Episode # 81 – “NAAMA-SANKEERTANAM” – The only way to prevent us from reaching the “Naraka Lokha”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an intriguing accord from Sage Paraashara as he is on course of explaining some “royal” treatments that would be meted out to those who would reach the various Naraka Lokhas – Not one, but 32 of them! We’ve in due course witnessed one such treacherous Naraka Lokha called “Tapta Lokha”, wherein those people who misbehave with women, who torture women in many different ways, would enter into it. Yama-Dharma-Raja would have a beautiful idol of a woman made out of brass, which would be burning hot over a mass of fire. He would thus push those people who come there, onto that burning hot idol, which is one of the most cruel punishments that we could ever imagine! As Sage Paraashara lists down the royal treatments in various Naraka Lokhas thus, we might have become petrified and many of us might be damn sure that we might not go just into one Naraka Lokha, but we’ve to take turns to go into all the thirty-two put together! Perhaps Sage Maithreya too knew that there are going to be people like us who are “eligible” for all the thirty-two, and as our representative to Sage Paraashara, he interrupted the conversation mid-way. Sage Maithreya thus poses a counter question as to what are those ways through which one can protect himself / herself from entering into any of these Naraka Lokhas. 

This is something that all of us should know and perhaps, we can take some corrective measures from here on, forgetting our past? Let’s look into what Sage Paraashara had to say on this. Sage Paraashara replies thus, “Oh Maithreya! I’m not telling all this to instil some fear into you. That’s not the point here, and it is out of question completely. I had just elaborated on the Naraka Lokha to highlight the intensity of the punishment given there. However, the bigger picture here is that, you should understand Bhagawan Vishnu’s significance – He protects those people who think about Him and with that divine thought, Bhagawan destroys all the sins that His devotees make. If the sins aren’t in the picture of these people, how do they even reach the Naraka Lokha? Only if I elaborate the Naraka Lokha experiences and then about Bhagawan, will you be able to understand His significance!” 

This is an important message for all of us here. Sage Paraashara is continuing thus, “Oh Maithreya! Just think for a moment – Do all people who reach Vaikunta commit zero sins in their lives? It’s never possible! Every minute we keep committing sins day in and day out! However, what makes few people reach Vaikunta and what makes the others enter the Naraka Lokha? It is because those few who do sins, think about Bhagawan Vishnu, pray to Him and surrender to His divine Lotus Feet! Overwhelmed by this, Bhagawan destroys all their sins to make them neutral. He gives them the qualification and “eligibility” to reach Vaikunta! Only very few people in this world are born with that eligibility to reach Vaikunta. All the others either “create” that eligibility themselves, or they’re “given” that eligibility by Bhagawan to reach Vaikunta.” Sage Paraashara says thus, 

“Praayaschitthaannaseshaani tapah karma aatmakaanivai!

Yaaniteshaam aseshaanaam krishnaanusmaranam param!!”

This is one of the most important slokas of this entire “Shri Vishnu Puraana”. Just like how we say that the “Sundara Kaanda” is the vital segment of the entire Valmiki Ramayana, this particular sloka has all the essence of the entire text of Shri Vishnu  Puraana. It says “Praayaschitthaan aaseshaani” – This means, we cannot wipe out our sins by merely doing some “Praayaschitha” (Substitute actions or actions of repent), or we cannot wipe out or sins by merely doing “Tapas” (Deep penance), or “Karma” (Good actions), or “Aatmakaanivai” (Any action that would try and uplift our Atman). One can wash off his / her sins only by chanting Bhagawan Krishna’s divine names. This is what the second line  of this sloka says – “Yaaniteshaam aseshaanaam krishnaanusmaranam param!!”

This is what we exactly term as “Naama-Sankeertanam ” or repeated chanting of Bhagawan’s divine names. It is only this “Naama-Sankeertanam” which is going to grant us “Moksha”. Aadi Shankara Bhagawad Paada too emphasized the same point here in his famous “Bhaja Govindam” song. The first stanza goes as follows: 

“Bhaja Govindam Bhaja Govindam Govindam bhaja moodhamate!

Sampraapte sannihite kaale nahi nahi rakshati dukrinkarane!!”

Here, Sage Aadi Shankara drives home the same point – “Oh Moodamathe! (Stupid)! Don’t waste your time in every other worldly activity. You would never be able to attain Moksha with all what you’re doing! Chant the divine name of Govinda! (Bhaja Govindam). Only this would give you the eligibility of attaining Moksha!” 

So for today, let us understand this important point on “Naama-Sankeertanam” and let us start performing it from today! We shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well, to see the significance of this “Naama-Sankeertanam” in this Kali Yuga. Stay tuned for an interesting episode tomorrow! 🙂 

