Episode # 605 – “Atma-Kshemam” vs. “Shareera-Kshemam” – Which is more important?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the culmination of the Sage-Dhurvasa – Yudishtra – Draupati event wherein we had discussed some key learnings that we can imbibe from it. First and foremost, it is important that we serve our guests properly when they visit our place. Second, we should provide the best hospitality to those who are visiting us. Third, even if we do not have anything with us to serve, we should make that dedicated effort to prepare something and serve them. The first two things atleast, many of us might perform, however the third point is a bit difficult – If we do not have something at home and if we’ve to serve guests, we would start showing faces, we would start getting frustrated, etc. If it is the worst case scenario, we will conveniently say that we cannot serve them anything since we do not have anything at home! Of course, even if we give a negative answer, most of the people would understand our difficulty and might not take it in a big way. However, we’ve to remember that by skipping the practice, we’re deviating from our path of “Dharma”. If we do not have anything, atleast we can give them a tea / coffee or some light snacks or biscuits! Or at the worst, we can simply buy some batter from a shop, prepare some idlis and offer the guests. Such things aren’t very difficult to do, but many times, we become complacent and lazy. This is the problem with all of us. Hence, by going through this particular event, we should realize how important it is to serve people who come in search of us. We should make sure that we nourish them with the best of the best food that we can offer. 

Sometimes we have this practice too – If we have a scarce quantity of food items and if we’re in a situation to serve a guest, what will we do? Our natural tendency is to apportion a small amount of that scarce food item for ourselves, and then serve the rest of the food, isn’t it? This is what we should not do. Instead, we should completely serve whatever the guest asks for and should not bother about what is leftover for us! This is the highest level of hospitality that we can offer! Even if the offering is a small amount of rice grains with a simple vegetable, it should first be offered to Bhagawan and then to guests if any, and only after all this, we should consume the offering. These are certain important points that Yudishtra highlights through this event. Thus, the key learning here is very simple – “Atma-Kshemam” is more important than the “Shareera-Kshemam”. The phrase “Shareera-Kshemam” means enjoyments / pleasures for our physical body and “Atma-Kshemam” means enjoyments / pleasures for our “Atman”. If we’re only looking at our “Shareera-Kshemam”, our “Atma-Kshemam” will go for a toss! The problem today is that, wherever we go, “Shareera-Kshemam” gains a lot of prominence. Even inside our house, we make sure that all our household equipment is “user-friendly” for our physical body. For instance, when we go to the bathroom to take a bath, there is a shower on the top, which provides us with water directly on our body! We don’t even need to bend down, take a mug full of water and pour it upon our body. Nowadays, the time has come that if we bend down, we get back pain! Actually, the reason for back pain is not because we’re bending down. We’re getting back pain only because we’re not doing any sort of bending down for anything in life! There is no physical activity / exercise at all in today’s world as most of the jobs are in front of the computer! We hardly even get up and walk! This is why all the problems surface in our physical body. If we constantly keep walking, bending down to do household work, etc. our “Shareera-Kshemam” is automatically taken care of. This is what is in fact, the real “Shareera-Kshemam”. In the olden days, people rarely had the problem of diabetes, stress, hypertension, blood pressure, etc. and this is because, they performed a lot of physical work and without much worries. Even though their hands and legs were doing a lot of work, their minds were focused on Bhagawan and this takes care of the “Atma-Kshemam”. They never had worries and tension on worldly affairs like how we have today! 

Thus, the point here is very simple – Both “Shareera-Kshemam” and “Atma-Kshemam” are important for us, however, “Atma-Kshemam” should gain more and more prominence as we advance spiritually. So for today, let us understand this point and with this, Bhagawan Krishna also takes leave from Yudishtra’s place. Let us wait till the next episode to witness what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 604 – Key learning for us from the Sage Dhurvasa – Yudishtra anecdote!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Yudishtra is meticulously following the path of “Dharma” even though the path is hard. He is sacrificing his hunger to wait for Sage Dhurvasa to arrive, although he knows that Sage Dhurvasa has already left mid-way. This impresses Bhagawan Krishna a lot and even after Bhagawan Krishna tries to tempt Yudishtra to call off his waiting, Yudishtra doesn’t give in. This is the important lesson that all of us should learn from such episodes in the Mahabharata. We’ve just witnessed how Mudgala followed the path of “Dharma” by waiting for fifteen days for one sumptuous meal. Even in that, if a guest comes home, serving the guest becomes the top priority and his meal takes a backseat. It was the same Sage Dhurvasa who tested Mudgala as well and here is Sage Dhurvasa again to test Yudishtra too! However, with the divine intervention of Bhagawan Krishna, Yudishtra’s “Dharma” is being protected. 

