadhu and ask Him to predict their future.

 

After a couple of days of roaming in the forest they saw the Sadhu. He was meditating and the boys decided to wait till he opened his eyes. Soon, the Sadhu opened his eyes and saw the two boys waiting. He closed his eyes, meditated and knew that the boys wanted to know their future. He opened his eyes and blessed the boys. Then, with a smile, he told Madhav that he would become a king within a year. Then with full seriousness, he told Shyam, “You have a very short life. In fact, you will die within a year.” And he walked away.

 

On the way back, Shyam and Madhav had very different thoughts running through their mind. Madhav was over-excited about the prospect of becoming king. Conversely, Shyam was pensive because he had only a few more days to live. By the time they reached the village there was a marked change in the personality of both the boys.

 

Shyam, who till now was rude and a short fuse, became very gentle and caring. His only thoughts were that since he had only a few more days to live, he should put the time to good use. He went out of his way to help everyone. He spent time in meditation and prayers, and in general became an ideal person. The whole village loved him for his good nature and generosity.

 

Madhav on the other hand, was so taken in by the prospect of him becoming the future king, that he became arrogant and started wasting his wealth on unnecessary things. He spent money on acquiring yes-men around him and expected everyone to give him respect while approaching him or speaking to him. He began to treat all as if they were beggars.

 

The year passed by quickly.

 

One day, while repairing the hut of a poor villager the roof came down and Shyam got hurt badly. He was soon taken to the Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor), who put some medicine and herbs on his injuries, bandaged him and told him to rest for a few days.

 

At around the same time Madhav, who was coming back from another one of his spendthrift celebrations, tripped on a rock. The rock came loose and Madhav found a huge pot of gold coins below the rock. He was overjoyed and thought that this was an indication that he was soon going to become a king. He took the gold home and spent it within a month.

 

However, there was no sign of him becoming a king anytime soon so Madhav started doubting the Sadhu’s words. Shyam too did not look like he was dying anytime soon. Thus, Madhav was now sure that the Sadhu was a charlatan (fake or cheat).

 

For the first time in a year, Madhav went to meet Shyam. Shyam had just recovered from his injuries and looked very happy. Madhav insisted that Shyam should come with him to the forest to look for the Sadhu. Though Shyam did not doubt the Sadhu’s words, he was willing to go with his friend. After a couple of days, they found the Sadhu and asked him about his prediction.

 

The Sadhu meditated for a few minutes, opened his eyes and spoke to them very lovingly. He said, “There was nothing wrong with my bhavishya-vaani. Shyam was supposed to die and you, Madhav were going to become a king. But Shyam spent the time helping people which got him blessings from many elders and the downtrodden. He also prayed to God devotedly which got him blessings. Because of this, instead of facing death, Shyam only met with an accident. Madhav, you on the other hand, became arrogant and rude. Because of your bad activities, you were cursed by many which took away from your blessings. Because of this, instead of becoming a king, your past karmas got you a pot of gold … and that too, you just wasted. Past karmas can bring you benefits or sorrows. But your present karmas can lighten your sorrows and bring you happiness or reduce your benefits and make you lose respect in the eyes of others.”

 

Both, Shyam and Madhav understood that only good deeds can help one. Arrogance and bad deeds always lead one on the path to failure and disrespect. They bowed down to the wise Sadhu and asked for his aashirwad to help them walk the path of success and humility. The Sadhu blessed both of them and went away. Shyam and Madhav went back to the village with a new resolve to spend the rest of their life doing good deeds.

 Story of a goat

ANIMAL SACRIFICE

 

Today I had gone for a book launch. The name of the book is “Data Sovereignty – The Pursuit of Supremacy”. In the cover of book, there is a shlok given:

 

Ashwanaiva Gajanaiva Vyagrahnaivacha Naivach

AjaPutram Balimdhyadhyevo Durbalaghaathakah||

(No horse, no elephant, no lion is ever sacrificed on the altar of God. It is the meek and weak goat who is sacrificed.)

 

So always be brave, do your duty towards humanity, prove yourself to be worthy. No one likes the loss of a worthy, brave, dutiful person. If you are weak and don’t fight your own battle, waiting for only God to protect you, even God will not come to save you. God helps those who help themselves.

 

Today’s story is about the sacrifice of a goat. In the olden days, people sacrificed animals thinking that God will be happy with such a sacrifice. Once, a learned Brahmin was about to sacrifice a magnificent goat. Suddenly the goat laughed and then shed tears. The Brahmin was shocked. He had never seen a goat which laughed or cried. He gathered courage and asked the goat why and how it laughed and cried.

