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."

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