Episode # 22 – Why should we visit “Punya-Kshetras” (Places of Holy Worship)? Sage Pauraanika explains!!!

Little Krishna

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on Sage Pauraanika’s reply on the Kali Yuga’s Dharma. We saw yesterday that of course, following the principles of Dharma in a steadfast manner, might be very difficult in this Kali Yuga, yet it is not impossible. All we need is a strong resolve, ultra-sharp focus on what we do and the resilience to stick to the path of Dharma, come what may!

In fact, we can even take it as an examination that is given to us by Bhagawan. We’ve all done our education from schooling till our under-graduation and / or post-graduation. In due course, we would have given innumerable examinations at various stages of our academic career. In fact, in the modern day corporate too, every day is an examination! 😊 If we’re able to take up those examinations with a resolve and a challenge, work towards it and succeed, why can’t we take up the examination given to us by Bhagawan and try to succeed in it?

Now what is the examination that Bhagawan is giving us here? Bhagawan is trying to “test” our resilience and persistence to the path of Dharma, irrespective of whatever comes through in our life. As I had mentioned earlier, there might be innumerable obstacles that come our way during our pursuit towards following Dharma. Some people might brand us as “old-fashioned”, some people might neglect us, ignore us, abuse us, insult us in public, make fun or us amongst our peers, etc. Some might try to brainwash us by saying that all these spiritual practices are nonsense and doesn’t hold good in today’s world! Some close family members or friends might even leave and abandon us from their lives! Sometimes, we might even face obstacles in the form of “time” when it comes to managing our professional and personal commitments. Sometimes, it might be health problems – both physical and mental health, that might hinder our pursuit of Dharma. The list is long enough! However, the real examination for all of us is that, are we able to cross over all of these obstacles and still follow Bhakti! If we’re able to “pass” this examination successfully, we can really consider ourselves to be great! 😊

But having said this, there is a small difference between the exams that we give for our career growth and the exam that Bhagawan gives us – If we fail in our career-growth exams, it might be difficult for us to progress further and possibilities are high that we might not end up getting a good job, earning more money, etc. However, if we fail in Bhagawan’s exam there is no such risk involved! As we all know that Bhagawan is the most merciful of all (“Kaarunya-Murthi”), He makes sure that all our mistakes are forgiven and we progress forward. Thus in other words, even if we fail Bhagawan’s examination, there is always a possibility to re-work and re-appear for another examination. However having said thus, of course we shouldn’t take it as an advantage and sit in a corner, not trying anything. We should have a clear attitude towards Dharma and if this attitude is present in all of us, it is perfectly fine even if we fail the examination. Bhagawan is not interested whether we pass the exam or not. He is more interested in the attitude with which we take up the exam. Thus, the point here is that, attitude, right mindset and good intent is of paramount importance as we focus ourselves through the path of spiritual growth.

Thus moving on further with Sage Pauraanika’s reply, he gives another solution for people who are pursuing the path of Dharma, yet are struggling with it. Of course, we’ve witnessed his answer that following Dharma in Kali Yuga is extremely tough, but there are solutions. One such solution is as below. Sage Pauraanika continues thus:

“Pashyanthyaathmani aathmaanam bhaktyaa shrutha griheetayaa!

Tasmaad ekena manasaa bhagawan saapthvathaam pathihi!!”

Here he says thus, “Oh disciples! There is another solution too – By visiting ‘Punya-kshetras’ across the Bhaarata Desha, we would be able to associate ourselves along the path of Dharma easily!” Now how does this work? Let’s take this discussion forward:

One important factor that deters us every now and then from following the pursuit of Dharma is our “mind”. Most of the time, our mind is completely polluted with lot of unwanted thoughts that only lead us to depression! These thoughts are to be removed often. Just like how an automobile vehicle would come to a halt, if the carburetor is filled up with dirt such as mud, dust, etc. our pursuit towards spiritual growth also comes to a grinding halt if our mind is full of dirt. Our human mind is like the carburetor here. Just like how the vehicle can run again after the carburetor is cleaned and greased up properly, our mind can also run again towards spiritual growth when we cleanse it from all the unwanted thoughts and negative emotions that we tend to go through.

The carburetor can be cleaned by various methods like applying grease, water-washing it, etc. But how do we cleanse our mind? One good way is by visiting “Punya-Kshetras” or “Holy places of worship”. In fact, we are blessed and fortunate to be in Bhaarata Desha (India), which is a hub of “Punya-Kshetras”. Right from Kaasi (Varanasi), to Gaya, to Badrinath, to Kedarnath, to Dwaraka, to Puri Jagannath, to Rameshwaram, to Madurai, the list goes on and on! By visiting these important “Punya-Kshetras”, we are slowly washing away all our dirt and sins that are sticking on to our body and mind. It is only this dirt that is deterring all of us from following the path of Dharma. If we’re able to cleanse ourselves from the dirt, we would automatically start pursuing Dharma, without any instruction from anybody. Once we’re able to cleanse this dirt from ourselves, we need no test from Bhagawan too! 😊

Hence, the point from today’s episode is that, we should make it a habit to visit “Punya-Kshetras” during our lifespan. We should somehow allocate some time for this and this would immensely benefit us in lot of ways. Our sins get washed away easily. Our mind gets cleared of all the unwanted and negative thoughts and emotions. With this, we can give ourselves an opportunity to think of Bhagawan, know and understand His significance in each temple and this knowledge and understanding is what will make us transcend towards the path of Bhakti easily. In yesterday’s episode we were talking about “awareness about Bhagawan”, isn’t it? Visiting “Punya-Kshetras” is one way through which we can create this awareness.

So for today, let us ponder over this important point and let’s try to put it into practice. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next important point. Stay tuned! 😊

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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