In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of a very interesting story wherein Sage Naarada comes across three “peculiar” people as he moves around the world. He finds these people at Mathura, the place where Bhagawan Krishna had spent most of his childhood days. As Sage Naarada passes through this particular place, he finds a 20-year-old girl sitting beside two 90-year-old men. Upon enquiring the details, Sage Naarada was perplexed to find that this 20-year-old girl was the mother of these two 90-year-old men! With some deeper inquiry, this young girl “indirectly” tells her story – That she had been living in Vaikunta for so many thousands of years. Bhagawan sent her along with one of her friend to this world and she has been living in this world ever since the three previous “Yugas” and that she too is old. Her friend left her at the end of the Dvaapara Yuga and she is alone now, living with her two sons! However, when she came to this particular place, she became young, but to her liking, her two sons weren’t becoming young like her! She’s somehow trying to wake up her “old” sons and transform them to a young age, but somehow it doesn’t happen! Sage Naarada too, initially tries to awaken those two old men, but he was also unable to do it!
But upon hearing the narrative of this woman, an entire background story flash into Sage Naarada’s mind. Now Sage Naarada asks this girl, “Oh! With all that I had listened from you, I think you’re someone by name ‘Bhakti’! Am I right? Are you ‘Bhakti’? You also said that someone was with you like a “friend”. Is she “Mukthi”? Are these two “children” of yours “Gnyaana” and “Vairaagya”?”
From this question of Sage Naarada, we understand that these are not just characters of a storyline. These names that we just witnessed – “Bhakti”, “Mukthi”, “Gnyaana” and “Vairaagya” are four important qualities that are essential for a human being to reach Bhagawan! This is how the stories within the Bhaagawatha Puraana would be! These are not just mere stories, but would have some huge hidden messages within them! So we’ve to be very careful in understanding them!
Now let us go deeper into Sage Naarada’s quest and now let us re-frame this storyline. Bhagawan had sent two people – “Bhakti” and “Mukti” are two essential aspects that are hand-hand with each other. If we’ve to attain “Mukti”, we need to be steadfast in “Bhakti”. This is why Bhagawan had sent these two at tandem together as friends to this world. Now, as per this girl’s argument, these two “Bhakti” and “Mukthi” were together till Dvaapara Yuga, however at the end of it, and at the beginning of the Kali Yuga, the number of people who are willing to attain “Mukti” has drastically reduced! This is why “Bhakti”’s friend “Mukti” leaves the world and goes back to Vaikunta. While leaving the world, Mukti says to Bhakti thus, “Oh Bhakti! It seems that I do not have much work to do in this Kali Yuga, since not many are interested in me anymore! However, you continue to live in this world and if you require any help from me, I shall always be at your service! I’ll definitely come to you if you call me!” This means what? If in this world, if someone is becoming extraordinary in terms of performing Bhakti towards Bhagawan and is trying meticulously to reach Bhagawan’s feet, then this “Bhakti” can call upon “Mukti” to take this person to Bhagawan!
Thus it is evident that Mukti is possible in this Kali Yuga, but the only problem is that, not many people are willing to attain it! This is why, the girl by name “Mukti” had left this world. However, “Bhakti” still continues to live along with her two children “Gnyaana” and “Vairaagya”. As we all know, “Gnyaana” is nothing but the requisite spiritual knowledge that is required to attain Bhagawan’s feet, or “Mukti”. “Vairaagya” is nothing but “perseverance” towards our goal of attaining “Mukti”. Thus we learn here that if “Bhakti” (devotion towards Bhagawan) should grow within a person, he / she should be steadfast in acquiring the “Gnyaana” (Knowledge) with “Vairaagya” (Perseverance).
Now again going back to the storyline, what does this Bhakti tell Sage Naarada? She says that she was also very old when she entered Kali Yuga, however when she came across this place called “Mathura”, on the banks of River Yamuna, she became so young! This signifies the fact that if we happen to visit this “Punya-Kshetra” of Mathura, which is the abode of little Krishna, we too would become “young” and “beautiful” in terms of Bhakti! 😊 This is the reason why we should visit “Punya-Kshetras”. The moment we start visiting “Punya-Kshetras”, our “Bhakti” would become younger and would start growing further and further! Only if we’re young we would grow isn’t it?
However, as per the storyline again, this girl is saying another thing – Although she was able to become younger, her two “sons” who are 90-year-old are unable to get as young as she is, and moreover, they’re not even able to get up from their unconscious state. These two sons are none other than “Gnyaana” and “Vairaagya”. Attaining these two in spirituality is extremely tough! We might become “Bhaktas” of Bhagawan, but to follow steadfast spirituality, we should have these two qualities, which are extremely tough to possess in today’s Kali Yuga. For instance, if someone asks us: “Are we Bhaktas of Bhagawan?” We would immediately say “Yes”! However, if someone asks us: “Are we “Gnyaanis”? We would say no! Why? If someone asks us to do some basic spiritual practices like taking a shower regularly, do some prayers, prepare some “Prasad” (divine offering) to Bhagawan, we would all be able to do them! However, if someone asks us to learn the meanings of each phrase of Vishnu Sahasranaama, or Ramayana, or whatever, we would immediately refuse! 😊 This is because, we lack the ability to do these things and we would simply discard it by saying that this is not our cup of tea! This is why we say that we are weak in “Gnyaana” or “Spiritual Knowledge”.
When we finally talk about “Vairaagya”, this is the most difficult thing for us to possess in today’s Kali Yuga! In fact, to be blunt, we NEVER have this quality called “Vairaagya” within us in today’s world. Why? We keep running behind something or the other every passing day! We’re going behind worldly attachments so much that we are simply unable to develop this “Vairaagya” today! However, all of us have Bhakti or devotion towards Bhagawan!
Thus from this story, we understand that in this Kali Yuga, Bhakti is still young and this is why many of us are ardent devotees of Bhagawan! “Gnyaana” and “Vairaagya” are old and unconscious, but are still present in this world. This is why we’re able to attain atleast limited amounts of these two. Even if we’re not able to have the “Vairaagya”, many of us are atleast trying a little bit! However, Bhakti’s friend Mukti has left this world because not many people today are interested in it anymore! If suppose anyone is interested, Mukti is always ready to help us out to reach Bhagawan!
So for today, let us spare a thought on this beautiful, but indirect story and let us reflect upon ourselves. We should measure ourselves as to where we stand and we should take a step forward to improve ourselves as we move into our future! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the concluding remarks of this story and thus move on to the next one! Stay tuned! 😊