Episode # 80 – Some “Royal Treatment” at the “TAPTA LOKHA” – Sage Paraashara thunders!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced the important discussion of Sage Paraashara explaining some “royal treatments” that would be meted out in a few of the “Naraka Lokhas”. In these lines, we’ve started with the accord on the “Rourava Naraka Lokha”, wherein we’ve seen how people who fail to protect the law of the land and justice to the innocent, would be subjected to some “royal treatment” from this animal called “Ruru”. In fact, Sage Paraashara starts first up with people who falter in the judicial system, perhaps because he already knew that this is one system in our today’s scenario which is totally rotten beyond change. We’ve already witnessed many times in the past as to how our ancient “Maharishis” have had far-sightedness with their immensely accumulated “Tapas” or penance.  Thus, Sage Paraashara knew long back that if there’s one thing that requires to be explained first up, it is for those in this rotten judicial system of India today. Secondly, Sage Paraashara gave an eye-opener for those people who think that they can attain name and fame by torturing and killing animals, babies, etc. Such radicals would be subjected to some “burial” exercises by Yama Dharma Raja in the Naraka Lokha. Thirdly, Sage Paraashara spoke about the “Sookara Naraka Lokha”, which gives some royal treatment for those who are into consumption of excessive alcohol, drugs, etc. and those who insult and kill innocent Brahmins. So for those who are “busy” today in lynching people for their pride, they have some special treatment waiting for them. Yama-Dharma Raja is waiting for such lynchers with some “appointment letters” with wild boars and pigs, which are waiting to have a go! Fourth, Sage Paraashara talks about the “Tapta Kunda” Naraka Lokha, wherein those people who misbehave with their teachers and their wives go! They would be subjected to some “burning” treatment here wherein they would be dropped into a hole with burning fire inside it. 

Moving on further thus, Sage Paraashara continues with his accord on the different “Naraka Lokhas” and what are the various treatments meted out to those who enter them. He says thus: 

“Saadhvi vidhve kritvatpaalaha tapta loke patantethe tapta pareechayeth!!”

Here, Sage Paraashara drops the next bombshell. He now explains that if one illtreats his wife in anyway by torturing her or by physically harming her, or if one doesn’t forgive a person who comes and falls on his feet, seeking forgiveness, he goes to the “Naraka Lokha” called “Tapta Lokha”. Here what happens is, a huge female body would be created out of brass. Normally, one important characteristic of this brass is that, if it is shown into the fire, it would immediately start reacting to the heat. The temperature of the brass would go up immediately. This is why we often use some utensils in the kitchen, which are made of brass. This enables the heating process to happen quickly. Thus, it is this brass we’re talking about here. In the “Tapta Lokha”, there would be a woman’s body beautifully crafted in brass and this body would be on top of a fire. Yama Dharma Raja would take us near that brass woman body and tell us thus, “Oh! When you were living in the world, you wanted to harm your wife by torturing her, isn’t it? You wanted to go behind women other than your marriage, isn’t it? You wanted to show your superiority over a person who seeked your unconditional apology, isn’t it? Now go to this brass woman and exhibit all your desires!” Saying thus, he would push us towards that burning hot brass woman and would make us hug it. Thus, this is what happens at the “Tapta Lokha” – A section of the “Naraka Lokha”. 

Similarly, Sage Paraashara keeps on listing one after the other about the various Naraka Lokhas and the corresponding people who go there. He talks about how people who commercialize Vedas and sell them and how these people enter into the Naraka Lokha and obtain the requisite punishment. As we go on like this, I’m sure we would start getting extremely jittery! As Sage Paraashara describes all the 32 different Naraka Lokhas, we’re going to faint down on the ground as all of us know that we’re going to fit into atleast one of the 32, if not all! In fact, we fitting into just one out of the 32, is a gross understatement! 🙂 We would probably fit into all the 32 of them! We’ve to literally ask Yama-Dharma_Raja whether he has another 32 Naraka Lokhas exclusively made for us! 🙂 This is exactly what Sage Maithreya felt too! Hearing all of these carefully, Sage Maithreya replies to Sage Paraashara thus, “Oh Sage Paraashara! Till now you’ve explained all the 32 different Naraka Lokhas! Everything was perfectly said. You’ve also said who goes to which of the 32 Naraka Lokhas. That is also perfectly said. Now you’ve not told me how “not” to go into any of these “Naraka Lokhas”. You’ve to tell me this. Upon hearing all your previous accords of the Naraka Lokhas, I’m sure that I’m going into many of them – Not one!”  

As Sage Maithreya and ourselves have this doubt in mind, Sage Paraashara is going to clear this doubt with this important answer. What is that answer? Let’s wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 79 – A glimpse of some “ROYAL TREATMENT” at various “Naraka Lokhas”!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced Sage Paraashara’s accord on the “Naraka Lokha”. If we would have thought that there was only one “Naraka Lokha”, we’ve been mistaken. There are 32 different “Naraka Lokhas” in this world and Sage Paraashara gives a detailed description about all the thirty-two. We had seen the different names of the various Naraka Lokhas in yesterday’s episode, and we shall continue with this discussion further today. Of course, I’ve just mentioned only one half of the list yesterday here, and by this time, readers would have started feeling jittery thus, “Oh wow! Is it a necessity that we should even know all of these? Isn’t this extremely scary? Would we get a good sleep at night after reading through all of these?” These are some valid concerns, but there is a reason why Sage Paraashara is explaining this upfront. He himself is explaining it in the subsequent slokas. 

Here, Sage Paraashara explains the reason thus, to Sage Maithreya. He says, “Oh Maithreya! You should understand here that for each type of sin that we do, there are separate “Naraka Lokhas” for each of them! Now let me tell you for which sin you would reach which Naraka Lokha.” Sage Paraashara drops the bombshell thus: 

“Kootasaakshi tathaa samyah paksha pasadena ruravadeth!”

