Faith

Curse and blessing

People often tend to err as none can claim to be perfect. Sometimes they err against sages and fall a prey to their curses. Generally, the curses are shown to be beneficial in the long run and bring about a spiritual gain as is seen in the case of both Gajendra and the crocodile, pointed out Damal Sri Ramakrishnan and Srimati Perundevi in a discourse.

Both of them suffer the effect of the curses of sages Agastya and Devala respectively; and the Lord frees them both at one stroke. The devout Indradyumna is cursed to become an elephant, and the crocodile is actually a Gandharva named Hu-Hu who used to live in the pond to which Gajendra comes later. Once, when Sage Devala had his ablutions in the pond, Hu-Hu had playfully caught hold of his feet. The sage became angry and cursed him to become a crocodile. Hu-Hu immediately repented and sought the sage’s pardon. The curses of sages cannot be taken back but can be mitigated and so the sage shows Hu-Hu a way out; he would continue to live as a crocodile in the pond until such time when one Gajendra, a devotee, of the Lord would come there. By holding on to the leg of the elephant at all costs, he would ultimately get the vision of the Lord and also regain his Gandharva form. This exemplifies an important truth in spiritual attainment about Bhagavata Bhakti and Bhagavat bhakti. It is always easier to reach God by aligning oneself with the devout, or by taking refuge in the acharya. When the elephant cries out to the highest deity for help, the Lord rushes in great haste and aims the discus on the crocodile. The crocodile is killed, Hu-Hu regains his Gandharva form and the elephant gets liberated from samsara. The wise always remain dispassionate towards joy or sorrow and foresee the will of God in everything.

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Printable version | Mar 27, 2020 3:03:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/curse-and-blessing/article24156132.ece

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