SADGURU SHRI SIVAN SIR

Yenippadigalil Maanthargal - YPM

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YPM-II Page - 2

 

Croesus and Cyrus.

 

Have we not been discussing about Croesus of Lydia? This country was being ruled by the descendants of Hercules of which Candaules was the last king. In BC 691 he happened to be killed by his body guard Gyges who ascended to the throne after marrying the queen. The public were divided in their opinion in accepting Gyges as their king and the matter was referred to the God of Apollo at Delphi. Apollo ruled in favor of Gyges with a rider that his fifth descendant will lose his crown.

Croesus was the fifth descendant of Gyges. Within a few days of bidding farewell to Solon, Croesus had a dream in which he saw his eldest son Atis being pierced by an iron spear and killed. Shocked, Croesus took extreme care of his son from that day. At that time a prince of a neighbouring country by name Adrasthu came to Croesus seeking protection. He told Croesus that he killed his brother accidentally and on that count was exiled by his father. Croesus allowed Adrasthu to stay with him after making him go through due rites of penitence which according to Herodotus was similar to that adopted by Greeks. Months passed by. People from a village in Lydia complained to Croesus that a massive wild boar was attacking their village and causing great trouble. Atis took it upon himself to fulfill the request of villagers in spite of his father's attempt to dissuade him by informing Atis about his dream. Atis brushed aside his father's reservations on the premise that this enterprise does not involve any human opponent and convinced Croesus to send him. However Croesus who was not fully satisfied sent Adrasthu with Atis to safeguard him. Finally the wild boar was spotted and surrounded. Adrasthu who was standing on the opposite side of Atis hurled his spear on the wild boar which pierced Atis accidentally and killed him. The wild boar too was killed.

Adrasthu came back and reported the unfortunate event to Croesus with great sorrow and beseeched that he be put to death. Shocked, Croesus fell down unconscious. After regaining his senses, Croesus arranged for the proper burial of his dead son. Adrasthu smitten with remorse reached the graveyard that night, killed himself and fell down on the cairn of Atis.

A couple of years went by. Croesus came to know the about the conquests of Cyrus of Persia. Croesus planned to attack Cyrus and wanted to get Appollo's guidance through the oracle. To test the oracle, he asked his messengers to find out his routine on the hundredth day of their departure.

As soon as the Lydians proposed their question, than the Pythian answered thus, in heroic verse:

"I count the sand, I measure out the sea;

The silent and the dumb are heard by me;

E'en now the Odours to my sense that rise;

A tortoise boiling with a lamb supplies,

Where brass below and brass above it lies!"

Yes exactly the same meal was prepared at the king's place.

Croesus after these things, to conciliate the divinity of Delphi, offered a great and magnificent sacrifice. He collected, a great number of conches decorated with gold and silver, many goblets of gold, and vests for purple; all these he consumed together upon one immense pile, thinking by these means to render the deity more auspicious to his hopes. As, at the conclusion of the above ceremony, a considerable quantity of gold had run together, he formed of it a number of tiles. The larger of these were six palms (app: 21 inches) long, the smaller three palms (appr: 10 1/2 inches), but none of them were less than a palm (3 1/2 inches) in thickness, and they were one hundred and seventeen in number: four were of the purest gold, weighing each one talent and a half; 125 lbs, the rest were of inferior quality, but of the weight of two talents. He constructed a lion of pure gold which weighed ten talents. It was placed in the Delphian temple, on the above gold tiles.

Croesus moreover sent to Delphi two large cisterns, one of gold and one of silver : that of gold was placed on the right hand in the vestibule of the temple, the silver one was placed on the left. The golden goblet weighed eight talents and a half and twelve minae, that of silver is capable of holding six hundred amhporace; it is placed at the entrance of the temple and used by the inhabitants of Delphi in their Theophanian festival. The Corinthian treasury also possesses four silver casks, which were sent by Croesus, in addition to the above to Delphi. His munificence did not yet cease: he presented also two basins one of gold, another of silver, Many other smaller presents accompanied these; among which were some silver dishes, and the figure of a woman in gold, three Cubits high, who according to the Delphians, was the person who made bread for the family of Croesus. This prince, besides all that we have enumerated consecrated at Delphi, his wife's necklaces and girdles. The Amphiarus, having heard of his valour and misfortunes, he sent a shield of solid gold, with a strong spear made entirely of gold, both shaft and head. These were all, within my memory, preserved at Thebes in the temple of the Ismenian Apollo. --The value of one talent is 2000 sterling pounds or 50000 shillings.. One amphorace: 10.2 gallons.

