Story of King Ambarish and Sage Durvasa
Once upon a time, there was a powerful king who had a wise and reflective minister. The minister was given to saying “Jo hua aacha hua”, meaning whatever happened, happened for the good. Most people got irritated when the minister uttered these words when they fell in a sudden problem, but this did not stop the minister from saying that.
One day while practicing with his sword, the king hurt himself and cut his finger and broke a phalange of his small finger. The minister, as usual, said his favourite dialogue “Jo hua aacha hua”. The king got incensed on hearing this and ordered the minister to be thrown in the jail. The minister in all serenity repeated “Jo hua aacha hua”. Everyone thought that the minister had gone mad.
After a few days, it so happened that the king along with the army went out for a hunt. The king in his pursuit of a deer went far ahead of the army and reached the interiors of the forest. In the interiors of the forest lived a tribe of cannibals. On seeing the king, they captured him and took him to their chief. On seeing such a handsome young man, the chief decided to sacrifice the king on the altar of their GOD. The king was duly prepared for the sacrifice. The king was frightened beyond measure but there was nothing that he could do about it, so he kept remembering the Lord above and asking for forgiveness for his mistakes.
When the moment of sacrifice came, the chief came up to inspect the king and sacrifice him on the alter. As he was doing the physical inspection, the chief saw that a phalange of the small finger was missing. He rebuked his men for bringing the king as a person who was not complete and had a broken body part could not be sacrificed. The king was then released. The king ran as fast as his legs could carry him and all the time his only thoughts were of gratitude to the Lord above and remorse for imprisoning the minister. On reaching the palace, the first thing that the king did was release the minister.
Once they were all seated, the king asked the minister that he understood the reason behind the goodness in his phalange being cut off. It saved him from being sacrificed but he could not see the goodness in the minister having to serve an imprisonment. Again, in all humility, the minister replied that he would have gone on the hunt with the king and would have remained with him even as they sped towards the interiors of the forest. So, he too would have been captured. The king would have been spared from sacrifice because of his defect but as the minister had no such defect, he would surely be sacrificed. The Lord above was so kind to spare the life of the minister for the pain and discomfort of a few days.
The king was speechless on listening to this explanation and realised that he had a lot to be thankful to the Lord for placing such a kindred soul in his path. He revered the minister with many gifts and posts and decided to seek the counsel of the minister at all times, especially when all that seemed was wrong and problematic. This story brings to light a number of profound lessons. To begin with, we should not lose our calm in trying times. As is with all times, the trying time would also pass. Patience is a virtue which leads to divinity. Once we start practicing patience and humility, divinity automatically follows.
We have a myopic vision so we cannot the hand of GOD in things evolving around us. Yes, we go through bad phases of life, but they have a reason behind it. Generally, all those people who saw an opportunity in the calamity made it up the ladder of success. Once we realise that the problem comes with a far more beautiful solution, we will also be able to tackle it and look for any openings he sends our way.
Having faith, rock solid – in our Lord helps us live life without fears and tensions. A mother may scold a child for a misdeed or may not bestow an unwarranted privilege to the child. It does not mean that she does not love the child. On the contrary, because she loves the child and sees the privilege as something that will create problems for the child, is ready to withhold privileges or punish the child and it may seem as if she is being mean or bad to the child. We should realise that the Lord loves us immensely. Anything – good or bad, that happens to us has a reason which leads us to a better place. We just need to have faith and patience.
As per Brihadaranyakopanishad, Once, after the creation of the three worlds and its inhabitants, Lord Brahma went into deep meditation.
Of the worlds that he had created and its inhabitants, Dev Loka, the world of the Devtas seems immersed in pleasures as the Devtas, who had the possession of the Amrita were busy experiencing life with their senses suddenly started to find all of it pale and lack luster and were on a quest to find true happiness in life.
The Manushyas or the humans were also busy doing their work and reaping benefits from it all. However, they refused to share their produce and goodness with other beings and wanted all the good things for themselves and their own. Suddenly, they too felt a lack in life in spite of their bounty and good fortune.
The Rakshasas, as usual, were good at being ruthless and creating mayhem. However, they too were experiencing a sense of unfulfillment which they were not able to understand.