From this, we’ve to understand one important lesson too – If we’re steadfast in our practices and in our path towards “Dharma”, Bhagawan will always stand with us like a rock! At times, even if our path of “Dharma” is quite dangerous to walk through, Bhagawan will always come to our rescue. If our “Dharma” is under threat, Bhagawan will rush towards us to intervene. This is exactly what happened with Yudishtra and Draupati too here, isn’t it? When Yudishtra had given his promise to Sage Dhurvasa that he would serve him and his disciples a sumptuous meal, he gave the promise without even realizing that the kitchen was empty! Given this fact, how will Draupati serve all of them? Where will they go for procuring all the raw materials for preparing the food for everyone? This is where Bhagawan Krishna intervened. If there is a danger along the path of “Dharma” which Yudishtra is following, at every instance in the Mahabharata we would be able to see Bhagawan Krishna’s divine intervention. This is not the first place where we’re seeing this happening. Right from the childhood days of Yudishtra and Co. whenever they faced problems, Bhagawan Krishna will always come for their rescue. We’ve seen this happening during the wax palace episode, as to how Bhagawan Krishna timely sent Vidura and his assistant to bail the Paandavas out of the great danger of being burnt down! Subsequently, all of us know what happened during the gambling game – How Draupati was saved and protected by Bhagawan Krishna! We’ve also seen how Bhagawan Krishna frequently visited Yudishtra and Co. when they were ruling the Indraprastha kingdom before the gambling game occurred. 

Thus, at every instance, whenever the Paandavas are facing difficulty, Bhagawan Krishna will always rally behind them. Now why is He doing so? It is only because of the fact that the Paandava brothers stood by the “Dharma” path at every point in time. Especially Yudishtra, who is an epitome of “Dharma” – How can Bhagawan keep quiet by refraining from helping him out at crucial times? Yudishtra is putting that meticulous effort of practising “Dharma”, isn’t he? So he should be rewarded for it, isn’t it? This is where Bhagawan plays an important role. He will not interfere in any way with any of our actions, but if He finds credibility, honesty and sincerity in whatever we’re doing, and when things are taking the tough route, Bhagawan will come up to us with His divine intervention! Bhagawan is like a leader or a CEO of an organization – Unless and until things are going fine in the company, the CEO will not interfere unwantedly in the everyday activities. However, when he / she senses that something is going wrong, it is only then the CEO will intervene and find out what is happening, isn’t it? Similarly here also, if everything goes well, Bhagawan will never intervene and this is why He has gifted us with all our six senses! It is up to us to use our intellect and follow the path of “Dharma” as prescribed by Bhagawan. If we’re deviating from it, Bhagawan will not intervene unnecessarily. He will however keep giving us chances to mend our ways and improve ourselves. However, if we’re not improving, Bhagawan will finally take the stick in the hand! 

So this is the important learning that all of us have to imbibe from this Yudishtra-Draupati-Sage Dhurvasa episode and for today let us reflect upon this and consciously take efforts to mend our ways towards the path of “Dharma”! We shall wait till the next episode to move on further with our discussion! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 603 – Yudishtra waits for Sage Dhurvasa’s arrival as prescribed by the “Dharma Shaastra”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna providing His divine “Anugraha” to Yudishtra and Draupati for walking the path of “Dharma” even during tough times. Even as there was no food in the kitchen, Yudishtra and Draupati were steadfast in offering a sumptuous meal to Sage Dhurvasa. As the kitchen was completely empty, Draupati helplessly called out for Bhagawan Krishna, who rushed to help her as He had done many times in the past. As Bhagawan Krishna consumed that one small food grain of rice sticking to the vessel, the hunger of Sage Dhurvasa and his 10,000-odd disciples flew away and they started feeling over-full! This made all of them rush away from Yudishtra’s place once and for all! However, Yudishtra is still waiting for Sage Dhurvasa’s arrival so that he can offer Sage Dhurvasa the meal that he had promised earlier. Since Sage Dhurvasa isn’t seen anywhere, Sahadeva goes in search of him, only to come back empty-handed! Sage Dhurvasa had left that place once and for all! Even then, Yudishtra waits for Sage Dhurvasa’s arrival as prescribed in the “Dharma-Shaastra” – There is a stipulated time up to which it is mandatory to wait for the guest to arrive, before serving food to him / her. 

Upon seeing this, Bhagawan Krishna is mighty impressed! Even though Bhagawan Krishna is testing Yudishtra and tempting him to end his wait for Sage Dhurvasa, Yudishtra is not someone who will compromise on his “Dharma” and promise! He keeps waiting! This is the gross difference between Yudishtra and all of us! If we were in Yudishtra’s spot, what we would have done? If we hear that Sage Dhurvasa had left the place, immediately we would be waiting for a chance to consume our meal, isn’t it? 🙂 In the “Dharma-Shaastra”, it is clearly mentioned that if we’ve given assurance to someone for offering food, and if that person is not turning up, we should wait for a minimum of 20 minutes. If we’re offering “Naivedhya” to Bhagawan, we’ve to wait for atleast 20 minutes to see if anybody is visiting us. If that happens, we should offer the “Prasadham” to them first, before we consuming it. These are all some noble practices prescribed by our “Sanaathana Dharma” and as ardent followers, we should make sure that we implement these practices. Of course, with the passage of time and with a lot of commitments and lack of time, we might skip a few, but this should not become an excuse to escape from practising “Dharma”. Atleast on an “Ekadashi” day in every month we should try and fast and on the next “Dvaadashi” day we should offer something to someone as a “Dhaanam” before we consume food. If that is not possible, we can always offer the “Agatthi Keerai” (Spinach) to a cow on the “Dvaadashi” day before we consume food. These are all some best practices which we should adopt in our lives. As I’ve mentioned this earlier as well, feeding a cow gives us enormous benefits for our spiritual growth and we should follow it meticulously. Even if we’re unable to do it everyday, we should atleast follow these practices once or twice every month when the “Ekadashi” and “Dvaadashi” falls. These practices would definitely bring a lot of positivity and happiness in our lives and never will these practices fail us at any time. When we go through difficult times in our lives (Which all of us will go through at different times for sure), all these benefits of our spiritual practices that we perform will manifest and protect us. We might not be able to see tangible benefits of all these practices immediately and this might demotivate us from performing them. However, we should understand here that spiritual practices will always offer long-term benefits which are intangible in nature. We should always remember this point clearly as we move on from here. 

