In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion as to why should we make it a point to go through our scriptures and listen to elders and ancestors who have propagated them effectively to this world. We also had an offshoot discussion as to why shouldn’t we encourage the very thought of “liberalism” and “free-thinking” when it comes to spirituality and ways of living a righteous life. It should be strongly noted by readers here that those people who are propagating “liberalism” in today’s world are none but elements that are out there to destroy the roots of our “Sanaathana Dharma”. Of course, their attempts are getting strong rebuttals from ardent followers like us, but the point here is that, we should never get carried away by those “juicy” and “attractive” thoughts. As per the proverb that states that “All that glitters is not gold!”, we should be extremely careful in choosing the right path of “Dharma”. This is the reason why we have our extensive spiritual texts wherein the “Sanaathana Dharma” is explained to us in beautiful storylines. We should thus make it a point to read and understand them and subsequently put the principles into everyday practice.
As we continue this discussion forward, we might have a counter question to this argument – If we’ve to keep listening and obeying others’ advice, where is my individuality? Shouldn’t I take my own decisions for my life? Shouldn’t I have my own thought process? The answer to these questions are, “Yes! Of course we can have our own thought process over our decisions!” But our thought process should be based upon the principles of our Sanaathana Dharma. We can listen to whatever our elders and our Spiritual Master (Guru) tells us, analyze within ourselves as to what we’ve heard, use our discrimination to determine what to follow and what to discard and finally take a decision to move forward. If we’re finding a correlation between what we aspire and what others tell us, we can very well follow their words. Whereas on the contrary, if we find discrepancies in the way we think from the words that we listen from our elders or our Guru, we can always go back to them and express our doubts and clarify with them. This should be the right approach towards following the “Dharma”.
Thus readers should understand here that I’m not against individualism and freedom in decision-making. All what I’m proposing here is that, we shall base and benchmark our decisions in life as per the advice given to us by our Guru or by our elders. If at all we have discrepancies, we shall feel free to consult with them and then take a decision. Thus, “discrimination” comes to play a vital role here. We should be mature enough to think, analyze and then take decisions, rather than following something blindly. Of course, I’m not saying that we should blindly follow whatever the Sanaathana Dharma says. We should employ our discriminatory power to understand the significance behind each principle that our Sanaathana Dharma has given to us. This is very important.
Thus from all these discussions, the primary point is that, great sages like Valmiki Maharishi, Sage Veda Vyaasa, Sage Vasishta, Sage Sukhaachaarya, etc. have dedicated their entire lifetime in documenting all the principles of our Sanaathana Dharma and have given it to us as a great gift! Their sole aim is that, the culture of our Bhaarata Desha should be protected, our way of living is as per the “Dharma” and our country should be an epitome of world peace. Hence, we should make it a point that we pay our respects to them and listen to whatever they’ve said. Thus, these are the main purposes for which the Ithihaasas, Puraanas, etc. were documented. Of course, at the beginning we might feel as if we’re lost somewhere while we read them, but as we spend more and more time on them, we would slowly start enjoying, as we go through different stories, their outcomes and the underlying messages.
Having said thus, now we come back to our main discussion point – Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. As mentioned before, the normal practice that is followed for discussing this text is called “Sapthaaham”, which means that we spend seven days to finish the whole text. However, given the in-depth explanations and stories and if we’ve to go by each explanation and story in detail, it would take a minimum of 700 days! Of course, we have our own limitations – both in terms of time and understanding. In fact, even our great Maharishis had known our low levels of understanding and impatience and it is only because of that, we have the traditional practice of “Sapthaaham” (7-day discourse). If we’ve to sit for 70 or 700 days at a stretch in today’s scenario, who has the patience and time to do so? All of us have our own priorities, family and professional commitments every passing day and hence, we wouldn’t be able to find time to sit for long number of days and hours on this. This is the reason why we have it as a “complete package” of a “Sapthaaham”. Thus having said that, we shall try to keep it as short and lucid as possible, so that our readers would be able to understand and appreciate the significance of this great text. In the middle of each story, we shall also discuss in brief, the underlying messages and how they’re applicable to us in the present-day.
Thus, we commence the detailed discussion on Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, which is a package of all the important narratives given by Sage Sukhaachaarya to King Parikshit. We shall wait till the next episode to witness how this text was conceptualized and what were the events that led to this text being written. Stay tuned! 😊