This article highlights about the power and the significance of virtuous woman devoted to her husband. Once there lived a Brahmin known as Kousikan. He was very well equipped in Vedas and Sastras. He was a pious Brahmachari who lived a life as ordained by the scriptures. One day he took bath in a river and chanted the veda mantra under the shade of a Ashwatha tree. A crane’s dropping from the tree fell on Kousikan’s head. He became furious and cursed the crane to die. The crane died immediately. Having witnessed its death, Kousikan regretted his action, not knowing the atonement for his action, he proceeded for his daily ritual of seeking biksha.
He went door to door in an agraharam to seek bikhsa, a pious lady of a house told him to wait so kousikan was waiting to be offered biksha, at that juncture the lady’s husband returned home. The lady told Kousikan to wait and proceeded to serve her husband. After serving her husband she came back with a vessel of food to offer. Kousikan became furious, he asked her O Lady is it fair to make a holy brahmin like me to wait, don’t you think your action was erroneous.
The pious lady humbly replied O Swamin! kindly forgive my action. My husband whom I consider greater than the Lord had returned home hungry and tired so it was my duty to appease his hunger hence the delay in serving you.
Kousikan retorted Hey Arrogant Lady! Is your husband greater than a holy Brahmin? A Brahmin is revered by demi gods like Devendran, a brahmin is equivalent to a fire who could burn the earth into ashes.
The lady took pity upon Kousikan who was on a path of self destruction, she wanted to help him realize his blunder. She said Oh pious brahmin! Do you take me for a Crane; kousikan was taken aback by her answer and wondered how she knew what happened at the lake shore. The pious lady went on and said she did not have any intention to disregard a devout Brahmin. Since her husband returned tired she felt it was a dishonor to serve Kousikan first to that of her husband.
A husband is of prime importance to a woman, serving him duly is considered the highest virtue. Oh revered Brahmin out of my devoted service to my husband I was aware that you burnt an innocent crane out of your uncontrollable fury. Anger is the biggest nemesis. You are proud of your caste and your adherence to the rituals as ordained by the scriptures. Your anger and arrogance are self destructive, one who could not control his anger and passion shall not be deemed as a Brahmin. As you have not realized the subtleties of dharma you behave arrogantly. If you have to obtain knowledge about such virtues please learn them from Dharmavyadhar of Mithilapatnam. Please allow me to go inside my house and you shall also leave said the lady.
Kousikan was pleased by the virtuous woman’s advice. He blessed her and said that he was saved from the path of destruction. As advised by the virtuous woman he proceeded to Mithilapatnam to learn about dharma. Hence, serving one’s husband with devotion to his content is considered as the superior most virtue for a woman.
English translation by Smt Jayashree Ramanujam
Original article was written in Tamil by Sri U Ve Vidwan Purisai Venkatacharya Swami, Tiruvallur and can be read here – Kokku Endru Ninaithaayo – Power of Pathi-Vratha Dharmam