Thursday, November 27, 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 21 (of Vol 3) Dated 27 Nov 2008

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 21 (of Vol 3) Dated 27 Nov 2008

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyavaal of Kanchi Kamakoti peetam, over a period of some sixty years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of last century. These have been published in Tamil by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each, as Deivathin Kural. To day we are proceeding from the middle of page number 91, of Vol 3, of the Tamil original. The readers are reminded that herein the word 'man' includes 'woman' too. )
(Note:- These e-mails are all available at constantly up-dated.)
The Story of Ranti Deva
45. In old Saastraa-s there are two types of works mentioned. Some are 'ishti' and some are 'poorti'. Ishti Yaagaa-s are those done to fulfill a wish, like King Dasarata arranged to conduct a 'putra + kaama + ishti = putrakaameshti' yaaga., done with a desire to beget progeny. 'Poorti' is what many people think now-a-days as not being there at all in our religion, namely social service!
46. Digging a well or pond, making roads, construct temples, plant trees on either side of the roads and so on, were collectively called, 'poorti or poortam'. 'Ishti' can only be done by some entitled and materially well off persons. It was more difficult to conduct with too many rules and regulations. 'Poorti' was not like that. It is the type of work in which any and everybody used to participate. I will talk about this 'poorti' later in detail.
47. This King Ranti Deva hailing from the Chandra Vamsa lineage, did many Yaaga-s and gave a lot of donations. Though to start with, he was a King, by never refusing to give, he became a pauper himself. He was being tested by Maha Vishnu Himself. Not only was his treasury empty, there was wide spread scarcity and draught conditions in the whole country. Ranti Deva and his family was in the grip of utter poverty. He did not beg himself though. The whole family had gone without food for 48 days ! Looking at the pathetic condition of the King who was a great philanthropist; some people sent him some wheat porridge and water, for him, his wife and children.
48. Emaciated and horribly weak, the porridge was highly welcome and was looked upon as manna from heaven! With their front skin of the tummy flat with that of the back side, when they were about to drink that porridge, there was a Brahmin beggar who came before them saying, "bhavati bhikshaam dehi", begging for alms!
49. When the tummy had already assumed that it was going to be fed, that too the stomachs of royalty which had known better days earlier; to be shocked at the nick of time; the disappointment was just too much. Ranti Deva looked at the beggar. Did he have any disgust? No. He looked at him as Lord Narayana in human form. He thanked him that he was stopped before putting the food to his mouth. His wife and children did not lag behind either!
50. They all gave their share to the Brahmin beggar quite willingly. When the royal family was about to partake the balance, there was yet another beggar. This time he was from the fourth caste. Hunger and compassion does not differentiate between castes. From the already reduced quota of the porridge in their hands, they pooled in once again! For the King this newcomer beggar was also Lord Narayana only in another form!
51. The other members of the family drank their share of whatever was left in their hands. Rantideva was the only one who had not yet partaken, possibly mulling over the turn of events! When he thought of eating, there was yet another human being, a hunter of the forests with a few dogs. In Rantideva’s eyes, the hunter and his dogs, were all Lord Narayana in yet another garb and make-up!
52. In the Veda, in Sri Rudram, it says exactly in these very words, “lord god is in the form of dogs; lord god is in the form of the hunter”. Rantideva saw God in the hunter and his dogs too! He had such a perspective. He told himself that, “This hunter is God in human form and in the form of dogs. He is evidently testing me and my sincerity of purpose. To feed him and his dogs is the best way to pay obeisance to God! Let me give this porridge to Him!”. As Sri Rudram goes on to say, “prostrations to the dogs and prostrations to the keeper of the dogs!”, Rantideva kept all the balance porridge in front of them and did ‘saashtaanga namaskaraa-s’.
53. Now! What is now? All that Rantideva was left with was a glass of water. Even that was a precious commodity in the draught like conditions obtaining then! After 48 days of fasting, this was the only thing that could have retained the connection between body and soul! That was the time when there was another very dryed up individual coming on the scene with the cry of “some water please!”.
54. Then there are two sloka-s said to have been uttered by Rantideva, occuring in Bhagawatam. Both two gems. For sacrifice and paropakaaram, there is no other mantra to match. I will tell you those in the same language that Rantideva used. Later I will translate them! “na kaamaye (a)ham gathim easwarat paraam astarti yuktaam apunar bhavam vaa I aartim prapadye (a)kila deha bhajaam antas sthito yena bhavantyaduh:khaa: II”.
55. Now is the translation of the two sloka-s. Detailed analysis of the couplets will follow in the next e-mail. “I do not aspire for becoming merged in the supreme power of Easwara. Neither do I wish to attain the eight maha siddhis of achievements. I am not even asking for putting a stop to repeated births and deaths. I only wish to surrender to the sorrows of the whole universe in all bodies! Give me all the problems of this world, so that I may not see anyone suffering any more!" Oh! Want wonderful sentiment! Is there any better definition than this for 'paropakaaram and social service'?
(To be continued.)



At 7:47 PM, Blogger Ajanabee said...

Has been searching the reference of this shloka,since a long time.
Jaya Natu.


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