A lonely person loves the most; a broken heart gives the most; a hurt friend feels the most; a sad family smiles the most; a sinned devotee forgives the most; a lost pilgrim shares the most; and a wounded soldier cares the most.. It is so because they do not wish to see anyone else in their world suffer the way they do in their life” – Yours Lovingly
DISCLAIMER : This is not a true story but a modern day story loosely based on a real life incident that occurred on the Tirumala Hills, about four hundred years ago, when an old aged depressed Brahmin went up the Tirumala Hills weeping.. What happened later in his life forms the crux of my modern version of that true story..
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From where you have left in the last part..
Chandra Narayan w..a..l..k..e..d the t..e..n..t..h.. step
Aham Doora Tasthe Padaam Bhoja Yugmah.. Pranamechcha Ya Gachcha Sevaam Karomi..
Sakruth Sevayaa Nitya Sevaa Phalantvam.. Prayachcha Prayachcha Prabho Venkatesaa..
Chandra lifted his leg..
To walk the eleventh step..
And that’s all he could do..
If only Chandra had completed that step, there wouldn’t have been this story written today and there wouldn’t have been any reader reading it now..
It was here..
At this crucial point..
The story of Chandra Narayan had taken a completely new turn..
Please continue reading..
At that darkest moment of his life,
Chandra, with all the determination in this world, had for sure lifted his leg – in complete ignorance; in complete blindness; and in complete darkness filled night on that flat tip of the millions of years old sacred Venkatadri Hills – to complete the eleventh step, without being aware that,
“This is that one last step of my life – to walk which I have come this far to Tirumala Hills from Chennai – that would directly land me in the deadly lap of a ten thousand feet deep abysmal valley from whose bosom of sleep no child had ever woke up”.
However, Nature had thought otherwise and God had another plan for Chandra as a result of which this was exactly what had happened near that valley of death, that night.
That dark night,
Chandra had lifted his leg..
It was only after a second,
It’s only his thought that he lifted his leg but in reality he didn’t even move it..
So, he tried again
After a couple of more attempts,
He was not able to move his leg..
Chandra was s..h..h..h..h..o..c..k..k..k.. e..d..d..d..
Not because of his inability to move his leg..
But because of his realization that “he lost control over his leg”.
Because of his realization that “not only over his leg but also his body’s musculoskeletal system more commonly known as the locomotor system”..
Because of his realization that “his whole frame was being tightly held by some brutal force no power on this Earth can handle”.
Because of his realization that, “a force more brutal than the one that was actually holding his body tight, that moment, was holding his mind more tightly.. More strongly.. More vigorously.. And more viciously”
For a moment,
Chandra felt his heart missed it’s beating..
He just couldn’t believe in his frozen state..
Just couldn’t accept that sudden change in his biological condition..
Just couldn’t understand anything that is happening to him that moment..
With an indescribable fear gripping every nano inch of space in his mind, Chandra suddenly started shivering with extensive intra psychic stress that was mercilessly, at that point of time, tightening every nerve cell in his already half dead mind.
Chandra wanted to weep loudly for having come that far in life, and scream for help from all the corners of the world but he could not even open his mouth..
He wanted to free himself from that deadly frozen state and run away from that more deadly valley but he could not even move his body an inch..
Finally, Chandra had, pathetically so, realized that, “am in an extremely hapless condition now wherein a super human force is tightly holding my entire body, from all the sides, and is not allowing me to either die or to live”
Weeping woefully, Chandra first thought, “Perumaale.. What is this pathetic condition to me.. You are not even allowing me to die peacefully”
And then thought, “I think this hanging between life and death on this hill is what is called a parenthetical interposition as was referred to, by Emily Dickinson, in her famous quote,
“The human existence is a parenthetical interposition of an insignificant mortal in an eternal continuum”.. PERIOD
Thinking lonely so,
Chandra had then bluntly shut his mind, calmly closed his eyes; and silently started reciting the following verses from his favorite, “Sri Venkateswara Vajra Kavacha Sthothra”, not only to appease the holy Lord Sri Venkateswara but also to help him come out of that hapless state of a parenthetical interposition.
