Story of Chakradhara
Four young Brahmins were living in a
city, suffering utter poverty.
Unable to bear it, they thought, “It is
better to live in a forest where only wild animals live and no human beings
than to suffer poverty. Sleeping on a bed of grass is better than leading
forever a life of want and suffering.”
So, they packed their bags and set out in
search of prosperity and happiness. The learned have always said that the
grief-stricken man always gives up truth, relatives, mother and even
motherland. It was no wonder that the four Brahmins left their place and
after several sojourns reached the great city of Ujjain. They bathed in
Shipra River and went to the Mahakaleshwar temple. When they emerged from
the temple after the worship of Mahakaleshwar, Bhairavananda Swami, a sadhu,
greeted them. All of them prostrated before him in reverence and accompanied
him to his monastery.
The Swamiji asked the young men, “From
where are you coming and where are you going? What brought you here?”
“We are in search of prosperity. For us,
it is either death or wealth. You know that adventurous people achieve their
goals even if they have to sacrifice their lives. Destiny is all-powerful.
Still, nothing can be achieved without human effort. Wells, tanks and ponds
become full when it rains. But man too brings water out of the earth by
digging deep wells. So, please show us a way to achieve our goal,” the
Brahmin boys pleaded with the Swamiji.
Moved by their plight and determination,
the Swamiji gave them four sanctified tablets and told them, “Each one of
you takes a tablet and travel towards the Himalayas. Stop where the tablet
slips out of your hand and look at that spot for treasures. Dig the
treasures out and bring them back home and be happy.”
They began their journey and after some
days of travel, the tablet dropped from the hand of one of the four
Brahmins. They stopped there and after digging the earth, they found plenty
of copper. The first Brahmin told the others that all of them could mine as
much copper as they could and take it home. The others said, “What is there
in copper. Let’s go ahead.” The first Brahmin said they could go if they
wanted but he would go home taking all the copper he could carry.
The other three continued their journey
till a tablet dropped to the ground from the hand of one of the three. They
dug there and found plenty of silver. The second Brahmin suggested that they
should be happy with the silver they found and go home. The other two said
he could take all the silver if he wanted. They would, however, continue
their search for gold. The second Brahmin, happy with what he had found,
took silver and went home.
Now, the remaining two Brahmins trekked
some more distance until a third tablet dropped. The two dug there and found
gold. The third man said that gold was better than copper and silver and
they must now go back because there was nothing more precious than gold. The
fourth Brahmin did not agree and replied that he would continue his search.
The third man took the gold and went home.
It was now the turn of the fourth man. He
was now tired and thirsty, and on top of it he had lost his way and began
wandering aimlessly. Then he saw a man completely soaked in blood and a
wheel whirring over his head like a halo. The Brahmin went near him and
asked, “Sir, who are you and what is this wheel over your head? Can you show
me a place where water is available?” As he finished his questions, the
wheel shifted from the stranger’s head and came over the Brahmin’s head.
Then followed a dialogue:
“What is this wheel which has come over
my head,” asked the Brahmin.
“I have no idea. It tormented me as it is
doing to you now,” the stranger said.
“At least tell me how I can get rid of
it. It is so painful.”
“If any person like you with a tablet
comes here and talks to you, the wheel will shift on to his head.”
“How long have you been bearing this
hurt,” asked the Brahmin.
“I have no idea. But I think it was in
the reign of Lord Rama,” said the stranger.
“Who gave you food and water?”
“This place is where Kubera has stored
all his wealth. Those who trespass on this area will have no thirst or
hunger but a lot of pain inflicted by this wheel. Only such persons who have
a magic tablet like you had can come here,” said the stranger and took leave
of the Brahmin.
When the last Brahmin, whose name was
Chakradhara, did not return, his friend Suvarnasiddhi went back following
the trail left by his friend and found him bleeding and in great pain with a
wheel over his head. He asked him how he got into that plight. Chakradhara
told him what had happened so far.
Suvarnasiddhi then said, “I told you in
many ways not to be greedy. You did not heed my word. You are learned but
Wisdom is always superior to learning.