If someone is giving a biased verdict by hiding the truth and protecting the evil, he / she would enter into the “Rourava Naraka Lokha”. All my dear friends in the “pervertedly famed” Indian Judiciary should read this carefully – If a judge (Also referred to in India as “My Lord” – I seriously wonder if there can be any other Jeevatma equivalent to Bhagawan in this world) allegedly involves in corruption and protects a criminal, against an honest and a legitimate person, he / she would be subjected to some “royal treatment” at this “Naraka Lokha”. Now – What is this royal treatment there? In this Lokha, there is this animal by name “Ruru”. Yama-Dharma-Raja would ensure that this “My Lord” would be made to be bitten by this “Ruru” animal. This animal bite would be 100 times more painful than even a snake bite in this world. We can see what kind of royal treatment that our “My Lords” would be getting at the “Rourava Naraka Lokha”, if they’re allegedly protecting “Adharma”. I hope, atleast if few of them get to read this, they might rethink their strategy of giving verdicts. I do not want to comment anymore on our judiciary, because it is already shamed and named by many today. Hope this would be an eye-opener for those who take “pride” in being part of this (perhaps the most) rotten system in India. 

Moving on with the next one thus, Sage Paraashara explains the next Naraka Lokha called “Brunaha”. He says thus,

“Broonaha purahantaacha gognashca muni sapthama!!”

If anyone allegedly causes harm to a cow, or if anyone destroys a womb wherein the child is growing – Be it an animal or a human  being, Sage Paraashara explains that these people would be repeatedly buried under a heap of foul-smelling mud for a long duration of time. This again, is a wake-up-call for all our “friends” who take immense pride in killing an innocent cow. I hope this would again be an eye-opener for those elements who take lot of pleasure in causing harm to animals. 

Next, Sage Paraashara explains that if anybody consumes excessive alcohol or drugs, or if anybody abducts and abuses Brahmins, or if anybody steals gold from someone, they would be subjected to some “royal treatment” at the “Sookara Naraka Lokha”. Here, the treatment is very simple – There would be a herd of wild boars or pigs. All these wild animals would pounce on us and would thrash us left, right and center. Just like how this fellow thrashed a cow to death, he would be thrashed by these pigs and boars. Just like how this fellow thrashed innocent Brahmins and abducted their property, he would be thrashed mercilessly and with perhaps 10-15 times greater intensity by these wild animals together. Subsequently, Sage Paraashara explains thus, 

“Prayaathi narakeyashca thai samsargam upaithicha!

Raajanna vaishya hantaacha tathaiva guru kalpakaha!!”

If a disciple acts in the wrong way towards his / her Guru (Teacher) and his / her wife, this person goes into the “Naraka Lokha” called “Tapta Kunda”. Now, what is the royal treatment here? There would be a big crater or a hole in the middle and this hole would have burning fire in it. Yama Dharma Raja would be so “kind enough” to take us and drop us into this burning fire. We’ve to also burn along with the burning fire there. Thus, if a person insults his / her teacher, we’ve to be facing such kinds of punishment at the “Tapta Kunda” Lokha. 

So for today, let us understand and digest these points. I’m sure many readers would have started feeling jittery already! So let us take this a bit slowly! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this important accord on the “Naraka Lokha”. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 78 – Is there only one “NARAKA LOKHA”? Sage Parashara lists down THIRTY-TWO!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Paraashara’s narrative that people in the other “Dveepas” are singing in praise of those in the “Jambu-Dveepa”. Sage Paraashara is highlighting this narrative to drive home the point that if we’re born in this “Jambu-Dveepa”, we’re the most fortunate living beings ever. Within this “Jambu-Dveepa”, if one takes birth in the Bhaarata Desha, there is literally no excuse for us to dodge away from attaining “Moksha”. It becomes more or less a mandate for all of us to strive and somehow attain Bhagawan. We should always remember this clearly – Foreigners from various western countries and neighbouring China are envious of the fact that our Bhaarata Desha is a land of spirituality. If they’re able to understand this, and follow our cultural & spiritual practices, what stops us from doing it? Thus, it is only the mindset that needs an overhaul here. We’ve to accept the fact that we’re a blessed lot of people, and Bhagawan has “hand-picked” all of us to come along with Him. If Bhagawan is sending out such a message to us, isn’t it up to us to understand that “Vaikunta” or “Moksha” is up for grabs for all of us? We should strive and make this as our top priority as we move on with our life thus. 

Moving on, Sage Paraashara now talks about the “Paathaala Lokha”. We’ve already witnessed previously that our entire world consists of fourteen different Lokhas – Seven above us and seven below us. Thus, the seven underground “Paathaala Lokhas” are the topic of discussion here, and if there should be one person who can hold up all the seven “Paathaala Lokhas” together, it is none other than Bhagawan Aadisesha. All of us know who Bhagawan Aadisesha is and He needs no introduction. He’s none other than the thousand-headed divine serpent, over which Bhagawan Vishnu rests Himself at Vaikunta. Thus, It is this Bhagawan Aadisesha who sits underneath all these seven Paathaala Lokhas and rests them on His thousand heads. 

Post this, there is another very important place that Sage Paraashara is going to talk about here. He now says that amidst all these “Paathaala Lokhas” and over the ocean floors are the various “Naraka Lokhas”. We might be familiar of this term called “Naraka Lokha”, isn’t it? The gross idea that all of us have about the “Naraka Lokha” is that, all those whose account of “Paapa” (Sins) are high would go into this. The treatment that would be metted out to all of us here is something extremely “royal” in nature! 🙂 All that is spoken about here is punishments – Various forms of punishments like beating, burning, cutting, etc.! 🙂 So for this “Naraka Lokha” – We might be thinking that there’s only one “Naraka Lokha”! For all of us who have such a thought – Please think again! There are various different “Naraka Lokhas” and not just one! This is exactly what Sage Paraashara is going to explain here. He explains 32 different “Naraka Lokhas”. Sage Paraashara explains thus: 

“Tathascha narakaa vipra bhuvodhah salilaschatha!

