Published:02 Sep 2013 8 PMUpdated:02 Sep 2013 8 PM Sakthi Vikatan
This is a four-Vedas' essence.  By Wordsmith Balakumaran

1. A long sorrowful wailing sound from somewhere emanated for the sky flying Naradar to hear. He understood it came from hell and turned towards it. He went by hell.

2. Millions of people inside hell roiled in pain and sorrow. They cried and lamented. One cry was louder than the rest. It was the cry of a Brahmin from his past earthly life, whose soul suffered pangs. Naradar, the knower of the past, the present and the future looked at the Brahmin: What sins did he commit? Where does he remain now? For how long did he have to endure this pain? Naradar knew he would live in pain for many hundreds of years.
  Author: Wordsmith Balakumaran
3. That poor sinful man paid homage to Naradar with opposed palms. Naradar said to him, "I cannot do anything for you. The evil you did will not leave you easily. Your great pain prevents you from reciting God's name. I will pray for you.'' He chanted Narayan's name and left the hell. The tortured soul looked in his direction until he was out of sight.

4. The pained soul was a Brahmin in Kanchi in his past life. Because of his past life's good deeds, he took birth in a good family and lead a prosperous life. Instead of furthering his education and associating with virtuous people, he used his meager knowledge in hurting others. He decided theft would make him rich. He became an astrologer. He thought he would use astrology to rob people and stay out of jail. He used the art of astrology to rob and plunder people.

5. The money he earned by illicit means, he spent on prostitutes and gambling. He terrorized people, ridiculed, and punished those who acted against his will.

6. For such a cruel person, a loyal wife gave birth to a son. A few years later, the profligate (Kavursanan) died of some unknown malady. Welcoming his death, the neighbors went to the temple offering thankful prayers and were joyous that the decadent Brahmin died. Not even one should felt sorry for him. His wife endured her loss with patience and did not seem to regret his passage or miss him, thinking it was mere fate. Because Kavursanan did not care about anyone, his sins accrued, he reviled, stole, injured others, and became a sufferer of severe punishment in hell. The hardships and punishments in hell multiplied a hundred-fold. He received punishment to his phantom body, of which they made sure he was aware. He received floggings and stab wounds with knives. Though he was incorporeal, he cried as if he experienced bodily pains. That made him wail louder.
7. As Naradar walked away from Kavursanan with a heavy heart, he saw his son by the riverside performing ritual for his departed father. Naradar came near the son and stood on the riverside in his direct sight. He came running and fell at his feet.

8. He paid homage to Naradar, saying, "Narada! Narada!" Naradar looked at him intently with loving eyes.

9. Though he was the son of a rogue, the son was an upright person. His mother raised him well, schooled him in the right ways, and helped him live a moral life. He thought his birth's goal was to help others. He rendered help, asked, or unasked. But the townspeople reminded him of his father's evil ways.

10. He stood with opposed palms to the people, who said, "We have never seen a dishonorable person like your father. Your father usurped our property from us." He begged them to forgive his father. He always lent them his ears, though he heard an earful of complaints. He regretted to listen to his father's name bandied around in ignominious ways.

11. He bathed in the rivers, visited the temples, and performed virtuous acts, wondering whether these acts would give any help to his departed father in the other world.

12. Naradar blessed him and said, "Your father suffers greatly in hell, unmentionable in severity, which anguishes me. I went there hearing his wailing and weeping, discovered it was your father's voice, and understood his pathetic life.

13. The son said, "The blame assigned to my father by the townspeople caused me great grief. I am heartbroken to hear from you that my father suffers greatly. Please tell me who can bring relief to him. I will redeem him from hell whatever it takes. Please help me. He begged Naradar.

14. Naradar felt love and compassion for him and said, "It is not a problem. You took an auspicious birth, raised by a good mother. Your good conduct will save your father. Since your father's sins are plentiful, you must do certain things to obtain immediate remediation: Go to Tirukurralam hill, worship Kurrala Nathar, take daily dips in the Kurrala river for six months beginning from Uttarayanam (the sun's northern passage) offering worship to Siva and asking him to expunge your father's sins. At six months' end, offer a palmful of water and request that all good merits earned by six-months bathing and Siva Pujai should go to your father. Once the merit goes to your father, your father will at once receive reprieve and freedom from hell. Do it, and you will accumulate more merit." The son did what Naradar told him, and his father earned his freedom from hell.

15. When a man is alive, the good sons are of no help. For the embodied soul to be healthy, go on the correct path, have good children, and obtain a good rebirth, one should bear good children. Only good children can give such great help. Narada's greatness lies in revealing the good and the subtle path to the bearer of a son, showing the son how to rescue the father from hell and earn good merits for the son. A life of selfless service to others carries the utmost value.