Some time back I had gone for a pilgrimage.
There I had a guide who took me around and was speaking to me about the importance of having sons.
I love my son dearly and I humored the guide, until he stated that if one did not have a son, the scriptures claimed, one would not reach the portals of heaven as there would be no-one to perform ones last rites, one of the very important being, lighting the parents funeral pyre!
I could not believe that the Scriptures claimed that one would rot in hell if one failed to be a parent of a male child!
I knew that the so called ‘religious’ had exploited the credulous for their selfish ends.
I was relieved when I came across various examples in the Shrimad Bhaagvad refuting the above theory.
We are told right in the beginning that king Parikshit listened to the Shrimad Bhaagvad and was enlightened through his own effort and devotion and not through the prayers of his off-spring!
Another instance, we have already discussed is the story of Atmadev.
The next instance that I am about to write about now, is the story of Vrutraasur.
In his last life, he was a king called Chitraketu. He was childless.
One day a Sage by the name of Angira Rishi came to his house.
Chitraketu asked of Angira, that the latter should bless him, so that he gets a son.
Angira Rishi replied: “It is fine if you do not have children. Even people with children have no peace of mind!”
If it had been important to have a son for the salvation of his soul, the great sage would have said so.
Chitraketu insisted. Chitraketu did get a son, who was poisoned by his other jealous wives!
Chitraketu was inconsolable.
Naaradji explained to him that it was useless to cry now.
To appease the grieving father, Naaradji called the spirit of the son from the Spirit world. The son did not recognize his father Chitraketu, as the child had had thousands of lives before the present one, and therefore thousands of parents!
I have read that there are 4 types of sons
- Shatru-Putra: One who was your enemy during your last life and has come to even a score
- Runabandhi: One who owes you a debt and so returns
- Udaaseen: While unmarried does not take much from parents or does not marry. Even if he does, he leaves the parents’ home.
- Sevak-Putra: He owes the parents service and so looks after them selflessly and tirelessly.
I would like to believe that in today’s world a daughter could belong to one of the above categories as well.
We have read about ‘Shatruputra’ type of son in the story of ‘Atmadev’
Let us read now about a ‘Sevak-putra’
The story of Pundaalik appears in the Skanda Puraana.
Pundaalik used to serve his parents with supreme devotion.
God appeared to Pundaalik while the latter was occupied performing some chores for his parents.
Pundaalik refused to leave his job half done, to attend to the Lord!
So Pundaalik handed out a brick to the Lord, to rest on, while he completed his duties!
The Lord, amused, put his hands on his waist and waited patiently for Pundaalik to complete the ‘seva’ (service).
‘Eent’ (brick) became ‘Veet’ through the passage of time.
This form of the Lord is called ‘Veethoba’ and the place where the Lord appeared to Pundaalik is called ‘Pandharpur’.
If you ask me, I pray for what I desire,
but I ask the Lord to do it His way, fulfilling the Divine Plan.
Thank you for your mail. In response to the guide’s comment, I comment:
If you need a son for you to open the gates of Heaven the conclusion is God-realization or Self-Realization is a state that it restricted to the priviliged category of Grahastas. History has shown otherwise. It is not limited to any cast, gender, marital status, etc.