A few days passed. Croesus despatched messengers with presents to Delphi and wanted to know whether he can go to war with Persia and emerge victorious. The response from oracle was, "If Croesus prosecutes a war with Persia, a mighty empire will fall." Croesus was delighted with the response and enquired further whether his regime will function permanently after his victory over Persia. The following was the answer of the Pythian.

The following was the answer of the Pythian.

"When over the Medes a mule shall sit on high,

Over Pebbly Hermus then, soft Lydian fly;

Fly with all hast; for safety scorn thy fame,

Nor scruple to desrve a coward's name."

That is, a mule will enter Lydia through Medea and the Lydian will try to escape, according to Bhagavan. Croesus misread this reply thinking that a mule can't obviously rule over a regime and so his kingdom will endure. However he sent this response of the oracle to his counselors and before their clarification reached him he lost the war. In the clarification Cyrus was referred to as the mule and he would emerge victorious in the war with Croesus.

When the oracle was consulted on an earlier occasion asto whether the dumb son of Croesus will regain speech, it responded, "Wide ruling Lydian, in thy wishes wild, ask not to hear the accents for thy peace, And sad will be the day when that shall cease". The God said: "Don't desire that your dumb son speaks; the moment he starts to speak you will have trouble". When Croesus lost the war, Cyrus had instructed his soldiers to bring him alive. When a soldier was about to kill Croesus who lost his crown in the melee with his sword, the dumb son who got shocked started speaking with the words, "don't kill the king. " On hearing these words, the soldier caught hold of Croesus and arrested him.

The Persians thus obtained possession of Sardis, and made Croesus captive; a mighty empire, agreeably to the prediction which had deluded him, being then destroyed. The Persians brought him to the presence of Cyrus, who ordered him to be placed in chains upon the summit of an huge wooden pile. He did this, desirous of offering to some deity the first fruit of his victor in compliance with a vow which he had made. When Croesus stood erect on the pile, although in this extremity of misery he did not forget the saying of Solon, which now appeared of divine inspiration, that no living mortal could be accounted happy. When the remembrance of this saying occurred to Croesus, it is said that rousing himself from the profoundest silence of affliction, he thrice pronounced aloud the name of Solon. Cyrus, hearing this, desired by his interpreters to know who it was that he invoked. They approached and asked him, but he continued silence. At length, being compelled to explain himself, he said, "I named a man with whom I had rather that all kings should converse, than be master of the greatest riches." Not being sufficiently understood, he was solicited to be more explicit; to their repeated and importunate inquires, he replied to this effect: That Solon, an Athenian, had formerly visited him, a man who, when he had seen all immense riches, treated them with disdain: whose sayings were at that moment verified in his fate - sayings which had applied not to him in particular, but to all mankind, and especially to those who were in their own estimation happy. While Croesus was thus speaking the pile was lighted, and the flame began to ascend. Cyrus being informed of what had passed, felt compunction for what he had done. His heart reproached him that being himself a mortal, he had condemned to a cruel death by fire, a man formerly not inferior to himself. He feared the anger of the god, and reflecting that all human affairs are precarious and uncertain, he commanded the fire to be instantly extinguished, and Croesus to be saved. They could not, however, with all their efforts, extinguish the flames.

In this extremity, the Lydians affirm, that Croesus, informed of the change of the King's sentiments in his favour by seeing the officious but seemingly useless efforts of the multitude to extinguish the flames, implored the assistance of Apollo, entreating that if he had ever made him any acceptable offering, he would now interpose and deliver him from impending danger. When Croesus, with tears, had thus invoked the god, the sky, which before was serene and tranquil, suddenly became dark and gloomy, a violent storm of rain succeeded, and the fire of the pile was extinguished. This event satisfied Cyrus that Croesus was both a good man in himself and a favourite of heaven: Causing him to be taken down from the pile, "Croesus," said he, addressing him, "What could induce you to invade my territories, and become my enemy rather than my friend?" " O King," replied Croesus, "It was the prevalence of your good and my evil fortune which prompted my attempt. I attacked your dominions, impelled and deluded by the deity of the Greeks. No man can be so infatuated as not to prefer tranquility to war. In peace, children inter their parents; war violates the order of nature, and causes parents to inter their children. It must have pleased the gods that these things should so happen.

