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Naranathu Branthan – Quotes And Teachings

Naranathu Branthan is a character with a sense of earthy humor in the history of Kerala. He is one of the twelve sons of Sage Vararuchi and a pariah woman. Here are some of the important quotes and teachings of Naranathu Branthan.

Naranathu Branthan taught home-truths to the people through his eccentric actions. Every day, he would roll a heavy stone to the top of a hill, and then push t down, in order to emphasize the nothingness of life. We are burdened by society to toil hard in life, to amass wealth to fulfill our desires but all this hard work is for nothing as one day we are going to fall and die. We end up where we had started – nothingness. We were nothing in the beginning and will become nothing in the end. The short period of all this toil of looting nature in the name of wealth, power and position is symbolized by hard working of rolling the heavy stone to the top of the hill. Once we reach the top of greed and ignorance there is nowhere else to go but downwards to the starting point.

At midnight, he would go to a cremation ground and cook his simple meal of rice gruel on the embers of the cremation fire. The story goes that once Goddess Kali appeared before him with a thousand head. He was not the least afraid or surprised; rather he was amused. The Goddess noted the expression on his face and asked him, ‘Why do you look so pleased?’ Naranathu Bhranthan replied – ‘my nose troubles me a lot when I catch a cold, so just thought about the condition of a person with a thousand running nose. The Goddess was satisfied with his humorous reply and offered him a boon; but Bhranthan refused to have any. When she insisted, he asked that the span of his life be either reduced or increased by one day. That, the Goddess confessed, did not lay in her power. Then, he said, ‘transfer the swelling (due to elephantiasis) from my left foot to the right one, and leave me alone.’

Naranathu Bhranthan was not afraid of Goddess Kali in cremation ground because he had overcome the concept of two. He saw everything as one. There was nothing to worry about. He had no possessions to be lost. He had no fear. He had no fake social status. He was one with the whole.

He asking Goddess to either reduce or extend his lifespan by a day shows that death is the eternal truth and no one can prevent it. When it is time, we all have to leave the body behind. To stop fearing death is the important message here.

Transferring of elephantiasis from one leg to another leg shows that body is just a vehicle for a short period on earth and we all have to leave it sooner or later and move ahead. There is no point in giving too much importance to the perishable body.