Warning: include(domaintitles/domaintitle_cdn.exoticindia.php3): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 751

Warning: include(): Failed opening 'domaintitles/domaintitle_cdn.exoticindia.php3' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/exotic/newexotic/header.php3 on line 751

Subscribe for Newsletters and Discounts
Be the first to receive our thoughtfully written
religious articles and product discounts.
Your interests (Optional)
This will help us make recommendations and send discounts and sale information at times.
By registering, you may receive account related information, our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
.
By subscribing, you will receive our email newsletters and product updates, no more than twice a month. All emails will be sent by Exotic India using the email address [email protected].

Please read our Privacy Policy for details.
|6
Sign In  |  Sign up
Your Cart (0)
Best Deals
Share our website with your friends.
Email this page to a friend

An Example of Living Vedanta: The Story of King Rantideva

Article of the Month - September 2015
Viewed 12242 times since 15th Sep, 2015


The Bhagavad Gita, while describing the qualities of a wise person says: ‘The wise looks with an equal eye upon a noble brahmin, a cow, an elephant, a dog and a chandala’ (5.18).

Commenting on this verse, Bhagawan Shankaracharya says that a jnani looks upon this whole world as his own self (atman); i.e., he does not look upon anybody as different from himself.

This verse is vividly illustrated in the story of king Rantideva occurring in the Srimad Bhagavatam (9.21). Rantideva was a person who satisfied himself with whatever came his way through its own accord without any direct effort on his behalf. In effect, he personified the jnani described in Gita 4.22:

‘He is content with what comes to him without effort. He is unaffected by dualities like heat and cold. He is free from envy and is equipoised in success or failure.'

Day by day his wealth started decreasing because he would give away whatever he received, thinking it to be momentary, even at the cost of remaining hungry himself. He did not believe in hoarding, was above all attachments and was highly patient. His devoted family suffered the hardships along with him.

Once it so happened that for forty-eight days they did not get even water to drink. Only on the morning of the forty-ninth day did he happen to get by chance some eatables and water. His family was in deep distress at that time. They were all trembling due to starvation and thirst. However, as soon as they were about to eat the food, a brahmin guest arrived.

Rantideva used to see God in everyone (sarvam khalu idam Brahman - Chandogya Upanishad 3.14.1). Therefore, he received the brahmin with respect and gave him his share of food. The brahmin had his meal and went away.

Now they distributed the remaining food amongst themselves. Just then another guest, this time a shudra, arrived. Rantideva, keeping God in his mind, fed some part of the remaining food to the shudra guest.

When the shudra departed, another guest surrounded by a group of dogs approached him saying, "Oh King! Me and my dogs are hungry. Give us something to eat."

The king received them kindly and gave to him respectfully whatever food that remained with him and bowed to the dogs and their owner.

Now only some water, sufficient enough to quench the thirst of just one person remained. They were about to distribute it amongst themselves for drinking when there arrived a chandala (one who tends to dead bodies in the cremation grounds). The chandala guest said, "I belong to the lowest of the lowest caste. Give me water to drink."

Hearing the chandala’s pitiful voice, which he uttered with great pains and exhaustion, tormented as he was by thirst, the noble king with limitless patience was deeply moved with compassion and though he himself was on the point of death because of thirst, gave that water to the chandala saying:

King Rantideva offers water to the chandala

 

"I do not desire from God the highest powers. I do not even want moksha. What I want is only this: That I be able to go and live in the hearts of all beings and undergo sufferings on their behalf, so that they may become free from all miseries. This unfortunate man wanted water to drink. His life was saved by giving water. Now my hunger, thirst, exhaustion, distress and grief, all have vanished."

 

 

Actually these guests were different forms of Bhagawan’s Maya. They revealed themselves to Rantideva in the form of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The king, being entirely free from all attachments, cherished no desires. He bowed to them all, even as his mind was one with Bhagawan Vasudeva due to utmost devotion. He sought no boons from the Gods. King Rantideva did not want anything other than God Himself. Therefore, the Maya of God, constituted of the three gunas, dissolved before him, like a dream dissolves when a man wakes up. By virtue of their close association with him, all those who followed Rantideva too became absolutely devoted to Bhagawan Narayana.