So, the important learning from this event is how Yudishtra is following the path of “Dharma” meticulously and even if Sage Dhurvasa had left, he makes sure that he waits for him as prescribed by the “Dharma Shaastra”. So for today, let us understand this important point and let us also wait along with Yudishtra for the arrival of Sage Dhurvasa. Is he really going to come back? What is Bhagawan Krishna going to do next? Stay tuned for the next episode for updates! 🙂 

Episode # 602 – Sage Dhurvasa leaves straightaway without returning to Yudishtra’s place!!!

We’re at an important juncture wherein Bhagawan Krishna is bailing out Draupati and Yudishtra from a tricky situation! Sage Dhurvasa and his disciples had gone for a freshening up, before they would be back at Yudishtra’s place for a sumptuous dinner, as promised by Yudishtra! However, when Yudishtra comes to know that Draupati had already finished her meal for the day, he is in a fix as to how do they serve all of them. At this time, Bhagawan Krishna arrives timely, thanks to the ardent prayers of Draupati. Bhagawan Krishna, as we’ve witnessed in the previous episode, consumes that one last food grain sticking on to the “Akshaya Paatra” of Draupati, which satisfies His hunger completely! As Bhagawan Krishna’s hunger gets satisfied, Sage Dhurvasa and his other disciples too feel that they’re already stomach-full! With this, the 10,000-odd disciples feel that it is time for them to leave Yudishtra’s place, even without having the meal. Sage Dhurvasa too feels the same, but he is now scared as to whether he would be undermining Yudishtra’s “Dharma”. He is now in a fix clearly! What does Sage Dhurvasa do? Let us witness in today’s episode! 

As the disciples feel more and more stomach-full, they are unable to bear that feeling. They start choking and their feeling of leaving the place immediately is getting stronger and stronger by the minute. Even as Sage Dhurvasa tries to convince them that they should atleast visit Yudishtra for a few minutes before leaving, the disciples aren’t really ready to pay heed to Sage Dhurvasa’s words. Understanding the situation thus, Sage Dhurvasa too decides to leave, as he is also increasingly feeling the same! Hence, Sage Dhurvasa and Co. make a decision to bypass Yudishtra’s place and leave straightaway from the riverbank where they had their shower. As they take leave, Yudishtra and Co. meanwhile are waiting for Sage Dhurvasa’s arrival. Time is running out, and there are no signs of Sage Dhurvasa and his disciples returning back! The ploy of Bhagawan Krishna has clearly worked out! As Bhagawan Krishna’s hunger was arrested by that one small rice grain, Sage Dhurvasa’s hunger too was automatically arrested! This is how Bhagawan protects those people who walk the path of “Dharma”! 

Meanwhile, as Yudishtra’s patience is running out, he starts feeling concerned. What happened to Sage Dhurvasa and his people? Are they safe? Are they facing any problem anywhere? Having all these questions in mind, Yudishtra sends his brother Sahadeva to find out what really happened and where Sage Dhurvasa is. Sahadeva goes in search of all of them, only to see the river bank completely empty! Upon seeing this, Sahadeva couldn’t understand anything. He goes around further in search and starts enquiring with some people around. As he enquires, Sahadeva finds out that all of them who were taking shower, had already taken leave! Unable to decipher where all of them went, Sahadeva comes back to Yudishtra and reports his findings! Meanwhile, Bhagawan Krishna is still sitting with all of them and casually chatting. Bhagawan Krishna jokingly asks thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Oh Sahadeva! Why isn’t Sage Dhurvasa returning back? What is he doing there at the riverbank? For how long will he take a shower? All of us have to get ready for the next meal for the day, isn’t it? Aren’t you all feeling hungry already? It has been a lot of time since we’re waiting!” 

