You are here: SriPedia - SriRangaSri - Archives - Nov 2001

SriRangaSri List Archive: Message 00009 Nov 2001

Nov 2001 Indexes ( Date | Thread | Author )
[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

--- In tiruvengadam@xxxx, "Sudarshan M.K." <sampathkumar_2000@xxxx> 
Dear friends,

Since some of you may not have heard of the story of ThadhipAndan or 
of how his 'ghantam' (claypot) attained 'mOksham', I am giving below
a brief sketch of the story as I have heard it in Sri.Mukkur Swamy's 
'upannyAsam'. The story makes us sit up and think: "Are the so-called 
scriptural 'mOkshOpAyam-s' absolutely sine-qua-non for attaining 
'mOksha-gathi'? If a claypot can attain the bliss of mOksha without 
adopting any of the means (upAya) specified for attaining the same, 
would we humans also not want to be claypots? 
Please think about it.
Thanks and regards,

********* ********* *********

One day one of Yasodha's neighbours came storming into
Nandagopa's house and complained in a shrill voice to 
Yasodha."Yasodha, your darling boy Krishna's pranks are now 
intolerable. The brat has again been stealing the butter in my 
kitchen.One big jar of it that I had just finished churning this 
afternoon.And when I confronted him with it he has the cheek, the 
little rascal, he has the cheek to lie through the skin of his teeth! 
You know what he says? He says he never touched it.It may have all 
just melted away,auntie,in the afternoon heat, says the little 
ruffian! I just couldn't hold my temper anymore, Yasodha, and chased 
the brat.I really want to get my hands on him and drag him to you.
Now where is he, Yasodha, where is that little butter-stealer of 
yours? He's in there somewhere,isn't he? Come out you little rascal,
Krishna, come out!".

Hearing this Yasodha too lost her temper as this was the third time
in three days that this neighbour was complaining about Krishna. She 
pacified the neighbour and told her to return home."Don't you worry, 
my dear, I am determined to teach that ruffian a real lesson this 
time.I'll catch him myself if I have to chase him to the end of this 
world.Don't you worry. You now go back home and leave it to me", said 

With grim determination in her eyes, Yasodha set out of her house
with a roller-pin in her hands, looking for Krishna into alley-ways 
and the nooks and crannies of houses along the way. She knew that she 
would give him a real hiding this time for his pranks "which were
completely getting out of hand these days".

Krishna scented trouble coming his way long before Yasodha set out 
from her home. He bolted from one neighbour's house to another, 
scampering and ducking for cover. He fled from one friend's 
home to another avoiding his mother who pursued him with deadly 

The arm of Yasodha's law however was too long. At last Krishna could 
go no further and he now became desperate as he saw that Yasodha was 
not giving up the chase.

As a last resort Krishna ducked into a house belonging to a potter 
called DadhipAndan. This potter had his workshop inside his house 
where he kept all the accoutrements of his trade. There were many 
giant-sized pots in various stages of completion stacked up in the 
workshop of DadhipAndyan.

Krishna made his move quickly. He sneaked into DadhipAndyan's 
workshop, chose the biggest pot there and climbed into it and hid 
himself there.

Presently, Yasodha came by and shouted,"Krishna, hey, you rascal 
Krishna! Show yourself, you brat!Come on, where are you?".

And then she saw Dadhipandan himself. He was working away at his
trade in his workshop.

"DadhipAnda, have you seen my boy Krishna ? I'm looking for him",
said Yasodha.

DadhipAndan put down his tools for a moment and spoke to her.

"I can't say, Madam, but if you think he's around here somewhere, 
you're welcome to look around my shop," said DadhipAndyan and
casually strolled over to the pot where Krishna was hiding and 
promptly sat on it to completely seal off Krishna from any danger of 

Yasodha looked around the shop a bit and then gave up the search and 
went off muttering,"Krishna, you wait till I get my hands on you ! 
Where on earth are yu hiding ? You can't be at large forever, my son, 
you've got to come home to me ! Then watch what I do to you, you 
little ruffian !".

