Author Topic: The greatness of feeding People at Arunachala  (Read 1358 times)

Balaji

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The greatness of feeding People at Arunachala
« on: January 17, 2013, 02:54:18 PM »

SANAKA requested Brahma to enlighten them about the benefits derived from conducting annadana (feeding of the poor) at Arunachala.

Brahma replied: There is no good deed equal to annadana in the three worlds. Annam (rice) is the basis of prana (life-breath). Hence one who gives annam gives his prana. For this reason one who desires his own welfare should offer annam to the needy and the poor. If this is performed at Arunachala, he attains great merit and becomes the ruler of all the worlds. Neither Vishnu nor I can measure that merit. Even the giving of wealth and jewellery as charity cannot equal the merits obtained by annadana at Arunachala.

Once a king named Singadvajan, descendent of the famous Surya vamsa, ruler of the Dravida country, and known for his valour and generosity, was giving away jewels and diamonds to learned brahmins. In addition he gifted away everything that he possessed. He however did not perform annadana even once. When he died he was taken to the abode of devas. He was succeded by his son, Chitrakethu who excelled his father in might and valour. He too like his father gifted away land, jewels etc. But he too failed to perform annadana.

One day Singadvajan happened to meet the Sage Narada, the foremost of rishis, in the celestial region. Sage Narada said: O King! The feeding of the poor (annadana) supercedes all other gifts made on earth. It bestows knowledge of the Self, as the Supreme Lord dearly loves the one who performs annadana. You donated everything but you did not perform annadana. He who feeds the poor, is offered nectar in the heavens.

As requested by Singadvajan, Narada approached his son Chitrakethu on earth. Chitrakethu welcomed the Sage. After duly accepting his respects, Narada informed Chitrakethu that although his father Singadvajan gifted away everything he had not performed annadana. He alone who had fed the poor and the needy shall receive ambrosia in heaven. Hence Chitrakethu should perform annadana so that his father shall receive the ambrosia. The king decided to perform annadana.

However, the king wanted to know as to where on this earth annadana should be performed so that it shall bestow merits on him and his father. Narada informed him that the merit one obtained by feeding a lakh of people elsewhere cannot equal that of feeding one person in Kasi, and the merit gained by feeding just one poor brahmin at Arunachala will out-weigh that of feeding a crore at Kasi. Particularly if this was done on a dwadasi day (i.e. twelfth day counted from the day of new moon/full moon), it would be equal to the merit obtained by feeding the poor throughout the year.

After listening to the wise words of Sage Narada, Chitrakethu performed annadana everyday at Arunachala. By this act of the son, the father in the celestial region received nectar and in due course passed on to the various upper regions and finally merged in Siva. Hence everyone should endeavour to perform annadana, particularly at Arunachala, for it not only benefits the person who does it, but also bestows great spiritual merit upon his kith and kin.



Om Namo Bagavathe Sri Ramanaya