As Bhagawan Krishna wantedly asks thus, Yudishtra still sticks to his “Dharma”! He gives a beautiful answer to Bhagawan Krishna here – “Oh Bhagawan! Yes. Sage Dhurvasa is taking time to return. However, we should not consume food as yet. In the “Dharma-Shaastra” there is a stipulated timing for which we’ve to wait for a guest to return back before consuming food. We’ve not crossed that time yet! So let us patiently wait for Sage Dhurvasa to come back!” As Bhagawan Krishna hears this from Yudishtra, He is overjoyed! He again replies back thus, “Oh Yudishtra! I don’t think Sage Dhurvasa would come back. Sahadeva too is reporting that he had already left. Hence, let us get ready for our next meal!” Even as Bhagawan Krishna repeatedly assures this way, Yudishtra isn’t convinced! He wants to stick to his “Dharma” whatsoever, even if Bhagawan Himself reassures of the situation. This is how Yudishra is! So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall continue this discussion further in the next episode! Stay tuned 🙂 

Episode # 602 – Sage Dhurvasa & his disciples feel “full” after Bhagwan Krishna’s hunger is satisfied!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a critical juncture wherein Bhagawan Krishna gives a grand entry into the home of Draupati and Paandavas. Bhagawan Krishna makes His way urgently to meet Draupati and Yudishtra on the pretext of Draupati’s ardent Bhakti and prayer. As Bhagawan Krishna arrives, He quickly understands what is going on and creates a beautiful “Leela”. He proclaims that He’s extremely hungry owing to the long travel that He had to do to meet them. However, as we know, Draupati did not have anything to offer from the kitchen! The entire kitchen is empty and Sage Dhurvasa too is on his way to have a sumptuous meal at Draupati’s place! Now when Bhagawan Krishna tries to complicate the issue further, Draupati loses herself and cries with complete “Sharanagathi” to Bhagawan Krishna’s divine lotus feet. Acknowledging Draupati’s helplessness, Bhagawan Krishna asks her to bring the empty “Akshaya Paatra” from the kitchen and Draupati obeys. Even though the vessel is empty, to her utter dismay, there is just one rice grain sticking to the corner of the vessel, unwashed! As Bhagawan Krishna spots this, He quickly consumes it and makes fun of Draupati by saying that she can cook very nice food, but she doesn’t know how to wash the dishes properly! 

As Bhagawan Krishna consumes that one food grain, His hunger comes to a grinding halt! He gives a satisfied look, which Yudishtra and Draupati couldn’t understand! As Yudishtra asks Bhagawan Krishna for an explanation, Bhagawan explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Oh Draupati! Do you really think that this small food grain filled my stomach and satisfied my acute hunger? Absolutely not! I have the entire world under my control and this one small food grain is just a miniscule of what I own in this world! However, what actually quenched my hunger was your unconditional surrender and Bhakti that you showed towards me. Oh Draupati! Please understand one thing – It was me who saved you during the time when you were being molested in the public courtroom by Ducchaasana. If I can do that, why can’t I protect you now? Hence, I came running to meet you because you called for my intervention with your ardent and pure Bhakti! Now please do not worry! Sage Dhurvasa will not be having that hunger in him to consume food at your place!” 

At the same time when Bhagawan Krishna says this, Sage Dhurvasa’s 10,000 disciples who had gone to take a shower are starting to have a feeling that they’ve consumed an excessive amount of food! Their stomachs are completely full and they feel that the food is choking their throats! Surprised by this feeling, all of them slowly walk towards Yudishtra’s place along with Sage Dhurvasa. As they walk slowly, all of them ask Sage Dhurvasa thus, “Oh Guru! Shall we start from here as quickly as possible? We don’t think that we need any meal from Yudishtra’s place as our stomachs are already so full and brimming!” As the disciples ask thus, Sage Dhurvasa doesn’t understand what is going on all of a sudden! He replies thus, “Oh disciples! How can we leave without having any food at Yudishtra’s home? Won’t that be a breach of Yudishtra’s “Dharma”? What would he feel? Won’t he think that he has deviated from his “Dharma” of serving the Maharishis? In fact, I’m also having that “full” feeling in my stomach!” 

Saying thus, Sage Dhurvasa is now in fear instead of Yudishtra, who actually was shaking with fear until a few minutes ago! On one hand, Sage Dhurvasa feels so full and so are his disciples! They are in no position to consume any further food! However, on the other hand, if they do not consume food, Yudishtra’s “Dharma” would be grossly disobeyed, and the blame will come on Sage Dhurvasa for not acting as per the “Dharma”! Now what does Sage Dhurvasa do, as the tables turn around? Let us wait for an interesting accord in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 601 – Draupati’s “Bhakti” & “Sharanagati” satisfies Bhagawan Krishna’s hunger!!!

We’re in the midst of a very interesting event that is unfolding with Draupati and the Paandava brothers wherein Sage Dhurvasa and his 10,000 disciples have arrived at their place at an odd time. This is the time when there is no food to serve any of the guests who had come, including Sage Dhurvasa. Shaking with fear as to how this situation could be handled, Draupati prays to Bhagawan Krishna for His divine intervention, just like she did while she was being unstripped at the Hastinapura palace during the gambling game. When an ardent “Bhakta” prays to Bhagawan with so much of devotion and helplessness, how can Bhagawan not respond? He immediately comes to the rescue of Draupati and Yudishtra. However, Bhagawan Krishna wants to play a small “Leela” here. He exclaims to Draupati that He is extremely hungry owing to the long travel from Dwaraka to the forest where these people are residing. However, Draupati says to Bhagawan that she doesn’t have anything to serve Him! But Bhagawan Krishna is adamant! He wants something to eat desperately! As Draupati breaks down, Bhagawan Krishna requests her to bring that “Akshaya Paatra” from the kitchen, which she claims to have been washed and stored after the day’s meal is over. However, Bhagawan Krishna insists Draupati to bring it. 

