Episode # 40 – “Aachamanam” should always be performed in the SITTING position – An important message!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Veda, the Sishya of Sage Aayodha-Dhoumya graduating after yet another strenuous exercise. In the similar lines of Aaruni-Paanchala and Upamanyu, Veda too had a tough time with his Guru before he was blessed with all the requisite “Shaastra-Gnyaana” (Knowledge of all scriptural texts). Once Veda graduates, he too becomes a great Guru and he had three disciples. However, unlike his Guru, Veda did not want his disciples to suffer much. He made sure that his disciples graduated much more easily as compared to how he did. One of Veda’s ardent disciples was Sage Utthanga. Sage Utthanga was a great Sage himself, however, he wanted to learn all the scriptural texts from Veda. Hence, Sage Utthanga adopted Veda as his Guru, and learnt everything under him. At the end, Sage Utthanga wanted to offer a “Guru Dakshina” to his teacher. Upon enquiring with Veda, he replied to Sage Utthanga that he is in no requirement of any “Dakshina” from him. However, if Sage Utthanga still wanted to go ahead with the offering, he should go and ask Veda’s wife for it. If she had any requirement of any sorts, Sage Utthanga might help her out, and in this way, it would form the “Guru Dakshina” for Veda. 

Accordingly, Sage Utthanga enquires with Veda’s wife as to what she wants. Veda’s wife reples thus, “Oh Sage Utthanga! There is another disciple of Guru Veda by name Poushya isn’t it? His wife is wearing a beautiful diamond ring in her ears. I want that pair of diamond rings for myself, as I’m so much attracted towards it. Please get that for me and let that be your “Guru Dakshina” for all the lessons that you’ve learnt under my husband!” It should be remembered that this Poushya is a king of another nearby territory. Since he is a king, he is a “Kshatrya” by nature, and is part of a royal family. Sage Utthanga was thinking within himself as to how to obtain this pair of diamond rings from the queen of King Poushya. As Sage Utthanga was thoughtfully walking thus, he came across a huge bull and a man seated on top of it. As Sage Utthanga was walking his way through, the man stopped him and came close to him. He demanded Sage Utthanga thus, “Oh Sage! I know you’re all powerful with the power of penance! Now prove your power to me by consuming the urine of this bull! Normal people would not be able to do it, however, great sages like you can easily do it. Hence, drink this urine and prove the power of your penance!” 

As the man demanded thus, Sage Utthanga closed his eyes and immediately drank the urine of that bull. With this, he proved to that man that his power of penance is something that is great and should not be tested like this. Realizing his folly, the man seeks forgiveness from the great sage and with his blessings, the man and the bull walk off. After this incident, Sage Utthanga performs the “Aachamana” to “purify” himself and hurries to the “Poushya Desha”, wherein King Poushya and his queen were residing. As Sage Utthanga arrives, King Poushya welcomes him with all the due respects and asks him what he wants. Sage Utthanga explains the entire story and the purpose behind his visit. Immediately the king was very happy and he requested the sage to pay a visit to his wife in the “Antahpura” area, so that he could get what he wants. Accordingly, Sage Utthanga makes his way to the place where the queen was living. However, the queen wasn’t there. Unable to find the queen anywhere in that place, Sage Utthanga comes back to King Poushya. Upon understanding the situation, King Poushya becomes angry! He shouts at Sage Utthanga thus, “Oh Sage! If the queen isn’t there when you’re visiting, it means that you lack “Dharma” in you! My queen meets only those people who have “Dharma” within them! She is a staunch “Pathi-Vrata” who is extremely devoted to the husband. She wouldn’t be visible to anyone who doesn’t follow “Dharma”! Thus, if she’s not visible to your eyes, you’ve done something wrong! So tell me what is the wrong act that you’ve committed!” 

As Sage Utthanga replies thus, he becomes shocked! He thinks within himself thus, “Oh my goodness! What wrong did I do? I followed all procedures while learning from my Guru. I also requested my Guru to accept my Guru Dakshina! To fulfill it, I’ve come all the way here!” As Sage Utthanga lists out all of this, King Poushya probed him further thus, “Oh Sage! All this was correct. There isn’t any doubt here. However, you’ve still committed some mistake. Please think and find out!” It is only now, Sage Utthanga realizes that while performing the “Aachamanam” before he came to the palace, he had performed it in the standing position. However, the procedure is that, this “Aachamanam” should be done in the sitting position. However, in a hurry, Sage Utthanga had performed it while he was standing! This was a grave mistake! Sage Utthanga realizes this immediately and seeks apology Thus, he sits in the same place, turns towards the eastern direction, sits down and performs the “Aachamanam” once again with all the requisite procedures. 

The moment Sage Utthanga performs it correctly, the queen appears in front of his eyes. Upon seeing her, Sage Utthanga was extremely happy. King Poushya was equally happy as well. As per the instruction, the queen gives the pair of diamond rings to Sage Utthanga and requests him to offer them as the “Guru Dakshina” to Sage Veda and his wife. However, as she gives the diamond rings to Sage Utthanga, she adds one important note. What was that note? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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