A Squirrel's Devotion
A Squirrel's Devotion3 mins 225 3 mins 225
“Grandmaaa….” Mukund came running as he was shouting playfully. It was his way of conveying to his grandma that he desperately wanted to know something and could not wait any longer. A smile broke up on Grandma Sitamma’s face as she made her grandson sit comfortably on her lap and asked ”what now?” “ what is " Uduta Bhakti" Grandma? My Telugu teacher was explaining today in the online class and the time got over. She will continue tomorrow but I like to know from you.” In his opinion his grandma knew about almost everything and he particularly admire the way she made a very ordinary topic sound very interestingly.
Mukund was giving expectant looks while grandma was preparing to give her narrative. “ Look Mukund “ Uduta” in Telugu means Squirrel and “Bhakti “ means devotion. There is an interesting story from Ramayana behind this saying. Lord Hanuman found out Devi Sita in Lanka, under the control of Ravana. In order to reach there and rescue her, they had to cross the Indian ocean at a place called Rameswaram located at the tip of India. Rama, Lakshmana and Hanumanji along with his Vanara Sen started to build a bridge across the sea by filling it up with huge boulders! They were strong and powerful to carry the boulders effortlessly. They were working with devotion and in between chanting slogans in praise of Rama, On a nearby tree, a squirrel was totally engrossed in watching the activity and after a while could not control its excitement, any longer! It decided to contribute to the cause in whatever way it could and enthusiastically started bringing pebbles from around the place and dropping them at the site of construction. The squirrel was totally engrossed in its work, when Lord Rama took note of it. He curiously observed what it was doing and was amused and moved by its act out of devotion. He took it lovingly into his hands and passed his hand over its back affectionately. They say that ever since that time, there were three lines on the back of the squirrel due to the marks drawn by Rama’s fingers and they continued to be there on all the squirrels “ grandma completed the story.
This story tells us that no matter how small and insignificant, every contribution to a good cause, is noteworthy and adds value. Mukund sprang out of grandma’s lap and ran into the kitchen offering to do “Uduta Bhakti” help to his mother and took out his father’s shoes from the rack. Everyone laughed heartily. Grandma sighed and thought that if everyone understood this concept, the world would be a happy place. In this time of COVID -19 Pandemic, small acts of kindness like feeding the hungry, providing clothes to the needy even if used ones or service to the elders will mean a lot. Most inexpensive yet remarkable contribution by every one would be to wear a mask and practice social distance and there by bring down the infection rate and burden on the hospitals.
Her thoughts were disrupted, when Mukund came back shouting ,” grandma……..” and jumped onto her lap. “What now.” asked grandma pretending to be annoyed. “Where can I find squirrels grandma? We used to see sometimes in our school campus and its long time since I saw one. I want to see one now” concluded Mukund emphasizing the word “now”.
Grandma was not at all surprised by his query as it was a logical sequel to the previous one. Sadly squirrels, sparrows, crows and many other common living beings are scarcely seen these days for several reasons, human activities being the main cause. “I am done for today. This will be our story for tomorrow after your online classes” promised grandma.