Deepaka was a nonindulgent bachelor. He was once going through the Sastras and saw this sentence --- “For a pativrata, her husband is only the God. For a son, his parents are only Gods. For a student or disciple, Guru himself is Parabrhma. There are no “teerthas” to attend nor Vratas and Upavaasas to perform, greater than “Guruseva”. He immediately decided to approach a Guru, serve him and learn all Sastras.
On the bank of river Godavari , there used to be the ashramam of one guru named Vedadharya. He used to teach many Sastras, Vedas and Upanishads to his students. Deepaka approached Vedadharya, bowed at his feet and requested him to accept him as a disciple. Observing the obedience of Deepaka, Vedadharya accepted him as his disciple. Deepaka in no time learnt all Sastras on account of his extensive interest and devotional service to his Guru.
One day Vedadharya, concluding that Deepaka’s education is over, asked him “O son! I did prayaschittam for all the sins committed in my previous birth. However, two more sins are left and they are very frightening. I must go to Kaashi Kshetram and do prayashcittam. In Kashi the result for Karma will be 10 times. Hence I will go there and do aavaahana (invoke) of these sins. Then I will get dreadful diseases like leprosy and my body will be oozing blood and puss. I will get an ugly appearance and also become blind. My nature will also change. The gentleness will disappear and instead I will become harsher. There will be no sahanam (Tolerance) in me. In that pitiable situation can you help me and do my service?”
Deepaka, who only had service to Guru in his mind was very happy to serve his Guru and said “O respectable Guru! Since I am young I will invoke all the sins and experience leprosy, blindness etc, in your place.” Vedadharya replied “O my son Deepaka! One is responsible for his own sins. They must be experienced by the karta who is responsible for the sins only. It is not very difficult to experience it. The most difficult thing is to serve the papa-peedita (usually caused by combust position of the sins). You need to have a lot of tolerance. Deepaka agreed.
Deepaka and Vedadharya reached the great Kashi Kshetram. They arranged a place for their living near Kamaleshvar Mahadeva Mandiram, which is to the north of Manikarnikaa Ghat. After performing puja to Lord Visweswara and Matha Annapuurneswari, Vedadharya invoked the two sins of his previous birth. He started experiencing the sufferings from the diseases as he explained before.
He had no tolerance and used to show it on Deepaka. Deepaka used to cry seeing the bad condition of his Guru. He used to take great care of his Guru by neatly washing his wounds, cleaning blood and puss, applying medicine and tying bandages. He even used to clean the Mala-mutras (stools and urine) and put new clothes for his Guru. He used to do begging and getting food for his Guru. Vedadharya used to eat the whole lot and used to blame Deepaka for not bringing sufficiently more. Deepaka never used to get angry and without any leisure and with great care he used to do his service to Guru.
One day. Impressed by the Guru Bhakti of Deepaka, Lord Visweswara appeared before him and said “Vatsa! Your Guru Bhakti is fantastic. Please ask me what you want?” With spectacular jubilation Deepaka replied “Sarveshvara! In this world I do not know anything except my Guru. I will ask him after he wakes up from his sleep and tell you”. After Vedadhyara woke, Deepaka told him what happened and asked him “I will go to Lord Siva and ask Him to heal you”. Vedadharya did not accept and said “One must experience the result of his own sins. Then only they will be destroyed. Only in that I will have satisfaction” .
The next day, Deepaka went to the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Visweswara; but did not ask any boon. Seeing the supernatural practice of Deepaka, Lord Parameshwara took him to ‘nirvaaNa manTapam” along with Parvathi Devi. There Srimannarayana and other Devatas were present. There Lord Siva told every one about the Guru Bhakti of Deepaka and praised him. Srimannaaraayana said “Deepaka! Please tell us your wishes. We are ready to grant them”. Deepaka touched His feet and replied with obedience in a low voice “Devaadhideva! I never did Your naama-smaranam (recitation of Lord’s name). Neither had I done your puja nor archana. Why are you ready to give me the boons?
Srimannarayana said “O Vatsa! Guruseva is equivalent to doing service to all Devatas. Hence please ask us what you want. Deepaka folding his hands prayed Him and asked “then please grant me achanchala (unflinching) Guru Bhakti”. All the Devatas were happy with Deepaka and granted him the same.
Moral in the Story:
Guru Bhakti is equivalent to service to all Devatas. Deepaka, with his unparalleled Guru Bhakti, had the unobtainable Darshanam of all the Devatas. Obedience and Guru Bhakti and interest in learning are very important for a Student. One who has these qualities can learn all Sastras in no time, like Deepaka.
One must experience the result of his sin some or the other time। This was told by Vedadharya many times in the story. Hence one must be very careful and avoid doing sinful activities.
Greatness of Vidyabhyasam.