Cyrus immediately ordered him to be unbound, placed him near his person, and treated him with great respect; indeed, he excited the admiration of all who were present. After an interval of silent meditation, Croesus observed the Persians engaged in the plunder of the city. "Does it become me, Cyrus," said he, "to continue silence on this occasion, or to speak the sentiments of heart?" Cyrus entreated him to speak without apprehension or reserve. "About what" he returned, "is that multitude so eagerly employed?" - "They are plundering your city", replied Cyrus, "and possessing themselves of your wealth" - "No", answered Croesus, "they do not plunder my city, nor possess themselves of my wealth: I have no concern with either; it is your property which they are thus destroying." These words disturbed Cyrus; desiring, therefore those who were present to withdraw he asked Croesus what measures he would recommend in the present emergency. "The gods," answered Croesus, "have made me your captive, and you are therefore justly entitled to the benefit of my reflections. Nature has made the Persians haughty but poor. If you permit them to indulge without restraint in this spirit of devastation, by which they may become rich, it is probable that your acquiescence may thus foster a spirit of rebellion against yourself. i would recommend the following mode to be adopted, if agreeable to your wisdom: station some of your guards at each of the gates; let it be their business to stop the plunderers with their booty, and bid them assign, as a reason, that one-tenth par must be consecrated to Jupiter. Thus You will not occur the enmity by any seeming violence of conduct; thy will even accede without reluctance to your views, under the impression of your being actuated by pious motives."

Cyrus was delighted with the advice, and immediately adopted it; he stationed guards in the manner recommended by Croesus, whom he afterwards thus addressed: "Croesus, your conduct and your words marks a princely character. I desire you, therefore to request of me whatever you please, and your wish shall be gratified." "Sir" replied Croesus, "You will materially oblige me by permitting me to send these fetters to the god of Greece, whom above all other gods, I have most honoured; and to inquire of Him, whether it be His custom to delude those who have claims upon his kindness." When Cyrus expressed a wish to know the occasion for this reproach, Croesus ingenuously explained each particular of his conduct, the oracles he had received, and the gifts he had presented, declaring that these inspired communications, had alone induced him to make war upon the Persians. He finished his narrative with again soliciting permission to send and reproach the divinity which had deceived him. Cyrus smiled. "I will not only grand this," said he, "but whatever else you shall require." but Croesus declined to possess anything. Croesus accordingly dispatched some Lydians to Delphi, who were commissioned to place his fetters on the threshold of the temple, and to ask if the deity were not ashamed at having, by his oracles, induced Croesus to make war on Persia, with the expectation of overturning the empire of Cyrus, of which war these chains were the first fruits: and they were further to inquire if the gods of Greece were usually ungrateful.

The Lydians proceeded on their journey and executed their commission; they are said to have received the following reply from the Pythian priestess:- "That to avoid the determination of destiny was impossible even for a divinity ; that Croesus in his person, expiated the crimes of his ancestor in the fifth descent; who being a guardsman of Heraclide, was seduced by the artifice of a woman to assassinate his master, and without the remotest pretensions succeeded to his dignities; that Apollo was desirous to have this destruction of Sardis fall on the descendants of Croesus, but was unable to counteract the decrees of fate; that he had really obliterated them as far as possible, and to show his partiality to Croesus, had caused the ruin of Sardis to be deferred for the space of three years; that of this Croesus might be assured that if the will of the fates had been punctually fulfilled, he would have three years sooner a captive: neither ought he to forget that when in danger of being consumed by fire, Apollo had afforded him his succour; that with respect to declaration of the Oracle, Croesus was not justified in his complaints; for Apollo had declared that if he made a war against the Persians, a mighty empire would be over-thrown the purport of which communication, if he had been anxious to understand, it became him to have inquired whether the god alluded to his empire, or to the empire of Cyrus; but that, not understanding the reply which had been made, nor condescending to make a second inquiry he had been himself the cause of his won misfortune: that he had not at all comprehended the last answer of the oracle, which related to the mule; for that this mule was Cyrus, who was born of two parents of two different nations of whom the mother was as noble as the father was mean; his mother was a Mede, daughter of Astyage, king of the Medes; his father was a persian tributary to the medes, who although a man of the meaest rank, had married a princess who was his mistress." This answer of the Pythian, to the Lydians on their return was communicated to Croesus. Croesus having heard it exculpated the deity and acknowledged himself to be reprehensible. Such, however, was the termination of the empire of Croesus and this the recital of the first conquest of Ionia - 546 B.C.

