Tag Archives: tapasya

STORY: NO FOOD IN HEAVEN UNLESS YOU DONATE DURING YOUR LIFETIME

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

 

 

 

In the country of Vidharbh, there ruled a king by the name of Shwet. He governed his country in a very meticulous manner, and his subjects were quite happy under his rule. But after a period of time the king was not enjoying all this. He felt like giving up his kingdom, and move to vairagya (renunciation). Soon, he decided to hand over the reign of his empire to his brothers. After which he left for the jungles to perform his tapasya (austere meditation). The passion and devotion with which he had governed his country all this while, prompted him to even perform his tapasiya in the same manner and it continued for a thousand years. During that period the devotion he showed was incomparable. He was therefore sent to Brahmlok (where Lord Brahma resides) after his death. There he had all the facilities, but he never got any food to eat. And out of hunger, his senses had debilitated. When he finally couldn’t bear it, he asked Lord Brahma, ‘God!—Brahmlok is considered to be free from the pangs of hunger and thirst. But, then, why is it that I’m almost dying of it.’

Lord Brahma replied—‘Vatsya! (Dear) In Mritulok (world of life and death) you never donated for a noble cause. Neither did you feed any hungry person. And unless you donate and feed the needy in Mritulok you will never get food in Bhramlok. The food you ate while you were alive only nourished your own body. Therefore, you can go back to Mrityulok and continue to feed on your own dead body. There is no other way out for you. Your dead body shall remain there forever as your food. And after hundred years, Agasta Muni (sage) will rescue you from this state.’

And as destined, after hundred years Agasta Muni with his power of dev-yoga reached that huge jungle of hundred yojan (vedic measure of area). It was completely quiet. There was neither an animal nor a bird in it. At the centre of that jungle there was a lake. Near that Agasta Muni saw a corpse lying. He started wondering whose corpse is it and how did the person die. In the meanwhile there landed an aircraft from the sky in the lake. From that a divine looking person came out. He first entered the lake to have a bath. After which he started feeding on the corpse lying there. And after filling his stomach sumptuously, he had a good look at the face of the corpse and then started moving towards his aircraft to return to Brahmlok. Muni, who was not far said to him—‘You appear to be a divine person from heaven, but your food is obnoxious.’ The dead person then told his entire story to the Muni and said, ‘my hundred years of punishment are over. But I don’t really know when I’ll get to see Agasta Muni, and, when, will he rescue me.

Agasta muni replied—‘Divine Soul! I am Agasta Muni. Tell me, how can I help you? The divine person said –‘Since I never presented anything to anyone in my life. I want to present you with this valuable ornament. Kindly accept this and help me out.’ And the moment he accepted the ornament the corpse vanished and the divine person attained complete moksha.

Remember, if you are in a position to help someone and you don’t. Consider it to be a crime.

 

From Padam Puran, shristi khand

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STORY: THE CORRELATION BETWEEN KARMA AND TAPASYA

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THE CORRELATION BETWEEN KARMA AND TAPASYA

   

    It is widely believed that Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life, where one could continue to remain a Hindu even without really practicing it. But when you run through the religious texts it doesn’t say so, that simplistically. In fact, it won’t be a misnomer to say Hinduism is all about good and bad Karma—and ‘Karma’ alone is the essence of Hinduism. While Karma emanates from your mindset, tapasya (prolonged, intense and rigorous form of meditation) is the versatile vehicle of karma that takes you to your goal, and in case of any misdeeds it also acts as the penance, to pull you through tough times. Hence, one could say a ‘Tapasya’ in many ways is only a planned and focused karma.

    If you go through the Hindu texts dispassionately you would find, there were no free lunches, not even for Gods. Everyone had to fight for each specific issue where opponents could not be taken for granted just because someone commanded a superior position, breed, hierarchy or a better brand. And, competitor intelligence then, was a prevalent strategy vital for survival. While one could continue in life, being an average and inactive person. But for a Herculean milestone and phenomenal achievements one had to go in for long and arduous tapasyas where even avatars and Gods were not spared from the drill.