 

The goat spoke. He said, “In my past life I too was a learned Brahmin. But, like you, I also believed that sacrificing innocent animals would give me powers and boons. When I died, my karma made me be reborn as a goat. Today when death is so close to me, I saw my past life and I laughed. I knew that I was going to get Moksha – in my past life I had done many good deeds and tapasya, but I had to first lead the life of a goat because of my karma. I was happy that this body would meet its end and I would attain Moksh. So I laughed.”

 

“But then I realized that like me you too were doing the same mistake. I felt bad for you because you too are a good man who is living with a false belief. So I shed tears for your soul.” The Brahmin was so shocked that the sword fell from his hands. He fell at the feet of the goat and apologized.

 

He set the goat free and said, “I will not kill you. You may live.” The goat laughed again and said, “My time has come.” There was a sudden lightening in the sky and the lightning struck at the goat and it fell down dead. The learned Brahmin had learnt his lesson. He resolved never to kill innocent animals ever again.

 Story of a Princess

THE POWER OF SURRENDER

 

There was a king called Dhata who ruled over a kingdom called Chavi. He had a daughter called Sushila. Now this girl was beautiful and so sweet natured that everyone loved her. When she came of marriageable age, the king and queen both wanted her to marry a good, handsome prince. The king thought of a son of one of his relatives, who ruled a nearby land. The queen had been thinking along the same lines too. She wanted to marry Sushila to her relative’s son. Both of them got upset and both wanted their daughter to marry the person of their choice.

 

The king decided to call his relative’s son to his kingdom, keep him in a special guesthouse and arrange for a secret meeting between his daughter and this boy. The queen also thought likewise and both of them made plans and accordingly both boys reached the kingdom secretly.

 

It so happened that Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara happened to meet in the skies at the same time. Out of curiosity Shiva asked Brahma, “Who will finally get the bride?” Brahma replied, “Neither. Sushila is destined to marry a lame cowherd who is poor but a good boy.” Shiva and Vishnu smiled mischievously and decided to foil Brahma’s plans.

 

Vishnu sent Garuda to carry away the said cowherd to another land far away. Suddenly, this lame cowherd found himself being carried away in the talons of a huge bird, straight into the forest far, far away. He thought he would die, but the bird left him in the middle of the forest intact. This boy started praying to Vishnu, “O Parameshwara, what will I do here? I am lame, I don’t know anything other than looking after my cows?” Then after about 10 minutes of roaming around, he felt, “Definitely Vishnu, my Aaradhya Deva must have had something in mind for me, else how is it possible that some huge bird drops me here. Let me surrender myself to God and take this to be His blessing.” Saying so, he started singing the praise of Vishnu. Now Vishnu was pleased and He told Garuda, “Garuda, go and somehow or the other feed this boy.”

 

Garuda looked around the city of Chavi and saw a huge box with a lot of food on it. He thought that the box must contain a lot of food inside, so he lifted the huge box and dropped it in front of the cowherd in the forest. The cowherd saw the box and he opened it, sure that God must have sent him some food. But surprise!!! A beautiful girl came out of the box, garlanded him and gave him a glass of milk to drink. Then she fed him some sumptuous dishes which were in the box. Guess what? The girl was none other than Princess Sushila.

 

Princess Sushila’s Mother did not want her to marry the boy selected by the king and so she had put Sushila in the box with the instructions that she should garland the boy who would open the box. This would indicate that she had married that boy. The queen was going to send her relative to open the box, while hiding Sushila from her father, the king. Now neither the king nor the queen knew what had happened to Sushila and they sent the soldiers to search for her, throughout the kingdom.

 

Above in the skies, Brahma was having a smile on His face and He told Shiva and Vishnu that Sushila was already married off as predicted. Shiva and Vishnu were surprised that their plan to trouble Brahma was foiled, but good sports that they were, they all decided to visit the newly married couple in disguise and bless them. When they appeared in front of the cowherd and Sushila, the cowherd paid obeisance to them, since they were guests. He spoke kindly to them and shared the food with them. The Gods revealed their true form to the surprised young couple and blessed them. Both, Sushila and the cowherd praised and pleased the Gods with their Bhakti and did not ask for anything. Vishnu was so pleased that He cured the cowherd’s deformity. Brahma blessed the bride that she would have a long and happy married life. Shiva gave the husband divine knowledge. Then, Vishnu told Garuda to carry them back to the kingdom.

 

When they reached the palace, Sushila and her husband bowed down at the feet of the king and queen and told them everything that had transpired. The royal couple blessed them and welcomed them to the family once again. Shubamastu.

 

In the Bhagwad Gita, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna:

sarvadharman parityajya mam ekam sarnam vraj  

"Abandoning all Dharmas, physically and mentally, surrender to Me alone." -- Gita 18:66

 

Author is a mother to three children and writes on Spirituality, Women Empowerment and National Affairs. Her articles are published on Indusscrolls.com amongst others. She believes in the cause of the Indian Breed of Cows and is a follower of Shree Ramachandrapura Matha, Karnataka.

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