The Jyothish (Astrologer) Who Failed To See His End Coming?
March 29, 2012 1 Comment
The Raja was holding court in the evening to discuss fresh avenues for collecting money from his subjects to finance the building of a new palace on a grand scale. His idea was to make his subjects pay a special levy for living in his kingdom and enjoying peace and prosperity. The minister and the other officials were aghast at this idea, but were at loss to make the Raja see reason.
Just when the Raja was planning to have his final say in the matter, there was a commotion outside the main doors of the Durbar Hall. Someone was trying to force himself in while the guards were stopping him at the doors. The Raja flew into a rage at this impertinence. He called out to the guards to bring the man in before him. When the man came into the view, everyone assembled in the Durbar Hall went pale in the face and stood up poised to make a dash for the doors. The King too froze in his tracks. For, the man was none other than the Jyothish who was thrown into a samadhi and burnt in the early hours of the day.
The Jyothish was quick to restore normalcy: ’My Lord, let no one have any fears. I’m no ghost. I’m the same man you had sent to the Heavens this morning. I’m grateful to you for arranging an extraordinary experience for me.’
The King finally found his tongue: ‘I don’t understand you. You went to the heavens above and came back alive?’
The others in the assembly overcome by this curiosity to watch this strange spectacle banished the thought of dashing for the nearest exit and settled back in their seats awaiting further developments.
‘Yes, my Lord, I have been to the Heavens by your mercy and now here I’m before you. And I’ve good news for you.’
‘This is unheard of, I must say. And what would the good news be?’
‘In the short stay, I met your parents and your dear brother.’
‘You did? This is incredible.’
‘Yes, I did. They’re quite happy out there. They were quite worried about your well-being. I assured them all is well with you, my Lord. They were mighty pleased to hear so. Your brother too.’
‘Yes, go on. What else did they tell you?’
‘Well, as I said they’re in no need for anything at all. They have everything with them. In fact they generously showered on me so many rare and expensive gifts before my return for bringing them the happy news of your well-being. Ah, now I remember…’
‘They did tell me they have one unfulfilled wish. And only you can make good their wish.’
‘And what did they wish for?’
‘They are eager to see you even if for a short time. What more – they have even set aside a load of precious jewels to present you when you visit them. They requested me to carry it back for you. I said it would be more appropriate for them to hand it to you in person.’
’I would also love to. But how is it possible?’
‘Oh, my Lord, that’s easily done, just the way it happened for me.’
So the King ordered his minister to make arrangements overnight as before for him at a spot a little away from the Jyotish’s samadhi.
Following morning, in the early hours, before an assembly of his minister and other officials and also the general public that had collected, all watching in silence, the King entered the samadhi. At his bidding, the minister threw in a burning torch and sealed the lid. No shrieks could be heard though thick smoke leaked out of the samadhi sending the assembly into tears and coughing fits.
As an eerie silence descended on the samadhi, they turned their backs, slowly making their way homewards. The weary minister too headed back to resume his interrupted sleep. He knew he had a busy day ahead of him with the Rani and the Yuvaraj.
He suddenly remembered there was yet an unfinished job before he got under the blanket. He called out for the masons and generously recompensed them for a good job done – this time their job was a lot easier, the minister had specifically asked them not to cut an underground escape tunnel leading out from the samadhi.
Did the fiery end of the evil Raja sadden us? Though I can’t vividly recall the feelings of the moment, it seemed okay for the him to go.
Sources: Grateful thanks to parashara.com and tamilspider.com for the pictures. The picture here is of Pambatti Siddhar Jeeva Samadhi in Sankaran Koil, Tamilnadu. He was the last of the 18 siddhars (accomplished souls), believed to have lived in the 11th century and possessed siddhis or supernatural powers through rigorous meditation and other spiritual exercises (Wiki).