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|Chapter 2 - Siddha Muni Guides Namdharak|
Namdharak was greatly amazed to see the dream. He awoke and began to proceed further on his path. While going he was all the time thinking over the dream, he had seen in the previous night. He now observed that similar personality, alike that seen by him in the dream, was coming from the front. He prostrated himself humility before him and said, 'You are my mother and father. Kindly favor me, an orphan child. Kindly tell me your name and place of residence.'
The Siddha Muni said, 'I am a Yogi. I live on earth and in heaven also. I have been visiting holy places and now I have come here. I am a disciple of Shri Guru Narasimha Saraswathi, who resides at Ganagapur near Sangam, the meeting place of the Bhima and Amaraja rivers. He is in the incarnation of Thrimurties and always found in meditation. He has come to this earth for the salvation of his devotees. His devotees get food, cows and other wealth in abundance'
Hearing this Namdharak asked him, 'Though my forefathers have been devotees of Shri Guru for generations, why should be in such adverse conditions? Will you kindly satisfy me in this respect?'
Shri Siddha said ,'You say that you worship Shri Guru and yet complain adversities. Then it seems that you are not worship Shri Guru wholeheartedly. Even if Shri Vishnu or Shri Shiva is angry with his devotee, Shri Guru can surely protect him. But if Shri Guru is enraged, even Shri Vishnu or Shiva cannot protect him.'
Namdharak said, 'Kindly tell me why Shri Guru is said to be the incarnation of Trimurtis - Bhrama, Vishnu, and Mahesh. How is it that if Shri Guru is enraged none else can protect? Where can I find this reference? Kindly explain all this to me, so that my mind would become more firm in devotion'
Shri Siddha said, 'Four vedas came out as utterances of four headed Brahma. From the Vedas 18 Puranas were construed. Brahma Vaivarta is one of these and it is stated in it that in the Dwapur Yuga, Vyas, the Vishnu incarnate, spread the light of knowledge on Earth, through such volumes known as Brahma Sutras. Rishies and Munis listened to the tales from Vyas, which I am narrating to you. 'Once upon a time , KaliYuga asked Brahma about the Greatness of Shri Guru'.
Namdhrak intervened asking, 'Why did Brahma narrate this to Kali?'
Shri Siddha proceed saying, 'In the start of evolution Adinarayan, Shri Vishnu was lying on a leaf of Vat. He desired and lotus came out of his umbilicus. On it was seated Brahma, who looked to the four directions and he got four heads. He thought that he was all Supreme. Realizing this Shri Vishnu smiled and said 'Ah, I am here, bow to me'. Brahma bowed to him and praised him. Being pleased Shri Vishnu asked Brahma to create this Universe. Shri Vishnu gave him four Vedas and also told him to create this world according to the process given in the Vedas.
Brahma then created this World, which has several animate and inanimate things such as:-
Similarly Brahma created three Lokas (Worlds.). This process of creation has been stated in the Brahma Vaivarta Purana in the following manner :-
Brahma called every Yuga one after the other and asked him to go on Earth. First came Krith Yuga, who did not speak a lie was learned and devoid of family attachments, had sacred thread and necklace of Rudraksha-beads around the neck. He said, 'The people of Earth speak a lie, and are sinful. How can I go and stay their? Brahma said, 'Stay there for some time. I shall be sending another Yuga to follow you'.
Then came Treta Yuga. Fat in body possessed articles of sacrifice in his hands. In this Yuga people performed sacrifices and abode by the rules of religions and rituals and most of them were Brahmins.
After the Treta Yuga, Dwapaur Yuga is approached Brahma. He had arrows and other weapons in his hands. He was both kind and wicked. Virtue and sin were both visible in him.
Lastly Kali Yuga was called for ghost like appearance, thoughtless heart, old age, struggling and despising mentality were his characteristics. He came before Brahma and began dancing and uttering childish words. At one moment he laughed, at another he welted and then abuse anybody. Seeing him in such strange mood, Brahma asked, 'Why are you naked and abusing so fifthly?'
Kali replied, 'I shall win over people by these two means. I am not afraid of anybody.' Brahma smiled and told me to go the Earth and show the influence of his evil intentions.
Kali said, 'I selfish, destroyer of Dharma, I like quarrel, despising and I long for the wealth and wives of others. I am a friend to those who pretend to be a saint and I am an enemy of all the virtuous.'
