In the previous episode, we had extended the discussion on why learning Sanskrit and Tamil languages are extremely important for all of us to gain an in-depth understanding of our Sanaathana Dharma texts. Coupled with the language skills and ability, we spoke about how “patience” also goes hand-in-hand to achieve this goal of ours. Even though we might not understand certain aspects that are explained in our spiritual texts due to their complex nature, we still need to exhibit patience and perseverance to try and break down the complexity. As we move higher and higher spiritually, we should make a conscious effort to try and understand what has been written by exhibiting enormous amounts of patience and dedication. Of course, to start with, we should atleast have the patience to sit through a spiritual discourse or to read through a content that we feel is complex, so that, we would be able to understand something somewhere. In this level, even if we’re able to grasp 10% of what is being said or what is written, it is a great achievement for all of us! This 10% of our understanding should be ensured in such a way that we’re getting it in-depth, so that we can try and implement those principles in our daily lives. By doing so, we would definitely be able to witness a change in our life in the positive direction. If we’re able to materialize this in our lives, it also means that we’re progressing slowly towards actual spiritual growth.
Of course, many of us might feel certain principles from our Sanaathana Dharma unacceptable to the form of life that we are doing today. Some of those principles might be even poking and triggering our ego so much, that we would not be able to digest them. Whatever might happen, we should never take a step back and start relenting from our pursuit. The moment we take a step backwards, we should always be cautious that we’re progressing backwards from spiritual growth, which defeats our ultimate aim. Moreover, if we take a step back, it would make us to take several steps backwards, and at one stage, it would become extremely difficult for us to come back into the track. We should not let such a situation to happen in our lives. Whatever might be the situation, we should be stealthy in terms of patience and perseverance towards attaining our goal.
Now moving on with the commencement with the contents of the first Skanda of the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, we’re now going to witness an interesting section to begin with. Sage Sukhaachaarya commences his narration to King Parikshit with this particular incident. What is this? Let’s have a look!
“Naimishe animishakshetre rishayaha shounakaadayaha!
Satram svargaaya lookaaya sahasra samamaasatha!!”
Here, Sage Sukhaachaarya talks about a beautiful geographical location – A place called “Naimishaaranya”, which can be worshipped even today in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, some 100 kilometers away from its capital city of Lucknow. Many of you might have had the opportunity to visit this beautiful place. The specialty of this place is that, Bhagawan does not exist in the usual idol form. The scenic beauty of this place, or the picturesque landscape of this place is itself considered to be a manifestation of Bhagawan Krishna here. There is a beautiful river that flows through this place, amidst a forest full of trees on either side and this river contains fresh water. It is at this place, there is a big banyan tree. Beneath that huge banyan tree is sitting Sage Pauraanika. His original name was Sutha-Pauraanika. He was the son of Sage Romaharshana. Surrounding Sage Pauraanika, there are many of his disciples seated, to listen to his advice on various aspects of spirituality and other important aspects.
It is to be remembered that this incident is happening at the beginning of this Kali Yuga. As Sage Pauraanika is seated along with his disciples, there comes a question from one of them to Sage Pauraanika as the discussion between them moves forward. The question goes thus: “Oh Sage! Now we’re at the beginning of this Kali Yuga and it is projected to be one of the worst Yugas’ that the world has gone through ever since it’s inception. Everywhere we’re witnessing sins gaining pace and prominence. People are not worried about doing anything wrong. People are going to any extent to fulfil their selfishness. Thus in this tough world, is there any way to accustom our life into the path of “Dharma”? Given so many difficulties, all of us find it very difficult to walk the path of “Dharma”. On one hand you’re saying that we’re taking birth in this world to wash away all our sins. But looking at the way things are going in this Kali Yuga, we’re only ending up accumulating more and more sins. In no way are we getting to experience “Punya” (Goodness). Thus, is there a way through with we can find solace from the atrocities of this Kali Yuga and to focus on the Dharma that Bhagawan has prescribed?”
This discussion, as I’ve mentioned before happens at a place called “Naimishaaranya”. This, our readers might remember very well, is the place wherein the Ramayana was born! It is here that Bhagawan Rama’s two little sons Lava and Kusha are singing the slokas from the Ramayana text in front of Bhagawan Rama Himself. This “Kshetra” (Holy place) is a must visit place for all of us. Moreover, this place is called as “Animisha-Kshetra” in the above-mentioned sloka. This means, if we mark our presence in that place even for a minute, and spend that one minute in focusing on Bhagawan, all our sins would be washed away at that very instance! Hence, this is an important “Kshetra” for all of us to visit. Of course, many of us might have already been there. However for others, if you get an opportunity, please make it a point to visit this great place.
Thus the question from the disciples have come to Sage Pauraanika. Now what is going to be the reply from Sage Pauraanika? We shall wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 😊