Episode # 5 – Introduction to MAHABHARATA – Part 5 – From “Vedas” to “Brahma-Sutra” to “Mahabharata”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the significance of Sage Veda-Vyaasa, who had authored this great text called “Mahabharatham”. The work that Sage Vyaasa had done is something that no human being can even comprehend in the mind. Structuring and restructuring the Vedas isn’t a simple task. It requires an enormous amount of knowledge, expertise, willpower, patience and perseverance. Of course, what can happen if Bhagawan’s divine grace isn’t assisting him? We’ve witnessed that Sage Vyaasa is also one of the incarnations of Bhagwan Vishnu and it is only because of this fact, all whatever has happened had happened successfully. I’m saying this for a reason here – For instance, now we’re starting the Mahabharata text right now. After hundreds of episodes of discussion, we might not even remember what we witnessed during the first few episodes. In fact, by the time we finish this mega-project, our heads would start whirling in all four directions. Such is the work that is done by Sage Vyaasa. 

In fact, it is for this reason that we refer to this text as “Mahabharata”, and not just “Bharata”. Sage Vyaasa could have easily named it as “Bharata”, isn’t it? But why has he included the phrase “Maha” before “Bharata”? It is solely because of the vastness of the text. The extensive level to which Sage Vyaasa has described each and every event that had happened, makes it look extremely huge and complicated. However, we’ve to understand that this text is a complete package of whatever the Vedas and Upanishads are trying to convey to mankind. In fact, Bhagawad Ramanuja explains this in a beautiful way in his “Shribhaashyam” text. He compares the extent of Sage Vyaasa’s work to how Bhagawan Vishnu helped the Devas and Raakshasas explore the “Ocean of Milk” (Paarkadal) in order to obtain the “Amrut” (Divine Nectar). We’ve witnessed this story during our previous “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” project, wherein Indra and the Raakshasas were at loggerheads as to who should consume the divine “Amrut”. It was Bhagawan Vishnu who finally gave a solution. With the help of the Devas and the Raakshasas, Bhagawan Vishnu dredged the “Ocean of Milk” and from beneath the ocean floor came the pot of “Amrut”. 

Now, just like how Bhagawan Vishnu dredged the ocean of milk, Bhagawad Ramanuja explains that Sage Vyaasa explored the ocean of knowledge. Just like how Bhagawan Vishnu explored the ocean of milk deeper and deeper, Sage Vyaasa explored the Vedas deeper and deeper to extract the essence and knowledge from it, which is nothing but the divine “Amrut”. Just like how Bhagawan Vishnu has the divine name called Bhagawan Krishna, Sage Vyaasa also has a divine name called “Krishna-Dvaipaayana”. We can witness how significant Sage Vyaasa is. So, according to Bhagawad Ramanuja, the process of authoring the Mahabharata text is the same as Bhagawan Vishnu exploring the “Ocean of Milk”. With this, we can also understand how this text assumes enormous significance in our Sanaatana Dharma literature. 

Now having understood the enormous significance of both the text and its author, we should also understand how Sage Vyaasa obtained the divine name called “Krishna-Dvaipaayana”. “Dveepa” in sanskrit means “island”. Since Sage Vyaasa was born in a small island in between the River Yamuna, he is referred to as “Dvaipaayana”. Many of us might know that the phrase “Krishna” means “black”. Since Sage Vyaasa was also of a black color by nature, he obtained the name “Krishna-Dvaipaayana”. It is the same Sage Krishna-Dvaipaayana who also composed yet another important text in Sanaatana Dharma literature called as “Brahma-Sutra ”. This is an extremely complex text to decipher for people like us. This is where the “Aachaaryas” chip in. For instance, we can come across a lot of commentaries that are written by the great Sage Shankaracharya, Sage Madhwachaarya, etc. on this “Brahma-Sutra”. 

In fact, the work of Sage Vyaasa starts from the Vedas segregation, which leads him to author the “Brahma-Sutra”. It is only after this “Brahma-Sutra”, Sage Vyaasa authors the “Mahabharata”. After the herculean task of segregating the Vedas, Sage Vyaasa himself thinks for a moment thus, “Oh! I’ve done this complex text. However, only one or two learned scholars in this world would be able to understand what I’ve done. Hence, I’ve to simplify this and author something else so that many more people can understand!” It is with this idea that Sage Vyaasa composed the “Brahma-Sutra”. After this, Sage Vyaasa again thought, “Oh! I’ve composed this text. Even this can be deciphered only by a few learned scholars. I should compose something wherein even women and children should easily understand the concepts and underlying messages of this Brahma Sutra. I should compose something from which people from all the four “Varnaashrama Dharmas” should be able to understand and appreciate the underlying messages!” With this intention in mind, Sage Vyaasa composed the Mahabharata text. 

