Shri Guruleelamrit – Chapter 7





 

Shri Guru Leelamrit
(The Nectar of Teacher’s Sport)
by

Pujya Shri Rang Avadhoot

Put into English by:

Shri Shantilal Thaker, M.A. B.T.,
Vidya-Bhasker

 

CHAPTER VII. — BHRIGU, RICHIK, JAMADAGNI,
PARASHURAM.

The Sage Bhrigu, the inventor of fire, a seer of the
Vedic verses, was practising austerities in Brigukachha (the
modern Broach in Gujarat), named after him, on the banks of
the holy river Narmada. His wife, Khyati by name, was the
daughter of Sage Kardama, and the sister of Kapil, the
propounder of the Sankhya system of philosophy. She was a
chaste woman, always serving devotedly her husband Bhrigu.
She gave birth to a son,. Richik by name. He did austerities
on the mountain Himalayas, learnt the Vedas from his father,
and shone with Brahmic lustre in his face. His father then
gave him leave to start the householder’s life with a
befitting consort. Richik bowed down at his father’s feet
and went out in search of a befitting bride.

Richik, in his wanderings he arrived at Kanyakubja
(modern Kanoj). There he saw the daughter of king Gadhi. Her
name was Satyavati. She had a slender waist, full breasts, a
moon-like face, fish-like eyes. He took a fancy for her, and
asked king Gadhi to give her to him in marriage. The
political-minded king thought that his daughter, accustomed
to kingly pleasures and comforts in his palace, would never
be happy in the poor hermitage of Sage Brigu, Richika’s
father. She would have to fetch water of the river Narmada
and climb up the raised grounds. On the other hand, Richik
would give him a curse if he rused. So he found a clever way
out. He replied that many had asked for his beautiful
daughter’s hand in marriage, and so he had taken an oath
that he would marry her to him who would procure one
thousand black-eared horses. Richik understood the trick.
But he did not give up. By his yogic powers he saw through
all the territories of the earthly kings, but did not find
anywhere so many black-eared horses in the stable of any
king. So he turned his yogic gaze to the worlds of gods. He
saw in Varuna’s stable a thousand horses, with black ears
and white bodies. So he repaired to him, the god of
sea-waters, and requested him to give him one thousand
horses of the required type. Varuna worshipped him and said,
” It is my great good fortune that my horses shall be of
some use to you, oh worthy son of Sage Bhrigu. I wish I
could serve your need even at the cost of this my body. So
he returned to king Gadhi with the thousand white-bodied
black-eared horses, all of whom he had tamed, and Gadhi had
to marry Satyavati to Richik.

The wedded couple came to Sage Bhrigu and prostrated
themselves at his feet. He blessed them both. Sat avati
served with devotion the sage Bhrigu and mother Khyati.
Years passed, and one day the well-pleased sage Bhrigu spoke
to Satyavati, ” Daughter, after your arrival, this my
hermitage has become like Vaikuntha, the abode of Lord
Vishnu. There is bliss all over the hermitage and its
surroundings. Your service is splendid and unrivalled.
Choose a boon.” Satyavati replied, ” Father, everything is
possible for a great Yogin like you. I have no brother and
there is no one to take care of the people of Kanoj after my
father. So please grant that my mother may have a hero-son.”
The sage Bhrigu said, ” Be it so. But I am more pleased with
you, because you have looked to the welfare of your father’s
subjects, not to your own So I grant you another boon that
you will also have a true Brahmin-son.” Then he made two
pots of water, sanctified by Vedic mantras and Yogic force –
one having the potency of generating a hero-son and the
other having the potency of generating a Brahmin-son. Then
he asked his son, Richik, to go to Kanoj and perform a
son-yielding sacrifice, and at its completion to give the
water of the first pot to his mother-in-law and that of the
second pot to Satyavati. Richik did as his father told. But,
by accident, Satyavati’s mother became thirsty in the
previous night of the day of completion of the son-yielding
sacrifice, and she drank water from the pot meant and
ear-marked for Satyavati. and after half an hour Satyavati
also felt thirsty and she drank water from the pot meant for
her mother. In the morning this error was discovered, and
Satyavati ran to her father-in-law and fell at his feet with
a request to rectify the error. The Sage said that he was
helpless in the matter, as the potency in the water was
created by the Vedic Mantras and Yogic powers. But Satyavati
beseechingly persisted that it would not be in the fitness
of things that a mild-tempered forgiveful boy should rule
her father’s kingdom and that a valiant heroic bo should
disturb the peace of his Ashram (hermitage). The sage Bhrigu
relented and said, “Only one thing can be done. The
inevitable can be postponed for one generation. Your son
will be a true Brahmin, but his son will be a hero-warrior.
Your mother’s son will be a true Brahmin by nature. Nothing
more can be done.”

