In the previous episode, we had witnessed the end of Skandha 3, which also marks the end of the first day of Shrimad Bhaagwatha Saptaaham. It is to be remembered by readers that this text is to be read for seven days, and hence the name “Saptaaham”. We culminate the discussion of Day one with the Varaaha Avatara of Bhagawan Vishnu, wherein we witnessed how Svaayambhuva Manu is trying to create many “Jeevatmas” in this world and how he faced a hurdle in the form of the Raakshasa “Hiranyaaksha”, who took away Goddess Bhoomaadevi (Mother Earth) and hid her amidst the vast ocean waters. As Svaayambhuva Manu and Bhagawan Bramha didn’t have a clue as to how to solve this issue, they went to Bhagawan Vishnu, who took the incarnation of “Varaaha” (Boar). Bhagawan Varaaha kills Hiranyaaksha and rescues Goddess Bhoomadevi. However, Goddess Bhoomadevi wasn’t really satisfied with Bhagwan Varaaha’s “heroic” act. She was more concerned with the thousands of people like us who are struggling in this world to reach “Moksha”. Hearing this concern from his beloved wife, Bhagwan Varaaha explains three simple ways through which a person can attain His feet. We’ve witnessed these three ways in the previous episode and in order to pass on this message to the world, Goddess Bhoomadevi incarnates in this world as “Aandal” at Srivilliputhur, in the south-Indian state of Tamil Nadu. In her “Thiruppaavai” text, Aandal clearly brings out these three ways of attaining “Moksha” and for washing away all our sins.
As we move on with the story further, Svaayambhuva Manu continues his job of creating the world further, with the divine blessings of Bhagawan Bramha and Bhagawan Vishnu. As years passed by, Svaayambhuva Manu got married and he had children too – Two sons by names Priyavratha and Utthaana-Paada and three daughters by names Devahooti, Prasooti and Aahooti. From now, the story will revolve around these people and let us witness how things panned out after this. We’re still in the third Skandha, and we would proceed further from this point.
On the whole, we’ve now witnessed how Bhagawan is going about the job of “creating” this world and creating all of us in this world that he has created. What is the purpose of creating all of us in this world? It is to reduce and wash away our “Karma” by giving us a platform to do so. Once we’re able to wash away all our “Karma”, we are never going to be born in this world! We’re going to reach Bhagawan’s feet as we finish our tryst with our “Karma”. This is what we often refer to as “attaining Moksha”. Of course, within all of this, there is going to be various points of transition for all of us – For this physical form that we’ve taken up (form of a human being), we’ve got a definitive lifespan for around 80-90 years, isn’t it? After this particular lifespan comes to an end, our “Aatman” that is embedded within our physical body gets out and gets liberated. As the “Aatman” travels outside of our physical body, it takes all our “Karmas” along with it. Depending upon the nature of the “Karma” that the “Aatman” carries with it, (Good or Bad Karma), it takes the form of another living being – Maybe a plant or an animal or another human being. Again, after taking a re-birth, this “Aatman” will accumulate fresh Karma till the end of this lifespan. Again, at the end of it, the Aatman will exit this physical form and enter into another one. This is a vicious cycle of birth and death, and here is where all of us are stuck up! This is where, our Sanaathana Dharma explains to us that in order to escape from this vicious cycle, we’ve to involve ourselves in “Bhakti” and “Sharanaagathi” towards Bhagawan. This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna explains in his Bhagawad Gita too.
Thus, to measure all these “repeated” lifespans that we keep taking, we need to have a mathematical parameter called “time frame” – For instance, minutes, hours, days, months, years and finally “Yugas” (Age). All these time-periods were determined by Bhagawan Bramha. It is about this time-period, that we are going to discuss in the 11’th Adhyaaya of the 3’rd Skandha of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana. Certain intriguing questions that arise as we proceed into this discussion are: How was this time period created? How do we map this time-period with our lives in this world? This discussion becomes extremely important as we’ve got a short lifespan ahead of us.
In this short lifespan, we cannot waste even a single minute of time. Of course, within this short lifespan, we’ve got “n” number of commitments that need to be fulfilled – Right from education to working in a company, earning money, taking care of our family, etc. In this, all of us are running behind time almost every passing day – Right from youngsters till aged-people. As we are young, we are worried if we’ll be able to complete all out tasks and activities within the stipulated time-frame or not. As we get into our old age, we start worrying about death and how many days and months and years are still left in our lifespan. Hence, irrespective of whatever age we are in, we keep worrying about time in some aspect or the other!
Thus, time is very important for all of us, irrespective of our age, irrespective of what we do and what we are. Time transcends all of these differences that all “Aatmans” in this world undergo and it keeps changing everything around, during its passage. This is why we experience in life that as time progresses, we get older minute after minute, we keep changing our physical form as years flow by, we keep changing the nature of the activities that we do as time rolls by, etc. Thus, time is something that keeps changing and keeps transcending across all living beings, in terms of lifespan and in terms of the activities that are performed.
We’ve thus with this discussion, laid a foundation for a detailed discussion on “time” and we’ve to now witness how did it originate from Bhagawan Bramha and the allied discussions around it! We shall continue this interesting accord in the next episode! Stay tuned! 😊