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CHAPTER – 10

 

Namadharaka wished to know what Sree Guru did after sending away his disciples on pilgrimage. So, Siddha went on: “Oh Namadharaka, Sree Guru stayed at Vaidyanath for one year. As I already told you, I stayed away with Him. One day, a Brahmin who was dull-witted came to him, prostrated in reverence and submitted thus: ‘I strove hard for spiritual perfection. But I could gain neither perfection nor even a capable guru. So I now take refuge in you. Please teach me the way to liberation.’ Hearing these words, Sree Guru said, ‘Son, first of all tell me, who had taught you the way to perfection? Else, how could you have ever tried for it?’ The Brahmin replied, ‘Swami, I first resorted to a guru. But he was very hard-hearted. He went on extracting my services and put me in much hardship. So I deserted him.’ Sree Guru was shocked at his words and berated him: ‘Alas, what have you done! It can never be for your good. It is a sin even to look at the face like you, who has deserted his guru. Get away! Indeed, one who is unwilling to bow before his guru in humility, serve him with love or wait on him for instruction with patience and implicit obedience will never win the grace of the guru.’ The visitor felt miserable and said, ‘Sir how am I to recognize a genuine guru? How to serve him? I betrayed my guru out of my ignorance. Please save me!’

 

Sree Guru was moved at his helpless petition and said, ‘The Guru is one with Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. He is incomparable. His true nature cannot be realized by an ignorant one like you. Nor can those blinded by ignorance like you, ever know what it is to serve him. I shall recount an ancient legend which will enlighten you:

 

During the age of Dwapara, there was a sage by name Dhoumya. He had three disciples with him viz., Baida, Aruni and Upamanyu. In order to test their devotion, one day, Dhoumya said; “The rice crop in my farm is withering lack of water. One of you should go and water it”. At once Aruni rushed to the farm and dug a canal from a pool for the water to flow into the field, but the bund would not hold despite all his exertions. He did not despair. He then resolved to give up his life in his efforts and lay down in place of the bund and made the water flow into the field. After some time, Dhoumya arrived on the seen, saw his field watered and lovingly called out to his disciple. Aruni heard the call, but was unable to reply. So he made a mild noise. Following the sound, Dhoumya came to him, raised him up and was touched by his devotion. Through the power of his blessing, he made his disciple wise and enlightened like himself. He then declared the term of Aruni’s discipleship as completed and sent him home, where he became very famous as a man of wisdom.

 

Later, one day, Dhoumya said to Baida, “You watch over my field and when it is ripe, bring it home”. Baida agreed, watched over the field day and night, harvested it and piled the grain in a heap on the farm. He then went to his Guru and asked him for a cart to fetch the grain. Dhoumya gave him a bullock cart. When Baida was returning with the produce, the cart got stuck up in soft mud on the way. When the bullocks could not pull the cart out, he dragged it out with his own mighty effort. Suddenly, Dhoumya arrived there and, pleased with baida’s devotion, blessed him too with enlightenment.

 

Later, the sage ordered the third disciple, Upamanyu, to tend his cattle. Eating only a spare meal every day, Upamanyu tended the herd with the utmost care. Dhoumya who usually sent lunch to his disciple at noon suddenly stopped doing so. Upamanyu had nothing to eat and he was very hungry. Henceforth, he started begging his food. Dhoumya noticed this and asked: ‘How could you manage to be so strong and active?’ Upamanyu submitted that he was sustaining himself with the food he begged from the houses of Brahmins. Then Dhoumya demanded that the food thus obtained should be delivered to him. Henceforth, Upamanyu gave away what he obtained from his first round of begging to his guru and subsisted on what he got from a second round of begging. The guru learned of it and demanded that he be given that also. Upamanyu did so and quenched his hunger by drinking the milk that was left in the udders of cow after their calves had drunk their fill. Dhoumya learned of that and reprimanded him, saying, ‘If you do so you will become blind as stupid as any of those dumb creatures’.

 

The poor Upamanyu reflected that the latex of the calotropis plant is not the left over of any calf and hence a harmless substitute for milk. He did so and the poisonous oozing at once made him totally blind. Groping for his way home, the poor youth fell into a well on the wayside. The cattle returned home but without their herdsman. Dhoumya went out in search of his disciple and found him in the deep well. His heart was moved at Upamanyu’s ungrudging obedience and he told him to chant Vedic mantras in praise of the Aswini gods. Upamanyu did so and thereby regained his sight. The sage was pleased with him and blessed him with all knowledge. Thus Upamanyu realized his goal. Even the disciples of Upamanyu became as great as he.

 

Udanka, one of his disciples of Upamanyu, once performed the holy sacrifice of Sarpayaga (the snake sacrifice) and thereby caused the destruction of countless serpents. He was able to summon even the great Indra, the king of the gods, at the behest of King Janamejaya, the master of the ritual. It was only by pleasing the guru thus that his grace could be won. Therefore, Oh Brahmin, serve your former guru himself with all your heart. Through his grace alone you will be able to attain peace and liberation’. The Brahmin submitted, ‘Lord! It is possible to weld a broken metal vessel, but it is not possible to weld a broken heart. So too, it’s impossible for me to win back the heart of the former guru, once it has been broken by my stupid conduct. So I cannot hope to approach him again. I shall pay for my sin by giving up my life in your very presence!’ Seeing that he was really repentant, Sree Guru kept his boon-bestowing hand on the Brahmin’s head in a gesture of blessing and told him to think of his former guru. When the Brahmin did so, he at once realized that Sree Guru was not different from his former guru and fell at his feet. Sree Guru said, ‘Son, you shall work out the fruits of your previous actions and soon attain perfection. Incessantly meditate on my true form which I shall show you now and perform all your ordained acts, surrendering the fruits thereof to me’. So saying, the Lord blessed the Brahmin with the vision of his divine form. Later, Sree Guru went to the bank of the river Krishna. There he restored the tongue of a Brahmin who lost it.”