Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Untold Stories of Ramanyan - part 4

Childhood of Lord Rama

Now Lord Rama took His advent on the earth planet, and he was growing up. He was learning archery in the ashrama of Vasistha. When the first lesson started, Vasistha told Dasaratha, "I don't want you to be here when your son is learning archery." Dasaratha said, "It is the tradition that the king sits there and watches the son, how he holds the bow." Vasistha said, "Yes, but it is not the tradition that you produce children from sweet rice." So Dasaratha went back, and the education started in confidence. When Lord Rama, Laksmana, Satrughna, and Bharata were sitting, Vasistha got up from his seat and circumambulated them. That is why he got Dasaratha out, otherwise there would be confusion. And then Vasistha said, "You always do this. Whenever you take an incarnation, You select a rishi to become Your guru. And he has to teach You this knowledge of which You are the source.

So please excuse me if I commit some offence." One day Rama and Laksmana saw a girl walking one day with a huge nose ring. In India the women wear big nose rings, sometimes so big that when they go on the bus the woman's son can hold it. So she had this huge nose ring, and she was walking with a water-pot. Laksmana looked at it and he laughed. He said, "Look at that nose ring! It's so big." Lord Rama said to him, "Vasistha is looking away, so let us do some pastime." So they looked around and they saw an arrow. They took that arrow, but they had not been taught yet how to do archery. "I will make this small," Laksmana said, and he shot the arrow. While the girl was walking, the arrow came next to her nose and started pouring some sort of mystical substance on the nose ring, which became so small that it got stuck on her nose and she couldn't breathe.

Then she dropped the water-pot, and she was trying to breathe but she can only breath in one nostril and she was very confused, so she began to call, "Help! Help!" Laksmana said, "Oh no, now Vasistha will hear and we will have a problem." Lord Rama said, "Don't worry," and he shot another arrow. That arrow made it big enough that she could breathe. So she turned around and said, "What is this you are doing to me?" Laksmana replied, "Oh, we made your nose ring small, but it was too small so then we made it big." "You made it big and then small?" she asked. "I don't believe it." "Oh, you don't believe it?" Laksmana asked, "So then we will take it off." Laksmana then shot another arrow  which took the nose ring out of her nose, and all this was happening without touching her face. And then the nose ring was flying in the sky, and she began to cry out, "My nose ring! My nose ring!" Very quickly Rama fired another arrow and put the nose ring back in the nose. These were some of the childhood pastimes of Lord Rama. All these childhood pastimes are all archery and bows and arrows. Anyway, Rama was growing up and one day a rishi came, Visvamitra Muni. He came in the entrance of the palace, and he said to the messenger, "Where is that Dasaratha? You tell him that Kaushika is here." He is known as Kaushika because he is coming in the dynasty of Kusha. Kusha and Kushanabha were great kings.
In the Bhagavatam you read about them. So Kaushika was known for his anger. If he gets angry, he would curse and  he will use all his tapovalam, all the strength of his austerity simply to place some obstacle. On one occasion he was sitting doing his meditation, and a bird passed stool on him. It's natural for a bird to pass stool, and it's natural for a rishi to sit under a tree. But stool on the head was not natural, and Visvamitra was very upset. He looked at the bird and burnt it. In burning that bird he used 50 years worth of tapovalam, because that bird had a long lifetime and he reduced it and suppressed it by his tapovalam, so now he lost the strength of that austerity. Then he got up and said, "This situation will make me remember that incident always, so now I will go to another tree." Then he would perform more austerity for another thousand years, and he was spending his whole life like this. So Dasaratha looked at Vasistha and said, "Kaushika is here. What am I supposed to do? I don't know what wrong I did, why he came to my palace, because he only goes to curse people or kill a demon or something." Vasistha said, "First of all, you must go from here to the messenger,and tell him to say that `The whole kingdom is yours. I am just taking two minutes to walk to the entrance. Please don't lose your temper'." So the messenger went back to Visvamitra and said, "King Dasaratha said that the whole kingdom is yours. He will take only two minutes to walk here. He wants you to be peaceful and take this nice asana." Visvamitra said, "I don't want any asana! Where is the king! Bring him here!" By the time Dasaratha got there, he fell at his feet and said, "What do you want? If you want the whole Kosala then please take it." "What?" the rishi asked. "I am not into kingdoms. I had a kingdom too."

