Episode # 37 – Four “PILLARS” of Dharma in this world – An interesting story!!!

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In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the birth story of King Parikshit. We had seen that Ashvatthaama’s “Brahmaasthra” enters into Utthara’s womb and starts to destroy Parikshit in the womb itself! However, on the deep and ardent prayers from all the ladies who were at the spot, Bhagawan Krishna makes His divine intervention and neutralizes the Brahmaasthra with His “Chakra”. Eventually when Utthara delivers the baby, it comes out like a burnt piece of wood and ashes, seemingly without any life. The baby had got damaged so much by the Brahmaastra and eventually the “Chakra” of Bhagawan Krishna protected it from dying. As the baby comes out “virtually dead”, Bhagawan Krishna tries to revoke the life in the baby by slowly caressing it with His fingers. In the midst of doing thus, Bhagawan Krishna openly proclaims that this child would wake automatically if the person currently touching it is a “Brahmachaari” and who never talks any lie in his life! As Bhagawan Krishna claims thus, people who were standing around Him were surprised! How can Bhagawan Krishna proclaim something like this, when the whole world has seen him do otherwise? 😊 However, to the utter amazement of everyone, the baby responded to Bhagawan Krishna’s claim and started to move its legs and hands vigorously and started to cry! Bhagawan Krishna had thus brought a dead baby to life, with his “claims”! This vindicates Bhagawan Krishna’s claim that he is really a Brahmachaari and is a Satya-Vratha! 😊

As the baby comes to life, it was given the name “Parikshit”. Thus we can witness here that Parikshit was born out of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine grace and was a blessed child by birth! As Parikshit grows up, he eventually becomes the king of Hastinaapura, after his grandfathers (Paandavas). Thus, King Parikshit goes to various places and does various activities for the welfare and benefit of his people. It is at this time, one fine day there is a conversation between King Parikshit and “Dharma”. This is an important story in the Shrimad Bhaagawatha text, with which we make further inroads into the text.

“Vrisham nrishaala dhavalam mehanthamiva bibhyutham!

Vepamaanam padaikena seedantham thaaditham!!

Ghaancha dharma dukaantheenaam brisham apahathaam!

Vivatsaam shaashruvadanaam kshaamaam yava vashakshudeem!!”

As we move into this interesting story, one day King Parikshit finds two animals – A bull and a cow. As King Parikshit passes through these two animals, he finds that both of them were crying profusely as they were being beaten and thrashed by someone behind them. As King Parikshit sees this scene of a man hitting the two poor animals, he gets angry and enquires with him as to why is he doing so. He also enquires with both the bull and the cow as to who were they and why were they being meted out with such harsh treatment.

Now the animals reply thus:

“Tapaha shoucham dayaa satyam ithi paadaaha krithe krithaaha!

Adharmaam chaistrayobhagnaaha smayam sangamadaistava!!

Idhaaneem dharma paadaaste satyam nirvarthayethyataha!

Ithi dharmam maheem chaiva saanthayithvaa mahaarathaha!!”

The above slokas explain the reply given by both the animals. They say thus: “Oh King Parikshit! Till today, we were standing on four legs and in a normal condition! Now you see our status – We are not standing on four legs! During the Kritha Yuga, we had our four full legs. But at the end of the Kritha Yuga, we lost one of our leg. At the end of the Trethaa Yuga, we lost our second leg. At the end of the Dvaapara Yuga we lost our third leg! Now we’re in this condition in the advent of this Kali Yuga, wherein, even this one leg is about to get destroyed!”

Now what are these four legs that the animals are talking about? They are nothing but “Thapam” (Persistence), “Shoucham” (Purity), “Dayaa” (Mercy) and “Satyam” (Truth). These are nothing but the four legs or “pillars” of “Dharma! The bull was nothing but Dharma” itself in this form, and the cow was nothing but “Mother Earth” herself! Only if Dharma persists on the earth, will the world function properly, isn’t it? It is only because of the “Adharma” happening, the world is in this shape today. This is what is depicted by the scene of someone who is beating and thrashing both these poor animals and making them cry thus.

Thus, this story signifies a deep message – If Dharma should sustain in this world properly, it should have four legs. However, as Yugas pass by, each of these four legs are being destroyed, which means that all of these important “pillars of Dharma” are slowly being eroded off. Now finally as we’re in this Kali Yuga, only one out of the four pillars is remaining, and this is why the cow and bull are crying.

Hearing thus from the animals, King Parikshit realizes what is going on! He creates a framework within his mind that the world is in this sad shape today only because of “Kali” (Misfortune). He decides to take this Kali-Purusha to dust! King Parikshit wants to chase him down and strangle him to death, so that the four pillars of Dharma are once again restored in this world. But, was King Parikshit successful in doing it? What happened next? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! 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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