Devatas and daityas (demons) always have fights among themselves. The daitya's Guru is Sukracharya. He knew the vidya of mrutasanjiivani (giving life to the dead), which he obtained through long tapas (austerity) for Parameswara. Using this vidya, Sukracharya used to bring back the dead daityas to life and save them. However the Devatas neither knew the vidya nor had amrutam (nectar), because this story happened before the Ksheera sagara madhanam. The Devatas asked their Guru, Bruhaspati, for help. Bruhaspati asked his son, Kacha, to become a sishya (student) of Sukracharya, do Guru seva with utmost care, learn all the sastras etc. and also the mruthasanjiivani vidya from Sukracharya. Kacha immediately followed the instructions of his father and reached the ashram of Sukracharya.
He bowed to Sukracharya and said "O Gurudeva! I am from Angirasa gotram and the son of Bruhaspati, the Guru of the Devatas. People call me by the name Kaca. I came to you as a student". Sukracarya happily agreed to have the son of the great Bruhaspati as his student. Every day Kaca used to wake up before the Sun rise and do the daily duties perfectly. He used to be very obedient to his Guru and learn his vidyas with utmost concentration and respect. He never let any attractions, deviations to enter his mind and always concentrated on Guru seva and his vidyabhyasam (education)
Sukracarya had a very beautiful daughter by name Devayani. She was very young and developed a lot of love on Kaca. She tried to express herself many times to Kaca, but Kaca never had anything in his mind except his education. Also since Devayani happens to be the daughter of his Guru, who is equal to his father, he had sisterly affection on Devayani. Slowly Kaca, due to his unparalleled efforts and obedience became the favorite student of Sukracarya. This could not be tolerated by the daityas who were burning with jealousy. Also they were afraid that Kaca would soon learn Mrutasanjiivani vidya from Sukracarya and later, it would be difficult for them to face the Devatas.
Once, Kaca went to the forest to feed the cattle of Guru. As the Sun was setting, the power of daityas increased. They attacked Kaca in the forest and killed him. Devayani was waiting for Kaca in the Ashram She told her father, "everyday at the time of evening puja Kaca used to return home. Somehow he did not return today. O father! please see if he is ok." Sukracarya with his inner-sight saw what happened to Kaca and immediately brought him back to life. The daityas jealous increased with this and this time they planned to kill Kaca in such a way that it will be difficult for Sukracarya to save him. They killed Kaca, burnt him and mixed his ashes in the liquor and served it to their Guru. Sukracarya drank the liquor Seeing Kaca not returning home, again Devayani asked her father. Sukracarya was shocked to know the mistake committed by him unknowingly. He thought "a man who is under the influence of liquor will loose all his distinction of good and bad, does not think and can commit any great sin. Once the sin is done, for normal humans, it is impossible to undo it. Sukracarya thought that if he was not under the influence of liquor, he could have easily identified, with his serious penance that Kaca's ashes were mixed in his liquor. So he made a firm rule that consuming liquor in what ever small quantities, is a great sin and it must never be drunk.
He used his Mrutasanjiivani vidya and brought back Kaca to life. However Kaca remained in Sukracarya stomach in an astral body. Sukracarya then taught Kaca Mrutasanjiivani vidya and asked him to come out of him, by tearing his stomach. Kaca came out of Sukracarya’s stomach and then used the Mrutasanjiivani vidya to bring back the life of his Guru. Kaca, after the completion of his studies, took the permission of Guru Sukracarya and was planning to leave. Devayani then told Kaca "Please do not leave me and go. Marry me". Kaca said "you are like a sister to me, since a Guru is equal to one's father". Devayani got angry with Kaca and said "Since you rejected my love and pained me, your vidya will not be of any use to you". Kaca was not sad because he knew though his Vidya will not be directly useful to him, he can spread his vidya to others and thereby become useful to the society. Vidya danam (charity) is the only danam that can never be destroyed and robbed. The more and more it is given to others, the more and more it grows…
Morals in the story:
The importance and greatness of Vidya is well shown in the story.
Though Devatas and daityas were enemies, Kaca never tried to conceal his identity, since he knew by cheating a Guru vidya cannot be acquired. Also Sukracarya, knowing who Kaca was, accepted him as a student, because a deserved one must always be taught.
Obedience and effort are important for education. Kaca was never involved in any other activity than his Guru seva and studies.
One must never have jealousy. Because of jealousy that Kaca is performing better than them, the daityas did not think what is right and what is wrong.
Liquor, in what ever small quantities, must not be done. This is well shown through Sukracarya’s words.
The knowledge of Kaca helped him to decide whether to accept Devayani's love or not.
Story of yavakrita
Bharadwaja maharshi and Raibhya maharshi were very good friends. They always used to wake up well before Sunrise , take bathe in the river after natural calls, do their aahnikas and start the dhyanam with clear devotion. Their only food was fruits from the forest. Yavakrita and Arvavasu, Paravasu were the sons of Bharadvaja and Raibhya maharshis respectively.
Bharadwaja maharshi was always in Dhyaana-samadhi and hence did not take care about Yavakrita’s education. However Raibhya maharshi made Arvavasu and Paravasu great Vidvans. Both of them traveled many places, spread their knowledge and earned great fame. Yavakrita felt very bad of his status and he also wanted to earn great name through education. He immediately started tapas (penance) with utmost devotion.