Thus we can see here that as compared to the Vedas, Upanishads and the Brahma-Sutra, the Mahabharata is a much simpler text for normal people like us to understand and comprehend, and it is because of this reason, we’re also trying to analyze this particular text in detail. So for today, let us understand this in detail and let us wait for the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 4 – Introduction to MAHABHARATA Part 4 – An important accord on Sage Vyaasa!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a brief on the structure of the Mahabharata text, which was authored by the great Sage Veda-Vyaasa. We’ve witnessed that the Mahabharata comprises around 1.25 lakh slokas, fit into 18 “Parvas”. Under the ambit of each “Parva”, there would be innumerable “Upa-Parvas”, which would come to around 99 in number. Inside each “Upa-Parva” there would be many “Adhyaayas” and if we again take a count, it would come to around 2000 “Adhyaayas” in total. Such is the enormity of this great Mahabharata text, which encompasses all the important messages that one needs to understand if he / she wants to lead a spiritual life with ultimate peace of mind in this world. It is for this reason, the Mahabharata is revered and worshipped as the “Fifth Veda” apart from the traditional four Vedas of Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. Of course, the readers should remember here that these are approximate numbers. For instance, if we say that the Mahabharata text comprises 1.25 lakh slokas, it would not be exactly 1.25 lakh. It might be a little less or more here and there. Similar is the case for other texts too. Even in the Shrimad Ramayana, if we say that the text comprises 24,000 slokas, it would not exactly be 24,000. It might be 24,015 or 23,800 or the likes. 

Thus, as we move on from here, we’ve to also understand how Sage Vyaasa played an important role in segregating the Vedas into the four different sects. We’ve seen the importance of Sage Vyaasa in this way, and since he has also condensed the entire Vedas into the Mahabharata text, we’ve to understand how exactly Sage Vyaasa went about doing all these. It is believed that during the previous Yugas of Krita, Tretha and Dvaapara, the Vedas were just one in number. It was a huge integrated text without any divisions. It is only towards the end of the Dvaapara Yuga did Sage Vyaasa incarnate. We’re going to witness how Sage Vyaasa played an important role in the Mahabharata story too in the future episodes. During every “Chatur-Yuga” there would be one “Mahatma” who would incarnate and eventually attain the “Vyaasa-Padhavi” (Unique and distinguished position that Sage Vyaasa holds). We’re now passing through the 28’th “Chatur-Yuga”. I’ve detailed this during our previous Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana and Shri Vishnu Puraana projects. Readers who are continuously reading through all our episodes might remember this description wherein we spoke at length about “Time” and how “Yugas”, “Chatur-Yugas”, etc. are calculated. Even during our “Sankalpa Mantra” we say the following: 

“Shweta varaaha kalpe… Ashtaavimshati tame… Kali yuge… Prithame paade…” 

Thus, if we look at the calculation, it is in this same “Chatur Yuga” that we are currently in, Sage Vyaasa also incarnated. He was the son of Sage Paraashara. Sage Vyaasa is also referred to as “Krishna-Dvaipaayana”. It is the same Sage Vyaasa who was living through the last stages of the Dvaapara Yuga. Prior to this, Sage Paraashara was enjoying the “Vyaasa Padhavi” two “Chatur Yugas” back. Thus, during this particular “Chatur Yuga”, Sage Vyaasa had the important task of classifying the Vedas. “Brahmakam”, “Ashtakam”, “Samhika”, etc. were the different classifications which Sage Vyaasa designed for the Vedas. As we’ve already discussed earlier, since it would be a mammoth task for someone to even open the book and read through the vast Veda text, Sage Vyaasa took it upon himself to convert the Vedas into a “readable format”, so that many future generations of people can benefit out of it. 

Many of us might know Sage Vyaasa’s family lineage. We’ve discussed this earlier too, however, given the context, we shall recollect it once again. I shall touch through this point in brief. The lineage starts from Bhagawan Brahma. Bhagawan Brahma’s son was Sage Vasishta. Sage Vasishta’s son was Sage Shakti. Sage Shakti’s son was Sage Paraashara, who authored the Shri Vishnu Puraana. Sage Paraashara’s son was none other than Sage Veda-Vyaasa. Sage Vyaasa’s son was none other than Sage Shukaachaarya who authored Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. Thus, we can see here the enormous significance of this entire family lineage! It is only because of this one family, our entire “Sanaatana Dharma” literature has so much richness in content. Thus, Sage Vyaasa who had incarnated in this world as one of the most important incarnations of Bhagawan Vishnu had taken up the unique responsibility unlike anybody else to structure the entire Sanaatana Dharma literature single handedly. Of course, there were important contributions from his father and son too, however, the impact which Sage Veda-Vyaasa created was enormous and unimaginable. This is the unique significance of Sage Vyaasa. 

Thus, for today, we’ve understood the importance of Sage Vyaasa in a bit more detailed way. Hence, let us first pay our oblations and respects to Sage Vyaasa, as we commence our mega project on the “Mahabharata”. We’re paying respects to the author here because if this huge text should enter into our mind with clarity, we need the divine grace of the Guru (The spiritual master). Only with the grace of the “Guru”, we would be eligible to obtain the grace of Bhagawan Krishna. Thus, paying our respects to Sage Vyaasa, who was a great spiritual master assumes enormous significance at this point. So for today, let us bow down to Sage Vyaasa and let us wait till the next episode to continue further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 3 – Introduction to MAHABHARATA – Part 3 – “The fifth Veda”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the detailed introduction that we are giving for this enormous text called “Mahabharata”. In this, we had witnessed the significance of the person who had authored this great text, who is none other than Sage Veda-Vyaasa. We had seen how Sage Vyaasa had obtained the name “Sage Veda-Vyaasa”. Because of the enormous contribution he has made in compiling all the four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas into a readable format, Sage Veda-Vyaasa occupies a prime position in the Sanaataha Dharma Literature. Apart from compiling the Vedas, Sage Vyaasa has also authored this great “Ithihasa” by name “Mahabharata”. This is the reason why we say that Sage Vyaasa is not an ordinary sage by any means. Like how we saw in the first episode, the sloka explains, 

“Vyaasaaya vishnu roopaaya vyaasa rupaaya vishnave”!

