Story of the Ashwa (horse) that demonstrates power of the Mantragajar, by Sadguru Aniruddha Bapu
There is one beautiful story that I would like to narrate while concluding the discourse on the first Nama of the Swayambhagwan, i.e. "Om Trivikramaya Namah".
Long, long ago, there was a large city that was ruled by a king. He was very good-natured, as usual, and also duty-bound and a just king. His queen, too, was very religious, just and loving. Once, he went hunting. While he was out hunting, he came across a large pond beside which he saw a hermitage of a sage. Seeing it, the king naturally dismounted from his horse and went to offer his salutations to the sage. The sage sat performing a havan.
But at this place, the king's horse began to neigh loudly. The king noticed the horse was irritated and did not like the spot. The king also marked that the horse somehow was not comfortable and thought there might have been some foul smell troubling the horse or he wasn't feeling well. But the horse wasn't comfortable for sure. The horse was weary and was troubled to be in this place. He was repeatedly attempting to leave the place but was tied up.
However, the king, a simple being, seeing the sage meditate, went and sat before him with folded hands in salutation. The king thought that unless the sage came out of his meditation, he could not leave from here. The king supposed the sage to be a great being but observed that he was alone, doing penance in such a dense forest; he had no disciples, no means or anything with him. The king continued to think that he should sit there until the sage opened his eyes but got bored and wandered about the hermitage. However, he found not even a single fellow sage or an aide to assist the sage. He was surprised to find that the meditating sage was the only one in such a large hermitage. Besides, the more he explored the place, the vaster the hermitage appeared. 'Where are the others?' the king wondered.
Just then, the king's horse broke free from the rope tied to its harness, came running and started to smell things there, just like a dog. Not everything, but he began smelling the vertical standing stones of different sizes. The king was puzzled about this behaviour of his horse. Besides, the horse wasn't smelling all the stones there but only the large standing stones. The king kept wondering. Usually, a king always holds the horse's reins, but here, the king had let the horse free. This horse was well-trained, so the king kept looking at him, thinking there must be something. The horse stopped at multiple points and smelled the stones. The king then himself went about smelling those stones but found no odour. The king kept advancing to find many such standing stones. Finally, he turned around and began to come back from the hermitage area.
Just then, the king heard someone laugh and say, "the 108th." He wondered what does "the 108th" meant. The king saw the horse raise his neck to indicate and counted the stones he smelled. The king found them to be 107. And right at that point, the king began to realise that he was turning into a stone. A question occurred to him whether he was "the 108th" stone. He looked at himself to find that he had turned into a stone up to his waist and that his human form was gradually turning into a mere stone. He saw the other stones around; they were devoid of any human features like limbs or face. Here, he worried whether he, too, would turn into a similar stone.
Just then, the horse came near the king and put his ear to the king's ear, put his mouth to the king's mouth, put his mouth to the king's ear. The horse began to lick the king, and the parts of the king's body that the horse licked did not turn into a stone. The horse then began licking the parts of the king's body that had turned into stone, which made the king feel a little lighter. The horse continued to lick and put his ear to the king. The horse then rubbed both his ears all over the king's body, and in about two Ghatikas (one Ghatika is twenty-four minutes. Hence, two Ghatikas is forty-eight minutes), the king's normal human body was restored. The king was amazed.
The king began to ponder over the events that had happened right from when he entered the hermitage, had sat before the sage, his body had turned into a stone; prior to it, he had first heard someone laugh and then say that he was "the 108th" one after which he turned into a stone up to the waist, his horse had smelled him and rubbed his ears to his body which had halted the process of his body turning into stone and also had restored well his normal human body. The king did not understand anything; he just knew that he had to leave the place as there was something suspicious. He noticed that the sage sitting there was alive, and even though he was sitting in meditation, he had not turned into a stone.
And that is when the horse began to push the king away from that place. The king, too, rushed out. He understood that the horse was able to perceive something more than him. As the horse attempted to leave the hermitage, the king thought that he should offer salutations to the sage as an honour, and just then, the horse kicked the king. A horse kicking his king is just never possible. Like a dog, the horse is a loyal animal. The king fell outside the boundary of the hermitage, and then the horse came walking gently.
