Lord Ganesh – Not an External Power

On the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi 2013, presenting my piece which is translation of the Hindi talk on Ganesh Chaturthi delivered by His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of The Art of Living in HIS unimitable style. (I had originally blogged this in Septemeber 2003 on Art of Living’s social forum www. esatsang.net)

Wishing everyone abundant blessings from the remover of obstacles, Lord Ganesha and a festival that is more fulfilling to all of you.

Our Ganesha - 2013
Our Ganesha – 2013 Arrives. Awaiting Installation & Puja

Let me have your feedback and suggestions for correction to improve this translation and make it more accurate, for the benefit of others.

(Translated from HIS original Hindi talk)

From the viewpoint of Sadhana(spiritual practices), Lord Ganesha is the ruler of Mooladhara Chakra (Primordial base centre). Adi Shankaracharya’s description of Lord Ganesha is unique and amazing. The form of Lord Ganesha that Adi Shankaracharya has projected to us is that of Parabramha–Supreme Brahman. “Ajam Nirvikalpam Nirakaram Ekam” – Lord Ganesh is verily the “Parabrahma – Supreme Brahman – Beyond Birth (Ajam), Beyond Imagination (Nirvikalpam) and Beyond Form (Nirakaram) and Ekam (Absolute) – the power of consciousness is Absolute.

This power is absolute which is Omnipresent (Sarvavyapi) when extended and sought to experience towards Mooladhara is Lord Ganesha. From this perspective, irrespective of the externally depicted form of Ganesha., like Elephant faced, there is a big secret behind this depiction – as the Ruler of Knowledge and Education. And Knowledge and Education for a person can happen only when there is Awareness. When there is Inertia or lack of awareness – Knowledge, education or progress in life is not possible. Therefore if you want to awaken this power of consciousness, then the ruler of this power, Lord Ganesha is to be invoked. And instead of treating Lord Ganesh as an external power or outside element, we consider HIM as a centre (Chakra) of our own power. We pray and meditate on Lord Ganesha by installing Lord Ganesha within ourselves, at the first or primary chakra (Mooladhara).

“Dhyanam Nirvishayam” meaning, in meditation there is nothing in our thoughts – nothing external or useless thoughts anyway but focusing on no particular deliberate thought. Then we experience a formless yet a manifest form of Ganesha in our thoughts during the prayer composed sweetly yet precisely by Adi Shankaracharya,

“Ajam Nirvikalpam Nirakaram Ekam;
Niranandam Anandam Advaita Purnam;
Param Nirgunam Nirvishesham Nireeham;
Parabrahma Roopam Ganesham Bhajema”

Those who can’t experience of the formless, over a period of sustained experience of manifested form reaches the formless Brahman. In India, there is this amazing and unique art of reaching formless Paramatma called Lord Ganesh by repeated worship of the manifest form of Ganesha, who is Gajavadhana. Parabrahma Roopam Ganesham Bhajema – worship that form of Ganesh that is Omnipresent.

“Jagatkaranam Karanam Jnaana Roopam;
Suradhim Sukhadim Gunesham Ganesham;
Jagatvyapinam Vishwavandyam Suresham;
Parabrahma Roopam Ganesham Bhajema.”

This Absolute power which is the very cause of the whole universe from which everything originated, that which keeps things going, the same power into which everything would be dissolved, this Causal Absolute Power is Paramatma (Supreme Soul) Ganesha to whom we prostrate and worship.

Even the study of the cause of the whole universe itself is supreme knowledge, which is Ganesha embodied – who is the knower and knowledge Himself. Ganesha thus is Knower, Knowledge and the Goal itself. We also begin worshipping Ganesha as a Goal which is not a superior form of worship. Any worship based on external materialistic object like Goal or aim, means there is not identification with self and a separation is seen. Therefore Ganesha is the cause as well as the knowledge of the reasons for that cause, the seer, and the Absolute – that is the power of Ganesha. These things are not understood by many of us but Rishis and Munis (Saints) who realized this, created different kinds of myths and stories for making it easily comprehensible and thus beneficial to everyone. When we make an Idol of Ganesha, we infuse life in it (Prana Pratishta) – it means let my life be infused in Ganesha. Let, the Ganesha manifested within my life force (Prana) go and get installed in this Idol so that we can play with this Idol and worship (puja). Puja is a game. If you carefully notice, Puja is an artful expression of our inner feelings (Bhaav).