Satyavati then gave birth to Jamadagni, whose son was
Parashuram, the incarnation of god Vishnu. Vishwamitra was
born to the queen of Gadhi, and he practised great
austerities and became a Brahmin-sage, acclaimed so be Sage
Vasishtha. Jamadagni (eating the fire of Yoga) was an
incarnation of god Shiva. He married Renuka, an incarnation
of Parvati, the divine consort of God Mahadeva. After
Bhrigu, Jamadagni was practising austerities in the
hermitage on the banks of the holy river Narmada. Renuka was
serving him whole-heartedly. She was a chaste woman. She had
the Yogic power to carry the water of the river not in a
pot, but potfuls of water bound in a cloth.

Her first son was Vasumant, the second Vasu, the third
Sushena, the fourth Vishwavasu. Then after some years, by
the prayer of gods, God Vishnu was incarnated as her fifth
son on the third day of the bright half of the month
Vaishakha, in Sinha (Leo) constellation of stars, at noon.
The world was happy. Gods showered flowers from the sky.
Heavenly nymphs, danced with their jingling anklets. The
earth expressed her delight in the form of an outburst of
green grass all over. The undivine forces trembled with fear
and hid in dark caves. He was named Parashurama, because he
carried an axe as his chief weapon. He was born to kill all
haughty irreligious rulers of the world. Once Jamadagni had
gone for meditations to the forest. Renuka went to the river
to fetch water. At that time Chitra Ratha, the king of the
Gandharvas, had come to the river for bath and water-sports.
He was sporting with his heavenly nymphs. All of them were
charming to behold, youthful, with muscular bodies. Mother
Renuka saw them. She thought, ” How fortunate are these
women to sport with such a strong-bodied young man, with
youthful energy gushing out from all his limbs ! “

This was mental lust. She returned home. In the
meanwhile, Sage Jamadagni came. He saw that the chaste
lustre of Renuka’s face had faded. He saw in meditation the
mental unchastity committed by her on seeing Chitra-Ratha.
He was filled with righteous wrath. He said “What a shame !
You were a Kshatriya princess, longing for lustful energy of
youth. Then why did you marry a gentle-natured Brahmin
ascetic ? You should have thought of it before. This cannot
be tolerated in a Brahmin ascetic’s house. If a Brahmin
shall put up with such mental unchastity, people of other
castes will behave as they like in a frivolous manner.”

In the meanwhile, Vasumant came. The father asked the son
to behead his mother for the mental crime she had committed.
The boy argued, ” I can do anything for you, father, but not
this. She gave me birth, which obligation I cannot return
even if I served her in a hundred lives.” The Sage Jamadagni
cursed him to be burnt down to ashes immediately, and it so
happened. He was a heap of ashes in the hermitage.

Then came Vasu. He met with the same fate, for he also
refused to kill his mother on the plea that the scriptures
put mother above a hundred spiritual preceptors in dignity.
Then came Sushena, followed by Vishwavasu. Both of them did
not carry out the orders of the father, and were cursed to
be burnt down to ashes. Then came Parashurama. He saw the
four heaps of ashes, the wrathful face of the father, the
mother’s face turned down on the ground with shame and
horror. He was addressed by the Sage Jamadagni, “You are my
real son. You are a warrior, a hero. I am sure you will do
my bidding.” Then he narrated what had happened to his son,
and ordered him to cut off her head with his axe to set a
good example to the people of other castes. Parashuram
pondered for a while and thought of retrieving the situation
by prompt obedience in the beginning. He beheaded his mother
Renuka. The Sage was pleased and asked him to choose a boon.
Parashuram said, “Father, my eldest brother was right in
refusing to kill his mother, whose love has no parallel in
this world. Have pity on him and bring him back to life, for
he is the eldest scion of our illustrious family.” The Sage
beamed with joy, and Vasumant stood up living from the heap
of ashes. Then he asked Parashuram to choose another boon,
for he had not asked for any selfish gain but the revival of
his eldest brother. Then the boy chose the coming back to
life of his second brother. The same process was repeated,
and all the four brothers became living again by the
cleverness and magnanimity of heart of Parashuram.

