Stories of Bharat 11 - Concentration, Parents, Ayachi Mishra


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. Part Seven covers Ravana & Ma Kali, Naama-Japa and Gratitude. Part Eight covers This Too Shall Pass, Child Freedom Fighters and Ekalavya. Part Nine covers God proposes and disposes, stories of the brave Jassa Singh Ahulwalia and Ganga Dussehra. Part Ten covers Keechaka Vadh, why Tirupati Balaji is called Govinda and Sword of Shivaji Maharaj.


This part covers concentration, parents are our world and Ayachi Mishra.


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.

Eklavya became a master archer due to power of concentration.  



The Pandavas and Kauravas learnt at the feet of Dronacharya, their teacher. The subjects were Statecraft, Sciences, Maths, use of weapons like the mace, bow and arrow, spear amongst others, Cooking, Shlokas and so much more.


Then students had to learn the 64 kalas to become a cultured person, an Arya. Even girl students would learn it all. That is how we had princess and queens being so adept in warfare and statecraft. You would be interested in knowing that Bheema was a very good cook!


One day Dronacharya wanted to test his students for concentration. He took all the Pandavas and Kauravas to an orchard where there were parrots. There, he told the princes to take their bow and arrows and make any parrot their target. All the children were eager to please their teacher. All of them did it immediately and were ready to shoot an arrow.


Then Dronacharya asked Duryodhan, “What do you see?” Duryodhan said, “I see the trees, the birds and the sky.” Next, Dronacharya asked Bheema, “What do you see?” Bheema said, “I can see the entire flock of birds on the tree.”


Then Dronacharya asked Arjuna, “What do you see?” Arjuna, who had pulled the string of the bow, with the arrow on mark, said, “I can see the eye of the parrot.”


Dronacharya said, “Only Arjuna’s arrow will find its mark. Do you know why?” He then continued, “When you have a task to achieve, you should concentrate only on the task. Looking at all other things accompanying the task is a hindrance. Focus on the task, have full concentration on the work to be done.”


There are two Yoga asanas for those who wish to improve their power of concentration.


Surya Namaskar. This is even more useful if done in an open environment, facing the Sun.


Tratakasan. In this asana, a lit candle is kept in front of the student and the student has to gaze the lit candle for atleast 2 minutes. People using spectacles are not supposed to do this asana. Another way to do this asana is to gaze at the Sun within one hour of Sun-rise or within one hour before Sun-set. One should not gaze for more than one minute. After that, do rub your palms and cup your eyes for relief.

Shiva, Parvati, Ganesha and Kartikeya.  

Parents are OUR WORLD


Once, Kartikeya and Ganesha were with their parents Shiva and Parvati. They were full of happiness and the surrounding Nature and the Shiva-Ganas were all enjoying discussions about their various ‘leelas’. Just then, Narad Muni appeared with a special Mango. He said that anyone who ate the mango would be blessed with eternal knowledge and wisdom.


Now, both Ganesha and Kartikeya wanted the fruit. But Narad Muni said that there was a condition to eating the fruit, “Only one person can eat the fruit. It cannot be divided and shared.” Both, Shiva and Mata Parvati were in a quandary … how could they be partial to only one of their children? What could they do?


Mahadeva looked at Narad Muni and with a naughty glint in His eye, said, “Narada, you only decide who should eat the fruit.” Now Narad was stuck. But being the brilliant person he was, he said, “I suggest a race … whoever circles the Earth three times over will win this mango.”


Barely had he said this when Kartikeya jumped on His vahana, the peacock, and flew around the world. He wanted that fruit! One round was almost over and though He looked over his back, he couldn’t see Ganesha. He was wondering what happened to Him.


In the meantime, Ganesha took a look at his small, little mouse and wondered how he could cover the span of the earth faster than Kartikeya. He then looked at His parents Shiva and Parvati. They were both smiling at Him, very encouragingly. He got an idea.


By this time Kartikeya had finished his second round and He looked down upon Ganesha and said, “Hey Gappu, don’t you want to even compete with me?” Saying this, He went ahead. Now Ganesha smilingly went over to His parents, bowed down to Them and started taking a Pradakshina (circumambulation) around Them. One, Two and Three Pradakshina. Then He bowed down to Them again.


Shiva asked Him, “What have you done son?” Ganapati replied, “Mata, Pita (Mother and Father) are the World, nay, the entire Universe, to their children. By circling around You, I have circled the world.”


Narad Muni was so happy to hear these words that he hugged little Ganapati and said, “You are worth this mango and more. Actually You are already the treasure house of wisdom and knowledge.”


While Lambodara was eating the mango, Subramanya reached after finishing the third round around the Earth. He was very upset and said, “I actually went round the Earth and the prize is given to Balachandra? Why?” Parvati put Skanda on Her lap and explained to Him why Ekdanta got the prize.

Jagatah Pitrau Vande Parvati Parameshwaro

Pond of the Chamaar lady in Bihar.  

Ayachi Mishra


One of the ultimate desires of a true Bharatiya is to become Desireless, to attain Detachment (Vairagya) to material pleasures. Today’s story is from Mithila Pradesh and is about a man who was a great Sanskrit Scholar and was a man who never asked for anything. It is believed that he only ate ‘saag’ (leafy vegetable) grown on his small patch of land. He was Bhavanatha Mishra, also known as Ayachi Mishra. The name Ayachi in Sanskrit means “he who does not ask for anything”.


Ayachi Mishra lived a life of penury. Ayachi Mishra and his wife had no children and they prayed to Mahadev for a son. His wife and his prayers were answered when Mahadev Himself was born to him. The couple named him as Shankar.


Those days, the cobbler’s wife would be the midwife during delivery. But the Mishra couple was so poor that they had nothing to give the cobbler’s wife for her services. So Ayachi Mishra promised her that his son Shankar Mishra would gift his first income to her.


Shankar Mishra was a prodigy. When he was five years old, he had already mastered all knowledge. His fame spread and he was invited by the king of Darbhanga to his court. There he was asked to recite something of his own. He immediately recited,

Baaloham jagdanand, na me baala Saraswati

Apurne panchame varshe, varnayami jagatrayam

(“O the world’s delight, I am a child, my Saraswati (learning) is not.

I have not completed five years, [and] I describe the three worlds.”)


The king of Darbhanga was so pleased with the prodigy that he rewarded him handsomely. He told little Shankar Mishra to take as many jewels as he could, from the treasury. Little Shankar Mishra had worn only a small piece of cloth to cover himself. He took that out and filled it with as much diamonds and jewels as he could. Then, on reaching home, he gave it all to his Mother.


Now, his Mother too was an exceptional lady. Bhagwan is always born in the womb of exceptional and pure women. Ayachi Mishra’s wife remembered her and her husband’s promise to the midwife when her son was born. She took all the jewels and diamonds and gave it to the stunned Chamaar lady.


Bharat is a land of piety because of such souls as the Mishra family as much as the family of the Chamaar lady. The lady who became the richest woman of the area, did not use it only for herself. She built many temples and more importantly, got many ponds and wells dug in the nearby areas, for use by all the people of the region.


Even today Basopatti in Mithila, the largest pond of the area is known as “Chamainiya Pokhar” (the pond of the Chamaar lady).


Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham, Shivoham


Author is a mother to three children and writes on Spirituality, Women Empowerment and National Affairs. Her articles are published on 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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