Narada 8

Ratnakara tore a few creepers and tied Narada to a tree and said,"I will be back soon." So saying he left the placein the direction of his house.

After a long time Narada could see Ratnakara coming back. He was running. He appeared very upset. It appeared asthough he was being chased by a wild fire or a wild animal. He looked frightened. He untied Narada and fell at his feetand said,"O great guruji, you must save me."

"What has happened? Aren't your people ready to share your sins?" said Narada."No gurudeva, what you said was true. Sincere and real love is rare as you rightly said. Those I considered my peopleare not really my people. I realised this naked truth a little too late.

"My father said,'We looked after you from birth and it is your duty to look after us in our old age.""My wife said, ' I am a dependent. I am not concerned with how you earn. I do not need to know it either. I know thata wife has a share in all the righteous acts of her husband not in his sins and she quoted from our shastras.""My children said,"Father we are innocents.We are after all too young to understand spirituality and social duties.

In such a case how can we share your sins?'
In such a case how can we share your sins?'"My followers had similar stories to narrate. They said,"We are your followers. You are our master and bid us do things.We obey your commands, we do not know anything about sins or merits of what we actually do.' Gurudev, I am lost. Youhave opened my eyes and please save me." So saying Ratnakara fell at the sage's feet.

Narada smiled and said,"Chant the holy name of Rama. You don't have a second way." His words were filled with loveand concern.

The samskara of his previous births began to surface. It was dormant like rhe ash covered fire. When great yogis or greatest devotees of Sri Hari or devarshris blessed a sinner like Ratnakar his earlier samsakaras began to shinevery brightly. All his sins were burnt and reduced to ashes. As instructed by sage Narada he went to the river nearby, had a holy bath, sat beneath the tree to which he had tied sage Narada and began to chant the holy name Rama. Hecontinued doing this for years.

Worried greatly, Ratnakara's parents, wife, children and followers came in search of him. They persuaded him to return.All their efforts were in vain as they failed to wake him up from the state of samadhi. He had become disgusted withlife and completely renounced it. He forget his past completely and began to spend his time in meditation and otherreligious and spiritual activities such as japa and anushtama. As years passed an anthill grew over him and he washidden from view. But his chanting did not stop. He continued chanting Ramanama.

Years later, the seven great sages happened to visit the place. They wanted to rest in that place for something. Asthey sat there, they experienced an inexplicable peace and quietude. Besides, they could hear the chanting of Ramanamafrom some corner. They went in search of the place where the sound came from.They came near an anthill and they couldhear the melodious and clear chanting of Ramanama from the anthill. They wondered how it could be. While they werediscussing it, sage Narada happened to come to that place. They asked Devarshi Narada about the secret of the Ramanamacoming from an anthill and who was chanting it. They asked him to let them know about it if he knew. They also toldhim that they had experienced such peace as they had not experienced anywhere else.

"Yes, you are right. My disciple Ratnakara is engaged in Ramajapanushtana."(The rite of chnting the name of Rama.)At the time, the Trinity, Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Maheshwara appeared before the sages. Lord Brahma sprinkledholy water from his holy water-pot on the anthill. The anthill melted and they could see the figure of Ratnakara andhe was chnting Ramanama. He was not aware of the presence of gods and the saptarishis. He was repeating Ramanama. Hehad enthroned Sri Rama in his heart. Observing this Lord Brahma said,"Sage Narada, your disciple's devotion to his preceptor is unparalleled. Please wake him up."

Obeying the Lord's word Narada went near the anthill and spoke softly. "Dear son, get up. I have come, your preceptor."As soon as Ratnakara heard the words of his guru, he opened his eyes. when he saw his teacher he got up and in greatreverence, he fell at his feet. Narada lifted him up and embraced him with great affection and blessed him. Then hesaid,"Ratnakara, you have become a blessed one. Gods and saptarishis are standing in front of you. Seek their blessings."

Ratnakara fell at the feet of the Trinity and saptarishis. Lord Brahma said,"As you have come out of Valmika(an anthill) you will become famous by the name Valmiki". The gods and sages blessed Valmiki and disappeared. Naradaadvised Valmiki to have his ashram on the bank of the river Tamasa and live there doing penance. Then sage Narada left the place.

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