In the previous episode, we had continued witnessing a very strange story involving two people – Puranjana and Avignyaata. We witnessed the second half of the story yesterday wherein Puranjana married the strange girl whom he saw at the entrance of an equally strange city! He spent his married life with her with all happiness, however, at a certain point in time, he was defeated by a king of his neighboring territory. There was another strange woman who plotted King Puranjana’s downfall and eventually during the war, both Puranjana and his wife were killed! After this, King Puranjana and his wife took multiple rebirths in this world and underwent sufferings and untold miseries until a point in time wherein Puranjana was extremely frustrated! Towards the end of his fifth birth, he suddenly remembered that he once had a good friend by name Avignyaata and he had promised that he would offer help at time of need. As Puranjana was thinking thus, Avignyaata was incidentally passing through the way and both recognize each other! As promised, Avignyaata offers Puranjana a timely help by removing him from that place and taking him to a new place wherein both the friends led a happy and peaceful life, devoid of any further suffering!
This might have been a strange story – In fact, many readers who had read yesterday’s story had posted many comments too! Some of them were very interesting and they go like this – Although Puranjana has taken five births and as per the story, he meets Avignyaata only at the end of his fifth birth! If that is the case, has Avignyaata also taken five births? If yes, how would we be able to carry forward our memory from one birth to the other and how do we identify our friends whom we had five births earlier? If on the contrary, Avignyaata hasn’t taken rebirths as Puranjana did, how is that he remembers Puranjana after so many hundreds of years? Moreover, how can a person have a lifespan of time that which is equivalent of five births? These are some intriguing questions that had come up for this story!
In fact, we should remember that during the course of the story and also at the end of it, I repeatedly emphasized the word “Strange”! I’ve also asked a question at the end of the previous episode – What is the connection between this story and the Shrimad Bhaagawatha text that we’re discussing so far? The answer is that, there is absolutely no connection between anything here! It is only us, who are in this story! Now when I start explaining the story in a different viewpoint, we would know how we’re directly involved in this! Every “Jeevatma” (Normal living beings in this earth) are all like this King Puranjana. The character by name Avignyaata (Puranjana’s friend in the story) is none other than “Paramatma” (Bhagawan) Himself! This Paramatma is always embedded within every Jeevatma and He comes all along with us throughout our life. Thus, He is our best friend, isn’t it? Just like how Avignyaata was the close friend of King Puranjana, Bhagawan is the close friend for all of us! Now, if we trace back into the story, both Avignyaata and Puranjana go in search of a city to live peacefully, isn’t it? This city is nothing other than our own human body! Just like how both the friends went searching to find a suitable place to live, this human body is the place where both the Jeevatma and Paramatma were jointly searching together to take birth in this world. Just like how this city had nine entrances, our human body also has nine entrances – Two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, one mouth and two exit points for our urination and solid wastes. If we total it up, we would get nine entry / exit points, isn’t it? As we’ve seen in the story, there was a beautiful girl emerging from one of the entry / exit points of the city, isn’t it? This beautiful girl is none other than our own intellect or our mind! This mind, similar to the girl, has ten bodyguards, in the form of ten “sense organs”. Five physical senses like seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and inhaling, and five mental states of senses. Our Atman, which is like King Puranjana, wants to marry this girl, who is like this mind! However, he doesn’t realize that it is extremely dangerous in getting married! As King Puranjana went in all directions as instructed by his newly-married wife, we too start going into all unwanted directions as per our mind! The five-headed snake which was on top of that girl’s head as per the story, is nothing but our five different types of “Vaayu” (Breath) – “Praana Vaayu”, “Apaana Vaayu”, “Vyaana Vaayu”, “Udaana Vaayu” and “Samaana Vaayu”. These five combined together comprise of our “Praana” or “breathing pattern”. As long as our breathing is normal, every aspect of our human body works well enough. However, if our breathing stops for whatsoever reason, what will happen to our human body? It would totally stop functioning and we would be declared dead by the doctor, isn’t it?
Thus, the Atman is the groom and the mind is the bride. Both of them are getting married now, just like King Puranjana and this strange woman get married to each other! As this marriage happens, it should be remembered that Avignyaata had warned King Puranjana, but after a point, he leaves his free will to take over! He leaves King Puranjana and goes away, isn’t it? Similarly, if we start going behind our mind’s will and wish into all worldly activities that are going to ruin us, what can Bhagawan do? He can only advise us not to go behind our mind’s temptations. But the onus of controlling our mind rests with us, isn’t it? This is where the comparison comes – Just like Avignyaata tells King Puranjana that he is available, whenever he needs help, Bhagawan also tells us the same thing – “When you realize that you’re getting nowhere by going behind the whims and fancies of our mind, you can be rest assured that you have Bhagawan to protect you and bring you out of all your miseries! Just call me out for help and I would run and come to rescue you!”
Just as King Puranjana and his newly-married wife started and proceeded with their married life, they went through innumerable trials and tribulations all through! King Puranjana however completely forgot about his friend Avignyaata! Similarly, as we’re getting carried away by our worldly pleasures, we totally forgot Bhagawan and His divine presence! It is only at an inevitable time when Puranjana takes multiple births and realizes that none of them can help him, except his friend Avignyaata, we also take innumerable births in this world, keep adding our “Karma” every moment of our lives, and at a threshold point, would realize that none other than Bhagawan can save me and liberate me from this vicious birth and death cycle! As King Puranjana thinks about Avignyaata, and he immediately appears in front of Puranjana. Similarly here too, frustrated by what is happening to ourselves, we call out Bhagawan for help finally, having no other option left in our hands! Hearing our fervent prayers and calls, Bhagawan comes to us, takes us with Him and finally liberates us from this world, just like how Avignyata takes King Puranjana away from that place to a peaceful place, where both of them live at peace!
Now can we see the connect and the deeper meaning of this “strange” and “peculiar” story? Therefore, rather than going into the specifics of the story, we should understand the deeper meaning of it by understanding the above explanation. So for today, let us start thinking on these lines and we shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode too, for more clarity! Stay tuned! 😊