Prerequisites For Shri Vidya
Sri Matha Parvathi Devi out of compassion asked Lord Siva with reverence – Prabho. In this kaliyuga, when people are suffering so much and are very busy with their efforts to earn livelihood, what are the minimum requirements to get into Sri Vidya sadana.
Siva replied – Oh Devi. Your compassion is boundless. Knowing the answer, you are asking me this question for the benefit of our children. Let us enact a leela and descend as sage couple along with cow & calf in the outskirt of village and bless the poor farmer Mitrabuddhi, his wife SuguNa and their young son SvaprakAsa.
Mitrabuddhi saw the holy couple as he was going to market. He prostrated before them and with humility asked whether he could be of any service as they appeared to be new to the village. Siva in the form of sage replied that they are proceeding to Varanasi and they will be happy if the farmer could take care of the cow and calf for one year. The sage told that the cow gives a good quantity of milk which he can use and sell the excess but should return the cow and calf in a healthy condition when they come back after an year. With these words the sage couple departed.
The farmer felt blessed and immediately rushed to the house to share the joy with his wife. Both of them welcomed the cow with an Arti, applied tilak on forehead, did pradakshinam with reverence and shared the freshly prepared rotis with the cow .
The jobless farmer every day got up early in the morning, would take bath first and then do a small pooja to the cow, feed the calf and then milk the cow. He will take the cow and calf for gracing singing joyfully folk songs. He will give them a nice bath in the river. He sought advice from his friends regarding nutritious feed and proper maintenance. Soon the cow started giving twice the quantity of milk. Not only the cow and calf were healthy, the farmer, his wife and more importantly their son also became very healthy. They sold the excess milk, and even other by products like curds, cow dung cakes etc.
Later, one day Suguna told her husband that since the cow is now giving lot of milk, why not we give some quantity of milk free to the neighbor who is very poor and also has a small child. The farmer felt very proud of his wife. He also suggested that we should give some small quantity to the temple priest for Abhishekam to Siva linga. Suguna felt very happy and readily agreed. She also volunteered to make pancha kavyam and pure cow dung cakes for homa in temple. The cow shed was always kept clean and decorated with rangoli by Suguna. Since the hut was small, the calf and cow was kept tied to a rope outside. One night, it started thundering followed by rains. Young boy, Svaprakasa felt that the calf and cow will be frightened and asked his father to bring the cow and calf inside the house with an offer that he will keep awake and stay by the side of calf whole night comforting the same. Actually all three of them kept awake. Suguna told stories of Rama & Krishna to keep Svaprakasa awake. Later he slept in a sitting posture itself for want of space.
During the annual village fair, in the contest for high milk yielding cow, the village Chief ’s cow always won the prize. The village chief called for Mitrabuddhi and offered him four times the normal amount to buy his cow & prevent Mitrabuddhi from contesting. The Chief also threatened of dire consequences. Realizing the status of chief and his crookedness, Mitrabuddhi, politely praised the chief as to how the chief only deserved the prize this year also. Mitrabuddhi informed the chief tactfully that he will inform the Manager of competition that only village born and bred cows should be allowed in the contest and not any other cows bought from market recently within an year . Mitrabuddhi gave some clues & offered his services for a while by which the cow will give more milk. The chief felt relieved & happy.
Devi asked Siva: Maha Deva. Where is Sri Vidya here? Siva Replied: Let us go now.
The sage couple visited Farmer’s hut and were joyfully & respectfully welcomed by Mitrabuddhi & Suguna. They washed the feet, applied Chandan, Kumkum & offered milk & fruits. After enquiring about the safe pilgrimage to Varanasi, Mitrabuddi said:
Oh! Sage. You have been extremely kind to us. We do not know what puNya we did in our previous births. Your cow was a holy cow. It started giving me more and more milk with your grace. We have become prosperous. We may be still living in the same hut but we are contended and happy as a family. We surrender the cow, calf and all the wealth we have accumulated by selling the milk and milk products at your holy feet. Please accept.
At this point Sage interrupted looking at his consort with a smile. We know everything that had happened. We brought two similar cows of same breed. We gave you one and the other to your friend Somu in the adjacent village. Go and look at his cow. He maintained the cow only for getting milk. No doubt it is also healthy and gives good quantity of milk. But your cow gave excess of milk because you treated the cow as your own family member. You worshiped the cow as Mother. The cowshed maintained by your wife looks like a temple. You were not greedy. Not only you sold excess milk, but also shared with your poor neighbor and gave some quantity to Linga Abhishekam also. Above all, on the day of thunder and rain, your entire family sacrificed the sleeping comfort for the sake of cow and calf. Do you remember. The priest asked for more quantity of milk on that day to perform Abhishekam at temple during the whole of night because it was Sivaratri on that day. Unknowingly, you all kept awake on that holy night.
Mitrabuddhi became blissful hearing the words of the sage. He pleaded with reverence. Swamiji. Please guide us in spiritual path. We do not know anything. I used to watch the temple priest doing abhisheka chanting some mantras. I wish with your blessings at least in my next birth, I should be able to chant such mantras.
Sage: Mitrabhudde! Do not get into this trap. There are many ways to get liberation in this birth itself irrespective of caste, Gotra, Vamsa etc. Do not even worry about your past sins of previous births. Your innocence is a strength because you will not compare with other paths. With your inquisitiveness to progress spiritually, with your attitude of sharing and self sacrifice (Altruism), With your ability to acquire both material prosperity and spiritual growth through Mother Cow and finally with your mental outlook to lead a happy family life, yourself and Suguna, being like minded and supportive of each other, are the best candidates for Sri Vidya initiation.
Keep this cow and calf and all the wealth as our prasadam. In due course, We will be directing a rishi couple to initiate both of you because as per Sastras, it is necessary that three generations of Guru are to be known for an effective initiation and sadana.
Keep the initiation confidential which is just the beginning. Perform meticulously japa sadana , Pooja, contemplation on Thraipura Siddhantha for a few years. With blessings of Sri Guru, you will realize that through leading a Dharmic life of a house holder both husband and wife can attain liberation in this birth itself (Jeevan Mukthi). Spend the remaining years of life in “Sahaja Ananda” spreading Sri Vidya.
Siva and Parvathi left for their abode leaving us to summarize the pre-requisites :-
Although Kulam, Gothra, Vamsa etc. would definitely help a person to progress in any path of religious worship, in case of Sri Vidya these birth factors are not a “Must” and will not obstruct entry into Sri Vidya provided the person or couple is :—
- Simple, innocent, modest, humble, devoid of Craving & Hatred and spiritually inclined without any preconceived notions.
- Have an inherent, persistent urge to get into Sri Vidya through satsang.
- Lead a Dharmic life, with an attitude of caring, sharing & self sacrifice (Altruistic).
- Have Respect for elders, faithful to family, duty conscious, truthful and supportive to Society & environment.
- Lead a house holder’s life balancing the efforts to achieve material prosperity and spiritual progress without conflict in between.
- Both husband and wife have an equal urge to get into Sri Vidya and are like minded in every aspect of life with mutual respect, love and regards towards each other.
Sri Mathre Namaha.
– B. Jayaraman (Mumbai)