Paapinoyeh paapyante thaachrunusva mahaa mune!!”

Now this is an important sloka wherein Sage Paraashara is going to start explaining who will go to which of these 32 Naraka Lokhas. But before that, we’ve to first look at some names and “terminologies” that are associated with these 32 different “Naraka Lokhas”. Sage Paraashara lists them down thus: “Raurava”, “Sookara”, “Rodha”, “Taala”, “Vishana”, “Mahaajwaala”, “Tapta Kumbha”, “Lavanodha”, “Bilohita”, “Rudhiraambha”, “Vaitharanihi”, “Kirmishaha”, “Krimi bhojanaha”, “Asipathravanam”, “Krishnaha”, “Laalaabhakshaha”, “Daarunaha”, etc. Of course, I’ve just mentioned only one half of the list here, and by this time, readers would start feeling jittery thus, “Oh wow! Is it a necessity that we should even know all of these? Isn’t this extremely scary? Would we get a good sleep at night after reading through all of these?” These are some valid concerns, but there is a reason why Sage Paraashara is explaining this upfront. He himself is explaining it in the subsequent slokas. 

So for today, let us understand these points, and in tomorrow’s episode we shall continue from the reasons behind Sage Paraashara’s exhaustive narratives about the “Naraka Lokha”. An absorbing episode awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 77 – There’s NO EXCUSE if people from Bharata Desha fail to attain “Moksha” – Sage Parashara thunders!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on how the Jambu-Dveepa houses our Bhaarata Desha and the entire land mass that we see in our Mother Earth today. In due course, we’ve also witnessed the significance of our Bhaarata Desha and how one attains “Moksha” only by taking birth and living in this “Karma Bhoomi”. Subsequently, we’ve also witnessed the different oceans that surround the different Dveepas. Just like how we saw that the Jambu-Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of salt water, we’ve to understand that other Dveepas are surrounded by oceans of different items, such as milk, ghee, pure water, curd, alcohol, etc. Ultimately, we’ve concluded yesterday’s episode with an important point here that this Jambu Dveepa is very significant amongst all the other Dveepas and, people in the other Dveepas sing in praise of this Jambu-Dveepa. 

This rakes up a debate whether life exists beyond our Mother Earth! Well! The Vishnu Puraana and Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana say yes! All these texts are authored by high-profile Maharishis, and hence, their words cannot be discarded just like that. Perhaps what we can assume is that, over thousands and thousands of years that had passed by, loads of things would have undergone changes and these changes might have wiped out life existence in those places. This is one way of looking at it. Perhaps, this is also the reason why our satellite images are showing signs of water that may have flowed in planets like Mars, Jupiter, etc. This might give us a hint that life would have existed thousands of years ago, but due to various changes that had taken place over time, life would have disappeared. Another way of looking at it is that those who might perhaps be still living there might not resemble us, human beings here on Mother Earth. We must have seen in many movies and documentaries that these so-called “extra-terrestrial” living beings being referred to as “Aliens” and sometimes they do show up into our Mother Earth too. Also, recently there has been lot of talk that goes on around spotting some UFO’s in some parts of the world. All these might depict and paint a picture that life still exists even outside of our Mother Earth, but somewhere down the line, research might give us a deeper insight as we move on further. 

Moving on thus, Sage Paraashara explains that the so-called “extra-terrestrial” living beings from the other Dveepas are singing in praise of the Jambu-Dveepa thus: 

“Gaayanti devaaha kila geeta kaani dhanyaastuthe bhaarata bhoomi bhaage!

Svargaapavargaaspada maarga bhute bhavanti bhooyah purushaasvarathvaath!!”

This is a very important sloka here. It says that those people who are born in this “Jambu-Dveepa” and in the Bhaarata Desha are extremely fortunate and have the greatest opportunity to reach “Moksha” directly without any hindrance or a question being asked. We should understand that people from other Dveepas are saying this – Not our own people. This is the problem here. In fact, even today, many people from foreign countries truly acknowledge the fact that we can attain “Moksha” only by taking birth and living in this great country. If foreigners are having that faith and belief in our Bhaarata Desha, it is only up to us to convince ourselves and take the strong belief within each and everyone of us that we’re having the greatest opportunity in front of us to attain “Moksha”. We’ve to know one thing here very clearly – Bhagawan will give us the opportunity. But it is upto us to grab the opportunity and use it to our benefit. Thus, here, we’ve got this golden opportunity – Perhaps one in our entire lifetime! We’ve to use this opportunity to attain Bhagawan’s feet in some way or the other. 

In fact, there are many places in our Sanaatana Dharma literature that clearly explains that if one gets an opportunity to be born in this great country, it is only because of the extraordinary amount of “Punya” that he / she accumulated in the previous birth. More than this, if one gets a close association with a “Guru” or a “Spiritual Master” in this birth, it amounts to truckloads of “Punya” that he / she has accumulated over several births put together. If we’ve got such an association with a Guru or a Mahatma in this birth, and that too, being born in India, this is like a “Double Whammy”! There is no excuse for us if we’re not attaining “Moksha” even after being in such an advantageous position! 