Apollo's statement at the outset that even Gods can't escape from their destiny proves that no one can circumvent destiny. Similarly Nebuchadrezzar, the emperor of Babylon has announced the end of his empire beforehand and has regretted that even Parvathi and Parameshwara (Belus and Beltis) his foremost ancestors are powerless to check the destined end of Babylon!

In general human beings develop Arivu, Buddhi, Madhi, Chitham as the case may be according to their state of evolution. The sequence of evolution is from Arivu to Buddhi, Buddhi to Madhi and from Madhi to Chitham. But we use these terms without any sense of discrimination. Likewise we also use the term Gnanam at the drop of the hat. Mutrina Vivekis are those whose Madhi is in full bloom. They are unaffected by the consequences caused by planetary movements. The adage, "Vidiyay Madhiyal Vellalam (Destiny can be overcome by discrimination)" is only applicable to them. Deiva Vivekis, Deiva Sadhus and Mahans keep progressing in the growth of Chitham. Finally Thuravis rise above Chitham. They have the power to alter the destiny of other people! (Sir was a Thuravi)

In the present times, many divine fakes and purohits claim to alter destiny! Those who approach these professionals only lose their money to regret later. As a matter of sheer coincidence with predestined relief, a few people get their problems solved which they mistakingly attribute to these fakes. But no one ever discusses about the thousands of cases which are not solved by these professionals.

People have become so foolish as to approach these fraudulent professionals for respite from insanity, problems in business, physical handicaps, barrenness, and for success in litigation, finding treasure, winning lottery, promotion, taming of enemies, reformation of spouse, escaping death due to terminal diseases etc. However there is nothing surprising that those who suffer from calamities become irrational enough to approach these professionals as a man being swept by river wasters trying to clutch at a straw. But these quacks can do nothing to change the plans of destiny as sent by the gods of planets. All these protocol for penitentiary rites have been invented by persons of recent origin. Our adversities are unleashed by Gods in accordance with our destiny and may last for a few days or years or lifelong as the case may be as dictated by our evil deeds in the past. No one can achieve success or get respite from destiny by resorting to penitentiary rites. No God has ever said that destiny can be altered by mantras. All Homams should be undertaken as a matter of dutiful worshiping of Gods. Even the heroes of Puranic times did not try to overcome destiny by resorting to Mantra Homams. Emperor Parikshith listened to Baghavatham. That is all.

* Coloured texts in the above chapter are extracts from YPM directly as given by Shri Sivan Sir himself.

SOLON AND CROESUS

Solon who was detached, abstemious and virtuous,undertook a journey to meet Egyptian Brahmins as well as to observe the rule of law in some countries. One of the countries he visited was Lydia in Asia Minor.

Solon who was treated affectionately like a child in Egypt, was welcomed in the palace of Lydia very honorably. Though Lydia or any other country can in no way be compared to Egypt or Babylon in any manner, the Lydian king Croesus owned great riches and on that count was compared to Kubera, the lord of wealth by his neighbors.

Croesus has already heard of Solon who was one among the seven wise men of Greece and accordingly desired to get Solon's approval for his worldly greatness. Hence Solon was taken around and shown the parts of palace  laid with gold, statues, cauldrons and ornaments made of gold as also the heaps of precious gems. After this Croesus sat down with the philosopher for a chat when he put a rather delicate question to Solon as to who can be considered a happy person in the world.

Though the question posed by the king put the philosopher in a dilemma, Solon did not hesitate in the least to speak his mind out. Solon went on to expound the tenets of happiness and illustrated it with the lives of one or two highly virtuous persons. He also added that Croesus can't consider himself happy at the moment unless his circumstances remain unchanged till his last moment. Disappointed with Solon's reply which was not in lines with his expectation, Croesus bade him farewell.

Among the tenets of happiness laid down by Solon, one impressed me singularly which I am giving below:- In the sacred Olympic games held 27 centuries earlier, two brothers belonging to the country of Argo emerged victorious. Known as Cleobis and Bito, both were virtuous and puissant. As Goddess Meenakshi ruled over Madurai of Tamil Nadu, Goddess Juno ruled over Argolis of Greece from the city of Argo. Juno was the wife of Jupiter, who was the same as Lord Siva. (In Egypt she was known as Goddess Sathi who had cow's horn)

During an important festival of Juno called Bramhothsavam, the mother of Argo brothers desired to have darshan of the goddess. She was serving at one of the temples in her village. When she conveyed her wish to her sons, they attempted to get the bullock cart ready. At that time the bullocks had gone for grazing. Since there was not much time left to reach the temple after bringing the bullocks, the brothers themselves hauled the cart over a distance of 45 furlongs and ensured that their mother reached the temple in time.