Ganesha at home - A few years back
Ganesha at home – A few years back

Thus a devotee always yearns to play with the God and never desires anything. If a devotee desires something, then this desire becomes bigger than devotion. Thus, a devotee desires God itself, to play with God for a while. The luminescence called God which is formless, beyond imagination and eternal power embedded within ourselves, is invoked, invited and infused into Manifest in the form an idol for us devotees to play is Ganesha Puja. During Prana Pratishta, we state that Ganesha’s life power is my life power and then we pray, “O God! Who is within me always, please manifest and stay in this Idol for a while because I wish to play with you. Whatever I have been given is a great favour from you, which I wish to offer it back to you” So we offer Water, fruits, flowers which is God’s bestowment to us in any case. We are perpetually given sun, moon which revolves around us which I offer it back in the form of Camphor lit fire taken round the Idol (Arti). In this manner, a devotee displays his inner feelings during the act of Puja.

After the puja, a devotee says O Lord! Now you may go back to my heart which is your abode. This process is called Visarjan. The specific process of restoring and re-creating the Lord to HIS abode is Visarjan. Kindly go back to my heart from where you came out to manifest in this idol just like how we take out the ornaments from the safe during festivals, wear it and return it back to the safe after the celebrations.

This celebration where an invaluable, precious knowledge and divine power is manifested for us to play games, enjoy and find fulfillment is Ganesha Festival. In this manner, after the puja we go and immerse the idol into water. It is pertinent now to realize that God is not just in the Idol. He is omnipresent, present everywhere and this power which is given a form and celebrated is Ganesh Chaturthi.

These forms of celebrations helps us in increasing enthusiasm and devotion (gratefulness) in our life. Sage Narada, who is a symbol of devotion in his Bhakti Sutras says, “As per Parasharya, displaying interest and enthusiasm in Puja (worship) is a sign of devotion” Thus, when we perform a worship, it should not be with anyone or to any person, it is with love and devotion. Mental Worship (worshipping in our minds) is a better form than External symbolic worship.

As Adi Shankaracharya says, during mental worship, Non-dual absolute is deemed as Ganesha. And this Absolute power called Ganapati is the very “Cause of Universe” Jagat karanam karana jnana roopam, suradhim, sukhadim – The very origin of happiness (Sukhadim) is in this Absolute power. When each atom of our being is filled with this power, enthusiasm and happiness just overflows and bubbles in us. It is not necessarily to show off outside. This display of enthusiasm, smile or happiness is useless. The inner blossoming is the Origin of Happiness – the love, enthusiasm and playfulness emanates from this space. He is the lord of all Qualities (guna). The absolute power of Self is also the lord of all gunas.

We think that we can obtain good gunas with practice. This is impossible. We have to start from the premise that “All the good qualities pre-exist in us. Bad qualities that we possess has been acquired from external source” With sadhana (Spiritual practices) these bad qualities is expelled and the good qualities which anyway is our true nature is unveiled and starts glowing. In Daivartha Sampat Vidayog, Lord Sri Krishna says, “Arjun, you already have divine qualities is already within you from the very beginning. So start from this premise that all good qualities are already in you. These lord of these qualities which is hidden is Ganapati. So worship Lord Ganesha so that all these good qualities blossom and prosper in us.

