The words of advice of the sages had their effect on Drona. He decided to give up arms and stop killing. His mind became calm. He became detached. The life of his son had pushed him to the brink of despair. The consoling words of sage Atri quietened his wounded soul. He began to see the world in all it's beauty and ugliness. He must have felt repentant for what had done. He drove away from his mind anger, jealously and a sense of revenge and became pure of heart. He began to meditate and fell into a yoga mood amidst cries of pain, killing, flow of blood on the battlefield!What a great change!
He assumed the form of a brightlight and fixed his mind on Lord Mahavishnu. He closed his eyes never to open them!Afew moments earlier he was on a rumpage on the battlefield like Kalabhairava where is that Droana now? He was sitting in the yogic pose in the middle of that terrible battlefield. His soul left his body on its journey to reach the Almighty. This was made possible by sage Atri's timely advice.
At this junture we have to think deeply about sage Atri's role as a reedemer of pain in this world. In his ripe old age, he left the quiet sylvan surroundings of his ashram to the frightenings scene of the battlefield of Kurushetra. His main object was to prevent the destruction of the world. At the same time he wanted to change the mind of Drona,who was full of hatred and blood thirsty because of his too much of attachment and the sage succeded in changing the brahmin turned warrior, by showing him the path of salvation. He succeeded in cleansing heart and thus become a greatguru. Narada Bhakti Sutra must have made the following observation, keeping in mind great people like Atri
Teertham Kurvanthi Terthani
Sukarmee kurvanthi Karmani
Satshastri kurvanti Sastrani
Meaning: Great people ake holy water sacred, they turn deeds, sacred deeds and render shastras really virtuous and venerable.This means that it is not just they have an aura holiness around them, they also make others pure and holy. Theymake the whole world a holy place to live in.
Experiences of revelations of Veda mantras
At the begning of the book it is mentioned that these sages were the experincers of revelations of Veda mantras.They spoke only the truth because they were the people who saw truth in this world. Sage Atri's fame spread from the time of the Vedas to the age of the Mahabharatha. The vedas are the store houses of our collective wisdom. That is the birth place of all high thinking.
The vedas are the collection of mantras. This collection has been devided into two parts based on the subjects such as devas, rishi's subjects and so on. Sage Bhadwan Vedavyasa did this colossal task successfully. Therefore he is called Vedavyasa meaning the one who measured the vedas.
Vedas are four in number. The Rigveda is the first among them. It is bigger than the other three. It has ten mandalas or sections. Atri and the other members of his gothra were the people to whom the fifth mandala was revealed.There is a reference to this effect in the very first mandala. These rishis are called 'Shatarchinah'.In the Atri mandala,(v) we have a graphic description of the earth and when we read it we realise the great love and respect these sages had for the dear earth we live in. According to them the earth is a devatha. She has borne the weight of mountains and clouds. With great ease. She has great and perennial rivers. She is brightly clad. She had been praised in glowing terms. Just as an expert horseman subdue and tame a wildly behaving horse, she controlsthe rampant clouds with ease. She has the great wealth of trees. The clouds she has worn as part of her dress, thunder and are decorated with bright straks of lightning and they send plenty of rain to the earth.
The sages took great pleasure in glorifying the greatness of earth and they would not rest contented after doing that they would try to find better ways of doing that they would try to find better ways of doing it. In a sense,their nature worship, the beauty of the language and the grace of the mantras have made the Vedas difficult to understand for an ordinary scholar. Each mantra has a storehouse of hidden meaning.
Their love of nature, concern for social welfare, the trials and tribulations the people experience and their efforts in solving many of these problems go beyound our limited capacity to comprehend. Their source of strength to console those in trouble and preach righteousness lies in the power of their rigorous tapas. If we try to study the divine strength sage Atri had aquired,we feel that his personality is as great as the Himalayas. His pleasant and divine figure gets imprinted in our hearts. The very thought of sage Atri brings to our mind's eye the equally great figure,his wife Anasuya. Their ideal tapas, and the ideal family of their life. Their great self control and model family life brought them God's grace and we know that the Trinity( Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) were born as their children.
The word Atri refers to one who does not have the three gunas namely satwa, rajas and tamas - or simply trigunatita. His wife Anasuya Devi's name has also similar meaning. It means that she is one who does not have jeolously. She is the purest among the pure. They represent a pure purusha and a pure prakriti. O great ones we make obeisanceto you. Let your ideal life be our guide and a source of strength.