In the crowd gathered at the temple, those who witnessed and heard about the extraordinary service done by the brothers to their mother praised them. After the rites in connection with the Bramhothsavam was over, both brothers had darshan of Juno and lay down in the temple precincts to take rest. Their mother prayed to Juno to bestow her best blessings on her sons. Juno absorbed both brothers into her and ordained that their statues be placed in the temple.

In this regard a sagacious Christian scholar writes : "They terminated their lives in a manner which was singularly fortunate. In this event the deity made it appear that death is a greater blessing to mankind than life".

Including human beings, there is no death for any living object. The word death is used to denote the departure of soul (Jeevan) from body. Death should actually be construed as the termination of that particular birth. "We" are not our bodies. "We" refer to our souls (Jeevan) only. Jeevan is permanent. It is the combination of intellect, mind, brain etc. That which is attached to Jeevan is Athma. We are granted human birth in between only to purify Jeevan more and more. However from a distant past most of the people have deteriorated gradually in character and have now become sinners. Due to this reason deities have stopped manifesting themselves to those belonging to divine religion (Hindu religion). Though divinity had disappeared from our country, gods still watch good and wicked deeds of human beings from their region. Regarding other religions, divinity has disappeared from their countries long back since they have rejected the concept of gods and wrote them off from their religions.

No one thinks about the time defying eternal journey one undergoes in the form of countless births. No one is also aware of the fact that they are repeatedly born as human, beast, animal, bird, plant, aquatic being, insect, worm, again human etc. Suffering from terrible diseases and physical handicaps, families suffering from abysmal poverty, being subjected to hatred by others, forced into beggary, undergoing mental torture, suffering untold miseries, losing their beloved one in accidents - those who either suffer such calamities directly or indirectly don't realise the fact that these misfortunes happen on account of their destiny or karma. Moreover a majority of people continue their sinful way of living and the inference is that they don't believe in the terrible consequences of such sinful life in their next birth. Further, the wicked wights, hypocrites and the rampant corrupt government officials of our times are not aware in what terrible ways will they suffer in their forthcoming human births.

You would have by now understood that all of us keep passing through countless births eternally and death does not cause our end. In general you can't appreciate the fact that for noble persons death is deliverance. Will you give your consent if a god seeks your permission to grant deliverance in the form of death to either your virtuous son or beloved wife?  Even the lip philosophers of the present times or those who call themselves Anandas may be proficient in giving lectures on intricate philosophy but they too will tremble once they know that their death is imminent. Among several philosophical attainments, welcoming death is just a minor one.

If I say that death is a deliverance, you may ask how suitable is this for sinners and ignorants (Pamarans). Don't you feel that death saves them from committing further sins and errors in this life? But only Siranda Vivekis who are particular in completing their human journey fast can appreciate the fact that death is indeed deliverance. Besides, one should recall the reply given by Lord Krishna to the questions posed by Narada Maharishi.

Once Narada posed a question to Lord Krishna. "Krishna! People talk about the fruit of seeing great souls, what is it? In response Krishna replied, "Go and ask the parrot on the tree". When Narada put the question to the parrot it just feel down with a thud and died. A few years passed. Narada again meet Krishna and put the same question to Him. This time Krishna pointed to a girl and asked Narada to ask her. When Narada put the question to the girl she also feel down and died. Many years went by. Narada repeated the question to Krishna. Krishna asked Narada to check with the emperor of that country. The emperor prostrated to Narada and submitted humbly: "Hey Rishi! You are omniscient. But I am replying your question in obeisance to your command. Three births back I was born as a parrot. At that time you gave me darshan as a result of which I was born as a girl. You again gave me darshan. Now I have become an emperor!".

In this illustrative incident, if the bird and girl have not seen Narada, they would not have obtained such meteoric elevation in such a short span of time. In other words, unless one has had the darshan of such a great saint, it would taken lakhs of births to get such an elevation. (In the previous edition Sir has used the phrase "thousands of births". When the revised edition was being readied, He instructed me to substitute the word "thousands" with "lakhs" which is more appropriate!). In the hoary past, such death was granted rarely to Vivekis. When the mother of Argo brothers prayed to Juno to bestow her best blessings on them,  Juno blessed them with death. The mother consoled herself sensing the truth. Similarly another God granted deliverance to Alexander. When Alexander's health became critical his ministers approached Serapis God and sought His permission to shift Alexander to His presence. Serapis replied, "Let him continue in his present location. Very soon he will be far better". Accordingly the king passed away the next day evening.