The Sanaatana Dharma wholeheartedly accepts the fact that Sage Vyaasa was none other than the very incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu Himself. If not for Bhagawan Vishnu, who else on this earth can compile all the Vedas so accurately and who on this earth can author such a great epic or “Ithihasa”? Thus, it is evident from the enormous work that Sage Vyaasa has done, that he is none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself at work! Till now we’ve been talking a lot about the magnitude of this great Mahabharata text, isn’t it? Readers might be wondering why am I giving so much of stress on the magnitude of this text. Let us witness some details of it in today’s episode. Of course, we shall talk in detail about it later as we progress, but here, let us witness a glimpse of what Mahabharata really is! 

As we had seen earlier in the case of Shrimad Ramayana, it comprises of around 24,000 slokas, packed into seven different “Kaandas”. If we’ve been thinking that the Ramayana is an enormous text, then it is time for us to think again! The Mahabharata is much more enormous than the Ramayana text. It comprises around 1.25 lakh slokas (Roughly 125 thousand slokas) packed into 18 “Parvas”. Just like how the Ramayana text is packed into “Kaandas”, the Mahabharata slokas are packed into “Parvas”. However, in the Ramayana, we wouldn’t have subdivisions inside the Kaandas. We only have Baala Kaanda, Ayodhya Kaanda, Aaranya Kaanda, etc. Whereas unlike the Ramayana, the Mahabharata has enormous amounts of subdivisions called “Upa-Parvas”. In other words, every “Parva” in the Mahabharata text would have a number of “Upa-Parvas” under it. If we take a count, there would be around 95 to 99 “Upa-Parvas” in total. Under each “Upa-Parva” there would be various “Adhyaayas”. In that way, if we again take a count, there would be around 2000 “Adhyaayas” in the entire “Mahabharata” text. Thus, all these “Parvas”, “Upa-Parvas” and the “Adhyaayas” under them together comprise of this enormous text called “Mahabharata”. 

Having given a brief about the enormity of this text, we shall now look into why this text obtained the name called Mahabharata. There are many reasons. The simplest of all is that, since this text contains various life lessons that are extremely important for leading a peaceful and a spiritual life in this world (“Mahat”) and since these lessons are described in great detail (“Bhaaram”), this text obtained the name called “Mahabharata”. Since this is the fact behind the “Mahabharata”. It is revered and respected in our “Sanaatana Dharma” as the fifth Veda sect, after Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vedas. The Mahabharata text is often referred to as “Bhaaratah panchamo Vedaha”. Here, “Pancha” means “five”. This simply means that the Mahabharata is considered as the fifth Veda in our Sanaatana Dharma literature. 

So what is the significance of this text? Who is the main character spoken widely in this text? What is the real significance of Sage Veda-Vyaasa? All these questions are going to be answered slowly in the subsequent episodes. In our next episode, we’re going to talk in greater detail about Sage Veda-Vyaasa. Of course, we’ve seen a glimpse of who Sage Vyaasa is. We shall continue this further and witness how Sage Vyaasa emerged as an important person in our Sanaatana Dharma literature. Stay tuned for more! 🙂 

Episode # 2 – Introduction to “MAHABHARATA” Part 2 – Significance of Sage Veda-Vyaasa!!!

We commenced a huge project on “Life and Management Lessons from the Mahabharata” yesterday and have begun to witness a detailed introduction for the same. In fact, the “Ithihasa” called “Mahabharata” is so huge that our introduction would itself run into several episodes. Nevertheless, we shall go step by step and understand each and every context that is being spoken about here. We’ve to give importance to each and every detail in the Mahabharata because there would be an attached continuity to every small event that takes place, which would suddenly appear after hundreds of episodes! Hence, readers are requested to kindly take notes and understand each and every point that we discuss here. If we lose the continuity thread somewhere, it would be very difficult to catch up later on. 

Saying thus, we had witnessed yesterday that the “Mahabharata” is one of the two important “Ithihasas” in our Sanaatana Dharma literature, which is authored by the great Sage Veda-Vyaasa. We’ve witnessed several times earlier that Sage Vyaasa was the person who compiled all the four Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana together in a form that people like us can have access to and read them. We’ve to understand basically that the Vedas is a text that came directly from Bhagawan’s mouth and is an extremely complex text for normal people like us to understand. Since Sage Vyaasa played this important role of compiling the complex Vedas together and making it simpler for highly ignorant people like us, he is often referred to as Sage Veda-Vyaasa. In fact, Sage Vyaasa’s contributions are enormous, and are not just restricted to the Veda compilation. Authoring this Mahabharata text isn’t that easy either! We’re going to witness very shortly the enormity and size of this great text in detail. This is why, Sage Veda-Vyaasa is considered to be yet another incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu Himself in the form of a great Sage! Looking at the sheer magnitude of the work that is done, if not for Bhagawan Vishnu Himself, who else can author such a great “Ithihasa”? 

