Whenever a person is in the difficulty and facing misery , astrologers ask to undertake remedy! Remedies usually consist of
- Japa ,
- homa ,
- stotra ,
- bramhan bhojana
- dana .
All these are in one way or the other related to a Devata , Yaksha or Rakshasa or pisacha . But why should these help in removing the misery or gaining the desired of a person who engages in remedy ?
If we look closely at the remedies described above , we come across the fact that they are some form of flattery towards the ishta or kamya devata etc. Does flattery work?
In day today life when we are presented before Kings its only our flattery speech that ensures reward. A boss in an office definitely acknowledges the junior who engages in flattery . A praise indeed assures a relief or pat from the Rakshasas as well .who does not succumb to praise ? if mean demons , human can succumb to a praise , then Devatas [ filled with compassion as they are ] should definitely respond to a praise. Although when addressed to a devata it should be a truthful one acknowledging their past accomplishments. A devata definitely responds to such praise through stotras .
Stotras like kavacha etc extract a promise of protection from the Devata. Apart from flattery people are moved by the hospitality they are extended , many people to get desired from officers and ministers and others throw a grand party for them . They take every care that their guest is atmost comfortable and happy . After his mind is gained a suitable favour is definitely granted. If ordinary humans can grant some favours then why cannot a all powerful demigod not bestow a favour ,when treated to a proper hosptality. Albeit a human can be more demanding and unjustified in his demands and comforts , But a DEVATA is alpasantoshi , he is happy with simple delights like a milk , flowers and kheer or laddoo etc .as long as they are presented with good intentions and bhakti , a Devata is everready to grant boons . He is more magnanimous than a human , who is never bothered about your intentions ,but more bothered about his booty .
With all these defects in humans man still keeps a lot of hopes on these menial humans to get their desired results and become unhappy when they meet with disappointments when failed in human relations [ and extraction of favours ] . Humans are known to be themselves trapped in the cage of destiny and dependent on fortunes from heaven . today whoever is powerful may not be so tomorrow etc . but yet we bet our last penny onto this hapless souls seeking betterment .
A devata is more capable of bestowing , changing our fates . He is more sensitive to our problems. He is more merciful and kind hearted. He takes our offerings in homa etc as debt to be repaid to us . Good people return favours perhaps manyfolds , a mustard like favour turned unto a good worthy individual is felt like a mountain of burden onto him and relaxes only when he has repaid it mountainously . What a change of fortune that would be when a devata decides to repay the debts of homa.
Devatas partake gifts from the humans in three ways , 1 . directly as naivedya [bhog] 2. through Fire [Agni ] agni is the mouth/ tongue of devatas , whatever is given in the fire by invoking the name of devata it is accepted by the devata. Earlier in olden days Agni used to have discretionary powers in accepting only sacred food ,but after the Bhrigu sage’s curse it had to eat everything that has been offered. hence a samskara [ invocatory chants] are neccessary for agni to accept the sacred , and without these chants [homa] the food and articles given in the fire does not reach the devata . Thus homa or yagnya has a procedure to be followed.
3. third way in which a devata can recieve is through the mouth of the bramhins . thus bramhins are fed to appease the devata . It is the fire inside the bramhin [ a bramhin engulfs “aropan” a fire at the time of initiation and keeps it intact through penace and austere life ] that makes the devata take the food. till a bramhin praises the food the devata in him eats , as soon as the food is praised by the bramhin , it is the human that eats the food. quicker the speech emanating from the bramhins mouth ,leeser the acceptance of devata. Wise bramhins in order to give ,maximum fruits [punya] to the yejman[performer] do not speak a word till the food is consumed. A devata is rendered satisfied ,when any demand made by the bramhin is fulfilled. Wise bramhins demand a pinch of salt while eating before breaking their silence to give complete benefit of homa to the doer.
It is neccessary to invite learned bramhins only [ learned in vedas , kind and completely undesirous of wealth ] to complete the homa japa dana etc of a person.
These remedies are also undertaken for yakshas and Rakshasas and pisachas like that in case of aghoras. The invokee and invoked consume according to their tastes and character. But results will also be akin their natures. Thus complete harmony and happiness and peace cannot be expected by praying rakshas pisacha and yakshas . ONly devatas can give peace and prosperity.
Just as praising a local king cannot assure you of a longlife or relief from a disease , similarly peace and prosperity cannot be expected from praying rakshas yaksha and pisachas or other dead men raised to levels of sadhus or miracle men.
Even devatas can bestow good life but not relief from Samsara . ONLY Vasudev can give relief from Samsara [cycle of birth and death as HE is GOD ] rest all are just devatas . Even these devatas can bestow good fortunes only by the grace of NARAYANA . just as a minister cannot bestow results or favours against the wishes of a King , so does a devata cannot go against the wishes of NARAYANA . Just as by praising king alone and neglecting other ministers and officers does not fetch maximum benefit , so also other devatas have to be prayed as parivar devataas along with Krishna .
Thus it is said “ Sarva Deva namaskaro KEshavam pratigachchati ” .One must not pray mean deities and always surrender to MAdhava .