Jagatvyapinam Vishwavandyam Suresham;
Parabrahma Roopam Ganesham Bhajema

Lord Ganesha, you are omnipresent, your reach extends the whole universe, who is worshipped by everyone, who is accepted in all the corners of the world, every country accepts the God as formless, as the Ruler of qualities, one who is worshipped and greeted across the world, we worship you the Parabrahma (The Supreme Brahman).

“Gunathithamanam Chidanandaroopam;
Chidabasakam Sarvgam Gyanagamyam;
Muni Dhyeyam Akasharoopam Paresham;
Parabrahmaroopam Ganesham Bhajema”

Gunathithamanam – One who is beyond intellectual description of Quality (beyond attributes) Chidanandaroopam, what is the form of Lord Ganesha? It is Satchitananda roopa (Supreme Blissful form), playfulness, Blissful form.

Gunathithamanam Chidanandaroopam Chidabasakam Sarvgam Gyanagamyam – only if we have this Absolute power can Ganapati be experienced. If we have even an iota of awareness, then we can recognize this. This cannot be recognized by those from Intellectual level. Chidabasakam Sarvgam Gyanagamyam – Everywhere you are known and accepted as Knowledge itself. It is for this reason that Ganapati is considered as Ruler of Vidya (education) or knowledge. Perform worship of Ganapati before proceeding to any other worship. Imbibe the essence (Tatva) of Ganesha into oneself. We have to progress from Tamo guna (Attribute of being at Gross level) towards Satva guna (Attribute of being at Subtle level). This is the first phase/part of Worship.

Muni Dhyeyam Akasharoopam Paresham – what is your form? The form that Saints and the learned meditate upon which is like formless, unimaginable Space (Chidakash) is verily you, Lord Ganesha. You are not an object, nor a person but infinite space. Muni Dhyeyam Akasharoopam – You form is that which the Sages have learnt, which is omnipresent and infinite Space. Muni Dhyeyam Akasharoopam This is your actual form. Parabrahmaroopam Ganesham Bhajema, this form of Absolute and Supreme Brahman, Lord Ganesh, here is me worshipping and praying to you repeatedly. Therefore, install the Idol in front of you, worship with infinite love, meditate and experience Lord Ganesha from within.

This is the symbolic essence of Ganesh Chaturti festival, to awaken the Ganesha Tatva(essence) which is masked inside ourselves.

You can listen to the Original talk in Hindi  (Visuals are my creations. However the talk is Original recording)

Another talk of Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the significance of Parvati Creating Lord Ganesh out of dirt and Lord Shiva slaying Him is here 

Punyakoti to Arbudha – Secular Transformation

A request: Please read the Acknowledgement section without fail. Has an introduction to Nele Vasundhara, an exciting seva project

My earliest memory of this song, a part of the state’s oral tradition and a part of has been part of Kannada textbooks for decades, is listening to it with my brothers, crowding around our Old Murphy radio  when almost regularly it was broadcast on Akashavani (All India Radio) in the evenings. And when I reached Class 3 I pleasantly  discovered that it was part of  my Kannada Text and had to memorize the whole poem for my exams. Remember at that age even a 8-lined Sonnet is a Task, but part (syllabus pruned this 114 verse poem into some 40 stanzas) was something I looked forward to learn.

That is the charm this touching story of an encounter between Punyakoti (The Cow) and Arbhudha (the Tiger) it holds to anyone who has been educated in Karnataka or followed Kannada folk literature even in the passing. This epic folk song was immortalized by its inclusion in the filmy adaptation of  the noted Kannada Novelist Sri  SL Bhyrappa’s 1968 novel “Tabbali Neenade Magane” (Son, you have been orphaned). You can watch (and hear) the song below from Sri Sri Productions (This movie producer has no relation whatsoever to His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar or Art of Living 🙂 )

Though the original Poet of this popular Kannada folk song is  not known, noted Kannada and Sanskrit Scholar Prof DL Narasimhachar extracted and translated this ancient verse from the Sanskrit Epic Ithihasa-Samuchchya. 