He was a great prince, a ksatriya, and by some arrangement of the Lord he had become a Brahmin. "I do not want your kingdom," he said. "I have come here to ask something, and you must tell me that you will give it." Dasaratha was thinking, "I wonder what it could be that he wants? Maybe my head. I don't mind giving him that, but please don't let him ask for Rama."Visvamitra said, "What are you thinking? You are trying to save something."Dasaratha said, "No no, you just ask and I will give it." So then Visvamitra said, "I want Rama and Laksmana." Dasaratha immediately fainted. When he woke up, Visvamitra said, "See! You fainted, this means that you don't want to give. And you lied to me! I am rishi and you lied to me that you will give everything, and now you won't give. I'm not going to take them away forever; I only need them for a small purpose. I am doing a yajna, and someone is passing stool and urine on it. I want these children to come and play there, and then these demons will go away." "What? Demons?" And then Dasaratha fainted again. He couldn't bear his being taken to demons, so he said, "I will come. I will defeat them!" Visvamitra said, "Don't you think I can defeat them? I could easily defeat them, but I want Lord Rama and nothing else. What do you say?" "All right," Dasaratha said. "But please take good care of my son, and also teach Him something since you know so many things." Visvamitra said, "I know what I will do with Rama, and he is coming with me. Now." Dasaratha said, "But you have come a long way, you should rest a while in my palace.""I don't stay in palaces," Visvamitra said. "Where is Rama and Laksmana? Give them to me." So he took Rama and Laksmana and he left. They were walking, and as they were crossing so many rivers and going through so many different forests, Visvamitra was telling them stories, and Rama and Laksmana became so happy because there was no class and no study, this was like a complete vacation for them.

They were swimming here and swimming there, and Visvamitra was such a nice teacher that he would swim with them and play with them, tell them far-out stories of demons and goblins and ghosts. They were so happy. In the evening time at sunset, Visvamitra told them, "Now you do your sandhya, and then you sit here and listen to these mantras. I'm going to teach you some great, powerful mantras. One is known as Bala, strength. Another is known as Adibala, great strength. You may need them for these demons. So Rama and Laksmana sat down and listened to Bala and Adibala, and then they massaged the teacher, Visvamitra. Visvamitra took rest. The next day Visvamitra woke them up and they reached the ashrama of Visvamitra and they began a yajna. Then came this demon, a very famous demon called Marica. Marica was a great magician. Whenever he would come, then you would see that trees would be falling, the rivers would be flying up in the sky, and stars would be falling. The animals would also go crazy, the birds would scream, and the rishis would die as Marica' s breakfast was saintly persons only. For lunch he ate something else like ksatriyas or kings, but breakfast was sages. He was a cannibal, human eater. So Marica was coming there, and with him was Dusana. His very name is the same as his character. Dusana means "all bad things." His father named him like that, so it must have been a good family. Dusana and Marica were flying in space and were coming. So Rama and Laksmana were sitting there and Visvamitra was the head priest, he was offering ghee into the fire. He looked at Rama to signal that the demons were coming. Rama looked at Laksmana and said, "So Laksmana, what are you going to do?"

Laksmana said, "Yes, we will do something." So he took several arrows and shot them into the sky. They went up into the sky about three or four miles, and then from each arrow came a million arrows, and all together they formed a huge wheel of arrows, and this wheel started circling on top of the fire. So Marica and Dusana came and all that they saw was a wheel and some spokes. "Where is the fire?" Dusana said, "I told you I wanted to pass water three hours ago and you said I should wait till we got here. I have been holding it in, and I can't see the fire. What are you doing to me? Let me go pass somewhere." "No no," Marica said, "Visvamitra's fire, that is where we should pass." "But I can't see the fire, I only see this wheel." Then Marica said, "This must be the trick of these Brahmins. Let me come closer and see." So he came closer, and as he came close he got stuck with one of the spokes of the wheel, and he was thrown miles away. While he was already thrown, Lord Rama took one blade of grass, and he threw it at Marica. It got stuck on his back and carried him to the ocean. He fell in the ocean, and after that he never touched the Indian land again. He opened an ashrama and became a babaji somewhere in Sri Lanka, and didn't even go back to see his family. That was what happened to Marica, and Dusana was k illed. All this killing was done by grass. Then the yajna was over and Visvamitra came to Lord Rama and he said, "What a great, wonderful thing you did! I saw Marica flying away and falling into the ocean." Then Visvamitra said, "There's only one small question I want to ask You.""What?" Lord Rama replied. "What about Bala and Adibala and all those mantras I gave You?" Lord Rama said, "That is for an emergency, then we will use these ones. Grass is sufficient for these demons." Then Visvamitra said a famous verse, that for a mighty person even grass becomes an astra. Lord Rama is so mighty, He's the source of all Bala. So why should He take Bala and Adibala? In this way He finished the demons.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Untold story from Ramayana - Part 3


