What is the phala of cleaning the Vishnu temple premises and sprinkling water there?
Once in vanvaasa (exile) Pandavas were moving deeper into forests and visiting many teertha kshetras. They crossed shoolakantak kshetra and reached uttamteertha.
There one rakshasa by name bahuroma saw pandavas and with an aim to abduct Draupadi Devi hatched a plan. He sat on the banks of Reva and with darbha sat on a peetha in complete dhayna and doing japa of a mantra.
Yudhisthira seeing a great yogi rishi on the banks, came to him and sat next to him and asked him to give upadesha on rahasya about Linganadi Narmada teertha. Yudhsihthir said, “A darshan of muni is always a scope to know more about sadhana” [importance of being alert on sadhana and means to know it is being exhibited by Yudhisthir].
Around the same time another rakshas called Sthulashiras in a muni disguise came and pleaded, “is there anyone to protect! One who saves protects one in trouble will get complete phala. And if the person is brahman shreshtha it will be even more complete. As on one hand bhudaan is equivalent of meru parvat and on the other hand saving of dwija stree children cows from the hands of dushta, saving a person from a deathbed. These are all equal. One who abandons bramhans in distress, men in life and death situations such person will fall in RAURAV Naraka. Hey veeer! I have lost everything as a danav has taken away everything from me, my parnashala, kamandalu, akshamala, asan… everything.”
Pandava seeing the muni in such a state, decided to help him. Leaving Draupadi devi by the side of bahuroma and five set out with sthula shiras.
After long search seeing no signs of any danger, Yudhishthir gots some doubts. He thought to himself there seems no signs of dacoity as told by this muni and then he asked Arjun to go back and check on the welfare of Draupadi who had been left alone! Then looking at the Sun he said, “Oh! Devatas, I am now in a
doubt, by the power of my shaurya and punya I ask what is the real situation. Please let me know!
An Ashareervaani informs Yuddhishthira, saying, “there is nothing wrong, all this is Maya of this rakshasa called Sthulashiras who is by your side.”
Just as the voice finished, Bheemssen caught the rakshasa and hit him hard and the rakshasa unable to bear pain had to take his original form and fight with Bheema.
In the meanwhile Arjun had rushed back to find that there was no Bahuroma and Draupadi. He started to look for her here and there and then climbing a tree invoked his distant viewing telescopic eye. There he saw Bahuroma carrying Draupadi on his shoulder and Draupadi crying out ‘Bheemsen Bheemsen.”
Arjun without losing a moment, took a long steps to run after Bahuroma. On the way he as Arjun was jumping from tree to tree each tree fell and making return journey impossible for the rakshasa.
Seeing huge piles of trees behind rakshasa got terrified and sensing that soon Arjun would catch up with him, he left Draupadi Devi and planned an escape. But Arjun did not stop following him, thus, they both ran a long distance.
Suddenly rakshasa, losing pace, stopped and turned back. And stood still as Arjun came nearer the rakshasa transformed into Vishnu’s form- four armed, shanku, chakra, gada, and padma holding divya person. A dismayed Arjun stood with folded hands and said, “human being and his intelligence is just so limited Vausdeva. Oh! What a karma that I chased you with my silly doubts. How shall I beg forgiveness from you Oh! Krishna!”
Chaturbhuja says, “Hey Mahanubhav Arjun! I am not Krishna! I am Bahuroma rakshasa. By my good deeds in previous janmas I have got a deha body similar to that of Lord Hari!”
Having heard this surprised Arjun asked, “Hey Bahuroma chaturbhuja! Which karma did you do in previous birth that you have got this saroopya of Mahavishnu? Please let me know about that karma vishesha in yathartha.”
Chaturbhuj said, “Oh Arjun let me tell my surprising interesting story to all your brothers! I was a king in the Somavansha by name Jayadhwaja. I was immensely devoted to Mahavishnu Narayana. But even though being a king I used to daily
go to a Vishnu temple and clean its premises with broom and cloth and then sprinkle water regularly! This I was doing sincerely.
I used to clean the temple garbha gudi with gomaya and lighta deepa. Then there was a brahman by the name of Vitihotra he was very famous and highly learned. Vitihotra too used to get surprised at my daily cleaning of the premises. Vitihotra was learned in Rigveda, Shiksha, Vyakarana, vedanga etc.
Once after cleaning as I was sitting on the pavement, Vitihotra asked me, “Hey Rajan! I am sure you know what you are doing? It shows in the conviction with which you are doing this, and I find it very different.
You are devoted that is evident in sincerity with which you clean. That is something unimaginable as you are a king. There are so many ways to please Hari! Hey Punyashaali! Some may please Hari even more! But you seem to know the phala of what you are doing? Do you know this work has more punya than anything else? If you have some good will on me then do let me know what is the secret?”
Jayadhwaj king says, “Oh bramhana! I am a jaatismara [one who knows his past life clearly]. What I would say would be indeed surprising! Oh bramhin! I was also a brahmin in my previous birth by name Raivat.
As Raivat I used to do yaaga for those who were ineligible, those who were- cruel, extracted money, always engaged in business like attitude, selling even liquids and doing all sort of NISHIDDHA karmas. All my (Raivat’s) relatives had left me, which made me immerse into many more sins and neecha karyas. I, as Raivat was always interested in paradravya, parastree, and pranihimsa. I drank alcohol daily and slowly developed hate towards others brahmins too.
I used to stop and loot travelers and everyday seduced other bramhan woman and take them to a secluded place to enjoy. I had chosen an old Vishnu temple where poojas were not taking place there for this dushkarma. When I would take a woman, I would clean this old temple and would tear the edge of my dhoti to make a deepa of it and light it in the temple so that I could have sambhoga.
One day villagers found me red-handed when they saw the small light in the devalaya. After they caught me they beheaded me (Raivat) bramhana for his dushkarma.
But then there came Vishnu Doootas to pick me up and I reached Uttam Swarga. I enjoyed swarga with a beautiful form and that too for 100 kalpas. And then I took birth in chandrakul as a king with lotus eyed beautiful body by the name Jayadhwaj.”
Thus, Chaturbhuja narrated to Arjun further, “Even as Jayadhwaj I left my body and reached Swarga then from there I reached Indra Loka and then to Rudra loka and then from there while going to Satyaloka on the way I happened to meet Narad muni but I did not pay my respects to him, and continued journey as if I did not notice him.
Then Narad Muni intercepted but, as Jayadhwaj, I made of upahasa (laughed at Narad Muni). Thus an insulted Narad Muni cursed me to become rakshas.”
On this, immediately I fell at the feel of Narad Muni and relented to him. The softhearted Narad muni was immediately pleased and said, “okay when you abduct Draupadi Devi that’s when you will be chased at that time you will get relief from the rakshasa curse. Oh! Yudhshthir! Now released from that curse, I find myself in saroopya of Mahavishnu and now I leave for vaikuntha.”
As the Pandavas watched with Draupadi Devi, he ascended the seat of Garuda and went to vaikuntha.
Even when Raivat did Vishnu devalaya sanmarjan unknowingly, he got uttam janma. In the next janma he also got past life remembrance and he with devotion did the Vishnu Devalaya Sanmarjan Seva now knowingly to get rid of sins completely and got moksha. So doing cleaning of the home temple [where Saligram and Devata vigraha are situated] is a great punya and doing it with knowledge of its mahima is even greater. There is no greater seva than this now woman and non-dwijas cannot say they have nothing to do as seva.
Thus you all men and women, do Vishnu pooja there is no better Purushartha than this, this I say with two hands raised again and again Krishnarpanamastu!