Episode # 6 – Humble prostrations & respects to Sage Paraashara – The Aachaarya!!!

We were at an important juncture in the previous episode, wherein we had witnessed the entire structure of the “Shri Vishnu Puraana” text. The contents of the first three “Amsas” were covered during Episode # 4, and in yesterday’s episode, we had witnessed the contents of “Amsas” four, five and six. We had witnessed that “Amsa” four talks about the “Soorya-Vamsa” in great detail, incarnation of Bhagawan Rama towards the end of the “Soorya-Vamsa” and finishes it with the commencement of the description of “Chandra-Vamsa” wherein Bhagawan Krishna incarnates during the Dvaapara Yuga’s end. Moving on further, “Amsa” five talks in great detail about all the important “Leelas” and incidents that took place during Bhagawan Krishna’s tenure in this world – Right from His childhood, teen-age, middle age and until Bhagawan Krishna ascends back to Vaikunta. Subsequently, “Amsa” six talks about the “Kali-Yuga Dharma” and how things are going to be in the present Kali Yuga. Finally, the sixth “Amsa” comes to an end with the “Kaandikya-Keshidvaja Samvaadham” and with that, the “Phalastuthi” follows. 

Thus, this is the brief structure of this great text of “Shri Vishnu Puraana” and normally, this entire text is recited within a span of six days. Just like how we had witnessed the concept of “Saptaaham” (Seven days) in the case of the “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” recital, here it is done in a span of six days. It is a normal practice that on each of the six days, one “Amsa” is taken up in detail. Thus, all the six “Amsas” are covered in six consequent days. There are in total more than 6,000 slokas in this text. In fact, it is more than 6,000, and I had just given an approximate number here. With whatever little knowledge I have, I shall in the subsequent episodes starting today, share with all of you a glimpse of what is being spoken about in this great text. If we’ve to go into minute details of each of the 6000-odd slokas, it is going to be nearly impossible for us, owing to various time and life constraints that might come through in the middle of the journey. I shall try and touch upon the important slokas along with their meanings and messages for our life today, and beyond this, readers are requested to purchase the book for themselves, go through each and every sloka in detail and learn. All of us should have the desire to learn about our Sanaatana Dharma literature in detail, and blogs like these are only a “motivation” for all of us to read and understand more. Hence, readers shouldn’t come to the conclusion that by merely reading whatever we’re writing here, it is the end of the world. We’re just touching upon hardly 10-15% of what is there in the actual text. It is therefore with our own personal interest that we should pursue this learning journey on our own and at our own convenience and pace. The more we listen to it and read it, is when we would be able to understand things deeper. If we broadly look at all our Sanaatana Dharma texts, each and every text has “pearls” and “Ratnas” hidden into them. It is only upto the readers to pick them up and enjoy the experience. For instance, if there’s a businessman who does business in jewellery – He / she would exactly know how and where to pick up the “Pearls” and precious metals like gold, silver, diamond, etc. isn’t it? Similarly, as ardent followers of our “Sanaatana Dharma”, we should learn and understand from each sloka as to where from and how we pick up these pearls that are imbibed into the slokas. 

Moreover, as we commence to witness the text in detail, we should first pay our tributes to the “Aachaarya” (Guru or Spiritual Master). This is the first thing that we should perform. As we’ve witnessed in our previous Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text too, we had paid our respect to Sage Sukhaachaarya, who was the composer of the entire text, here, we’ve to pay our respect to Sage Paraashara who has blessed us with this divine text called “Shri Vishnu Puraana”. Hence, it is our first duty to bow down to Sage Paraashara for all that he has given us. We should always pray to our great Maharishis with the attitude that they’ve gifted all these high-level texts and knowledge to people like us who have zero knowledge and zero experience in understanding all of these. Thus, these kinds of texts should reach lakhs and lakhs of people around the world, and all of them should benefit out of the various “Pearls” that these texts have gifted us with. Only if we study these texts with this humility in us, we would be able to grasp all the important messages that are described. 

In fact, if we look at the significance of Sage Paraashara, he has a distinguished title by name “Udhaaram”. Here, “Udhaaram” signifies the act of “giving endlessly” without any expectation from anyone. This, in other words, we denote as “generosity”. This is where, he has gifted us with this great work called “Shri Vishnu Puraana”, without any sort of expectation from the future generations of people to come. He doesn’t expect us to return him with some money, or any sort of “Dakshina” isn’t it? All he wants us to do is open the book and read! Next, the great significance of Sage Paraashara is that he clearly teaches us the difference between “Paramatma ”, “Chith ” and “Achith ”. Many of us might be knowing this – “Chith” denotes the living beings comprising all “Jeevatmas” in this world, and “Achith” denotes all the non-living beings in this world. Obviously “Paramatma” is Bhagawan. Thus, what Sage Parashara is teaching us here is that we, as “Chith” in this world, have the Atman within us with which we can take our own decisions. “Achith” items cannot take any decisions on their own, because they are non-living beings. Thus, the message here is that we should use our decision making skill to leave one and hold on to the other! Which should we leave and which should we hold on to? We should leave the “Achith” and hold on to Bhagawan! But what are we doing in this world today? We’re holding on to various forms of “Achith” in our day-to-day life and are getting attached to all of it! Our own physical body (Deham) is the biggest “Achith” that we keep holding on to! We keep decorating it, beautifying it, spending all our time, effort, money, etc. on it! However, we do not understand the fact that our human body comes under the “Achith” and is subject to destruction at some point of time. This is where, Sage Paraashara teaches us that we shouldn’t hold on to the “Achith”, which is subject to destruction, but should hold on to Bhagawan, who is permanent and is going to take us to the highest “Moksha”. It is this aspect of “Vedanta ” is Sage Paraashara emphasizing at every segment of this Shri Vishnu Puraana. 

Thus, with this note, we shall commence our detailed discussion on the first “Amsa” from the next episode, and as mentioned earlier, the first “Amsa” talks in detail about how Bhagawan Vishnu created the world, and subsequently few earlier incarnations of Bhagawan, to illustrate the fact that He is the one who protects what He has created! We shall for today, understand all these above-mentioned points and pay our respects to Sage Paraashara! Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at International School of Business & Media, Pune, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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