His name was Vidyutkesa, A rakshasa by birth. He got married to a rakshasi by name Salakantaka.
Just like any newly-married couple, Vidyutkesa and Salakantaka enjoyed the company of each other. They wanted to make sure their romance continues forever.
After few weeks, Salakantaka got pregnant. She delivered a male baby.
Usually, babies are called "bundle of joy". Any parent would love to hold their baby in hands, kiss it, talk to it meaningless words, and enjoy even the tiniest thing that their kid does.
Not Salakantaka. She didn't want to take care of this baby. She wanted to spend time only with her husband, and treated this baby as an unnecessary hurdle in their romantic life.
Vidyutkesa agreed with her, 'Darling, our life is much more important than this child. Let us leave this baby here itself.'
This may be unimaginable to us. But, for rakshasas, it was a routine thing. They had no maternal or paternal love for their kids.
Hence, Vidyutkesa and Salakantaka left their baby in a place called Mount Manthara. Then they hurried away before someone noticed them.
After sometime, their baby felt hungry and started crying loudly. But no one was around to hear it or help it.
Fortunately, Lord Shiva and his wife Parvathi were travelling by that route on a white bull. Parvathi heard the baby crying. She asked Shiva to stop and check where the voice is coming from.
When they found the child, Parvathi got really upset. 'Such a beautiful baby! How could someone abandon it like this?'
Lord Shiva said, 'Devi, this is a rakshasa baby!'
'Now, it makes sense', sighed Parvathi, 'These rakshasis don't want to take care of their babies, they just abandon them in some place and leave!'
Newborn babies need support up to certain age. If a baby is left like this, it may not survive. But then, rakshasis don't care about that.
Whether it is rakshasa or not, Parvathi wanted this baby to live. So she made it a young man instantly, so that he can work and feed himself.
That baby, now a youth named Sukesa, stood before them with folded hands. Shiva gifted him a flying city and great many precious things.
'But Devi, this only takes care of one baby,' said Shiva, 'there may be hundreds of thousands of rakshasa kids already born, or yet to be born, they all would need such support. How would you do that?'
Parvathi thought for a moment and declared. 'From now on, any rakshasa kid born will immediately reach the age of its mother. This way, it will not need the parents' support at all.'
Before you start thinking, 'Is it scientifically possible?', please hold that question. We need to discuss something more important.
Shiva and Parvathi had a problem on hand: The rakshasa baby. They wanted this baby to live, and hence, made it a youth. Problem solved.
But then, they get to the next stage, there may be many others having a similar problem, what about them?
Can Shiva and Parvathi run all around the world, find all abandoned babies and save them? Can they change the minds of rakshasa men and women not to abandon their babies like this?
This is where Parvathi decides to handle the problem at its source itself, she declares that any rakshasa baby (which will get such a treatment from its parents) will grow to a youth immediately, similar to Sukesa. That is what we call a complete and permanent solution!
For every problem, we may not be able to get a complete, permanent solution quickly. Sometimes it may be important that we focus on a temporary solution to take care of the immediate problem (like Sukesa was made a youth) before we can think of the big picture.
However, once the temporary solution takes care of the issue on hand, we normally move away from it and start focusing on something else. Because, the problem is not "urgent" anymore!
Also, we get satisfaction and pride that we have resolved the issue. Either we don't know that the solution is not permanent, or we simply decide to ignore the fact that there is still some more work to be done.
This means, the same issue may come back and hit us some other time. Again, we choose to apply the same (or a different) temporary solution.
Instead, if we care to spend some extra time in identifying a permanent solution, we won't have to see the same problem's ugly face again.
Big picture, long term, complete, sincere and permanent solutions … That's what every problem needs. The comparison is a lot like a proper meal vs fast food!
About the author:
N. Chokkan is the Co-Founder & Director at CRMIT, Bengaluru. He was previously the director at InFact Infotech before which he was the principle Consultant at BroadVision. He blogs athttp://nagachokkanathan.wordpress.com/ (English) and http://nchokkan.wordpress.com/ (Tamil).