King Alarka approaches Dattatreya for solace

King Alarka approached Mahatma Dattatreya as a ‘Sharanardhi’ (refuge) and prayed to him to guide him and wipe out his distress. Dattatreya replied that the King was indeed truthful as he made a confession that he was suffering from anguish. He then asked Alarka to carry out an introspection as to who was he? What kind of grief did he suffer from? King Alarka tried to figure out the inter-relationship of the Soul and the three kinds of basic problems of humanity viz. Adhi-Bhoutika, Adhyatmika and Adhi Daivika, ie the troubles related to physical, internal and God-made categories. He reasoned that he was not a component of ‘Panchabhutas’-Prithivi (Earth), ‘Aapas’ (Water), ‘Tejas’ (Fire), ‘Vayu’ (Wind) and ‘Aakash’ (Sky), but has the sensibilities related to these Entities. Even if he were not the ‘Sharir’ (Physique), he however had the independent feelings that led to the complexes of Inferiority or Superior feelings. Indeed, it would be essential to discard those kinds of feelings by an enlightened Gyani. After all, when a person is aware that essentially a human body is not eternal, then why should there be the feelings of happiness or otherwise; especially when there was a realisation that these feelings were made by the mind but not the inner soul which was free from such illusive fears. Alarka thus analysed the current situation arising out of the state of his mind, since he was not the body, nor the mind, and not even his superficial consciousness. Thus analysed, the King Alarka convinced himself that there was no harm done if his elder brother Subahu desired to take over Kingship, then there was no need for resisting the idea! Also, desire and attachment propelled by ego and prestige are the root causes of happiness or grief. Mahatma Dattatreya stated: Ahami tyam kurotpanno mameti skandhavaanmahaan, Gruhakshetroccha shakhaascha putradaaraadi pallavah/
Dhanadhanya maha patro naikakaala pravardhitah, Punyaapunyaagra pushpascha Sukha duhkha maaphalah (‘Ahamkaar’ or sense of self is the seed which produces a huge tree of ‘Agyaan’ or Ignorance; ‘Mamatva’ or selfishness is the trunk of the tree; Gruha (Abode) and Kshetra (Farm lands) are the high and large branches; wife and children are the tender leaves; ‘dhana dhanya’ or money and foodgrains viz. wealth are the enormous leaves; ‘Punyaapunya’ (Fruits of noble deeds or sins) constitute the major flowers and ‘Sukha Duhkkas’ or delight and misery are the end results.) How could those human beings, who are tired of ‘Samsar’ (Life and Family matters) and seek shelter under the ‘Agyan’ Tree which is rooted in the lack of correct knowledge or awareness, ever consider to attain Salvaton? Only those noble persons who possess a sharp axe named ‘Vidya’ (Knowledge) could pull down the mammoth tree of ignorance and egocentricity with the active help of the heavy rocks of ‘Satsanga’!


Sri V.D.N.Rao and Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham presents the Essence of Puranas in English, condensed by Sri. V.D.N.Rao, devotee of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Compiled, Composed and Interpreted by V.D.N.Rao, Former General Manager, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi Ministry of Commerce, Govt. of India The author can be contacted at [email protected]