When Vibondaka left, the demigods made arrangements and got him involved in so many other things so that Rsayasrnga was left by himself. Rsayasrnga went to the river to take water for the yajna, and he saw this moving ashrama. He'd never been anywhere, but he'd studied a lot of shastra, and he'd never heard of anything like this before. And whenever the description came of women, Vibondaka would never explain it. He would never read such parts. In this way he was kept brainwashed to be a brahmacari. He looked at this ashrama, "This is so nice." And then he saw some figures in there. "What kind of rishis are these? This is a different type of rishi." He became very eager. "Anyway, if they are in the area, they must visit my father's ashrama." And they did come. They just made sure that Vibondaka was not around, and then three of the great saintly people walked out of the boat. And then they came, raising their hands and calling "Rsayasrnga! Rsayasrnga!" Usually when the rishis came they called for Vibondaka. So he saw these rishis coming, and he went and addressed them. And after addressing them he was asking, "Where are you coming from? Which planet? What mantras do you chant? How come by the touch of your bodies all my hairs are standing on end? Why am I having suchromancha?" They were smiling at each other, and they said, "We are rishis from another place, it is eight yojanas from here.
It is an island, and no human beings come there. We are born with perfection. We came to see your father. We know that you are very learned, so in our moving ashrama, we want you to come and stay for a few days." Rsayasrnga said, "I would be very happy to do that, but my father is not here. I don't even brush my teeth unless my father tells me to. So how will I go away from here, and who will perform the yajna three times daily?" One lady said, "I will do it, I am expert in this line." And she sat down. Somehow Rsayasrnga fell prey for this. These were saintly people, so why shouldn't they do yajna? And they looked different, very attractive. He couldn't understand what the tejas was that was coming from that body and attracting him. He didn't know it was lust. This was never explained to him. So he left that lady there doing yajna, and they had a flower ladder from the ashrama up to the bank of the river. This ashrama was filled with saintly people, so somehow they engaged him in listening to music, and dancing and so many other things, and slowly they came to Angadesha. In Angadesha there was big reception arranged for Rsayasrnga, brahmacari incarnate. There was purna-kumbha and there was mantras and Brahmins. The Brahmins all came to know that Rsayasrnga was coming, and they came and waited there. He was worshipped like anything.
He saw more saintly people were sitting there in that country, and they were sitting with other saintly people. Then he started realizing that something was wrong in his understanding. He asked the king, "Why have you brought me here?" But as soon as he stepped off the boat, rain came. And people were all happy, they were showering akshada and touching his feet. All the people came and told him, "You must never leave our country. You must become the son-in-law of our king." He didn't know what son in-law meant. So then they had to have special classes for him to explain how to become a son-in-law. Then he understood everything and finally he blessed the king by marrying Shanti, Dasaratha's daughter. In the meantime Vibondaka had returned to his ashrama, and saw this lady sitting there offering ghee into the fire. He grabbed her by the hair and said, "Who are you? What are you doing with my fire? It's been here for six thousand years. You came and contaminated it. What are you doing?"She said, "I am not this body. I am spirit soul." Vibondaka said, "That's very nice, that you're not this body, but you are not supposed to do this." So then she said, "No no, Rsayasrnga told me to do this." So he said, "So come on tell me, where is Rsayasrnga? What did you do to him? There was one man in this world who was pure, and you spoiled him too!" And then the lady said, "What could we do, this was a nationalistic service. We are serving the nation. In the service of our nation we have done something so we will go to heavenly planet." So then Vibondaka said, "I'm going to curse that king, that Angadesha Raja! He's getting rain, but I will see that he gets nothing anymore. The lady fell at his feet and said, "At least do the curse there. Then he will know you are cursing him.
Don't do the curse from here." "All right," he said. He was so angry, but Romapada was so clever, he was arranging for many Brahmins chanting mantras, glorifying Vibondaka, showing pictures of Kashyapa Muni just to attract him. But Vibondaka came and said, "Where is the king? Bring him here!" Romapada came and begged, "Please don't curse me! Already there are enough curses! All that I have done is that I have made your son the king of this country." So then something dawned on Vibondaka. "My so has become the king of this country. Now he has become the king, he has to protect the citizens. If I curse, then the blame is on him because he couldn't protect his citizens." So then he called his son, "Rsayasrnga, come here." Rsayasrnga came, and Vibondaka said, "All right, as soon as one son is born, you must be back in the ashrama. You understand?" This was the time when Dasaratha was told, by Vasistha Muni, the story. And Vasistha said, "If you personally go, then Rsayasrnga may come." So Dasaratha started, with all his paraphernalia, his seven akshauhini-shainyas, and arrived in Angadesha. Romapada was thinking "What is this? Suddenly Dasaratha is coming with his army. He is going to fight with me or what?" So he came with a white flag. "There is no question that your army can even stay in my country. Your army is so big that they can only just stand inside my country, not much more. Why are you coming with seven akshauhini-shainyas?" Dasaratha said, "No, I am just coming to request Rsayasrnga to come and perform a yajna for me." Romapada said, "I don't know. I don't know how long the yajna will be. I'm not going to play any more tricks, because already Vibondaka has told him, `One son and you are back in the ashrama'." Dasaratha said, "I will fall at his feet. He has protected your kingdom, why will he not save my country too? Why will he not do it?" So Dasaratha went there, paid his pranams, and he cried and told Rsayasrnga, "I have no hope. I will jump in the fire of asvamedha instead of the horse, if you don't come." So then Rsayasrnga calculated, "How many days are left?" It was 28 days more before the delivery. "That's all right. In 24 days I will come and do putra-kamesti."
So he came, and right next to the asvamedha-yajna he created another fire from that, and he quickly started putra-kamesti. And when he was finishing with the purnahoti, the yajna-purusha came, a dark, black figure which was three miles tall. He had a huge big pot in his hand. He was holding Narayana in it, so it was no small affair. He said to Dasaratha, "Please give this sweet rice to your queens." Dasaratha was looking at the size of the pot, and he was thinking, "If I give this to my queens, then there will be no more queens." It was a huge big pot. asaratha asked Vasistha, "How is this possible? How can they eat this much sweet rice?"So then Vasistha said, "You ask Rsayasrnga, he will tell you." Rsayasrnga asked the yajna-purusha, "Why are you giving such a big pot to these human beings that they can't even hold it?" The yajna-purusha said, "The personality who is coming is so powerful, that you can't reduce him smaller than this." Then Rsayasrnga closed his eyes and said, "Ah! Bigger than the biggest, and smaller that the smallest. He is in this pot. You give it to me." So he took the pot, and it became small. By the request of Rsayasrnga the Lord reduced His aishvarya, and the pot became small. He gave it to Dasaratha and said, "All right, I have two days to get to my ashrama. In between I have to take care of the delivery." So Dasaratha took the sweet rice. He gave half of it to Kausalya. The remainder he split in two, one for Sumitra and one to Kaikeyi. After Kaikeyi drank it, there was still some left, so that was also given to Sumitra. In this way the Lord came as Lord Ramacandra in Kausalya's womb. He came as Laksmana and Satrughna in Sumitra's womb, and he came as Bharata in Kaikeyi's womb. Vasudeva came as Ramacandra, Sankarsana came as Laksmana. The Sudarshan disc came as Bharata, and the Pancajanya conchshell came as Satrughna.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Untold stories from Ramayana - Part 2