After a few moments, Krishna spoke from inside the giant pot to 

"Oh, kind-hearted potter, thank you very much for saving me from my 
mother's wrath. What a kind soul you are, Sir DadhipAnda!".

"Oh, don't mention it, Krishna. I am your great friend, you know
that, and what are good friends for, eh !", said DadhipAndan as 
smoothly as the butter that Krishna hankered after.

"Ok, potter, now get off the pot and let me out. I can't sit here 
squeezed any more. I'm suffocating, DadhipAnda."

"Uh-oh, not so fast my friend, Krishna. I just saved your skin and
you won't go without doing me a good turn in return will you ?", said 

"What, you wan't instant repayment, do you, you wretched
potter?," said Krishna."I should know better. After all you're a 
trader. Anyway, what is it you want?".

"Krishna, yes I need something from you. And I know none but you can 
give it. Will you promise to give me if I let you out ?", asked the 
wily potter.

"For god's sake, DadhipAnda, tell me what you want, man, I can't 
breathe in here.Let me out, please," Krishna cried.

"NO, my little friend, I don't believe you. First you promise me.
Then I let you out."

"DadhipAnda, stop this nonsense.Stop kidding, I am suffocating in 
here.What on earth do you want from me, tell me quick and I promise 
you I'll give it to you," said Krishna panting, "Get me out of this 
claypot, will you please, and NOW!!".

"Promise?" asked the grinning DadhipAndan.

"I promise, man, I promise. Tell me, quick, what it is it?".

DadhipAndan then gleefully said, "Oh, Krishna, 'sarva-loka sharanya', 
my great refuge, my protector, I know who you really are, my friend. 
And I know you are the only one who can give me what I crave. I ask 
you to promise me to grant me "moksha", salvation. If you do, then 
I'll let you out forthwith".

"Phew ! Dadhipanda, is that all you want! Why didn't you say so 
earlier? Now get me out of here. Fast. Yes, yes, yes, I promise you 
'moksha'! Believe me! I promise, promise, promise! I give you and not 
only you. I'll give it to this great big, ugly claypot (ghantam) of 
yours too! Only please get me out of this pot now, Dadhipanda, quick! 
Please let me out of here!" said the Lord.

The potter smiled triumphantly at having extracted his ransom of 
'moksha' from the Lord of All Creation so easily and promptly jumped 
off the great pot. Out scampered Krishna and wishing DadhipAnda 
good-bye He ran home.

DadhipAndan stared after the divine boy, long and hard, for a moment. 
And then he smiled and slowly patted his great big claypot and 
spoke, "See, my friend, how easy that was ! Extracting 'moksha' from 
the Lord of the the Three Worlds (trivikraman)! Piece of cake, eh!".

And thus ended the story in the Bhagavatham where a potter and his
pot too, a piece of mere "jada", managed to extract the promise of 
'moksha' from the God Almighty.

******** ******** *********

Many millenium's later in the great temple of SRI RANGAM there was an
apocryphal story of one Pillai Perumal Iyengar who was an ardent 
devotee of the Lord and a great 'bhagavath-kainkara-sirOmani'. He was 
in the habit of collecting flowers from the temple gardens 
(brindavanams) everyday and bringing them over to Lord Ranganatha's 
'sannidhi'. He would seat himself in the 'sannidhi' and then weave a 
floral garland to adorn the Lord. He had been doing this "kainkaryam" 
-- and only this --without a break for many years.

One day this Ayyangar swamy was seated at the 'sannidhi' weaving Lord
Ranganatha's floral garland. Suddenly, he stopped mid-way and spoke 
out to the Lord:

"oh, Ranganatha, after all these years of service to you I have 
suddenly decided that it's time I earned "moksha" from You. Will you 
grant me the Bliss of 'mOksha", O Ranga?"