I am including the Lyrics of the Original song (Partial and relevant to this piece) at the end of this piece, as we learnt for years more to serve as a record for the future & to preserve the original flavour of this touching verse-story which is under serious threat of Macaulization under the garb of Secularism. What is baffling is the academia doctoring scripts of ancient folk literature to nurture particular vote bank and political reasons and trying to pass it off as original. With passing years and knowing how every part of India’s history has been fudged and fiddled, I am sure a day will come when this “raped” version will be treated as Original. A worrisome trend, as most of our ancient texts would be changed by these left leaning intellectuals for whom anything traditional or cultural to Bharat is an anathema.  As it were, as I write this piece our children is being forced to learn a different version of this ancient verse if we don’t resist it now.

When I opened the Times of India (30th July 2013) newspaper this morning a headline screams – “Original version of Punyakoti will be back in books” Surprising part is attempt to convey that it is back to “Original Version” Reading the article further proves the headline that is contradictory. It conceded what is Original version (I have summarized below) & yet headline screams it is being changed back to Original.

First, what is this song about: A song which originally highlighted & propagates ingrained virtues of our Bharateeya culture of Sacrifice, Maternal bonding, Concern for other living beings & environment, Honesty and upholder of the Value “Truth is God” The song can be summarized thus:

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Punyakoti a pious cow was accosted by a tiger named Arbudha who was not able to get a prey for more than a week & was extremely hungry. When he was about to pounce, helpless Punyakoti pleads to spare her till such time her hungry calf waiting for her is fed and swears by God and mother earth to return to be consumed by the tiger. What is critically conveyed in this verse is compassionate nature of the Tiger who despite being hungry was quite understanding of a mother’s plea.

vlcsnap-2013-07-30-11h38m58s14

Punyakoti, pious natured that she was, rushed to her calf, feeds it and explains that their earthly bonding is coming to an end as she has to keep the promise to return to the tiger to be killed and be its food. She also prays to her other cows  to take care of her to orphaned child. With a motherly concern, she gives her calf instructions on of how to carry herself in future, she returned to the forest and the death awaiting her. 

vlcsnap-2013-07-30-11h41m04s81

Arbudha was shocked at this honesty and sacrificing nature of Punyakoti and feels so remorseful and guilty for killing lot of helpless creatures. Tears rolling from his eyes, he spares Punyakoti saying that God would not spare  him if she killed a honest and helpless creation to satiate his hunger . He then seeks pardon from the God, for all the evil acts committed earlier and jumps off the cliff to get liberated.

vlcsnap-2013-07-30-11h43m33s32

Both Arbudha and Punyakoti thus are considered equally blessed and virtuous

This new version (which the Intelligensia is trying to pass off as original) is part of the Siddaramaiah led Congress government’s  efforts in the name of “desaffronising”  textbooks. An AHINDA (Minorities-Backward Classes-Dalits) version of the popular Kannada folk ballad ‘Govina Haadu’ is being proposed by the movement representatives  for inclusion in school lessons.

Poet-playwright K Y Narayanaswamy who has now penned the AHINDA version of Govina Haadu, titled Huliya Haadu, brazenly justifies it saying “The best way to counter a move is to make another version of the same move”.

What is worse and more damaging is that a litterateur, Sri KYN, who is supposed to protect the originality and essence of an ancient literary gem in existence from ancient times, is the prime mover to tamper with Kannada Literature.

In KYN version:  It is not a tiger, but a tigress who wants to feed her hungry cub, by claiming Punyakoti as prey. The cub persuades the tigress to let Punyakoti go feed her calf and return. In the end, the tigress and Punyakoti understand each other as mothers, and Punyakoti returns home. The tigress, however, is killed by the cowherd Kalinga, who shoots her while “hiding behind the Taati tree/like Sri Raama killed Vaali”.

KYN says, it now has a poignant ending with the tiger cub asking,  “A tiger that can eat grass/is not there in the world we see. Oh sisters and oh brothers, All you living, breathing beings, How can I live without hunting? Answer now, the cub’s call.”

