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  ‼  Aum, Asato maa sadgamaya, Tamaso maa jyotirgamaya  ‼  
     

 

Atmadev

Dear Children,

I am going to tell you a story from the Shrimad Bhaagvad.

On the banks of a river, lived a Brahmin by the name of Atmadev.

His wife’s name was Dhundhula.

Atmadev was a good man whereas his wife left a lot to be desired.

They were childless.

Atmadev was very unhappy due to the above fact.

A sage felt sorry for him and hence presented him with a fruit.

The sage told Atmadev to give the fruit to his wife who would then be with child.

When Atmadev gave the fruit to his wife Dhundhula, the latter gave it to a cow, because she did not want to go through the trouble of pregnancy.

Then Dhundhula proceeded to enter into a pact with her sister, who was pregnant at the time.

The sister promised to give Dhundhula the child that she was carrying, and asked her in the meantime, to feign pregnancy.

Dhundhula’s sister at the appropriate time gave birth to a son, which Dhundhula claimed to be her own

The child was named Dhundhukaari.

Since the fruit given by the Sage was given to a cow, the cow had a child, who was human, except for his ears which betrayed his ‘cow parentage’.

His name was kept ‘Gokaran’

The latter grew up to be an epitome of wisdom and kindness.

Years passed, and both Dhundhukaari and Gokaran became young lads.

Dhundhukaari fell prey to bad habits.

Dhundhukaari started to ill-treat his parents while he frittered away their wealth.

Gokaran, the humanlike son of the cow, loved, respected and served his father, Atmadev.

Gokaran told Atmadev not to feel too unhappy due to the misdeeds of Dhundhukaari.

Gokaran further advised Atmadev, to devote his life chanting the Lord’s name, meditating and studying the scriptures.

Atmadev proceeded towards the banks of the River Ganga and spent his time in Divine contemplation.

In the meanwhile, what was happening in the household, due to the bad habits of Dhundhukaari, so disturbed Gokaran, that he too, went to the forest in Spiritual pursuit.

Dhundhukaari bided his time with wine and women.

In order to keep his bad-natured girlfriends satisfied, Dhundhukaari stole ornaments which he presented to them.

The girl friends feared that were Dhundhukaari to be caught for his misdeeds, they would also be in trouble.

Hence they strangled Dhundhukaari.

When death did not come easy, they burned him alive.

When Gokaran returned home at night, he heard someone crying.

When he asked who was weeping, Dhundhukaari replied that it was he, because he was repentant of his evil ways during his lifetime.

Gokaran wanted to do something for the salvation of Dhundhukaari’s soul.

He asked Suryanarayan for advice as to what he could do.

Suryanarayan recommended the recital of the Shrimad Bhaagvad.

During the first day of the narrative of the Shrimad Bhaagvad, Dhundhukaari sat in the lowest knot of a bamboo stick.

Everyday of the recital, the bamboo knot got untied, and Dhundhukaari moved up to the higher one.

On the seventh day of the narration the last knot came untied.

Dhundhukaari emerged as a radiant being.

Dhundhukaari was grateful to Gokaran for having been instrumental for setting him free.

Next time you attend a Shrimad Bhaagvad recital in honor of a departed soul, notice the 4 bamboo sticks tied on the four corners of the Kathaakaar (The narrator).

 

 

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