                          CHAPTER 2: STORY OF RSAYASRNGA

So then Vasistha told the story of Rsayasrnga. Srnga means "horns" or "a person possessing horns." Rsa means "deer," so Rsayasrnga means "a human possessing horns." He is a human being with deer horns who performs yajna and speaks Sanskrit. Vasistha said, "I will tell you the story of Rsayasrnga. Long ago, Kashyapa Muni produced a son while meditating on the sunlight. While he was meditating on the sunlight, suddenly he thought of a personality. When he thought of a personality, that person would come into existence. And he would come out of his mind. Kashyapa was Prajapati, "progenitor." And this person was known as Vibondaka. As soon as Vibondaka came out of Kashyapa's mind, he went to the deepest forests in Madhya Pradesh which is now very famous as Chandal Valley. 

All the dacoits are there. That is where Vibondaka went, and he performed ugra-tapasa, very severe austerities. He was only performing tapasa for self-realization, but Indra was worried. Indra has a special secretary for this department. He gives him a list of people who are performing austerities, because he is so worried that they may become the opposition and may even try to usurp his own seat. So when he heard the name Vibondaka he asked, "What kind of tapasa is he doing?" The secretary mentioned to him, "He is performing such huge austerities that if he were to ever get angry, this whole universe would be burnt to ashes. And if he ever thinks of anything, it will automatically come to him without his having to perform any sacrifice. This is the potency of his tapovalam." Indra said, "Then he is my candidate. I will have to work on him." He thought of all the damsels on his planet, and he decided, "These are no good." So then he went to Satyaloka, Brahma's planet. In Satyaloka there are damsels who are self-realized souls. They dance only for the pleasure of the deity that Brahma keeps for worship. Indra, for his political purpose, wanted to pollute these damsels. So he went to Brahma, but he couldn't spend much time there because if you are too long in Brahma's planet by the time you return your time will be over, So Indra said, "Give me the best damsel, quickly! I have to go!" So Brahma said, "All right, take this one."

There was one lady called Harsha, because she was always smiling. Harsha came with Indra, and even while flying with Harsha, Indra could understand that he was so greedy and lusty, and this woman was so saintly and serene, always meditating on the Absolute Truth. He was thinking, "What happens if I send her and they both become self- realized?" Indra wanted something wrong to happen. So he fell at the feet of Harsha, and said, "Please, protect my seat." Harsha said, "I don't think that this Vibondaka desires to enjoy anything." Because she was sitting in Satyaloka she could see Vibondaka and what type of austerity he was doing. So she said, "You are unnecessarily sending me there, and I may even get burnt by his anger. But because Brahma has told then I am coming with you. Vibondaka has no such material desires.

He won't even look at me. I don't know how I'm going to attract him and make him fall." Indra said, "I don't know what you will do, but at least get it confirmed from him that he has no desire to become Indra. Then my position is safe." So Harsha said, "All right, I will do it. Whatever is given to me as a mission I will accomplish. “So Harsha came to that valley, and Vibondaka was coming from the Ganges and going to his ashrama. So she came and sat there, and chanted mantras. There are different ways of making people fall down. Whatever is your weak spot, that can be used. Vibondaka's weak spot was mantras and meditation, so she started chanting mantras. Vibondaka was so absorbed, and then suddenly he heard this clear pronunciation of Vedic mantras, clearer than anything else he had ever heard anywhere in the three planets. He turned back and looked at her, and immediately she fell at his feet. She said, "Only for the prayer of getting tras. Vedic mantras which are chanted should not go in vain. Somebody must give a benediction, and I don't want this benediction from anyone else, not even from Brahma. I only want It from you.