    When Pandavas were exiled from their kingdom, Lord God Krishna advised Arjun to obtain Divyastras (divine weapons of various Gods) as that would have helped Pandavas in the future, while combating the Kauravas. But Divyastras were not available off the shelf, even when Arjun was a very close sakha (friend) of Lord God Krishna. And, for Divyastras, the only way out was to perform rigorous tapasya to please respective Gods to bless him with their weapon, which Arjun did successfully. Specific Devatas (God) had specific powers but, no, one, Devata had all the powers vested in her or him. Devatas on many occasions were even found weaker than asuras and danavs since power and might were never a constant factor, as mentioned in the famous and historic episode of Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean). So Devatas often had to perform long tapasyas to win over asuras. And asuras too were not behind in this, as they often performed mind boggling tapasyas to obtain vardans (blessings) which they used for destructive purposes.

    Ravan the king of Lanka had done a lifetime of tapasya and was well entrenched, as a tall pundit but his tapasya was not followed by good karma and so all his knowledge went for a waste. So in Hinduism, can not one say both karma and tapasya work in tandem? Good karma with intense tapasya will yield good results, while good karma with intense tapasya followed by bad karma will only dilute the effects of tapasya. And as long as the arch of good karma continues time shall be kind to you.

    Let me also tell you another story. That will give you a flavour of how even Gods had to go in for intense tapasyas for specific events. As, no one had unlimited powers, and how at times they had to be interdependent  on each other to attain self goals by keeping aside their personal egos. And that is why it is said, it is extremely difficult to shoo the ego in us. Every person has his ups and downs in life where karma gives us the flexibility of adjusting to these ups and downs through the prowess of tapasya.

    Once when Lord Brahma (the creator of universe) was narrating a story to Rishi Narad he said,

    Dear Narad! Once when Prajapati Daksh left for Mandirachal Parwat (mountain). I too decided to perform a difficult vrat (a religious practice to carry out certain obligations with a view to achieve divine blessings for fulfillment of certain desires) and started praying to Devi Jagbamba. Wherein, I repeatedly told her in my prayers what I wanted. When Jagdamba was pleased with my vrat she gave me darshan (divine audience). I bowed in respect and said ‘pranam Devi,’ she asked. ‘Tell me Brahman! Why have you been praying so passionately, and tell me soon.’

   On hearing this, I folded my hands and politely said—‘Mother! A God named Rudra who happens to be an avatar (incarnation) of God Sadashiv has insulted me. So, I desire you take the form of Sati (Shiva’s first wife) and destroy his arrogance. Kindly take birth as Prajapati Daksh’s daughter to attract God Sadashiv towards you. Bhagwati! Barring you, there is no one else in this universe with the power to attract him erotically. And in anticipation that you’ll accede to our request, and so very excited to receive you as his daughter, Prajapati Daksh is already underway his intense tapasya in Mandirachal Parwat.

    On my saying so Bhagwati was shocked and surprised beyond words and she even looked worried. When she said—‘what is this, that you are saying Brahma ji? You want me to attract Lord God Sadashiv, and for this malicious job you’re seeking my help. Therefore, in reality whatever you’re doing is only Lord God Sadashiv’s criticism. This is a big mistake. Everyone knows I cannot do anything against God Sadashiv. Tell me, what will I gain by attracting the nirvikalp (that does not have an alternative) God Sadashiv, as I am only like his menial maid. And for the salvation of his devotees only he has taken the avatar of Rudra. Lord God Sadashiv is the undisputed emperor of all the three Lokas. He is also yours, as well as Lord Vishnu’s swami. Even in yoga, he is ahead of both of you. I am indeed astounded to hear this foolish thought coming from you, where Lord Brahma wants to captivate Lord God Sadashiv who happens to be the king of Maya (the supernatural power wielded by Gods and demons) and I am truly dumbfounded at this.’ And after saying this Devi Jagdamba went back to meditation, when she received a message from Lord God Sadashiv that without my blessings nothing happens. With my consent only Sri Brahma and Prajapati Daksh are in intense vrat and meditation. So give them the vardan and take birth in Prajapati Daksh’s family and I’ll accept you. Important: Even Lord God Sadashiv had to seek interpersonal help in a polite manner by requesting Devi Jagdamba.