Jamadagni was extremely delighted with the boy and asked
him to choose one more boon. The boy pleaded, “Sir, you are
a great Sage. You know that everybody commits a mental sin
one time or the other in his or her life. Have pity on my
mother, and pardon her at least once in her life-time. She
has served you all her life with single-minded devotion, and
she deserves to live.” The Sage was pleased with the boy’s
intelligence, kindness and understanding, and revived even
Renuka.

Now it so happened once that the king Sahasrarjuna, with
his group of friends and soldiers, went out into the forest
on a hunting expedition. He killed many deer, tigers and
lions. They all were tired and hungry. So they came to the
hermitage of Jamadagni, who received them right royally and
asked them to stay for lunch. The king did not find any
kitchen and cook in the hermitage. There were no grains of
corn, no ration. He wondered how the sage would feed them
all. But he did not know that the sage had a desire-yielding
cow, the Yogic power incarnate, always with him. They all
were asked to sit in a line on beautiful seats and were
served with all kinds of sweet dishes in gold dishes and
bowls. They all ate to their heart’s content. When
everything was over, the king requested the Sage Jamadagni
to tell how he managed the banquet. The Saga pointed out at
the heavenly cow who had procured everything within a second
at his request. The king said, “You sages, dwelling in the
forest, seldom are in need of such a wonderful
desire-yielding cow. We kings have often royal guests and we
are more in need of such a divine cow. Kings are the
rightful owners of all that is best in the world – women,
jewels, nicest clothes, and even this desire-yielding cow.”
The sage meekly replied, ” It does not belong to me. It is
heavenly. I cannot give her to anybody. She goes by her will
to a deserving person, who practises severe austerities.”
The king thought it to be an excuse, and ordered his men to
untie the cow and carry her away to his kingdom. The
soldiers tried their hand upon her. She did not want to go.
She began to yell and to scream piteously. They were ordered
by the king to carry her by force, dragging her behind
them.

One of the Sage’s disciples ran into the forest and
informed the valiant boy. Parashuram, of what was happening.
He came to the scene running, red-hot with righteous wrath.
The sage had retired into the hermitage for meditations. The
cow was being dragged a furlong away from the hermitage.
Parashuram shouted to the king, ” Oh, thief, you are not a
king. Such cruel acts of stealing do not behove a ruler. How
dare you snatch away another man’s property ? Moreover, the
cow doesn’t want to go with you, and your soldiers are
beating her and dragging her against her wish. Wait, you
will get your deserts at my hands.” Then there ansued a
terrible fight between the soldiers and the king on one hand
and the valiant Parashuram alone on the other. The boy
killed all the soldiers, and ultimately, after a severe
struggle did to death even Sahasrarjuna with his axe.

The cow was taken back to the hermitage. When the Sage
Jamadagni heard what had happened, he spoke to Parashuram, ”
Dear son, you are really brave. But this is not good.
Without the ruler, the subjects of the territory will suffer
a lot. There shall be nobody to protect them from thieves,
robbers, perpetrators of evil deeds, loafers and vagabonds.
Again, forgiveness is the ornament of Brahmins. This cycle
of revenge will have its own repercussions and retributions.
Be quiet, and go on a pilgrimage to wash out the sin you
have committed.” The sage’s words came true. The sons of
Sahasrarjuna came and killed the Sage Jamadagni while he was
sitting in meditation. The sati Renuka wept and lamented for
her dead husband. She asked Parashuram to take his father’s
body to Lord Datta on the Sahya mountain and burn ”it ‘in
his presence on the funeral pyre. She also wanted her son to
fall at the feet of Lord Datta and get his blessings, for
the king Sahasrarjuna was a favourite devotee of Lord Datta.
The mother and the son came to Lord Datta and fell at his
feet. The Lord gave him blessings and said, “Sahasrarjuna
had become proud, and he deserved the fate he has met at
your hands. Sati Renuka, don’t grieve. All that are born
have to die. You are the incarnation of Mother Parvati, and
I have little to admonish you. You know everything.” Then he
ordered Parashuram to make a funeral pyre for his father and
burn him in the holy fire. Sati Renuka followed her husband
in the funeral pyre. That place near Mahurgadh is still
considered a very holy place of the mother. God Brahma once
forgot all the four Vedas that came out of his four mouths,
went to that holy place of mother Renuka, and could remember
them all. Such is the greatness of the place. By a bath in
it, deadly diseases are removed. Then, with the permission
of Lord Datta, Parashuram went and killed all the haughty
irreligious kings of the time in India.

 

Next page –
page 15 – Chapter VIII

 


P.P.
Shri Rang Avadhoot Gurumaharaj,Nareshwar. Slideshow
:
Nilisha’s trip to Gujarat
was created with TripAdvisor TripWow!