Tag Archives: vedic

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:

NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION

Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)

IFSC code: BKID0006805

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Our publications

GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

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

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

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

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SHORT STORY: REAL VICTORY

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    Once there lived an arrogant farmer in a village. His name was Sher Singh. He was as dreadful as a tiger. Even for small reasons he used to pick up big fights. He never spoke to the people of the village in a polite manner. And he never visited anyone. Nor did he wish anyone, he came across on the way. The villagers also found him arrogant and avoided speaking to him.

    In the same village. One day a farmer by the name of Dayaram came and settled from a distant location. As compared to Sher Singh he was extremely simple and helpful. He spoke to everyone in a very polite manner. And he always tried to help the villagers. Soon he became very popular and every villager started respecting him and also started seeking advice from him.

    One day few villagers thought of giving Dayaram some good advise—‘Brother Dayaram! Never ever visit Sher Singh at his house. And as far as possible. Try and stay away from him as he is a big fighter.’

    Dayaram laughed and said—‘If Sher Singh tries to fight with me I will kill him.’

    Villagers laughed at this. They knew Dayaram was very kind. Forget killing. He wouldn’t even abuse him. But some miscreant went and sneaked about Dayaram’s comment to Sher Singh. Sher Singh on hearing this got very angry. And, he started looking for opportunities. To pick up fights with Dayaram. One day he left his bullocks in Dayaram’s fields. They grazed his crop and even destroyed it. But Dayaram quietly drove them out of his fields.

    Another day. Sher Singh changed the direction of the drains that carried water to Dayaram’s fields. With the result water started flowing in the wrong direction. Leaving his fields dry. But Dayaram avaoided confrontation. So he quietly set the drain right. In this manner Sher Singh kept harming Dayaram. But Dayaram with his cool nature did not give him an opportunity to pick up a fight.

    One day a relative of Dayaram sent him some Kharboozaas (melons). As a good gesture he decided to distribute them in the village. He sent one to each farmer. But Sher Singh refused to accept it. He sent it back saying. ‘I’m not a beggar. I don’t accept alms from anyone.’

    During monsoon, one day. When Sher Singh was returning home from the market in his bullock-cart, loaded with grains. On the way it got stuck in the mire. Near a nullah (watercourse). Where, his feeble bullocks were unable to pull the cart out of it. When the news reached the village everyone happily thought—Since Sher Singh is a crook. Let him spend the night by the side of the nullah alone.

    But Dayaram, with his robust bullocks. Immediately left for the nullah. To help Sher Singh. People tried to stop him when they said—‘Dayaram! Sher Singh has troubled you quite a lot in the past. And you often used to say. If he fights with you. You will kill him. Then why are you going to help him today?’

    Dayaram replied—‘Today, I’ll definitely kill him. And you all will be able to see that by morning.’ After this he left.

    When Sher Singh saw Dayaram coming along with his robust bullocks to help him. He arrogantly yelled—‘Please go back. I don’t require your help.’

    But Dayaram didn’t slow down. He continued walking towards him in the same pace and said—‘Abuse me if you feel so. Beat me if you wish to. But right now you are in trouble. Your cart is stuck and it’s getting dark. So, I just can’t agree to what you say now. And I have to help you.’

    Dayaram, quickly released Sher Singh’s bullocks from the harness and installed his own. Thereafter, his robust bullocks pulled the cart out of the mire. Sher Singh, then drove his bullock-cart home. He realized the goodness of Dayaram and politely said to him—‘Dayaram you killed me with your kindness. Now I am no more that arrogant Sher Singh.’ Thereafter, Sher Singh started relating with everyone in the village with extreme love, kindness and humbleness.

Moral of the story: To win over evil with goodness is the real victory of life. Dayaram, was able to achieve that.

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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

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

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

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

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

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SHORT STORY: THE LION AND THE SHEPHERD

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    Once, a lion in the forest was wounded by a sharp and poisonous thorn. Soon it become sore. The lion tried to pull it out with its teeth, but was unable to do so. He was now in deep pain and could not even walk properly. So, in hope of some help. He started limping slowly, when he reached a shepherd near the jungle. When the shepherd saw the hefty lion approaching him he got scared. He thought. If he tries to escape now. The lion in a couple of leaps will pounce on him and tear him to shreds. And even in the vicinity there weren’t any trees that he could have suddenly climbed to save himself. So having no other option he just stayed put there.

    But the lion neither roared nor growled. He just came and sat in front of the shepherd and raised his foreleg. The shepherd saw the wound and could immediately understand that the lion was in deep pain and wanted help. He immediately pulled out the thorn from the lion’s foreleg. The lion was relieved of the pain and soon he took an about turn and went back to the jungle.

    After some days there was a theft in the King’s Palace. Some people out of enmity informed the king that the shepherd was the thief and he alone had burgled the king’s palace. Shepherd was caught. But in his house the stolen stuff was not found. The king thought that the shepherd had hid it somewhere. And therefore he issued orders the shepherd be thrown alive in front of a lion.

    But by stroke of luck the same lion was brought to kill the shepherd, whose thorn, the shepherd had pulled out. When the shepherd was thrown in front of the lion, the lion recognized him. He immediately came close to the shepherd and sat beside him and started wagging his tail like a dog.

    The king was surprised at this gesture of the lion. Upon, enquiring, he came to know about the helpful nature of the shepherd. And also how he had helped the lion. When he was in deep agony, because of which the lion was grateful towards the shepherd. The king then decided to set free the shepherd, realizing he may not be the culprit.

    Moral of the story: Even the mighty predator lion did not forget the help that he had received from a shepherd. Human beings who forget the kindness that is showered on them by others are worse than animals.

*

Posted by Kamlesh Tripathi

*

https://kamleshsujata.wordpress.com

*

Share if you like it

*

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

(Archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)  

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

(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. Book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

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

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