   After receiving instructions from Lord God Sadashiv, Devi Bhagwati said, ‘Brahma ji—‘its fine. I will try my best, so that Lord God Shiva falls for me, and marries me as his second wife. As such there is no one in the world who can break Lord God Shiva’s concentration and attract him sensually, and even I don’t have this power and capacity. Nevertheless, I will endeavour to attract him after obtaining an avatar to fulfil your desire.’ And after this she disappeared.

    Meanwhile Prajapati Daksh was into deep and rigorous tapasya in Mandirchal Parvat. He kept meditating for three thousand years. In summers he used to meditate in the middle of fire and in severe winters he used to immerse himself in cold water, and in between tapasyas he also obtained proficiency in pranayam.  At last when Bhagwati was happy with his tapasya she gave him darshan.

    Bhagwati Shiva knew everything and so she said to Prajapati Daksh—I’m extremely happy with your tapasya and therefore you can ask for a vardan (blessings). Daksh with folded hands said—Devi! If you are happy with me then you please take birth in my family as my daughter, since Lord God Sadashiv has taken a new avatar in the name of Rudra as Brahma’s son, and there is no one to match him and therefore you need to take an avatar to marry him. Because, in this entire universe there is no other person who can do this. Brahma ji for this very important work has sent me here to Mandirachal Parvat for a long-long tapasya. Now with your attractive maya (illusions) try and attract Lord God Sadashiv and oblige the world. Jagdamba said—‘Tathastu–it will happen in this manner only. From your wife’s womb I shall take birth as your daughter, and to endear Lord God Sadashiv I will do intense tapasya.’ And after saying all this Bhagwati Shiva disappeared as she had a long to-do-list to be completed.

    Karma is the opportunity to do important things in life while tapasya the intense preperation and that alone differentiates between the Devata and the man.

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Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

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https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

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Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

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ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

(Archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture)

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

(Launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2014)

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

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(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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STORY: TAPOBAL (The power in meditation)

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

tapobal 1 tapobal 2 tapobal

    ‘Mother I too need to drink milk as my cousin, and it should be as sweet as his milk.’ Requested Upmanyu as he returned home from his cousin’s place and sat on his mother’s lap. For just a little while ago he had seen his cousin relishing a big glass of milk while he got only a gulp to taste.

‘Son we are poor, we don’t even have grains at home to feed ourselves, where will we get milk from.’ Explained, her mother, but Upmanyu her adamant son in the peak of childhood, was in no mood to relent.

To satiate her son, she grinded some grains lying at home and after mixing it with water, she gave it to her son as milk.

‘No mother this is not pure milk. For pure milk is sweet.’ Upmanyu stopped drinking the moment he tasted and started crying. His mother uttered in some desperation.

‘Son, in this world you have everything from stones to diamonds; but everyone gets what he gets, only as per his own fate and destiny. We are the unlucky ones and so even pure milk is difficult for us to get. Lord Shiva is very resourceful, and if Bholenath is happy he won’t hesitate in gifting you even the Kshirsagar (ocean of milk) but only after you are blessed by him, will your desires get fulfilled. And you can only win him over by tapasya.’ Upmanyu’s mother gave him a tip.

‘Mother! Then I will do intense tapasya, and with that I will make my presence felt as it’ll even shake the throne of Lord of all Gods—Shiva, and as a blessing he will surely present me with Kshirsagar.’ And with that Upamnyu not even for a moment could not stay at home and left for the mountains.

Soon Upmanyu got into deep and prolonged tapasya in the Himalayas. And to please Mahadev he even stopped consuming water and food. The entire world got a sense of well being from his tapasya. Lord Vishnu along with other devatas visited Lord Shiva in Mandarachal and said, ‘relieving child Upmanyu from his harsh tapasya and reassuring the world about kindness can only be done by you.’

‘This harsh tapasya is not meant for you, kid!’ said Indra, while getting of his elephant ‘Airawat’ and introducing himself.

‘You have purified the ashram by your arrival!’ Upmanyu welcomed Lord Indra and requested him for his guidance in finding Lord of Gods—Shiva.