All of them then as individuals thought of Lord Brahma, the progenitor and decided to ask him for a solution. When they reached Brahma Loka, they saw that Lord Brahma was in deep meditation. They were so unsatisfied with their life that they went ahead and with reverence questioned Lord Brahma about their problem. However, even after a wait of a long period, all that they could hear was a word “Da”. He repeated that request again, but that was all they could hear. Understanding that Lord Brahma wanted to find the answer themselves and the letter “Da” was their clue to their answers, they all headed towards their abodes.
They once again went on with their routines. Why in the midst of enjoying and experiencing their pleasures, the Devtas felt as if the syllable “Da” resonated with Daman, which meant taming, subduing, self-restraint, self-controlled, punishing, passionless, overpowering. So, on further reflection they realised that Lord Brahma meant for them to show self-restraint on their pleasures and control their passions.
As the humans or Manushyas went about gathering their harvest and shooing the birds and beating the animals who were eating their hard grown harvest, it struck to them that the syllable “Da” could mean Daan which meant givingor charity. As they started to become charitable and started sharing their gains with other beings and the less fortunate, they started experiencing a feeling of happiness and contentment that they had never experienced before.
The Rakshasas also went back to their killings and creating terror and mayhem. All of a sudden, they realised that the letter “Da” resonated with Daya which meant mercy, pity, compassion, loving kindness, sympathy. When they showed that loving kindness towards others and stopped their merciless killings and reign of terror, they felt happy and equanimous.
“Tadetattrayamshikshet: Daman danamdayamiti.”
“तदेतत्त्रयंशिक्षेत – दमं, दानंदयामिति”
Dama counters Kama(Desire), Dana counters Moha(Avarice),Daya counters Krodha(Anger).
As per Indian Puranic stories, Bhasmasura was powerful rakshasa, albeit physically who did not have much by way of brains. He wanted to become most powerful Asura in their community and asked Lord Narada, the travelling sage for his assistance. Lord Narada asked him to pray to Lord Shiva and get to become strong. Lord Shiva never choose between his devotees and always blessed anyone who prayed to him. On performing severe penance for many years, he won the favour of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva became pleased with him and came forward to grant him his heart’s desire. Like most asuras, Bhasmasura wanted to become immortal. However, that was not a possibility as Lord Shiva reminded him. All that is born, must die. Then, with the intention of outwitting none other than Lord Shiva, Bhasmasura wanted to be granted a boon which reduced the person or thing to ashes when Bhasmasura placed his right hand on its head or top. Lord Shiva then granted him the boon.
From there on, there was no end to Bhasmasuras autocracy. Being foolish and powerful at the same go is a deadly mix and Bhasmasura lived up to it. He was also anointed this particular name because of his ability to turn people to Bhasma or ashes by putting his right hand over their head. One very smart and bold person told him that him that as he was the most powerful person on the planet, in fact more powerful than the Devtas, he should marry the most beautiful lady in the Universe. This piqued the interest of Bhasmasura and he wanted to find out who the most beautiful lady of the Universe was. Lo Behold! It was none other than Devi Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. All he now needed to do was put his hand on Lord Shiva’s head and turn him to ashes and then end up marrying Devi Parvati. So simple! He then started running after Lord Shiva. An amusing sight to behold. Lord Shiva, one of the Trinity of GODS running with his Trident and the so called most powerful man on the Earth running after him.
A panicked Lord Shiva had to run away from Bhasmasura and approached Lord Vishnu to help him. Lord Vishnu turned himself into a beautiful, accomplished young maiden. Her beauty was so alluring that Bhasmasura stood dumbstruck for some time – simply watching her without beating his eyelashes. He instantly fell in love with her and her to marry him. She acted coy and replied that as she was the best dancer of the Universe, her father had promised her hand in marriage only to the one who knew and loved dancing. Now, Bhasmasura was at a point of doing anything to get married to her. Mohini started to teach him how to dance and Bhasmasura became a willing and an eager student. After some time as Bhasmasura let his guard down, Mohini tricked him into putting his right hand on his head. And before he could complete the step, he was a pile of ashes.
Lord Shiva went back to Kailash, thanking Lord Vishnu.Points that we need to think on