Brahma told him, 'In Kali Yuga the span of life of the human beings would be only hundred years. In the former Yugas, as the life span was too long people followed the path of penance and devotion in order to attain supreme knowledge. In Kali Yuga, a man can attain salvation, the observing penance and devotion for less time. You should help such virtuous persons.'
Kali said,'Such virtuous men are my enemies. I am afraid of such persons. How should I then go to the Earth?' Brahma said , 'Take Kal and Atma with you. They will destroy the religious mindedness and even induce virtuous persons to commit sins.'
Kali said, 'They are enemies, who abide by the religion and are devotees of Vishnu and Siva, who listen to puranas, give charities and who have peaceful hearts. But on the contrary, I love those who love their wives and children, dishonor their parents who despise Vedas and Sastras, who see separateness in Vishnu and Siva and despise them. ' Brahma said', You are clever. People will follow you and act as per your wishes as soon as you go there. If a few persons are virtuous, you do not trouble them.'
Kali said, 'I am cruel. Please tell me how I should help the virtuous? Please direct me as to how I should behave on the Earth.'
Brahma said, 'I am sending Kal and Atma also with you who will direct you. The virtuous only can will you, all others will soon be your slaves.'
Kali asked, 'How is a Sadhu (Saint) to be known?' Brahma said 'Please do not harass the learned and those who worship Hari, Hara, who serve parents, Gods and Brahmins, cows and plants as Tulsi, you need not affect these'. Kali again asked, 'What is the importance of a Guru? How he is to be known?' Brahma said 'Alphabet (gu) means Siddha and (R) and (U) imply Shri Ganesh who is Guru. Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, parents are all Gurus of this Earth. Knowledge imbibed with devotion and rational thinking (viveka) is seen in the heart of the Guru. Study of Dharma and Shastras without Guru is futile. He directs in action, thought, devotion and disintegration. One cannot surpass worldly miseries without the help and guidance of Guru. He throws a flash light on the dark illusionary path. Service to the Guru makes one pure in body, speech and thinking. I shall just tell a tale as an example.
On the bank of Godavari, there was the Ashram of Angiras Rishi. Many disciples were being trained in this Ashram. One disciple named Sandeepak served his Guru, Veda Dharma, with great devotion. Once Veda Dharma Muni gathered his disciples together and said, 'If you really love me, do as I bid you.'
All replied, 'Gurudev, we shall act as per your command, for one who doesn't obey his Guru, goes to hell and cannot get salvation.'
The Guru said, 'I have committed sins in my previous births. The effect of many of them has been wiped off by my penance, but still some of them are persisting. I will not get salvation unless I suffer the evil effects of these sins with my body. I, therefore, wish to go to Kashi, stay there and get rid of these sins. You have to attend on me and serve me during this period. One who is strong enough should undertake this hard task'.
Sandeepak accepted this bid. Veda Dharma said, 'It is better to get rid of the sins so long as one has sound health, otherwise they spread like poison. So I should go to a holy place and suffer the bad effects myself. Even Gods have to suffer, then how can a human being like myself avoid the same'.
Sandeepak said, 'Kindly tell me what I should do. I shall spare no pains in serving you.'
Veda Dharma said, 'I shall become blind, lame and a leper, you will have to serve me for 21 years in such condition. If you are resolute, then only you should accept this job.'
Sandeepak said, 'Gurudev, I resolve that I shall also be blind, lame and a leper and serve you devotedly and see that you get rid of all the sins'.
Veda Dharma was much pleased with his words. He further said, 'One should suffer the evil effects of one's sins oneself and should not allow the son or the pupil or anyone else to suffer for him. The sins will not be wiped off unless they are borne by one's own body. It is very taxing to serve a diseased person. So you will have to take troubles even more than myself. Please take me to Kashi and do serve me there.' Sandeepak assured his Guru and soon he took him to Kashi. They lived there at Kambaleshwar to the North of Mankarnika. The Muni took a bath in Mankarnika and worshiped Vishweshwar and began to suffer the pangs of diseases. As the time passed on, leprosy developed all over his body and he became blind losing his eyesight. His body was petrified and pus, blood and germs flowed out of it. He began to have fits also. Still Sandeepak took all pains to nurse his Guru with great devotion. He used to bring alms daily for his Guru, fed him and served him, thinking him to be Kashi Vishweshwar.