When the king looked back, he saw a demon in the place of the sage. Note that this demon was sitting there in disguise using deceit. He was a demon having illusory evil powers and used to practise witchcraft. The king thought that it meant that the one hundred and seven stones there must have been one hundred and seven people who had been to the hermitage earlier. As these thoughts crossed his mind, the king saw his queen approaching before him, fast-riding a horse.
Along with the queen was her father. The queen's father, i.e. the king's father-in-law, was also his Rajguru. The queen greeted her king with love. The Rajguru blessed the king repeatedly, saying, 'O King, your fortune is great'; he said nothing else. Then, the king's parents, who lived the Vaanaprasthashrama stage of their life, came there in a chariot driven by two horses. Happy to see their son safe and sound, they said, "We were worried about you. While performing penance as part of the Vanaprasthashrama practices, we began to feel that you were in danger, you were in trouble, and so we started chanting the Nama of the Swayambhagwan, the Mantragajar of the Swayambhagwan, the Mantragajar of Rambhadra and at that moment we realised that even your wife, i.e. our daughter-in-law was also chanting the same. So then, we proceeded this way and saw from the mountaintop that your wife and father-in-law, too, were at the foothill on their way here. We finally came here.
The king's father was a man of high spiritual authority. He rode fast towards the hermitage. The moment the king's father got down from his chariot, the sage, in fact, the demon, got terrified. The king's father sprinkled the water he held in his hand on the demon, which turned him into a stone.
The king then began to think about everything that had happened. The king's father told the king that the disguised sage was, in fact, a demon called Kaaldushta. He was an enemy of their kingdom. He had attained some powers by evil means, had set up this hermitage there just to trap you and had waited for you to come. To this, the king asked how did he survive and did not turn into a stone. His father replied, 'You were an atheist. But we worshipped the Trivikram. We have been, still do, and will continue chanting His Mantragajar. We always keep chanting His Nama. But you never did it. So, you got affected by the demon. But remember, at the same time...' The king interrupted his father and said, 'Leave all this aside and first answer me: How did the horse have such power in him?'
The king's father responded, 'There was only one reason behind it. Even though it was your beloved horse, it was your wife, the queen, who took all care of it. However, she continuously chants the Mantragajar. She chanted it even while cleaning the horse, bathing it and doing his Aukshan. Aukshan was offered to the special horse of the king twice a day, in the morning and the evening. While the queen did all this, the horse listened to the Mantragajar. Although the horse could not pronounce it, he listened to the Mantragajar.
The Mantragajar has such power that it pervaded the body of the horse, its intellect, its mind, its Antahkarana and performed its functions. And hence, the horse could understand the difference between what is holy and what is unholy. From his birth, firstly, your mother and then your queen, i.e. your wife, have made it hear the Mantragajar. The horse was born in our stable amidst the chanting of the Mantrajagar, and hence, he got this power.'
The Rajguru then asked, 'O King, do you want to see some fun now?' The Rajguru had, till then, stood quietly on the sidelines in respect as the king was his son-in-law. The Rajguru stepped forward, took the horse's reins in his hand and handed them over to the king's father. He then said, 'O King, see what your father and mother can do. All their life and for the past twelve years, they have continuously chanted the Mantragajar, except for the four hours of sleep at night. For all this time, they have only chanted the Nama of the Trivikram and performed His Dhyana. Watch what happens.'
The king's mother and father re-entered the hermitage, taking the horse with them. The horse approached each standing stone and licked it. Just as the horse licked a stone, a man emerged from it. After the horse licked another stone, another man emerged from it. The horse felt tired. After the third man emerged, the horse went exhausted and wanted to sit. But a horse never sits. When a horse sits, it is considered ill and is phased out. Thus, the king found it terrifying. So, he supported the horse and made it stand.