Reluctantly getting up from her chair, Draupati walks towards the kitchen and brings the “Akshaya Paatra” to Bhagawan Krishna. As Draupati walks towards the kitchen, Bhagawan Krishna jokingly says to her thus, “Oh Draupati! I know something about you – You are very good at cooking, but you’re not very good at washing the dishes!” As Bhagawan says thus, He laughs out loud and all the others too join the laughter, including Draupati. Thus, Bhagawan consoles Draupati and as she brings the “Akshaya Paatra” in her hands, Bhagawan Krishna looks at her deeply! He is now desperate in hunger and He urgently wants something to consume. However, what is coming towards Him is an empty vessel! As Draupati comes and hands over  the vessel, Bhagawan Krishna receives it with both His divine hands and as expected, Draupati had not washed it properly! There is just one grain of rice sticking to the edge of the vessel! Bhagawan Krishna quickly spots that small grain of rice, takes it in His divine fingers and consumes it! As Bhagawan Krishna consumes that small grain of rice, His hunger comes down drastically! He is no longer hungry at all! 

As Bhagawan Krishna does so, He declares to Draupati thus, “Oh Draupati! Thank you for the wonderful meal that you’ve served me today! You’ve eradicated my hunger completely!” As Bhagawan Krishna says thus, nobody understood what was going on! Draupati is shell-shocked! She immediately quips thus, “Oh Bhagawan! You’ve not taken anything! I’ve not served you anything! All what you’ve done is consume that one small grain of rice that was sticking to the vessel! With that, how do you conclude that your hunger has come down? Are you making fun of me or are you trying to console me with your answer? Your answer makes me feel even more guilty! I’m unable to hold myself back! Oh Krishna! You’ve come all the way paying heed to my prayer and here I am, without any capacity to serve you the way you wanted me to serve! Why is this happening?” 

As Draupati cries thus, she surrenders herself to Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet! Acknowledging Draupati’s unconditional and pure surrender, Bhagawan Krishna explains His answer in a detailed manner. He says thus, “Oh Draupati! I know how devoted you are towards me and this is why I came running all the way to help you. Oh Draupati! Do you think that the small quantity of food that you would have served me would have filled up my stomach and made my hunger subside? I have the entire world under my control. Whatever is there as part of nature – Fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. are all mine and I was the one who created everything! Do you really think that this one grain of rice fulfilled my hunger? Not at all! Your “Bhakti” and your “Sharanaagati” towards me were the ones that fulfilled my hunger and not the little grain of rice. Even if you would have made a sumptuous meal for me, but without Bhakti, my hunger might not have got satisfied at all! Hence, please do not worry! Everything is taken care of!” 

Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna acknowledges Draupati’s unconditional surrender and devotion! This is an important lesson for all of us – Our unconditional surrender and Bhakti are the ones that make Bhagawan melt with joy and not what we offer Him as materials! So for today, let us ponder over this point and we shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 600 – Draupati prays for Bhagawan Krishna’s divine intervention to feed Sage Dhurvasa!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Dhurvasa arriving at Yudishtra’s place along with his 10,000 disciples! This is on the pretext of Duryodhana’s request to Sage Dhurvasa that he should visit Yudishtra’s place at a time when he and his people would be resting after their sumptuous meal for the day. Although Duryodhana prayed to Sage Dhurvasa that he should go and advise Yudishtra on certain aspects of “Dharma”, his malicious agenda is out in the open – He wanted Sage Dhurvasa to go at an odd time, so that Yudishtra and Draupati would struggle to feed him with a meal. This is because, the “Akshaya Paatra” would stop delivering food once Draupati has completed her meal for the day. However, Sage Dhurvasa realizes Duryodhana’s real agenda behind this plan, but still executes Duryodhana’s words. Sage Dhurvasa knows that Yudishtra should be protected at any cost and this is Duryodhana’s ploy to make him curse Yudishtra and Co. 

As Sage Dhurvasa arrives, Yudishtra facilitates him with good hospitality and requests Sage Dhurvasa to freshen up before being served a sumptuous meal. He gives this assurance without realizing that Draupati had already completed her meal! However, when Yudishtra goes to the kitchen, he comes to know the situation! They do not have anything left over to serve Sage Dhurvasa and his disciples! Now what do they do? Draupati starts shivering with fear! What if she has to say a “No” to Sage Dhurvasa and what if Sage Dhurvasa curses all of them as he is highly short-tempered? Now what does Draupati do? She immediately realizes that she has fallen into a trap here and whenever she falls into such a trap, the only thing that she remembers is to think of Bhagawan Krishna! Draupati has been doing this right from her early days – We’ve witnessed this during the gambling game episode as well – When Draupati was being manhandled by Ducchaasana in the public courtroom, the only thing that she remembered is Sage Vasishtaachaarya’s advice, which is nothing but praying to Bhagawan Krishna for help! Draupati followed Sage Vaishstaachaarya’s words and all of us know what happened there. Now again, this is a test for Drauapati’s devotion. As she realizes that this is a trap that she is getting into, she immediately raises her hands and prays thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I know that I’m getting into a trap wherein Sage Dhurvasa has come at an odd time and I do not have anything to serve him! Now what do I do? Oh Bhagawan! Please get me out of this tricky situation unharmed! My husbands should not be affected in any way because of Sage Dhurvasa!”