Hence, Sage Veda-Vyaasa should be understood here as yet another divine incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, apart from the ten incarnations that we already know. We’ve to understand here that Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations are not just restricted to the ten that we know. There are hundreds of incarnations, which aren’t prominently talked about for various reasons. For instance, even Sage Kapilaachaarya is considered as an incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. We’ve seen this during our Ramayana project as well. Similarly here too, Sage Veda-Vyaasa is also considered as yet another divine incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. Apart from Sage Kapilacharya and Sage Vyaasa, the Alwars and innumerable Aachaaryas including Shrimad Ramanuja are all in some way or the other, incarnations of Bhagawan in different forms and during different time periods. Every incarnation of Bhagawan has a purpose, and the purpose of Sage Veda-Vyaasa is thus here for all of us to witness! Hence, as we move into the great Ithihasa called Mahabharatam, we’ve to first bow down to Sage Veda-Vyaasa and pay our oblations and prayers to him, without whom, this great text wouldn’t be there in this world at all! 

Although we can say that Sage Vyaasa authored the text, it is going to be very difficult for us to understand Sage Vyaasa’s language and complexity with which he writes things! This is where, we look into the detailed commentaries and “Vyaakyaanas” of various “Aachaaryas” who came after Sage Vyaasa, so that people like us who do not have any knowledge in Sanskrit and in our “Sanaatana Dharma” can also understand things lucidly. Hence, as we move further, let us bow down to all our “Aachaaryas” who have eased out the complexity with which Sage Vyaasa has composed this text. Had it not been for the Aachaaryas, today we would be struggling to figure out what is Sage Vyaasa trying to convey through which sloka and eventually we wouldn’t even be able to understand head or tail of this huge text! 

Thus, as we bow down to Sage Veda-Vyaasa and the “Aachaaryas”, we now move into the main text, wherein we shall first start with a detailed description of the composition of the text. How is this Mahabharata text composed? What are the different parts in it? How many slokas are there in total? Let us wait to understand all these details in our next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 1 – MAHABHARATA – A detailed introduction – Part 1!!!

“Ithihaasa puraanaabhyaam vedam shoupabrahmayeth!

Vibeh kalpashrutaadvedaha maamayam praharshati!!

Naarayanam namaskritya naranchaiva narokthamam!

Devim saraswathim vyaasam athojayamudheerayeth!!

Shuklaambharadharam vishnum sashivarnam chathur bhujam!

Prasanna vadanam dhyaayeth sarva vigna upashaantaye!!

Vyaasam vasishtanapthaaram shakeh poutram akalmasham!

Paraasharaathmajam vande shuka dhaatham tapo nidhim!!”

A very warm welcome to all readers to our fifth important mega-project. Till now, with the divine grace and blessings of Bhagwan Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi, we’ve witnessed four important mega projects starting from Shrimad Ramayana, which is one of the most important and celebrated ethics in our Sanaatana Dharma literature. Subsequently, we had witnessed a glimpse  called “Vidura Neethi” from the second important epic, which is nothing but the great Mahabharata. Thirdly, we had got a golden opportunity to witness Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana in a great deal of detail. We had done so too, and have utilized the opportunity given to all of us by Bhagawan Krishna. Subsequently, we had witnessed our fourth mega-project on “Shri Vishnu Purana”, wherein we had witnessed a great deal of detail with regards to an important conversation between Sage Paraashara and Sage Maithreya. We completed our fourth project in yesterday’s episode. 

Starting today, we’re going to enter into our fifth mega project with the divine grace of Bhagawan Krishna. So far in our third and fourth projects, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna’s birth stories, His childhood “Leelas” at Gokula, His establishment at Dwaaraka, etc. in great detail. We had also witnessed some anecdotes with regards to Bhagawan Krishna’s family, His marriages, His children, His grandchildren, how He helped His childhood friend, Kuchela, etc. All these stories and incidents only make up for around 40 to 50% of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine incarnation. We’ve seen earlier too that Bhagawan incarnates every time in this world, not with just one or two agendas, but with a wide range of them! Whenever He comes down to this world, He makes sure that He comes as a complete package! We’ve witnessed during our Ramayana project as to how Bhagawan Rama had touched the lives of innumerable people – Both good and bad ones. He hadn’t restricted Himself only to marry Sita and look after His brothers, isn’t it? He ascended to the forest, helped out Guha, Sugriva, Hanuman, Jatayu, Vibhishana, etc. isn’t it? Similarly in this way, the Krishna-Avatara is no exception. What we had witnessed so far in the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana and Shri Vishnu Puraana are just one tip of a huge iceberg! There are many more things that Bhagawan Krishna did, and in this mega-project, we’re going to witness all what we had not learnt about Bhagawan Krishna. 

