In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another important aspect of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana and why is it considered to be a “Poorna Puraana”. The main reason behind it is that, the Bhaagawatha Puraana contains all the five elements that are to be part of a “Puraana” text. If we look at some other texts, many might not have all the five elements intact. Some might have four, some might have three, two, etc. But if we take the Bhaagawatha Puraana, it is one of those unique “Puraana” texts that contains all the five elements together. This is thus one of the greatest uniqueness of the Bhaagaawatha Puraana and in fact, we are fortunate enough to have an opportunity to experience, learn and analyze such a great text during our life time. Having said thus, we should make use of this wonderful opportunity that Bhagawan has given us, without wasting it away. We should always remember that there are so many people out there in various parts of the world who do not even have the awareness that such great texts exist! If Bhagawan has selected and handpicked us to give us this opportunity, we should make sure that we utilize it well.
Now moving on further, as we’ve discussed already during Episodes 1 and 2, this great text was penned down meticulously by Sage Veda Vyaasa. If we witness the family lineage of Sage Veda Vyaasa, it is a very interesting accord here – The lineage commences from Sage Vasishtaachaarya. I’m sure all of us by now know who Sage Vasishtachaarya is – He was the “Guru” of the entire lineage of Bhagawan Rama and we’ve witnessed in detail during the Ramayana project. Sage Vasishtaachaarya’s son was Sage Shakti. Sage Shakti’s son was Saga Paraasara. Subsequenly, the son of Sage Paraasara was Sage Veda Vyaasa. Finally, the son of Sage Vyaasa was Sage Shukaachaarya. It is to be noted that this entire Bhaagawatha Puraana was narrated by Sage Sukaachaarya to King Parikshit. King Parikshit had a curse that he would meet the end of his life within the next seven days and that, he would be killed by a snake. Thus within this seven-day period, King Parikshit is trying to acquire all the spiritual knowledge possible and he employs Sage Sukaachaarya for it. However, if someone is explaining all these principles, someone else has to document all of it, isn’t it? This is where, Sage Veda Vyaasa comes into picture. As his son Sage Sukaachaarya narrates incident after incident, experience after experience, principle after principle, Sage Veda Vyaasa documents each and everything carefully and meticulously.
In fact, as we’ve discussed previously also, this entire family lineage of Sage Veda Vyaasa and Sage Sukaachaarya had completely dedicated their lives for the benefit of the world. They had taken it upon themselves to ensure that they had given all the requisite principles of our Sanaathana Dharma in various packages, so that these principles would pave the way for world peace and harmony. This is called as “Paropakaaram” in Sanskrit. The term “Paropakaaram” means that we dedicate our entire life to the welfare of the world at all times. For instance, if we take various elements of nature, such as rivers, rain, cows, trees, etc. all of them are epitomes of “Paropakaaram”. How? If a tree generates flowers / fruits / vegetables, does the tree keep it all for itself? If the clouds bring copious rain to the earth, does the cloud keep some water for itself and then pour the rest? If the cow gives milk, does it keep some milk for itself before giving the rest to us? The answer is “No”! Thus in all these instances, nature is completely selfless and it is the perfect example of “Paropakaram”. Similarly, our ancient Maharishis were also on the same line as well. As we had discussed earlier, most of the Sages were leading a very simple life, amidst thick forests with minimal food, clothing and shelter for survival. However, their main aim was to acquire the highest level of spiritual knowledge and to try and spread this spiritual knowledge and guidance to the future generations to come. It is only with this one desire that Maharishis like the great Sage Veda Vyaasa took it upon himself to write down and document all the aspects of spirituality, in the form of the Mahabharata and the Bhaagawatha Puraana.
It is not only the likes of Sage Vyaasa, but there were innumerable Maharishis who were of the same level and with the same agenda. Also, it should be noted that, writing and documenting were not as easy as it is today. Today of course, we have computers and other such gadgets, that can be used to document texts extremely easily, but in those days, technology was a non-existent phenomenon! Moreover, there were no proper books or papers on which things can be written on. They had to do all the writing on palm leaves, and other such leaves from trees by using a nail. In many occasions, the leaves might be a little thin and worn out, and might get torn while the writing is done. If the leaf tears out, the writer should dispose it off completely, take a new leaf and again re-write the whole stuff! Such was the difficulty the ancient Maharishis had faced to document all this. Of course, with this noble attitude of “Paropakaram”, such difficulties were never a hurdle for them from preventing them to document all of these texts. I’m saying all this to demonstrate the fact that it is only because of this “Paropakaaram”, we have all these texts in hand today! Hence, it is our profound duty to worship the great Maharishis who took it upon themselves to make such important texts available to us till the present-day.
So for today, let us pay our respect once more to our great ancestors and Maharishis for their invaluable contributions to our generation of people. We shall wait till the next episode to move further! Stay tuned! 😊