As Draupati prays ardently thus, Bhagawan Krishna hears it! He is somewhere in Dwaraka and Draupati is nowhere close to where Bhagawan Krishna is. But still, if Bhagawan has to hear Draupati’s ardent prayer, we can understand how in-depth is Draupati’s devotion towards Bhagawan Krishna! Thus, even as Bhagawan is talking with Rukmini Devi, he immediately cuts her off and rushes towards the place where Draupati and Co. are residing! As Draupati opens her eyes, she is surprised to see Bhagawan Krishna standing in front of her! She doesn’t know how to react to this, and she falls on Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet seeking His divine “Anugraha”! As Draupati consoles herself, Bhagawan Krishna wants to play a divine “Leela” here. He tells Draupati thus, “Oh Draupati! I’ve come running all the way just because you called me for something! I’m very hungry and tired. So please, can you serve me some food?” 

As Draupati listens to these words from Bhagawan Krishna, she is once again shell-shocked! Now how does she deny food for Bhagawan? Mustering up her courage, Draupati replies to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Krishna! Oh Vasudeva! Oh Devaki-Nandana! My heart is full of gratitude towards you for answering my prayer immediately! However, please understand one thing – There is no food leftover and this is the reason why I called you! Sage Dhurvasa has come and I do not have anything to serve him. Now if you’re asking for food as well, where would I go for it?” As Draupati replies thus, Bhagawan Krishna quickly replies back: “Oh Draupati! I do not know what you will do now! But I’m extremely hungry! I need some food urgently! Do something to feed me and to quench my hunger!” As Bhagawan Krishna replies thus, Draupati doesn’t know what to do and she breaks down in front of Him! She doesn’t know how to react and she feels guilty for not being able to satisfy her Bhagawan at a time when He needs the most! 

As Draupati weeps thus, Bhagawan immediately consoles her and explains to her thus – “Oh Draupati! You go inside the kitchen and bring that “Akshaya Paatra”! I shall do the rest!” Even as Bhagawan Krishna says thus, Draupati doesn’t understand the “Sookshama” (Secret) behind His words. She immediately replies back, “Oh Krishna! I’ve already washed the utensil and stored it! What are you going to do with an empty vessel? Now don’t make me feel more and more guilty with your words! Please understand my situation!” As Draupati says thus, Bhagawan Krishna replies, “Oh Draupati! Do what I say! Please bring the “Akshaya Paatra”! I know you’re not very good at washing dishes! Let me see how you’ve washed it today!” As Bhagawan Krishna firmly says thus, Draupati now has no option but to bring the vessel. 

So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this interesting discussion further! Stay tuned for updates! 🙂 

Episode # 599 – Sage Dhurvasa arrives at Yudishtra’s place along with his 10,000 disciples!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Duryodhana requesting Sage Dhurvasa for a boon. As Sage Dhurvasa is very happy with Duryodhana’s hospitality at Hastinapura, he wants Duryodhana to ask something from him and he can grant it to Duryodhana. Excited by this, Duryodhana once again gets into a huddle with Karna, Ducchaasana, Sahuni and the others and finally come to the conclusion thus – Sage Dhurvasa should visit the Paandavas at a time when Draupati would have finished serving the meal for the day to everyone from the “Akshaya Paatra”. We’ve already seen earlier in our previous episodes that the “Akshaya Paatra” is the divine vessel that is feeding the Paandavas and Draupati every day in the forest and it was gifted to them by Indra, who is the leader of the Devas. The only limitation with the “Akshaya Paatra” is that, after Draupati finishes her meal, it will stop generating food! Duryodhana knows this very well, and this is exactly the reason why he wants Sage Dhurvasa to visit the Paandavas in the forest after the time Draupati finishes her meal. In this way, the Paandavas will not have anything to serve him, and hence, Sage Dhurvasa, as we know, is a short-tempered person, will inflict a curse on Yudishtra for the lack of hospitality! This is the plan that Duryodhana is making! 

However, Sage Dhurvasa being a great Maharishi realizes Duryodhana’s ploy. Of course, he doesn’t show it out to Duryodhana, but he plans his trip to meet Yudishtra in such a way that he is in no way affected by any means. Sage Dhurvasa accepts Duryodhana’s request and agrees to meet Yudishtra as per Duryodhana’s protocol and this makes Duryodhana and Co. rejoice with happiness! Karna gets up immediately to congratulate Dhuryodhana for his “smart” move! The entire Kaurava camp is now very happy that the Paandava brothers are going to be finished! Have they finally found a way to restrict Yudishtra now? Or, is this move going to backfire? Let us continue to witness! 

As Sage Dhurvasa leaves the place, he makes a plan. As per Duryodhana’s request, he makes his way to meet Yudishtra, at a time when all of them have finished their meal for the day. As Yudishtra sees Sage Dhurvasa coming, he runs with excitement to receive him. He offers all the “Argyam”, “Paadhyam”, “Aachamaneeyam”, etc. as a token of respect to the great Sage and welcomes him inside with great hospitality. Along with Sage Dhurvasa, around 10,000 of his disciples have accompanied him. Excited as Yudishtra was, he also gives a promise to Sage Dhurvasa thus, “Oh Sage Dhurvasa! You please make yourself comfortable at our place and maybe if you wish to, you may go and take a shower and freshen yourself up. Once you’re freshened up, all of you will be served a sumptuous dinner!” Yudishtra gives his promise like this, without even consulting Draupati! Such is the level of “Dharma” that Yudishtra exhibits. He doesn’t even know what is remaining in the kitchen, yet, he is determined to serve all those people who have come to meet him. 

However, now here comes the shock for Yudishtra. As Sage Dhurvasa and Co. leave for taking bath, Yudishtra goes into the kitchen and sees what is remaining and he is completely stunned to see that nothing is left over! Draupati had already consumed her share of meal for the day and with this, the “Akshaya Paatra” would stop generating food for the day! As Draupati conveys to Yudishtra that she had consumed the meal, both Draupati and Yudishtra are shaking with fear! How would they serve Sage Dhurvasa now? It is not only about Sage Dhurvasa! He has come with all his disciples too, isn’t it? Not one or two – But ten thousand people have accompanied Sage Dhurvasa! Now, how does Draupati serve all these ten thousand people at a stretch, given that the “Akshaya Paatra” is not going to generate any more food for the day? 

Thus, a tricky situation awaits Yudishtra! On one hand, he has to safeguard his “Dharma” of serving food to all those who had come! On the other hand, he has to also endure the fact that there is no food left over and there is no possibility that food can be cooked immediately for 10,000 people! Yudishtra is clearly caught between two roads! Now what does he do? What does Draupati do to tackle this situation? Let us wait and witness in the next episode! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂 

Episode # 598 – Duuryodhana “requests” Sage Dhurvasa to meet Yudishtra & Co. in the forest!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a sudden visit of Sage Dhurvasa to Hastinapura. This happens at a time when Duryodhana and Co. are in a deep thought process as to how to go about things with Yudishtra. Duryodhana is thinking hard as to how he should go about stopping Yudishtra from claiming the Indraprastha kingdom back from his fold. Should he go once again on the offensive against Yudishtra and Co.? Should he call them for a war? Or, should he adopt other ways and means to finish off Yudishtra and Co. in the forest itself? As Duryodhana thinks thus, Sahuni gives the idea quite as usual – Sahuni explains that war isn’t a good option at this moment against the Paandavas. Instead, there should be another smart way of tackling them, just like how they used the gambling game to their benefit. Now, of course, given various constraints, the gambling ploy cannot be used anymore. So what can be the other options? After a thought, Sahuni concludes that the only way to stop Yudishtra and Co. is to make them obtain a curse from a Brahmarishi. If such a thing happens, perhaps, Yudishtra might be on the backfoot. 

As the Kauravas keep discussing thus, Sage Dhurvasa walks in, and Duryodhana is very happy to receive him with all the hospitality and respect! Duryodhana’s agenda is very clear now – To use Sage Dhurvasa and make him inflict a curse on Yudishtra and Co.! Astonished by Duryodhana’s hospitality, Sage Dhurvasa requests Duryodhana to request for a boon or a wish, which he could immediately grant. With this, Duryodhana is overjoyed! What kind of an opportunity he has got now! It seems like Bhagawan had showered him with all the grace! As Sage Dhurvasa says thus, Duryodhana replies back: “Oh great Sage Dhurvasa! Thank you for your wonderful words. However, I’m not interested in asking you anything all by myself. I shall consult with my fellow mates and then get back to you with any request if they have any! Please give me some time!” As Duryodhana requests thus, Sage Dhurvasa too agreed to wait for Duryodhana to come to him with an answer. 

Accordingly, Duryodhana immediately calls for a meeting with Karna, Ducchaasana, Sahuni and the others and discusses the matter with them. The deliberation amongst them is about what does Duryodhana ask from Sage Dhurvasa and how can they make use of this golden opportunity to trick the Paandavas into Sage Dhurvasa’s anger. If Sage Dhurvasa gets angry quickly, he would inflict a curse on Yudishtra and this would aid Duryodhana’s cause, isn’t it? Hence, a plan is made and the meeting concludes. Duryodhana comes out with his proposal. He asks Sage Dhurvasa thus, “Oh great Sage Dhurvasa! I do not have anything big to ask from you! However, my only request goes like this: The Paandava brothers are unfortunately roaming around in the forest from place to place. You go in search of them to give them some nice “Updaesham” (Advice). I want you to go and give them a piece of advice, since you’re an epitome of “Dharma” yourself! However, I want you to go immediately after all of them have finished their meal for the day. It is only then they would be free, and you can talk to them patiently without any tension. Hence, Sage Dhurvasa! Please do this for me!” 

As Duryodhana says thus, Sage Dhurvasa quickly understands Duryodhana’s intention! The intention is very clear – After Draupati finishes serving everyone for the day and after she finishes her meal, the “Akshaya Paatra” with which she makes the food would stop serving further! If Sage Dhurvasa makes his way after the meal, Draupati would not be able to serve him anything, and hence, Sage Dhurvasa would become angry with this, and hence, would curse all of them! However, Sage Dhurvasa understands the secret ploy of Duryodhana very clearly! He now plans his way through and accepts Duroyodhana’s request and words. Now Sage Dhurvasa should make his way to meet the Paandava brothers as per Duryodhana’s direction! 

So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till tomorrow’s episode to find out how Sage Dhurvasa approached Yudishtra and Co.! What happens as Sage Dhurvasa meets Yudishtra? Stay tuned for interesting updates! 🙂 

Episode # 597 – Sage Dhurvasa comes to meet Duryodhana & Co. at Hastinapura!!!

In the previous episode we had witnessed how Mudgala had rejected the offer made by the “Deva Dhootas” to transcend to the “Svarga Lokha” for all the “Punya-Karma” he had done in his current birth. However, since Mudgala was firm in his path of “Dharma”, he did not want to transcend to a “Lokha” which is merely for enjoying luxuries. He wanted to continue his “Dharma” and reach the highest “Moksha” wherein he would enjoy the permanent happiness and bliss in the divine presence of Bhagawan Vishnu. Sage Vyaasa explains all this to Yudishtra and advises him to stay patient and exhibit perseverance. Sage Vyaasa explains that if Yudishtra has to continue walking the path of “Dharma”, he needs to wait for things to happen, rather than jumping in to make things happen. This is an important point for all of us as well. If we’ve to achieve long-term success, which is along the path of “Dharma” we need to wait. We’ve to endure a lot, but these endurances are stepping stones for long-term success. We should not get disappointed and should not lose our heart with all these intermediate sufferings that we’ve to undergo in life. We’ve to have that courage to face anything that comes up in life. 

Moving on thus with the next content, we now get into the next “Parva” which is called “Draupati-Harana Parva”! Here we’re going to witness a very interesting event wherein a king from somehwere comes in contact with Draupati and he falls in love with her. As he does so, he abducts Draupati from there and takes her to his kingdom. Subsequently Bheemasena and the others search for Draupati and finally release her from the captive of that king. This is one side of this “Draupati-Harana Parva”. But before we go into that, we’ve to see what Duryodhana and Co. are doing at Hastinapura. All of them are now getting worried as the days are coming closer. We are now almost in the eighth or ninth year of the Paandavas’ “Vaana-prastham” (Forest life) and there are only barely three or four years left. Now, Duryodhana and Co. are thinking thus, “Oh no! Nothing is moving as per our plan! Years are running by and if this goes on like this, Yudishtra will finish his forest life and stake claim for the Indraprastha kingdom! We’ve to somehow stop this from happening. He should never be able to stake claim for any kingdom forever. Hence, we’ve to do something to finish Yudishtra off in the forest itself! What can be done? Already we’ve bore the brunt of attacking the Paandavas in the forest twice and we’ve got our noses bloodied. Hence, attack is not the way to proceed. We’ve to think of something else!” 

Thinking thus, Duryodhana once again asks Sahuni for a solution. Sahuni quickly says thus, “Oh Duryodhana! As you rightly said, let us not go and attack them with big armies. They will easily defeat us like in the past. We’ve to think of some other plan – Maybe we can use the “Brahma-Shaapam” (Curse of Bhagawan Brahma). Let us call a highly accomplished Braahmana Rishi and request him to curse Yudishtra and Co. for some reason or the other. This is the only way to stop Yudishtra from coming back to stake claim for Indraprastha!” Even as Sahuni is talking thus, Sage Dhurvasa makes his way to the Hastinapura kingdom. As Sage Dhurvasa arrives, Duryodhana is extremely happy! He runs to the entrance and welcomes Sage Dhurvasa with all the respects possible! Normally Duryodhana is someone who disrespects great sages when they come. He doesn’t even know the meaning of “paying respects” to sages. However, Duryodhana has a two-point agenda here – Firstly, Duryodhana is scared of Sage Dhurvasa, as all of us know that he is an epitome of anger. Duryodhana wants to be careful not to get a curse for himself in the first place! Secondly, as mentioned above, Duryodhana wants to use Sage Dhurvasa to push his agenda. He wants to somehow incite Sage Dhurvasa against Yudishtra and Co. and make him curse against them! This is a golden opportunity that has presented itself in front of Duryodhana and he grabs it with both hands!

Pleased by Duryodhana’s respects, Sage Dhurvasa speaks to him thus, “Oh Duryodhana! Wow! I’m so amazed with the way you’ve given the respects and hospitality to me! I’m mighty impressed with you! You may now ask whatever you want from me as a boon. I shall grant you without any prejudice! Whatever is troubling your mind, you may feel free to share with me and I shall give you a solution for the same, in the form of a boon!” As Duryodhana hears this from Sage Dhurvasa, he is doubly pleased! First of all, the fear that Duryodhana had earlier, is now completely vanished! Secondly, Duryodhana is now free to express his wish to Sage Dhurvasa in the form of a boon and if he gets it, there can be nothing better than that, isn’t it? Hence, Duryodhana is preparing himself to ask Sage Dhurvasa what he wants!

So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to find out what is Duryodhana going to ask Sage Dhurvasa! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