“Narayanam Parabrahma.. Sarvakaarana kaaranam.. Prapathye Venkatesaakhyaam, Tadeva kavacham mama”..
After reverentially completing his recitation, Chandra quite quickly and quite miraculously had found a loosening of grip around his body; a calming silence in his mind; and a soothing lightness in his heart.
Chandra had also suddenly started feeling much fearless and courageous both in his mind and body to withstand any situation whatsoever, thereafter..
“The power of Sri Venkateswara Vajra Kavacha Sthothra” Chandra thought, with his eyes closed..
After remaining so..
For a few more seconds..
Opened His eyes..
And started keenly observing every bit of movement around him..
He first noticed a quiet darkness all around him..
He then noticed an unusual silence..
An abnormal silence..
A soothing silence..
A serene silence..
That was signalling the coming of a divine entity..
The beginning of a glorious cosmic drama..
The heralding of an extraordinary divine experience he would never be forgetting in his life..
From that serene silence..
From that soothing silence..
Chandra first heard a mild sound of a Temple bell ringing..
Then heard many large Bronze Temple Bells ringing together with their volume gradually increasing like in a crescendo.
Then heard the sound of someone blowing a Conch .. Immediately after the blowing sound of that Conch, Chandra heard the sounds of a large army marching towards that dark place, at the command of a powerful male voice.
Chandra couldn’t know but that voice belongs to Vishwaksena – the Supreme Commander In Chief of Lord Govinda’s armed forces and the Chamberlain of Lord Vishnu’s celestial abode, the Vaikunta.
Chandra then heard that same powerful voice, with a great command in his tone, saying, “Prakasah Bhavathu” (let there be light).
At that majestic command, Chandra, with every follicle of hair in his body rising, first saw an oil lamp appearing on a nearby hill.. Then saw another lamp.. Then saw another one.. And another one.. And another one.. And so on.. And on.. And on.. And on..
Before Chandra could even complete the count of those oil lamps, appearing before him, he found hundreds of thousands of large sized oil lamps spectacularly illuminating the whole of the sacred Venkatadri Hills, mercilessly driving away all the darkness that was until there in command.
Chandra could not believe his eyes..
And at this point, he again heard Vishwaksena’s commanding voice saying, “Sabdah Bhavathu” (let there be sound).
After this command, Chandra heard hundreds of musicians playing – like in a ‘Vadya Vrinda’ composition – on Flute, Veena, Violin and Mridangam a melodious tune composed in Carnatic Raag Revati, the favorite Raaga of Hindu Gods and Goddesses that is used in chanting Vedas.
After a few more minutes of that fascinating musical extravaganza, Chandra heard the same voice, with a greater command this time in his tone, saying,“Bhagavantham Swaagatham Karothu” (Welcome the holy Lord).
Now, to his utter dismay, Chandra had found hundreds of holy sages and saints appearing before his eyes sitting in ‘tapo mudra’ on the Venkatadri hills.
Then, Chandra saw Lord Brahma and Lord Siva gradually appearing along with their respective Divine Consorts and many other Hindu Gods and Goddesses in all the corners of the sky.. He also saw many illuminating stars behind them.
Surprising Chandra furthermore, all these extraordinary divine personalities, folding their hands in a ‘Namaskara’ mudra, have started slowly and rhythmically reciting the following sloka in praise of the oncoming Lord Venkateswara.
“Saanta kaaram.. Bhujaga sayanam.. Padma nabham suresam.. Viswaadhaaram.. Gagana sadrisam.. Megha varnam subhaangam.. Lakshmee kaantham.. Kamala nayanam.. Yogibhir dhyaana gamyam.. Vande vishnum.. Bhava bhaya haram.. Sarva lokaika naatham”..
With his eyes popping out and his ears spreading like an elastic sheet, Chandra just kept looking and hearing at everything that was happening in front of him.
Now, suddenly taking him into a further more divine trance, all the holy sages, saints, Gods and Goddess have started reciting sacred verses from the holy Purusha Sookta – from Rig Veda that is dedicated to the Cosmic Being – heralding the auspicious arrival of,
“The Lord of all the Lords, the God of all the Gods, the Supreme Commander Of All The Cosmic Forces ruling this mysterious universe, Bhagawan Sri Sri Sri Venkateswara Swamy Varu”..
