She was dancer of Devaloka (divine land, heaven). She was blessed with the blissful task of charming with her delightful dance those divine souls who earned entry to heaven owing to their spiritual and philanthropic deeds on earth! Quirk of fate! A situation arose where she had to exit heaven and enter earth!
This is what transpired…
She was dancing before the Devendra, King of Gods in the congregation of Gods. Her attention got diverted from Devendra to a deer wandering at a distance. The God with a thousand eyes got irked by her neglect and looked at her with eyes filled with anger. Curse followed the angry look!
“You found a deer on earth dearer to divine souls of Devaloka! Drop from heaven to the home of the deer, take birth as a deer on earth!”
Displeasure of Devendra, extended agony of celestial danseuse!
Chitralekha was baffled by the bolt from the blue. As pity personified she fell to divine King’s feet and begged for a cure for the curse, seeking to know the ways to return to Devaloka. Pitiable picture of the dancer melted the anger and made way to sympathy in Devendra’s heart. Gods become Gods because of their compassion!
Devendra commanded: “Return after delivering a baby who can turn earth in to heaven”
Thus, a jewel of heaven had to head towards earth owing to a moment’s frailty! Donning the mantle of a deer’s body, she started to roam around the hermitage of Vibhandaka Muni.
Word “Bhanda” in Sanskrit means a bowl to hold water. “Vibhanda” or “Vibhandaka” means an extraordinary bowl. The name has a connection to water; the sage loved water to the core. He was doing his tapasya submerged in water in a pond. While he wanted to renounce the world by sitting inside the pond, there came a distraction! For a split-second Muni’s attention was fixed on Urvashi, the divine damsel; as though waiting for that moment, a spark of energy descended slowly from the sage and got mingled with the water – to ultimately mingle with the world.
Chitralekha in deer’s body, who was waiting for the moment, absorbed the inner light of the Sage with excitement! That one moment became harbinger of a series of good tidings!
Rushyashrunga descended to earth from heaven;
As a result,Chitralekha returned to heaven from earth;
As a result, long stretch of draught in AngaRajya ended and it rained there;
Dasharatha’s draught for children ended and he was blessed with Rama
As a result, earth turned in to heaven; RamaRajya was born!
Light of the world within water was now within deer’s womb, growing into a human baby. One great day, in an opportune moment, the sacred child slid in from the deer’s womb to the earth’s bosom. Blessed is that birth!
A birth which cured mother’s curse! The deer delivered a divine offspring and Chitralekha rose to god-hood. Can you believe this? While the deer was the mother to the child on earth, child became mother of Chitralekha’s life in divine land! While child got liberated from mother’s womb, mother got liberated from the deer’s life!
The child had to suffer the pangs of separation from mother from the moment it was born. But there was a mark on his head; there was a little horn as though for memory his dear ‘deer’ mother and as a prophecy that one day he will be the pinnacle of the community of sages! That horn (‘Shrunga’ in Sanskrit) aptly got him the name Rushyashrunga. The child who has never seen his mother but who wore his mother in his forehead and his name, started to grow under the shade of his father who also played the role of mother!
Three things that appear to be flaws in the personality of greats:
1.Instant Frailty of Chitralekha; she allowed her mind to wander while dancing for the happiness of Indra and focused her attention on a deer.
2.Instant rage of Indra; for such a small sin Indra became victim of rage and cursed her a life on earth.
3.Instant desire of Vibhandaka: Shunning the society he sought the solitude of submerged penance; but his sight strayed to Urvashi for a split-second.
We remember Rama’s words here: “सूक्ष्म: परमदुर्ज्ञेय: सतां धर्म: प्लवंगम” ‘ways of the great people are difficult to understand’. At times the ways of the great have answers in the long run, though not understood in the short term.
Vision is not defective; it is divine!
- Dawn of Rushyashrunga was the reason for Chitralekha’s minor distraction of deer while dancing for Devendra.
- “Return after delivering a baby who can turn earth in to heaven” – these words of Devendra appear more like a direction of duty than outburst of anger.
- If great sage Vibhandaka was indeed attracted to Urvashi, it was not a tough task to get Urvashi for his immense power. Any doubt as to the dash of desire which was not seen either before or afterwards was for salvation of Chitralekha and wellbeing of the whole world through Rushyashrunga?
To sum up, entry of Rushyashrunga, the great yogi on earth materialized as a result of a mega collaboration of three divine powers Indra~Chitralekha~Urvashi and a divinely sacred human Vibhandaka!
Way to wisdom:
- In its flow RaamaRashmi religiously follows the path of Valmiki Ramayan. Some details and short stories are sourced from epics and history.
- Present story of Rushyashrunga is taken from VanaParva of MahaBharata (Verses 110-112) / PuranaChudamani
(to be continued)
*Rushyashrunga: Rushya is a variety of deers. Rushyashrunga means one who has a horn (shrunga) just like a deer.
Translated blog of Sri Samsthana SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji.