Episode # 413 – Rukmini Devi’s fervent call to Bhagawan Krishna – Significance of “SHRAVANAM”!!!

We’ve commenced our final event of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana – The “Rukmini-Kalyaana”. As mentioned previously, this event is actually supposed to be part of the tenth Skandha, but as per the customary practice, we reserve this event till the end of the “Charitra” and finish it with this. As part of this practice, we had witnessed in yesterday’s episode as to how Rukmini Devi fell in love with Bhagawan Krishna, with just hearing about Him through many sources. Even without looking at Him once, Rukmini Devi firmed up herself that if at all there’s a marriage scheduled for her in this birth, it should only be with Bhagawan Krishna and not with anybody else. Obviously Rukmini Devi was an incarnation of Goddess Mahalakshmi Herself, and in any case, she was destined to be divine consortium of Bhagawan Vishnu, who has incarnated in this world as Bhagawan Krishna. Hence, it is now just finding a way out to reach Bhagawan Krishna somehow.

As Rukmini Devi was thinking about Bhagawan Krishna all the time, her father, Rukmi never understood all of this. He was hell-bent in marrying Rukmini Devi to Sishupaala, who was a “Raakshasa” by nature. Sishupaala was extremely interested in Rukmini Devi and fell in love with her, the moment Rukmi came up with the marriage proposal. However, Rukmini Devi was least interested in Sishupaala and her mind, heart and soul were totally immersed in Bhakti towards Bhagawan Krishna. From this entire event, we can witness that this is not just another marriage and a love relationship that we would see today. This was one of the highest levels of Bhakti that is exhibited by an ardent devotee towards Bhagawan. Even if we witess the “Paasurams” (Hymns) of the Alwars and other Aachaaryas, many of their poetries would be of the “Naayikaa Bhaava”. It means that they would imagine themselves as women / lovers, longing for the presence of their boy / husband, who is none other than Bhagawan, and sing in praise of Bhagawan in this “Bhaava”. This cannot be categorized as the romantic relationship that normal people like us have with each other. This is a relationship of divine love and bonding with Bhagawan, and this is one way to attain proximity to Him.

In fact, if we consider the life of “Aandaal”, it was of the same category. We can draw many parallels between Rukmini Devi and Aandal. Many of us might know who Aandal is. She is the author of the famous text called “Thiruppavai” in Tamil – A collection of 30 poetries, in praise of Bhagawan Krishna, which is normally sung during the Tamil month of “Maargazhi” every year. Aandal was also in divine love with Bhagawan Krishna at a place called Srivilliputhur in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Finally it is believed that Bhagawan Krishna was deeply moved by Aandal’s divine love towards Him, and He transcended to the earth, just to marry her and take her with Him to Vaikunta. Similar is the case here with Rukmini Devi too. She was so deeply in love with Bhagawan Krishna that whatever dress or ornaments or bangles that she wears on herself, she would see it in front of the mirror, and think whether Bhagawan Krishna would like all of this in her body. Even if she smiles, she would look into the mirror and check if Bhagawan Krishna would love it, if she smiles this way. Thus, in each and every action of hers, Rukmini Devi was so immersed in love with Bhagawan Krishna.

It is at this time, Rukmini Devi had drafted a “letter” to Bhagawan Krishna, expressing her love for Him and desire to get married to Him at any cost. She sends the letter via a Brahmin messenger, who travels all the way to Dwaaraka and delivers it in person to Bhagawan Krishna. In the letter, Rukmini Devi explains how Bhagawan Krishna has entered into her heart, even without having a glance at Him in person. She explains how she was moved deeply and immersed into His characteristics and significances. She explains how she has heard a lot of His divine “Leelas” from many people and how she fell for him by hearing all of it.

We can understand one important point from this accord here – How can we feel and understand Bhagawan? Obviously we cannot see Him in person and we cannot touch Him with our hands. So how do we still manage to experience Bhagawan? It is mainly through hearing a lot about Him.  The more and more we listen about Bhagawan and His significances, the more we would be attracted towards Him isn’t it? This is why we often emphasize that we should always be in the company of people who would constantly keep discussing about Bhagawan’s divine “Leelas”, debate upon them, bring out their significances and the deeper meanings attached to them, etc. By hearing all of this again and again, we slowly develop that interest to attain Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet. This process of attaining Bhagawan is called as “Shravanam” and this is one of the most important paths to attain “Moksha” according to our Sanaatana Dharma. We’ve witnessed how Prahlaada developed ardent devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana by constant listening to Sage Naarada’s accord, even when he was in his mother’s womb as a baby. It is only with this “Shravanam”, did Prahlaada develop into Bhagawan Vishnu’s most ardent devotee.

Similarly, we’re now witnessing Rukmini Devi’s accord here, and this too stresses on the importance of “Shravanam” or listening to Bhagawan’s “Charitra” over and over again. It is only because of this, we’re also spending lot of time in writing and reading this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text, isn’t it? The more we read, the more we listen to Bhagawan’s “Leelas”, the more we get immersed into devotion. So for today, let us understand this important point on “Shravanam” and let us wait till the next episode to witness how Bhagawan Krishna is going to respond to Rukmini Devi’s call! Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 412 – Rukmini Devi’s “LOVE LETTER” to Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna giving a “special” “Darshan” to Maarkandeya, who was himself a great sage. We had witnessed that Maarkandeya had a wish that he should worship Bhagawan Krishna separately one-on-one, and Bhagawan Krishna fulfilled that wish of the ardent devotee in a beautiful way. With this, we virtually come to the end of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text, and now according to the customary practice, we shall formally call it the “end” with the witnessing of the all-important “Rukmini-Kalyaana” Charitra, wherein Bhagawan Krishna marries Rukmini Devi. This in fact, forms part of the tenth Skandha itself, but at that point, we had skipped this event to witness it towards the end. So now, we shall commence the Rukmini-Kalyaana episodes one after the other and we shall witness in detail how this marriage conspired.

It all starts with Rukmini Devi falling in love with Bhagawan Krishna, without even seeing Him in person once. Rukmini Devi has heard a lot about a young boy by name Krishna, who was very handsome and charming in appearance, and with that, she started to develop immense love for Him! As this was growing on and on every day, Rukmi, the father of Rukmini Devi started to think of his daughter’s marriage. Rukmi wanted to give his daughter in marriage to Sishupaala, one of Bhagawan Krishna’s cousin brothers. Wr’ve already witnessed in the tenth Skandha that Bhagawan Krishna had a number of cousin brothers, including the Paandavas. It is to be remembered by readers here that Kunthi, who was the mother of the Paandavas, was the sister of Vasudeva, who was Bhagawan Krishna’s father. Kunthi’s original name was Prutha. This is the reason why Arjuna is often referred to as “Paartha” in the Bhagawad Gita by Bhagawan Krishna. Similarly, Bhagawan Krishna had another cousin brother by name Sishupaala. It is to this Sishupaala did Rukmi desire to give his daughter Rukmini Devi in marriage.

We’ve already witnessed who this Sishupaala was. Readers might remember that this Sishupaala was a Raakshasa by birth and follows the “Jaya-Vijaya” tradition of birth. We’ve seen that these two people were the gatekeepers at Vaikunta and Sages Sanaka and Sanatkumaara had cursed them that they would be born as Raakshasas in this world thrice, only to be liberated back to Vaikunta by Bhagawan Vishnu. In that way, we’ve witnessed that Jaya and Vijaya had taken birth as Hiranyaksha & Hiranya Kashibu, Ravana & Kumbakarna and now in the Dwaapara Yuga, they were Kamsa and Sishupaala. Thus, this Sishupaala was supposed to be Rukmini Devi’s fiancé. However, Rukmini Devi was least interested in him. All her thoughts and feelings were deeply rooted towards Bhagawan Krishna only. Whenever she thought of decorating herself with garlands, bangles, etc. she always had Bhagawan Krishna in her mind and dressed according to His wish and liking! More than just a love feeling, this also pertains to be the highest level of devotion that a Bhakta (Ardent devotee) can express towards Bhagawan.

As Rukmini Devi was thus deep-rooted in her thoughts for Bhagawan Krishna, her father Rukmi had other intentions. He was steadfast in his attempt to marry her to Sishupaala. In fact, the entire set of people were very happy that Rukmini Devi was in love with Bhagawan Krishna, except Rukmi. As things were going from bad to worse at Rukmini Devi’s place, she decided to take an initiative to make a move on. She realized that if she’s going to sit dumb, Rukmi is going to execute his plan quite easily. Hence she took a small piece of wood, wrote a set of seven slokas in praise of Bhagawan Krishna and sent it to Dwaaraka through a messenger. Rukmini Devi calls an aged Brahmin, hands over the letter to him and says thus, “With due respects, please hand this over to Bhagawan Krishna, who is the king of Dwaaraka! Let’s wait and see what his reaction would be! Normally it should be the other way round – The boy should give letters to the girl, but here it is vice versa. Anyways, if I have the fortune and luck in this birth, I shall be able to get a positive reply from Bhagawan Krishna!”

Saying thus, Rukmini Devi hands over the letter to the Brahmin messenger. He takes it all the way to Dwaaraka, as quickly as possible. Even though he was aged, he managed to travel swiftly across plains, mountains, rivers, etc. to reach Dwaaraka in lightning speed. Upon seeing an aged Brahmin walking towards His palace, Bhagawan Krishna welcomes him inside with all the due respects to be paid. Bhagawan Krishna hand-holds the Brahmin and makes him sit comfortably in a chair. As the Brahmin messenger is comfortable, Bhagawan Krishna slowly asks him thus, “Oh respectable person! Are you really a Brahmin by birth?” This question shocked the messenger to bits! The Brahmin replies thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Why do you ask a question like this? Can’t you see my appearance and conclude it for yourself?” Bhagawan Krishna replies, “I can do that. But, looking at the way you’ve come here, I thought that you’ve come with some expectation from me! A person who expects something from others can never be a Brahmin. That’s why I had asked you that question!”

Upon hearing thus from Bhagawan Krishna, the Brahmin got angry! He replies thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I’ve not come here to obtain anything from you! I’ve come here to give you something! Here is a letter that was given to me by my boss! She had asked me to give this letter to you on her behalf!” So, please read this and do the needful!” As Bhagawan Krishna looks on, the messenger hands over the letter to Him. Bhagawan Krishna was surprised to receive this letter, opens it and starts reading it!

What is Bhagawan’s reply going to be? Is He going to feel happy for Rukmini Devi, or is He going to reject her proposal? Let’s wait till the next episode to witness!! Stay tuned!! 🙂

Episode # 411 – Bhagawan Krishna’s divine “Darshan” to Maarkandeya!!!

The previous episode saw the all-important event wherein King Parikshit attaining “Mksha”, with snake “Takshaka” making his way into King Parikshit’s palace. As the time nears by, King Parikshit gets bitten by the snake and as all people witness, King Parikshit’s “Atman” departs from his physical body once and for all and starts its journey like a flame, all the way to reach Vaikunta! From this important event, we can clearly understand that if one listens to this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text with ardent devotion and respect, Bhagawan Krishna ensures that he / she has a “clear path” towards attaining “Moksha” without a doubt. We’ve witnessed earlier, how King Parikshit was cursed by the son of a sage who was in deep penance. King Parikshit had accidently thrown a dead snake around the sage’s neck and as a result, the sage’s son got angry over that. As the curse is inflicted upon him that within the next seven days, his life is going to come to an end, initially King Parikshit was panicking and didn’t know what to do. It is at this time, Sage Sukhaachaarya entered into King Parikshit’s palace and gave him this entire sacred text. It is only with this, King Parikshit attains enormous clarity on how the “Atman” is entirely different from the “Deham” (Physical body) and that, death can never confer itself on anybody if one understands the clear difference between these two important parameters. As Sage Sukhaachaarya leaves the palace after the seven-day recital, King Parikshit’s fear of death is totally gone and is out of question now! Even when the snake bit him, he was unperturbed and happily accepted the end of his human birth, and thus, attained the highest “Moksha” with the divine grace of Sage Sukhaachaarya and Bhagawan Krishna together.

With this, we come to the fag end of this great text and in today’s episode, we would witness in brief, how Bhagawan Krishna gives His divine darshan to Maarkandeya. Post this, we would directly go into the “Rukmini-Bhagawan Krishna-Kalyaana” and with that, we would finish this project. Moving on thus, with the Maarkandeya episode, once upon a time, Maarkandeya has a special desire to witness Bhagawan Krishna’s divine darshan. Many of us might know who Maarkandeya was, and so, I’m not going into the description about it at the moment. As Maarkandeya expresses his wish of having a “special darshan”, Bhagawan Krishna laughs and replies from Vaikunta thus, “Oh Maarkandeya! You’re such a great realized soul! Why should you want a “special darshan” of mine? What happened all of a sudden?” Upon hearing this from Bhagawan, Maarkandeya replies thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Nothing has happened! It’s just my wish that I see you one-on-one! That’s it. I leave it to you, as to how “special” you want to give a “Darshan” for me!”

Saying thus, Maarkandeya leaves the choice and decision to Bhagawan Krishna as to how, when and where does He want to give the darshan. Listening to this, Bhagawna Krishna was extremely pleased with Maarkandeya’s total surrender and thus, Bhagawan immedialtely appeared before him with all His charm, compassion and His enormous physical form. Upon seeing this, Maarkandeya was extremely pleased and was having tears in his eyes. He did not expect Bhagawan to pay heed to his request so quickly like this! However, as we all know, Bhagawan is an embodiment of compassion towards His ardent devotees – He never delays things even for a second. If an ardent devotee prays to Bhagawan sincerely, Bhagawan’s heart melts in joy and compassion. This is the perfect example to underscore and reiterate this point here. Thus, the lesson to be learnt for all us from the Maarkandeya’s episode is that, it is upto us to develop that ardent devotion towards Bhagawan and with that, He would definitely shower and bestow His divine grace on each and every one of us.

With this, we come to the end of this small episode, and we’re now left with the all-important “Rukmini-Kalyana”. We shall wait till the next episode to witness this interesting event from the tenth Skanda. Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 410 – King Parikshit attains the highest “Moksha”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Sukhaachaarya leaving King Parikshit’s palace in a jiffy, as soon as he ensured that King Parikshit has understood all what he has said in elaborate detail. Unlike many others who might stay on to witness what happens next, Sage Sukhaachaarya leaves off immediately once his work is over. This is the ultimate level of detachment one should ideally have, as a “Guru” or a “Spiritual Master”. All what is important for the spiritual master is to know if the disciple has been enlightened or not. After the enlightenment, there is nothing that the spiritual master has to do. Once the job is over, Sage Sukhaachaarya thus leaves King Parikshit immediately, even though he could have stayed a bit longer to witness his path to Moksha. King Parikshit, being his ardent disciple, has learnt all the important aspects of “Dharma” with all the due respect from his end, and thus, his fear of being bitten by a snake has completely vanished with Sage Sukhaachaarya’s elaborate explanation.

Moving on thus, King Parikshit is awaiting the inevitable and this is where Takshaka, the snake makes its way into King Parikshit’s palace. As King Parikshit was sitting in his seat, the snake bites him and with that, the posion of the snake starts getting into his body. As the poison enters, King Parikshit’s body starts glowing like fire, due to the intensity of the poison. With this, King Parikshit’s “Atman” separates from the physical body and travels towards the “Moksha-maarga”. Upon seeing this, all people around King Parikshit were both happy and sad. They were happy because their king had obtained an extremely fortunate end to his human birth, with the divine grace of Sage Sukhaachaarya and Bhagawan Krishna. Of course, all of them were sad that they’re sacrificing a righteous king who stood for “Dharma” till the end of his lifetime.

Thus, King Parikshit’s Atman travels towards the “Brahman” and merges with Bhagawan’s Vaikunta, wherein it starts experiencing the real bliss. We can hereby understand what one can obtain, by listening to this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana with ardent devotion. Just like how King Parikshit had the divine opportunity to attain the highest “Moksha” by listening to Sage Sukhaachaarya’s golden words of wisdom, we would also obtain this divine opportunity if we too exhibit the same kind of respect and devotion in listening to Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana.

With this, we come to the end of how King Parikshit attains Moksha by listening to Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. It is in fact, this story with which we started the entire text from Episode one! We’ve witnessed how King Parikshit was cursed by a Sage’s son for putting a dead snake around his father’s neck, while being amidt a deep penance. It was with this curse that King Parikshit worried and afraid. This is where Sage Sukhaachaarya appeared in front of him and gave this golden treasure to him as a consolation that his “Atman” is never going to be destroyed and is destined to attain “Moksha”. Now having said thus, before we end the long marathon Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana project, we shall witness a small story of how Bhagawan Krishna gave divine darshan to Maarkandeya, and henceforth we’ve to witness an important event that we’ve not seen till now – Bhagawan Krishna’s marriage with Rukmini Devi. We’ve witnessed this event in brief during our discussion in the tenth Skanda, but now we’ve to witness it in detail. With this, we would come to the end of our mega project.

We shall thus, wait till the next episode to witness how Bhagawan Krishna gave His divine darshan to Maarkandeya. An interesting story awaits us! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 409 – Sage Sukhaachaarya bids adieu to King Parikshit in a jiffy!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Sukhaachaarya concluding his “marathon” discussion of all the twelve “Skandhas” of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana put together, within a span of seven days. King Parikshit was totally absorbed in listening to Sage Sukhaachaarya’s golden words of wisdom and towards the end of the discussion, he feels that all his doubts have been cleared. He replies to Sage Sukhaachaarya and thanks him upfront for spending seven days of quality time with him in making him understand the important points that are necessary for him to attain Moksha. It is to be remembered that King Parikshit was cursed by a sage that his end would come within the next seven days due to a snake bite. We’re now at the verge of the seventh day ending and with this, Sage Sukhaachaarya has also concluded his accord. Now, King Parikshit is totally alleviated from the fear of death due to the snake, and proclaims to Sage Sukhaachaarya that by listening to this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text fully, he has clearly understood that the “Atman” and “Deham” are totally different entities by nature and that, there is absolutely nothing called “death” that is going to bestow upon him. This is because, the Atman is permanent and has no destruction of any sorts. It is only the “Deham” or the “physical body” that is going to get destroyed, which, he’s going to take another physical body after this. Hence, King Parikshit thanks Sage Sukhaachaarya for the long “eye-opener” and for making him understand the essence of our Sanaatana Dharma within seven day.

As Sage Sukhaachaarya listens to King Parkshit’s reply thus, he responds, “Oh Parikshit! I’m very happy that you’ve understood the essence correctly. For this, I had employed 18,000 slokas!” King Parikshit replies thus, “Oh Sage Sukhaachaarya! You chanting 18,000 slokas might not be a big thing for yourself, but it is something huge for a “zero” like me! Seven days before, I was trembling with fear and depression after receiving the curse, and now with your divine and profound grace, you’ve transformed me completely with these 18,000 slokas. Thus, it might not be a great achievement for you, but for me, it is a great achievement of transformation. With all the spiritual maturity and the power of penance, you can chant not only 18,000 slokas, but even 10 times more than that. For people like me who are zeroes in terms of spiritual knowledge, this is a huge accomplishment! Within seven days thus, you have succeeded in transforming me from what I was to what I am today. Now, I’m extremely happy and I’ve clearly understood the fact that death can never bestow upon me forever. I’m indeed waiting for that moment of the snake bite, so that I can attain the highest “Moksha” with your divine grace and blessings!”

Saying thus, King Parikshit stands up, folds his hands in respect and pays tribute to Sage Sukhaachaarya. Receiving all the respects from King Parikshit, Sage Sukhaachaarya immediately leaves the palace! We might wonder why Sage Sukhaachaarya left immediately, leaving his ardent disciple alone to fend for himself! If we might have been in that state, we would have waited for King Parikshit to attain Moksha, see how he’s being bitten by the snake, mourn his death, etc. But Sge Sukhaachaarya never even waited for any of this to happen. He immediately leaves the palace by saying that there are many other disciples of his, who are waiting to listen to this sacred Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text. We should understand here that had he sat there for few more minutes, the effect of all what he had discussed for the past seven days, would be totally neutralized. Once King Prikshit explains that he has understood all the important points, the job of Sage Sukhaachaarya is over then and there! It was only because King Parikshit was unable to understand these points, did Sage Sukhaachaarya explain everything in detail. However, the moment King Parikshit understood that the “Atman” and “Deham” are not the same, Sage Sukhaachaarya doesn’t even stop there for a moment and he hurries away from that spot. This is the level of detachment a Guru should have to his Sishya (Disciple).

Normally, Sage Sukhaachaarya was a person who doesn’t even stand at one place continuously for two minutes. For instance, as a Sage, when he goes to each house to obtain “Bhiksha” for his meal, if the householder doesn’t come within the next two minutes to offer him the “Bhiksha”, he wouldn’t stand there for the third minute itself! He would just walk off from that place thinking that Bhagawan wants him to fast on this particular day! Such was Sage Sukhaachaarya’s detachment level! If such a detached Sage should stay with King Parikshit for seven full days and give all the important knowledge and wisdom, whose fortune it is? It should be both King Parikshit’s fortune and the world’s fortune as a whole – To obtain such a valuable text from a great sage!

Now that Sage Sukhaachaarya leaves the scene, King Parikshit is now waiting for the inevitable incident to happen. It is at this time, “Takshaka”, the snake makes his way to King Parikshit’s palace, searching for him. So for today, let us stop with this point, and we shall wait till the next episode to witness King Parikshit attaining “Moksha” through the snake bite! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 408 – “I realize that there’s no death for me at all!!!” – King Parikshit thanks Sage Sukhaachaarya!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a bit of more detail as to why “Naama-Sankeertana” is very important in this Kali Yuga, and how do we focus our mind into doing it as a regular spiritual practice every day. As we know by now, “Naama-Sankeertana” is the practice of singing in praise of Bhagawan wholeheartedly. Having said thus, we had witnessed that it is not required for all of us to be excellent musicians to perform “Naama-Sankeertana”. All what is important for Bhagawan is whether we’re really singing from our heart. Some people might be excellent musicians and would have been trained in classical music right from childhood. Indeed, this is a rare opportunity and a gift given by Bhagawan to such people, and they should use it in the legitimate way to sing for Bhagawan and not for commercial purposes. This is where, Kali Purusha keeps the check here – If people are bestowed with the art of singing, he / she should employ that art in the manner in which Bhagawan would be happy and pleased. However, Kali Purusha would try and make us deviate from this path and would bring “name”, “money” and “fame” in the middle of everything. Just like how a screen would prevent us to have Bhagawan’s divine “Darshan” in a temple, when the “Sanctum Sanctorum” is closed, these three factors namely, money, name and fame would come in the middle and prevent us from seeing Bhagawan through our music.

In fact, we should understand this point very clearly here. I’m again and again re-emphasizing on this point that music is perhaps the easiest way to attain Bhagawan. Music, if rendered with ardent devotion, captures Bhagawan’s attention and melts His heart. This is where we need to rise beyond these three factors of money, name and fame, when it comes to singing. Of course, I’m not saying that people shouldn’t make careers out of music. All of us can, if we have the right knowledge and the required training. However, what is more important here is, the devotion part. If we sing with ardent devotion, Bhagawan is automatically going to take care of our day-to-day needs of money and other things, isn’t it? Hence, the point here is that, musicians should refrain from going too much behind money and fame. Rather, they should use this golden opportunity provided by Bhagawan to sing for Him and use this path to attain Moksha quite easily.

Thus, these are the important points when it comes to the Kali-Yuga Dharma. With this, we are almost towards the end of the entire “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” text, and King Parikshit is absorbed in listening to all these important points from Sage Sukhaachaarya. Now Sage Sukhaachaarya explains thus, “Oh Parikshit! Starting from the first “Skandha” to the twelfth, I’ve tried to answer all your questions one by one. You had asked me that you should know all what is unknown to you. You had asked me that you should see all what you’ve not seen till now. You had asked me that you should listen to all what you’ve not listened to, till now. All what is required for you to attain “Moksha”, has been covered in detail and in-depth in these twelve “Skandhas” and within these seven days. Now tell me what is your state of mind. You’ve listened to everything here – How the “Atman” is something that is far more superior than the “Deham” (Physical body? Who is the “Paramatma” and why has He given you a human birth here in this world? I’ve answered all of these important questions in as much detail as possible. Now tell me what is your response. Are you satisfied with my answered, or do you want more depth?”

Listening thus to Sage Sukhaachaarya, King Parikshit stands up in respect to him, folds his hands and replies thus, “Oh Sage Sukhaachaarya! After listening to your in-depth accord for the past seven days continuously without a break, all my doubts have been clarified. All my fear has vanished! Initially I was terrified upon hearing the curse that I would be bitten by a poisonous snake at the end of the seventh day. But now, that terror of experiencing a snake bite has totally vanished from my heart. I’m now prepared for anything that comes through, as I’ve clearly understood that this physical body is subject to destruction some day or the other. Even if I somehow escape the snake bite today, this physical body is going to be destroyed some day in the future. Hence, I’m very clear now and my mind is all prepared to attain Bhaagwan Krishna’s divine feet!”

King Parikshit continues thus, “Oh Sage Sukhaachaarya! Although the snake is going to bite me within the next few hours, I know that there is no “death” for me. My “Atman” is going to live permanently and it is only this physical body which is going to be destroyed by the snake. So be it! I’m extremely glad to understand all of these important facts and “Vedanta” from your divine discourse! Who on earth is going to be as blessed as I am, to listen to all these things from a great Sage? Hence, Sage Sukhaachaarya! I’m extremely thankful for your great service! In fact, my entire “Paandava” clan is indebted to you for what you’ve done to me today and for the past seven days!”

So for today, let us understand how King Parikshit attains the final and the most important understanding at the end of Sage Sukhaachaarya’s accord. We shall wait till the next episode, to witness the continuation of the story henceforth. Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 407 – Performing “NAAMA-SANKEERTANA” melts Bhagawan’s heart!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed one important methodology through which we can experience the ease of attaining Bhagawan in this Kali Yuga, which is “Mantra chanting”. We’ve witnessed that as we keep chanting our “Mantra” continuously without a break, it would lead us to a pin-pointed focus on our spiritual path, which would automatically lead us to Bhagawan. The easiest spiritual path to attain Moksha in this Kali Yuga, as per Sage Sukhaachaarya is “Naama-Sankeertana”, and this is perhaps the speciality of this Kali Yuga, which none of the other Yugas had. In fact, Sage Sukhaachaarya himself outlines the fact that in the Krita Yuga, Tretha Yuga and the Dwaapara Yuga, attaining Bhagawan through spiritual practices was a meticulous and a herculient task and obviously people of those ages were up to it as well. However, in the Kali Yuga, things have been made simplified by Bhagawan, owing to the present situation that we are in. Hence, it is upto us to utilize this golden opportunity to attain Bhagawan in the easiest way possible. However, as we’ve been discussing over the past two episodes, although the path might seem easy, we need to get out mind intact. This would be the toughest part in the Kali Yuga, owing to Kali Purusha’s unleashing of the “Maya” or “Illusion”. Hence, it is upto us to straignten ourselves and ensure that we do not fall into the trap laid by the Kali Purusha.

Moving on thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya outlines the methodologies to attain Moksha in all the four Yugas. He explains thus:

“Kriteyadhyaatyato vishnum tretaayaam yagnyatormakaihi!

Dwaapare paricharyaayaam kalautath hari keertanaath!!”

This is a beautiful sloka that explains how one can attain “Moksha” in each of the four Yugas. In the Krita Yuga, one can attain Moksha by involving himself / herself in deep meditation and penance. This was eeasily possible in that Yuga, as people too were very focused in their spiritual advancement. In the Tretha Yuga, subsequently the focus came down a bit, and here, the methodology was to perform “Yaagas” and “Yagnyas”. This is a deviation from the previous Yuga, isn’t it? This is simply because of the difference in the “Prayatna” (Effort) that people can put forward. In the Krita Yuga, people were extremely pious in nature, and it was easy for them to get into the deep penance mode. However, this wasn’t the case in the next Yuga. People had to perform “Yaagas” and “Yagnyas” to obtain that focus. Now coming to the next Dwaapara Yuga, performing “Archana” (Chanting the divine names of Bhagawan) was the best way to attain “Moksha”. Again we can witness here that the focus of people on the spiritual path is on the decline. It is only because people wouldn’t be able to focus even on performing “Yagnyas”, is Bhagawan simiplifying the process a bit more. Thus, in the Dwaapara Yuga, “Archana” is the best way to attain Moksha. Finally in the Kali Yuga, this is also going to get worse. Nobody is going to spend time and effort in sitting at one place and doing “Archana” meticulously. The process gets diluted further. Thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya explains here that in the Kali Yuga, “Naama-Sankeertana” is the best way to attain Moksha.

Thus, we can witness the various paths of attaining “Moksha” in the four different Yugas. This is where we give lot of emphasis on “Naama-Sankeertana”. If we’re able to close our eyes and open our hearts to Bhagawan through our singing, this itself is going to be enough to take us to Vaikunta. When we say that we’ve to “sing” in praise of Bhagawan, it is not that all of us must be trained classical musicians. Even if it is a small Bhajan or a Keertan, all what Bhagawan wants from us is whether are we singing that with full devotion or not. We might not be excellent singers, who sing with perfect “Shruti” and “Laya”. But all what is important here is the “devotion” factor. This is what would take us directly to Moksha in the Kali Yuga. Thus, it is up to us to allocate atleast 10 minutes per day to sing in praise of Bhagawan at our respective homes, irrespective of whether we are singing to the “Shruti” or “Laya” or “Taalam” or “Raagam”, or whatever. We should make it a habit of singing for Bhagawan at our own “Puja rooms” everyday and this is extremely important. We should not worry whether Bhagawan would enjoy our music or not. We should always remember this one point very clearly – All of us are children of Bhagawan. For a mother or a father, whatever the child does, would be something great, isn’t it? For instance, if a 3-year-old child sings a small Bhajan, won’t the parent enjoy the child’s singing? Will they even look at the grammar of music, whether it is right or wrong? All what is required is that, the child opens its mouth and sings, isn’t it? Similarly, Bhagawan too treats us like a 3-year-old child. If we’re singing inn praise of Him, no matter how it is to listen, Bhagawan gets overwhelmed with joy and happiness. This happiness of Bhagawan’s heart is ultimately the ways and means for all of us to attain “Moksha”. Thus, all what is important here is, whether we’re opening our mouths and singing or not. All what is important is whether we’re singing for Bhagawan with all our devotion and heart or not.

Hence, for today, let us realize this important point and let us start singing in praise of Bhagawan from today itself! I’m sure many of us are already doing it, but if we’re not, let us begin today. It is never too late for anything in life, as I always keep saying often. Let us make a beginning today and with that, let us please Bhagawan’s heart together, which is going to ultimately take all of us to Moksha together! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 406 – Regular chanting of our “MANTRA” helps maintain our focus on Bhagawan in the Kali Yuga!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important point that amidst all the negative aspects that the Kali Yuga might present to us, there are some huge positives as well. One important point that we’ve spoken about, as part of the “Kali-Yuga-Dharma” is “Naama-Sankeertana”. If we ardently sing in praise of Bhagawan Krishna, this itself is enough for us to reach Vaikunta. There’s no special means or ways that are required. All we’ve to do is “Naama-Sankeertana” with all our heart and soul focused on Bhagawan. But the important question here that would arise is that, whether our mind would give way to do this or not. This the “catch point” here – During the Kali Yuga, the Kali Purusha would always try and bring down our enthusiasm and motivation to move a step towards Bhagawan. He has all the tricks in the trade to make us deviate from this.

In fact, we’ve witnessed this during our earlier episodes, wherein King Parikshit and Kali Purusha have a long battle with each other. Readers can recollect this section from our earlier episodes, wherein King Parikshit realizes that it is going to be an improbable task in defeating Kali Purusha in a war or in a face-to-face confrontation. As Kali Purusha himself couldn’t stand the valor of King Parikshit, he begs King Parikshit to leave him free. However, King Parikshit saw this as an opportunity to drop in some commands to Kali Purusha. He has given four important places wherein Kali Purusha can reside in this world, and nowhere else. Especially when it comes to ardent devotees of Bhagawan, Kali Purusha can never come near them to play any of his tricks. So, the understanding from this is that, we’ve to make ourselves ardent devotees of Bhagawan, so that Kali Purusha doesn’t near us in anyway.

But the question here is that, how do we achieve this. How do we make sure that we fall into the line of Bhagawan, and not in the line of Kali Purusha’s radar? In fact, we’ve to understand that in the Kali Yuga, there would be exhorbitant amount of disturbances (“Maya” or “Illusion”) that Kali Purusha would try and unleash upon the people, so as to bring them into his fold. We’ve to escape this “Maya” somehow, isn’t it? For this, we’ve to develop the mental focus and direct it pin-pointedly towards Bhagawan. How do we do that? This is where, chanting of our “Mantra” is of extreme significance in the Kali Yuga. If we’re constantly chanting our Mantra, our “Vaasanas” (Latent tendencies) that we have towards bad things would slowly start coming down. Once our Vaasanas come down, automatically our mind would get purified and attain the single-point focus of Bhagawan in whatever we do, in whatever we see and in whatever we experience in our life. Once that focus on Bhagawan comes within us, we can be rest-assured that we’re on track to attain “Moksha”. Of course, we’ve witnessed multiple times earlier, as to what is the procedure to initiate ourselves into chanting a “Mantra”. We’ve to approach a spiritual master, accept Him / Her as our “Guru”, and through that “Mahatma”, we should get initiated into the “Mantra-Chanting”. Once that initiation is done, we should meticulously keep chanting our Mantra day in and day out. This would gradually bring our focus to Bhagawan and with this, our mind would get purified. Obviously it’s a slow process and we’ve to be patient enough to see the results of it.

Of course, many of our readers who might be reading this might think that this is easier said than done! Yes, it is tough and this is exactly the challenge that we’re talking about in the Kali Yuga. Although the path might look a bit easy, getting into this easy path is the toughest thing to do. This is where our dedication and effort is required. Thus, by highlighting this point, Sage Sukhaachaarya gives us the reassurance that amidst all the negativity around us, it is still possible for all of us to attain Bhagawan, provided, we have our focus on Bhagawan intact. This is like walking on a thin knife-edge. If we’re going to deviate here and there, all of us know what would happen, isn’t it? Similarly here too, if we’re going to deviate a little bit even, our mind is just going to be captured by Kali Purusha, who is waiting for a chance to do so. In fact, Kali Purusha is like a terrorist waiting outside our home with a gun. He’s waiting for us to open our door, so that he can gun us down. This is where we’ve to be extremely careful.

Thus, for today, let us re-emphasize that Bhagawan can be attained very easily through minimal effort in this Kali Yuga, however, we’ve to be very focused on our effort in doing so. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with this important discussion further. Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 405 – “NAAMA–SANKEERTANAM” – Easiest way to reach Bhagawan in Kali Yuga!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Sage Sukhaachaarya’s absorbing discussion on how the Kali Yuga is going to span out. Here, he had mentioned how the Dharma of the world is going to stoop down to its rock bottom levels and it is at this time, Bhagawan Kalki is going to incarnate – The tenth incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, after Bhagawan Krishna. Unlike Bhagawan Krishna, who was an epitome of love and compassion, Bhagawan Kalki is going to incarnate with a ferocious form and is going to go around the world in His white horse and with a huge sword in His hands, to destroy all those who walk the path of “Adharma”. There’s going to be a mass destruction and with that, the population of the earth would come down drastically. Only those handful of people who follow Dharma even at those difficult times would be spared by Bhagawan Kalki. It is with these people, Bhagawan Kalki would re-establish the Dharma in this world, and with this, the Kali Yuga would come to an end. Subsequently, the world would go into the next cycle of Yugas, commencing from the Krita Yuga again. This is how Bhagawan would restore Dharma in this world.

As Sage Sukhaachaarya explains all of this in depth, King Parikshit starts shaking with fear. He asks Sage Sukhaachaarya thus, “Oh great Sage! By explaining the salient features of the Kali Yuga, are you trying to say that people would forget the entire concept of “Dharma” altogether? Is there no relief for people who try to follow Dharma in the Kali Yuga? How will these people be protected until Bhagawan Krishna reincarnates again? It’s going to be a long time from now, isn’t it? How will people be protected till then?” Hearing thus from King Parikshit, Sage Sukhaachaarya replies back thus, “Oh Parikshit! You’ve asked an important question here. Although the Kali Yuga is going to be an epitome of Adharma in various forms, there are certain good aspects in this Kali Yuga, which would be suitable for those people who genuinely would like to walk the path of Dharma. Thus, it is very much possible for people to follow Dharma in Kali Yuga, although Adharma of various forms would keep happening around!”

Saying thus, Sage Sukhaachaarya is now going to explain some important points of “Dharma” which is directly applicable to Kali Yuga, which is of extreme importance to all of us. Till now, after reading the last few episodes of Sage Sukhaachaarya’s accord, many of us might have felt dejected as to how do we follow Dharma today. Here’s a befitting answer from Sage Sukhaachaarya. He explains thus, “Oh Parikshit! Whatever may be the Adharma that might happen, Bhagawan Krishna’s ardent devotees would be untouched by the Kali Purusha. They would always be safe and secure under the divine protection and grace of Bhagawan Krishna. Although there might be so many negative aspects pertaining to the Kali Yuga, there are certain positives too – For instance, if one has to perform a spiritual practice meticulously with all the effort, it can be completed within a span of 10 years, when it was during the Krita Yuga. Similarly, during the Tretha Yuga, this 10-year-period shrunk to a 1 year period, That is, the benefits of an ardent spiritual practice can be realized within just one year in the Tretha Yuga. In the Dvaapara Yuga, this one year srunk to one day, and finally in the Kali Yuga, whatever benefits one can attain by performing spiritual practices for 10 years, could be obtained within just one minute of focused concentration and dedication! Isn’t this an advantage and a positive point that pertains to the Kali Yuga? However, the glitch here is that, although the benefit can be obtained in just one minute, we should have that “Prayathna” (Effort) focused in the right direction, isn’t it? This “Prayathna” would be extremely difficult to make! However, if one is able to execute the spiritual practice with the right effort and sincerity, Bhagawan can be attained even within just one minute! This is Kali Yuga’s speciality!”