The most inane justification came from Sri Dwarakanatha, the originator of  AHINDA movement, “Narayanaswamy balances out the forces of nature and takes into account the welfare of both the cow and the tiger. It reflects the cruelty of man, rather than criticise the animal kingdom.”

This is JUVENILE and DANGEROUS. This guy has no inkling of what Heritage or Literature means and decides what our children should study and how they study it. We cannot allow ignorant and self-serving political class to tamper with our Literature and obfuscate facts.

As I write, there is a move by people from the literaray field to bring an injunction and we should lend our support to them. 

Acknowledgements:

Thanks to Sri Prashant Vaidyaraj (Click on links to reach his profile on Twitter and Facebook), a selflless volunteer with Nele Vasundhara (Click this link Introduction of the Organization)   for sharing photographs used in this blog. Coincidentally, Nele Vasudha girls and boys performed the Punyakoti Govina Hadu (Click link to watch the video of the performance, You will not regret it) during the valedictory function of their Summer camp.

Lyrics of the Song (In Kannada)

ಧರಣಿ ಮಂಡಲ ಮಧ್ಯದೊಳಗೆ
ಮೆರೆಯುತಿಹ ಕರ್ನಾಟ ದೇಶದೊಳಿರುವ
ಕಾಳಿಂಗನೆಂಬ ಗೊಲ್ಲನ ಪರಿಯನೆಂತು ಪೇಳ್ವೆನು

ಎಳೆಯ ಮಾವಿನ ಮರದ ಕೆಳಗೆ
ಕೊಳಲನೂದುತ ಗೊಲ್ಲ ಗೌಡನು
ಬಳಸಿ ನಿಂದ ತುರುಗಳನ್ನು
ಬಳಿಗೆ ಕರೆದನು ಹರುಷದಿ

ಗಂಗೆ ಬಾರೆ ಗೌರಿ ಬಾರೆ
ತುಂಗಭದ್ರೆ ತಾಯಿ ಬಾರೆ
ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ನೀನು ಬಾರೆ
ಎಂದು ಗೊಲ್ಲನು ಕರೆದನು

ಗೊಲ್ಲ ಕರೆದ ದನಿಯ ಕೇಳಿ
ಎಲ್ಲ ಹಸುಗಳು ಬಂದು ನಿಂತು
ಚೆಲ್ಲಿ ಸೂಸಿ ಹಾಲು ಕರೆಯಲು
ಅಲ್ಲಿ ತುಂಬಿತು ಬಿಂದಿಗೆ
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ಹಬ್ಬಿದಾ ಮಲೆ ಮಧ್ಯದೊಳಗೆ
ಅರ್ಭುತಾನೆಂದೆಂಬ ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರನು
ಅಬ್ಬರಿಸಿ ಹಸಿ ಹಸಿದು ಬೆಟ್ಟದ
ಕಿಬ್ಬಿಯೊಳು ತಾನಿದ್ದನು

ಸಿಡಿದು ರೋಶದಿ ಮೊರೆಯುತಾ ಹುಲಿ
ಗುಡಿಗುಡಿಸಿ ಭೋರಿಡುತ ಚಂಗನೆ
ತುಡುಕಲೆರಗಿದ ರಭಸಕಂಜಿ
ಚೆದರಿ ಹೋದವು ಹಸುಗಳು

ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ಎಂಬ ಹಸುವು
ತನ್ನ ಕಂದನ ನೆನೆದುಕೊಂಡು
ಮುನ್ನ ಹಾಲನು ಕೊಡುವೆನೆನುತ
ಚೆಂದದಿ ತಾ ಬರುತಿರೆ

ಇಂದೆನಗೆ ಆಹಾರ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿತು
ಎಂದು ಬೇಗನೆ ದುಷ್ಟ ವ್ಯಾಗ್ರನು
ಬಂದು ಬಳಸಿ ಅಡ್ಡಗಟ್ಟಿ
ನಿಂದನಾ ಹುಲಿರಾಯನು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು

ಮೇಲೆ ಬಿದ್ದು ನಿನ್ನನೀಗಲೆ
ಬೀಳಹೊಯ್ವೆನು ನಿನ್ನ ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಯ
ಸೀಳಿಬಿಡುವೆನು ಎನುತ ಕೋಪದಿ
ಖುಳ್ಳ ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರನು ಕೂಗಲು

ಒಂದು ಬಿನ್ನಹ ಹುಲಿಯೆ ಕೇಳು
ಕಂದನಿರುವನು ದೊಡ್ಡಿಯೊಳಗೆ
ಒಂದು ನಿಮಿಷದಿ ಮೊಲೆಯ ಕೊಟ್ಟು
ಬಂದು ಸೇರುವೆ ನಿಲ್ಲಿಗೆ

ಹಸಿದ ವೇಳೆಗೆ ಸಿಕ್ಕಿದೊಡವೆಯ
ವಶವ ಮಾಡದೆ ಬಿಡಲು ನೀನು
ನುಸುಳಿ ಹೋಗುವೆ ಮತ್ತೆ ಬರುವೆಯ
ಹುಸಿಯ ನಾಡುವೆ ಎಂದಿತು

ಸತ್ಯವೇ ನಮ್ಮ ತಾಯಿ ತಂದೆ
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ನಮ್ಮ ಬಂಧು ಬಳಗ
ಸತ್ಯ ವಾಖ್ಯಾಕೆ ತಪ್ಪಿ ನಡೆದರೆ
ಮೆಚ್ಚನಾ ಪರಮಾತ್ಮನು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ಕೊಂದು ತಿನ್ನುವೆನೆಂಬ ಹುಲಿಗೆ
ಚೆಂದದಿಂದ ಭಾಷೆ ಇಟ್ಟು
ಕಂದ ನಿನ್ನನು ನೋಡಿ ಹೋಗುವೆ
ನೆಂದು ಬಂದೆನು ದೊಡ್ಡಿಗೆ

ಆರ ಮೊಲೆಯನು ಕುಡಿಯಲಮ್ಮ
ಆರ ಸೇರಿ ಬದುಕಲಮ್ಮ
ಆರ ಬಳಿಯಲಿ ಮಲಗಲಮ್ಮ
ಆರು ನನಗೆ ಹಿತವರು

ಅಮ್ಮಗಳಿರಾ ಅಕ್ಕಗಳಿರಾ
ಎನ್ನ ತಾಯೊಡ ಹುಟ್ಟು ಗಳಿರಾ
ಕಂದ ನಿಮ್ಮವನೆಂದು ಕಾಣಿರಿ
ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯನೀ ಕರುವನು

ಮುಂದೆ ಬಂದರೆ ಹಾಯಬೇಡಿ
ಹಿಂದೆ ಬಂದರೆ ಒದೆಯಬೇಡಿ
ಕಂದ ನಿಮ್ಮವನೆಂದು ಕಾಣಿರಿ
ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯನೀ ಕರುವನು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯು ನೀನಾದೆ ಮಗನೆ
ಹೆಬ್ಬುಲಿಯ ಬಾಯನ್ನು ಹೋಗುವೆನು
ಇಬ್ಬರಾ ಋಣ ತೀರಿತೆಂದು
ತಬ್ಬಿಕೊಂಡಿತು ಕಂದನ

ಗೋವು ಕರುವನು ಬಿಟ್ಟು ಬಂದು
ಸಾವಕಾಶವ ಮಾಡದಂತೆ
ಗವಿಯ ಬಾಗಿಲ ಸೇರಿನಿಂತು
ತವಕದಲಿ ಹುಲಿಗೆಂದಿತು

ಖಂಡವಿದೆಕೋ ಮಾಂಸವಿದೆಕೋ
ಗುಂಡಿಗೆಯ ಬಿಸಿ ರಕ್ತವಿದೆಕೋ
ಚಂಡ ವ್ಯಾಘ್ರನೆ ನೀನಿದೆಲ್ಲವ
ನುಂಡು ಸಂತಸದಿಂದಿರು

ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಮಾತ ಕೇಳಿ
ಕಣ್ಣ ನೀರನು ಸುರಿಸಿ ನೊಂದು
ಕನ್ನೆಯಿವಳನು ಕೊಂದು ತಿಂದರೆ
ಮೆಚ್ಚನಾ ಪರಮಾತ್ಮನು

ಎನ್ನ ಒಡಹುಟ್ಟಕ್ಕ ನೀನು
ನಿನ್ನ ಕೊಂದು ಏನ ಪಡೆವೆನು?
ಎನ್ನುತಾ ಹುಲಿ ಹಾರಿ ನೆಗೆದು
ತನ್ನ ಪ್ರಾಣವ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿತು
ಸತ್ಯವೇ ಭಗವಂತನೆಂಬ ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿಯ ಕಥೆಯಿದು 

ಪುಣ್ಯಕೋಟಿ ನಲಿದು ಕರುವಿಗೆ
ಉಣ್ಣಿಸೀತು ಮೊಲೆಯ ಬೇಗದಿ
ಚೆನ್ನ ಗೊಲ್ಲನ ಕರೆದು ತಾನು
ಮುನ್ನ ತಾದಿಂತೆಂದಿತು

ಎನ್ನ ವಂಶದ ಗೋವ್ಗಳೊಳಗೆ
ನಿನ್ನ ವಂಶದ ಗೊಲ್ಲರೊಳಗೆ
ಮುನ್ನ ಪ್ರತಿ ಸಂಕ್ರಾಂತಿಯೊಳಗೆ
ಚೆನ್ನ ಕೃಷ್ಣನ ಭಾಜಿಸಿರಿ

ಈವನು ಸೌಭಾಗ್ಯ ಸಂಪದ ಭಾವ ಜಾತಿಪ ಕೃಷ್ಣನು 

The Hindi version of this Amazing Song rendered by Mohammed Rafi is below

True Mantra

Couldn’t avoid reacting (though my Master Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar of Art of Living says it is a bad habit in the spiritual path) to a few characters for no rhyme and reasons keep harping on some stupid problem of theirs on another of my favourite discussion forum and a spiritual community. It is said some people have simply decided to revel and enjoy being miserable and here is one person who fits this example to the “T”. As a timely reconfirmation and the reasons why I should recover and move on I received a nice story which I am posting here for the sake of retaining it for posterity. A story with loads of hidden and obvious messages equally applicable to both proponents and skeptics. Here we go…

Once there was a king who was very fond of flowers. He had bought a lot of expensive pots with beautiful & fragrant flowers. He had them arranged in the courtyard just next to his bedroom & hired a person to take proper care of them.

Once that fellow broke one pot by mistake while arranging them. The king became furious to hear about this. He was a cruel & senseless king. He sentenced his servant to death for this pity mistake. He was ordered to be hanged after two months. The king’s minister pleaded mercy for the poor fellow but he did not listen. To find death inevitable, the poor servant started praying to God.

 

5895478-broken-flower-in-pot

Meawhile the king declared a reward for anyone who could repair the broken pot & make it exactly same as it used to be. Many people came & tried their luck but in vain.

How could a broken pot be repaired exactly like before? How could any doctor bring back life to a dead person? This mortal human body also is irrepairable. Even if a surgeon tries his best to put back the broken parts, it can never be the same; there is always some imperfection remaining. Similarly a kite when torn apart can never be made to look like before even if one applies all kind of glues. How could anyone ever do this?

The servant on the other hand was counting his days. He would every now & then pray to God to somehow make king’s mind change so that his life is spared.

