In the earlier Kali yuga there was a shudra who was by nature jealous and highly egostic. Somehow he was a devotee of Lord Shiva but envious of Lord Vishnu.
He used to worship by his own whims. He used to travel from place to place to find a guru who would give him “Shiva mantra”. Being naturally envious he could not approach humbly to any guru.
At last he met one Brahmana who was by nature very humble and caring. This sudra took shelter in his ashram and started serving him, although not with full heart as this sadhu was a Brahmana as well as worshiper of Lord Vishnu.
The Brahamna knew the envious nature of this sudra but being a pure Vaishnava he never saw his bad quality and always tried to convince him to give up the bad quality. One day the Brahmana gave him “Shiva mantra” as per shudra’s desire, but also advised him the truth about Lord Narayana, but all in vain.
As days passed the shudra chanted the mantra of Lord Shiva but at the same time his hatred toward his own guru increased. His guru being merciful never cared for his behavior, on other hand always tried for his upliftment.
One day as the shudra was chanting his mantra in Lord Shiva’s temple, his guru Maharaj visited the temple. Seeing his guru maharaj, he turned his face otherside and did not bother to pay obeisances pretending as if he was deeply meditating.
His guru being a pure sadhu did not mind for this disrespect but this behavior of the shudra was not tolerated by Lord Shiva.
With a thunderous roar Lord Shiva appeared from his diety form ,with his eyes burning like red fire, holding His trishul, he was about to kill the shudra.
Seeing the situation, the guru fell down at the lotus feet of Lord Shiva, and with tears in his eyes , the guru started pleading to Lord Shiva , by offering him prayers and singing his glories. He prayed for forgivness of the shudra and in turn offering his own head, and in this way he was able to cool down Lord Shiva.
Lord Shiva then cursed the shudra saying “You only pretend to worship me and did not offer any respect to your guru. Being a pure Vaishnava he did not mind it, but I could not tolerate this insult of a pure Vaishnava. Therefore I curse you to become a python and you will have to take 1000 birth in low species form.”
Hearing this curse the guru again fell at the Lord’s lotus�feet and said, “Oh! Mahadev you are called ‘Bhole Shankar’! You are so merciful.Please forgive my disciple, and sow the seed of Lord Narayan bhakti in his heart.
Lord Shiva being pleased with the guru again said, “As my curse won’t go in vain but seeing the love of your guru maharaj, I bless you that although you will have to change your body 1000 times you will never feel any pain while taking birth nor at the time of death and in your last birth you will become a brahmana and will attain pure bhakti at the lotus feet of Lord Ram and you will be able to remember all your past.” Saying this the Lord Shiva blessed the shudra and dissappeared.
Being cursed and blessed by Lord Shiva, he fell down at the lotus feet of his guru maharaj and with tears in his eyes he begged his forgiveness.
Soon, he took the form of python and kept changing his body without any pain (as per the blessing )and in his last birth he was born in a brahmana family.
In his early age he lost his parents. Taking this as the mercy of the Lord he left in search of Lord Ram’s mantra.
Whomever he met he use to ask about Lord Ram and nothing else. At the end he met a Rishi from whom he enquiret about Lord Ram.
After lot of argument about Lord’s niraakaar(Impersonal) and saakaar(Personal) forms, the rishi being under the influence of Lord Ram’s maya, tried to convince the superiority of Lord’s niraakaar form.
The brahmana with having no interest at all in Niraakaar form, debated and asked again the mantra of Lord Ram.
At this the muni got furious and cursed him to at once become a crow.
This curse was taken as blessing by the brahmana boy, and with folded hand he again asked the mantra of Lord Ram.
Seeing his firm devotion, the Lord situated in everyones heart removed the influence of His maya from the rishi.
Immediately the rishi realized his mistake,deeply repenting for it, he asked forgivness and at once gave him Ram mantra. Obtaining the mantra for which he waited so many lives, the crow knew no joy. He thanked the rishi and flew away.
Lord Ram appeared in front of this crow and asked the crow to ask for any benediction. The Lord said take riddhi, siddhi, wealth, beauty or any thing you name I shall give to you.” The crow being smart by nature thought that Lord offered me everything but He never ever mentioned to give His unflinching devotional service.
The crow said, “What I will do with all this ? I want nothing, oh! Lord of universe, If You are really pleased with me then give me Your loving bhakti of which Lord Shiva had talked about.”
In the entire Ramayana Lord Ram has never given so many boons along with His unflinching bhakti except for Hanuman.
Lord Ram even made him immortal ,and whenever Treta Yug comes this crow along with Lord Shiva, visit Ayodha dham to enjoy the “Bal Lila ” of Lord Ram.
This crow’s name was “Kak Bhusundi” (Kak means crow) and even today he is present in man-sarovar where he constantly chants the glories of Lord Ram and all the liberated souls visit him to hear the nectar of Ramayana.
And he never changed his body of crow. The crow’s rendition of Ramayana is very famous as bhusundi-ramayana.
Moreover, Lord’s dear devotee Sri Garudaji comes to this kak-bhusundi and hears his sweet singing of the Lord’s pastimes.
( Note from Moderator: I sincerely apologize for the length of this posting. I tried my best to make it concise, but the story is so involved and instructive that I cannot make it any shorter. )
Moral of the story:
Just imagine the fate of the shudra, what he was and what he became, and all this is because of a mercy of a pure vaishnava, a true sadhu, a real guru maharaj, who is many many times more merciful than a true father.
The spiritual master is rightly called Karuna Sindhu who liberated his disciple who was not at all qualified and who insulted him. When we think of such Sadhu , a Param Vaishnava.. a real loving father then at once Srila Prabhupada and our spiritual master comes in our mind, so much caring for fallen souls like us, he extends his strong hand and pulls us out of the blind well of ignorance.
A relevant verse from the scripture that highlights the quality of a spiritual master:
mukham karoti vacalam pangum langayate girim
yat kripa tamaham vande sri gurum deena taarinam paramaananda madhavam
“By the mercy of the all-blissful Lord Madhava and the Spiritual Master, even a dumb can speak eloquent poetic verses and a lame can climb mountains”.
I have read somewhere that a sadhu’s heart is soft like a butter.., but after I read the story below in Ramayan, I concluded that butter is not the right comparison, because for butter to melt it has to be heated, whereas sadhu’s heart melts without any heat, they are much softer than butter.
Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
PS: I humbly request all the devotees to please forward and share this moral / instructive stories they hear so that everyone can be benefitted by hearing about Krishna and his dear devotees.