Devendra, seeing the devotion of Yavakrita, appeared and said “Education must always be learnt through a Guru. Adhyayanam is very important. This is the only way for really earning Veda, Vedanga Vignanam. Please stop the tapas and approach a sat-Guru”. Yavakrita did not like the words of Devendra and continued his tapas. In order to change the mind of Yavakrita, Devendra came in the form of an old Brahmin. He was taking sand in his hand and throwing into the river. Yavakrita, who came for bathing in the river, saw the brahmana and asked him why he was doing it. The old Brahmin replied that he was trying to build a wall across the river. Yavakrita laughed and said “with such small amounts of sand will you be able to complete the wall in your life time?” The brahmana replied “O kumara! This is not more foolish than thinking of learning Veda-Vidya without doing Guruseva”. Yavakrita again pleaded Devendra to bless him with Veda-Vidya. Devendra finally, thinking that there is no use of advising him, gave Vidya anugraham.
Yavakrita became a Sarva-shastra- Veda-Vidya Vignaani. He immediately stopped his tapas, returned to his father and explained him what happened. Bharadwaja maharshi replied “O kumara! Vidya earned in such a way will give only ahankaram (egotism). Ahankar is Aatma-naashana- kaaranam. Now listen to this word of mine: never go near the Ashramam of Raibhya maharshi. Never also get into an argument with Arvavasu and Paravasu.”
Yavakrita also went to Desha-deshaantaras. Once in the month of Vasanta-maasam, when forest was very beautiful and everywhere there was fragrance from the flowers, Yavakrita went near Raibhya maharshi’s Ashramam and saw that Raibhya’s snusha (daughter-in- law) was alone. Since he had not learnt Vidya in a proper way he did not have his Indriyas in his control and tried to molester the daughter-in- law of Raibhya maharshi. Learning what happened, Raibhya maharshi got wild, took two jatas from his hair and created a beautiful lady and a demon. They approached Yavakrita. The beautiful lady attracted Yavakrita and took away the purified kamandalam from him. With that all his energy was lost. Later the demon killed Yavakrita.
Seeing this Bharadvaja maharshi said “Kumara! You always wanted to learn Vidya in an easy way and did not listen to me when I said that this will lead to disaster.” Bharadvaja maharshi, in the sadness of loosing Yavakrita, gave curse to Raibhya maharshi to die in the hands of his son and left his life. With the result of the curse, Raibhya maharshi also left his life in the hands of Arvada ’s. However Arvavasu then did Upasana of Surya-bhagavan and brought back the life of Raibhya maharshi, Bharadvaja maharshi and Yavakrita.
Yavakrita then asked the Devatas, who appeared before them, why he had less power than Raibhya maharshi; though he was a Veda-vetta. The Devatas replied “O kumara! He learned the Veda-Vidya by doing Guruseva, but you did it without it. Vidya must always be learnt through a sat-Guru“.
Some time ago, a Brahman was the minister of a King. Since both of them did their education together, they used to be very close with each other. One day, after the day’s work, the King went to the minister’s house. When the King reached there, he saw that the minister was doing Sandhyavandanam. After that the minister started to do some mantra-anushtanam. The King felt very happy and after the minister came out, asked him “Mitrama! What Mantra-japam were you doing? Please do upadesham of it to me too. I will also do anushtanam of it with great care”.
Minister replied “Raja! I did not yet get siddhi (achievement) of this Mantram. I too am in an early stage. Hence I do not have Upadesha-arhata.” . Then the King replied “Don’t you like telling the Mantram to me or what? Why are you lying? I see that you know the Mantram that is enough. Tell me the same letters, I will repeat them in the same way as you told”.
Minister smiled internally seeing the foolishness of the King and said “Mantram not only means the letters and the corresponding Veda-svaram. It will have anganyaasa-karnyaas am. There will be a particular anushthaana- vidhi. Most importantly an uttama Guru, who already had Mantra-siddhi must do the Upadesham. Hence there is no use of me doing Upadesham to you”. But the King didn’t leave — he kept on asking and the Minister gave the same answer. Finally King got angry and said “come to the court. I will show you then”.
As usual the next day Minister, after his nitya-anushtaanam, reached the court. The Minister shouted, pointing at the King, “Arrest this person”. None of the soldiers moved. Seeing this, the King said “arrest this person”. Immediately all soldiers attacked and tried to arrest the Minister. Minister then stopped the soldiers and said to the King
“Now did you see this Raja? It is the same words that we both said. Also we both said it in the same mood, volume. However only your command was followed, not mine.. This was because you have the power and not me. Similarly one must do Guruseva and learn any Vidya, with all its Niyamam and vidhi, from a Guru who already has Vidyaa-siddhi and Upadesha-arhata” . The King realized his mistake and ruled the kingdom well from then onwards.