In the previous episode, we had witnessed the importance of two parameters – “Shravanam” and “Mananam” while we’re getting into the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text. As we might know by now, “Shravanam” means “hearing” and “Mananam” means “pondering over what we’ve heard, and trying to implement the principles into actions”. If we look at the extension of the Gokarna story a little bit more, as mentioned yesterday, Surya Bhagawan asserts that it is not enough if we just involve ourselves in “Shravanam” of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. We should also employ the quality called “Mananam” while listening to / reading it. Only then the crux of the text can be understood and thus with this crux we attain “Moksha”. Thus, we cannot directly attain “Moksha” just by listening to it and getting away. The real fruit of “Moksha” can be attained only when we have 100% involvement while listening, grasping it with full concentration and implementing the principles that are explained, in our day-to-day life.
Thus with this, we’ve witnessed both the stories that we were supposed to go through from the “Paadma Puraana”, with regards to explaining the significance of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text. One was the story of Bhakti, Mukti, Gnyaana and Vairaagya. The second one was the story of Aatma-Deva, Dundhukaari and Gokarna. Now as we begin with the Shrimad Bhaagawatha text, we shall pray to Bhagawan Krishna together for His divine blessings thus:
“Samsaara saagare magnam dheenam maam karunaanidhe!
Karma moha griheethaangam maamuddhara bhavaarnavaath!!”
Here we pray to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Please lift all of us from this dark episode of the “Samsaara” that is full of worldly pleasures! Please lift us in such a way that we grow beyond our worldly commitments and can attain your feet!”
“Shrimad bhaagawathasyaapi tatah poojaah prayathnataha!
Karthavyaa vithinaah preethyaa dhoopa deepa samanvitaa!
Shrimad Bhaagawathaahkyooyam pratyaksha krishnayevahi!!”
Thus this sloka signifies the fact that this Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana is not just a normal text. It is the manifestation or incarnation of Bhagawan Krishna Himself in this Kali Yuga! Hence, we should have the full faith and devotion in the text as we move further into it.
“Shukharoopah prabhodagnya sarva shaastra vishaarada!!”
This Bhaagawatha Puraana text, that was given to the world by Sage Sukhaachaarya would fulfill all requirements of Bhakti, Gnyaana and Vairaagya to whoever reads it with full faith, and ultimately would pave the way for attaining “Moksha”.
Thus with this, we come to the end of the “Significance” of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. I know that we’ve taken almost 35 episodes to witness only the significance of this great text. We’ve still not entered into the main contents yet! 😊 Hence, from today we shall make the start. Now we shall return to the place called Naimishaaranya where Sage Pauraanika is interacting with his disciples. We move into the context wherein Sage Naarada is having a conversation with Sage Veda-Vyaasa. Amidst all this, as we begin, we should understand as to why is Sage Sukhaachaarya narrating this Bhaagawatha Puraana to King Parikshit? It should be remembered by our readers that the entire purpose of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana was to enhance King Parikshit’s understanding of the Dharma and Shaastras, so that he can attain Moksha at the end of the seven-day period, as per his curse.
Now we shall go deeper into this story and witness who is this King Parikshit and what is his background! As the Dvaapara Yuga comes to an end, it is time for Bhagawan Krishna, the Paandavas and the other important people associated with the Mahaabhaarata to leave the world. Amidst these many people, all of us know about the Paandavas – Five brothers, comprising of Yudishtra, Bheema, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahaadeva. All of these five brothers were married to Draupathi. Amongst these five brothers, Arjuna had another wife by name Subhadra. Arjuna had a son by name Abhimanyu. This Abhimanyu was married to a girl by named “Utthara”. Thus, Abhimanyu and Utthara had a son and he was none other than Parikshit. Of course, Abhimanyu was killed during the war by Duryodhana and Co.
As Utthara is carrying Parikshit in her uterus as she was pregnant, the Mahabharata war comes to an end, wherein Duryodhana had been killed. As the war got over, the Paandavas emerged victorious and are sleeping after a tiring day at war. The sons of the Paandavas (Next generation) were called “Upa-Paandavas” and they are also rejoicing the victory of their fathers and sleeping along with them.
It is at this time, Ashvatthaama, (Guru Dhronaachaarya’s son) wants to take revenge on the Paandavas for killing his father! It should be remembered that Bhagawan Krishna played a trick by making Yudishtra proclaim in front of Guru Dhronaachaarya that his son is “dead”! But he was not actually dead! It was an elephant by name Ashwatthaama that had died! Not realizing this, Guru Dhronaachaarya was grief-stricken and he fell on the ground dead! When Ashwatthaama comes to know that his father was “tricked” by the Paandavas and Bhagawan Krishna, he gets furious and waits for an opportunity to take revenge for what they’ve done. Thus Ashvatthaama comes to the place where these people were sleeping at night, employs the “Brahmaastra” and starts killing everyone in the tents! Of all the people who got destroyed by Ashwatthaama, there is just one child who had escaped from this brutal and cowardly killing. He was none other than Parikshit, who was in the womb of his mother Utthara. This Brahmaastra also entered into the womb of Utthara and starts to destroy Parikshit too! It is at this point when all the ladies including Utthara, Draupati, Kunthi, etc. rush to Bhagawan Krishna and fall in His feet! They pray to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Krishna! Please protect this child atleast, if not for others! If this child is also killed, there would be nobody in this whole generation left over! The entire generation is being destroyed!” Thus Bhagawan Krishna assures them of solace and thus protects the womb of Utthara. Later on, Utthara delivers the baby safe and secure and this baby is named as “Parikshit”!
So for today, let us stop at this point. We shall continue to witness what happened subsequently after Parikshit’s birth and how did the future happenings conspire! Stay tuned for the interesting part! 😊