“न कष्चिन्नापराध्यति” “There is no one in this world who doesn’t commit mistakes!” – Goddess Sita.
To err is human; it needs great character to repent for the mistake that is committed. Repentance opens the doors of redemption. Repentance sanctifies the life by cleansing the character from the stains of sin. One who doesn’t repent doesn’t get redeemed! When repentance is honest and serious, he wouldn’t need anything more for redemption!
King of Angarajya, Romapada, has realized his mistake. Promising to give anything that is asked for and then retracting the words is equal to cutting one’s own tongue. King decided to walk the distance himself towards the divine souls who had deserted his domain due to his deceit. His intention was to seek clemency from the scholars and secure their return to the state.
Scholars were surprised to see the King slide from the summit of his snobbery and his stride towards them! It is normal for humans to justify their mistake and thereby sliding from one mistake to another and then to yet another. It is more natural for the rulers! Pride is next door neighbor to power! Things being so, the scholars melted seeing the King who appeared before them with dim face, head hung and repentance personified, as though to be praying to be pardoned, bowing in extreme reverence at their feet.
By nature water is cold. If it is hot the reason is its contact with fire; even such heat is temporary; as the time passes the water reverts to its true nature. Same way, mercy is nature of sage; rage is a stranger; temporary. Which sage would want that the country should face famine – that too because of him? If he wishes that how can he be a sage?
Forgiving the King in remorse with complete mercy, the sages returned to the state as per his prayer.
Citizens celebrated as though prosperity has returned to the country!
One of the two daunting tasks for the return of disappeared downpour was accomplished; scholars had returned to the state forgetting the old issues with serene spirit. What was required now was entry of son of the sage, Rushyashrunga in to the soil of Angarajya. It is not a facile affair to get the innocent sage out of Sage Vibhandaka’s fortress of fury!
King called for deliberation with ministers and pontiffs to find a way out. When King commanded the congregation, “procure Rushyashrunga by whatever means!”, he got completely depressed quietude in response! People perspired under their arms picturing the possibility of pandemonium that would break if Vibhandaka gets a peak into the plan when Rushyashrunga is being poached and transported. But what other alternative was available?
Rain will not reign till Rushyshrunga arrives; drought won’t depart till downpour descends!
After hair-splitting discussions and evaluation of all possibilities, the suggestion in unison was to engage women from the oldest profession!
There was a reason; Sage Vibhanaka had brought his son up in such a way that he did not have slightest contact with the external world. Rushyashrunga had not seen any other place or forest except the forest he lived in! He had never known another human being apart from his own father! He was not aware of a species called “female” in this world! He had never heard of any fruit or vegetable other than those which were available in his forest! Except for the clothes made from the wooden fire which he wore, he was not aware of any other clothing!
In using the women and civilized comforts to lure Rushyashrunga, the calculation of ministers and learned men was to capitalize on the natural tendency of beings to get attracted at first glance by novel and unknown things. It was impressive to listen to the strategy of women bringing Rushyashrunga to Angarajya. But those who were supposed to execute the plan were disheartened! Poor people, don’t they value their life!? Are they ascetics to overcome the lure of their own life? They hung their head – not in shame but in scare.
Dual fears! King on one side and sage on the other! Disobeying King’s ultimatum can result in ultimate punishment; if they were to get caught in their attempt to coax the younger seer the sage can curse cruelly! They were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea! An old woman from the fraternity of fallen women rose and walked up like an idol of courage!
She didn’t mind the perils inbuilt in the plan that will befall on her; she cared for the profits that her success would bestow on her state!
She addressed the King with authoritative voice:
“Oh Lord, I am prepared to work as per your wish for the sake of the kingdom; but you need to facilitate what I ask for”
To get the greenery again, the King was prepared to sacrifice even his breath!
But will the woman succeed where the wise men failed!?
(To be continued..)
Translated blog of Sri Samsthana SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji.