Compassion and forgiveness

Children! You all would have heard that in Ra:ma:yana, Ravana abducted Sita and kept her in Ashokavana at Lanka. Also that the demon ladies who were guarding her harmed her by their talks and actions.

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Anjaneya did not forget those troubles caused by demons to Mother Sita. After Srirama killed Ravana, Hanuman approached Sita and sought her permission to punish those demon ladies who hurt her. Sita pacified him saying “virtuous persons show the same respect and affection to punya:tmas to pa:pa:tmas , and mercy to people who have to be killed also. No one is faultless in this universe.”

pa:pa:na:m va: subha:na:m va:
vaddharha:na:m plavangama |
ka:ryam karunama:ryena na kascith
na:para:dhyathi ||

This sloka rendered by Sita considered as a very vital verse by the elders. A scene just like this had happened in the life of Bhagavad Ramanuja.

Despite losing eye sight by the Chola king’s cruelty, Kuresa did his daily chores as usual. One of the chores was to clean the space in front of Ramanuja’s mutt with cow dung water during the morning time.

During that period, at Srirangam ,lived a rich man called Tadiyasekhara. One morning while Kuresa was sprinkling the water, Tadiyasekhara was passing through that street while wearing a silk attire. Kuresa could not see Tadiyasekhara, but though Tadiyasekhara could see Kuresa. Absent mindedly, he just walked forward, which resulted in a few drops
of water falling on his silk dhothi.

Tadiyasekhara got furious and began abusing Kuresa. Kuresa apologized for what had happened. But Tadiyasekhara continued his abuse. Kuresa repented for his committing a mistake towards a devotee

After some time Tadiyasekhara passed away. Though the last rites were performed, the impact of his mistake of abusing Kuresa did not leave Tadiyasekhara. So he entered into a dead pigeon’s body and flew to the gopuram of Srirangam temple and started cluttering

Six months passed away. One day while Ramanuja with Kuresa was passing through that area, that pigeon flew from the temple gopuram fell down on Kuresa’s feet. Kuresa put his foot back.

Being a all-knowing, Sarvajna, Ramanuja identified that pigeon as Tadiyasekhara. He ordered Kuresa to keep his hand on the pigeon and tell thrice “kshama, kshama, kshama” (means forgiven). Kuresa did the same.

At once, that pigeon had its last breath.
A divine light (jyothi) came out from its body and travelled up into the sky. A voice came from the jyothi saying, “I am the atma, soul of Tadiyasekhara. I became the pigeon and suffered due to my harmful act towards Kuresa. Atlast with the grace of Bhagavad Ramanuja, Kuresa forgave me and I am freed from my sin and have attained high abode.“ Saything this that jyothi disappeared into the space

This story tells us that worthy and respectable persons should have compassion towards others, especially people who have faults and have committed mistakes. Mother Sita had said the same. Bhagavad Ramanuja revealed it by following it. Compassion and forgiveness are the characteristics of good persons. People who want to be elevated in life should have these qualities.

Children! What do you say?

– By M. Krishnapriya, India, translated by T.
Amukta Malyada, Chennai