Stories of Bharat 7 - Ravana & Ma Kali, Naama-Japa and Gratitude

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  • This part covers Ravana gets scared of Ma Kali, Power of Naama-Japa and In Gratitude.

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. Part Five is about destiny-how karmas can alter it, animal sacrifice and the power of surrender. Part Six covers do not Wait for tomorrow, The Strange Prophecy and Know the Value of Money.

Why I started 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. 

Maa Kali and Ravana.  

RAVANA GETS SCARED OF MAA KALI

 

Ravana was a Shiva Upasak. He worshiped Mahadev to satisfy his desires, but as is with all people who are given in to bad deeds, his blessings turn to zero even if blessed by Mahadev Himself. Today’s story is of one such blessing which had a funny ending.

 

Once, Ravana went to Kailasa to get Atma Linga from Shiva. He started praising Shankara very much, then did tapasya to get the blessings of Shiva. Finally Shiva became pleased with him and asked him what he wanted for a boon. None of the Gods wanted Ravana to get the Atma Linga because that would make him very powerful. Every God knew that Shiva was so Bhola that He would bless Ravana with anything. They prayed to Maa. Now, Mata Parvati was curious to know who this Ravana was … She went and stood next to Shiva. Ravana, when he saw the most beautiful Mata Parvati, fell in love with Her. He forgot about the Atma Linga and asked Shiva that he wanted Mata Parvati in his palace.

 

Now Bholenath thought that it was a good idea that if Maa would stay in Ravana’s palace, Ravana would become a better person. But Maa understood immediately that Ravana never respected women and did not want to go. But unfortunately for Her, Shiva agreed and He told Parvati to proceed to Lanka. What could Maa do? She obeyed Him, but was very upset. 

 

Narada Muni who was watching all this understood what was in Maa’s mind. He followed Maa invisibly and told Maa of the perfect plan to see to it that Ravana would himself tell Maa to stop following Her. In the meantime Ravana was in his own thoughts, feeling proud of himself. 

 

Narada Muni suddenly became visible and stood in front of his Pushpak Vimaan. Ravana asked him rudely, “Why are you blocking my way?” Narada asked, “Who is this very fearful person standing behind you?” Ravana laughed and said, “Are you blind? I have the most beautiful lady next to me!” Narada pretended to be scared and said, “No, no … you are mistaken … someone has played a prank on you. This woman is very scary.” Ravana was very surprised; he stopped the Vimaan atop a mountain and he turned to look at who was standing next to him.

 

What he saw made him get so frightened that he almost fell off the Vimaan. It was the most fearful Avatar of Maa Parvati – it was Kali and She had a mala (garland) of skulls around Her neck. Her long tongue was hanging out from Her mouth and Her eyes were large and red. Ravana got so scared, that he immediately fell at Her feet and said, “Matay, please forgive me. I am a Shiv-bhakt. Instead of asking Him to stay in my house, I asked for You to stay in my house by mistake. Please get off my Vimaan.” 

 

Maa Kali gave a frightful laughter and got off the Vimaan. In a second Ravana ran away from there! Narada Muni laughed and laughed. Then he prayed to Maa and told Her to become shaant (peaceful). Some others who lived on the mountain also appeared. They all prayed to Her and requested Her to live there in this Avataar and bless Her followers. Maa agreed. She lives there as the mountain peak and Her name there is “Karikannamma” … this place is in North Karnataka.

POWER OF NAAMA-JAPA

 

Shwaas shwaas Simran karo

Shwaas vyart na jaye

Na jane kis shwaas mein

Anth gadi aa jaye.”

 

(Take God’s name with every breath

Because one does not know

Which breath

Is the last one.)

 

We often hear our elders telling us to take God’s name, be it Rama Japa or “Hare Rama Hare Rama …” or Wahe Guru or Jai Adinath, etc. Usually people think that just taking God’s name may not help them, but actually taking these names help people on the inside … it works silently. We do not even realize when we start taking God’s name to calm down in a tense situation or when bored. This is your soul taking the God’s name, especially when your mind is not in your control. This call of the soul attracts positive vibrations towards us.

 

There were two friends who were robbers. Arun and Shyam had barely passed school and they thought that stealing was the easiest way to earn a living. The result was this that literally every day they were running away from the king’s soldiers and perpetually in fear of getting caught. But they still wouldn’t give up thieving. One day they robbed a rich trader’s house. Unfortunately for them, this trader had so many guards that the moment they picked up the loot, the guards ran behind them to catch them. Since both were very agile, they managed to run further, but they knew that this time they would be caught. So they decided to split up. Both ran in different directions.

