Tag Archives: yagya

CONVERSATION BETWEEN YUDHISHTIR AND YAKSH (Mahabharat)

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    At the end of the 12 years of exile in the forests, time had come for the Pandavas to live in Agyat Vasa (living Incognito). As they were discussing their course of action the Pandava Princes came across a Brahmin who complained that a deer had taken, on its antlers (its horns)—his Arani (pair of wooden blocks) that he used to generate fire with by friction – and therefore he was not able to light the fire for his Vedic rituals. So, the valorous Pandavas immediately set out to retrieve the Brahmin’s Arani by following the hoof-marks of the deer.

    In the quest for the mysterious deer, Yudhishtir, became exhausted and thirsty. His brother Nakul thus ventured out, to fetch water and found a beautiful lake. The lake was devoid of any living creature except a crane (Baka). When he attempted to take water from the lake, the crane spoke, “O Nakul! The water of this lake will turn into poison if you take it without satisfactorily answering my questions.” But Nakul, in sheer arrogance, did not pay heed and hurriedly took the water from the lake. And upon drinking the crystal clear water, Nakul instantly died of poisoning. Nakul’s twin Sahadev, coming in search of his brother, also found the same lake, but saw Nakul dead, and as in the case of Nakul he too was warned by the crane. But Sahadev too, ignored the crane and died after drinking the water. In the same manner, both valiant Arjun, and powerful Bhim met with the same fate.

    Since none of the brothers returned with water, Yudhishtir engaged himself in search of them. Following the same path, Yudhishtir came across the same lake and found his brothers lying dead. Before searching for the killer of his brothers, Yudhishtir decided to drink some water from the lake. But when the crane warned him, Yudhishtir realised that the crane held the answer to the turn of events. So, virtuous Yudhishtir, proceeded to answer the questions put forth by the crane.

    Before putting the questions to Yudhishtir, the crane revealed itself as a Yaksha. Yaksha asked certain questions with philosophical ramifications

    Question 1. “Who makes the sun rise in the skies? Who moves the Sun around? Who makes the sunset in the horizons? What is the true nature of the Sun and where is the Sun established”?

    Yudhishtir answered, “Brahma makes the sun rise and ascend. The Gods perambulate about the Sun. Truth is the actual Sun and the Sun is established in Truth alone.”

    Question 2. What instils ‘divinity’ in Brahmins? What is the quality of virtuosity in a Brahmin? What is the humanlike quality of a Brahmin? What is the conduct akin to a non-virtuous person in a Brahmin?

    Yudhistir replied: The self-study (Swadhyayana) of the Vedas is divinity in a Brahmin. Penance is the quality of virtuosity in a Brahmin. Death is human-like quality in a Brahmin. Criticising others is a conduct in a Brahmin that resembles a non-virtuous person.

    Question 3. “What instils divinity in Kshatriyas? What is the quality of virtuosity in a Kshatriya? What is the humanity of a Kshatriya? What is the conduct akin to a non-virtuous person in a Kshatriya”?

    Yudhishtir replied, “The art of archery instils divinity in a Kshatriya. Oblation to God (Yagya) is the quality of virtuosity in a Kshatriya. Fear is his humanity. Abandoning people under his protection is the unbecoming conduct of a Kshatriya”.

    Question 4. “What is that thing which is like a Mantra in the performance of oblations (Yagya)? Who is the performer of rites and ceremonies during a Yagya? Who accepts the oblations of a Yagya? What is that which even a Yagya cannot transgress”?

    Yudhishtir replied, “Breath is like the Mantra in the performance of rites or Yagya. Mind is the performer of all rites in the course of Yagya. Only Shlokas of the Vedas, termed rucha or the richa accept oblation. The Yagya cannot surpass nor transgress the richas”.

    Question 5. “What is heavier than Earth, higher than heavens, faster than the wind and more numerous than straws”?

   Yudhishtir replied, “One’s mother is heavier than the Earth, one’s father is higher than the heavens, the mind is faster than the wind and our worries are more numerous than straws “.

    Question 6. “Who is the friend of a traveller? Who is the friend of the one who is ill and the one who is dying”?

   Yudhishtir’s replied, “The friend of a traveller is his companion. The physician is the friend of one who is sick and a dying man’s friend is charity”.

    Question 7. “What is that, which when renounced, makes one lovable? What is that which when renounced makes a person happy and wealthy”?

    Yudhishtir said, “Pride, if renounced makes one lovable, by renouncing desire one becomes wealthy and by renouncing extreme greed and avarice one obtains happiness”.

    Question 8. “Which enemy is invincible? What constitutes an incurable disease? What sort of man is noble and what sort of a man is not honourable or ignoble”?

    Yudhishtir responded, “Anger is the invincible enemy. Covetousness constitutes a disease that is incurable. He is noble who desires the well-being of all creatures, and he is ignoble who is without mercy”.

Question 9. “Who is truly happy? What is the greatest wonder? What is the path? And what is the news”?

