In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Aatma-Deva’s misery compounded with the birth of Dundhukaari and how his wife Dundhuli played spoilsport to his wish. Dundhuli gives the blessed fruit to the cow in the cowshed and thus was born Gokarna. Although he was a very good person by birth, he was sidelined by his family, in favor of Dundhukaari by his mother. As Dundhukaari became evil day after day, Aatma-Deva became more and more frustrated with himself and his wretched family, and thus one day he called it off and went into the forest to attain Mukti. However, as the atrocities of Dundhukaari continued, he even went to the extent of murdering his own mother. Fearing the repercussions of his heinous crime, he jumps into a well and commits suicide. As he does so, his physical body might have died down at that instant, but his “Aatman” (Soul) refuses to die. It is still wandering around in search of a solace. His soul was not ready to rest itself in peace.
As Gokarna was a highly spiritually-oriented and a knowledgeable person, one fine day, Dundhukaari’s soul saw this as a chance to seek his help. So the soul comes to Gokarna’s house and asks for a solution to its problem. Gokarna was surprised that Dundhukaari’s soul has not attained solace, although he had gone to various “Punya-Kshetras” like Varanasi, Gaya, etc. and performed rituals that are required. Gokarna didn’t understand how to proceed further.
Confused thus, Gokarna thinks a lot and comes to a solution. He calls upon Soorya Bhagawan (Sun God) and requests him to stop for a moment and answer his query. It is to be noted here that Gokarna was so spiritually empowered that he was able to even stop Soorya Bhagawan for a moment to clarify his doubt! In our Ramayana project, we had witnessed that only Hanuman had that kind of a strength to indulge with a conversation directly with Soorya Bhagawan and of course we know that Hanuman went on to learn all the “Vyaakarnas” of Sanskrit from Soorya Bhagawan. Here too, we witness that Gokarna has that unique power to have an interface with Soorya Bhagawan directly.
Gokarna asks Soorya Bhagawan thus, “I have a query to ask you! Here is the soul of my half-brother Dundhukaari which is unable to rest in peace because of various reasons. I had done so many things to make his soul rest in peace, but it seems that nothing has really worked in his cause! So I request you to suggest a solution for this problem, and let me know a way in which his soul can rest in peace!”
Hearing thus, Soorya Bhagawan gives a simple, yet an important reply to Gokarna, “Oh Gokarna! You’ve asked a valid question here. The only solution that I can give you is to perform the “Saptaaham” of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana! Try to recite this sacred text for the next seven days without a break and with complete dedication. You might find a positive change happening!”
Hearing thus, Gokarna was astonished! He had performed so many strenuous rituals in various sacred locations across the country and yet nothing had happened! If he is going to sit at a place for seven days and recite Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana with full dedication, Dundhukaari’s soul is going to attain peace! As a token of obeying Soorya Bhagawan’s words, Gokarna arranges a grand fest wherein he invites many people together, chants the slokas of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana for the next seven days!
As Gokarna starts the recital, he has a small doubt – He asks the soul of Dundhukaari thus, “Oh Dundhukaari! As I recite this sacred text, how do I know that you had attained peace and salvation? What is the measure for this?” Dundhukaari’s soul replies thus, “Oh Gokarna! I’ll now take the form of the bamboo sticks that are lying by the side of this room. There are seven sticks. At the end of the first day recital, the first stick will burst into pieces. At the end of the second day recital, the second stick would burst. Similarly, at the end of the seventh and the final day, the final stick would burst into pieces! With the bursting of all the seven sticks, you can conclude that I’m out of here once and for all!”
Hearing thus, Gokarna is satisfied and convinced, and thus starts the seven-day recital. As promised, Dundhukaari’s soul takes its form into the seven sticks and at the end of each day’s recital one stick bursts and falls on the ground! Finally at the end of the seventh day recital, Dundhukaari’s soul attains the required peace and salvation! Hence, such is the significance of this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana!
So for today, let us understand and appreciate this beautiful story and by this, let us realize the significance of this great sacred text! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next set of events! Stay tuned! 😊