Thursday, April 3, 2008

VaradhaKutti's trial

by KParthasarathi Thursday, April 03, 2008
Varadha kutti was a priest in a small temple of a village on the banks of Cauvery. He got this name partly from the presiding deity Sri Varadharaja Perumal of the temple and partly because of his short stature. He was well versed in the temple rituals and also knew the mantras for traditional religious functions. He was very sincere in his work and honest doing the pujas at the appointed times. He served as purohit to the villages around. In addition, he knew the mantra for curing snake bite that was passed on to him by his father. It was a family secret well kept. Countless number of times he had saved the people from the jaws of certain death. He would always be reciting the mantra to keep its effect at optimum. He lived in a small house adjacent to the temple. The keys of the temple were with the priest and trustee. The temple had also large tracts of lands and income was more than adequate to meet the expenses of trikala puja.It was customary for the tillers to give fifty percent of the proceeds.
The trustee of the temple was a local politician and rich man. He had annexed many areas of temple lands to his own. None dared question him for he was a wicked and greedy man. He gave the cultivation of the temple lands to his cronies for some consideration forcibly taking away from the traditional farmers of long years. These new men gave only a small portion of paddy despite the high yield all around. When Varadha Kutti softly questioned this saying that the income of the temple is depleted, the trustee got annoyed. The priest was also telling the other villagers of the drop in the income of the temple. In order to teach the priest a lesson, the trustee removed some jewels from the god and managed to hide it in the dark ventilator of priest’s kitchen. When the loss of jewels was noticed by the priest he informed the trustee who called all the panchayat members and the police. When the jewels were traced in the priest’s house, everyone was shocked. None would believe. The priest wailed inconsolably telling that he was not aware how the jewels came to his house and cried that Lord Varadaraja was subjecting him to great trial. The policemen took away the priest to a lock up in another village. The villagers suspected some foul play but dared not open their mouths against the trustee surrounded as he was with strong men armed with sticks.
The priest did not sleep the whole night and was constantly complaining to his God as to why he was being put to such tribulations when he had been fully devoted to Him. The compassionate policemen took a few plantain fruits pressing him to eat. He thanked them but kept the fruits aside.Varadha Kutti must have dozed off to sleep mentally and physically tired as he was. He was rudely awakened by the noise and wail of people outside the station. A young boy of sixteen was brought before him. He was blue in colour and foaming from the mouth. The villagers said “Ayya, Our trustee’s son is bitten by cobra. We have brought the boy without loss of time. Please save him”
The priest immediately tore from his dhoti a strip of cloth and began reciting the mantra with total devotion. After every few minutes, he tied a knot in the strip and continued the incantation.This went on for some time.Varadhakutty’s face was grim and was watching the boy all the time. It was only when the boy opened his eyes and asked”Where am I? What are all of you crowding around me?” Vardaha Kutty said “The boy will be fine. Give him a glass of hot milk” and returned to his cell.
It was then the trustee who was standing a little away out of embarrassment and guilt fell headlong at the feet of the priest and was crying as he said ”Ayya,forgive this wretch for the injustice done. It was my entire mistake. I will openly apologise before all villagers. The lands would be restored. You have made me a new man”
Varadha Kutti looked up at the sky as he started towards home ”Varadharaja, you have saved me from ignominy. This trial must have been for the sins committed in the previous births.”

1 comment:

  1. you have clearly expressed the moral of the story. along with the theory of karma, you have used the subtle suggestion of divine intervention.
    good post