Hence, for today, let us understand and realize this important point and let us start our efforts right away without even wasting a single minute from now on! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of Sage Paraashara’s accord further. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 76 – Does life exist beyond Mother Earth? Sage Parashara gives a resounding “YES”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion our Bhaarata Desha’s vast significance. Sage Paraashara is clearly putting out a concrete statement that our Bhaarata Desha is a “Karma Bhoomi”, and if anyone wants to even think and conceptualize about attaining “Moksha” or “Liberation” from this vicious birth-death cycle, he / she has to be born and living in this great land. It is called “Karma Bhoomi” because Sage Paraashara clearly explains that whatever “Karma” we perform in life, it has full effect only if it performed here in our Bhaarata Desha. When I talk about “Karma”, I’m talking about the “Nitya Karma” and the “Naimittika Karma”. Right from our “Sandhyavandanam” every day to performing the “Shraadha” for our departed parents, grandparents, etc., – All would bear the essence and fruit of it only if done in our Bhaarata Desha. Of course, people who live abroad can perform all of this, but it would generally be only for our own personal satisfaction. However, the question that whether this would give us the real benefit while performing our “Karma” abroad, remains broadly in the terms of merely satisfying oneself, rather than attaining the ultimate benefit of “Moksha”. Thus, such is the significance of our great Bhaarata Desha. 

Moving on thus, Sage Paraashara talks about the various geographical significance of our Bhaarata Desha. He talks about the important mountain ranges that adorn our beautiful country – The Himachala, Vindhyas, etc. Then, he talks about the important rivers that add to the significance of our Bhaarata Desha – He talks a great deal about River Ganges, River Yamuna, River Godavari, River Brahmaputra, River Tapti, River Narmada, River Cauvery and River Taamraparni. Thus, the significance of these rivers is that, if anyone takes a dip into any of these rivers, the sins that he has done, as well as the sins that his 21 generations have done would be completely washed away. Thus, once our sins are washed away, automatically we’re on the path to attain “Moksha” isn’t it? This is exactly what Sage Paraashara is mentioning here, for all of us to understand. 

Moving on thus, we’ve seen that the Jambu-Dveepa is at the center, and surrounding the Jambu-Dveepa is the ocean of salt water. In fact, it is only amidst the discussion of this Jambu-Dveepa, we branched into the discussion of the Bhaarata Varsha and Bharata Kanda and the Bhaarata Desha. Now moving on with the major discussion on the different Dveepas again, we’re going to see what kinds of oceans surround each of the Dveepas. We’ve already witnessed that there are seven different Dveepas, surrounded by seven different oceans, isn’t it? Readers can trace back a few episodes backwards and find the details of this narrative. Now, we’re going to extend this discussion forward and witness the different types of oceans that surround each of the Dveepas. In that way, the Jambu-Dveepa, as mentioned, is surrounded by the ocean of salt water. Similarly, the next “Plaksha Dveepa” is surrounded by the ocean of black-coloured thick water. Subsequently, the third Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of alcohol. The fourth Dveepa is surrounded by the ocean of ghee. Fifth Dveepa, subsequently is surrounded by the ocean of curd. Next, is the ocean of milk, and the seventh one is the ocean of pure water. Thus, these seven oceans surround the seven different Dveepas. It would be astonishing for all of us as to how great Sages like Sage Paraashara, Sage Sukhaachaarya, etc. have such a “telescopic” view of what is there millions of kilometers apart. They never had any sort of modern equipment that we have today. Yet, their “Adrishta Shakti” or the “Power of deep penance” takes them to such great distances by just sitting at one place. This is the power of our “Maharishis” and we should indeed feel proud that we’re having all these documentations intact, without getting destroyed over time. 

Thus, Sage Paraashara moves onto the next narrative – He says that people living in the other Dveepas, other than the Jambu-Dveepa are jealous, and they sing in praise of this great “Jambu-Dveepa”. This kicks up an important question here, which the modern scientists keep asking all the time – Does life exist beyond our earth’s surface? Well! The answer according to Sage Paraashara is a big “YES”! If someone from another Dveepa has to sing in praise of our Jambu Dveepa (which is nothing but Mother Earth today that we know), there is certainly every chance that life does exist elsewhere too. Most importantly, according to Sage Paraashara, life exists elsewhere in the human form! This is a startling answer given by Sage Paraashara here, however, we might find it difficult to accept this, given the various theories and philosophies that we’re into today. 

Thus, for today, let us understand these important points and let’s wait till the next episode to find out how did these people from the other “Dveepas” sing in praise of the “Jambu-Dveepa”. Stay tuned for an interesting accord ahead! 🙂  

Episode # 75 – Bhaarata Desha (India) – The land of “KARMA-BHOOMI”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Paraashara’s important and a thundering accord as he declares that our Bhaarata Desha is the land of ‘Karma Bhoomi”, and it is only by taking birth and living in this very country, one can attain “Moksha”. He explains this important point as he describes the significance of this great land of India. Sage Paraashara explains how our Bhaarata Desha – The land that is bordered by the Himalayas in the north, Vindya and Satpura mountains in the center, the Western Ghats in the western and southern sides, and finally the three oceans on three sides of the land, is one of the holiest and sacred places ever in this world. Thus, having said this, we should all feel proud that we’re part of this Bhaarata Desha – The land of “Moksha”. Not only here in Shri Vishnu Puraana, there are innumerable places in the spiritual literatures that find mention about how India is the land of “Karma Bhoomi”. In fact, not only our Sanaatana Dharma, many other religions in the world also have their roots to India. All of us know that Buddhism started in India, with Gautama Buddha, also revered in many places as one of Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations taking birth at Gaya and attaining enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Similarly, Jainism too started in India. Similarly, Christianity has great roots in India – it is believed that there were three “great men” who travelled all the way from India to Jerusalem (Betthlehem) and they were instrumental in Jesus Christ taking birth. 

