Sometimes an ant can do what an elephant can’t!
An elephant cannot enter a tiny hole; but an ant can do it with a song! Now someone has to enter the cave of the lion called Vibhandaka to snatch away the lion-cub called Rushyashrunga. Bringing him after winning is out of question; stealing is the only option! That ‘women from the oldest profession have to do the job’ was already settled. King offered to grant the wish to the valiant woman who was willing to wager everything when everyone made a hasty retreat fearing the curse of Vibhandaka. She asked only what was needed for successful mission! She was not selfish; and any selfish soul can never set their mind on such a daunting task!
The old lady prepared herself for a charm offensive at Rushyashrunga’s forest accompanied by youthful ladies blessed with beauty and specialist spies. They also carried eye-catching apparels and accessories, mouth-watering food and beverages too.
For anything to succeed, the plan has to take shape in the mind; that is called plan. Then the same thing has to be implemented outside; that is execution. One who loses in planning loses in life! The old woman had no room for failure; her failure would be fatal to the kingdom! She set to schedule each step before setting the sail.
She closely studied the scene of Rushyashrunga’s hermitage and the route to Angarajya. There was a river flowing next to the hermitage. The path across the river led to Angarajya. She decided that is the route to take while taking Rushyashrunga with her.
But there was the danger of the plan being spoiled if Rushyashrunga, who had never crossed a river or seen a boat, getting nervous while crossing the river. Clever woman found a way to address the issue. Rushyashrunga is familiar with a hermitage, but not a boat. What if the boat is designed to look like a hermitage? Boat in reality, but resemblance is that of a hermitage! It was a hermitage in a boat which no one has ever heard or seen so far!! Rushyashrunga will not find it fresh; he will feel refreshed. He won’t find it unfamiliar, he will feel at home as in his own hermitage!
Things settled, work began on building the hermitage in boat.
Floor of the boat became the ground; look alike of the hermitage on top of it with mud walls, wooden ceiling and leaf covered roof could easily make anyone perplexed!
Hermitage has to be surrounded with forest! Even Rushyashrunga’s hermitage was no exception. To make it look natural, artificially created trees, bushes and creepers adorned the surroundings of the hermitage within the boat! Varieties of flowers of all hues and colors which were soothing to the eyes and attracting the nostrils; tasty fruits to make the tongues dance and satiate the hunger appeared there! The castle on water came up in such a grandeur that exclamations like “Very beautiful!” “Soothing to the eyes!” “Spectacular” came automatically from the onlookers who watched it wide-eyed!
There were no sacred hymns or mysterious accomplishments behind the realization of the magic of heaven-like ‘hermitage-in-boat’. There were three grievances behind it –
Grievance of Angarajya, which was burning under severe famine;
Grievance of a King who could not bear the sight of mass massacre of his subjects;
Grievance of the old harlot who could not digest the pain of her King and Kingdom
– these were the cause of such magnificent creation!
Pains of people are the origins of many great works of art; in the history of living world no other cause has created works of art like the pains of the depressed beings!
The old woman anchored her boat turned hermitage as close to Vibhandaka’s hermitage as possible. She called for the spies and ordered them to keep a close watch on the happenings in and around the hermitage and relay it to her. King’s intelligence started its operation on Rushyashrunga’s hermitage. Main purpose behind the operation was to find out the periods when Rushyashrunga is alone, away from the watchful eyes of his father.
The question – “Who will go near Rushyashrunga? Who will enter the inferno to fetch the nectar from within?” remained unanswered. The old harlot chose her own daughter for the job! Her decision was completely in contrast to the trait of people to push someone else’s child into the well to measure its depth! The lady who was willing to wager the piece of her own flesh for the benefit of the kingdom was no more an old hag; she was the mother of the Kingdom!
She had the task of preparing her daughter for the big challenge ahead; she provided invaluable inputs to the girl who was naturally intelligent! She spoke about the significance of the scene, modus operandi, superlative strength that would succeed the successful completion of the task; perils at hand if she plunders the chance – the mother explained everything in a vivid manner and caressed daughter’s head in a gesture of blessing. She didn’t forget to explain the situation that she might encounter while on the mission, ways to counter them, things she has to utter during such situations, steps she has to tread – all this in an easy-to-understand manner so that everything is imprinted in her mind in indelible ink.
In the meanwhile, having found out through the spies the opportune moment when Vibhandaka is away from the hermitage, mother called the daughter to send her on the mission. In the eyes of the mother, the young daughter who had embarked on the task of taking Rushyashrunga with her to Angarajya, seemed like a minuscule Kalash which is ready to hold the mighty ocean in it! The girl had become a confluence of spirit beyond suppression, contentedness beyond control and alertness beyond laxity!
Planning within was perfect. External preparation was pending. Mother beautified the daughter as though for wedding. While tears rained from Mother’s eyes while seeing the daughter off with mouth-watering food and drinks as well as attractive garments and ornaments hoping to get rains to the land, eyes of the daughter shined with sure signs of success!
Kid .. nay, ‘the rain bud’ bade farewell to the idol of intimacy and moved towards the idol of nobility!!
(To be continued…)
Translated blog of Sri Samsthana SriSri RaghaveshwaraBharati MahaSwamiji