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Chapter 03: Uddalaka Aruni, Upmanyu, and Ved

Posted by Arun Mohan ~ on ~ 0 comments

During the reign of King Janamejaya, there lived a great scholar called Ayoda-Dhaumya. He had three main students. They were Aruni, Upmanyu, and Ved.

Here is a story about his first student, Aruni.

One day, the Guru called Aruni and said to repair the levees of the field, which is damaged and the water is rushing out from the field. Upon the Guru’s wish, he went to the field and started his work. He tried his best to build a levee but he was not able to do it. Tired and exhausted, he then got an idea to block the water flow by himself laid down. He remained in this position the whole day. In the evening, when Ayoda-Dhaumya found that Aruni was not yet returned, he inquired about him to other students. But they also were not aware about him. They went to the field and called Aruni. Hearing the voice of his guru, Aruni stood and apologized for not paying his respects towards guru in the evening. He expressed his sadness for not repairing the levee. Also inquired about what should he pay in return for this and he is ready to serve him all the day. The Guru was pleased with the selfless service of his student. He blessed and had given a new name, Uddalaka which means one who gets up after breaking things. He had also given another name called Kalyan, since he lay in the place of levee though he can’t make it and also not bothered about food or drink. He also blessed him that he should study all Vedas and Dharmashastras automatically without taking much effort. With these blessings from his guru, Aruni leaved the hermitage of Ayoda-Dhaumya and went happily to his native town.

Here is the story of Ayoda-Dhaumya’s second student, Upmanyu.

One day, Ayoda-Dhaumya decided to test Upmanyu’s devotion. He called him and gave a task to guide the cows and protects them all the day. Upmanyu accepted the task and took out the cows for grazing. After the work, the sage asked Upmanyu that he is looking very healthy and how he gets food. Upmanyu calmly replied that he get it by begging. On hearing this, the sage instructed Upmanyu to give all the alms to him. The next day Upmanyu did what his guru said and the sage took away all the food without giving anything to him. The sage continued this and after some days, he noticed that Upmanyu still looked very healthy without food. When he inquired about this, Upmanyu said that he is eating what he got from begging for second time. The sage then scolded Upmanyu that one should not beg for second time since it is the share of other people. The obedient student followed what his teacher said. Still the teacher can’t find a change in student’s health after some days. When inquired, Upmanyu said that he is now drinking some of the milk they give. The sage immediately restricted Upmanyu from taking milk from the cows. Upmanyu obeyed to this wish too.

The teacher again repeated the question about the reason of health. This time, the student replied that he drink foam that calves spurt out after they drink their mother’s milk. The Guru lamented that by doing so he is hindering the calves’ growth. Upmanyu listened and stopped drinking the foam from calves. The next day, when Upmanyu took the cows for grazing as usual, he felt very hungry. With out controlling the hunger, he ate the leaves of the Aak plant. Due to its poisonous juice, Upmanyu lost his eyesight. Blind and also with hunger, he wandered around the forest until he fell into a dry well. When Upamanyu did not return from forest in the evening, the sage was upset and he along with other students went for search. Upmanyu heard his Guru’s voice and replied him that he was in the well. When the sage realized the fact that how he became blind and fell into well, the sage felt that, his test became so pitiless. As a solution to this, he asked Upamanyu to pray Ashwin Kumars (twins who are the Physicians of Gods). Upmanyu prayed and soon the Ashwini Kumars appeared and gave Upmanyu a sweet. But he refused it by saying that he would not eat anything without his teacher’s permission. So impressed with the Upmanyu's devotion towards his teacher, the god blessed him and also restored his eyesight.

Ayodhdhaumya was pleased with Upamanyu’s devotion towards him and said that he had passed the test conducted by him. He also blessed him that he should study all Vedas and Dharmashastras automatically without learning religious texts. With these blessings from his guru, Upmanyu leaved the hermitage and went happily to his native town.

Here is the story of Ayoda-Dhaumya’s third student, Ved.

One day, Ayoda-Dhaumya called his third student, Ved and asked to stay in his house for few days. Ved obeyed the guru. Upon arrival to his house, guru gave a burden of work to him. Without any argument, he did all the work without any hesitation. Guru loaded him work after work, but without any complaint he performed his duties. Pleased with his Selfless altitude, Guru blessed him and set him free to move on with his life. Ved happily accepted his teacher send-off and returned to his native town. He then married a girl and later became a teacher.

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