“Om taccham yoravrini mahe.. Ghatun yajnaya.. Ghatun yajnapataye.. Daivi svastirastu naha.. Svastir manushebhyaha.. Urdhvam jigatu bheshajam.. Sham no astu dvipade.. Sham chatushpade.. Om santhih.. Santhih.. Santhihi”
Meaning : “We worship and pray to the Supreme Lord for the welfare of all beings.. May all miseries and shortcomings leave us forever so that we may always sing for the Lord during the holy fire ceremonies.. May all medicinal herbs grow in potency so that all diseases may be cured..
May the Gods rain peace on us.. May all the two legged creatures be happy, and may all the four legged creatures also be happy.. May there be peace in the hearts of all beings in all realms” (Peace invocation from Purusha Sukta which is an important part of the Rig Veda 10.7.90.1-16)..
As Chandra Was So Watching
The Akhilanada Koti Brhamanda Nayaka, Bhagawan Sri Sri Sri Venkateswara Swamy Varu had slowly appeared on the Eastern horizon of the sacred Venkatachala Hills..
Chandra was aghast..
He just kept looking at the Bhagawan without even battling his eye lids..
At that moment, Bhagawan’s whole body was glittering like classic Gold.. There was a mesmerizing aura all around His body.. His face was as bright as thousand Suns.. There was a soul capturing smile dancing on His lips..
Looking at Sri Varu’s enchanting divine aura, Chandra thought..
“If the effulgence of a thousand Suns arose at once in the firmament; it would be somewhat like the brilliance of this great Atman”
Later, involuntarily folding both his hands and without any fear either in his mind or in his eyes, Chandra kept looking straight at the holy Lord ..
Looking at Chandra, Bhagawan smiled and said, “So how are you Chandra”..
Without any hesitation, Chandra boldly replied, “Swamy, when you know who I am and what I am you must also be knowing how I am”..
“Of course I know Chandra how you are.. But tell me where are you going”, Bhagawan wittily asked Chandra trying to hide the ever dancing smile on His lips..
With almost the same wit, Chandra replied, “Swamy ask me not where am going, ask me what am doing”..
This time smiling gently, the Bhagawan replied, “Oh am really so sorry Chandra.. Am poor in communication skills.. That is also what Padamavati often complains.. What to do.. I haven’t like you learnt communication skills in IIT Madras”..
Smiling sarcastically, Chandra said, “Swamy, I know you know everything about me and also about every bit of my life.. So, you don’t need to prove that to me.. I also know you are the Creator of every living and non living thing in this universe..
I also know you are omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.. I also know you are the cause and you are the effect.. I also know you are the animate and you are the inanimate.. I also know you are the one who is playing all this drama called life..
I also know you are a Cosmic Ventriloquist who is uttering every word spoken by us in this world.. I also know you are the preserver and you are the destroyer.. I also know you are the giver and you are the seeker..
I also know you are the Master and you are the Servant.. I also know you are the disease and you are the healer.. I also know you are the pain and you are the relief..
But, honestly Swamy, I do not know why are you doing all this.. I do not know why are you giving us so much pain.. I do not know why there’s so much of sorrow in this world.. I do not know why there are so many inequalities in your creation..
I do not know why there are so many flaws in your design.. I do not know why there’s so much of injustice in your kingdom.. I do not know why there are so many extremes in your seasons..
I do not know why in your world the rich become richer and the poor poorer.. Why Swamy why all this.. ??.. Why did you create us humans in the first case and why are you giving us all this pain.. When did we beg you to create us at all..
As flies to wanton boys are we a sport to you, Swamy.. Then why are you playing with our lives.. ??”..
Saying so, Chandra broke down inconsolably into unstoppable tears..
Looking at Chandra with mercy filled eyes, the Bhagawan said, “Chandroone, is this what you understood from all that I have created.. In fact you know much less than what you say you know.. Now listen to me..