‘It is extremely difficult to find Shiva. I rule all the three lokas; so why don’t you come under my blessings, as I will let you experience and enjoy everything that the world has.’ Indra tested Upmanyu.

‘Indra! You just can’t be critical of Lord Shiva. And it appears you are some rogue disguised as Indra. And you have come to hurdle my tapasya. You are a Lord Shiva baiter, I guess; I will therefore kill you as you have criticised my most respected.’ Upmanyu ran to kill him, but suddenly stopped.

‘With the power of your tapobal you have obtained my blessings, I’m happy vatsya!’ said Shiva in Indra’s disguise while blessing him. Upmanyu recognised Shiva and lay prostrate in front of him, regretting his aggression.

‘I was testing you.’ And by blessing his bhakt Upmanyu with Kshirsagar he fulfilled his wishes. And after that he placed Upmanyu in the lap of Goddess Parvati and said ‘Parvati is your mother and I’m your father.’

Lord of Gods Shiva then blessed Upmanyu with treasures of riches and the divine knowledge. Upmanyu was overwhelmed at that and he started singing their praise, is when Lord Shiva along with Parvati vanished from there.

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STORY: HONEST TRADER

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jajli kashi sadhu with jatas

    Brahmin and Mahatapsvi (Great hermit) Jajli till late in his life practiced vanprastha (retiring into a forest) with great discipline and reverence. In fact he had pushed it to the next level and was now surviving only on atmospheric air. He had also stood still on one leg for long period of time in intense tapasya (meditation). When birds mistook him for a tree and made nests in his long jatas (long, dense hair) and even delivered their eggs in it. But the kind maharishi quietly stood there. Soon the eggs hatched and broods came out of it and grew up to be beautiful birds and started flying. When the birds gained proficiency in flying, and they didn’t return for a month, Maharishi Jajli decided to let loose a bit. When he was surprised at the intensity and perfection of his own tapasya, and started considering himself as having obtained moksha. Just then there was an akashwani (celestial announcement from the sky)—‘Jajli! Don’t pride about yourself so much, because you are not as virtuous, righteous and religious, as trader Tuladhar, of Kashi.

    Upon hearing the akashwani Maharishi was quite surprised. He immediately left for Kashi to meet Tuladhar. After reaching there he found Tuladhar to be just an ordinary shopkeeper, who was sitting in his shop. He was continuously weighing and selling daily household products to his customers. But Jajli was surprised, when Tuladhar without enquiring got up and said ‘pranam’ to him and even described his tapasiya and the akashvani in great detail. Jajli asked, ‘you are an ordinary baniya, but then how do know so much about me?’

    Tuladhar politely said—‘Respected Brahmin! I very carefully follow the religion of my caste in which I’m born. I don’t sell wine, nor do I sell any stuff which is cursed and forbidden. I never cheat my customers on the weighing scale. I sell all my products at the correct price no matter who the customer is, whether a child or grown up, and whether he knows the price or doesn’t. I don’t mix any product with anything harmful. I don’t exploit my customers in an unfair manner after taking their feed backs.  It is my duty to serve my customers and I always keep this in my mind. I build my relationship on the premise of benefits, for my customers, and that is my fundamental religion and reason for existence.’

He further said—‘I am not greedy and I keep myself away from anger and disparity. I donate as much as I can, and always serve my guests with love and respect. And I prefer non-violence. I don’t promote greed and excessive desire and I consider everyone as equal in my eyes, and pray for everyone’s well being.’

    On Jajli’s request Tuladhar then explained the pillars of dharma to him. He explained any violent yagya (Hindu religious sacrifice) will always have devastating consequences. And even otherwise in such yagyas there are great possibilities of blunders that give negative results. And people who give pain to others never reach heaven and never meet up with goodness in life. And non-violence alone is the best religion.’

    The birds that were born in the jatas of Jajli returned to him when he called them. They also heard the sermons on dharma from Tuladhar. And with Tuladhar’s sermon Jajli’s pride vanquished.

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By Kamlesh Tripathi

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                                                    https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

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Share if you like it

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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases. Should you wish to donate for the cause the bank details are given below:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

*

Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD

(CAN BE BOUGHT FROM ON LINE BOOK STORES OR WRITE TO US FOR COPIES)

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