If you don't accept this request, then I will perform austerities and I will leave my body. And brahma-hatya will come to you." In this way she blackmailed him. So Vibondaka said, "What is this? I am just trying to peacefully think of God. Why is this trouble coming?" So he looked at her and said, "I am Vibondaka, and I have no interest in this world. I don't know why I was even sent here, but Kashyapa produced me. I am just trying to go away from here. What is this, giving you a son? You can't get a son from anywhere else? You mention any other person, and I will command him to give you a son. If you want a son from Brahma, I will request him. If you want a son from my father Kashyapa, I will request him. Why me, in the whole creation?" So she said, "No, only you. You are the only person who should give me a son." And then he said, "No this is not possible. I am not going to do it. If you have been even been thinking about me like that, that is bad for me." And then he said, "Here is the potency from my body. You can arrange for getting a son." And he dropped some semen and left. Harsha then understood that Indra had nothing to fear, so her mission was fulfilled. But this shukla coming out of the body of Vibondaka, was there burning the whole world. She was now responsible for it, she had to direct it somewhere. She did not want to hold it and produce a son, because that was only a trick she was using. But when she looked up she saw a very transcendental deer moving around there. So immediately by her potency, she put the semen in the body of the deer, and the deer conceived a child. Since it was the conception of a rishi, it did not stay for more than a night. The next morning, the deer delivered a baby. It had a human form, but with deer horns. This was Rsayasrnga.

So this deer ran to the ashrama of Vibondaka and started crying. Vibondaka saw this and thought, "Why are these things happening to me? Some lady wants a son, and now a  deer is crying in my ashrama." So Vibondaka asked the deer, "What is wrong? Who is giving you trouble?" The deer started walking away and Vibondaka followed. The deer brought him to where Rsayasrnga was, and Vibondaka saw this shining young baby with deer horns. He thought, "Oh, this is my son. If nobody wants him, then I will take care of him." Then Vibondaka thought, "Now I know why I was sent here, for some reason. Kashyapa did not conceive me for nothing. I am supposed to conceive this son, and God knows what he is going to conceive." So Vibondaka brought him to the ashrama and gave him milk. He taught him Vedas and Upanishads and philosophy. There was no woman in that forest, which was yojanas wide. There was not even any tigresses, only tigers. So Rsayasrnga had no idea of women. He grew up, and for everything he was depending on his  father. He would ask his father, "Father, can I take this book and read?" And if his father said yes, then he would do it.

He would ask, "Father, should I brush my teeth?" And if the father said yes, he would brush his teeth. He was so dependent on his father. He would always walk everywhere holding his father's hand. In this way Rsayasrnga grew up to be the most innocent person in the creation. Lord Ramacandra had to appear, and if he was to appear then the yajna-purusha has to give the khir, and if that khir is to come, then the yajna has to be performed by someone who has never seen a woman. Lord Ramacandra's advent was not that easy. This whole story is already in Visnu Purana. In this way Rsayasrnga was growing up, never hearing of any woman. Dasaratha, when his daughter was born to Kausalya, he was thinking, "What shall I do with this daughter?" Then one day, from Angadesha, the country of Anga, Dasaratha's friend Romapada (which means "hairy feet") was hankering for a child too. He had some sons, but he had no daughter. This is the material world. He who has daughters, he is hankering for a son. And he who has sons is hankering for a daughter. And he who has no children, they are hoping for children, and those who have children are thinking "How to get rid of them," and they send them to Gurukula. So Romapada came to Dasaratha and said, "You are my very good friend, and you have no sons. You always think, `What is the use of a daughter?' And I want a daughter, so why don't you give her to me?" And Dasaratha said, "All right, you can have her." So he gave Shanti in adoption to the king of Angadesha known asRomapada. Romapada brought Shanti to his kingdom.

And whether it way the girl's misfortune or the king's misfortune, the second day was the day the rainy season was supposed to start but there was no rain. The whole rainy season went by and there was no rain. The second rainy season also went by with no rain. A big famine came about. So the king went to the astrologer and asked him, "Why is there famine in my kingdom? Is it due to this daughter? Everyone is saying it is due to her." They found out that during some yajna that had been performed by Romapada he had cheated a Brahmin. He first promised him, "I will give you this much amount of diamonds," but while he was counting the diamonds to be given as dakshina, he found one diamond which was very valuable, and he thought, "What is the Brahmin going to do with this?" So he took it out, and put a bigger diamond in its place, which was less valuable. When he gave the bag of diamonds to the Brahmin, the Brahmin touched the bag and said, "You cheated me! You removed one of these diamonds and put a bigger diamond to cheat me." It was inside the bag, and the king was thinking, "How does he know this?" The Brahmin said, "I am a Brahmin, so I know this. You are cheating, so all the Brahmins will leave this country." So he formed a big union and all the Brahmins wa lked out of the country. No more Brahmins means no more yajna, and it was Treta-yuga, so no yajna means no food.

The king was wondering what to do, so slowly from here and there he collected some Brahmins from other countries, and he brought them on immigration, so they couldn't stay long. These Brahmins were coming and going, and in this way he was running his kingdom. Now famine had come due to this curse, and the fact that all the Brahmins had left his country. So the astrologer said, "So to solve this problem, you have to bring all the Brahmins back." Romapada said, "But these Brahmins have formed a union. They won't come back." "They will come back if you bring one person here." Romapada asked, "Who is that?" "There is one rishi. He has never seen a woman. And he doesn't even know what is a woman. That person must come, and he must marry your daughter. If that rishi stays in your kingdom, then the Brahmins will not stay anywhere else. They will come here, because he is such a learned person. To see him, they will come. And after they come, they will stay." So now he had to get this Rsayasrnga, and he was thinking "How to get him?" So he asked this to his ministers, and they said, "Rsayasrnga is not an easy object, his father is Vibondaka. If Vibondaka gets angry he will burn the universe to ashes. If you try to get his son he will get angry, and then there is no necessity of yajna or rain, because the whole universe will be burnt, and you will also be burnt." "So what to do?" Romapada asked.

