THIRUKOLUR PEN PILLAI RAGASIYAM - 27
Below is the translation to Veda Paati's story, narrated in tamil, available in below platforms:
Did I provide weapons to Rama like Agasthya?
“Dear child, you told me the fascinating story of Krishna's devoted friend Kuchela! How loving was his humble offering of flattened rice that the Lord partook with affection! I am so very eager to hear your next story! Who are you going to speak about this time?”, asked Swami Ramanuja in anticipation.
Thirukolur Pen Pillai who was oblivious to Emperumanar’s excitement, was deep in melancholy thinking of her own shortcomings, “Oh Swami, look at all of these great devotees and their qualities, do I possess even one of them? Did I give Perumal anything at all? Do you remember how Agasthya gave Lord Rama weapons?”. With that, the innocent child started describing the great Rishi!
Long, long ago there lived a great Rishi called Agasthya. Agasthya had gained merits, physical and spiritual strengths through years of penance. His physical form might have been small, but the fame and respect he had gained was enormous.
Agasthya had attended the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvathy Devi in Mount Kailasa. Due to the sheer number of visitors from Deva Loka for the wedding, the North portion of the region started dipping while the Southern regions of the world started rising causing an imbalance! Lord Shiva called upon Sage Agasthya for assistance. Agasthya stood in the Southern region and made himself weigh as much as 330 million Devas, thus evening out the balance and saving the day!
On another instance, there was a mountain called Vindhya Malai that started growing larger due to pride and arrogance. To quell its haughtiness, the Sage grew even bigger, thus allowing the mountain to realize its mistake. He was also called upon several sages to save them from two Asuras, Vaathaapi and Ilvalan who were torturing them, disrupting their rituals! Sage Agasthya killed the Asuras effortlessly. On another instance, river Kaveri, filled with pride, disrespected the Sage. In anger, Agasthya took the whole Kaveri river in his Kamandalu. The river finally realizing the power of the Sage, apologised before being let out! We could go on describing the greatness of this boundless Sage!
There was a time when Sage Agasthya set up his Ashram in the forest of Dandakaranya. He lived there, practising austerities and his daily duties. During the same period, Lord Rama, His wife Sita and brother Lakshmana were also living in the same forest fulfilling their 14 year exile period. During this time, the trio met many great sages and enjoyed the simple pleasures of nature and humble living.
Once they happened to hear about the greatness of Sage Agasthya and were eager to meet him. Asking around, they met sage Sudhishana who led them to Sage Agasthya’s Ashram. Sage Agasthya was pleasantly surprised to see Rama, Lakshmana and Sita and welcomed them very warmly. He spent a long time discussing various matters with Rama and then finally decided to hand some important items to Him.
“Dear Rama, I have many weapons to give you, which were passed to me by the Devas. Vishwakarma had made 2 bows, namely Shiva Dhanush and Vishnu Dhanush. You had skillfully broken the Shiva Dhanush and thence married Sita. Here is the Vishnu Dhanush, please accept this. Moreover, here are two quivers passed to you from Indra – their arrows will never deplete. And here is a beautifully bejewelled sword which the Lord of Lords, Vishnu Himself had used to defeat several Asuras. Rama, these would be useful to you and through these, may You attain plenty of fame!”, blessed the sage, granted these precious weapons to Rama, which came in use to Him during the eventual war against Ravana.
“Dear Swami, how responsible and caring Sage Agasthya has been to Lord Rama! What have I done for my Vaithamaanidhi Perumal? Why then do I deserve to remain here?”, bemoaned Thirukolur Pen Pillai!