010 – Liberation

National Integration Through Thirukkural And Sanskrit


Once Kanchi Acharya camped with his entourage in a remote village near Sri Sailam in Andhra Pradesh for 21 days.  Bilva leaves which is customary for the daily Pooja was not available in the village. The mutt officials searched for it in nearby places, but it was not available anywhere. However, strangely, on each day, a basket of Bilva leaves was placed at the Mutt premises, just  before Pooja time. Everybody was surprised and one day, they found out the boy who placed the basket full of Bilva leaves. He was taken to the Acharya who made kind enquiries about his family. The boy told, that, his name was Purandara Kesavalu and he was 12 years of age and his mother passed away when he was two. He and his father  got the job of tending the cattle in the village and his father also passed away couple of years back.  He did not do any schooling and his father who had a liking for music had taught him some devotional songs.

Acharya asked him on why he brought the Bilva leaves but did not want to be seen?  The boy said , his father had once told him that, these Bilva leaves were special for the Pooja of Lord Shiva. Since the entourage was searching for the same, he sourced it from a nearby forest and since, he was only a cow shepherd and fearing his offering would not be accepted, he chose to place the basket without getting noticed.  The Acharya was moved by the boy’s devotion,dedication and maturity and asked the boy, what he wished for. The boy said, he never wanted another birth (meaning attain moksha or liberation). The Acharya was stunned with this wish from a boy of 12 years and blessed him that, “at the apt time, God will you give you the blessing of the attainment of that moksha”. He informed the Mutt authorities to keep him updated on anything concerning the boy.

Years rolled by and one day, in the afternoon, the Acharya after completing the Pooja in his Mutt, walked over to a temple pond nearby and started having a dip in the temple tank. He sat on the steps of the pond for an hour or so and did some Japa and again took a dip. He repeated this for about 7-8 times. After 4-5 hours, when the Acharya was starting to leave the place, a mutt official informed Acharya that, he has just received a telegram from a village from Andhra about a boy called Purandara Kesavalu, who was seriously ill.

Acharya told the people around him, “That Purandara Kesavalu had died just a little while before. When I stayed in their village he asked me to get him moksha. I told him that he would get it by the grace of God. Suddenly he took ill with some terminal fever and was suffering (now), anxious about his moksha.  In the order of things, he should take another six births to attain moksha. I did the Japa and prayed for him that somehow he (will skip the remaining births and) attain moksha.  Purandara Kesavalu is a good Atma!”

Moral of the Story

Everybody should aspire to try to liberate themselves from the cycle of births and deaths.

Thiruvalluvar’s couplet No. 10  emphasizes the same. Only those, who contemplate on God with devotion and dedication, can traverse through the Ocean of birth (and end the cycle of birth and death).

பிறவிப் பெருங்கடல் நீந்துவர் நீந்தார்
இறைவன் அடிசேரா தார்

Piravip Perung-kadal Neendhuvar Neendhaar
Iraivan Adi-seraa Dhaar

பரிமேலழகர் உரை:

இறைவன் அடி (சேர்ந்தார்) பிறவிப் பெருங்கடல் நீந்துவர் – இறைவன் அடி என்னும் புணையைச் சேர்ந்தார் பிறவி ஆகிய பெரிய கடலை நீந்துவர்; சேராதார் நீந்தார் – அதனைச் சேராதார் நீந்தமாட்டாராய் அதனுள் அழுந்துவர். (காரண காரியத் தொடர்ச்சியாய் கரை இன்றி வருதலின், ‘பிறவிப் பெருங்கடல்’ என்றார். சேர்ந்தார் என்பது சொல்லெச்சம். உலகியல்பை நினையாது இறைவன் அடியையே நினைப்பார்க்குப் பிறவி அறுதலும், அவ்வாறன்றி மாறி நினைப்பார்க்குப் அஃது அறாமையும் ஆகிய இரண்டும் இதனான் நியமிக்கப்பட்டன.).

Sanskrit Translation by Shri S.N. Srirama Desikan

 நாவம் ப₄க₃வத: பாத₃  ரூபிணீம் ப்ராப்னுவந்தி யே |
தே தரந்தி ப₄வாம் போ₄தி₄ மிதரைஸ் தர்து மக்ஷமம் ||

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