Thus, in all religions, this Bhaarata Desha (India) is revered and respected, because India is a land of Sanaatana Dharma. The fundamental root and fabric of this great country is our Sanaatana Dharma and this would be the case unless and until the Himalayas, River Ganges, etc. exist in this world. In fact, during our earlier Ramayana project, we’ve seen Bhagawan Brahma blessing Valmiki Maharishi, thus motivating him to commence scripting the Ramayana text. Our readers might remember Bhagawan Brahma blessing Valmiki Maharishi at that occasion thus, “Oh Valmiki! Unless and until the Himalayas exist in this world – Unless and until the Meru Mountain is going to be in existence – Unless and until the River Ganges is going to keep flowing – Your Ramayana text would be revered and respected all throughout!” This simply means that the Valmiki Ramayana is going to be a permanent entity and is going to exist forever. Obviously all of us know that the Himalayas is not going to be destroyed. River Ganges is going to flow all throughout. If such is the case, how can Bhagawan Brahma’s words go false? 

Thus, if Valmiki Ramayana would exist forever, our Sanaatana Dharma would also exist forever. If Valmiki Ramayana would exist forever, our Bhaarata Desha would exist forever. If Valmiki Ramayana would exist forever, the reputation that our Bhaarata Desha is the land of Sanaatana Dharma would exist forever. This is exactly the message that Sage Paraashara is conveying here too. When he says that this Bhaarara Desha is the land of “Karma Bhoomi”, it means that if one needs to spiritually advance and progress, the real treasure and pedigree for it is nowhere in this world, but in this Bhaarata Desha only. If one needs to attain “Moksha”, he / she should obviously be coming to this great land. This is the reason why all great “Mahatmas” who incarnate even today in this Kali Yuga, are all in India, and nowhere. For instance, the revered Shirdi Sai Baba, Puttaparthi Sai Baba, Sadguru Shri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Kanchipuram Shri Chandrasekhara Swamigal (Kanchi Shankaraachaarya), the Alwars, Bhagawad Ramanuja, the Nayanmars, etc. (The list goes on and on…) have all chosen this Bhaarata Desha to incarnate. Why? The reason is very simple – Bhaarata Desha is the land of “Karma”, and whatever “Karma” we perform here, with the aim of attaining liberation (“Moksha”) gets realized here. Thus, all the Mahatmas know that if at all they should incarnate, they should do so ONLY in India, and nowhere! Thus, this is the significance of our Bhaarata Desha. 

In fact, this is also one reason why loads of westerners are flocking towards India for their spiritual progress and “peace of mind”. Only where there is spirituality, will there be “peace of mind” existing. We might wonder why westerners flock towards India, despite the fact that they have impeccable infrastructure, robust state-of-the-art technological advancements, clean air, water, etc. as compared to us in India. The reason is simple – They have everything in this world that are required for a worldly materialistic life. But they do not have the “inner peace of mind” that is required to enjoy those worldly requirements in a detached way. It is only the Bhaarata Desha that gives solace to all of them. 

Hence, for today again, let us understand the significance of our Bhaarata Desha and rejoice the fact that Bhagawan has given us this golden opportunity to be born here and to spend time in this noble land. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with Sage Paraashara’s further accord on our Bhaarata Desha. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 74 – One can attain “Moksha” ONLY if he / she takes birth in Bhaarata Desha (India) – Sage Parashara thunders!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the origin of the holy River Ganges and the various directions in which it flows. We’ve witnessed that the River Ganges enters into the “Jambu Dveepa” from the “Aakaasha” (Sky), splashes over the “Meru Mountain” and falls into different directions. Out of these, the stream that flows through the southern direction is what enters into our Bhaarata Desha (India) as River Alakananda. We can witness this beautiful sight even today, if we go to this place called “Deva-Prayag” amidst the Himalayan Mountains. We would be able to see how the water gushes along the stream and if we happen to keep our hand or leg in the water, the current of it would easily wash us away in no time. Such is the intensity of the River Ganges at this point. Thus, we’ve seen how the River Ganges adorns the Bhaarata Desha like a precious ornament and as we all know, this river is one of the holiest rivers in the entire world, even today. This is the reason why thousands of people gather at the banks of River Ganges to take a dip. It is believed that if we do so, all our sins would be totally washed away and we would be as pure as the river itself! 

