Saturday, 13 April 2013

HARICHANDRAN THE TRUTHFUL KING




Let me tell the story of Harichandran   who speaks the truth and only the truth.

Once there raised an argument between sage Vasishtar and sage Viswamitrar .  Viswamitrar  asked, "Is there anybody in this world   who speaks only the truth? "

Vasishtar replied," Yes . there is King  Harichandran who rules Ayodhya. He  never utters a lie what so ever."But Viswamitrar  did not accept this. He said,"People do tell lies. And Harichandran is no exception." 

Vasishtar challenged this  and  said to Viswamitrar ," You may try  and prove your statement.If you make Harichandrar tell a lie I shall accept my defeat."

Viswamitrar readily agreed to this and started his journey to meet king Harichandran. On  seeing the sage, Harichandran came forward to welcome him and paid his  respects.And the king asked,"What can I do for you?" 

The sage asked for  thousand gold coins to complete his yagna .The king  ordered to bring thousand gold coins and gave it to the sage. Viswamitrar readily accepted this and gave it  back to the king and said,"O,king  Keep it  safe with you.I shall get it back from you after sometime ."saying this the sage left.

Days went by. Viswamitrar  was thinking over his challenge and planned to trap the king Harichandran and make him lie. One day Viswamitrar went to see the king .There he started to execute his plan.

He said to the king ,"Yesterday night I had a  dream. In the dream you gave away the kingdom to me." and then he looked at the king.Harichandran  at once said ," O, Sage! Even if it is a dream I have tokeep my word. Here it is, you can take the kingdom." And so, in the presence of learned persons he  gave away the kingdom to Viswamitrar.

Now started the whole drama.

Viswamitrar now said," Iam the king from now on. " and he asked Harichandran his queen  Chandramathi , son Logidasan  to remove all royal clothings and jewels .He gave them simple clothes and asked them   to leave the kingdom and go elsewhere.

Harichandran, his queen Chandramathi, and son Logidasan    were about to leave the palace when Viswamitrar  shouted,"Stop  Harichandran . Give me back my one thousand gold coins and then leave."

Harichandran replied," It is there in the treasury. You can take from there."
For this Viswamitra said,"The  kingdom is mine now.You have to give back .You are indebted to me now. Earn the thousand gold coins and pay me back.Or else just tell a lie that you have not given me those gold coins.And I shall give back your kingdom, wealth and all."

Harichandran refused  to lie .Instead he asked  one month  time to repay the debt. Viswamitrar agreed to that and he sent one of his disciple Nakshatreyan  to accompany Harichandran  and get back his money.

They were travelling by foot and all along they have to earn  food for themselves, and also for Nakshatreyan ,by doing menial jobs.  Nakshatreyan , on the advice of his guru always pestered for food and the money .

After some days they all reached Kasi .There Harichandran  sold his wife, Chandramathi and son Logidasan ,to a brahmin to do household chores. .He got some money.That was not enough to pay Nakshatreyan.He also  sold  himself and agreed to take charge of a burial ground to do cremation work.For this he got some money .So, with all this  money he was able to pay back Nakshatreyan, and sent him back to Ayodhya.

Days went by. Chandramathi and Logidasan were doing all the household works in the brahmin's house .One day the brahmin asked Logidasan to go and fetch some 'Darbai ' grass for Pooja.

When Logidasan went with his friends to get the grass , he was bit by a snake and he died there.

This sad  news reached  Chandramathi. Chandramathi filled with sorrow, with  permission from the brahmin, took the body of Logidasan to the cremation ground.There Chandramathi with tears in her eyes  and heart filled with sorrow tried to cremate Logidasan.

Now Harichandran stopped her. Since fate had  palyed havoc with them they  did not recognise each other. Harichandran now called," Lady, You cannot cremate the body without paying the cermation fees ."

Chandramathi replied,"I don't have any money with me.Iam a helpless women .Please allow me to cremate my son.Already I have lost my son.Please don't add woes to my worries."

Harichandran now found the gold Mangalsutra in her neck and said,"If you don't have money ,you can give the Mangalsutra which you are wearing."

Chandramathi was surprised to hear this.Her Mangalsutra is  visible only to the eyes of Harichandran. Immediately she fell at the legs of Harichandran and cried ,"Dear,Don't you recognise me.Iam Chandramathi and this is our son Logidasan," Chandramthi told the whole story of how Logidasan died. Both of them were in sorrow.

