In the previous episode, we had witnessed how the mind plays an important role in enhancing or deviating us from our spiritual path, and how Bhagawan’s “Chakra” signifies this wavering mind. Just like how Bhagawan controls the “Chakra” to have a go at only those who follow the path of “Adharma”, we should also control our mind and focus it towards Bhagawan. This is what Bhagawan expects from us, and this is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna explains in the Bhagawad Gita as well, with regards to the characteristics of an ardent devotee. As we understand this point clearly, we shall move towards the next important point that Sage Paraashara is going to talk about now.
He now talks about the beautiful garland that Bhagawan is wearing – Also referred to as “Vaijayanti Maala”. This is an important accord here, and there is a reason behind why Bhagawan is wearing this. This garland again signifies our five sense organs and how they’re co-ordinated by a single element called “mind”. These are nothing but the “Karma-Indriyas”. Moreover, there are another five set of elements called the “Gnyaana-Indriyas”, which are signified by the arrows that Bhagawan is holding in His hands. Moreover, Bhagawan has a long sword in His hands, which is embedded inside a cover. This sword signifies the ‘Gnyaana”, or the knowledge, and the sword’s cover signifies the “Avidhya”, which is nothing but “ignorance. The message here is that, all of us have the “Spiritual Knowledge” deep within us, but the problem is, our “Avidhya” or the “Ignorance” is refusing to let it shine, just like how the sharp sword is not let out by it’s cover.
We’re seeing this even in today’s scenario too – We might read a lot about Bhagawan. We might listen to the discourses of eminent “Upanyaasakas”. We might listen to sweet music, singing in praise of Bhagawan. However, even after all of this, our mind refuses to change course, isn’t it? For instance, we attend a music concert of an eminent musician. We get raptured by the music and the “Bhakti” behind the songs that are being presented. Sometimes, we might even get tears in our eyes as we feel Bhagawan in the music. However, after the concert is over, do we still continue to realize Bhagawan? Do we still continue to think about Him? In most of the cases, we don’t! The moment we’re outside the concert hall, we start getting into the folds of the “Maya” or the “Illusion” isn’t it? This simply means that we’re still not mature enough to get into the spiritual path completely. Our mind isn’t still cooperating. Thus the point here is, although our mind knows that this is the spiritual path that we’ve to follow and although we have the spiritual knowledge deep within us to enjoy the music in the right way, we’re still deluged over the “Avidhya” (Ignorance) that we’re not able to persist on our spiritual path. This is where, “persistence” and “consistency” is very important when it comes to following the spiritual path.
This is like playing a Test Match in the game of cricket. Just like how the batsman should wait, wait and wait till he gets the loose ball to play his shots, and just like how the bowler should be consistent enough to bowl good deliveries to the batsman, we too should be consistent in our approach towards Bhagawan. This is what Bhagawan expects out of us. There might be hurdles in the middle, in the form of various disturbances coming by our way. If we’re getting carried away by those hurdles, it is imperative that we’re letting our “Avidhya” to take over. We’re slowly starting to lose the game here. This is where we’ve to be careful. We should never let our “Avidhya” to take over our spiritual progress. If such a thing happens, we’ve to start from scratch once again, and this is where we tend to lose interest towards spiritual progress. We should thus take the resolve within ourselves that whatever comes by, we should never ever thread backwards in our spiritual path. This is where our mental strength is put under test and Bhagawan expects us to live up to this challenge.
So with all these important points, we come to the end of the first “Amsa” of the Shri Vishnu Puraana. This “Amsa” had 23 “Adhyaayas” and we’ve witnessed a jist of all of it for the past 65 episodes. Now to conclude this “Amsa”, Sage Paraashara explains the “Phala-Stuthi”, or the benefits that a Bhakta would get, if he / she reads through this “Amsa”. We shall wait till the next episode to look at this “Phala Stuthi”, but before this, we’ve to look at yet another important message as we move on. Here, as Sage Paraashara commences the “Phala-Stuthi”, he once again addresses his disciple, Sage Maithreya. We might be wondering here – Till this point, Sage Maithreya was never to be seen. Where did he come from again, all of a sudden? We should remember this important point here that it was only upon Sage Maithreya’s question about how this world was created, is Sage Paraashara narrating the whole accord. We’ve already witnessed Sage Maithreya’s question in our earlier episodes itself. However, we might wonder here, as to why Sage Paraashara is giving such a lengthy answer for just that one question. When we say “lengthy”, the answer is spanning over 22 Adhyaayas, and counting! Why can’t he stop by just giving a “one-liner” as how most of us do today? Why is Sage Paraashara explaining things in such minute detail? What is the role of the “Dhruva-Charitra” and Bhagawan Narasimha’s incarnation here? All these questions have only one important answer and we shall witness the answer in the next episode! An absorbing discussion awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