"In Wonders We Sail, Questing for the Answers in Veil"

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Story of Maluk Das

The story shows the relentless power of destiny.Here Maluk Das's prarabdha karma was so strong that he could not change it,in spite of his best efforts.

About four hundred years ago a man named Maluk Das lived on the plains of Northern India.He was fully absorbed in farming and raising cattle and had no time to participate in religious activities.His simple life occupied him completely,and he never thought about larger issues.He did not know if he believed in God,destiny or rebirth.

One hot,humid morning he decided to rest for a while.It was adhik mas,month Hindus dedicate to reading scriptures,chanting and meditating.A local pandit was reciting  scriptures under a tree,drawing a small crowd of villagers,and Maluk Das joined them.

In the course of the recitation,the pandit said,"Destiny is inevitable.We must experience the pleasure or pain bought about by destiny;there is no other way.If,due to our karma,we are supposed to be happy,we will be happy.If we supposed to be miserable,we will be miserable.We cannot go hungry if we are supposed to have food.A human being has no freedom of choice,but must undergo whatever destiny has in store."

Maluk Das was intrigued,so he challenged the pamdit:"Are you saying this just because it is written in that book,or do you have proof?"

Evidently the pandit had some intuitive knowledge for he replied "The proof is this: today you are not supposed to be hungry.No matter what you do,you will be fed."

Maluk Das took this as a challenge."I am not going to eat,no matter what comes," he said."An action cannot be performed unless someone performs it.And the performer of an action has freedom of choice.Today I ll prove it to you."

Proud of his decision Maluk Das left the gathering.It was almost time for his lunch.He was determined not to eat,so he avoided the village and made his way to the dense forest nearby,where he hid in the branch of a tall tree and settled down to wait for evening.Soon he heard voices.They grew progressively louder,until they were right under his tree.Peering through the branches,Maluk Das saw three men making plates from the leaves of the tree,he was hiding in.They washed their hands in the nearby stream,put food on he plates,and were about to begin their meal,when a tiger suddenly roared nearby.In panic,the travelers jumped over the stream and vanished into the forest beyond,leaving their meal behind.

Maluk Das suspected that the pandit had arranged this scene to entice him to eating,but this only steeled his determination not to be tricked.He settled himself more firmly amid the branches and continued to wait.In a little while,three more men stopped under this tree.From their looks and their talks,he concluded that they were robbers."How gracious is God," said one."Even in such a deep forest,he takes care of us.No on other than God would serve meals to the likes of us."

"Don't be foolish,"another one said."Someone might be chasing us and trying to kill us.I'm sure this food has been poisoned."The third one said,"I think you are right.And my guess is that person is somewhere nearby.Lets find him and feed this food to him-that will teach him a lesson."

So the three robbers set out to find out the person who had left the food.Soon one of them noticed Maluk Das hiding in the branches.He called his confederates and together they forced Maluk Das from the tree.The farmer tried to explain why he was there,but naturally the robbers didn't believe him.They gave him a couple of slaps and two of them pushed him down and opened his jaws,while the third pushed food in to his mouth,making sure that he ate each from the plates.Then they kept him captive for a while to see whether or not he showed signs of being poisoned.Once they were sure the food was pure,they ate the rest and let him go.

By the time Maluk Das returned to the village,it was almost dark.The next day he found the pandit,gained further knowledge, and committed himself to the spiritual practice.Eventually he became one of the greatest saint in North India.Kade Ki Mai,a famous temple of the Divine Mother associated with saint Maluk Das,still stands near the city of Allahabad.

Here Maluk Das's main karma was that he must eat,and his secondary karma led to the events that resulted in taking a meal.From his standpoint both the travelers and the robbers were instrument in the hands of destiny,and it continued on in the direction it was going.


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