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Kaka Bhusundi-The greatest devotee of lord rama
Posted By Sarin on Apr 10, 2013     RSS Feeds     Latest Hinduism news

Recently, while travelling on my way to office, a crow touched his feet on my head and flew away. I was awestruck on what does it mean and what should I take from this incident? In Indian philosophy, crow is considered as an inauspicious bird and getting hit by crow, a very inauspicious omen. Incidentally, that day I took a lift from an old person who seemed to be very religious since his car was decorated with sacred symbols like Aum and swastika plus the idols of deities like ganesha & Goddess durga kept at the front near the clcok timer. I told him about being touched by the crow and asked him what does it mean? He said if you’re touched than somebody from your ancestors have blessed you but if you are hit then that’s a very inauspicious sign and it mean that something bad is going to happen with you. Oops...This is not what I expected...So, I demanded an explanation on why it is so? He narrated many stories about crow from ancient Indian scriptures and presented several facts like crows are devotional, most intelligent etc.  
I knew about crow devotion and immortality mentioned in Ramayana but I wasn’t aware of the other facts he mentioned. I did a quick search about those facts and found it to be true. To share the knowledge I gained form this unknown religious godman, I will be posting several articles on crow- the devotional and intelligent bird. In this article, I present you the story which depicts the devotion of crow and the boon of immortality granted to this crow by lord Vishnu. This is a great inspirational story especially for those who seek the highest level of devotion and spirituality.  This topic will also tell you why it is better to meditate than to worship idolized form of lord.

Story of Kaka Bhusundi
There are many devotees of lord ram-(Hanuman, Shabri, Vibhishan, Sant kabir, sage Tulsidas, Mahatma Gandhi etc) but one of the bright names you may not know is Kaka Bhusundi. Kaka Bhasundi is lord of the crows. In Sri Ramacharitmanas, Bhakti and divine wisdom of Kaka Bhusundi is expressed in details.

Lord Ram

Kaka Bhusundi insulted his guru
Kaka Bhasundi was not always a crow. He was a young arrogant man and an ardent devotee of lord shiva. Born in Ayodhya, he did not care about Lord Rama and never respected him or his devotees. He met a guru who was both, lord shiva devotee as well as devotee of lord ram. Though Bhasundi was mischievous and arrogant, guru was very kind to him and imparted his teachings, knowledge, Shiva mantra and wisdom generously. Bhasundi was so fond of Lord Shiva that he never respected rama and mistreated lord rama servants and devotees. His guru tried to calm him by saying "Fruit of worshipping Shiva is faith and devotion to Sri Rama. Your extreme penance and grace of lord Shiva devotion will lead you to lord rama feet." However, arrogant Bhasundi thought his Preceptor guru to be some misguided soul who don’t know lord Shiva greatness. He often shouted on his guru whenever he talked about lord rama. Days passed by, Bhasundi insulted his Preceptor every time Preceptor corrected him for his unkind behavior towards lord rama devotees.  
Lord Shiva cursed Kaka Bhusundi
One day, when Bhasundi was singing prayers in lord Shiva temple, his Guru came in. Bhasundi who thought himself to be a superior saint than his guru, did not greet nor prostate his guru. He continued his prayers ignoring the guru as if he was not there.
Lord Shiva became infuriated by this behavior and cursed Bhasundi to become a python dwelling deep in a tree as he was too lazy to greet his guru.  
Kaka Bhusundi Guru protects him
Hearing this terrible curse, His guru compassionately intervened and sang a beautiful hymn (Namami shamishana nirvanaroopam) on behalf of Bhasundi to relieve him off the curse. Lord Shiva is a maha yogi who is pleased very easily by his kind and sincere devotees. Pleased by prayers, Lord Shiva requested preceptor to ask for a boon. Preceptor replied “First you offer me devotion and place in your feet and kindly, give me another boon” Pleased by his devotion, Shiva agreed to his request of second boon. Preceptor said, "Forgive poor Bhusundi, who is ignorant and lost in illusion.” Shiva replied, "My curse never goes unfulfilled, but I can turn my curse into blessings. Bhasundi will take a thousand births in lower forms but will be spared of suffering in each birth. He will be fully aware of all his past births and ultimately will achieve devotion for Sri Rama."
Kaka Bhasundi takes thousands of births
Learning that he cannot escape lord Shiva curse, Bhasundi went into the forest and started the process of transmigrating where he dropped his old body and took a new life in lower life forms. Each form he assumed was for a hour or two, just like man removes his old clothes and puts on a new one.  

Finally, after going through all transmigrations, he was finally born in human form (as a Brahmin in ayodhya) and acquired deep devotion to Lord rama.  
Kaka Bhasundi requests all sages to show him the way to reach lord rama
Bhasundi was so fond of lord rama that he moved continuously from hermitage to hermitage, asking the different rishis , saints and hermits to explain the divinity of Sri Rama. He would listen to these stories and feel happy, and then he would move on to another hermitage. Now he had intense desire of touching the lotus feet of lord rama. He asked all the sages on how he can touch the lotus feet of lord rama. All the sages requested him to worship the impersonal (formless) god than the embodied (Avatar) god.

