In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important point from the story of King Puranjana and Avignyaata that at times when we are getting carried away with worldly pleasures, we tend to forget Bhagawan completely, and also the very purpose of taking birth in this world. This is exactly where King Puranjana got entangled into – At the time when he saw this beautiful girl, no matter how strange she was, King Puranjana fell in “love at first sight” and got married to her, despite warnings from his friend Avignyaata. Even if that was the case, Avignyaata had offered King Puranjana timely help if he had problems in his married life. However, in the walk of life that Puranjana was into, he totally forgot Avignyaata’s words! Eventually it took almost five births for King Puranjana to remember Avignyaata’s words. This is how we too get entangled into the “Maya” or the “Illusion” that these worldly pleasures create for us. We should realize that this Maya is a huge trap and if we’re going to fall into this, we’re going to entirely forget the mission of our life. We had witnessed another similar instance from the Valmiki Ramayana too, to illustrate this point. We saw how Sugriva was also carried away with the pleasures of his newly found position as a king and eventually forgot his promise to Bhagawan Rama. Finally it took a severe warning from Lakshmana and Bhagawan Rama to bring Sugriva back to his senses.
Having said thus, we might have few compelling questions here – If this so-called “Maya” or “Illusion” is this strong, should we refrain ourselves from having a married life? Should all of us refrain totally from all the worldly activities like earning money, having a wife, children, etc.? If that is the case, how will the world sustain? How will the next generation of human beings take shape? The answers to these questions are: Yes, of course we should have a marriage in life. We should have a wife and should have children. We should have a professional life for ourselves, earn money and support our family. There is no doubt in this absolutely. However, what is important for all of us to understand here is, are we getting carried away into anything of these totally? We should ask this question within us.
For instance, there is a difference between earning money and craving for money, isn’t it? Money can be earned through legitimate ways, either by starting a business, running the business successfully and ethically, or working as part of an organization, etc. There are of course innumerable ways of earning money in the right and legitimate way. However having said that, there might be some people who are “craving” for earning more and more money and hence, they tend to resort to earning money through unethical practices like stealing, pickpocketing, selling unwanted products like drugs, etc. or by involving themselves in anti-social activities. This is where the problem is – We should earn money, but not run crazy behind it. If we’re immersing ourselves totally into earning money, this is where we get trapped into the “Maya” and face loads of problems later on in life. This is where, we talk about having “detachment” in whatever we do. In other words, money is important for having a peaceful and a sustainable lifestyle. However, if the need for money goes out of control, we would start resorting to unwanted practices, wherein this same money would end up ruining our lives completely! We’ve seen and are seeing so many instances of people wherein their desire to earn more and more money land them in jail, fighting corruption cases in the courts, etc. Thus, if we develop this quality of “detachment”, we can still enter into the worldly life, but will not be carried away too much into it.
Similarly, when it comes to marriage, all of us should get married and have a decent family. This is something that all of us must do. The concept of marriage has been created by Bhagawan to follow the path of Dharma together with our spouse. We can find this point explained well in the Valmiki Ramayana again. When King Janaka gives his daughter Sita in marriage to Bhagawan Rama, what does he say?
“Iyam Sita mama suthaa saha dharma chareethava!”
King Janaka says to Rama thus, “Oh Rama! Here is my daughter Sita! I’m giving her in marriage to you for the sole purpose of leading a life of Dharma together.” It should be remembered that marriage is like a bullock cart, which is driven by two buffaloes tied together. The cart will run on the road properly only if the two cows pull it in tandem. However, if one of the buffaloes doesn’t cooperate or tries to fight with the other one, what would happen to the cart? The cart would break midway and fall on the road, isn’t it? Similarly, the purpose of marriage is for all of us to follow the path of “Dharma” by holding the hands of our life partner. Marriage is not just for enjoying the pleasures, having kids, earning money, property, etc. Of course, all of it is important, but only to a certain extent. The ultimate purpose of life should not be forgotten while we are in our married life. This is exactly where King Puranjana lost the plot! Once he got married, he forgot everything else in life, except his partner! This led him to unwanted issues, which made him totally forget Avignyaata, who was his guiding light.
So for today, let us realize this important point from this King Puranjana-Avignyaata story. Let us invoke the thought of detachment within us and look at “Dharma” first, before anything else! We shall wait till the next episode to carry this discussion forward. Stay tuned! 😊