National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit
The surrendered soul
Once upon a time, a cow went out to graze in the jungle. Suddenly, she noticed a tiger racing towards her. She turned and fled, fearing that at any moment the tiger would sink his claws into her. The cow desperately looked for some place to escape and at last saw a shallow pond. Barely evading the tiger’s reach, she jumped into the pond, and in the heat of the chase, the tiger blindly leaped after her.
To the surprise of them both, the pond was extremely shallow yet filled with deep recesses of mud. After toppling over each other, the cow and the tiger found themselves a short distance apart, stuck in the mud up to their necks. Both had their heads above water but were unable to free themselves no matter how much they writhed.
The tiger repeatedly snarled at the cow and roared, “I am going to enjoy the sound of crunching your bones between my teeth!”. He thrashed about in a fury but soon became fretful as he found no prospect of escape.
The cow thoughtfully laughed as the tiger struggled to free himself and asked him, “Do you have a master?”
The tiger disdainfully replied, “I am the king of the jungle. Why do you ask me if I have a master? I myself am the master!”
The cow said, “You may be the king of the jungle, but here all your power has failed to save your life.”
“And what about you?” Retorted the tiger. “You are going to die here in this mud too!”’
The cow smiled mildly and said, “No, I am not.”
“If even I, the king of the jungle cannot free myself from this mud”, snapped the tiger, “Then how can you, an ordinary cow?”
The cow gently replied, “I cannot free myself from this mud, but my master can. When the sun sets and he finds me absent at home, he will come looking for me. Once he finds me, he will raise me up and escort me home sweet home.”
The tiger fell silent and coldly glared at the cow.
Soon enough, the sun set, and the cow’s master arrived. He immediately recognised the plight she was in and lifted her to safety. As they walked home, the cow and the master both felt renewed gratitude for one another and pitied the tiger they both would have been happy to save if only the tiger had allowed them.
Purport of the Story
The cow represents a surrendered soul, the tiger represents an proud person, and the master represents almighty God who is known as the loving protector of the cows and the world. The mud represents the material world, and the chase represents the struggle for existence therein.
The surrendered soul relies upon the Lord rather than themselves for all the necessities of life. No matter how many troubles appeared to be created by the proud persons of the world who reject the guardianship of the Lord out of the false ego of considering themselves capable of fending for themselves, the surrendered souls know that everything is really in the hands of the Lord, the all-loving. They are fully confident in His protection, though they know sometimes they just need to wait a little while until sundown.
Thiruvalluvar in Couplet 7 says that ‘Unless one seeks refuge at the feet of the Lord who stands supreme beyond comparison, it is difficult to overcome grief’.
தனக்குஉவமை இல்லாதான் தாள்சேர்ந்தார்க்கு அல்லால்
மனக்கவலை மாற்றல் அரிது.
Thanakku-uvamai illa-dhaan thaal-serndharkku allal
Manak-kavalai maatral aridhu
தனக்கு உவமை இல்லாதான் தாள்சேர்ந்தார்க்கு அல்லால் – ஒருவாற்றானும் தனக்கு நிகர் இல்லாதவனது தாளைச் சேர்ந்தார்க்கு அல்லது; மனக்கவலை மாற்றல் அரிது – மனத்தின்கண் நிகழும் துன்பங்களை நீக்குதல் உண்டாகாது. (“உறற்பால தீண்டா விடுதலரிது” (நாலடி.109) என்றாற் போல, ஈண்டு ‘அருமை’ இன்மைமேல் நின்றது. தாள் சேராதார் பிறவிக்கு ஏது ஆகிய காம வெகுளி மயக்கங்களை மாற்றமாட்டாமையின், பிறந்து இறந்து அவற்றான் வரும் துன்பங்களுள் அழுந்துவர் என்பதாம்.)
Lord Krishna in Bagavad Gita (18.66) also advises the same.
ஸர்வத⁴ர்மான் பரித்யஜ்ய மாமேகம் ஶரணம் வ்ரஜ |
அஹம் த்வா ஸர்வபாபேப்⁴யோ மோக்ஷயிஷ்யாமி மா ஶுச꞉ ||
Abandon all spiritual practices and just surrender unto Me. I shall deliver you from all sinful reactions. Do not fear
Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N Srirama Desikan
ஈஶம் நிருபமம் நித்யம் யோ வை ஶரணமாஶ்ரித: |
ஸ ஏவது³:க²ரஹிதோ நித்யம் ஸுக²மிஹாஶ்னுதே ||