Thus, to sum up the above discussion in simpler words, we’re going to witness an important “Ithihaasa”, which is going to talk about Bhagawan Krishna’s important role in establishing “Dharma” in this world. This part comes as a huge “Ithihasa” itself, because whatever Bhagawan Krishna has done here is so enormous that we cannot capture that in just one “Puraana” alone. This is perhaps one reason why neither the Bhaagawatha Puraana nor Shri Vishnu Puraana talks about this phase of Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation. This “Ithihasa” that we’re going to talk about for the next hundreds of episodes from today is authored by none other than Sage Veda Vyaasa, and is titled as “Mahabharatam”. Thus, our next mega project that we’re going to take up starting today is none other than the “Mahabharatam” and we’re going to discuss this “Ithihasa” in great detail. This is an ambitious and a huge project and I request our esteemed readers to extend your full cooperation for this, as usual. 

As we might know, our Sanaatana Dharma literature comprises of two main “Ithihasas” namely, the Shrimad Ramayana, authored by Valmiki Bhagawan, and the Mahabharata, authored by Sage Veda Vyaasa. The Valmiki Ramayana is a text that comprises of seven “Kaandas” and around 24,000 slokas. When we had undertaken the Ramayana project four years ago, we might have thought that it was a mammoth project. Truly yes! It is a mammoth exercise done by Valmiki Maharishi! However, if we’ve to look at the Ramayana in comparison with the size of the Mahabharata, it is a miniscule text! Why is that so? Let us wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 259 – Bhagawan Krishna marries Rukmini Devi – End of the “Shri Vishnu Puraana” project!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna “fooling” everybody at Vidharba and stalking away Rukmini Devi within a jiffy, even before anyone realized what was happening. This type of marriage in our Sanaatana Dharma is referred to as “Raakshasa Vivaaha”. Many of us might be familiar that “Vivaaha” means marriage. In fact, there are several types of “Vivaha” as mentioned in the Sanaatana Dharma literature and here, Bhagawan Krishna performs the “Raakshasa Vivaaha” with Rukmini Devi. “Raakshasa Vivaaha” means, the marriage happens without the consent of elderly people in both the families. In other words, there is a strong opposition for this marriage to happen amongst the family members, yet, the couple are steadfast in marrying each other. Thus, even without the consent and blessings of the family members, the couple “run away” with each other and tie the knot. We see this very often in today’s movies and also in real life too, isn’t it? Thus, this is something that is not happening only today! Even Bhagawan Krishna has done this around 5000 years ago! 🙂 Of course, this is on the lighter side of things, but the important point here is that, Bhagawan Krishna and Rukmini Devi were destined to get married to each other, as they had incarnated for the purpose of showering their divine grace over all of us together. 

Thus, as Bhagawan Krishna escapes away with Rukmini Devi, Sishupala was fuming on one end. King Rukmi couldn’t bare the insult on the other end. Both of them decide to take Bhagwan Krishna head on, and they give a tough chase to His chariot. At one stage, Bhagawan Krishna decides that He has had enough with this “running and catching” business! He has already done this with Kaalayavana and we’ve seen this interesting story earlier. Hence, Bhagawan Krishna decides that He has to give it back. A huge fight breaks out, wherein both Sishupala and King Rukmi were given a befitting reply and both of them were made to run for their money! Thus, although Bhagawan Krishna won over King Rukmi, He decides not to kill him. He let’s King Rukmi escape because it would then become a crime that Bhagawan Krishna killed the father-in-law and abducted Rukmini Devi. He has to pay the due respects that a father-in-law requires. Hence, Bhagawan Krishna lets King Rukmi go without being killed. 

With this, the couple reaches Dwaraka amidst a grand reception. A grand wedding and a feast were arranged the very next day, and the marriage ceremony took place in an elaborate manner. With this, we shall worship Bhagawan Krishna and Goddess Rukmini Devi together and conclude this project on “Shri Vishnu Puraana”. Of course, we’ve condensed this project a lot because, as I had mentioned earlier, the next big project that we’re going to undertake from tomorrow is going to cover the remaining points that we’ve not witnessed here. Thus, I take this opportunity to thank all readers once again for your enormous support and constructive feedback. We’ve been fortunate enough to continue this blog series for the past four years now, and with the divine grace of Bhagawan Krishna and Rukmini Devi, Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita, I’m hoping to continue this series for a longer time, so that we shall together learn many important aspects from our Sanaatana Dharma as we move into the future. 

So with this, I’m officially concluding the discussion on “Shri Vishnu Puraana”, and from tomorrow, we’re going to start with our next mega project on one of the two important epics that form the heart of our “Sanaatana Dharma”. We’ve already witnessed one of them in detail earlier, and it is now time to commence the next one! I’m sure, readers might have guessed the one that I’m talking about, but for today, let us keep guessing the same. We shall wait for tomorrow for a grand beginning! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 258 – Bhagawan Krishna defeats Sishupala & King Rukmi – Takes away Rukmini Devi to Dwaraka!!!

