TWO SAINTS WHO SAW GOD IN LOW CASTE MEN AND VEDAS IN 4 DOGS! (Post No.4889)

TWO SAINTS WHO SAW GOD IN LOW CASTE MEN AND VEDAS IN 4 DOGS! (Post No.4889)

 

Written by London Swaminathan 

 

Date: 6 April 2018

 

Time uploaded in London –  10-05 am (British Summer Time)

 

Post No. 4889

 

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Hinduism has many stories to show that God can come in any form- human or animal, high caste or low caste people. One must have the maturity and purity to recognise Him. Two stories are very familiar which illustrate this point. Let me summarise them for those who have not heard the stories.

 

Adi Shankara, the greatest philosopher India has ever produced, was walking to holy river Ganges in the early morning for a bath. When he finished his bath, he was returning with his disciples. There came a low caste Chandala (an outcaste) with four dogs in front of him. Normally the low caste people keep away from holy men and the they come out after he holy men had gone. Contrary to the usual practice, this Chandala stood in his way refused to move. When Shankara asked him to move out of his way, he challenged Shankara asking some philosophical questions. Whether Shankara wanted the physical body or the atman (soul) residing in everyone to move away. Then Shankara realised that the person who was there was nothing but Lord Shiva himself and the four dogs were nothing but four Vedas.

 

There is a similar story in Tamil devotional literature. Somasi Nayanar was one of the 63 saints (Nayanmars) canonised in Saivite literature. He was famous for doing Soma Yajna and so he was called Somayaji (Somasi in colloquial Tamil). He wanted to perform a Yajna (fire sacrifice) and invite Lord Shiva in person. But he knew that it was not that easy to bring Shiva physically. He knew about Sundramurthy Swamikal, one of the Four Great Saivite saints, who is very close to Lord Shiva. To make very good friendship with Sundrar, he started supplying a special type of spinach (green) called Tuduvalai to him. Sundarar liked that greens very much. Suddenly he stopped the supply of Tuduvalai and so Sundarar’s wife Paravai started inquiring about it. Then the supplier Somasi Nayayan was brought into her presence. Using that opportunity, he requested Sundarar to bring Lord Shiva to his yajna. Sundarar was non -committal but told Somasi that he would pass the message to Lord shiva and get back to Somasi with Shiva’s reply.

 

Lord Shiva told Sundarar that he would definitely visit the Yajna with his retinue and whoever is devoted would see him. This message was conveyed to Somasi as well. On the day of Fire Sacrifice the whole crowd was waiting to have the darshan (seeing) of Lord Shiva. Time was running out and nothing happened in the sacrifice. Just before the finale, what is known as Purnahuti, a low caste man and his wife with four dogs came towards the sacrificial shed (pandal) Everybody was shouting at him and warned him not to pollute the area. He did not listen to any one and proceede straight with a pot of toddy was hanging from his waist. When Somasi did not prevent him entering the shed, the priests ran away from the place. And Somasi knew that it was Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati with the four Vedas in the form of four dogs. He presented them the Purnahuti and Lord readily accepted that and blessed Somasi and his family.

 

Somasi was born in a village called Ambal, which is not far from holy town Tiruvarur in Tamil Nadu. Every year this episode was enacted there in a festival. Lot of people attend the event.

There are many such stories in Hinduism where God came in different forms. Shankara’s episode and Somasi’s episode are typical examples to show that there is no caste differentiation in front of God. All are equal before God.

 

–Subham–

 

 

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