Serve your Parents !
Every person by birth becomes rini for parents — without whom the very existence on this earth would not have been possible, devatas — for all the panchabutas, rains, nature etc. and rishis — for giving us puraanas, shastras etc. Of these, the runam of parents cannot be paid back easily and is virtually impossible. Hence one needs to atleast do seva to them, listen and adhere to their words and give them a lot of respect. This is the least one can do to them. Our puraanas also show that one can attain moksha just by doing seva to parents.
Once upon a time, there used to live a great Bhakta of Krishna. He had a wife, who deserved to be his ardhaangi. However, they had a son, Pundarika, who had all kinds of vyasanas. In the attraction for a mere vaaraangana, he drives his parents out of his house, does not love his wife and finally looses all his money. The vaaraangana, whose love he thought was eternal, left him once his money was over. In the sorrow of being apart from the vaaraangana, he walks into a forest and finally reaches a lonely kutir of a great person by name, Kukkuta muni. He sees the following wonder when he reaches the place:
Three very ugly looking old females, suffering from terrible diseases, will be cleaning the ashram. After doing all the cleaning required, they go inside the kutir and to his surprise, three very beautiful, young women with the tejas of sun come out. Out of his usual attraction to women, he goes and holds the hand of one of the women and immediately she turns ugly like before. The woman tells Pundarika “because people like you take dip in our holy waters everyday, we get these ugly forms and have to bare with such dreadful diseases. We are Ganga, Yamuna and Sarawathi. Everyday we clean the kutir of Kukkuta muni and have his darshan to relieve the loads of paapas you maanavas leave with us and get back our divya shariraas.” She again has darshan of Kukkuta muni and all the three leave the place (They wondered why a common human, that too a bad person, was able to see them in human form at the first place).
Pundarika, just to see what is there inside, goes into the kutir. He sees nothing great — no jewels, no big furniture nothing. He sees a person totally immersed in pressing the legs of his father. The person was totally engrossed in it and the only other thing he had in mind was the thought of Lord Shiva.Seeing Kukkuta muni, Pundarika asks him many questions about the woman etc., but sees that the muni gave back no reply, since the muni was totally engrossed with the seva to his father. Not able to bear the rejection, out of ahankaar, he tries to kick the muni and immediately falls on the ground loosing both his legs. Pundarika cries for help and the muni gets disturbed by his cries and attends to his help. Pundarika begs the muni to pardon him and the muni immediately pardons him. Pundarika realizes all the mistakes he has done in his life and asks the muni for prayaschittam. The muni says that there is nothing that can help him except the seva to his parents and even a bhrashta can achieve moksha by serving his parents. Immediately Pundarika, pulling himself with his hands, sets off in the search for his parents, whom he drove away from his house. He truly and whole heartedly repents for his mistakes and continues his journey to his parents.
He does not think about food, water, his bleeding legs, the only thing he has in his mind is to search for his parents, beg them to pardonhim and do their seva. He does not care about thorny paths, heat of the sun, steep mountain cliffs etc. and continues his journey. When he falls off a cliff, Lord Krishna used to catch him safely and let him move on. At all stages,Pundarika’s heart was filled only with the want of doing seva to parents, and hence Krishna bhagavaan used to help him all along. Finally, he reaches the kutir of his parents and falls on their feet. He begs them to pardon him for being so cruel to them and pleaded them to grant him the chance of doing their seva. The parents immediately pardon Pundarika and Pundarika again gets back his legs. From that day onwards, he always used to be busy doing seva to his parents and always think of Krishna paramaatma in his mind.
Unable to bear the separation from his bhakta, one day Lord Krishna comes to see Pundarika. He waits at the door of Pundarika’s kutir and calls for him. Pundarika sees Krishna, the paramaatma for whose darshan even great munis spend their entire lives in tapas, standing at his door. But Pundarika was at that time pressing the feet of his parents, who were asleep, with legs in his lap. Krishna asks Pundarika to come and take Him inside. Pundarika, seeing the Lord becomes very happy, but asks Him to wait a bit, since he cannot stop seva to his parents and he will come after taking their permission. Lord Krishna waits at the door and by being touched by his lotus feet, Indra who was lying in the form of a stone because of the curse of Lord Shiva, takes back His original form and leaves to Indraloka.
Meanwhile Pundarika’s father wakes up and asks him what happened. Pundarika says that Lord Krishna had come but he was unable to receive him. Immediately Pundarika’s father runs to receive the Lord, but does not see Him. He then asks Pundarika to call Krishna. Krishna appears immediately on the call of Pundarika and blesses moksha for Pundarika, his wife and his parents. Krishna also stays permanently at the house of Pundarika to bless bhaktas and it became the well known kshetram of Pandarpur. The kshetram is so ancient that the legs of the Pandarnath’s idol are half eroded just by the touchings of bhaktas!
Morals in the story:
1. Only because Pundarika did true seva to his parents, did Krishna wait for him at his door and immediately come when called by Pundarika. This shows the importance of being obedient to parents ans doing their seva.
2. Seva of parents is the most basic thing that the Indian culture prescribes. A person going against the word of his parents will not be liked by God.