Thursday, 23 June 2011

JADABHARATA

During the ancient times, there was a great king named Bharata who was also a devotee of God. Our country is named after him. During one of his previous births, he got so deeply attached with a deer that he was born as a deer in his next birth.

In his third incarnation, he was born in the family of a decent Brahmin family. He was given the name Jadabharata. His father was a descendant of Angiras and also practiced the rites as mentioned in the Vedas.

'Jadabharata' was very virtuous and also had the self-knowledge. Virtuous qualities like contentment, forgiveness, humility, compassion were found in abundance in him.

Sage Jadabharata had remembrance of both of his previous lives and he realized that his second birth as a deer was only due to his attachment with a deer in his first birth. So, seeing the worthlessness of the actions which causes attachment, he decided to remain without any action in his present birth. To avoid trapped again in the net of attachment, he started to live in loneliness. He acted like a mad man, sometimes, he acted as a person with no intelligence and also acted as if he was blind or deaf so that nobody came near him and disturbed him by restricting his independence.

When the time for the Yagyapavita (sacred thread put across the shoulder) ceremony came, his father tried to give instructions to him on the conducts and various other subjects, he deliberately acted against his instructions. His father tried his best for four months to make him pronounce the Gayatri Mantra correctly, but his efforts went in vain. His father passed away with his desires unfulfilled within his heart of seeing his son becoming a scholar. His mother too passed away after giving him and his sister in the hands of his stepmother.

His stepbrother who practiced religious rites as mentioned in the Vedas stopped studying the Vedas as he realized it was beyond his capabilities.
'Jadabharata' performed every task which was given to him. He used to be satisfied with whatever he got as remuneration after doing mean jobs like manual labour, begging etc. He never ate for the sake of taste but because he had realized that he was the eternal bliss and the pleasures acquired from external objects was of non-permanent nature. He was never affected by honour or dishonour, victory or defeat, summer or winter etc. He used to live with no clothes on his body and used to sleep on the bare land and also never used oil to massage his body and even not take his daily bath.

As a result, his body was covered with a layer of dust mixed with his sweat.

Because of this kind of appearance, people used to neglect Jadabharata, but he never bothered about that. When his brothers came to know about his condition, they tried to engage him in farming work but he could not do even that. Living with his brothers, he was happy eating their leftovers.

One day, a leader of dacoits with a desire to offer a human being as a sacrifice to the Goddess Bhadrakali, ordered his men to bring a man. The dacoits brought a man but he managed to run away.

The dacoits then went in search of another man and found Jadabharata guarding his fields standing on one foot. They caught hold of him and took him to their leader.

In the temple, Jadabharata was given a bath and new clothes to put on his body and after being fed, he was taken to the temple of Bhadrakali and made to sit. As soon as the priest lifted the axe to behead Jadabharata, there was a thunderous noise, goddess Bhadrakali manifested her and killed all the dacoits present there with the same axe.

Once, the king of Sindhu was going to the hermitage of sage Kapila on a palanquin. On the way, he fell short of one man to carry his palanquin. Incidentally, they found Jadabharata nearby. He was forcibly asked to do the job.

While carrying the palanquin, Jadabharata was walking very watchfully, bending his back, to avoid any possibility of trampling little creatures like ants under his feet. His unsteady features used to unbalance the palanquin. The king became very angry and severely scolded the carriers. They replied that it was not their fault but the fault of this 'new recruit'. Now the king became even more angry and said to Jadabharata: "Inspite of being so healthy, what makes you walk so slowly and in a wobbling manner. Do you know who I am? You are as good as a dead man, My wrath will certainly be the appropriate treatment for you".

At this, Jadabharata replied: "O King, whatever you have said is true and based on facts. Only the carrier can say with authority about the weight. A path can only be authoritatively described by a traveller of that path and even the fattiness is related with the body and not with the soul. Fattiness and thinness, health and disease, hunger and thirst, fear, desires, arrogance and sorrow etc. affect the common man. I am not least bothered by them".

"O King, you have compared me with a dead person. But the fact is that no one can escape death. Everything which has a beginning also has an end".

"O King, you consider yourself as a king and me as your subject and thus think that you are superior to me. But if it is looked at from a spiritual point of view, even this concept is nothing but illusionary. Even then, if you still have any arrogance of your superiority, then I am ready to be at your service".

The king was amazed by his scholarly reply. He immediately realized that this seemingly simple and unintelligent is not so in reality. He got down from the palanquin and fell at the feet of Jadabharata and begged his pardon for being so rude and unkind to him.

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