Monthly Archives: April 2020

The Saint who became a King – Murthi Nayanar

namurthi_i

Nayanars were a group of 63 saints who lived between the 6th and 8th century AD in Tamil Nadu who were greatly devoted to Lord Shiva. He was the 15th among the Nayanars.

Murthi Nayanar served Lord Shiva by preparing sandal paste and offering it to Shivalinga at the Chokkanathar temple at Madurai. Then Madurai was ruled by the Pandiyan King who was also a great devotee of Lord Shiva.

One day, the peaceful Pandiyan kingdom was attacked by a foreign Vaduka ruler who killed the King and ordered that no one should henceforth worship Lord Shiva. Afraid of the King’s order, people stopped going to Shiva temples, but Murthi Nayanar continued offering sandal paste to Lord Shiva. Having got this information, the King ordered that none should sell sandalwood to Nayanar.

Unable to find sandalwood, Murthi Nayanar in his devotion thought of offering his hands which prepared sandal paste all these years.  He decided to grind his hands, and his hands started bleeding. Pleased with Nayanar’s devotion, Lord Shiva immediately appeared and said that the King who disrupted Nayanars worship will be punished for his evil deeds soon and Murthi Nayanar would rule the kingdom. By the Lord’s grace, Murthi Nayanars wounds got healed at once and the foreign King who had no children died a mysterious death the very next day.

The ministers decided to give a garland to the royal elephant and make it go round the streets to select the next King as per tradition. The blindfolded elephant roamed the city and finally reached the temple. As soon as Murthi Nayanar came out from the temple, the elephant garlanded him.

Murthi Nayanar was taken in procession to the palace on the royal elephant and was made the King. Murthi ruled in a garb of a Shaiva devotee, smearing his body with sacred ash and wearing rudraksha ornaments and matted hair, instead of a crown. He forwent the luxuries of the crown and ruled the kingdom justly.

 

"Surrender to Him and learn to live in Him and smile away all worries. With ever-growing faith in His protecting shelter, live joyously. - Swami Chinmayananda"

Greatness of Truth – King Aparajitha

Hampi 1

Aparajitha was a great king who loved his subjects. All were happy in his kingdom. One day when he was walking in the morning on the outskirts of his kingdom, he saw a young lady going out of his kingdom all alone.

The King stopped her and asked where she was going all alone. The lady replied that she was the Goddess of wealth and she would not stay at a single place for long and had to leave. The king bowed down to her and she left. After sometime another lady was passing along. On being questioned, the lady told the king that she was the Goddess of Virtue (Morals and Values). She said she always follows the Goddess of wealth. The King again bowed down to her and she left.

After sometime, the King met another woman who was leaving the kingdom. She was the Goddess of Justice. She said that she stays where Goddess of Virtue is and left.

Finally, the King met Goddess of Truth. She said that all her sisters had left and she would indeed stay where they all are. The King was immensely pained and fell at her feet. He said that he was not so much worried when the other three Goddess left, but if Goddess of Truth leaves, then the Kingdom would surely perish. Moved by the King’s words the Goddess of Truth decided to stay.

Since Truth stayed back, Goddess of Justice and Goddess of Virtue returned back. Goddess of Wealth also finally returned back and told the King that without Justice, Virtue and Truth, Wealth had no value and will only bring disaster.  The King was immensely happy and prostrated in front of them all. Indeed, it was the Greatness of Truth which made all of them return back!!

Moral: Satyameva Jayate – Victory lies where there is Truth

Shivaji Maharaj blessed by Lord Vitthala

Shivaji Tukaram

It was Ekadasi and Sant Tukaram had arrived at Vithoba temple in Pune. Devotees were glad that they could hear the bhajans sung by Sant Tukaram. Shivaji unexpectedly came to the temple to hear bhajans as he got to know the arrival of Sant Tukaram. Shivaji Maharaj considered Sant Tukaram as his guru like Samartha Ramadas.

It was not a safe place for Shivaji to stay at the temple as the enemy king was bent on capturing him. Having known Shivaji’s presence, the enemies thought that this was the right time to capture him at the temple. When the bhajans were going on, Shivaji’s bodyguard told him that it was not safe for him to stay there as the enemies had come to know of his presence at the temple.

Shivaji at once went to Tukaram to take leave, but Sant Tukaram unaware of the situation asked Shivaji to take Prasad after bhajan and then leave. Tukaram said that Lord Vittala would take care of everything. Shivaji decided that he would not disobey his Guru’s words and submitted himself completely at Lord Vitthala’s Feet. Tukaram continued singing bhajans with great devotion when one of his disciple came to him and said that they were surrounded by enemies eagerly waiting to capture Shivaji.

Realizing the gravity of the situation, heart overwhelming with devotion and eyes filled with tears, Tukaram invoked Lord Vitthala through four beautiful abhangs, asking the Lord to take care of the entire situation. It is said that at that time, the enemies who had surrounded the temple saw Shivaji on a horseback disappearing into the forest. The enemies at once went behind Shivaji. It was Lord Vitthala who had taken on the form of Shivaji who disappeared into the forests.

In the meantime, the real Shivaji after taking Prasad and blessings of Tukaram escaped. Tukaram who came to know about the situation shed tears in ecstasy thinking about the mercy of Lord Vitthala.

[Shivaji Maharaj was the greatest among the Maratha king warrior born in 1630]

Where there is unconditioned devotion and complete surrender, “I shall look after your Yoga-Kshema”, says Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Geeta.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]

Merit of feeding the poor – Story of Sant Eknath

Eknath

Eknath was a great devotee of Lord Krishna. He was born in the year 1533 in Maharashtra.

It was a day to perform funeral rites of his ancestors. On this day there is a tradition to feed the brahmins. But instead, Eknath had invited the poor and low-caste people to his house for food.  He served them all with great respect.

The brahmins got to know about this and were furious. They went to Eknath’s house and accused him for having broken the tradition of feeding the brahmins. To repent for his wrong deed, they asked Eknath to take bath in the river and pray to God to pardon him. Eknath without saying a word followed what was told.

When Eknath had just finished taking a bath in the river, a leper (diseased) came there searching for Eknath.  He fell at Eknath’s feet and pleaded Eknath to protect him. He said that he was a devotee of Lord Shiva and had come from Tryambakeshwar. Lord Shiva had come in his dream and had said that Eknath had accumulated so much merit (punya) by feeding the poor & the low-caste that Eknath had the power to cure him.

Hearing this, Eknath immediately took a handful of water from the river and sprinkled it on the leper. What a miracle! The leper was completely cured.  The brahmins who witnessed this realized the greatness of Eknath and pleaded for forgiveness.

Eknath later wrote a version of Bhagavata Purana known as Eknathi Bhagavatha and Ramayana known as Bhavarth Ramayan.

Moral: Jana seva is Janardana seva: “Service to people is Service to God”.

[PS: I request all to please forward and share these value based stories rich in our culture and tradition to elders, youth and children]