 

Destiny (Uzhvinai)

From time Immemorial God  is praised as a generous and merciful saviour of those in danger . But practically all of us undergo only untold misery in life and no one has seen any God answering his prayers promptly. Sometimes adversities too overtake us. It so happens that those very dear to us are taken away from our midst all of a sudden. It is a common sight that those who call themselves believers or devotees claim that they have been rescued by God if they happen to escape and the same persons maintain silence if hardships and calamities get the better of them.

In case a tiger comes charging at us and we sincerely pray God to deliver us, we will end up being eaten by the tiger as Gods are not going to come to our rescue. When thieves tie us with ropes and take our belongings away, Gods don't intervene, make them blind and retrieve our stolen property. In case of assault by enemies and deadly accidents it is never seen that those who pray to Him are spared from death or loss of limbs. An innocent person who prays to God sometimes is even jailed. Those who have family problems or affected with terminal diseases are not even noticed by God though they spend thousands in ostentatious worships.

Those suffering from a variety of handicaps don't get relief by going around temples. Those who undertake services at temples are not able to circumvent their lot of miseries. Yama does not spare popular political or religious leaders on whose behalf mass prayers and worships are held. We see a lot of impoverished families who pray to God being reduced to beggary or even resorting to suicide.

In short when we are affected by poverty, hardships, sorrow, anxiety, accident etc, the Gods seem to turn a deaf ear to our desperate pleas for help. Hence we are constrained not only to refute several lofty  adjectives attributed to God traditionally such as "saviour " and "merciful" but even doubt His very existence.

The people of divine culture did not give room to such doubts. They had complete and unassailable faith in the system of punishment for sins besides being aware of the existence of Gods with proof. They were hereditarily brought up as good and noble persons. A few of them were affected by minor hardships but they believed that these were the fruits of minor transgressions committed by them in previous births.

Due to a drop in the number of benevolent regimes coupled with a drastic decline in the moral standards of the world, more and more people have started indulging in sins and atrocities which have resulted in God justifiably becoming a chastiser  rather than a saviour. 

Many people tell me that their sufferings in the present birth are due to sins committed in the previous births. But I observe that the same persons are overflowing with sins in mind, words and deeds. I don't know how to classify these people. Besides most of those who cite destiny when others are affected by hardships, sing a different tune when it is their turn to suffer hardships. They talk as if they are highly virtuous persons facing trials from God!

Gods do not test ordinary mortals like us. (Note Sir's humility). Saints are tested by Gods directly and relief granted either immediately or with delay in a miraculous manner. Such trials are given only to those functioning at Daiva Sadhu level in order to demonstrate their extraordinary devotion to the world by Gods.

I had already mentioned that Gods do not take the responsibility of alleviating people from their variety of sufferings in the present degenerate times and people lived peacefully in the past facing minor punishments for mistakes committed rarely. You may ask me whether God does not rescue anyone at all befitting his adjective 'saviour '. He certainly assumes responsibility. For whom? Only for him who understands the purpose of human birth and raise themselves accordingly to Daiva Sadhu or Mahan level.

That is, God takes responsibility only for him who surrenders to Him unconditionally oblivious of the concept of sin and goes to his rescue promptly in case such devotee is in any trouble. Arunagirinathar who was about to reach the level of Daiva Sadhu was rescued by Lord Muruga when he jumped from a temple tower. Similarly Pattinathar was rescued by Lord Paramasiva from being impaled. In case we had a fall like Arunagirinathar and lost either our hands or legs, we may proclaim that God has compassionately spared our life 
and this itself is proof of His mercy. But if the accident turns out to be fatal or the person involved becomes mad to the misery of everyone around, no one will say  "by grace of God "!

So we should understand that we are facing the music as per our past deeds and stop our meaningless boast that God has saved us from accidents. We should assess our own merit to deserve such divine intervention. However God protects somewhat elevated souls from dangers.

Besides bad deeds, whatever good deeds done by us in previous births are suitably rewarded by Bhagavan in the form of a virtuous wife or husband, good children, sound health, palatial house, wealth, garden, influence, beauty etc which fact should not be ignored.