Even after knowing who she is, Harichandran asked Chandramathi  to go and bring the fees to be paid to his master.

Viswamitrar with his powers saw all  this and  feared that he may lose in the challenge with  Vasishtar.He thought and decide to give Harichandran more trouble.

When Chandramathi was returning to get the cremation fees from her master ,she came across the deadbody of the prince of Kasi .Circumstances were  made  by Viswamitra, to believe that Chandramathi killed the prince.

So, the King of  Kasi gave her a death sentence.Again , she was taken to the same cremation ground and Harichandran was asked to fulfil the death sentence. 

Now, Viswamitrar appeared before him nd said,"Harichandra ,Even now If you tell a lie that you did not owe me thousand gold coins ,you will get back the kingdom and all your happiness."

Even, at this juncture, Harichandran refused to tell a lie .And he to fulfil King's orders  beheaded  Chandramathi with a long knife.
.
Oh!What a miracle!
The knife turned into a beautiful garland,Their son Logidasan came back alive.

Viswamitrar gave back the kingdom saying".I have lost the challenge to Vasishtar.But, I made  the world, know about Harichandran  and his truthfulness."

Even though he faced many  hardships, Harichandran  did not swerve from the path of truth.And finally Truthfulness saved him from all troubles.



                           TRUTH ALONE TRIUMPHS.







image courtesy---google.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Sage Narada and a cup of oil.






As we all know sage Narada  is an ardent  devotee of  Lord Vishnu . He keeps chanting "Narayana! Narayana! " all through  the day.  wherever he is  and during  all times the name   Narayana will be on his tongue.

He believed  that he is the greatest devotee of Lord Vishnu and there is no one else who keeps thinking  Narayana  as he does.He  wanted to get that confirmed  from none other than Lord Vishnu himself.

So he started his journey towards Vaikund, the abode of Lord Vishnu with the words Narayana  on his tongue.On reaching Vaikund  He  bowed before  lord Vishnu and received his blessings.

Then when Lord Vishnu asked  the purpose of his visit, Narada  replied that he needed some clarification.
Vishnu  asked  " About  what Narada? "

Narada  replied ,"  I need to know as to who is your  ardent  devotee?"
Needless  to say, Narada was expecting  his name from Lord Vishnu.

Now, Vishnu asked Narada  to go to a hamlet  and meet Thirumalai, the farmer  residing in that village.
Also He  told " I  consider   Thirumalai   as my ardent devotee."

Narada was surprised at this  and was eager to see this  devotee .And he reached the Hamlet mentioned by Vishnu  and went and knocked at the  farmer's hut.It was almost night, when Narada reached the farmer's hut.
Out came the farmer  and  welcomed sage Narada . The farmer offered Narada  food to eat  and asked him to sleep on the best bed which he could offer.
Narda was  keenly observing the farmer as to how many times the farmer is mentioning Narayana..

The farmer  before going to sleep , uttered 'Narayana!,Narayana" and went to sleep.
Next day the farmer got up early in the morning  , brushed his teeth, took bath , then he looked at the photo  of Vishnu and uttered. "Narayana" . Then he started  his daily work. Narada was watching him the whole day to take note of the number of times  the farmer utters Narayana.

The whole day during his work time, he never bothered to pray or utter Narayana. Again later in the night  before going to sleep he again prayed.

Taking note of all this Narada returned to Vaikund and asked Vishnu," The  farmer prayed only twice in a day  and still he is considered as an ardent devotee by you. Idon't understand this ."

For this Vishnu  gave Narada a cup filled with oil to the brim  and asked Narada to go around Vaikund ,without spilling even a drop of oil.Narada readily took the cup of oil and with great care he walked  around  the abode of Vishnu. He focussed only on the cup of oil.Without uttering a word he finished the given job and gave back the cup of oil to the Lord.

Now Vishnu  asked  Narada ," How many times did you utter my name when you were focussing on the cup  of oil?"
Narad said, "How is it that you expect me to  uttter your name, when I have to focus on the cup of oil?"

For this Vishnu answered ," When you have to focus on the simple cup of oil, you never prayed.
But the farmer with all his worries, duties and the hardwork , he never forgot to pray and utter my name  twice a day. Is there any devotee greater than him? "

Sage Narada was dumbfounded.He realised that Duty  is God . He  also  understood that  devotees, amidst  all work are  also  sincere  in their devotion to God.



image courtesy--google