In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Paraashara’s narrative that people in the other “Dveepas” are singing in praise of those in the “Jambu-Dveepa”. Sage Paraashara is highlighting this narrative to drive home the point that if we’re born in this “Jambu-Dveepa”, we’re the most fortunate living beings ever. Within this “Jambu-Dveepa”, if one takes birth in the Bhaarata Desha, there is literally no excuse for us to dodge away from attaining “Moksha”. It becomes more or less a mandate for all of us to strive and somehow attain Bhagawan. We should always remember this clearly – Foreigners from various western countries and neighbouring China are envious of the fact that our Bhaarata Desha is a land of spirituality. If they’re able to understand this, and follow our cultural & spiritual practices, what stops us from doing it? Thus, it is only the mindset that needs an overhaul here. We’ve to accept the fact that we’re a blessed lot of people, and Bhagawan has “hand-picked” all of us to come along with Him. If Bhagawan is sending out such a message to us, isn’t it up to us to understand that “Vaikunta” or “Moksha” is up for grabs for all of us? We should strive and make this as our top priority as we move on with our life thus.
Moving on, Sage Paraashara now talks about the “Paathaala Lokha”. We’ve already witnessed previously that our entire world consists of fourteen different Lokhas – Seven above us and seven below us. Thus, the seven underground “Paathaala Lokhas” are the topic of discussion here, and if there should be one person who can hold up all the seven “Paathaala Lokhas” together, it is none other than Bhagawan Aadisesha. All of us know who Bhagawan Aadisesha is and He needs no introduction. He’s none other than the thousand-headed divine serpent, over which Bhagawan Vishnu rests Himself at Vaikunta. Thus, It is this Bhagawan Aadisesha who sits underneath all these seven Paathaala Lokhas and rests them on His thousand heads.
Post this, there is another very important place that Sage Paraashara is going to talk about here. He now says that amidst all these “Paathaala Lokhas” and over the ocean floors are the various “Naraka Lokhas”. We might be familiar of this term called “Naraka Lokha”, isn’t it? The gross idea that all of us have about the “Naraka Lokha” is that, all those whose account of “Paapa” (Sins) are high would go into this. The treatment that would be metted out to all of us here is something extremely “royal” in nature! 🙂 All that is spoken about here is punishments – Various forms of punishments like beating, burning, cutting, etc.! 🙂 So for this “Naraka Lokha” – We might be thinking that there’s only one “Naraka Lokha”! For all of us who have such a thought – Please think again! There are various different “Naraka Lokhas” and not just one! This is exactly what Sage Paraashara is going to explain here. He explains 32 different “Naraka Lokhas”. Sage Paraashara explains thus:
“Tathascha narakaa vipra bhuvodhah salilaschatha!
Paapinoyeh paapyante thaachrunusva mahaa mune!!”
Now this is an important sloka wherein Sage Paraashara is going to start explaining who will go to which of these 32 Naraka Lokhas. But before that, we’ve to first look at some names and “terminologies” that are associated with these 32 different “Naraka Lokhas”. Sage Paraashara lists them down thus: “Raurava”, “Sookara”, “Rodha”, “Taala”, “Vishana”, “Mahaajwaala”, “Tapta Kumbha”, “Lavanodha”, “Bilohita”, “Rudhiraambha”, “Vaitharanihi”, “Kirmishaha”, “Krimi bhojanaha”, “Asipathravanam”, “Krishnaha”, “Laalaabhakshaha”, “Daarunaha”, etc. Of course, I’ve just mentioned only one half of the list here, and by this time, readers would start feeling jittery thus, “Oh wow! Is it a necessity that we should even know all of these? Isn’t this extremely scary? Would we get a good sleep at night after reading through all of these?” These are some valid concerns, but there is a reason why Sage Paraashara is explaining this upfront. He himself is explaining it in the subsequent slokas.
So for today, let us understand these points, and in tomorrow’s episode we shall continue from the reasons behind Sage Paraashara’s exhaustive narratives about the “Naraka Lokha”. An absorbing episode awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