by Vettam Mani | 1975 | 609,556 words | ISBN-10: 0842608222
This page describes the Story of Samadhichetti included the Puranic encyclopaedia by Vettam Mani that was translated into English in 1975. The Puranas have for centuries profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture and are defined by their characteristic features (panca-lakshana, literally, ‘the five characteristics of a Purana’).
A Vaiśya who became learned and abstemious by the grace of Devī. The story of this Vaiśya, who ran away from the cruel and wicked treatment that he had suffered from his wife and children, and took to spiritual knowledge by the force of circumstances was told to Janamejaya by Vyāsa. After telling several stories about the kind regard of Devī towards those who worship her with devotion, Vyāsa continued as follows:—
During the time of Svārociṣa Manu, there lived a King named Suratha. Because of his liberality and truthfulness he had very few enemies. While he was ruling over the kingdom known as Kolāpura, once the low caste people of the mountains fought a battle with the King. Though the army of the low castes was small it was the King who sustained defeat. He returned to the palace thoughtful. He had no peace of mind. So he went to the forest to get peace. After travelling for a long time on horse-back, he reached the hermitage of the sage Sumedhas. Forgetting himself in the peaceful stillness of the hermitage, the King got down from the horse and sat under a tree. The hermit Sumedhas came there and talked with the King. The King told his story to the hermit, who invited the King to live with him. Thus the King lived in the hermitage eating fruits, roots etc.
The King found it difficult to reconcile himself with the purity and simplicity of the hermit’s surroundings. He always thought of his wife and children. He was troubled in mind by thinking that the money kept in the treasury would be wasted by others. Thus thinking about many things, with a troubled mind, the King was sitting under a tree near the hermitage once when he saw another man coming towards him, with a troubled mind like himself. They talked with each other. The new-comer said to the King "I am a Vaiśya. My name is Samādhiceṭṭi. My wife and children love wealth. They want to take possession of my wealth and to waste it. But I was against it. I did not favour unnecessary expenditure. They resolved to remove the obstacle from their path, and began to make preparation for it secretly. I understood it and fearing death I ran away from the house."
As soon as the king heard this story he said his own story to the Vaiśya. The Vaiśya continued. "Oh! Still, my mind is troubled. I am worried about my wife and children. They will be put to much difficulty if I am not there to look after them. Who is there to support them without me? All the children are lean. My wife also is likewise, lean. They are all always ill. What will they do without me? While I think of all these things I have no peace of mind at all."
Suratha: "What a fool are you! You yourself have said that all your children are wicked and cruel. Moreover they and their mother joining together had been trying to murder you. Why do you feel so miserable about such a wife and children?"
When the King had finished saying thus much, Sumedhas came there. To remove the darkness of illusion from their minds, the hermit taught them the Nine-lettered Mantra (spell) with prayer and meditation. Thus giving them the mantra, the teacher hermit advised them to go to the bank of the river and select a suitable place and worship Devī with devotion and concentration of mind. Accordingly they went to the bank of the river and selected a pure and solitary place, and concentrating their minds on Devī, began to meditate and worship her taking only very little food. Thus engaged in deep meditation they spent two years. One day in a dream Devī appeared to them. She was clad in red clothes, and wore beautiful ornaments. They were full of joy on seeing the goddess. The third year of the penance was over. But Devī did not appear directly before them. In the third year they took only water. They finished the fourth year without seeing the goddess. They decided to do severe penance. Their intention was to offer their bodies to Devī. So they made a triangular cavity, with three parts each having an extension of 1,5 ft. and made the walls of the cavity firm and kindled a large fire in it. The King and the Vaiśya began to cut pieces of flesh from their bodies and offered to Devī in the fire, and with the blood coming from the body they performed sacrifice to Devī. Instantly Devī appeared before them and asked them what boon they wanted. The King wanted to get his kingdom back. Devī said. "You return home. Your enemies shall leave the kingdom. Your ministers will fall at your feet and beg your pardon. You can rule over your country for ten thousand years. After that you will take rebirth as Sāvarṇi Manu, the son of the Sun."
What Samādhi Ceṭṭi wished was a life of self-renunciation. Devī gave him the wisdom and knowledge to renounce everything he had and to live a life of complete abstinence. Then Devī disappeared. The King returned to his kingdom and resumed his rule. Ceṭṭi renounced everything and wandered about immersed in meditation on Devī. (Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 5).