Now having witnessed the significance of River Ganges, Sage Paraashara beautifully explains the sanctity of this Bhaarata Desha in the upcoming accord. This is a very important section here and readers are requested to pay your full attention to this. This is where, Sage Paraashara clearly explains the significance of our Bhaarata Desha, over the other countries in this world. He starts by declaring that Bhaarata Desha is the only Desha (Country) in this world which is the “Karma Bhoomi”. If anyone has to attain “Moksha” or “Svarga Lokha”, it is possible ONLY if one takes birth in this Bhaarata Desha. One should take birth within the four boundaries of the Bhaarata Desha and only then he / she becomes eligible to attain “Moksha”. We can be born somewhere else, or even can live somewhere else too, but if we happen to do so, we would have to take birth in this world again and again and there would be no chance for us to attain “Moksha”. I’m not saying this – Sage Paraashara says so! 🙂 Many of us might have apprehensions here, but sometimes truth could be very hard to chew and swallow in life. Sage Paraashara is never going to lie. Sage Paraashara is equivalent to Bhagawan Vishnu Himself! Sage Paraashara is one of the greatest “Aachaaryas” the world has ever seen till today. Hence, if he says so, there is definitely going to be truth in it. 

“Varsham tath bhharatam naama bhaarateeyatra santathihi!

Nava yojana saahasraha vistaarorasya mahaa mune!!

“Karma bhoomi riyam svarga apavargancha gachhathaam!!”

This above line that I’ve underlined is the sloka of Sage Paraashara, which clearly highlights the fact that this Bhaarata Desha is the land of “Moksha”! If only we’re born here in this holy land, will we be even eligible to talk about “Moksha” – Forget attaining it! The message is loud and clear here, isn’t it? Hence, it is up to us to make up our minds and respect our motherland. We’ve to feel proud to be part of this great country called Bhaarata Desha and we should, at any cost, try to serve our nation with great respect. This is what is important for all of us. No matter what thousands of people around us might keep saying, we should never pay heed to all those nonsense. We should indeed feel indebted to Bhagawan that He has given us this golden opportunity to take birth in this great land. In fact, by giving this birth to us in this Bhaarata Desha, Bhagawan has given us a clear signal that He wants all of us at Vaikunta very soon. He’s indeed waiting to see all of us there. 

Hence for today, let us enjoy and experience this important point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness the other salient features of this Bhaarata Desha, according to Sage Paraashara! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 73 – Origin and flow of River Ganges – Sage Parashara’s beautiful accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion as to how Priyavrata and his son, Aagneehtra split this world into many different parts. We’ve witnessed that Priyavrata had split the world into the seven “Dveepas” and we’re at the forefront of the Jambu-Dveepa. This Jambu-Dveepa was gifted by Priyavrata to Aagneetra, who in turn, splits the Jambu-Dveepa into different “Varshas”. We’re amidst the “Bhaarata-Varsha”, which is amongst the nine different “Varshas” according to Aagneetra’s split. Now, Aagneetra has the next generation after him, by name “Naabi”. Now Naabi splits the “Bhaarata Varsha” into various Kandas, and we’re at this Kanda by name “Bharata Kanda”. Thus, we’ve seen in the yesterday’s episode that our Bhaarata Desha (India) is situated amidst this “Bharata Kanda”. This is the reason why we often chant in our “Sankalpa Mantra” as “Bhaarata varshe. Bharata Kande.. Meroho.. Dakshine Paarshve…” 

Now that we’ve witnessed the entire world’s divisions, we’re now at the place where our Bhaarata Desha is situated. Since it was ruled by Bharata (Naabi) for a long time, we call this country as Bhaarata Desha. Now we have the famous and revered river in our Bhaarata Desha, by the name Ganges, isn’t it? We should understand here that the holy River Ganges descends down from the “Aakaasha” (Sky), splashes on to the “Meru Mountain” which we saw yesterday, and then comes down into India. We’ve seen how the Meru Mountain is uniquely structured in yesterday’s episode isn’t it? We’ve to now note that the bottom portion of this mountain is fully made of diamonds and the top portion of gold. Many of us might wonder where is this precious mountain! However, sadly, it is at a place wherein we cannot see it! The Meru mountain is totally invisible, and readers shouldn’t mistake the Meru Mountain to be the present day Himalayas. This is the reason why I’m explaining this point. Thus, we’ve seen that the River Ganges splashes over this Meru Mountain, and now, it splits into various streams of water, running into different directions. The stream that flows here towards the southern direction is the one which is called “Alakananda”. 

In fact, Sage Paraashara talks about the River Ganges flowing from the Meru Mountain in the four directions. He explains the names for each of the streams here – Sita, Alakananda, Chakshuhu and Bhadra. As we’ve seen, the stream that runs towards the southern direction is called “Alakananda”. Even today, if we go for the “Badrigaashrama” situated amidst the Himalayas, there is a place called “Deva-Prayag”. This place is the junction of River Ganges today, which actually flows from two different directions. One stream is referred to as the “Bhaageerathi” and the second is referred to as the “Alakanada”. Both these streams come and meet at the junction called “Deva-Prayag”. This is a beautiful and a scenic place that all of us should visit atleast once in our lifetime. If we see today, the Bhaageerati is a very ferocious stream of River Ganges that would come in full mightly force, whereas the Alakananda is a small little stream that comes slowly and steadily without any gush. Thus, both meet at this junction and flow together with a great force! This is the beauty of our great River Ganges. 

