In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important discussion on why this Shrimad Bhaagawada Puraana is delivered as a “Saptaaham” – In other words, “a practice of delivering the whole text in 7 days”. Of course, we have witnessed the challenges that we face in the modern day in terms of allocating sufficient time for spiritual scriptures like these. Especially with reference to Shrimad Bhaagawada Puraana, this is an exhaustive text and would require atleast 700 days if we’ve to concentrate and focus on each and every part of it. But, given our present-day lifestyle and commitments, who has the time for devoting 700 complete days to understand all of this? It is mainly for this reason that the practice of delivering a “shortened” or a “brief” version of the text within 7 days is being followed. Normally, if we’ve to look into the discourses of some of the great “Upanyaasakas” (Scholars and stalwarts who deliver spiritual discourses), we can understand that this “Sapthaaham” is a widely practiced trend.
But is this the only reason behind this seven-day practice? There is another important reason to this as well. As we’ve discussed earlier, this entire Bhaagawatha Puraana was narrated to King Parikshit by Sage Sukhaachaarya. King Parikshit had a curse from a saint that from that particular day, he would meet his death on the seventh day through a snake bite. Upon hearing this, King Parikshit was stunned and as a repercussion of this, he developed a keen interest of utilizing these forthcoming seven days to the maximum extent possible by gaining as much spiritual knowledge as possible, so that he can attain “Moksha” (Salvation) with it.
It is only with this interest and passion for spiritual learning, King Parikshit invites Sage Sukhaachaarya to his palace. Thus Sage Sukhaachaarya takes over from this point and converts Parikshit’s curse into a huge opportunity for him to attain Moksha. This is Sage Sukhaachaarya’s greatest contribution to our Indian Dharma. In other words, Sage Sukhaachaarya made King Parikshit realize that his curse is nothing compared to the high level of spiritual knowledge and understanding that he has given. Sage Sukhaachaarya even went to the extent of making King Parikshit understand that this spiritual knowledge is the ultimate quest that he can ever get in his entire lifetime and this made him forget and junk the curse that he had received.
In fact, when King Parikshit invited Sage Sukhaachaarya to his palace and confessed about his curse to him, and the last seven days that are left over in his lifetime, he asks Sage Sukhaachaarya an important question thus: “Oh Sage Sukhaachaarya! I just have seven more days left in my life! How can I attain all of the spiritual knowledge and enlightenment that is required to attain Moksha? Isn’t seven days a very short time period for this enormous task to complete? I’ve witnessed many sages doing penance for thousands of years to attain Moksha! But here I am, with just seven days of time! So is it sufficient for me to attain that ultimate goal of my life?”
Hearing this from King Parikshit, Sage Sukhaachaarya laughs for a moment and replies him back thus: “Oh King! Why do you want to underestimate yourself like this? You’re of the opinion that seven days is too short a time period for this. Let me tell you – Give me seven minutes of time. I shall make sure that you attain all the spiritual knowledge and wisdom that would take you to Moksha! Why do you want to worry that seven days is a short time frame? In fact, seven days is a lot of time for it!”
From this discussion, we can understand one important message here – If we have the interest to learn something important, time is never a constraint! The problem with many of us today is that, we’re wasting lot of time in performing tasks that are highly unwarranted to our spiritual and professional growth. We keep roaming around here and there, talk useless things with people, gossiping ill about others, etc. Here, all of us can do a small exercise – Let us take a paper and a pen and start writing down whatever we do in a day, from the time we get up till the time we go to bed. If we analyze this data, we would get very interesting findings for ourselves! 😊 If we keep doing this exercise continuously for a few days, we would realize that we’re just wasting enormous amount of time by just doing nothing! This might be a shocker to many of us, but sadly enough, this is the fact! Hence, “lack of time” can never be an excuse for learning something new and important. If we’re able to cut down on our unwanted activities, we would find that there’s loads of time to be used for constructive purposes – both spiritually and professionally.
Hence for today, let us realize this important message from the starting note of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. Let us also understand that this 7-day-delivery practice also has a link with King Parikshit’s curse that he would meet his death within the next 7 days and within that, he has to learn up all of those that would lead him to “Moksha”. We shall wait till the next episode to take this discussion forward as we move into the contents of this great text! Stay tuned! 😊