Monday, January 11, 2021

Astavakra Rishi: Who proved that disability is not curse.


Astavakra Rishi: Who proved that disability is not curse.


In today's blog, we will discuss about Astavakra who proved that disability is not a curse.
India has been a country of many great men and scholars.  Who have given a new direction to the society from time to time through their knowledge, devotion and philosophy.  Rishi Ashtavakra is one of those great personalities who said that the truth is as it should be same to accepted. He considered the knowledge described in the scriptures to be only about defining life style and related to rules.  His invaluable deed to human society is the 'Ashtavakra Gita', a book based on the principle of Advaita Vedanta.  It is mainly described as a conversation of sages Ashtavakra and King Janaka.  Like the Bhagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Brahmasutra, the Ashtavakra Gita is also an invaluable book.  This book describes in detail the knowledge, Vairagya(disinterest), Moksha(Salvation) and samadhistha yoga and their conditions.

Disability is not a curse.  A person with disability can do whatever he wants on his own strength, ability and scholarship.  The sage Ashtavakra proved this centuries ago.  The body of sage Ashtavakra was crooked in eight places.  That is why his name was also named as Ashtavakra. People used to make fun of him by seeing his crooked body, but the sage Ashtavakra did not consider the crooke of his body as weakness.  Nor was he frustrated for this reason.  He continued on his path.  As a result, today, even after centuries, we remember him reverently.

In the present times too, all our focus is on external progress.  Today we pay more attention to outdoor appearance(external form).  Many people are worried about their body texture or appearance(form).  Many people also fall prey to depression.  The story of Ashtavakra gives them the message that if you develop your qualities, you can get respect despite physical shortcomings.

When we are surrounded by external problems, we get very frustrated.  This frustration gradually turns into hopeless.  Instead of fighting them, we start blaming others and get sadness.
However, there have also been people who have made the state of utter despair so positive that even after thousands of years, people give precedent.  We are talking about Ashtavakra, the author of the Ashtavakra Gita, the important text of Advaita Vedanta.
It would be surprising to know that his body was crooked from eight places!
In fact,he got the name 'Ashtavakra' on this basis.  In spite of having such a crooked body, he did not give up and became a respected scholar, while presenting the ultimate talent.
It is said that when he was in the womb, he had to become a part of the anger of the father and he took birth with a cursed body.
Why did the father curse his own son in the womb??
This is a very interesting but surprising topic!  Uddālaka sage was extremely pleased with the talent of his disciple Kahod.  When Kahod succeeded in acquiring knowledge of the entire Vedas, he got married to his beautiful and quality girl Sujatha.
Time passed and a new couple was about to give birth to a new child.  One day, at that time, they were studying vedas.  Then the child in Sujatha's womb spoke - 'Father!  You are misreading the Veda. '
On hearing this, Kahod turned red with anger and said, 'From the womb, your intellect is mischivousness and you have insulted me.  Therefore you will be curved (crooked) from eight places. '
A few days after this incident, Kahod went to the court of King Janak of Mithila to debate with a scholar named Bandi, where he was get defeated.  According to the rule, Kahod had to immersed in water.  Just after few day this incident, Ashtavakra was born.
The boy with crooked body could not see the father, so maternal grandfather Uddālaka considered him as his father and his maternal uncle Shvetketu as elder brother.  One day he was in his maternal grandfather's lap, when Shvetketu told him that Uddālaka was not his father.  Ashtavakra was shocked and asked to mother about his father.  Mother told him the whole truth.
After this Ashtavakra left for Mithila with his  maternal uncle Shvetketu without delay.  He went directly to King Janaka's Yagyashala to offer a talk to a prisoner scholar.  If the gatekeepers stopped him as a child, he said that no one becomes a big man only his hair turns white or gets older.  Anyone who has knowledge of Vedas and who is intelligent, he grows up.
Saying this, he entered the meeting of King Janak and challenged Bandi for debate.  But seeing the child Ashtavakra, all the members started laughing loudly. 
Surprised everyone with his intelligence.
Seeing Ashtavakra, the laughter of the member of Raja Janaka's meeting was not stopping.  In fact, seeing the crooked from eight place while Ashtavakra was walking, all members of meeting included Raja Janak also started laughing.  On seeing people laughing, Ashtavakra also started laughing.  In fact, he did not mind at all on his disability.  He had acquired such scholarship(in sense of knowledge)that thinking and unhappiness did not suit him.
The members was laughing at Ashtavakra and then Ashtavakra on the members.  In such a strange situation, King Janaka asked Ashtavakra - "O child!  The laughter of the members is understandable, but why are you laughing?
Just twelve years old, all were stunned to hear Ashtavakra's answer.  Ashtavakra said - 'I laugh at the weicked intelligence of those who laugh at the crooked of my body.  All these people are suffering from mental conditions and they cannot be scholars at all.  That's why I'm laughing!
King Janaka patiently said to Astavakra, "O rude child!  What do you mean ...
Ashtavakra replied, 'All these are connoisseurs of leather, not of wisdom.  The sky does not become crooked due to the crooked temple and the sky does not burst due to the bursting of the pitcher.
It is formless and knowledgeable men also formless like as sky.  All the members were surprised and even ashamed to hear this knowledgeable thing from the child's mouth.  They deeply regretted their stupidity.

Rajarshi Janak himself took the his test.