Thus, through this particular section, Sage Paraashara brings out the significance of the River Ganges. As we’ve seen here, the river comes down from the “Aakaasha”, gushes over the Meru Mountain, gets splashed and streams up in all the four directions. The southern stream is what we refer to as the “Alakananda” which flows through into our “Manushya Lokha” and this is what we see today as well. So for today, let us understand this clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to continue with the next point! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 72 – “Bhaarata Varsha” & Bharata Kanda” – The location of today’s India!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced a very important topic on the “Dveepas”, and how King Priyavrata split the world into seven different “Dveepas” – The “Jambu Dveepa”, “Plaksha Dveepa”, “Shaalmala-Dveepa”, “Kusha-Dveepa”, “Krauncha-Dveepa”, “Shaaka-Dveepa” and “Pushkara-Dveepa”. We’ve also subsequently seen the distance that each of these “Dveepas” cover. We’ve seen that the “Jambu-Dveepa” is at the center of everything and covers a distance of around one lakh “Yojanas”. (1 Yojana = 13.2 Kms or approximately 8 miles). Subsequently all the other Dveepas form concentric circles around the Jambu Dveepa with of course, the seven different oceans in the middle of each Dveepa. All of this together constitute the world in total, and this was what King Priyavrata was ruling. 

Thus, in the center of this “Jambu-Dveepa” is a huge mountain called as the “Meru”. This “Meru” mountain is placed exactly at the center of this “Dveepa”, just like how a nail is hammered at the center of a wall. We use this analogy of a nail to describe the “Meru” mountain because of a unique feature that it has. Normally when we see a mountain, we would see that it has a broad base and it starts tapering and narrowing down as the height increases. However for the “Meru” mountain, it is just the opposite. The base of the mountain is very small like a nail, and as the height increases, the broadness would increase. This is quite opposite to what we see today, isn’t it? This is why I had described a nail as an analogy. Just as how a nail has a narrow base and broadens at the top, the Meru mountain has a narrow base and broadens as the height increases. Sage Paraashara describes the diameter details of the Meru mountain. He says that the base portion of the mountain has about 16,000 Yojanas in diameter and the top portion has about 32,000 Yojanas. This is where we can see that it is like a cone, cemented in the center of the “Jambu-Dveepa”. It is in the south of this great “Meru” mountain is where all of us are. We’re living in the center – “Jambu-Dveepa”. Just to make sure that this narrow-based “Meru-Mountain” doesn’t fall down on either sides, there are four more mountains that bear the weight of it in the four directions. This is how the entire world is held in balance by Bhagawan Vishnu. Each of these four mountains have several thousands of “Yojanas” in diameter and are extremely huge in size. Thus, we’ve to remember here that the Jambu-Dveepa is at the center of all the “Dveepas” and the oceans. It is in the center of this “Jambu-Dveepa” is the “Meru mountain”. Surrounding the “Meru mountain” are four other mountains that balance it to stand straight. 

Thus, all whatever we’ve seen till now is all about the “Bhoomandala”. Above this “Bhoomandalam” we have the other six “Lokas” called “Bhuvar Lokha”, “Suvar Lokha”, “Maha Lokha”, “Jana Lokha”, “Tapah Lokha” and “Satya Lokha”. These are the six “Lokhas” that are present above the “Bhoomandala” or the “Bhoo Lokha”. Similarly, ,below the “Bhoo Lokha” are seven “Paathaala Lokhas” that go underground. Thus we can see here that the Bhoo-Lokha” is at the center, with seven “Paathaala Lokhas” underground and seven “Lokhas” above. Thus the entire distance that all the fourteen Lokhas put together would cover would come to around 50 crore Yojanas! This is the mammoth size of the world that we’re talking about here. If we compare this mammoth size with what we see at the center of the “Jambu-Dveepa”, we are just a miniscule part of this whole world put together. 

Moving on with the narrative of Sage Paraashara thus, we’ve witnessed the King Priyavrata had gifted this “Jambu-Dveepa” to his eldest son, Aagneethra. Now this Aagneethra is going to split this “Jambu-Dveepa” into nine different parts. We’re now going to inch closer towards our “Bhaarata Desha”. We shall now see the split of this “Jambu-Dveepa”. Thus, the split is according to the number of sons Aagneethra had. He had nine sons, and hence the split was into nine. Under these nine divisions, the first division is referred to as the “Bhaarata Varsha”. From now on, each of these nine divisions would be titled as “Varshas”, as we’ve seen the first categorization of Priyavrata to be “Dveepas”. The eldest son of Priyavrata was named as Bharata, and it was to him that the first “Varsha” was handed over. This is why this Varsha obtained the name as “Bhaarata Varsha”. This Bharata had another name called “Naabi”. This Naabi’s generation is what we’re going to see a bit later on, wherein we’re going to witness the interesting story of Jada Bharata. All these for our later episodes, but for now, we’re seeing the emergence of the Bhaarata Varsha. 

Now it is time for this Bhaarata Varsha to be split further to form the “Bharata-Kanda”. Now it is in this Bharata Kanda is our today’s Bhaarata Desha situated. This is why we chant in our “Sankalpa Mantra” as 

“Jambu-Dveepe Bhaarata Varshe Bharata Kande Meroho Dakshine Paarshve Sakaapthe….” 

Thus, to summarize for the benefit of our readers – The Bhoomandala, which comprises of the fourteen Lokhas – Seven above and seven below, the center of all is the Bhoomi, which is split into seven “Dveepas” and amongst which the center of it is the “Jambu-Dveepa”. In the center of this Jambu DDveepa is the Meru Mountain, and to the south of this Meru Mountain is the Bhaarata Varsha, and within this Bhaarata Varsha is the Bharata Kanda, and this is where our Bhaarata Desha (India) lies. So for today, let us get a thorough understanding of these important points and let us wait till the next episode to continue this accord further! Stay tuned! 🙂