A month passed by like this. Then a saint visited that city. He heard about this reward which the king had declared for anyone who could repair the broken flower pot. He also learnt about the death sentence given to the poor servant who broke it.

That saintly person went to the king’s court & said “I take the responsibilty of joining back your broken pot. Show it to me” The king took the saint to his palace where all the flower pots were kept. The saint looked deeply at the broken pot. He also looked at all the other two dozen unbroken pots. He passed a divine smile towards the king. Then he asked for a stick. The servant brought him one. As soon as he got it, he started breaking all other flower pots. For sometime, the king totally confused at this scene kept wondering what is this way of repairing. May be this saintly person knows some new method. Then he looked at the saint who was standing fearlessly after having broken all the pots. He yelled “O saint! what have you done?”

The saint replied “I saved the life of two dozen poor people who at some point in time would have broken these pots.”

The king became furious & ordered that the saint be trampled under the feet of an elephant. The saint was a spiritually enlightened person. He had deeply experienced the teachings of the Vedas. He believed firmly in the universality of the soul & its oneness with GOD. He knew that the physical body is bound to be destroyed someday while the inner soul can never ever die. He’d never get frightened by even the worst of the worst situations since he was beyound death & birth.

An elephant was brought in front of him. The saint peacefully lied down on the ground & meditating on “So..hum.. Shivo..hum” (I am That.. I am Shiva ..The supreme lord) “Supreme Lord is prevalent all around. The elephant is also the supreme lord & so is its master. The king who ordered this execution is also the supreme lord & the one lying down on the ground is also the same supreme lord.” “The lord itself is playing with its own various forms. So..hum” “The minister standing in the corner is also the dear lord & the soldier holding a sword in the hand is also the same lord. The whole public watching this is also the supreme lord having taken various forms from tiny kids to veiled women.”

The blissful saint continued meditating like this visualizing the presence of supreme lord in every body around him. The master of the elephant whipped it hard but the elephant simply refused to go near the saint. Another elephant was brought in. But he also stopped within two feet of the meditating saint. His master also tried hard but in vain. The king finally gave up & asked the saint “Do you know any kind of mantra which brings every elephant under your control?” The saint smiled & said ” I do not know any mantra to control an elephant but I do know the mantra to control the self. I know the mantra of love”

No matter how bad one may think of you or make plans to hurt you, but if you do not think bad about him, then nothing in the world has the power to do bad to you. He may keep cursing you in his heart but he will never be able to do bad to you.

The saint said: “Oh King! When I lay straight then thinking about the Dear God in the elephant, you & me, I started loving Him & thought of good things to happen to the elephant. I thought of welfare of the elephant & you.

If I would have thought bad for you, then your bad qualities could have become powerful. If I would have felt jealous of you, then jealousy could have become powerful inside you. If I would have felt hatred for you, then hatred could have become powerful inside you. But friend! why should I pollute my heart by having hatred & jealousy for you?

I have got over ignorance by the grace of my Guruji. That is why the elephant could not hurt me even when it was pecked to do so again & again. If the destiny of the body would have been to die in this way, then nobody could have stopped the death. In that case even if you were protecting this body, it would not have lived longer. If destiny did not have this kind of death, then how does it matter if ten kings like you get annoyed! What harm can anybody do? Even if you get pleased how does it matter! I’ve done the work that I intended to do.

This body can die any second. It cannot become immortal. When this body is mortal then how can the pots become immortal. These will get destroyed & will vanish one day. The plant shall also die. You are taking the life of a servant for a plant which will anyway die soon. Therefore using the stick I broke all pots to give you a lesson that these are mortal objects. Do not ruin the kindness of your heart by having attraction for these immortal things.”

The king was highly influenced by the words of the saint. He came down his throne & begged for forgiveness. He cancelled the death sentence on the servant. Then he took “Guru Mantra” from the saint & set his journey on the road to God.

PS: The picture above is of His Holiness Pujya Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in one of those playful moments with Maheshwara, the Ashram Elephant