"You have to use some trick," his ministers replied. Then they advised him, "You must go and consult the society girls, the famous prostitutes of the country." So then Romapada made an announcement, "Special interview with the prostitutes of the country." They all came, and they were thinking it had something to do with dance or music, or something like that. But when they heard that they had to bring Rsayasrnga, then they ran away because everybody knew this person. However, one lady came up, and she said, "For the benefit of my country, I will sacrifice myself. I will try; if he comes, that's good. Then the kingdom will be happy. If he doesn't come, only a prostitute will be killed. What's the problem? I don't care, I will go." Romapada asked, "What do want in return?" "I don't want anything, let the country be happy." "What help do you need?" Romapada asked. "Your treasury, whenever I go, must open. And if I want anything from any department, they must say yes, because you must know I am sacrificing my life." So the king gave her a special green card. Anywhere she goes, anything she wants she would get. She made a boat which was four miles long and two miles wide.

On top of the boat she made an ashrama. This boat was totally covered with trees and bushes, flower gardens, lakes and deer. All kinds of things she put in there. And thousands of people were rowing the boat, but you couldn't see anything, it was all covered by bushes. There were pathways, small mountains, waterfalls, everything was created. It looked like a island, but it was moving. No-one knew what it was. They all though it was the gandharvas who have come. It was a special ashrama, no men. Only women were there. No tigers, only tigresses. It was filled up with women. They all had rudrakshas, tulasi-malas, jasmine flowers tied up in their hair, and they were all praying, doing meditation and chanting mantras. This boat was floating so nicely down the river, and somehow or other they got it into Madhya Pradesh. So as they reached Vibondaka's ashrama, Vibondaka went out to help a sage who had gotten stuck in the mouth of an elephant. He was calling, "Save me! Save me!" And no-one heard him, only Vibondaka. So he told Rsayasrnga, "You must perform the yajna three times daily. Don't worry about cleaning the ashrama, because it's too big for you. Just perform the yajna till I get back."

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Untold stories from Ramayan-part 9


