Once upon a time, there lived two young men in a village. One was a weaver and the other a carpenter. They were very good friends, and were extremely attached to each other. One day, they attended the annual village festival, which was a grand affair. People had come from far flung places to pay their respects to the deity. One of the visitors was the young princess of their kingdom. Everyone seemed to be enraptured by her beauty, but the weaver fell in love with her the moment he set eyes on her. The weaver was unable to get the princess out of his heart, and spent the night lost in her thought.  By every passing day he became weaker and weaker and his friend was extremely concerned. On enquiry he understood the cause and decided to help the weaver.

“My dear friend,” he said, “Do not give up so easily. I assure you that I shall help you marry the princess.” The weaver was thrilled hearing his friend’s words, but he was also doubtful of success. “She lives in a palace surrounded by guards, and is the daughter of the king! How can I, a mere weaver, get to meet her, let alone marry her?”

The carpenter replied, “We may be ordinary men, but we are devout, and intelligent. If we use our intelligence, the Lord will surely help us achieve our goals. So, do not worry, but get ready and weave wonderful clothes for yourself so that you can meet the princess!”

Heartened by his friend’s assurance, the weaver got to work, and wove the most beautiful and expensive clothes he had ever made, his mind and heart fixed on the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile, the carpenter was busy at work too. He returned the next day, bringing with him a mechanical contraption, which looked like the Garuda, the vehicle of Lord Vishnu. The bird was fitted with different levers, which enabled it to fly.

He taught his friend how to use the bird, and said, “Friend, using this bird, you can easily fly high over the houses in our kingdom and reach the palace. Go late at night, so that no one will observe you, but just in case someone does catch a glimpse, he will think you are the lord Vishnu, and thus you shall be safe. Just in case, dress yourself as Lord Vishnu, which will aid you in concealing your identity, as well as winning the hand of the princess.” The weaver was so happy with the plan and prepared to meet his love. Bowing before the lord, and asking for His blessings, he set off towards the palace at midnight.

Easily avoiding the palace guards, the weaver made his way on his mechanical Garuda to the princess’ apartments.  The princess was stunned to see the Lord in front of her, but even more surprised when he said, “O Princess, I have fallen  in love with you and have arrived here to marry you. Please consent to be my wife!”

The princess was happy but also concerned that Goddess Lakshmi may get offended and permission from her Father, the king, is also mandatory. The intelligent weaver was prepared for all questions and finally married the princess as per ‘Gandharva” rites. The weaver spent the night happily with his wife and left at dawn. Thereafter, he visited the princess every night and left before sunrise.

Meanwhile, the princess’ attendants suspected that the princess was meeting a man. However, since they did not see any man near the palace, they were confused. At last, one of them went to the king and voiced his suspicions.

The king was very angry when he learnt of the intruder, and he and his wife questioned the princess in detail. Unable to lie to her parents, she blurted out the truth – “My dear parents, you have no cause to worry, but instead, you should rejoice, for it is no common man who has chosen your daughter as his life partner. It is the Lord Vishnu himself, who comes to me every night. If you do not believe me, you can hide in my apartment and see Him for yourself tonight!” The king and queen were so happy to hear this that they hid themselves that night and saw the weaver appear on his mechanical Garuda. The king was thrilled to see that it was the Lord Himself who had wed his daughter.

However, the knowledge that the Lord was his son-in-law led to the ego of the king getting a boost, and he started attacking the neighbouring kingdoms, sure that his son-in-law would come to his aid.

One of the neighbouring kings, however, was strong and attacked his kingdom in retaliation. Faced with such a huge army, the king sent word to his daughter. “My dear,” he said. “I have waged war against our neighbouring kingdoms, relying on your husband’s aid, but now, the enemies are attacking our land, but there is no sign of your husband. Please ask him to come to help us wage war against our enemies.”

The princess obediently relayed her father’s message to her husband when he arrived that night. Now the weaver was in a quandary. But he bravely assured his wife, “My dear, why are you afraid of these mortal enemies? I shall crush them in a moment, do not fear! I shall appear in the battle and kill your enemies with my Sudarshan Chakra (discus)!” The princess was comforted when she heard his words, and the king was pleased when he heard the news. He made arrangements for facing the enemy the next day.

The weaver meanwhile was in a fix. He did not know what to do. In a moment of recklessness, he had assured the princess that he would appear and slay the enemies. But what if the army recognized him as a simple weaver, and not Lord Vishnu? What if he was killed? On the other hand, if he did not appear on the battlefield, or just disappeared from the land, the attackers would surely kill the king and take the princess captive. He could not allow that! Even if she was safe, he could never see her again, and that was unbearable! Such thoughts tormented him all through the night, and finally, he came to a decision – he would go ahead and fly over the battlefield in his disguise. If he was killed, so be it. But there was just a chance that the army might mistake him for the genuine Lord and flee at once. He would give it a try, and trust the Lord to help him out of the mess.

Meanwhile, the real Lord Vishnu and his Garuda were having a related conversation. They had just learnt about the weaver who was going to dress up as the Lord and appear in the battle. This was a matter of concern, and Lord Vishnu said, “The weaver is prepared to meet his death bravely, but if he succumbs to a mortal’s arrow, people will lose faith in me. I cannot allow that. The weaver has taken my form, and trusts in me to help him out, and I cannot let him down. I myself shall go into battle at dawn tomorrow!”

The lord then instructed Garuda thus – “I shall enter the body of the weaver tomorrow and possess his chakra too. You must enter the mechanical contraption that he calls his vehicle, and must help me defeat the enemies.”

Accordingly, the next morning, when the weaver got himself ready for battle, he found himself infused with a new strength. Even his vehicle flew more like a real bird than ever, and he confidently entered the battleground, where he fought the army with ease, and killed the enemy king with his discus.

Meanwhile, as the Lord left the weaver’s body to go to His abode, the king and others recognized in him, the weaver of the kingdom! At first, the king was wild when he realized that his son-in-law was not Lord Vishnu, but a humble weaver. But then, when the weaver related his story, the king realized that his son-in-law was not just an honest and clever man, but he was also an ardent devotee of the Lord, since the Lord himself had come to his aid. He decided to get his daughter married to him at once.

The weaver thus became a prince, and in time, the King. He ruled wisely and well, and always had complete faith in the Lord.

What lessons we can learn from this story

  1. Have complete faith in GOD. He will always be there to protect you.
  2. Doesn’t matter whether you trust GOD or not, even mockingly you call Him, God will be there to support you.

Take the case of Dr Vaidik, the self-proclaimed eminent journalist, ideologue, political thinker, social activist and orator. During his recent visit to Pakistan met with Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the dreadful 26/11 terrorist attack on Mumbai. While Dr Vaidik has sought to defend his meeting on the grounds of journalistic privilege, his critics are demanding action against him. The Congress Party has taken an extreme position of seeking to project Dr Vaidik as a member of the RSS and BJP supporter and accused the government of aiding this interview with a terrorist.

Now our Prime Minister Modi is in a dilemma. Whether Dr Vaidik is a BJP supporter or not, now he is forced to support him as the whole world thinks he is one. If Modi does not support him, other hard-core BJP members might get disillusioned thinking that tomorrow if we get into any difficulties, our Govt. may not support us. This could dampen the enthusiasm of the core workers who are ready and willing to do anything for the party.

Some opposition parties are demanding the arrest of Dr Vaidik and to be tried under the charges of sedition. But he can rest easy, as Modi will support him to keep his party workers morale high.

Rama and Krishna – a comparison

Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are the two most widely worshipped Gods in Hinduism. Both are considered to be “Poorna” avatars of Lord Maha Vishnu.

The main purpose of the Rama avatar was to destroy Ravana, the Asura (Demon) King, while the principal aim of Krishna’s avatar was to convey the supreme message of the Bhagavad Gita, to vanquish evil and bring back justice and righteousness to humankind.

Rama is seen as an epitome of righteousness and the most sought-after virtues in life, while Krishna is shown as mischievous and romantic as a youngster. Rama personifies the characteristics of an ideal person (purushottama) who is to be emulated. He had within him all the desirable virtues that any individual would seek to aspire, and he fulfils all his moral obligations (maryada). Rama’s purity and piety in his intentions and actions inspires affection and devotion for him from a variety of characters from different backgrounds.

1. Rama was born in the palace while Krishna in the jail.

2. Rama was born during midday and Krishna at midnight.

3. Rama was born on Navami, (number 9) while Krishna was in Astami (Number 8).

4. Rama was born in Ayodhya while Krishna in Mathura.

5. Rama belongs to solar dynasty and Krishna in Lunar dynasty.

6. Rama was born in Treta Yuga as the seventh avatar of Rama while Krishna was born in Dwapara yuga as the eighth avatar and eighth son of Devaki and Vasudeva.

