The previous episode witnessed the culmination of the Vaamana-Avataara wherein we understood some key take-aways from the likes of King Mahabali. As this incarnation comes to an end with Indra and Co. being re-instated with their kingdom of the three “Lokhas”, Sage Shukraachaarya moves on with the next important event. We’re still in the eighth “Skandha” of “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” and this event that we’re going to witness now, will be the concluding part of this “Skandha”. As mentioned yesterday, this event is going to revolve around a person by name “Shraadha Deva”.
“Aaseeth ateetha kalpaante braamho naimitthiko layaha!
Samudropulapastaatra lokhaah bhooraadhayonrupaha!!
Nyaathvaa tadhaanavendrasya hayagreevasya cheshtitham!
Shraadha deva ithigyaathaha manuthve harinaah pitaha!!”
With the Vaaman-Avatara and the current event under discussion, the focus now shifts towards the southern part of India. While the Vaamana-Avatara was focused on Kerala, now we move into Tamil Nadu. In this state of Tamil Nadu, we’re now going to a famous city called Madurai. There is a river by name “Krita-Maala”, today famously known as River Vaigai. On the banks of this River Krita-Maala, there was this “Shraadha-Manu”, who had the name “Satyavrata”. As this Satyavrata is living his life at this place, one day he goes to the river bank to do his regular “Tharpana” (Spiritual Practice) in the evening. As he was performing the “Tharpana”, there was a small little fish that got into his hands.
“Tasyaa dheenataram vaakyam ashrutya sa maheepathihi!
Kalasaapshu nihiteneyam dayaalu ninya aashramam!!”
As the little fish enters into Satyavrata’s hands, it suddenly started to talk! Upon hearing a fish talk in human language, Satyavrata was surprised! The little fish talks to Satyavrata thus, “Oh Satyavrata! As you see, I’m such a small little fish, just taken birth! Please do not leave me again into this mighty river amidst the fast-flowing water. There are bigger fishes here, which would eat me off. Therefore, please help me out!” Upon hearing this, Satyavrata was moved! He asks the fish thus, “Oh little one! I don’t have any problem in helping you and ensuring your safety. Please tell me what should I do!” The fish replies back, “Oh Satyavrata! Why don’t you put me into your ‘Kamandala’ vessel and take me to your home? You can put me into a small tank at your place, where I would be safe and secure!”
Accordingly, Satyavrata takes the little fish into his vessel, takes it to his home and tries to put it into a nicely made tank, exclusively for that fish alone. But as Satyavrata tries to transfer the little fish into the tank, he is in for another surprise! Within the time that he walked back to his home, the fish has grown in size! It is not able to come out of the ‘Kamandala’ vessel. Now the fish replies thus, “Oh Satyavrata! I think this vessel nor this tank would be of sufficient size to house me. Perhaps you should put me into the well in your house.“ Accordingly thus, Satyavrata takes the fish to the well and drops it inside! Again, Satyavrata is in for a surprise! As he drops the fish into the well, it again grows quickly to a bigger size, which renders the well to be useless to hold it anymore. Again, Satyavrata puts the fish into another big tank, but in vain! Again the fish grows into a mammoth size, engulfing the whole tank!
Upon seeing this, Satyavrata couldn’t understand what is going on here! Hence, he takes the fish and puts it into the river again! Now, the fish grows into a huge whale-like size and engulfs the whole river too! This leaves Satyavrata stunned beyond words! He is clearly running out of options and doesn’t know what is going on around him. This is surely some message from someone who is all-pervasive and all-powerful. At one point, Satyavrata starts to doubt whether this is really a fish or something or someone else!
As Satyavrata looks on with awe and shock, the fish tells him thus, “Oh Satyavrata! Looks like even this river is not capable of holding my mammoth size. I think it’s best that you take me to the ocean and leave me there!” Now Satyavrata is clearly perplexed here! He doesn’t know whether to really honour these words of the fish. With all his past experiences with the fish, he was damn sure that even if he is going to leave it in the ocean, it is going to say that this ocean is also insufficient! What would he do then? Mustering up his courage thus, Satyavrata asks the fish thus, “I do not think that you are an ordinary little fish! You are somebody else! Please tell me who are you and what do you want from me! Why are you playing this game with me?”
As Satyavrata asks a series of questions thus, the fish begins to answer all of them one by one! What are the answers given by the fish? Who is this fish really? What does this fish want from Satyavrata? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 😊