PINA VIRUNDHU ITTENO GHANTAKARNANAI POLE
Did I offer a corpse like Ghantakarnan
Children, do you remember all the stories that we have seen so far? Has it not been interesting and inspiring? We saw the deep faith of Akroora, the blemishless devotion of Vidhura, the unbounded love of the Rishi’s wife, the grit of Sita PirAtti, and lastly the beautiful friendship of King ThondaimAn with His Lord! What next?
“Swami, do you know that even a spirit is capable of more steadfastness than I? Have you heard of Ghantakarna?”, said the little Pen Pillai of Thirukolur, and thus started her next story.
Ghantakarna was a spirit who was roaming the earth and satisfying his hunger by eating dead bodies. He was a very great devotee of Lord Shiva, so much so that he did not even want to hear the name of other Gods. He wore large bells on his ears to prevent the name of other Gods even accidentally slipping in. This is how he got the name “Ghanta” (bell) “karna” (ear).
One day, he had had enough of his life, roaming for dead bodies aimlessly. He desired to attain moksha and sought Lord Shiva’s mercy and assistance in this. Lord Shiva, pleased by His devotee’s sincere prayer and request, advised him to approach Lord Sriman NArAyaNA who was the one and only capable of granting this wish.
The spirit humbly removed his bells and requested Lord Shiva to describe the Lord so that he could recognise upon seeing Him. This was the time when NArAyaNA had taken the incarnation of Krishna upon earth. Lord Shiva described Lord Krishna’s beautiful form – His curly tresses, dark blue mane, lotus like eyes and pink lips, feathers dancing as He swayed and danced – who was not to fall in love even with that description?
The spirit humbly removed his bells and requested Lord Shiva to describe the Lord so that he could recognise Him upon seeing Him. This was the time when NArAyaNA had taken the incarnation of Krishna upon earth. Lord Shiva described Lord Krishna’s beautiful form – His curly tresses, dark blue mane, lotus like eyes and pink lips, feathers dancing as He swayed and danced – who was not to fall in love even with that description?
Lord Shiva then said - I have invited Krishna to visit me at Kailasha. I will let you know when he visits.
Ghantakaranan began his nama japa of Narayana..Narayana.. and a few years later, he learnt that Krishna would be visiting Kailasha.
Ghantakarna hesitated for a moment, unwilling to go to the Lord empty handed. “What would Krishna eat? Well, let me just partake with Him my own meal!” he thought and with that he killed a rishi passing by. He brought the dead body straight to Krishna and said “Dear Krishna, Please grant me moksham!”.
Moved by the innocent and sincere prayer request of the spirit, Lord Krishna accepted the prasad and granted moksham for Ghantakarnan. Then Ghantakarnan sought moksham for another small spirit roaming along with him and even for the dead rishi who was killed by him. Amused, Krishna granted moksham for all the three.
“Tell me oh Swami, did I offer a dead body to the Lord, sincerely and prayerfully like Ghantakarna did? Why else then do I deserve to remain in Thirukolur?” sighed the little Pen Pillai.
Indeed, the Lord accepts any prasad we offer with love and sincerity!
Swami Ramanuja smiled at her lovingly and said “My child, tell me why else do you think you should not remain here?”