In the previous episode, we were at an important juncture wherein Bhagawan Krishna and Rukmini Devi arrive at King Rukmi’s family deity temple, wherein Rukmini Devi had come to offer her oblations as a customary practice before the marriage ceremony commences. Sishupaala was also on his way to the same place with the dream that he is going to marry Rukmini Devi. We’ve already witnessed how Rukmi was steadfast in marrying Rukmini Devi to Sishupala. All the other kings from various prominent kingdoms had arrived too. It was a pure festive mood at Vidharba. The entire group of Rukmini Devi’s friends had also accompanied her to the temple for the prayer ceremony. As instructed by Rukmini Devi, Bhagawan Krishna too had arrived, but He had hidden Himself from the rest of the crowd. He was waiting for the right moment to seize the opportunity. 

As time progressed, the ceremony started and at one hand, Sishupala had arrived and had taken his seat. On the other hand, Rukmini Devi was tensed and was eagerly waiting for Bhagawan Krishna to unleash His divine powers to try and take her off from there. Accordingly, when the time arrived, Bhagawan Krishna takes out the “Paanchajanya” and blows it aloud. Hearing this, Rukmini Devi started walking towards the direction from which the sound of the “Panchajanya” was coming. As Rukmini Devi was walking towards Bhagawan Krishna, He suddenly appeared in front of her and in front of all the people gathered there, including Sishupala. At this time, a comical event took place – Sishupala was damn sure that Rukmini Devi was going to be his wife very soon, and hence, he was full with pride! He was sitting at one corner watching all these proceedings of prayers, dance, etc. He was totally enjoying the moment and all of a sudden, Bhagawan Krishna appeared in front of him! Unexpectedly, as per Rukmini Devi’s plan, Bhagawan Krishna grabbed her, placed her on His chariot and started riding it fast towards Dwaraka! 

As Sishupala was looking at this, for the first few moments, he did not understand what was happening! It was very difficult for him to come to terms that someone is abducting his fiance at a time when the marriage ceremony is going to happen within the next few minutes! Whom Sishupala was considering as his, was being taken away by someone else! Sishupala and King Rukmi realized what was going on and they made a quick decision to follow Bhagawan Krishna’s chariot and attack Him then and there. Bhagawan Krishna too rode His chariot at a lightning speed, in such a way that nobody was able to match the speed of His chariot. However, powerful as they were, Sishupala and King Rukmi followed Bhagawan Krishna and started attacking Him with their powerful weapons and artillery. A huge war broke out between Bhagawan Krishna and the rest of them. Bhagawan had to fight a lone battle as nobody was there to help Him at that point. However, Bhagawan Krishna managed to defeat the entire lot of people who had assembled there, and at this point, Rukmini Devi fell on to His feet, seeking to protect her father and not to kill him. 

As Rukmini Devi requests thus, Bhagawan Krishna too felt that killing Rukmi and Sishupala at that time wasn’t going to yield anything productive. Moreover, it would be wrong to kill the father-in-law on the very first day of marriage. It is the duty of the son-in-law to respect the father-in-law, isn’t it? Hence for this main reason, Bhagawan Krishna decided to spare King Rukmi. As for Sishupala, he still had many more “Karma” left to be done. Bhagawan Krishna had a plan for Sishupala – When Sishupala insults Bhagawan Krishna for a hundred times, the hundredth time when he is doing so, he would be killed. Perhaps, that hundredth abuse of Sishupala towards Bhagawan Krishna had not arrived as yet, and hence, Bhagawan Krishna spared Sishupala. 

With this, Bhagawan Krishna won over the entire opposition camp and thus, rode the chariot victoriously with Rukmini Devi into Dwaraka. A grand wedding ceremony was arranged in due course for the couple to get married! So for today, let us understand and experience this beautiful Rukmini-Kalyana episode of Bhagawan Krishna and let us wait for the final episode of this project till tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 257 – A “Make-or-break” situation for Rukmini Devi and Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Rukmini Devi getting more and more obsessed with Bhagawan Krishna and eventually she decides to take the offensive route against the wishes of her father and family. She thus calls a “Vriddha Brahmin” person, writes down seven to eight slokas in a sheet of paper, hands it over to him, so that he could give it in turn to Bhagawan Krishna. Accordingly, the Brahmin person flees off on his horse all the way to Dwaraka where Bhagawan Krishna was residing. Rukmini Devi was waiting eagerly for a response on one end. Meanwhile, on the other end, Bhagawan Krishna comes to know of what was happening, courtesy the Vriddha Brahmin, who reaches Dwaraka within a jiffy! As instructed by Rukmini Devi, the Brahmin hands over the letter to Bhagawan Krishna, who opens it and reads. For better clarity, Bhagawan Krishna asks the Brahmin to read the letter aloud for Him. The moment Bhagawan comes to know of what was happening, He decided to get into the act immediately. Now what is Bhagawan Krishna going to do? How is He going to act? Let us witness today. 

