In the previous episode, we had witnessed the conclusion 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 66 episodes. With this, we now move on to the “Phala-Stuthi” of this “Amsa”, wherein Sage Paraashara is going to explain the immense benefits that one is going to attain, if he / she reads or listens to this “Amsa”. But as we move on to this important section, we’re in the midst of an important discussion as to why Sage Paraashara is giving such a detailed explanation and description to just one question that Sage Maithreya was asking. Readers would remember the question here – “How was the world created?” – And for this, Sage Paraashara has explained the answer in 22 different Adhyaayas! The answer is not over yet. In fact, he has just begun the answer and we’re going to have a huge discussion moving forward. We shall witness the answer for the question as to why is Sage Paraashara giving such a huge answer for just this one question, and then go on into the “Phala-Stuthi”.
If we look deeply into this sequence of events, Sage Maithreya is just asking that one question. However, if we would’ve been there in that situation, we would have asked 100’s of cross questions! We would never have had the patience to sit quietly and listen, first of all! We would have raised questions thus, “Oh! I’ve just asked one question about the creation of the world. However, what is the connection between creation of the world and Bhagawan’s Varaaha and Narasihma incarnations? How do these incarnations make sense here?” We should realize that only because there’s a huge sense behind all these incarnations, is Sage Paraashara explaining here. There’s definitely a link. For instance, even if we see the sequences that led to Bhagawan Krishna giving the Bhagawad Gita to Arjuna, it was just that one question from Arjuna that prompted Bhagawan Krishna to go for the lengthy 700-sloka Bhagawad Gita. Similarly, for the Vishnu Sahasranaama too, Yudishtra is asking Bhishmacharya as to what is “Dharma” in this world. For this, Bhishmacharya is coming up with a 108-sloka Vishnu Sahasranama! We might wonder here thus, “Oh! Neither Yudishtra or Arjuna or Sage Maithreya had never asked for such a lengthy answer, isn’t it? Then, why did Bhagawan Krishna or Bhishmacharya or Sage Paraashara give such a lengthy reply?” This is where the “Aachaarya” is showering his divine grace on his disciple. It is out of the inner, deep-rooted desire of the Aachaarya to enlighten his disciple, is he giving an answer that encompasses various aspects of human life inside it. Just like how a mother wouldn’t stop giving her child only what it wants for that moment, an Aachaarya also gives all what the disciple requires for a peaceful life in the long-term.
Thus, we should realize here that an Aachaarya is a person who always thinks about the long-term benefit for the disciple, and not just the short-term benefit. This is the difference between great Aachaaryas and normal people like us. The Aachaaryas have a foresight and a long-term thinking, which makes them give answers that would be applicable, even after so many years! This is where we had also seen at the end of our previous project – Shrimad Bhaagawata Puraana that Sage Sukaachaarya gave a huge accord about how the present Kali Yuga would span out in the coming centuries. In fact, King Parikshit hadn’t even asked for all of it, but Sage Sukhaachaarya took it upon himself to explain the nook and corner of the Kali Yuga with great foresightedness. Such is the significance of our great Aachaaryas and we should learn to respect their enormous contributions.
With this, we shall move on with the “Phala-Stuthi” – Something that we’ve been waiting to hear for a while now! 🙂 Sage Paraashara explains thus, “Oh Maithreya! Those who are reading or listening to this first Amsa of the Vishnu Puraana would get the same “Punya” (Benefit) that they would get if they take a holy bath at the “Pushkara” lake during the Kumba Mela that occurs once every twelve years!” We might be aware of this “Pushkara-Kshetra” wherein Bhagawan Vishnu resides there in the form of the water in that sacred lake. Thus, Sage Paraashara assuredly explains to Sage Maithreya that a person who listens or reads through this Amsa would get such a huge “Punya” in his / her life and with this, all the sorrows and sins of that person would get washed away with ease. Such is the power of this first “Amsa” and with this, we come to the end of it here.
So for today, let us ponder over, read over and analyze each and every section of this important first Amsa and we shall wait till the next episode to commence our discussion on the second “Amsa”! Stay tuned! 🙂