As I Know: The Lord of the Mountains – Shiv Purana: 02
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Wicked brahmin Bidunga of Vasakala and devout Chanchula… an earnest devotion to lord Shiva delivers a man from the snares of life but one must shun sinful acts.
Therefore, a truth is obvious. A mere listening to the holy exploits of Shiva grants freedom from sufferings to the devotees. Shiva is the most loving and merciful lord among the various lords of heavens. A man may be a sinner but if he sincerely dedicates mind and heart to the service of Shiva, he achieves deliverance from sufferings of earthly life.
In a village Vasakala near the coastline of the sea, many brahmins with least reverence for Vedic dharma resided. All brahmins of evil minds and vicious thoughts spent life in sins and ungodliness. As notorious criminals, they found life exciting in transitory earthly joys and pleasures. Evil-minded and ill-natured brahmins did not believe in god and destiny. Mostly engaged in agricultural activities, they possessed various lethal weapons (astra-sastras). They were more attracted toward adultery and khaal, a life of vices and sins, and were in truth evil souls.
Opponents of truth they were, for dignity, affability and virtues were never the strong points of their conduct. They did not know that the path of knowledge, detachment (vairagya) and virtuous karmas leads man to purashartha, the objective of life – the wellbeing, potency and valour. They nursed beastly frame of mind and therefore, lived similar to animals. One can imagine the situation of a place where even brahmins harbour wicked characteristics. Why talk of other varnas? Thus, people belonging to other varnas possessed polluted minds, did not follow the path of dharma, and thus, behaved like desperados and khaals. Always occupied in bad deeds (kukarmas), brahmins were deeply involved in the pleasures of life. Even women of the village were also an embodiment of iniquitous demeanor, immorality and sinful temperament, and cultivated contaminated thoughts. They were bereft of good conduct and character. Thus, it was a village of sinners, scoundrels and cheats.
Bidunga, another brahmin also lived in the village. He was a man of adharma and therefore, never followed the path of truth and righteousness. He was an immoral soul, a great reprobate. Though his wife was beautiful, yet he preferred to tread a corrupt path. Bidunga’s wife Chanchula was a pious woman. She consistently treaded path of true and genuine dharma but a wicked husband left her alone, and started visiting women of easy virtues. Thus, in sins, evil deeds and adharma, Bidunga spent many years in waste, futility and meaninglessness. Chanchula, at times, felt anguished because she did not enjoy love and warmth of a man for many years but even then, though passions and love overwhelmed, she never believed in betrayal, infidelity and untruth. She remained a virtuous woman for a long time but soon, sinful and treacherous doings of a depraved husband prejudiced, and therefore, she began to adopt lifestyle of women of easy virtues.
Now, an evil-minded couple was deeply entrenched in unholy karmas and wasted precious time of life. Later on, Bidunga married a prostitute and thus, a brahmin of impure mind, met death in due course of time, and fell into the depth of hell. After suffering in the hell for many years, immoral brahmin was born as a dreadful pisacha (a ghost, who lives on human flesh). On the other hand, sinful Chanchula lived with her sons for a long time.
One day, on an auspicious occasion, she went to the land of Gokarana with brothers and relations. As she was in the company of pilgrims of virtuous thoughts of various regions, she also had a holy bath in the water of a river near the tirtha (a holy place of worship). Afterward, she roamed about with relations, and witnessed grand fairs and festivals. While she wandered here and there without purpose, she went to a temple and heard an ancient tale of sacrosanct and delightful Shiva from the mouth of a godly brahmin.
The learned brahmin said, “Women, who begin immoral relationship with other men, go to hell after death, and consequently, go to the land of Yama where dreadful envoys of Yama drive red-hot iron parigha (rod) into the yoni.” The words were harsh and strong.
When Chanchula heard, fears filled heart, mind, and consequently, feelings of penitence led to a life of vairagya (objectivity and denial), and afterward, she began to tremble in anxiety and uncertainty. When holy brahmin ended the tale, Chanchula still shivering with fear, went to the brahmin when he was alone in the room. She was curious and deeply worried about the corrupt life she lived and now, wanted to get out of impure ways of life.
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