Lord Ranganatha heard this and is reported to have chuckled merrily:

"Oh, ayyangar-swamy, pray tell me what is this sudden desire of yours?
Whither this sudden love of "moksha" ?"

"It just struck me, Ranganatha, that I have had about enough on
earth. I think I need a break from all 'samsAra'. I think I need 
"moksha" now so that I shall never come back here to earth", said 

"Oh, ho, ho", the Lord Ranga is known to have guffawed, "so ayyangar- 
swamy needs 'moksha', eh!", said the Lord and suddenly the 
'anantha-sayana-murthy' (the eternally supine NarAyaNan) got up from 
his eternal recline.

"And what makes you so presumptuous, my dear Ayyangar swami, to 
believe that you merely have to ask for "moksha' and I will give it 
readily to you?".

The ayyangar swamy was aghast at Lord Ranganatha's remark.

"What do you mean, Ranganatha ? I am being being presumptuous in 
asking for 'moksha'? After all these years I have slaved for You?",
he queried.

To which the Lord replied, "Ayyangar swamy, you think 'moksha' is
such an easy commodity to acquire? Do you know what it is? It is the 
stuff for which great souls and 'mahAns' dedicate their whole lives 
for many "janmAs". They go through severe penance and austerities for 
it. They pine and yearn for it.They undertake the most formidable 
sacrifices for it.And you! You want it just for the asking! Tell me, 
ayyangar swami, what have you ever done to merit 'moksha'? Have you 
conducted a "yagnyam"(sacrifice), have you mastered the vedas, have 
you sung your heart out in devotion, have you undertaken fasts for
me, has your heart longed for me in the deep nights when your soul 
cried out for me? Tell me ayynagar swami have you done anything that 
would make you deserving of 'moksha'?"

The ayyangar heard this outburst of Lord Ranganatha patiently. After
a a moment the old man retaliated with his own which was doubly 
vehement and shrill:

"Rangantha, you talk so big! All that bit about meriting 'moksha'.
The sacrifices, the penance, the devotion, the fasting, the
soul-searching and all that --- Ranganatha, you tell me, truly, do you
really keep all that in mind when you grant 'moksha'? If so, then,
how come you granted DadhipAndan's great big ugly pot 'moksha' in
your Krishna 'avatara'! Tell me, oh Ranganatha, how many great 
sacrifices that piece of "jada" performed, how many vedas it
mastered, how many 'ekAdasi' fasts it undertook, how many nights it's 
soul cried out for you? Answer me, Ranganatha, answer me now, how
come you so easily granted 'moksha' to DadhipAndan's pot, that piece 
of senseless, inert, insentient "jada"! And pray tell me, in what way 
am I less qualified than that big pot in which you hid from your 
mother, Yasodha? Don't brag to me about how precious your gift of 
'moksha' is, Ranga! Not to me. I know all about You and your 

When Pillai-perumAl AyyangAr had finished the Lord is reported to
have fallen into a great, contemplative silence, stunned by the old 
man's rapier-sharp judicial argument. After a while Rangantha went 
meekly back to his "anantha-sayanam" without a murmur of protest.

And there ends our story of DadhipAndan's "ghatam".

********* *********** ***********

This story is funny. It is also poignant. It gives ordinary souls
like us some hope that God will definitely shower on us his compassion
even if we, as human claypots ("mAnushya-ghatam"), are unworthy of 
"mOksha". All that we perhaps need to do, like Dadhipandan's pot, is 
to make sure that somehow we are constantly near the person or 
presence of lofty souls who we know are 'mokshAdhikAri-s' or 
'mumukshu-s'. In all probability we too then might, by the sheer 
outside chance of "being in the right place at the right time", be 
granted God's Grace.

Thanks and regards,
--- End forwarded message ---

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index ] [Thread Index ] [Author Index ]
Home Page
To subscribe to the list