In fact, before we even look at Bhagawan Krishna’s response, we’ve to understand Rukmini Devi’s extended set of instructions to Bhagawan Krishna here. As Rukmini Devi expresses herself in the letter, she finishes the letter with some instructions for Him to come and attain her. She says thus, “Oh Krishna! Please come to my place on the day before my fixed marriage. I shall come outside of the palace to offer prayers to our “Kula Devata” (Family Deity) temple. You shall come in close proximity to that temple and indicate your arrival to me by blowing your “Paanchajanya” (Bhagawan’s Shankam). As I hear the sound from your “Paanchajanya”, I shall take the clue that you had arrived. Hence, I would slowly start coming towards you – Towards the direction from which the sound is coming. As I come close to you, take me in your chariot and ride fast! Take me along with you, and let us “run away” from this wretched place!” 

As Bhagawan Krishna reads this, He couldn’t control His laughter! He thinks within Himself thus, “Oh wow! Look at how the world has changed in this Dwaapara Yuga! Goddess Mahalakshmi is advising me to “run away” along with her! Anyways, women know certain tricks better than men do! This is also one of them. Even though I’m Bhagawan, I’m sure Goddess Mahalakshmi is more intelligent than me in many ways! I’ve seen that in my previous Rama Avatara as well! I’ve seen the brilliance of Sita! Hence, this is nothing new to me. So let us follow the instructions given by Rukmini Devi!” Thinking thus, Bhagawan Krishna started off in His chariot in such a way that He would reach Vidharba exactly on the stipulated date. 

As instructed, Bhagawan Krishna reaches the proximity of that family deity temple wherein Rukmini Devi was about to come. There was a huge lawn adorned with beautiful trees around. As Bhagawan Krishna didn’t want to reveal Himself or His identity, He hides Himself alongside the bushes and trees and is waiting for Rukmini Devi to arrive. As per the plan, Rukmini Devi also arrives at the temple in some time, along with her friends to offer prayers. It was the day before the marriage ceremony and as per the protocol, the prayer ceremony was about to take place. Hence, a lot of crowd was there and Rukmini Devi was amongst that humongous crowd. Bhagawan Krishna is waiting for the right moment amidst the bushes. 

This is a “Make or break” situation for both Bhagawan Krishna and Rukmini Devi. Now what is Bhagawan Krishna going to do? Is He going to follow Rukmini Devi’s instructions straightaway, or does He have some other ideas? What happens next? Let’s wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 256 – Rukmini Devi expresses herself to Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of the all-important “Rukmini Kalyana” event, wherein Bhagawan Krishna is all set to marry Rukmini Devi, who is none other than the incarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi. We had witnessed that whenever Bhagawan Vishnu incarnates in this world, Goddess Mahalakshmi also incarnates along with Him and protect the world as a couple. Eventually, they would get married during their incarnation, and this would be a very important event to be celebrated and worshipped. In that way, we had witnessed the auspicious “Sita-Kalyana” during the Rama-Avatara where Bhagawan Rama gets married to Mother Sita. Similarly here, we’re witnessing Bhagawan Krishna getting married to Rukmini Devi. In that way, we had witnessed that Rukmini Devi was born to King Rukmi of the Vidharba kingdom. As Rukmini Devi grew up, she heard a lot about Bhagawan Krishna, His divine “Leelas” at Gokula, etc. and how He is currently the king of a great kingdom called Dwaraka. Eventually, Rukmini Devi fell in love with Bhagawan Krishna and surrendered herself to His divine lotus feet. However, King Rukmi had other ideas – He wanted his daughter to get married to Sishupala, who was Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin. We’ve already witnessed who this Sishupala is. He was basically a Raakshasa by nature, and by hook or crook, Sishupala convinced King Rukmi to marry his daughter. However, Rukmini Devi was steadfast with her intention of marrying Bhagawan Krishna and nobody else. With this, she confronted her father, only to get a negative response from him. Even though her father did not accept Rukmini Devi’s intention, she was strong in what she wanted. None other than Bhagawan Krishna mattered for her. 

So now, how is Bhagawan Krishna going to respond? The marriage date was fixed. All kings were invited for the grand event. Sishupala too was on his way to marry his lady love. However, Rukmini Devi was staunch in her approach. All what was happening around her did not sink into her heart. All that mattered to her was Bhagawan Krishna. As things were progressing, Rukmini Devi thought of a plan. She called out for a “Vriddha Brahmana” and handed over a paper with seven or eight slokas written on it. In other words, this was a “love letter” given by Rukmini Devi to Bhagawan Krishna. Rukmini Devi instructed the Brahmana to take it all the way to Dwaaraka, meet Bhagawan Krishna there and hand it over to Him personally. 

As per the instruction from Rukmini Devi, the Vriddha Brahmana hurries his way to Dwaaraka. He gets on top of a horse, which can take him swiftly to Dwaaraka city. As the Brahmana reaches Dwaaraka, We should understand the distance here – Vidharba Desha is somewhere in the eastern end of the Indian state of Maharashtra. Dwaaraka is somewhere in the western coast of India. The distance would be more than 1500 kilometres apart. The Vriddha Brahmana travels swiftly from Maharashtra to Gujarat, meets Bhagawan Krishna in person, hands over the letter given by Rukmini Devi to Him. As Bhagawan receives the letter, He asks the Brahmana to read it for Him. This letter is referred to as “Rukmini Sandesha” in the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, and we had witnessed this in detail earlier as well. Thus, the Brahmana reads the letter to Bhagawan Krishna, wherein Rukmini Devi expresses herself – “Oh Bhagawan! Right from the moment I started hearing about you and your divine “Leelas”, I surrendered myself completely to your divine lotus feet. Right from the moment I started hearing from you, I decided that if at all there is a marriage in my life, it should only be with you and nobody else. However, my family is planning something different. I’m going to get married to a Raakshasa by name Sishupala. If my love and surrender towards you are true and if you acknowledge it with your heart, please come and save me from this disaster. Please protect your ardent devotee from falling into this pit for my entire life. Please take steps immediately to marry me!” 

