In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Sukhaachaarya initiating King Parikshit again into meditation and penance. We had a detailed discussion as to why is he doing this again and again, although knowing that King Parikshit wouldn’t be able to succeed in any of his attempts. The reason behind this is very simple – Only if someone is initially shown the hard path, will they realize the significance of the task. Spirituality is no exception to this. Here, Sage Sukhaachaarya makes sure that King Parikshit walks the hard path first. He has to experience the toughness and only then, the craving to attain Moksha would get stronger. Had Sage Sukhaachaarya directly initiated him into Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, he would never have understood the importance of reaching Bhagawan’s feet.
This is why, he first made him sit and meditate upon Bhagawan by imagining him to be taking the form of the 14 “Lokas”, with each of the Lokas representing each of His body parts. King Parikshit failed miserably in imagining such things, as he has never seen Bhagawan in that way! Second time, Sage Sukhaachaarya simplifies the assignment a little bit by telling him that he should again go and meditate by imagining Bhagawan as a small boy, blue in color, with an attractive and a charismatic form, with a flute in His hands, with a peacock feather on His forehead, etc. As King Parikshit sits to meditate with this assignment in mind, again he fails! He is still unable to imagine and recollect this form of Bhagawan too! So he runs back to Sage Sukhaachaarya saying thus, “Oh Sage! I think I’m not tailor-made for spirituality! I’m somewhere in the lowest of the low levels of spiritual development. I can never succeed in doing all this penance and things! So is there any other easy way that I can take, so that I attain Moksha quickly?”
Upon these words from King Parikshit, Sage Sukhaachaarya gives more descriptions of Bhagawan and tries to bring Bhagawan right in front of King Parikshit with his beautiful way of talking! He explains Bhagawan’s ravishing beauty and charismatic face, explains each and every unique feature of Bhagawan’s body and the weapons that He has in His hands. Sage Sukhaachaarya gives thus a long description of each and every aspect of Bhagawan and now again initiates him into penance. As King Parikshit has listened about Bhagawan twice now, he thinks that his job would become much easier. He again sits to meditate, and now he is able to capture a beautiful portrait of Bhagawan in his mind. He now tries to focus his mind and retain that beautiful portrait of Bhagawan and meditate. This time, he is more successful.
Now comes the question – Why is Sage Sukhaachaarya repeatedly trying to initiate King Parikshit into penance for the third time, given the fact that he had failed twice before and he had also asked for an easier method of attaining Moksha? Why is Sage Sukhaachaarya stone-hearted like this? Why can’t he show mercy on King Parikshit and atleast after 2 failed attempts, give the easier way? The answer for these questions is that before rendering the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, which is such a sacred text, King Parikshit should be made “qualified” and “eligible” for receiving it. Only if a person is having the requisite qualification, can he / she be given something isn’t it? For instance, we apply for jobs in corporate companies – Only if our Curriculum Vitae contains the important and requisite qualifications that the employer is looking for, we would be called for the job interview, isn’t it? Else we might be rejected in the first stage of the recruitment process itself! Similarly here too, Sage Sukhaachaarya makes sure that King Parikshit attains all the requisite qualifications to receive the great and sacred text – He knows that initially King Parikshit being a Kshatrya prince, is not yet ready for such high levels of spiritual understanding. He thus trains King Parikshit by creating the awareness about Bhagawan and his beauty slowly, so that King Parikshit becomes mature enough to understand the contents of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana.
One more continued reason as to why Sage Sukhaachaarya is training King Parikshit the hard way is that, if he is not trained like this, he would never be able to relate whatever is being said. For instance, only if I have a little knowledge and basic understanding of Mathematics, Pythagoras theorem would make sense to me. Only if I have some basic understanding of Chemistry, will I be able to understand the contents of the periodic table. Similarly, only if I have some basic understanding of Physics, will I be able to understand Newton’s laws of motion. Similarly, here too, only if we have a basic understanding about Bhagawan, and only if we’re able to have a basic level of mental training, will we be able to understand and appreciate the contents of a sacred text like Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. As I’ve mentioned earlier, although the contents of this text are in the form of interesting stories, there is a vast depth of underlying messages that are deep-rooted in every small story! In order to have an understanding of it, we would definitely need some basic training of our mind. This is why, Sage Sukhaachaarya is putting King Parikshit to task!
Moreover, “training the mind” is not an easy task as well! For instance, if we’ve to sit down for doing our regular prayers and spiritual practices, even if it is a 20-minute-job, is our mind completely focused on Bhagawan for all the 20 minutes? The simple answer is “NEVER”! Our mind starts wavering here and there, thinking about thousand things that are totally irrelevant to that context. Else, someone keeps disturbing us for something or the other during that 20 minutes. If such is the case, where is our focus on Bhagawan? Only if we have that focus, will we be able to bare any fruit of doing a prayer. This is also one of the reasons why Sage Sukhaachaarya is very particular that King Parikshit is able to develop that focus on Bhagawan. He makes sure that although King Parikshit fails repeatedly, he is again and again initiated into meditation, so as to calm his mind down. Only if the mind is calm and focused, can any spiritual growth and development happen.
So for today, let us ponder over all of these above-explained points and let us take a conscious effort in training our mind towards what Sage Sukhaachaarya is going to narrate. This training exercise is not only for King Parikshit, but for all of us too! So let’s do the needful starting today! We shall wait for the next episode to continue further! Stay tuned! 😊