In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on the various aspects of “Dharma” that Sage Sukhaachaarya is explaining to King Parikshit. Accordingly, we had yesterday witnessed an extended discussion on why the aspect called “Thyaaga” is of paramount importance if we’ve to attain Moksha. Even for our daily life, if we’ve to achieve something extraordinary and if the world has to look at us with awe, we’ve to sacrifice so many aspects in life. We’ve seen quite a few examples yesterday, with sports persons, with doctors, etc. who make huge sacrifices in their lives, to achieve their ultimate goal. Some people even go to the extent of sacrificing their majority part of their young family life, food, etc. to achieve their goals. Thus, the point here is that, if we’ve to achieve something in life, we’ve to be prepared to make some equivalent sacrifices. This is what we call “Opportunity cost” in Economics. Thus, this “opportunity cost” is totally applicable for our pursuit for “Moksha” too, which is the highest goal of our human birth. For attaining this ultimate goal, we should be ready to sacrifice quite a few worldly pleasures that many a times we keep going after. This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna too talks about in His Bhagawad Gita, that we should have a detached mind from worldly pleasures, so as to attain Moksha. If we’re going into all sorts of worldly attachments, it is going to be a never-ending vicious cycle of birth and death and we would never be able to raise up our bar.
Moving on thus, we had moved on to the next aspect of “Dharma”, wherein we’ve just seen a small introduction to it. We’ve started discussion on “Swaadhyaaya aarjavam” wherein we witnessed that it is also part of our regular “Dharma” to keep chanting Bhagawan’s divine names every day. We should make it a daily routine and a practice to chant any sloka or some verses from the Vedas, or Bhagawad Gita or Bhaagawatha Puraana, or Vishnu Sahasranaama, or whatever. It is not important as to which slokas are we chanting. All what is important is whether we are chanting them or not, with total concentration and devotion. If we do this meticulously, we would develop something called “Adrishta Shakti” around us, which is nothing but a “ring of protection”, which would protect us from any kinds of enemies or catastrophic situations. We saw in the previous “Skandha” how Prahlaada was an epitome of this aspect of “Dharma” and how he was protected every time when his father Hiranya-Kashibu subjected him to lot of tantrums and punishments. Thus, chanting Bhagawan’s divine names will definitely serve as a great protection to us and we would definitely feel it when the apt time arrives. This is one way of looking at it.
The other way of looking at this aspect of “Dharma” is that, if we constantly keep chanting Bhagawan’s divine names, our mind would slowly start getting focused on our spiritual growth, rather than wandering into various worldly activities. Chanting Bhagawan’s names is perhaps one of the most effective ways to bring our mind under complete control. Once our mind is controlled, all our external disturbances in the world would start coming down automatically. Once this happens, we would be only in the path of attaining Bhagawan’s feet or Moksha”.
Thus, to bring this one-pointed focus to our mind, we need to meticulously develop this habit or practice of chanting Bhagawan’s divine names. As mentioned earlier, it could be anything, ranging from few verses from the Vedas, or Upanishads, or Puraanas or Bhagawad Gita or Vishnu Sahasranama or Lalitha Sahasranama or whatever. The point here is that we’ve to make it a regular practice to chant any of these daily without fail.
“Aarjavam” is something that is associated with this. This means, “Being frank and honest”. Of course, we might take this meaning as being honest to the external world, by not cheating anybody, by not giving or getting bribes from someone, by not misinterpreting others’ words for our personal gains, etc. This is of course part of honesty, which is obviously required. But honesty doesn’t end here. We should be honest to ourselves too – For example, if we’ve to evaluate ourselves on a daily basis as to what are some steps that we’ve taken today for our spiritual growth – Here’s where our real honesty is put under test. We should not cheat ourselves by manipulating whatever we’ve done and whatever we’ve not done. If for instance, today I’ve not chanted any sloka of any text, and if I’ve not thought about Bhagawan even for a moment today, let us be frank and honest about it! Only if we’re frank within ourselves, we would be able to take corrective measures for tomorrow.
Thus, the point here is that, honesty should be both ways – External and Internal. Externally, we should make sure that we speak what we think and we do what we speak. There should be no discrepancy between these three – Speaking, thinking and doing. Internally, we should make sure that we are honest to ourselves with respect to our spiritual progress every day. We would be able to improve ourselves only if we’re brutally honest to ourselves!
Hence, with this we’ve witnessed another five important principles of “Dharma” thus – “Ahimsa”, “Brahmacharya”, “Thyaaga”, “Swaadhyaaya” and “Aarjavam”. There are many more aspects of “Dharma” which Sage Sukhaacaarya is going to talk about as well. Stay tuned for the next episode for more updates! 😊