Now, the old king (not the ruling king) stepped forward. He, along with his wife (king's mother) and the king's father-in-law together, approached the 107 standing stones. They did not chant the Mantragajar – understand this sentence well. They did not chant the Nama of the Trivikram. They just touched each stone wholeheartedly, bringing the form of the Trivikram before their open eyes. With their touch, a man emerged from each stone. These were those 107 men who, like the king, had come to that area for a hunting game. 'You were to be the 108th victim; understand this well, O king!'
But why did you survive? You survived because of your horse. How did your horse get this power? He attained this power because your wife, your mother and your father chanted the Mantragajar when riding him. However, though you are born a human, though you are well-educated, though you are well-off, though you are a king yourself, you do not have this power at all. If you cannot protect yourself, how will you protect your subjects, your people?
And then, at that moment, the king himself, for the first time in his life, took the Nama of the Swayambhagwan, 'Om Trivikramaya Namah,' and chanted the Mantragajar. At that time, the king's wife told him, 'First offer Namaskar to your mother, then to your father and then your Guru and only after this begin with the Namasmarana, start the Mantragajar'. "मातृ देवो भव:, पितृ देवो भव:, आचार्य देवो भव: (Matru Devo bhavah, Pitru Devo Bhavah, Aacharya Devo Bhavah) - meaning mother, father and Guru must be revered and served akin God" - this is the order that is followed while offering Namaskar. The king offered them Namaskar, and an important happening followed.
The moment the king started with the Mantragajar, a voice appeared from heaven that ordered the king, 'Stop, do not chant the Mantragajar. You are making an unforgivable mistake.' What did the voice say? 'You are making an unforgivable mistake.' 'You are acting like a fool; don't commit more sin'. The voice appeared when the king attempted to chant the Mantragajar. So, was it of the demon, or was it of God? Superficially, though the voice appeared to be of the demon, but it sounded sacred. However, the king's parents stood with their hands folded. So then, the voice had to be holy.
Then, the king asked with his hands folded, 'I don't know who you are. Surely, you are holy. Can you tell me what's my mistake?' 'O King, your real Guru is not the Rajguru, but the horse. What did this horse not give you? He gave you the Nama (of the Trivikram); he released the Nama he heard with his ears into your body. Remember, who gave you this Nama, who gave you this gajar? This horse gave it. It is due to the power of the horse; it is due to it backing you to the hilt that you came on the right path. Unless you bow to him, I will not accept your Mantragajar. First, say 'Ambadnya' to the horse and then start with My Mantragajar. With that very sentiment, the king bowed before the horse, said 'Ambadnya' to it and then began with the Mantragajar.
The king had not realised that there was not a single tree or flower in the hermitage till then. His father brings it to the king's notice, and in one moment, trees grew abundantly, fragrant flowers blossomed, sweet fruits ripened, and the whole area bloomed. Then, the king returned to his capital with the queen, and he reigned happily for a hundred years.
How did you find the story? I have liked this story since I first heard it as a kid; really, I do. It tells us what happens by just listening to the Mantragajar.
A horse is an animal. It is such a species that cannot listen like humans. It doesn't understand the human language. It doesn't understand the meaning behind the Nama. It does not even know that the Trivikram is 'God'. It does not even know what 'God' means. 'I carry the burden' is his inclination. It carries the load of man or goods, but the poor thing does carry a load. Right? It is like a slave. A rope is tied around its neck, and a harness is put in its nose.
But still, the horse listened to the Mantragajar when it was born. The elder queen and the younger queen, i.e. the Queen Mother and the Queen Consort, both chant the Mantragajar while bathing it in the morning and evening. Note that just listening to the Mantragajar makes an animal so holy that it can recognise a demon and even counter his evil spells. This is the power of the Mantragajar. Is it not? Yes, it is the power of the Mantragajar.
But remember, not to be silly. If you say that we chant the Mantragajar but do not accept 'the Swayambhagwan' as the Supreme Personality of Godhead, then the power of the Mantragajar is zero for you! Remember that the power of the Mantragajar is due to Him. Nothing good will happen if we chant the Nama of any God but won't accept Him as the Almighty; remember it. I wholeheartedly assert that the Mantragajar has great power! The Mantragajar can do anything! But when? When we keep faith in Him. But let me tell you one thing: if you chant the Mantragajar mechanically, do it like some drill, you have no special sentiment in mind while chanting it, meaning your attention is elsewhere; still it doesn't matter.