Besides Appar who was in the threshold of attaining Mahan's level was rescued by Lord Shiva when the Jain king tried to put him to death by employing a variety of means. For example, when he was tied with a rock and thrown into a sea, Appar walked ashore intact! 
A virtuous  man belonging to Puranic times who became an elephant consequent upon a curse was rescued when attacked by a crocodile and released from the curse by Lord Vishnu. So we must understand that God discharges his duty as a saviour to those who merit His intervention rather than finding fault with Him for not answering challenges of persons like us (note Sir's humility). Many pose the question whether God is blind when affected by unbearable miseries. Let us not forget that God is still very compassionate since He sends some rains and foodgrains to a world inhabited by people a majority of whom indulge in terrible deeds and deceit!

However you should not fail to appreciate the fact that Gods reduce their compassion to the extent a regime and its people move away from justice and rule of law. Modern science and technology can't stop the acts of Gods under such circumstances. Only governments can put a stop to such retaliatory divine acts by ensuring that all their subjects function as
noble human beings.

Theists of the present degenerate times dish out false boons such as, "one can get rid of all hardships by resorting to the divine name of God which besides can confer liberation too ".
Others print wish yielding Stotras for sheer livelihood. People who are steeped in sheer God belief take to Stotras for sake of employment, horse race, winning lotteries, improvement in business prospects, unlimited wealth, treasure, begetting children, marriage of daughter, defeating enemies etc and not with an intention to abide by virtues such as real education, good conduct, humility, wisdom to elevate themselves to a higher spiritual level.

Among those who recite Stotras mechanically only those can attain fruition to the level as determined by Gods in consonance with their destiny. Therefore there is no connection between Stotras and fruition of wishes. Similarly one can't overcome problems and adversities by resorting to Homams and black magic(Mandrikam). Even those who lived during Puranic times did not perform Homams to get their worldly wishes fulfilled. 

About 2000 years ago, western countries performed Homams to Gods as a matter of duty and in the process became privy to the pros and cons of a few national problems. So Gods did not approve of any Homam or Stotras for fulfillment of wishes of human beings. Besides, no God has ever assured that he will grant the wish of those who come and pray to Him.

Our divine ancestors have blessed us with Homams, Karmas and Stotras to enable us to worship Gods just as a matter of duty. But those of recent origin have deflected their use for circumventing destiny.

WE EDUCATE OUR CHILDREN TODAY TO ENSURE A PROSPEROUS FUTURE TO THEM WHEN THEY GROW UP ; WE PLANT SEEDS OF TREES TODAY SO THAT THE FORTHCOMING GENERATIONS REAP THE BENEFIT YEARS LATER. SIMILARLY IF WE WANT TO LEAD A TROUBLE FREE LIFE IN THE FORTHCOMING BIRTHS, WE SHOULD LEAD A VIRTUOUS LIFE FEARING SINS IN THIS LIFE. (PROBABLY THE ONLY PLACE WHERE A SOLUTION IS OFFERED IN YPM).

A person who suffers untold miseries in this birth as a result of atrocities committed in the previous birth will not be shown any mercy if those around him could see his real identity which will also make them cautious in committing sins in their own life.

Bhagavan does not punish sinners at once, but send forth terrible punishments in the next birth. If divine punishment is instantaneous, everyone will be wary of committing even a single mistake. But Gods want people give up sins naturally and not out of fear. Kings who were representatives of Gods fulfilled this wish of Gods for lakhs of years. At this juncture let me clarify another thing. If a highly virtuous person (Siranda Viveki or Sadhu) is wronged, the perpetrator of wrong is punished in this birth itself.

No one can harm a Mahan. If someone tries he will face the consequences immediately and also will be redeemed forthwith. Normally two persons who are enemies explain the opponent's  adversities as the consequences of wrongs inflicted on each by the other. This is mutually a mistake. Whatever dangers and adversities one face in this birth is due to one's own destiny. 

 

Socrates (Mutrina Viveki)

 

He who was considered by the wise men of Europe as the one who brought down Vedanta from heaven to earth and who sported a single garment, viz, Socrates lived in Athens. In his youth, he took part in a battle and joined government service thereafter. In course of time he renounced the world and lived a detached life. Once his friend consulted Apollo (the famous oracle at Delphi) about Socrates and the God responded: "No other man is wiser than Socrates". The teachings of Socrates were recorded by his disciples, primarily by Plato. Socrates was not only  devoted to gods but also manifested divinity at times.