7. Rama is the first son of his father while Krishna is the eighth and last son of his father.

8. Rama is the eldest and Lakshman, an avatar of Sheshnag was his younger brother whereas Krishna is the youngest and Balarama, the avatar of sheshnag is his elder brother.

9. Rama had an elder sister while Krishna had a younger one.

10. Rama’s childhood was in the palace while that of Krishna was that of a cowherd.

11. Rama had only one wife while Krishna had eight.

12. Rama had to win a challenge to win his wife while Krishna married comparatively easily except his first wife Rukmani whom he had to abduct which was followed by a war.

13. Rama never had a happy married life while Krishna celebrated his married life equally with all his wives.

14. Rama had to go to forest for 14 years with his wife while Krishna went to forest to see his cousins who were destined to live there for 12 years.

15. Rama lived a king and ruled the kingdom for many years while Krishna was never the king but always the kingmaker.

16. Rama killed Bali while Bali killed Krishna in his next birth.

17. In Ramayana Sri Ram asks Lakshmana to visit the dying Ravana to get his wisdom in politics and Dharma while Krishna asks Pandavas to visit the dying Bhishma to get his wisdom before death.

18. Sri Rama had 2 sons while Krishna had 80, ten each from his eight wives.

19. When Rama was dejected Guru Vasishta gives him moral advice in the form of “Yoga Vasishta”. Whereas it is Krishna who advices the dejected Arjuna by way of “Bhagavad Gita”.

20. Rama kills Rakshasas as Guru Dakshina while Krishna brings back to life the dead children of his Guru as his dakshina.

21.  Rama never displayed any divine powers while Krishna displayed it on many occasions. (like lifting Manthara mountain, etc)

22. Rama fought the war himself to kill Ravana but in Mahabharata Krishna was the charioteer to Arjuna.

23. Tara, wife of Bali, cursed Rama that he will never live with his wife peacefully and will lose her soon after gaining from Ravana as well as her husband will be responsible for his death in his next life. Gandhari cursed Krishna that in 36 years he and his family will be destroyed. Krishna was killed by a hunter who actually was the rebirth of Bali.

24. Rama never killed any of his relatives while Krishna killed his uncle.

25. Rama is depicted generally with a bow and arrows indicating that he is a king while Krishna is generally depicted as a cowherd.

26. Lord Rama sends Angad as the peace envoy before the war while Krishna himself went as the peace envoy before the Mahabharata war.

27. Rama’s Weapon is Bow and Arrow while Krishna’s is sudharsana Chakra

28. Lakshmana participated in the war while Balarama went on a pilgrimage during the war.

29. Krishna is always smiling and one can hardly see him crying. While there were many occasions where Ram cried like when Sita was abducted or Lakshmana was nearly killed in the war.

30. Kuni (Manthara) is the base for Ramayana while Sakuni is for Mahabharata.

31. Rama always followed Dharma, even in war while Krishna made his own interpretation of Dharma and twisted it on many occasions during the war.

32. The incident in which Rama allowed the disarmed and helpless Ravana to go home, take rest and come again the next day to continue the fight instead of seizing the opportunity to do away with him instantly shows the magnanimity and dharmic traditions of Rama. Whereas killing of Bhishma, Drona, Karna and Duryodhana were all not as per the strict moral and dharmic code prevalent in those days.

33. Rama destroyed ‘ARISHADVARGA’ the demons representing the inner six-fold enemies of: kaama, krodha, lobha, moha, madha and maathsarya (Anger, Lust, Greed, Infatuation, Pride and Jealousy).

34. Krishna stands for the HARISHADVARGA the six-fold divine qualities of spiritual Wisdom, supreme detachment, great valour, forgiveness, righteousness and incomparable fame.

35. Both Ram and Krishna shows extreme selflessness when it comes to material possessions. Rama easily gave up his throne to honour his father’s words. He could have easily taken over Lanka and kishkinda as he won the war but installed Vibhishana and Sugriva as kings. Krishna won many wars including the Mahabharata war but never became king anywhere. He installed rightful persons each time including when he killed his uncle Kansa.

36. Rama’s father died while he was young while Krishna’s father lived beyond Krishna.