In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Aayodha-Dhoumya giving tough exercises to his disciples, so that they would understand what is “Guru-Bhakti” and performing selfless service. In this way, we’ve seen how the first two disciples, namely Aaruni-Paanchala and Upamanyu performed exceptionally well and earned the grace of the Guru. Particularly, Upamanyu’s exercise was extremely tough and he had to take the cows for grazing without any food or milk or even water for almost 15 to 20 days continuously. Tired at one stage, Upamanyu started eating grass on the wayside and from the fields to satisfy his deep hunger. At one stage, Upamanyu consumes one variety of grass by mistake, which is poisonous in nature. With that, he loses his vision and falls into a well. As the Guru arrives near the well in search of Upamanyu, the Guru finds out that he has lost his vision and has fallen into that well. He suggests a remedy for it in the form of a prayer towards the “Ashwini Devatas”. As the Ashwini Devatas come in front of Upamanyu with the medicine for regaining his vision and physical strength, Upamanyu refuses to accept it. Instead, he wants to submit even that medicine to the Guru and it is only with the Guru’s permission he would consume it. Impressed by the “Guru Bhakti” that Upamanyu displayed, the Ashwini Devatas and Sage Dhoumya bless him together with all the requisite “Shaastra-Gnyaana” (Profound understanding of the scriptures).
Such was the treacherous experience that Upamanyu had to undergo. Now it is the turn of the third disciple, Veda, to undergo the drilling! As Veda approaches the Guru for his turn, the Guru now makes Veda work extremely hard like how a bull would do. Unlike the other two, Veda wasn’t sent anywhere outside. Veda was at the Guru’s ashram itself, but he had to do a hell lot of work every day. He had to lift heavy items, wash the ashram, do whatever it takes as per the Guru’s repeated instructions every passing day. Veda on his part, was extremely meticulous in his duty, like Upamanyu and Aaruni-Paanchala. He made sure that he completed all the tasks given by Sage Aayodha-Dhoumya without any blemish. At one point, when Veda was also extremely worn out and tired, his physical body started to sulk. Yet, his “Guru Bhakti” never stopped. Impressed by Veda’s dedication and devotion to the Guru, Sage Aayodha-Dhoumya blessed him with all the important knowledge on the Vedas and Upanishads.
As this happens, Veda finishes his lessons with the Guru and later on becomes a great Guru himself! He now has three main disciples – Janame-Jaya, Utthanga and Poushya. In this world, there are two different types of people – One type of people would think thus, “Oh! I suffered a lot under the hands of my Guru during my earlier days! I would also make my Sishyas suffer like how I suffered! Only then they would know what I went through in my earlier days, and would they be able to understand what is “Guru-Bhakti”! The second type of people would think thus, “Oh! I suffered a lot under the hands of my Guru during my earlier days! Let that suffering end with me and this shouldn’t be passed on to my disciples. My Sishyas shouldn’t suffer the way I did!” Veda was of the second type, and he ensured that his Sishyas seamlessly completed all the lessons as per the prescription of our Sanaatana Dharma.
In this way, Janame-Jaya and Poushya graduated seamlessly. The third disciple, namely, Utthanga is of prime significance here. One fine day, Veda called Utthanga and assigned him some important tasks to be completed. Utthanga too on his part was meticulous and sincere and completed them as per his Guru’s instruction. This Utthanga is actually a great Sage. Even though he was a sage, he wanted to learn more and more of the scriptures and hence, he became a disciple of Veda. As this task gets over, Utthanga’s lessons also come to an end. Ideally, Utthanga had to just bid a goodbye and a thanks to Veda and start off. However, Utthanga wanted to do something in return to his Guru. He did not have the heart to leave his Guru just like that. Thus, Utthanga requested Veda that he should accept any “Guru Dakshina” for all the lessons that he has taught him.
It is at this time, an important event takes place. As Sage Utthanga asks thus, Veda replies, “Oh Utthanga! You are a great sage and I’m proud and honoured that you were my disciple all these days. I do not want any “Dakshina” from you. However, if you feel that you still have to give me something, please go and check out with my wife, if she is in need of anything. You may fulfill her requirement and consider that as the “Dakshina” that you’re giving to me!” As the Guru says thus, Sage Utthanga was more than pleased and straightaway heads to Veda’s wife to enquire. Now what was the requirement of Guru Veda’s wife? Is Sage Utthanga going to fulfill that? What is going to happen next? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