 


References & Further Reading:

Post a Comment
 
Post Review
Testimonials
Awesome books collection. lots of knowledge available on this website
Pankaj, USA
Very easy to do business with your company.
Paul Gomez, USA
Love you great selection of products including books and art. Of great help to me in my research.
William, USA
Thank you for your beautiful collection.
Mary, USA
As if i suddenly discovered a beautiful glade after an exhausting walk in a dense forest! That's how i feel, incredible ExoticIndia !!!
Fotis, Greece
Each time I do a command I'm very satisfy.
Jean-Patrick, Canada
Very fast and straight forward.
Elaine, New Zealand
Good service.
Christine, Taiwan.
I received my Manjushri statue today and I can't put in words how delighted I am with it! Thank you very much. It didn't take very long to get here (the UK) - I wasn't expecting it for a few more weeks. Your support team is very good at providing customer service, too. I must conclude that you have an excellent company.
Mark, UK.
A very comprehensive site for a company with a good reputation.
Robert, UK
Subscribe to our newsletter and discounts
Share with friends
Links Related to
"Bhishma undoubtedly is one of the central figures of the Mahabharata.…. One should not venture out too early in the morning…. But one should not go to sleep with wet feet….A person who desires to live long should never irritate the following three…. One must shun company of people who criticize the Vedas…. If we are traveling, one must find shelter inside a house…."
Living the Full Life: 50 Instructions from the Mahabharata
"Actually, the one who worships Bhagwan Vishnu should get rich and the one who worships Shiva should become an avadhuta like Him…. Then he works hard again to acquire wealth. I render all his efforts futile…. However, Bhagawan Vishnu is not like that, it takes longer to please Him…. As a consequence, they later harassed the great God Himself…. On the seventh day, he bathed in the holy waters of Kedarnath and began to cut his head with an axe to offer into the fire…. The boy bowed respectfully before the demon and asked…. No one who commits sin against a great person can be safe and happy in this world."
Shiva and Vishnu: A Unique Aspect of Their Worship
"Here is a fragment from one of the most poignant episodes of Indian history…. This piece of history is from the Mahabharata…. She was dying with shame but inside, like a true kshatrani (woman of the warrior race), she was burning with anger…. I have heard that women who follow dharma were never brought before a public court….Greed is the destroyer of dharma. I do not desire a third boon…. Draupadi was as forgiving as mother earth herself…. Just then Arjuna saw his dear friend Bhagawan Krishna approaching him…. “Leave him, leave him. He is a brahmin and worthy of our worship. Their mother should not cry, like I have at the death of my children."
Analyzing the Eternal Dimensions of Dharma Through Itihasa (History)
"Durga Puja is more than the periodically observed navratra in the subcontinent..The akaal bodhon Durga Puja has evolved into great socio-cultural significance in the Eastern Delta region, and is the lifeblood of Bengalis everywhere...On dashami the next day, one could sense the pall that descends upon the delta...Ma Durga's time in Her girlhood home draws to a close. Now is the final throes of festive exuberance."
Durga Puja - Worshipping the Wife of Shiva, Daughter of Bengal
"There is Rama, the son of Ayodhya's king Dasharatha in his human birth, and there is Rama's divinity, his divine aura that overwhelms the Tulasi's entire Ramacharit-manas, one manifest - with attributes, and the other, unmanifest - without attributes. With main emphasis on his majesty in South Indian tradition this crown is taller than usual. His 'khadgasana' images are usually in three modes; one with his right foot moved forward represents him in a commander's disposition ready to rush for protecting a devotee in crisis or redeem him from some calamity. Harihara, a form in which he shares with Shiva half of the body. Basically a bird Garuda is seen for ages as Vishnu's ardent devotee, a learned human being and an auspicious presence, and in iconographic tradition often conceived with a man's face, anatomy, ornaments and ensemble. The Puranas are replete with tales of Garuda's divine exploits."
Iconography of Vaishnava Images: Vishnu
"But to pull this statement out of context and give it as an advice for anyone is far from correct…. But how is one to recognise the guru? Obviously, he will be able to understand the difficulties of the disciples and clarify to them the meaning of the scriptures on the basis of logic and experience…. They will have to search in their own neighbourhood only….The guru chosen by him should be at least better than himself!…. Of course, if the ideal guru whose features have been enumerated in the beginning is available, then the sadhaka should immediately go and surrender to him…. It is just like going to another teacher for higher education, after completing the education in a school."
The Qualities of a Guru and How to Find One
"A man receives a wife given by the gods... Where women are revered, there the gods rejoice; but where they are not, all efforts are unfruitful…. The husband, tradition says, is the wife, They can never be cut loose from one another. This is the dharma made by Brahma himself….he king who bears patiently when those in anguish insult him will be exalted in heaven…. If the driver of a vehicle injures a man, animal or property, he needs to be punished along with the owner of the vehicle…. This in a nutshell, is the definition of suffering and happiness."
