Thursday, 6 November 2014

SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD

Thumper, a fictional rabbit character from Walt Disney's animated films Bambi and Bambi II is reminded by his mother to uphold what his father had impressed upon him, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all". This moral if upheld will safe us from much trouble later.

Our thoughts, speech and actions can land us in trouble, both in the present moment and also can carry on into the next birth. To illustrate this a story is told by Agathiyar.

A good natured king was looking to betroth his only daughter to a suitable person. Not finding one he performs yagams, conducts prayers and feeds his subjects. Seeing her father worried and taking so much effort in finding her a suitable husband, she comforts him to leave it to the Lord and not to worry too much. She tells him her marriage shall take place in due time.

One day the king goes hunting in the forests accompanied by his soldiers only to get separated from them and loose his way. His search to meet up with his his entourage, finally ends at the abode of a sage.

The king on seeing the sage in tapas or austerity decides to ask the sage about his daughter's marriage. He falls at the feet of the sage and cries out for the sage to open his eyes and say something. Yet the sage is not moved to come out of his tapas. The king is disappointed and soon becomes angry. On seeing no response from the sage, he begins to turn away.

The sage had a peculiar habit. If at all his physical body needed to be feed he would come out of his austerity or tavam, open his eyes, stretch out his hands and partake whatever is placed in his palms, even without looking at it.

At that moment the sage suddenly holds out his hands. The king, disgusted that the sage had not responded to him earlier when he had pleaded and cried, took a handful of dirt and earth from the ground in front of him and places it in the sage's outstretched hands. The sage takes the handful and places it into his mouth and goes back into his state of tavam.

Soon the king meets up with the rest of his entourage and heads home. But he begins to have sleepless nights thinking and feeling guilty for what he had done to the sage. His anguish continues for many nights. Very soon his health too deteriorates and people around him start to take notice. His daughter after hearing what had taken place and coming to know the reasons for her father's sadness, brings her father to another sage to seek atonement for his wrongful act.

This sage through his wisdom understands what has taken place. He tells the king that by the king's actions he had brought unto him untoward karma. The sage reprimands the king telling him, "If you expect to receive blessings each time you fall at a sage's feet, you should have accumulated good karma in you, first".

When I was with Thavathiru Rengaraja Desigar of Ongarakudil at Thuraiyur in 2003, I had asked that he bless me. He kept silent. Thinking that he had not heard me I asked again and a third time. Suddenly he answers that coming to Ongkarakudil itself was a blessing. I did not know how to decipher his reply then. I cracked my head whether I was not supposed to be there or whether I did not deserve his blessings. After many years Agathiyar reveals in my Nadi reading why I did not receive his blessings then.

The above statement by the sage in the story as told by Agathiyar reflects the same state I was in during my visit to Rengarajar Swamigal - I did not have sufficient accumulated merits to meet a man of that standing then.

The king is told that there was no atonement for what he did. After a while the compassionate sage called the king's daughter to his side and tells her that there was only one atonement for her father's wrongful action but he could not bring himself to say it out in the open. Nevertheless the sage tells her that he will silently send out his thoughts and if she had the ability to receive his thought and understand it, she was to carry it out. He cautions her not to reveal the message to anyone. She gets the message.

The daughter tells her father not to question her moves as she was not in a position to reveal what the sage had just told her. She asks her father to set up a beautiful garden and a palace in the midst of his kingdom and have statues made of male and females that would excite the people. The king is asked to hand over the throne to his minister. The king and his daughter move to live alone in the newly built place. They carry out prayers.

His subjects begin to talk ill of the father and daughter to the extent of assuming and cooking up ill stories. Rumor mongers aid in spreading these stories far and wide regarding the king and his daughter.

The years move on. A third sage and his wife come along. As they enter the kingdom, the sage's wife relates to him what she had heard about the king and his kingdom. The sage immediately cautions her to hush up. Not heeding her husband's words, she inquires further about the king and his daughter. She is fed with more ridiculous stories. The sage reminds her again and reprehends her saying she had now taken on misery and sorrow upon herself. The sage has no choice but to reveal to her the whole episode of the king's life from the moment he met the very first sage and leading to this very moment. He narrates the king's visit to the first sage and his daughter bringing him to another sage seeking atonement. The sage reveals what was said to the daughter that was kept a secret even from the father by the daughter. "When the king dies the earth that he had placed in the sage's hands would grow into a hill. The king's Atma or soul will be fed with earth from the hill. Only when the hill is disposed completely will his karma be exhausted!".

"This was the curse that had befallen on the king. Through his knowledge of the past, present and future the second sage had showed the king a way out of his curse by mentioning secretly to the daughter to get her father to build the palace where both father and daughter were to stay. With the rumoring that went around, his subjects, knowingly or unknowing, shared the karma of the king. The only remorse and way out was for his own subjects to talk ill of him. By his subjects talking ill of their ruler, they had each partaken a handful of the earth that made up the hill and reduced the kings karma. The height of the hill had been reduced to a handful as we entered this city and the last handful is now yours", says the sage to his wife and ends the revelation.

The Almighty has given man the opportunity to fulfill the purpose of birth that is to reduce the karma baggage carried from previous births. At the same time man is required not to create fresh karma that brings suffering. Agathiyar explains the reasons for suffering. Instead of seeking the creator man chooses to seek God's creations and soon gets attached to it. Agathiyar says attachment is the cause of all sufferings. One is not moved by happenings all over the world but he is suddenly saddened when close ones are involved. Agathiyar says this happens as a result of Maya or illusion that blinds the Atma. Fate or destiny has a hand in the play of this Maya. The Almighty on his part decides the fate and and dictates it, according to the past merits of Pavam and Punyam.

Agathiyar ask that we do not fret over misfortunes and shortcomings of this material world but instead seek to live a life of dignity and seek Moksha as the Rishis did. I remember very well once Agathiyar mentioned in my Nadi, "Nee perumaiyudan vaznthaal naan perumaiyudan vazhven." which loosely translates to "walking tall", to have self-respect, pride and confidence.

Rather than shedding tears over our misfortunes, Agathiyar ask that we shed tears yearning and seeking  the kingdom of God. 

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This blog postings are those of beginners who have taken the first step exploring the mysterious & mystical world of Siddhas. It is purely about devotion (Bakthi) and miracles. For those who think or feel that they have advanced spiritually and passed these initial, preliminary and primary stages, please reserve your comment.