As Rukmini Devi expresses thus, it is now time for Bhagawan Krishna to step up the pedal and act. He has to act immediately as time is running out! What is Bhagawan Krishna going to do? Let us wait eagerly to find out in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode $ 255 – Rukmini Devi’s unconditional love and surrender towards Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the final few points of discussion under the Shri Vishnu Puraana project wherein we had spoken at length on how things would span out in the Kali Yuga. We had witnessed Sage Paraashara narrate an anecdote involving Sage Veda-Vyaasa and how Sage Vyaasa conceptualized the Kali Yuga. In fact, this particular anecdote of Sage Vyaasa paves the way for our next upcoming mega-project, which would be unveiled very soon. In fact, I’ve condensed the Shri Vishnu Puraana project a bit because there would be a lot of repetitions that would come along in our next project. Hence, I thought of combining the two, so that readers wouldn’t feel bored. Of course, I had given a lot of emphasis on the Shri Krishna Avatara, even though we had witnessed it at length in our previous Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana project. Obviously, experiencing Bhagawan Krishna and His divine “Leelas” are a treat to all spiritual aspirants and hence, I had opted to re-experience this particular section in detail during this Shri Vishnu Puraana project as well. So for now, let us apply the concluding touches to our Shri Vishnu Puraana project by witnessing the “Rukmini Kalyana” event. We’re going to witness how Bhagawan Krishna married Rukmini Devi against so many odds stacked up against both of them. Let us enjoy this event and thus conclude the Shri Vishnu Puraana project. 

As we had witnessed in our earlier projects as well – both in the Ramayana and Bhaagawatha Puraana, whenever Bhagawan Vishnu incarnates in this world, He makes sure that His divine consortium, Goddess Mahalakshmi too incarnates along with Him. Thus, we can witness here that both Bhagawan Vishnu and Goddess Mahalakshmi together bless the entire world, and not individually. It is for this reason, both of them get married to each other, whenever they incarnate. During the Ramayana project, we had witnessed how Bhagawan Rama marries Mother Sita at an elaborate wedding ceremony arranged by King Janaka and King Dasharata together. Similarly here also, Bhagawan Krishna is wanting to marry Rukmini Devi, who is none other Goddess Mahalakshmi incarnated in this world. However, the marriage wasn’t as simple and straightforward as it was for Bhagawan Rama. There were several odds stacked up against the divine couple, and we’re going to witness how Bhagawan Krishna defeats all the odds to attain His divine consortium, Rukmini Devi. 

Rukmini Devi was born to the king of Vidharba, by name Rukmi. King Rukmi was kind hearted in nature, but the only problem with him was that he wanted to marry his daughter, Rukmini to Sishupala, who was Bhagawan Krishna’s nephew. Somehow, King Rukmi had this desire to do so, probably because Sishupala would have used his wicked powers to blackmail him. However, Rukmini Devi in due course, came to know of Bhagawan Krishna through some of her friends in her courtyard. She heard of Bhagawan Krishna being handsome and divine in nature, and how He performed all the divine “Leelas” during His childhood days at Gokula. Also, Rukmini Devi understood how Bhagawan Krishna killed Kamsa and chased Jarasantha away with His divine powers. She also knew that Bhagawan Krishna is currently the king of a great kingdom called Dwaraka, and all of this slowly and steadily prompted Rukmini Devi to start falling in love with Bhagawan Krishna. She decided within herself that she would marry nobody else, except Him. In other words, she was so steadfast that if at all a marriage happens to her in this lifetime, it should be with Bhagawan Krishna and nobody else. 

Rukmini Devi knew of her father’s plan of getting her married to Sishupala. Immediately she tried confronting him and expressed her anguish for the same. However, King Rukmi had made up his mind steadily. He is not going to back out of his decision of marrying her off to Sishupala. Poor Rukmini Devi was helpless at this point and she started weeping profusely. She thus exhibited complete surrender to Bhagawan Krishna and exclaimed thus, “Oh Krishna! If it is true that I’m totally in love with you and nobody else, if it is true that I’ve never even thought of another man other than you in my life so far, if it is true that I’m having this opportunity to marry you in this birth, please come to me and save me from this disaster that is about to happen!” 

Meanwhile, King Rukmi is also making fast attempts to fix her marriage with Sishupala. The date was fixed in a jiffy and King Rukmi started sending invitations to all the kings around. So what is Bhagawan Krishna’s response going to be? Is He going to understand and accept Rukmini Devi’s unconditional surrender to Him? Let us wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