Thursday, September 1, 2011

Don't look at the moon tonight

Lord Ganesha, the chief deity among all devatas is an extremely benevolent Lord who is worshipped on Vinayaka Chthurthi. During this Pooja, people worship Lord Ganesha and also recite and listen to the story of Syamantaka - Syamantakopaakhyanam during Vinayaka CHathurthi. (I dont know how many of us are following this today... Any way atleast for that reason yesterday some of our friends reminded me to post it so that the devotees may listen to the story). This story was originally narrated in Skandha Maha Puranam for the benefit of mankind.

It is said that anyone who looks at the moon on the night of the Shukla Chaturthi will be falsely charged with accusitions (Apavaadha) or similar charges. If someone inadvertently sees the moon on this night, the remedy for the dosha is listening to (or reciting) the story of the syamantaka jewel.

Pranava Swaroopam Vakratundam
Aravind Subramanyam

One day while traveling round the universe on his Mooshika, Ganesha came to Chandraloka (the realm of the Moon). The Moon saw him. The Moon, very handsome, was proud of his appearance. On seeing the elephant faced, big-bellied Ganapati riding on a rat, he laughed at Ganesha with contempt.

This was an insult and Ganesha was very angry about the Moon. His eyes grew red. He pronounced a curse "Oh Moon, your handsome appearance has made you too vain. Receive now the fruits of your foolish pride. From now on, whoever sees you on the fourth day of the bright fortnight of Bhadrapada month, the day of my birth, will suffer because of unjust accusations."

The curse shattered the Moon's pride. He realized his mistake,and with folded hands before Ganesha he prayed to him.

Then the kind Ganesha grew calm. "Chandra, you have realized your fault. Anyhow, my curse cannot be in vain. But those who are subjected to false accusations will be saved and regain their good name if they see you on the second day of the bright fortnight also or listen to the story of the Syamantaka gem."

Syamantaka Upakhyanam

Satrajit, a devotee of Surya, was living in Dwaraka. Surya being pleased with Satrajit's devotion appeared before him and gifted him a perecious stone ie the Syamantaka gem. The Syamantaka gem's specialty was that it could magically produce eight measures of gold a day.

Lord Krishna understood the danger behind the stone and then approached Satrajit and told him that he should share the gem with the other people. But Satrajit declined it .

A few days later, Satrajit's brother Prasena wore the jewel as a necklace and went out on a hunt. During the hunt, his aacharam was lost and immediately he was killed by a Lion.

The lion, being attracted to the glow of the gem, picked it up and carried it away. Very soon Jambavan, the king of the bears saw the Lion and was attracted by the glow of the gem. He attacked the lion and killed it and took the gem to his cave.

Meanwhile, when Prasena did not return to Dwarka, people were wondering what had happened to him. Satrajit suspected that Krishna might have killed Prasena in order to attain the gem. Many people started talking ill of Krishna. Even when Balarama spoke in such way,Krishna was so dejected. So in order to prove his innocence, He went into the forest.

Krishna noticed lion tracks in the forest and Prasena's body and assumed that a lion must have killed Prasena. Very soon he was surprised to see the body of the dead lion. Krishna noticed that the lion had the marks of a bear's claws and noticed that there were bear tracks around the body. On following the bear tracks Krishna reached Jambavan's cave.

While he entered the cave alone. Krishna found Jambavan's son playing with the Syamantaka gem. Frightened by the stranger, Jambavan's son let out a wail that alerted Jambavan. Now Jambavan thought someone was attacking his child and attacked Krishna. Krishna fought Jambavan for twenty-eight days after which Jambavan recognised Krishna's divinity and surrendered to him. Along with the gem, Jambavan offered Krishna his daughter Jambavati's hand in marriage.

Krishna gave the Syamantaka back to Satrajita and put an end to the evil rumors. However, he was surprised at what had happened. He asked the sages, "how could such things be said of me even when I had not done anything wrong". Great sages told him the story of Ganesha's curse and said, "You saw the Moon on the fourth day."

Then Krishna worshipped Ganesha to get rid of the curse.

Krishna getting false blame of being a thief of Syamantak mani and how he overcame such blame and proved his innocence by the grace of Mahaganapathy.. Listening or reading this story is considered as a blessing from Lord ganesha and removes all the blames and ill-luck from one's life

So even by mistake if one sees the Chandra on Chathurthi day, the prayaschittam is to chant this slokam and mentally contemplate on this story

A lion killed Prasena; the lion was killed by Jambavan.
Don't cry, O dear child! This syamantaka jewel is yours

The ancient text Vrutha Choodamani Kalpam says - one has to chant this sloka even during Ganesha Puja.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Swami,
    Thanks a lot for this wonderful explanation of Lord Mahaganapathi. We are blessed to have read the story with proper explanation on this Chaturthi Day.
    -Pamba Ganapathiye Sharanam Ayyappa-