After this incident, King Janak took the test of Ashtavakra himself.  Ashtavakra responded to all questions very cleverly.  Not only this, Bandi was also surprised by his scholarship (in sense of knowledge) and bowed down.
Ashtavakra requested to immerse Bandi in water due to the defeat of Bandi in the debate .
Bandi laughingly said that he is the son of Varuna and he has sent all the defeated Brahmins to the father.  Will call them back now.  This happened and all the defeated Brahmins came back.  Ashtavakra's father was also among them.
Ashtavakra was very happy to find his father.

 He was angry at  Shankha's son Agha

Shankh's son Aagha was beautiful like Kamadeva and he had a lot of pride in this.  Once he was traveling on the Malayachala mountain.  Just then, his eyes turned on Ashtavakra.  He started laughing after laughing.  When Ashtavakra glanced at him, he explained him, but his laughter was not taking the rest of stopping.
Ashtavakra, having conquered the anger, cursed him to correct Agha's wisdom.  He cursed him to become the most curvy and sharpened of crooked species.  As soon as he heard the curse, Agha fell at the feet of Ashtavakra.
Ashtavakra felt pity.  He told Agha that soon Lord Vishnu is about to take an avatar and he will enter your stomach and gave salvation to you.  This Agha becomes Aghasura in Dwapar and swallows Krishna with friends and cows.
Lord Krishna tears his stomach and frees own friends and cows and gave salvation to Agha.
 Ashtavakra's father Kahod is very pleased and advises him to bathe in the Samanga River.  To get rid of his father's curse, he bathes in the Samanga River and all his curved parts become erect.
 The story of Ashtavakra teaches us to be patient as well as virtuous.
Knowledge is not bound by age limits, it is independent.  Therefore, the attachment of body, mind and intellect also has no effect on it.  Its biggest example is the sage Ashtavakra. He has said that the truth is as it should be same to accepted, his biggest gift is the Ashtavakra Gita to the society, in which he has expressed the truth and its different forms, which are relevant even today.

Sage Ashtavakra is known to tell the truth.  He used to reveal the truth as he experienced it.  Sage Ashtavakra preferred the truth derived from personal experiences.  He used to say that the truth is not in any book.  There may be rules and principles in a book, but it is not true.  Nor is there knowledge in the texts.  The light of knowledge remains inside a human being.

The sage Ashtavakra composed the book called Ashtavakra Gita, which contains his similar thoughts.  He came to know the truth of dharma by his own specific style and defined it in this way.  The sage Ashtavakra did not accept to follow the traditions.  He started new traditions.  His entire life is a source of inspiration.

It is a very special idea to call the disabled as Divyanga(in sense of some special quality or God gifted).  In fact, the human being whom God deprives him of any part and sends to this earth, he is a human being who undergoes something with a unique talent.  In the Puranas, history and modern society, there have been many such persons who were handicapped but proved to be Divyanga due to some or the other special organs.
Many scholars, many wise persons  have left their indelible mark on this earth through their special parts, despite not being a part.
Divyang are physically weak in body but none the less in terms of knowledge, intelligence, argumentive power and sharpness, examples of which are mentioned in Puranas and history.  It will be expedient to remember Ashtavakra in this context.  'Ashtavakra Gita and Ashtavakra Samhita' is related to the famous divyanga named Ashtavakra.
Surdas, despite having no eyes, has set a record with his unique talent.  His saga will remain entrenched on every human's memory till the ages.
The blind scholar Shri Giridhar Mishra who is known by the name of Rambhadracharya is possessed with such a genius of Shruti-Smriti that by listening to his grandfather only at the age of five years, Gita and at the age of seven learned the whole Ramcharitmanasa. He speak 22 languages.  Many languages ​​have poetical poets. He is counted among the best experts of Tulsidas in India.  While neither he can read, nor write nor use Braille script, he learn by listening and write compositions by speaking.  He has written more than eighty books.
Arunima Sinha is one such talented.  Who has the distinction of being the first woman to reach Mount Everest with the help of artificial legs.  How can someone call them handicapped?  In reality, she is a Divyang.  How can we forget Sudha Chandran, who dances with artificial legs, then mesmerises the audience.
Look at Ira Singhal, she has shocked everyone with her talent.  Famous scientist 'Hawkins' listened, studied with the help of artificial instruments, but is considered the world's best scientist in the field of physics.
Prime Minister Modiji had said - "When someone is introduced as a disabled person, then the eye goes to the organ which does not work properly , whereas the reality is that the disabled also have the power that the common people do not have.  There is a divine specialty. I see the special power inside them as Divyang. "
The real handicapped is the one who despite being physically complete is lackrated without karma, blind without knowledge, heartless without love and inactive without intellect.
Seeing the divine qualities in them by Prime Minister Modiji, embellishing them with words like Divyang is highly appreciated.  Just as the water dropped from the sky reaches the sea through some way, so it is an honor to them all by the name of Divyang.  But is this name enough?  Will changing the human mind just by giving the name of Divyang?  Even today, they do not get the appropriate respect for which they are entitled.  Some people take advantage of their disabilities, even family members use to beg them and make their own means of earning.
By recognizing the extra talent and extra qualities hidden in the Divyang, if we can pay attention to the development of such skills, then perhaps we will be able to do some justice to them.  Every divyanga person has a special part and how the talent hidden in them can be highlighted and can be decorated and provide better conditions , if the government arranges  some special for them, then it will definitely scenry come in the life of those people. 
This was the story related to Ashtavakra .... Later through this blog, I will present the story of the great Ashtavakra Rishi to all of you in detail. So wait till all of you. 


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