When the monkeys were looking for Sita, they were going to commit suicide on account of their not being able to find her. Angada was putting the kusa grass, and he said, "I'm going to die. I can't find Sita." The other monkeys said, "No, no, there is a nice secure place where we can go to live." Hanuman chastised them. "This is illusion," he said. Hanuman got so upset, and he was chastising Angada and the rest of the monkeys. "What are you trying to do? Do you want to end your life in a prestigious way, or do you want to go for some `security'?" They were on a mission for Ramacandra. They had to find Sita and then come back with that information. Thirty thousand monkeys went on that mission. That was only in the south. In the north there were eighty thousand monkeys. And because east and west were not so important, there was only ten thousand in those places. The greatest corporals and generals of Sugriva were ordained to go, and they were told not to come back until they found Sita. Unfortunately all the other groups came back. The north, the east and the west. But the southern party was still going. Hanuman, Jambavan, Angada and Nila were the greatest leaders of that group. We have discussed Hanuman's appearance already. Now we will discuss Jambavan. Jambavan is the oldest created being in the universe, apart from Brahma. When Brahma was thinking of making the creation and he had the vision of the Lord, the Lord shook hands with him and gave him the information of Bhagavatam, aham evasya evagre. "I am before everything and after everything." Brahma was contemplating to create, and he was thinking, "How great is this creation, and how am I going to do it?" In the meantime, the Garbhodakasayi Visnu was laying down on the snake, and from both of his ears, two drops of sweat came out. One  drop became Madhu, a great demon, and the other became Kaitava, another great demon. Madhu and Kaitava came and met, and shook hands. They looked back and said, "We must finish this." This is a demon. You take shelter of something, and then when you are done with it you destroy it. This Rakshasa mentality of Madhu and Kaitava created a bad atmosphere and Brahma started sweating. The sweat came from hisfour faces. Lord Visnu got up and looked at Madhu and Kaitava and said, "O great personalities Madhu and Kaitava, please give me a benediction." They said, "This is easy! He is surrendering to us. Do you know who we are?" they addressed him. "Oh, you are the great Madhu and Kaitava, supremely powerful persons." They said, "What benediction do you want, Visnu?" Visnu said, "You give me a benediction that I can fight with you." "Oh, you want a fight?" they said. "That is what we are expecting too. Now it is more prestigious for us, because it is our benediction. Yes you can fight with us, but one thing. If ever you think that you want to kill us, you can only kill us in a place where there is no earth, no water, no air, no fire, no ether, no mind, no intelligence and no false ego. You can kill us in that spot." That means that they cannot be killed anywhere in the universe, that was what they were thinking. They didn't know anything beyond the universe, because they were demons.
Then Visnu started fighting with them, and it went on for a long time. While the fight was going on, Brahma was sweating again because of the whole evil atmosphere created by Madhu and Kaitava. This time with the sweat came a small entity, and it was there on his cheek. It was moving around there. Brahma said, "What is this?" and he looked at it. It started growing, so he threw it on the floor. It grew more, and it was a bear. No species were present at that time. "What is this?" Brahma said. Black bear with so much hair on the body, and it grew and grew and became so strong. It spoke in Sanskrit. He spoke to Brahma, "You have created me, so where shall I go?" Brahma said, "I created something without my knowledge. You go to Jambunada." That was one piece of land in the water of dissolution, Jambunada-ksetra. So immediately he entered Jambunada, and he sat down there and was looking around. What he saw was Madhu and Kaitava fighting. He was clapping his hands and whistling, and he called out, "Wonderful! Hit him on the head!" He was the audience. Visnu was going up into the sky and picking them up and throwing them. They were so strong, coming from the ear of Visnu, so they were giving a good fight. Garbhodakasayi Visnu was laying down on Sesa naga for a long time, so he wanted to have some pastime. He wanted to have some entertainment, so he created somebody and started fighting. He took Madhu and Kaitava on his lap, and then with his hand he crushed them. They were finished, because there was no earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intelligence or false ego. His was a transcendental body. Jambavan jumped up and down and said, "Wonderful, wonderful fight! Can I see more?"
Visnu said, "You wait for the creation to start. Then there will be so many fights." So creation started, and the Manvantaras came one by one. There was a great dissolution, and Satyavrata was on the boat, and a golden fish came, a huge big fish with a horn. With Vasuki, the snake, they tied the fish's horn yo that boat. The sapta-rishis were there and Jambavan was sitting there looking. "Aah, what a nice fish," he said, and he circumambulated the fish. The fish was circumambulating the whole universe. In this way Jambavan had a good engagement at that time. Jambavan will not die, he is a ciranjiva. He was getting old, but he was quite strong. Then Kurma-avatar came, and Jambavan witnessed that also. He also was there when Varaha-avatar slapped Hiranyaksa. Hiranyaksa was slapped and he went up circling around, and while he was circling around his eyes came out of his sockets, and Jambavan was playing with them. "What a wonderful fight!" That was finished, and he saw Nrsimhadeva also. And then Vamanadeva appeared. When Vamanadeva grew into a huge big figure lifting his leg and piercing the universe from the top, Jambavan, in six moments, circled this great form of Trivikrama eighteen times. That was the speed of Jambavan. He was in ecstasy, "Oh! What a beautiful form!" He was going around and around, eighteen times in six moments. When he was coming back down he was in so much ecstasy, and he scratched Mount Meru with his toe-nails. Meru got upset. Meru came in person and said, "Hey, you dirty bear! What are you doing to me? You are touching me with your foot. Even the sapta-rishis don't do this, they float over me. They don't set foot on me. You are doing this, so you become old. Because you are young and so fast, you have offended me. You become old and weak." He cursed him. So Jambavan became very old. Meru told him, "Although you are old, when the pastimes of Lord Ramacandra come, you will do a lot of service for him."
This was Jambavan. And Jambavan was called by Sugriva, who said to him, "Jambavan, you are the oldest. There is nothing that you don't know. There is no demigod that you don't know. There is no avatar that you haven't seen. There is no ocean that you don't know. You know everything in this creation. So you must help Angada, the son of Bali. Find out where Sita is." Jambavan agreed, and he told Angada, "Don't worry. I cannot fly like before, but I know every place. I can be your guide in this area of south India. Somehow we will find Mother Sita." Then there was Nila. Nila was also a Brahma-putra, a mental son of Brahma, and he was an engineer, a chemist and a scientist. He was also a bear, a bear scientist. So this scientist could float stones, reduce and increase the density of stone, he was such a physicist and chemist that he could take different things, mix them up and create diverse effects of colour, smell, and various feelings. He could change feelings by chemical combination. He could take something and mix with something else, and you would feel miserable. By another combination he could make you feel happy. He could make you feel angry and even change someone's mind by chemicals, without that person having to take it, unlike the drugs of today. He constructed a kingdom in Kishkinda which was so strong. It was complete stone, no cement or concrete. Just stone on top of stone. It was constructed so each stone was holding another, and it was a huge big palace, very strong. This is Nila. Hanuman, Jambavan, Nila and Angada set forward with thirty thousand vanaras. They looked everywhere, but couldn't find anything. Then they came to the Vindhya mountains. By the time they had crossed the forest, which had no leaves (big trees are there, but they are only branches because one rishi's son cursed the forest, "You will become barren"). So many trees are there but there are no leaves. No leaves means no flowers, and no flowers means no fruit, so all the monkeys were hungry. Already they had been about three weeks with no water and no food. They didn't know what to do. They saw a black cave in front of the Vindhya mountains. Hanuman said to Angada, "We are great warriors, so we must have some thrill. Let us enter this cave." All the monkeys said, "No, no, we are not going inside this cave. Already there is no water, no food, and if you go inside this cave there will be no light. And if you go deeper there will be no air, and we will all die."
So Hanuman said, "Whoever wants to go, raise their hand." So Jambavan, Angada, Nila and of course Hanuman, and a few other monkeys, they all raised their hands. Hanuman said, "All right, hold my tail." So Angada was holding his tail, and Nila was holding Angada's tail. Jambavan was in the middle, because he was old and they didn't want to lose him, and there were other monkeys and all of them started walking into this cave. The only symptoms that they saw was some birds coming from inside, and their wings were wet. Hanuman said, "Look, their wings are wet. That means some water is there. And if the birds are coming from inside the cave that means some people must be living there. It must be a nice place, so everyone should come." He was preaching like this, and the monkeys were one by one joining. A few were standing there and wondering what to do. They thought, "Hanuman, Jambavan and everyone else are all going, and we are standing here. There is no water here, and they are the only protection for us. If they are gone, what will we do?" So they also decided to go. All the monkeys joined, they all went into the cave. Every five minutes Jambavan was shouting the names of all the different monkeys, just to check that everyone was there, because it was so dark, you couldn't see anything. And after crossing eighty miles in complete darkness, finally there was a glimmer of light coming. Hanuman shouted, "Rama! Rama! Rama! There is light here. Maybe there are some people and we can get some food. We are hungry monkeys." So they all went towards the light and discovered a beautiful city inside the cave. And so many mansions were there. These mansions were all made with gold and rubies and diamonds, they couldn't believe their eyes. There was lakes and lotus flowers, nice creepers and fruits. Angada said, "Don't believe this. It may be the work of some demon, that as soon as we go in he will swallow us. Don't touch anything. Keep leaping." They were leaping from one place to another, and then they leaped into a mansion. Without making any sound they were inside and looking around. They found one woman who was dressed in tiger skin, with matted locks of hair. She had a trident in her hand. "What is this?" they said. "She looks like a babaji, and she is in this wonderful palace." Hanuman went in front, and he folded his hands. Hanuman is very good in talking. He gave a smile. He said, "Please tell us who you are. You look like a very spiritually advanced person." Flattery. "I hope you are not a demoness. But you don't look like one, you look very pious. So you must tell us who you are." She said, "First you tell me who you are. How did you get inside this place? This is a mystic place, and human beings, gandharvas, vanaras, can never come here. Only celestials can come here." Jambavan was mumbling, "Yes, yes, they are all celestials. They only look like monkeys."Angada asked him, "What did you say?" "No, no," Jambavan replied. "I am just telling something old." Jambavan had been in Rama-lila before, and every time they had gone in search of Sita, and every time they had gone into this cave also. Every time he saw something like that, he would say, because he has seen it so many times. They were seeing it for the first time, because demigods keep  changing, but Jambavan is the same Jambavan. Hanuman said, "We are all servants of Lord Ramacandra, the son ofDasaratha." Then she said, "This Ramacandra, I don't think he's the son of an earthly king, because otherwise how just by chanting his name could you cross that dark cave. It is not possible for anyone to do that. This must be an incarnation of Visnu." Jambavan said, "She also knows so much.
I know that he is an incarnation of the Supreme Lord, and I also know who will find Sita." Some monkeys said, "What did you say?" Jambavan said, "Don't listen to me. I'm just an old bear, and old people always mumble like this." Hanuman and this lady got into a good conversation. Hanuman pleased her, and she told her identity. She was a friend of Hema, and Hema was the daughter of Mount Meru. This Hema was once being kept captive in that city by one great demon called Mayasura. He was a great magician. Indra came, and he sent his vajra, and he finished this demon Maya. He took charge of Hema, and she became Indra's wife. Hema was alone in that huge big magical city, so Indra requested Meru to send his daughter so they could have some association. Hema had gone out somewhere, so that is why this lady was there. She was an ascetic, and she believed in worship of impersonal Brahman, and mukti. She was there with tiger skin and trident. This was the story. Hanuman said, "We are very hungry, and we are monkeys. Please give us something to eat." "No problem," she said. "You just go into this garden and you can eat plenty of fruits, fill your stomachs." So the whole army went into this beautiful garden of Mayasura, and they ate stomachs full. They came to drink water, and after drinking water she supplied them with wine which they also took. They took a little wine. The wine back then was just a drink, not an intoxicant. In this way they enjoyed nicely, and they asked her, "You please tell us how we can now get out of the cave."She said, "Get out of this cave? No, you can never get out of this cave."They said, "What? You've fed us nicely, you've given us so much nice drink, and now you're going to keep us in prison?" Hanuman took his club and said, "You want to see this?" She said, "Wait a minute, you just ate in my house. You can't fight with me. I said, `You can't get out of the cave'. I never said that you won't go out of the cave. All of you, close your eyes." They all closed their eyes. And then she said, "Now open your eyes." And when they opened their eyes they were not there. In front of them was a huge big ocean, Mahodadhi.... to be continued
[In the last part, Hanuman and the monkey army had just left the cave of Mayasura and were transported to the ocean, Mahodadhi.]
Transcribed from lectures given by His Grace Atma-tattva dasa during Gaura-purnima in Sridham Mayapura