Sunday, June 12, 2016

Chapter 11 - The third son of Veda Vyasa

Long ago, there was a great sage called Mandavya. The sage had given up everything and spent his entire time in meditation of the Brahman (The Force which runs within us all). The sage had taken the vow of silence and spent his entire time with his eyes closed and without talking to anyone. 
Unfortunately, however the sage was caught in one of Fate’s traps…..
A group of thieves had stolen plenty of jewellery, looting the people of a particular kingdom. Unable to take it anymore, the people approached their king to put an end to the menace. The king along with his trusted soldiers hunted the thieves in the forest.
As the soldiers started hunting the thieves, the thieves found themselves being chased towards the hermitage. The chief of the thieves realized that this hermitage which was right in the heart of the forest surrounded by dense trees would be the ideal place to lose the king and his men. As they entered the hermitage, the chief of the gang called his men. ‘The king and his men seem very keen now!’ He panted under the heavy load of the jewels, which the thieves were carrying with them. ‘If you value your lives, take the loot and hide inside the hermitage! The king would not search the hermitage! They value the great sages who live there....’
The other thieves realized the wisdom of the chief and hid inside the hermitage with the loot.
The soldiers arrived at the hermitage before the king and hesitantly searched the hermitage. The plan of the thieves backfired as the soldiers found the thieves and the stolen jewels. They dragged the thieves to the king.
The king looked angrily at the whole lot and turned to his soldiers. 'Are these the only people or are there any more people?'
The soldiers looked hesitantly at each other and finally one of them spoke. 'Well...there was one more sage....I think it was his hermitage, where the thieves hid....!'
The king frowned looking at the soldiers. ‘Where is he?’
Back there! Right in the middle of the hermitage….!’
The king grew more and more perplexed as he heard the soldiers. ‘Why did you not bring him with you?’
He is a sage sir….He looks powerful, we were afraid to disturb his meditation!’ One of the soldiers muttered.
The king was however livid with rage. ‘YOU FOOLS! Hurry up and make sure you catch him! How on earth do you know that the man is a sage? He is probably the chief of the bandits! It was just a simple matter for the chief to disguise himself as a sage and just like he wanted, you left him….’ The king shouted angrily.
The soldiers heard no more and were back to the hermitage and much to their relief they found the sage there. It almost seemed as if the sage was not even aware of what was happening around him….The soldiers asked him repeatedly many questions. However because of the vow of silence and his meditation, the sage did not answer any of the questions. 
However by this time the king himself came to the hermitage. He was very angry at the foolishness of his men and wanted to make sure they were not fooled a second time. He saw the soldiers taking to the silent sage. Probably it was the work of Fate or probably the king was a very foolish man, whatever the reason the king on seeing the entire scene immediately decided that the sage was the chief of the bandits disguised, just to fool him.
That man is the chief of the bandits! Bind that man along with the other thieves and impale him with your spear!’ He commanded angrily, pointing at the sage. The soldiers looked alarmed at the king as he continued. ‘That would serve as a reminder to the other thieves, never to steal from my people!’ He finished.
The king was so furious that the soldiers did not even argue with him. The soldiers carried out the orders and all of them left the place….
The sage was so deep in mediation when the king and his men impaled him. The powers of his mind helped the sage to control his pain to a great extent. The sage stayed that way with the stake inside him and without any food for a long time.....
The other sages in the forest divined that sage Mandavya was in pain and came to visit the sage. Though they tried to remove the spear, they found that the spear was lodged inside the sage's body too deeply and could not be removed.
'Why is this happening to you, my friend?' One of the sages asked sage Mandavya in great anger.
The sage smiled through his pain. 'I am the only one who is to blame for this! No one else....!' He said gritting his teeth.
The news of the wrath of the other sages reached the king and he rushed back to the forest. He realized that only a really great person could stay like this and fell at the feet of all the sages and asked for forgiveness. All the sages coldly refused and said that the only person who could forgive the king was Sage Mandavya himself.
Sage Mandavya opened his eyes from his mediation and out of the purity of his heart forgave the king. ‘Looks like I am destined to undergo this trial!’ The sage wheezed. ‘I do not hold you responsible for this…!’
The king tried to remove the spear, but a portion of the spear was stuck within the sage's body and could not be removed. The king sawed off the remaining portion of the spear hanging out of the body. 
Receiving the forgiveness of the sage, the relieved king went back to his kingdom.
The sage continued with his penances with the spear firmly stuck in his body and it made no difference to him. Since that day, the sage was also called Ani Mandavya (Mandavya with the spear within him)
Through the power of his meditation, the sage was able to achieve great powers of mind, which was not even known to the others. 
With these immense powers, the sage once went to visit Lord Dharma, the Lord of Death.
You are Lord Dharma! You are supposed to make sure that the things that happen to people…. leads the people to understand their mistakes, and make sure people repent for it! …Why..Why did I deserve to be impaled like this? What was the sin committed by me to deserve this?’ The sage demanded.
Lord Dharma bowed to the great man. ‘Sir! When you were younger, out of sheer curiosity, your impaled a butterfly! It was for causing pain to that creature, you underwent that pain!’
Sage Mandavya frowned. 'When did I do that?'
Lord Dharma thought back. 'You were a child then sir! It was a long time....'
Sage Mandavya looked scornfully at Lord Dharma. ‘I was a child, then! I could not even know the result of my action at that time!’ The sage now looked dangerously at the Lord of Death. ‘The Shastra clearly prescribe that any deed done by a child below the age of 12 is not punishable because they do it without understanding it!' The eyes of the sage narrowed dangerously. 'Is that the only reason I had to undergo so much agony?’
Lord Dharma nodded mutely as the sage suddenly looked very angry. ‘The punishment that you have given me, for a crime done when I was young, is too great! Listen to my words, Lord Dharma! You….I curse you that will be born as a human for this injustice!’ Before the terrified Lord Dharma could say anything in his defence, the sage walked out of there…..
It is said that from that time, the age from which the  deeds of the child would be punishable was increased to 14. Anything done by a child below that age was held to be childish prank and forgiven....
The words of Sage Mandavya were so powerful and that was the reason Lord Dharma was born as a human.
Lord Dharma was born as the son of the great sage Veda Vyasa, and was as an extraordinarily intelligent human with complete control over his senses. Though both his step brothers ruled the kingdom of Hastinapur, he never even aspired for the throne….
And because his mother was a servant, throughout the Mahabharatha he was relegated to the position of an advisor, whose advice was unfortunately studiously ignored than followed. 
The man, whose advice if had been followed would have probably averted a lot of calamities in the Mahabharatha, including the war itself….

That man was Vidura, the incarnate of Lord Dharma….

3 comments:

  1. Amazing narration...

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  2. Mandavya seems to be a reasonable sage. In my opinion he is a perfect sage, he didn't let his emotions control him like some other sages (eg: Durvasa). I guess sages who are quick to pass judgement should follow Mandavya as an example.

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