A Double Edged Sword
In Hindu trinity Vishnu is the Order maintaining a balance between Brahma and Siva. Whenever Brahma created a new world Siva the destroyer found some thing that upset him. He opened in anger his third eye to destroy it to cinders. It was the task of Vishnu to bring order out of Chaos.
Vishnu the upholder of Law thought the law could be written down so Brahmins anywhere on the earth could be guided to lead orderly lives.
Vishnu loved to hear Brahmins recite their hymns in Sanskrit and interpret laws.
One day the three gods were idling away.
Brahma heard a commotion. On the earth Brahmins were demanding preeminence in all things He heard on say,’ Only Brahmins can interpret law on the earth’. Brahma the creator was confused,’ Did I create it for only a particular set? I hate cliques.’
Siva heard him and said,’Say the word I will send my fire.’
Vishnu held his finger to his mouth. The two gods instantly kept silence. Vishnu listened closely to something that was going on below and said,’I must investigate.’ He changed himself into the form of an indigent Brahmin and went to Cherala. In the kingdom of Venadu where Mahabali ruled the kingdom people were making merry. What excited the curiosity of Vishnu was that the people were not Brahmins and yet they were as happy as gods.
Vishnu sidled up to one and asked if the people had laws. He asked what he meant by that. Vishnu the lawgiver was so shocked. He didn’t know if people could be happy without laws.
‘If you have quarrels how do you settle the dispute?’
‘We talk things face to face.’
Vishnu asked,’Without Law coming in between?’
‘Law is unnecessary since we take our Venerable king as our example’.
Vishnu was impressed. Vishnu in the same disguise went up the steps of the palace. King Mahabali and his consort were taking the air after lunch.
Seeing the guest the king came forward to receive him. He himself poured water for his feet and said,’please sit on the bench; it must have been quite a walk in the hot sun.’
The king effortlessly attended to his comfort while the queen called her attendants make ready for his food.
While the Brahmin was served the king and the queen sat near him and they plied him with food encouraging him to take his fill. Vishnu could not believe that a king who was not a Brahmin and yet could be as noble as gods.
‘This cannot be’ Vishnu said to himself.’These people have no laws;nor do they pray or sing hymns and pester the gods for anything.
The Brahmin said he was a stranger and he was amazed to hear they were all equal. The king nodded,’Yes we are all equal.’
‘No difference between man and woman?
King Mahabali answered,’Being man or woman can’t be helped. But in our conduct we seek only the good for both’.
Vishnu was so disappointed that there were those wo thought differently than he.
He pretended that he had no place to lay his head. ‘Grant me a boon O lord?’ The king asked him to speak up. The Brahmin asked the extent of land covered by three strides as his resting place..
The king smiled and said,’O Noble Brahmin, you ask too little.’
‘This will suffice.’
The king asked him to suit himself. The Brahmin took the first step and it covered the sky and the next spanned the water. And the third step covered the earth and down went King Mahabali under the gods foot. When Vishnu had ended his measure the kingdom of Venadu was gone and also everything on the earth.
Lord Vishnu brought back the Brahmins and said,’I can deal with people who appreciate laws.’
Moral: More than the fine print find out who is framing the laws and the purpose. There is more to it than meets the eye.
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Lord Siva is the third of Trinity. He is the god of destruction. One day he got somewhat upset by his consort Parvati and went off to think things over. He went through cities where people lived and at one place he saw a small crowd. He drew near. He was shocked to see a fellow talking about gods. ‘What does he know about me?’
The fellow said,’You know why Lord Siva has got his third eye?
The crowd was egging him on. ‘Tell us, and entertain us, Paro!’ Paro continued,’Siva cannot trust his eyes.’ The crowd of course laughed. And Siva didn’t know what was going on. He felt black. So angry he became he opened his third eye. Naturally the fire consumed the whole city. He walked on.
Thinking over the extraordinary incident he went to the stream and looked at his reflection.He heard the stream gurgling with pleasure and murmuring,’man has invented laughter. It must be fun now onwards.’ Lord Siva thought he was in a strange world. When he returned he conveyed to other gods in the godhead what he experienced. Brahma the creator said,’Didn’t you notice? I just thought man could have a lighter side to his existence. So I sent him laughter as a gift.’ Vishnu who keeps the cosmic order nodded,’I too thought so.’
Siva didn’t say further and he brooded over what he did. He vowed that he would go back among them and see for himself. ‘Did laughter make him better?’
He found where he had torched it was business as usual. There were more tents and in each men were gathered so he could not get even a seat. Inside they were listening to number of fellows, standup comedians all, vying with one another to make audience laugh.
‘Strange’he muttered and he moved on. He could not even move through the knots of men who were making merry. In another tent Comedy Central he heard customers waiting in anticipation. The comedian came much to the roll of drums and fanfare. He launched into jokes. At one point he asked,’Know why god Shiva has a snake around his neck?’ The crowd all in titter,’Because he could not think of anything better.’ The crowd went berserk.Next he said with a droll face,’Lord Siva is here!’
Instantly silence. Not even a titter. ‘What! did I say anything wrong?’ He asked his manager. No answer.
Lord Shiva went off in high dudgeon.
Moral: One joke begets a thousand and some shall fall flat and yet what does it matter?
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Jai Paramartha, the mystic was once the guest of a rich zamindar who was a favorite of the king. One day an old man in shabby clothes and with strange manners boldly entered the quarters of JP, disregarding the servants who mistook him for a mad man. The servants wanted to know if he needed help.
Gampa Guru shook his head. For he knew the stranger indeed.
He would have recognized Mahirshi Shunya in shabby clothes or not. There was he out of the blue and he without any preamble tugged the mystic by shoulder and said, “I am onto Cosmic matters!”
Maharshi wanted to know his views about reality of the matter.
The younger man began. “ Brahma once went visiting. At some place he stopped over. He tied his elephant to a tree but when he thought he would continue his journey he could not find what tree it was. He called for Shiva. The god of destruction produced a seed and said that it was from the tree to which the animal was tied. Brahma was incredulous but Shiva assured that he would soon find it. Shiva held the seed out. In a trice it was swallowed up. There was his elephant!
Something of that seed disagreed with the animal and he broke wind. A Big Bang it was. The seed came out in cataclysmic force. In its wake came energy making every form visible! Not only that of elephant, but also many universes! The animal was still tied to the tree from which stars pulsated with energy.
Old Maharshi shook his head and violently and barked,’Impossible!’
JP queried,’Why not?’
The old man snapped,’I never break wind and the elephant of Brahma would neither.’
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