Sage Sukhaachaarya continues with the second advantage that Kali Yuga offers to all of us – The significance of “Naama-Sankeerthanam”. Perhaps, this Kali Yuga offers the easiest way to attain Bhagawan Krishna, and the easiest way is to sing in praise of Him all the time. We do not need to do any hi-fi extraordinary spiritual practices to attain Him. All what we need to do is to forget ourselves and sing in praise of Bhagawan with all our heart and soul. This in itself is enough for us to be taken to Vaikunta, without any hassles! Thus, “Naama-Sankeertanam” is a very important point and is indeed a speciality of this Kali Yuga, and this is the easiest way to attain Bhagawan at Vaikunta.

So for today, let us understand these points and let us appreciate the positives of the Kali Yuga. Of course, we should understand that Bhagawan would not create any Yuga for us, which is bad. It is only upto us to choose the positives in the kali Yuga and proceed with our spiritual pursuit. We shall wait till the next episode to take this discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 404 – From “Kali Yuga” to “Krita Yuga” – Will a “PRALAYA-KALA” happen anytime soon???

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the all-important event that is going to take place at the end of this present Kali Yuga – The advent or re-incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu in this world as Bhagawan Kalki. This is going to be a landmark event, but however, it should be noted that this is not going to happen anytime soon! We’ve witnessed already in the first couple of “Skandhas” that the lifespan of this Kali Yuga is totally 4,32,100 years. Now, we’re just crossing around 5,120 years. We can imagine how long is this Kali Yuga going to exist, before Bhagawan incarnates again. As mentioned by Bhagawan Krishna in the Bhagawad Gita, He would incarnate only towards the end of the Yuga, and only at a point when “Dharma” hits rock bottom in this world. This simply means that in this Kali Yuga, still Dharma hasn’t hit the rock bottom yet, and there’s lot more to come! In absolute percentage terms, we’ve not even witnessed one percentage of the Kali Yuga still. If we feel that for this one percentage of the time itself we’ve had enough with all the Adharma that happens around us, we’ve to seriously think again! 🙂

At the end of the Kali Yuga, as we’ve witnessed in yesterday’s episode, Bhagawan Kalki would incarnate at a village called “Sambalam” in the southern part of India – On the banks of River Taamraparni, near the town of Tirunelveli in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. This is where Bhagawan is going to incarnate and this is going to be after 4,30,000 years approximately. There would be a person by name Vishnu-Yashas and Bhagawna Kalki would be born as the son of this person. He would appear on top of a white horse and with a long sword in His hands. His only job now is going to be destruction of all those who go behind the path of “Adharma”. This incarnation is going to be a very ferocious one and there’s not going to be any sort of advice or anything to anybody! He has already given enough and more of advice to the world. Even then, if we’re not falling into Bhagawan’s path, we’ve to be prepared to be destroyed!

Again, it is to be understood clearly that the world wouldn’t be destroyed by Bhagawan Kalki. It is only those people who walk the path of “Adharma”, who stand in the line to be destroyed. We’ve already witnessed this earlier – The world would not be destroyed any sooner. It is all crores and crores of years away from now. The world would undergo destruction only if Bhagawan Brahma’s Satya Lokha’s daytime should come to an end. At that point in time, there would be a “Pralaya-Kaala” (Time of mass destruction). At a point wherein Bhagawan Brahma Himself ceases to exist, the world would go through a “Maha-Pralaya”. (Extreme destruction). All this is never close to where we are right now, and readers should make this point very clear.

In fact, there are four categories of “Pralaya-Kaalas”. The first category is called “Nitya-Pralaya”. This happens at the end of every human being’s birth in this world. All of us take birth in this world, live for 80-90 years and then ease to exist, isn’t it? At the end of all our births, this “Nitya-Pralaya” happens. Thus, this Pralaya-Kaala happens only on an individual level and not at a mass level. Next in line is “Praakruta-Pralaya”. This is what we’ve discussed in the previous paragraph. When Bhagawan Brahma’s “daytime” comes to an end, the three Lokhas – Bhoo Lokha, Bhuvar Lokha and Suvar Lokha comes to an end. This is called “Praakruta-Pralaya”. This happens when a set of thousand “Chatur-Yugas” come to an end and when the next thousand “Chatur-Yugas” commence. As this commences, Bhagawan Brahma again creates the whole world, and this would keep continuing. Thus, even at the end of the “Praakruta-Pralaya”, the world is still going to exist and will continue to live with all living beings in it. There is the next category of “Pralaya-Kaala” – The third one – “Avaantara Pralaya” – Wherein, Bhagawan Brahma Himself would have to come to an end. This is where, the entire world – Along with the Satya Lokha too, would cease to exist. The final one – “Aathyantika Pralaya” is the one wherein all the “Jeevaatmas” in this world at various corners would finish off all their “Paapa-Punya Karma” and reach Vaikunta. There would be a state wherein no living being would be in this world and all of them would have reached “Moksha”. This is the time when the “Aathyantika Pralaya” would happen.

Thus, we can witness here that the first and the fourth ones – “Nitya-Pralaya” and the “Aathyantika-Pralaya” happen at an individual level and the second and third ones – the “Avaantara Pralaya and “Praakruta-Pralaya” happens at a mass level. Readers shouldn’t get confused with these four categorizations. Thus, continuing with the accord of Sage Sukhaachaarya, Bhagawan Kalki would completely destroy Adharma in this world, and with the remaining people who are ardent followers of “Dharma”, Bhagawan would again create the “Krita Yuga” and establish it. Thus, we understand here that after the advent of the Kali Yuga, the Krita Yuga would commence again. At this point in time, as we’ve witnessed earlier, the population in the world would be bare minimal. We’ve witnessed this at the start of the previous Krita Yuga itself isn’t it – Wherein Svaayambhuva Manu started his job of creating the world. Readers should recollect this important episode in the beginning and this is how the world would go into the next cycle, starting from the Krita Yuga again.

So for today, let us understand these important points and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