    Yudhishthira replied, “He who has no debts is truly happy. Day after day countless people die. Yet the living wish to live forever. O Lord, what can be a greater wonder than that? Argument leads to no certain conclusion, the Srutis (the religious texts) are different from one another. There is not even one Rishi whose opinion can be accepted by all. The truth about Dharma and duty is hidden in the cave of our hearts therefore that alone is the path along which the great have trod. This world full of ignorance is like a pan. Where, the sun is fire, the days and nights are fuel. The months and the seasons constitute the wooden ladle. Time is the cook that is cooking all creatures in that pan (with such aids). This in fact is the news”.

    Even though Yudhishtir had answered all questions in a satisfactory manner, Yaksh allowed him to choose only one of his brothers to come back to life. Yudhishtir said, “I choose my younger brother, Nakul.” When Yaksh asked him why he chose Nakul when he could choose sharp Arjun or brave Bheem. Yudhishtir replied, “I love Kunti, my mother and Madri, my stepmother equally, If I choose my blood brothers it will be injustice to Madri, hence I chose Nakul who is her biological son.

    Yaksh was impressed the manner in which Yudhishtir followed Dharma in every little thing that he did. At the end of the questions, Yaksh revealed himself to be Yamaraj, the God of death. He also admitted to Yudhishtir that it was he who had stolen the arani (the wooden blocks) disguised as a deer. He blessed him saying, since he had adhered to Dharma (righteousness), Dharma would protect them all and no-one would recognise them during the Agyat Vasa. Yudhishtir also got his brothers back from heaven.

    No matter which religion you follow the end of all religions is only righteousness.

By Kamlesh Tripathi

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ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY

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AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES

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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. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)

TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN

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RHYTHM … in poems

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MIRAGE

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DON’T VISIT ANYONE UNINVITED—SAYS, LORD SHIVA TO HIS WIFE SATI

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    King Prajapati Daksha, father of Sati aka Dakshayani, and father-in-law of Lord Shiva had once organized for a huge ‘yagya’ (divine sacrifice) in Kankhal, a well known pilgrimage centre. His prime motive to organize the function was, to avoid Shiva and Sati, and show them down. Daksha had a big ego. He hated Shiva for some reason, but had married his daughter to him, only on the insistence of Lord Brahma who also happened to be his father. Besides Shiva he had not even invited his daughter Sati for the event. And to demean Shiva further he had cordially invited Lord Vishnu and all the Devtas, in addition to the famous rishis, maharishis, musicians and even scholars.

    Sati learnt about this yagya through a close friend of hers. When, she too, desired to visit her father on the occasion even if it was uninvited. She therefore, asked Lord Shiva if she could visit him on the occasion. But Lord Shiva was unhappy with the sequence of events when he said,

    ‘Sati! People who visit others without being invited face severe humiliations that are even greater than the pain of death. And it is true, that even arrows don’t hurt you, as much as words of your near and dear ones.’

    Upon hearing this Sati got very angry. She said, ‘God what is your enmity with my father and why hasn’t he invited you?’ On this Shiva narrated the episode of the earlier yagya, but Sati was not prepared to listen to him. She said,

    ‘Shambhu without your visiting, the yagya cannot be completed. My stupid father has not invited you for the function. I want to know why, and for that I need to go there. So, please grant me permission. It is only after going there I’ll be able to ascertain how he completes the yagya.’ On hearing this, Shiva gave her the permission, to visit her father, reluctantly.

    All along the yagya Sati was restless about the fact that her husband was not participating in it. King Daksha had kept an eye on her, and when he was not able to bear her restlessness. He reprimanded her in front of all the guests by saying, ‘be in the yagya only if you can be calm and quiet otherwise leave. Your husband is the king of bhoot and prêt. He applies chita ka bhasm and he is also a hasher. He discards veda, akulit and is inauspicious. Because of these reasons I have not invited him for my yagya. I am even shameful of having married you to him.’

    On hearing her husband’s insult Sati got every angry. She said, ‘no one has the right to show his anger at my Lord and master Shiva.’ And it was only then she realized she should have listened to him. Unable to bear the tirade of her father that converted into spiking humiliations she finally entered the yagya and immolated herself.

    Upon learning about the terrible incident, in his extreme wrath Shiva invoked Virbhadra and Bhadrakali by plucking a lock and thrashing it on the ground. Virbhadra and Bhoot ganas marched south and destroyed all the premises. Daksha was decapitated and the yagya shaala was destroyed in the rampage. The Bhootganas celebrated victory, by plucking the beard of ‘Presiding Master’ of the Yagya, sage Bhrigu, as a war souvenir. Daksha was later forgiven and given life by fixing a ram’s (Male Goat’s) head and the yagya was allowed to complete, in the presence of all divinities.

    The story continues with the act of Vishnu pacifying Shiva, who was in deep grief in seeing the half burned corpse of his beloved wife. Vishnu embraced Shiva to pacify him. Shiva unable to part with Sati took her corpse and wandered. The body parts of the corpse of Sati Devi fell in the places Shiva travelled. The places where the body parts of Sati’s corpse fell came to be known as Shakti Peethas

Moral of the story: Had Sati, listened to Lord Shiva and not gone to her father, she wouldn’t have been insulted and as a consequence wouldn’t have immolated herself. And above all, the wide devastation could have been averted.

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Posted 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

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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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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

*

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

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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