In the legendary forest known as ‘naimiSaaraNyamu’ the sage Sounaka, along with some more of the sages residing in the area, was once immersed in performing a ‘yaaga’ – a devotional fire ritual carried out accompanied by the combined recital of ‘mantra’ – the pious chants from the veda – for the well being and comfort of all the human kind.
The great story of ‘Mahabharat’ starts from this instance, at the place of this fire ritual performed by the sage Sounaka and others.
As this fire ritual performed by the sage Sounaka and others was in progression, having come to know about the performance of this yaaga, a sage named roumaharshaNi – son of one of the disciples of maharishi vyaasa – named roemaharshaNuDu – arrives at this place. This sage roumaharshaNi – who is also known by another name ugraSravasuDu – is known to be a great living repertory of good stories and respected by one and all as a preacher or teller of good stories.
On his arrival at the place of the ongoing fire ritual, the sage roumaharshaNi was received with due respect and made to feel comfortable with all facilities available at that place by the sage Sounaka and others. After a while, as expected, they flock around him with a request to tell a good story. He in turn asks them to tell him what kind of a story they would like to listen from him.
The following poem relates to this instance, aptly describes the situation and becomes the necessary link to the start and flow of the great story Mahabharat which is yet to commence.
eayadi hRdya mapuurvaM
beayadi yeddaani vinina neruka samagraM
bai yuMDu naghanibarhaNa
meayadi yakkathaya vinaga nishTamu maakun.
ఏయది హృద్య మపూర్వం
బేయది యెద్దాని వినిన నెఱుక సమగ్రం
బై యుండు నఘనిబర్హణ
మేయది యక్కథయ వినగ నిష్టము మాకున్.
Which is pleasing to the heart, which is till now unheard of,
Listening to which gives a broader view of intricacies of life,
Which makes one sanctified of the sins till then committed,
Such a story we all would like very much to listen (from you).
As can be understood, this poem is the reply the group of sages gives to the teller of great good tales, the sage roumaharshaNi, when he asks him to let him know what kind of a story they would like to listen from him. In other words this poem describes to the reader as to which are the good qualities that made the long tale, Mahabharat, so great that it is remembered for thousands of years and praised by one and all till now unendingly.
As regards the meaning of the words used in this poem, it is evident that not much explanation is required since the words used are very basic except only two words i.e., agha(mu) (which means ‘sin’) and nibarhaNa(mu) (which means ‘destroying’ and/or ‘bringing to an end’).
The flow of words in this poem (and many of the poems written by the aadi kavi – the ‘initiator poet’ – nannaya) is so fine that while reading the poem itself one would like to immediately ‘by-heart’ it and he feels it very easy to do so too!