Guhu began to tell them his story.
The king’s priest wanted to reform Guha, the hunter king so he sent some bramanas to the forest where they set up a stone image of Shiva. Guhu welcomed them but told them he only honoured God and, God was a tree. The bramanas brought the statue of Shiva flowers and fruit everyday until the rains came and submerged the statue. The bramanas left Shiva all alone and Guha was so angry with these bramanas that he would kick that statue everyday, even though he had to wade through the river to do it and even when he was tired or sick.
One evening he was coming home when a pack of hungry wolves blocked his way to kick the statue. Guha could have out-run them and gone home but he felt one way or another he would kick that rock! So he climbed up the tree above Shiva and waited in vain while the the wolves snapped at him. He waited for them to leave but the wolves would not go. Guha was hungry and tired and tried to eat the nuts on the tree but the nuts weren’t ripe and he spit them out onto Shiva. The night came and Guha shivered in the cold causing the leaves and nuts to fall from the tree. When his people came to find him, it scared the wolves away but Guhu had not properly greeted Shiva and he became so angry that he chased the bramanas out from the forest and back to Ayodya. Soon after, Guha returned to the forest and the statue was gone and forgotten.
So he went on eating and hunting until he fell ill with a fever. Yama’s messengers came and, with contempt ripped Guha’s soul from his dead body. Guha’s tiny soul could not get free of the noose and he was headed south to Yama’s realm. On the path ahead, a mean-looking dwarf stood in the way and demanded to be given Guha’s soul. Lord Yama’s messengers laughed and said:
“He is already dead!”
The Dwarf said; “By Shiva’s orders, release him!” Yama’s guards would not release Guha’s soul and released the dogs on the dwarf. Soon the surly dwarf broke the necks of the guards and gently picked up Guha in his mouth.
As they reached the Himilayas, the dwarf turned into his true form; a sleek, white bull, Nandi.
Guha came before the deep, compassionate honeyed eyes of Shiva.
Just then, Yama arrived and joined his hands and said to Shiva, “In my dusty log book, Guha is a killer charged with crimes and his life has been shortened, why did you take his soul from me?” Shiva told Yama, “Guha is my best devotee. He honoured me everyday, threatened false followers and did a puja over me showering me with nuts and flowers even when he himself was hungry. So Lord Yama, I am over-reaching you, his soul is mine to take.”
Yama understood and left without a word. Nandi returned Guha to his body and he lived a long life. So you see, if it is hard for Yama to tell right from wrong, it is surely hard for us to judge things.
Some things in life are the blind instruments of fate so be compassionate before you judge the actions of others.
This blog is re-worded and some parts are copied from William Buck’s “Ramayana,” the best translation I have ever read.
To learn more About Lucy, who teaches Vedantic Workshops go to: www.integratedhealthcourse.com