However Socrates, The Great, was considered a lazy person by his very wife who snubbed him at times. Used to taking everything lightly, the philosopher, ignored the ill treatment from his wife. One day Socrates was sitting at the entrance of his house and talking to his friend. At this time the wife started hurling abuses at Socrates, washing a room in upstairs simultaneously. The dirty water landed on the head of Socrates who sat unmoved. Questioned by his friend Socrates quipped indifferently: " So far it was thunder and now it is raining. That is all. "

Antisthenes: Socrates, who never had a school to teach philosophy, got a philosopher disciple in Antisthenes. The disciple who grasped everything from his Guru, renounced the world but for a torn shirt. Watching this Socrates commented, "Antithesis, I see thy vanity through the holes of your coat." The Guru, who was aware of the excellent state of his disciple, humorously told him, "You still let the world bother you".  What Socrates wanted to point out to his disciple was that he still was particular to wear only a torn shirt. Antisthenes finally started a school to teach philosophy with the permission of Socrates. Some philosophers were students of this school hereditarily. This school was known as the stoic school of philosophy during the Roman  period. Antisthenes visited many pilgrim centers and sang eulogies on the deities there. He functioned as a Deiva Sadhu blessed by deities in his last human birth.

Let us now turn to Socrates. Sons of important government officials, used to meet Socrates and talk to him to kill time. Socrates will tell them only such things as he deemed fit. Socrates was blessed with mysticism (Athma Sancharam) by Egyptian Brahmins. When Socrates happened to meet highly learned scholars, he will put searching questions to them and segregate information he is looking for from their responses. (Elunches). As a result many scholars used to give Socrates the slip.

Socrates has averred that gods do not approve of human beings prying into creation. He has also expounded the concepts of virtue, soul etc as also the punishment and rewards suffered by Jivathma after death.

Socrates was in the habit of openly discussing the shortcomings of the government and the nature of Vedanta with relevant  persons. Through this he earned the wrath of many influential persons. Finally, three of his enemies, who held important posts in government had Socrates arraigned. He was accused on three counts: 1. Speaking ill of the government. 2. Misleading the educated youth. 3. Absenting himself from prayer sessions. Socrates responded to these charges by explaining his stance on the first two charges and rebutting the third as wrongful.  But he spoke in a manner which betrayed no fear for the court. After all why should Socrates, a Mutrina Viveki, should be concerned with the power of a court or obtaining a favorable verdict! The court which had 557 members imposed death sentence on Socrates at a slender majority. In states of Greece normally punishments were carried out without delay. But the punishment meted out to Socrates was deferred by a month in view of an impending celebration at a temple. 

In spite of the fact that legal and just ways were available to Socrates to escape from his death sentence and the same was insisted upon by his friends, Socrates just refused to take recourse to them. The day of punishment too arrived. Right from the morning his disciples and friends started to assemble at prison to meet Socrates. Plato too was there. Only on that day the chain was removed from Socrates's leg. From morning to evening on that day Socrates discussed various aspects of philosophy with great enthusiasm. When it was 5 pm Socrates announced that he is going to enter a blissful life after death and hence no one should cry. He added: " The time is nearing. I will complete my bath and come. Let ladies not give bath to my corpse". Upon this Crito, a friend of Socrates told him:  "Socrates, you need not hurry for your bath. We can get a couple of hours extension even after sunset". Socrates responded: " Crito! From what you say, you seem to think that there is some benefit in my overstaying here by two hours. But if I depart at the right time, I will be able to get two more hours at the other world". Saying so Socrates left for his bath. After his bath, he asked the prison official asto what he should do after drinking the poison. The official politely responded: "You may walk till you feel a heaviness in your legs and then you may lie down". At this juncture Crito intervened and said: "Socrates, please instruct me on my duties to you and your family". Socrates replied "Crito, what is planned today may after all may not come to pass  tomorrow. Hence I would rather things take their own course". Having said this Socrates took in his hands the cup containing Hemloc, the poison.

I will now simply quote Plato. "And he having received it very cheerfully, neither trembling, not changing at all in colour or countenance drank it off readily and calmly". He then sauntered for a while before lying down. Socrates was covered with a cloth. Just before this those who assembled there covered their faces and burst into tears. As far Plato, though he did not break down, he felt the grief that came from the realisation that this world will be bereft of a great soul.

After a few seconds Socrates removed the cloth from his face and instructed Crito thus: " I have promised to dedicate a cock to the God Aesculapieus (Vaidyanatha Swami according to Sir). Kindly implement it without fail". Crito responded that he would fulfill Socrates's vow in this regard. Within a few seconds Socrates started from this world.