In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Sukhaachaarya’s important “clause” to King Parikshit as he begins his narration of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. He says clearly and upfront to King Parikshit that his attitude and approach towards understanding the contents of the text is very important and that, he should be extremely attentive to what Sage Sukhaachaarya says. Every word, phrase and sentence is important here and King Parikshit should not miss even a miniscule part of it.
Thus, the message for all of us is clear as well – Whenever we sit down to listen to discourses or reading spiritual texts, etc. we should do so with a completely open mind and with the best possible positive attitude. If we have a certain level of mindset and if we listen or read something that aims to give us spiritual knowledge of high stature, we would end up wasting our time and would not be able to realize the full potential of it. Hence it is always advisable to all of us, while reading or listening to something or someone, we should always be open to what is being discussed.
Of course, as we read or listen, we might have some queries and doubts over certain instances or messages that are being conveyed. We can also feel free to raise them – But with a genuine approach. If for example, we are reading the Ramayana text or listening to a discourse on Ramayana from someone, we might have some doubts. Many of us ask questions like “Oh! Why did Rama do something like this? Isn’t it a mistake on his side to perform some action like this? Oh! From this instance, it seems that Rama has deviated from the path of Dharma!” If we ask questions like these, it means that we already have a pre-conceived notion on how things should happen! We are not ready to accept something beyond that. Rather, if we ask a question like, “Oh! There is an incident that has happened in a particular way. Why is it like this?” This is a straightforward and an open question and this would invite a constructive reply from the person who is giving us the knowledge. Thus the point here is that, when we’re trying to understand something spiritual and of a high stature, we should have the right attitude for it along with openness of our mind to absorb and accept what is being told or written. This is very important for all of us as we move on into this all-important text of our Sanaathana Dharma.
Moreover, we have one more point that needs to be emphasized here, as we move on. As we keep reading episode after episode, it is also important for us to go back, think about it, analyze the content and see if we can put these messages into practice in our daily lives. Of course, in our life there might be many instances wherein we might find direct applicability and relevance of these messages. It is at these crucial moments of our life that we’ve to remember and implement all what we’ve read so far. If we’re successful in doing so, we can obviously become better human beings, with the grace of Bhagawan.
However, one might ask this question here – If we read all this, will our problems in life come down? Will our problems completely vanish if we focus on these? Certainly not! Nowhere in the Sanaathana Dharma it is mentioned that if we read and understand spiritual texts, we would be free of problems in life. This is an important point that all of us should note. In fact, there are people from few other religions who try to befool others by saying such “attractive” stuff, just for the sake of religious conversion. However, these are just “sales talks” and just because we read and understand something, we wouldn’t be able to get rid of any of our problems in life. Life is not that easy as a cake-walk! 🙂 Each and every one of us will keep having one problem after the other and life continues in this way, whether we like it or not! But then why do we read these scriptural texts? We read these texts only to gain the inner strength within us to face any kind of challenges that come through in our lives. In other words, if we read instances wherein Bhagawan Rama or Bhagawan Krishna or Paandavas go through phases of sufferings in their lives and how have they come out of those sufferings with their relentless pursuit towards Dharma, we can also learn from those episodes so that, we can fight our way through our problems and challenges in the legitimate way as prescribed by our Sanaathana Dharma. As we often keep saying, “For every problem, there is a solution”, these texts would make us realize that any kind of problem can be handled in the path of Dharma and can be overcome successfully. This would also give us the requisite motivation and courage to choose a path, make a firm decision and move ahead.
Thus from the above discussion, it is evident that by reading scriptural texts like the Ramayana, Mahaabhaarata, Bhaagawatha Puraana, etc. we can obtain a balanced frame of mind, with which we can control the situations that arise in front of us – both good and bad. Of course as all of us know, our life alternates with good and bad happenings and for handling both of them successfully, we need this balanced frame of mind. Just because we’re passing through a happy situation in life, can we jump up and down in the air with joy and laughter? Or, just because we’ve been hit by a catastrophic problem, can we get upset, emotional, etc. and sit in a corner and cry? Here is where, we need to develop the balance and this is what Bhagawan Krishna says too, in the Bhagawad Gita – We should be able to develop the mindset in such a way that we should treat happiness and sorrow on an equal plane! Of course, it is easier said than done, but that doesn’t mean that we do not put in our efforts!
So for today, let us realize this important reason as to why should we read scriptural texts and what should be the ideal “takeaways” from these texts. Let us consciously put our efforts towards developing a balanced frame of mind, which is extremely important both for our professional and spiritual development. We shall wait till the next episode to witness more on this, as we move forward! Stay tuned! 😊