Before creating mankind I have first created Sun (day) – the source of all energy – to give light to all my creation.. Then I have created darkness (Night) to enable mankind to withdraw from their daily activities and retire to bed.
Then I have created the five elements of Nature – Bhuvi, Jal, Vayu, Agni and Akash – and the Tnamatras for your better living.. All the dualities in Nature, you say, are essential for a smooth functioning of the cosmos.
Just as light and darkness are needed for the survival of humanity so are pain and pleasure needed for a human being’s prosperity.. Light follows darkness and darkness follows light; so do pains follow pleasures and pleasures follow pains..
This is the rhythm of life and rhythm of Nature.. Not a bit less not a bit more.. Of course, they may appear contradictory to each other but in reality they are complimenting each other.. While one is the cause.. The other is the birth..
All the pain, as you say, the humans are going through today is due to lack of contentment in their life.. Just observe carefully.. Almost everyone you have come across in your life is discontented and full of complaints.
First they wanted a good education.. I have given.. They wanted a good job.. I have given.. They wanted comforts.. I have given.. They wanted luxuries.. I have given.. They wanted health.. I have not given.. Because they have sought so many things in life so I have taken away their health as price for that..
Now tell me.. Is anything in your world coming free of cost.. So Nature too charges a price for everything.. This is called poetic justice.. When will your list of desires end.. When will you all say enough.. When will you all be contented..
Remember Chandra.. Expectations give pain and attachments give sorrow.. While your contentment is antidote to your pain, your detachment is antidote to your sorrow.. As long as the humans do not understand this important law of Nature they will be going through enormous pain and endless sorrow.
Those who learn to live in communion with Nature never complain and those who do not shall go through suffering.. Now, let me take your case.. I have made you born in a rich family.. Gifted you with lovely parents..
Gave you extraordinary education.. Earned you a seat in IIT Chennai.. Then what did you do.. You just took everything in life for granted and started feeling you have achieved all that on your own..
Tell me honestly.. Do you think you are the only brilliant guy among hundreds of thousands of students who appeared for IIT entrance exam that year.. No.. There are many more among them who are much more brilliant than you..
But you know what.. They are all still struggling for decent jobs today.. But I didn’t give you that suffering.. Did you ever thank me for that.. Did you ever show gratitude to me for what you already have in life.. No.. Still I have gotten you a good job in a big company..
What did you do there.. Just because a few people have played a little politics there, you left that company.. But what you didn’t realize here is, it is important to be good in life but it is more important to be wise to protect yourself and your interests
You weren’t wise enough when it needed the most for your career so you lost the job.. And here’s where the pain had begun in your life..
Later, you have started your own company and went about doing many unwanted and unnecessary things resorting to unscrupulous practices..
Here, your pain doubled..
Thereafter, you went about doing many more things in life just to please a few people around you..
Here your pain multiplied..
But you know why Chandra..??
Because you always lived for others but never lived for you.. You always talked to others but never talked to you.. You always tried to assess people but never tried to assess yourself.. You always tried to identify outsiders but never tried to identify you own inner self..
You were never happy and never were contented in life so there’s also so much of pain and suffering in your life.. Can you ever have the luxury of enjoying that hearty smile you find on the lips of a much contented man.. You can never.. All your money cannot buy that luxury for you Chandra.
I have created all humans equally but it is you all who are inviting all the pain and sorrow into your lives with your limitless expectations and mindless attachments to materialistic pleasures.. Then how can you ask me why am giving so much pain and sorrow..
I do not give anything to you that you don’t need and do not do anything in your life without a cause.. I may not assure a calm voyage in your life but I shall certainly ensure a safe landing.. I may not be saving you from storms but I shall certainly be saving you in storms..
Those who understand these qualities of mine shall live peacefully and leave peacefully and those who do not shall live in doubt and leave painfully.. Therefore, it is important not to look at me but into me.. Then there won’t be any pain nor any sorrow in this world”..
Bhagawan Venkateswara paused..
Looked at Chandra..
Chandra just remained silent for a few seconds..
Kept looking straight at Bhagawan..
Without even battling his eye lids..
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