Saturday, September 23, 2006


In one of my recent trips, I came across a place called Dharmasthala (place of righteousness). What was unique about the place was the Tulabharam (Balance) I found in a Shiva temple when normally you find it in a Vishnu temple. The story of the Tulabharam is quite interesting.

Satyabhama married Krishna (the prince of Mathura) and started their first year of marriage together. One day the sage Narada came to their house and was received with befitting honour. In the course of his stay Narada noticed that Satyabhama was very proud and arrogant of her talents, wealth, social skills and attractiveness. In fact one day he noticed how she was narrating the way she had helped rescue Krishna in a crucial battle with Narakasura and while she was narrating, she even forgot that Krishna had come home and she failed to receive him or even recognize his presence.

The time came for leaving and as was the custom in those days, a parting gift was to be made. Narada smiled when Satyabhama asked him what he wanted. He said you will never be able to give me what I ask for. Satyabhama flew into a rage and said there is nothing in this world that cannot be given by me. Narada smiled again and said, in that case give me Krishna. I want Krishna to give up family life and come away with me and live the life of a recluse.

Satyabhama was aghast! Narada wanted her husband to leave his family and kingdom and become a recluse?? She begged Narada to ask for something else and Narada relented. He said give me something equal to him and I will let him remain. Satyabhama thought this should be easy. She brought in a large man-size balance (Tulabharam) and placed Krishna on one scale and place all her wealth and Gold on the other scale but no matter what she kept, the balance never became equal. Soon Satyabhama had kept all that she had but it was of no avail.

Having lost in her challenge Narada took Krishna away. The people of Mathura went behind them asking Narada to release Krishna otherwise harm would come to the kingdom and family. Not knowing what to do, Satyabhama went to Rukmini a lady of a slightly older generation and belonging to the first wives club.

Rukmini went to Narada and got to know the details of the exchange. Either they had to give up Krishna or give Narada something equal to him. Rukmini prayed and then took out a Tulsi leaf and said, here I am giving you all my devotion to my husband. If my devotion to my husband is true may the scale show it is equal to Krishna. Narada smiled and accepted the Tulsi leaf saying this was what he was looking for and said that he had played this little game just to show a moral.

If a man finds that the object of his affection is not devoted to him, instead of arguing or demanding love from her, he should just transfer all HIS love and devotion towards God instead.

If a man finds that his wife is devoted to him, he must understand he has a rare gem in his hands and he must ensure that she is never taken for granted.

A woman must realize that while her talents, wealth, social skills and attractiveness may fetch her a number of "friends" and "admirers" (which is usually temporary), the only way to retain the right man in her life and that too for a lifetime is through good character and undying and undivided devotion towards him.

Knowledge when it becomes fully matured is Gnana (enlightenment) and love when it becomes fully matured is Bhakti (devotion) If knowledge does not lead to enlightenment and love does not lead to devotion such knowledge and such love is useless. Its only a combination of Gnana and Bhakti (enlightening knowledge and loving devotion) that leads to long term Harmony and Bliss.

1 comment:

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