Look at the horse; it is a beautiful example. Moreover, this story has not been told by just any Tom, Dick, and Harry. Brahmarishi Yadnyavalkya Himself has narrated it to his eldest wife, Katyayani. So before us is the example of that horse, the example of those stones – the 107 stones that regained form as human beings. Where had they listened to the Mantragajar? Remember Ahalya? What was she able to hear? But she felt that touch of the Swayambhagwan, remember it. So even if our mind does not immerse in chanting the Mantragajar, no problem! It happens many times. We chant various mantras, Mantragajar, Hanuman Chalisa, all that we want to chant, but our mind wanders elsewhere. Let it be! Wandering is a fundamental characteristic of the mind; the mind is fickle. Let us continue chanting the Mantragajar, anyhow. If our mind is absorbed in Him even for a minute, it is sufficient; remember it. Never forget this story of the horse. One may say I cannot concentrate, so I won't chant the Mantragajar. No, still, you must chant. No problem, even if you are not able to concentrate. How much can a horse concentrate compared to a human? And yet, this horse not only ensured its own upliftment and progress but also brought about the king's upliftment and progress. It went on to attain the position and authority of the king's Guru, his spiritual Guru. Who attained it? A horse attained it; remember it! As Yadnyavalkya has himself narrated this story, it means it cannot, even as an exception, be untrue. It is because among all the Brahmarshis and their hierarchy, after Atri, who is Himself Bhagwan, comes Yadnyavalkya. Let us remember this Yadnyavalkya-narrated story of the horse today on the closing day of pravachan on the first Nama of the Trivikram.
Next time, we will try to understand the second Nama of the Swayambhagwan Trivikram, then the third, then the fourth and so on. We are going to study all His Nama. But we should remember today's story very well. I keep blaming myself as a human being for not being able to concentrate, for my mind wandering at places, for concentrating only when I chant the first Nama, then forgetting Him, only to remember Him when the chanting counter or rosary count nears one hundred eight (meaning the end). No problem even then. Let the chanting happen mechanically, but let the Mantragajar be chanted. The only condition is, let there be faith that for me, He is my God, my Lord of the Gods and that I am chanting His Mantragajar. The Trivikram then graces your life with the three steps with which He enters your life.
Henceforth, whenever you see a horse on the road or anywhere in a picture, definitely remember this story. Chant Rama-Rama-Atmaram once at that instance. Truly, I say, all your life will be graced by that horse. There's a lot of symbolism, there is a significant clue in this story. What does a horse basically symbolise? In our Indian culture, the horse (Ashwa) symbolises strength. The word 'horsepower' is used in science even today. It means the power is measured in 'horse power' (Ashwa-shakti). And what does 'Shwa' in Ashwa means? What does 'Shwa' mean in Sanskrit? 'Shwa' means the one who ensures unlimited well-being and welfare. It is not limited to securing a boon and making one birth happy. The one who can make your every birth happy and ensure unlimited welfare is 'Shwa'! And what does 'Ashwa' mean? The one who ensures holistic well-being and welfare. Here, 'A' signifies 'Akhil - Akhilatva', meaning the one who can ensure well-being and welfare in just every sphere, not only spiritually but also worldly welfare and well-being. 'Ashwa' means the one who can bestow in unlimited quantity all that we need to prosper; remember it.
How is this 'Ashwa' trained for our well-being and welfare? It is only and only by listening to the Mantragajar. If so, then imagine the difference it would create if we listened to it and chanted it ourselves. The 'Ashwa' is the one that ensures well-being and welfare. It is a symbol of strength, a symbol of masculinity, a symbol of valour.