Living According to Manu: God’s Manual of Instruction for Life
"Contrarily metaphysicians and theologians perceived his form as it manifested in the Upanishads and Puranas….The ‘Advaita’ philosophy also contends that the entire Creation is just the extension of One…. Dance illustrates one of the ever-first cosmic acts with which Shiva seems to have tamed violent motion and separated from it rhythm, moves that communicated emotions and states of mind – human mind and the cosmic, and disciplined and defined pace…. Unlike Vishnu who resorted to dance for accomplishing a contemplated objective, Shiva has been conceived more or less as a regular dancer performing for accomplishing an objective as also for pure aesthetic delight…. Unfurling locks of hair and his snakes floating into space portray the dynamics of the act."
Shiva, the Nataraja
"One uniqueness of our Vedic religion is that it allows for salvation not only through renunciation (nivritti) but also through the path of material happiness (pravritti).... If dharma makes it mandatory that conjugal pleasure be restricted to the life partner, how is it that Krishna indulged in the amorous sport of Rasa with others' wives?.... Some stopped cooking, some stopped feeding, some stopped eating, some stopped washing clothes etc. and ran away.... Upanishads call the jiva in waking state as Vishwa and the dreaming jiva as Taijasa (Mandukya Upanishad Mantras 3-4)."
Krishna's Rasa Lila: The Vedantic Perspective
"Her epithet in the Devi-Mahatmya is Mahalakshmi. She is the wrathful four-armed goddess of battlefield represented holding in them various weapons…. A form of Lakshmi seated over a lotus laid over a golden seat and a pair of white elephants…. Except in some classical forms in Lakshmi-Narayana imagery Lakshmi is ordinarily two-armed…. Incarnation theory is the crux of Vaishnavism. Vishnu incarnates alone but Lakshmi also incarnates in simultaneity…. Though very rare some enthused artists have conceived on Ardhanarishvara line also Vishnu’s Ardhanarishvara images."
Iconography of Vaishnava Deities: Goddess Lakshmi
"This middle path lies in between extreme asceticism on one side, and extreme indulgence on the other…. When standing under a Ashok tree, tired and exhausted, she raised her right hand for seeking support of a branch of the tree…. The unique balance that defined his entire life was pre-determined in this duality….One day, in the palace garden he frightened his attendants…. He ate less and less till his diet reduced to a sesame seed, and himself, to a mere skeleton…. Seven days after the attainment of enlightenment gods sent food for breaking his fast…. However, he postponed his ‘nirvana’ for three months till he visited the places he had reminiscences of."
The Light That Enlightened Millions
(The life of Buddha in the popular mind)
"We assume that our happiness is the result of an interaction with external objects…. Suppose that an individual is deprived of sleep and food and pleasurable objects for a long time and then all of them are simultaneously offered to him…. Actually, seeking the answer to this question is the most significant pursuit in life…. The veil comes up again and the duality returns…. In this background, we can now analyse the nature of dukha (grief)."
Ananda: Understanding the True Nature of Happiness
"She has always believed that this would redeem her of her distress….A coconut, otherwise an ordinary dried fruit or the source of edible, or at the most, beauty oil, has always been revered as an auspicious object effecting good and well-being and the food that gods most loved….The tree in the Buddhist tradition was later identified as Bodhi-tree, seated under which Buddha had attained Enlightenment….Body gestures and symptoms, signs, indications among others must have been the early man’s tools of communicating oneself and knowing and understanding the world around….Kirttimukha was initially conceived as a mystical mask….Lion does not figure in the wide range of animal toys or figurines excavated from Indus sites."
Auspicious Symbols in Indian tradition
"Both the Mahabharata and Shrimad Bhagavatam give a vivid description of how things are like in Kaliyuga…. The following is a list of features typical to Kaliyuga…. A man will consider only those people to be his relatives who are related to him through….The ashrams will be full of show-offs who are experts in the art of living off the food of others….. We can save ourselves from Kaliyuga."
50 Characteristics of Kaliyuga
"Whenever he gets the time, he should go and live amongst people who have given up worldly life…. A wise person should serve his body and family only to the extent that is functionally necessary…. The person who lays claim on the surplus wealth is nothing but a thief…. He should share all objects of enjoyment with everyone, right down to dogs, sinners…. Such is the attachment to one’s wife….How despicable is this body, which if buried is going to become the food of worms, or excreta if eaten by animals….Since a son is to thus revere his elders even after their death, what to say that he is expected to serve them when they are alive…. The person wishing to follow the path of dharma should steer clear of the five forms of Adharma."
Narada Teaches Yuddhishtra a Householder’s Dharma
Show More
Language:
Currency:
All rights reserved. Copyright 2019 © Exotic India