Worshiping the divine impersonal supreme god

  View of worshipping the formless god did not appeal bhasundi and he was thinking of a way to reach lord rama feet.
Sage Lomasa Curse Kaka Bhasundi
Finally he met sage Lomasa who was known for his kind and detailed Guidance. Bhasundi requested lomasa to show a way of worshipping embodied lord. Great sage lomasa explained few virtues and divinity of lord rama embodied form and then went on a spiritual discourse to worship the unmanifest supreme formless god. But the thought of worshipping the formless universal Brahman did not satisfy Bhusundi heart. Bowing down, he requested “Show me a way to worship embodied Lord. Like a fish loves to live in water, my mind is eager to worship embodied form of lord rama. O great sage, show me a way to see Lord rama with my own eyes and then I can listen to your discourse on universal formless Brahman." Sage lomasa again explained about lord rama virtues and then sidetracked to universal supreme Brahman. Whenever sage lomasa started saying about universal Brahman, Bhusundi stopped him requesting him to say only about lord rama and his embodied form. Sage lomasa expounded on universal formless god while Bhusundi responded with questions adding his own argument of worshipping embodied form, ignoring the wisdom of the great sage. Finally the Sage got very angry and cursed Bhusundi to become a crow as he did not listen to him and was self opinionated like a crow.
Sage lomasa gave mantra and recited Ramacharitamanas to Bhasundi
This was a curse according to sage lomasa but bhasundi joy crossed all limits since he can easily fly towards lord rama palace. When lord saw his devotee adding one more curse in his pocket, lord narrated lomasa about the story of bhasundi and requested him to rectify the curse. Amazed by extraordinary forbearance and faith shown by Bhasundi, Lomasa invoked Bhasundi and gave him Sri Rama mantras. Lomasa recited the entire Ramacharitamanas to Bhasundi and blessed him with unmatched devotion with lord ram always residing in his heart.
Bhasundi continued to live like a crow for twenty seven cycles of creation, always singing the glories of lord rama with other birds also joining him. I wonder how he may be singing KAWWWW kawww kawwww. I also wonder if any of the crows in my locality is singing Ramacharitamanas.

Yeah I know you sing very well

Lord Vishnu blessed Kaka Bhasundi with devotion and immortality
One day, when bhasundi(in crow form) was playing his childish sports with lord ram, he ate a piece of roti(Indian bread) from lord Ram hand. A great illusionist, lord rama started crying for that little piece of roti. This created a doubt in Bhasundi mind “How can the lord of the universe cry for this little piece of roti? He cannot be my lord. He flew away from lord into the sky. Seeing his devotee going away from him, Lord Ram (in child form) followed crow everywhere into deep mountains, rising oceans etc. Seeing the divinity of Lord Ram, Bhasundi realized his mistake and begged for mercy. Lord ram revealed his chatrabhuja form and told him about the happiness, affection, Joy, he felt in his devotion. Lord Vishnu asked crow on what he should give as a boon to him: Happiness, prosperity, wealth, salvation, success or anything else.  
This is depicted very nicely in the below video and the song is amazing

Clever crow did not ask for any comforts but only devotion and love. Impressed by the intelligence of crow, Lord granted him devotion. Lord also granted him the boon of recognizing both invisible and visible form of the lord. Lord granted him immortality even after the death of this universe. This is the reason why crows are blessed for existence irrespective of environmental factors. They are found not only in moderate areas but also in extremely adverse areas like snowy Alaska and hot Sahara desert.  
Kaka bhasundi loved his crow form
This story was narrated by Kaka bhasundi himself to Garuda (king of birds), messenger and vehicle of lord Vishnu before sage valmiki started composing the ramayana. He also told garuda that he loves his crow form so much that he desires to live in this form till eternity. He said “I have enjoyed endless devotion of lord in this form. This is the form I attained mantras and bhakti of the lord”
Check the full story here

This story is very important since it us teaches three vital lessons for our life.  
  1)    You should be always compassionate and kind to sages (real ones), parents and god. Forget your egos and remembers the number of times you have insulted your teachers, parents, sages etc. God will not forgive the ones who insult sages, deities and other enlightened living beings. Doing so will result in thousands of rebirths in lower life forms (Chicken, goats, pigs etc) where you pay the sins for your unacceptable behavior. Very often, foolish humans say, I do bad karma but go unpunished by god and hence, god doesn’t exist.  They are very unwise to understand on how they are going to be punished. Laws of karma are universal and everyone pays for their sins, sometimes in their next life after they fulfill the task for which they were born on earth.
2)    God comes to earth in manifested form to reveal their divinity and to restore dharma and righteousness by destroying all evils. Manifestation of god instills devotion since man believes in what he sees and often defers his path into materialistic pleasures. God is born in human form because this is the form we comprehend our god to present their divinity, philosophy and teachings. Won’t you find it little absurd to see god manifested in tiger, crow, elephant or any other animal forms.
3)    Devotion is something we can never understand unless we experience the divinity within ourselves. We will always find it difficult comprehending abstract philosophical ideals mentioned in religious scriptures until we initiates onto the path of bhakti yoga. Bhakti yoga starts from worshipping the embodied form of the man (idols of Avatars) and then to realize the unseen supreme universal form.  
    Ending this article with a rare friendly white crow found in many parts of India

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