 

Arun ran into a nearby forest where he saw a small kutir (cottage). He went and hid inside the kutir. A sage was meditating there. He saw Arun entering but kept silent. When the guards reached there also he did not say anything. The guards looked around, but did not spot Arun. When the guards left, Arun wanted to leave the kutir, but the sage called out to him. Now Arun was in a fix. He fell at the feet of the sage who told him with a kind voice to stay. Arun thought that it would be okay since it was a nice place to hide. But the sage put forward a condition… he said that Arun would have to do 3 rounds of the Nama japa at least three times a day. Arun readily agreed. He felt that he would be getting his food for free! He stayed back.

 

Shyam in the meantime had run and reached a mountain top where he saw a dilapidated temple. He entered the temple and saw that the place, though still beautiful, had many creepers and a lot of fallen leaves and it was dirty. Suddenly the leaves rustled in the wind and Shyam thought that there was a snake under them. He found some long branches and used them to sweep the place. While he was doing this, the guards arrived and thought that Shyam was the caretaker of the temple. They did not catch him and they left. Shyam decided to sleep in the temple.

 

The next morning, a group of villagers came to the temple for a meeting. They saw that the temple had been partially cleaned and they thanked Shyam for it. They told him that if he was willing to keep the temple clean and even repair it a little, they would pay him for it with cash and food. Shyam was overjoyed. He thought that this was the best way to avoid the guards… even otherwise he was fed up of looking over his shoulder every day. 

 

As the days passed Shyam learned some Bhajans and shlokas from the villagers. Since he had nothing else to do, he sincerely looked after the temple (which now looked very beautiful because of Shyam’s efforts) and kept repeating the Bhajans and Shlokas every day.

 

Years passed. One day a Babaji came to give a discourse at the temple. The Babaji kept staring at Shyam and when the discourse got over, he came to Shyam. Shyam was a little scared because he thought that maybe someone from his past had recognized him and that he would be arrested. But the Babaji smiled and asked him, “Do you recognize me?” Shyam was surprised. He shook his head and said, “No.” The Babaji then said, “Arrey I am Arun”. Both friends hugged each other with tears of happiness running down their eyes. Both were surprised that both were leading a crime-free life. 

 

Then Arun said, “The person whose kutir I hid in was a Sadhu. He made me do the Nama-japa daily and this caused a change in my thinking. I became more spiritual and never felt the need to go on the wrong path again. Then the Sadhu became my Guru and today I am a Guru to many more.” Shyam said, “Something similar happened to me … I took refuge in this temple and thanks to the villagers started looking after the temple. I too started doing Nama-japa, singing bhajans and all, and never was able to go back to thieving. Both of us changed for the better.”

 

IN GRATITUDE

 

There was a village called Haripur. This village was set deep inside a forest and was cut off from the rest of the kingdom. The people of this village were poor and survived with the help of the crops they grew and the fruits and herbs from the forest. As usual, they too had to pay their taxes to the king of the land.

 

One year there was a drought and the new king thought it was time that the people of Haripur were forced to pay their taxes. When the old king had died, he had told the prince to take the help of the senior-most Minister for all the difficult jobs. Since no one wanted to go to far away Haripur, the young king decided to send this Minister to collect the taxes.

 

The Minister reached Haripur and saw a very sad sight. The crops had filed them and the people of Haripur were malnourished and depended on roots and fruits from the forest to survive. How could they have paid any taxes? The Minister immediately called the village elders and said, “Don’t worry. Our new Raja is very merciful. He has sent me here to give you a message. Your taxes for this year are cancelled and not just that – you need not pay taxes for the next year too.” He also gave them a small sum to tide over the immediate difficult days and said that the Raja had sent it. The villagers were so overjoyed to hear this that they shed tears of relief and happiness. They blessed the new king from the bottom of their hearts.

 

When the Minister reached the palace and told the king what had transpired, the Raja was upset, but he could not do anything because he respected the Minister. Months passed. The Minister also passed away. One day, all of a sudden, a neighbouring king attacked this kingdom. The Raja was caught unawares and he had to flee the palace. He fled towards Haripur. When he reached Haripur it was night. He was tired and felt hungry and dejected. Suddenly he saw a huge number of people walking towards him. He thought that it was the enemy. But it turned out to be the villagers of Haripur. They had come to welcome him.

 

They fed him and gave him a place to rest. Next morning the king woke up to see a wonderful sight. The youngsters of Haripur were armed and waiting for him to lead them, to fight the enemy. They fought bravely with the other soldiers who joined the king now and finally they managed to defeat the enemy. After being installed on the throne again, the king called for the elders from Haripur. He asked them as to what made them help him without fear for their life. They said just one word – GRATITUDE. They then explained to the king that when they were going through their worst time, this king had, through his Minister, waived off their taxes for two years and helped them. They were just repaying him.

 

The Raja’s head bowed in gratitude to his old Minister.

 

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.

To read all articles by the author 


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