Veda Dharma being in a diseased condition, became peevish by nature and often was enraged and spoke harsh words to his disciple, Sandeepak. Some day he would not take food, some day he would abuse him cruelly for bringing insufficient for undelicious alms. Some day he would throw away the food in anger and despair. Sometimes he would even beat him severely. Another time he would complain that he did not clean his body, wounds, clothes smeared with stool and urine and consequently he was much troubled by flies. When Sandeepak was attending on him, he would say why did he not go out for alms. In this way Sandeepak was harassed every now and then.
Yet Sandeepak tried his best to bring good delicious food and vegetables as directed by his Guru. Though he was living in Kashi, he never went to the Vishwehwar temple to worship and see the most holy shrine of Vishweshwar. Similarly he did not think of any other thing but he solely devoted himself to the nursing and giving best service to his Guru, whom he respected as God Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. Though the Guru got enraged off and on, he did not retort harshly.
Seeing his such devoted service to his Guru, Kashi Vishweshwar was so pleased that he appeared before him and told him to ask for some favor or blessing. Sandeepak replied, 'Without the approval of my Guru, I cannot ask for your blessings'. He then came to his guru and said 'Kashi Vishweshar is pleased to offer me some blessing. If you permit me, I shall pray him to remove your physical pangs and give you sound health.'
Hearing this, Veda Dharma was enraged. He said to Sandeepak: 'Do not pray Vishweshwar for my health. If I do not suffer these pangs, I will have to suffer in the next birth and this would abstract my path of salvation.'
Sandeepak returned to Kashi Vishweshwar, and told him, ' My Guru doesn't like me to accept any blessings from you. ' Being amazed Kashi Vishweshwar went to Shri Vishnu and reported this wonderful incident to him.
Hearing this, Shri Vishnu and Shri Kashi Vishweshwar desired to see this disciple and his Guru and so they both came to Kashi and approached Sandeepak. Shri Vishnu said, 'Oh Sandeepak, I am pleased with your devotion to your Guru. You may ask for what ever you desire. I shall fulfill your wishes.'
Sandeepak said, 'Oh Narayan, even after undertaking penance in dense forest for infinite period, you disappoint your devotees. But when neither did I worship you, nor recite your name, why should you be pleased with me and ask me to have a boon from you?'
Shri Vishnu said, 'Whatever devoted service you have rendered to your Guru, has been received by me. I love such disciples very much. I am under his influence and I willingly offer him my blessings. I like wife's devotion to her husband, bowing to Brahmins. Ascetics and Sanyasis, and such persons come to my place in the end.'
Sandeepak said, 'Oh Mahavishnu, I have full faith that I shall attain all knowledge of Vedas and Shastras from my Guru. As Guru is my God, Trimurties (Brahma,Vishnu and Mahesh) are within my reach, whatever blessings you give me, I shall be getting the same easily from my Guru. I am, therefore, serving my Guru devotedly.'
On this Shri Vishnu said pleasingly, 'Sandeepak, you are the best amongst all the disciples. You are my loving child. Shri Shiva and myself are pleased with your devotion. Ask for a boon.'
Sandeepak said, 'If you are so keen to favor me with your blessings, kindly give me such guidance as would enable me to serve my Guru with still more devotion.'
Shri Vishnu said, 'Amen! We offer you what you desire. You have known Guru and also experienced Par- Brahma in yourself. The word Guru contains only two alphabets, still it is the ocean of nectar. One, who dips into it even for a moment, will cross this wordly ocean. One who always remembers Guru is respected in all Lokas.'
When Sandeepak went to his Guru, the Guru asked him, 'What did Mahavishnu give you?'
Sandeepak replied,'I asked him to guide me to serve my guru with more devotion and he was pleased to give me this blessing. I wish I should serve you well and incessantly'.
Hearing this Veda Dharma too was extremely pleased. He said,'You are the best of all the disciples. You should stay in Kashi. What ever you say will be true. You will receive the wealth of Kubera (God of Wealth), the miseries of those who remember you will come to an end'.
The same moment, the body of Veda Dharmamuni became healthy and bright. He had suffered from leprosy and other pangs only for testing his disciple.
In this way, Brahma told Kali this tale of Sandeepak, Oh, Namdhrak, you should also worship Shri Guru with such devotion and then only, you shall easily pass over the worldly miseries. Control your sense, Karma, Dnyan and also heart and other by you will win even the Great God i.e., Parameshwar.'
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