To whom does this 'Ashwa', the horse belong (in the above story)? It belongs to the king. Every man is a king, but how? Every man's mind is the king. The Buddhi or the intellect, and the Chitta are his parents. The intellect keeps insisting, 'God exists, He is very much present, you must pray, you must chant the Mantragajar. It tells us to chant at least one Maalaa of the Mantragajar just because Bapu has asked for it. Why don't you chant 16 Maalaas?' In fact, the intellect, at the start, asks you to chant 16 Maalaas. Then, gradually, the intellect gives up. The intellect then asks you to chant at least 10 times, then scales it down and asks to chant at least 5 times, and finally, it comes down to ask for chanting at least once. But the mind doesn't listen. You may certainly watch movies, watch sports; even I do watch matches, they are good things to watch. But do not forget the One because of whom all this exists.
'Ashwa' means strength and power that can do all good and auspicious, the strength and power that is holistic. And when is the power to do all good and auspicious gained? Where does the 'Ashwa' - the horse get the strength and power from? What does the horse represent? It doesn't represent our mind, but this horse represents my Dehabuddhi, i.e. the strength to do every work or action. My Dehabuddhi means my capacity to do any physical or hard work. Dehabuddhi is the 'Ashwa'. When does the Dehabuddhi perform appropriate work? Only when the Dehabuddhi, i.e. the horse, gets the Mantragajar. Otherwise, what does this Dehabuddhi turn into? It turns into a stone, just like the king mentioned in the above story. But the Dehabuddhi alone can turn the stones sentient. But when does this happen? When the Dehabuddhi listens to the Mantragajar and also chants it. Dehabuddhi in our body makes us study or appear for exams and earn marks; it makes us perform all other worldly actions, which may be good or bad. However, the Dehabuddhi does not have the power to protect us from wrong and bad things. This power is not even with the mind. And our intellect is so limited that it, too, doesn't have this power to protect. There is only one panacea that provides this strength to all of us; it is the Mantragajar! Mantragajar works when it is chanted, keeping in mind that it is dedicated to the Trivikram.
The horse described in the story was naturally unable to converse. Yet, he could achieve the powers despite being a horse, an animal. However, we are humans. We must pronounce it; we must hear it. What about those who are deaf and dumb? There is no problem for them either. For a person medically deaf and dumb, if you chant the Mantragajar next to that person, every pore in his body will do the work of an ear, and with it, his body gets to hear the Mantragajar; remember this. Similarly, chanting the Mantragajar sitting next to an unconscious person won't make him listen to it for sure, but every pore in his body will do the work of an ear, and the Mantragajar will reach him. But then, what is the benefit? The other person will benefit from it even if he has sinned his entire life. Despite the sins, if you want to chant for such a person, do it! It will help him take a good course, albeit against his will. He may be willing to sin, yet he will take a good course; remember it. You may chant the Mantragajar sitting next to an unconscious person. Remember that the Mantragajar just cannot be corrupted by anything.
About chanting the Mantragajar sitting next to an unconscious person and every pore of his body, consequently performing the function of an ear, you may ask, Bapu, why is this facility not available to us? Every pore in an unconscious person's body works like an ear, so why can't it happen to us? Yes, it does happen! Every pore in our body can also function like an ear! Our body also absorbs the vibrations of the Mantragajar and does so actively as we are alive and conscious. The Mantragajar is not the thing to be heard only with ears or pronounced with mouth. In fact, every pore in our body absorbs the Mantragajar; remember this so that you will understand the power of the Mantragajar!
Such is the Trivikram! You listen to Him with your ears, chant his Nama and accept Him with your full body, but how? We have skin on our entire body. There are millions of pores on it. Just think of these as your millions of ears, and if you listen with these million ears, then how much will it benefit you? This is the power of the Mantragajar. However, the chanting of the Mantragajar must be done keeping the faith that the Trivikram is mine and He is the Lord of the Gods. He is my tutelary deity. He is everything to me. Whatever happens to me, only You decide – tell this to Him with love and chant the Mantragajar. So then, whether you chant it with attention or not, your entire body multiplies the Mantragajar twice, thrice, four times, five times, six times.... just imagine! Every pore in my body acts like an ear; it indeed happens! It was anyways the case till today, only that we were unaware of it. Today, we became aware that every pore in our body acts like an ear itself when chanting the Mantragajar!
However, do not forget today's story, ever. Okay? Hari Om, Shriram, Ambadnya, Naathsanvidh