In the previous episode, we had been amidst a very important conversation between King Rahuguna and Sage Jada-Bharata, wherein Sage Bharata was spot-on with his replies to all the questions of the king. He ultimately stressed and drove home the important point that all of us have a single-pointed agenda behind coming to this world, which is to wash off our Karma. We’ve all come from the same place, which is the womb of a mother. Similarly, we’re all the same Jeevatmas, which Bhagawan is creating every passing day. It is only Bhagawan who can be the “Paramatma” ultimately and none of us can attain that state ever. However, there is only one difference in all of us – The various ways that we take to wash off our Karma. In this case, Sage Jada-Bharata was washing off his Karma by carrying King Rahuguna’s carriage in his shoulders, whereas, King Rahuguna was washing off his Karma by sitting in the carriage! This process might differ from individual to individual, but the bottom-line remains the same – All of us are here to wash off our Karma in some way or the other.
Upon hearing such a thought-provoking reply from Sage Jada-Bharata, King Rahuguna was chewed to bits! He was stunned beyond words! He immediately fell on the feet of Sage Jada-Bharata and replied thus, “Oh Sage! You’re perhaps the only person to whom I’m fearing now! I’ve never feared Bhagawan Vishnu’s “Chakra”. I’ve never feared Bhagawan Shiva’s “Trishoola. But today, I’m standing in front of you with some sort of a fear within me. You’ve overpowered me with your words and thoughtful insights! In fact, knowledge is something that can defeat anybody at any point in time, irrespective of whatsoever weapons the enemy might be possessing!”
King Rahuguna continues thus, “Oh great one! In fact, I was going in search of some great Sages to understand certain aspects of Vedanta in which I had doubts. However, upon seeing you today, I think all my questions are starting to get answers. After seeing you, I don’t need to continue my journey any further to meet any sage. You are my “Guru” and I would wish to learn many more things from you from now onwards!” As King Rahuguna surrenders himself thus, Sage Jada-Bharata begins to explain lot many important aspects of the “Atman”, “Deham”, how the “Atman” (Soul) and the “Deham” (Physical body) are different, how all the “Atmans” in this world are equal without any sort of difference between them! Sage Jada-Bharata explains thus:
“Aham tvancha tathaanyecha bhootairuhiyaama paarthiva!
Gunah pravaaha pathithaha bhoota vargopi yaatrayam!!
Aatma shuddhaha aksharaha shraantaha nirgunaha prakrithehe paraaha!
Pravrithabhayo naasya chaikasya akhila janthushu!!”
Here, Sage Bharata beautifully explains the characteristics and the beauty of the “Atman”. He explains thus, “Oh Rahuguna! Please understand that there is no difference between the words “I”, “We”, “You”, “They”, etc. All of us are one. Because, even if we say “I”, it signifies the “Atman”. Similarly if we say “We”, that also signifies and indicates only the “Atman”. In the same lines, if we say “You”, this also indicates the “Atman” only. Hence, for all these words, the meaning is the same, which is nothing but the “Atman”. However, you might think that you are Rahuguna and I’m Jada-Bharata. But please understand here – These names of Rahuguna, Jada-Bharata, etc. are names given to our “Deham” (Physical body), and not for our “Atman”. Our “Atman” does not have any name or any kind of differentiation. All “Atmans” are the same. So, if you’ve to progress spiritually upwards, you need to identify the similarity in all living beings by looking at the “Atman” and not the “Deham”!”
This phenomenon that Sage Bharata is talking about here, is often referred to in our Sanaatana Dharma literature as “Nishkrishta-Vesham”. In fact, the “Atman” has two different “Veshams”. The synonym of the word “Vesham” can be understood as “Form”. Thus, the “Atman” is considered to have two different forms – One is the “Vishishta Vesham” and the other is “Nishkrishta Vesham”. Now what is the difference between these two forms of the “Atman”? The first one – “Vishishta Vesham” is the form wherein the “Atman” is seen as being closely embedded with the “Deham”. This is where we start seeing all sorts of difference between various living beings in this world. Whereas, the “Nishkrishta Vesham” of the Atman signifies the separation between the “Atman” and the “Deham”. This is where we start seeing the similarity between all living beings in terms of the “Atman”. This philosophy is very important for all of us to understand here – As we progress in our spiritual growth, we should decrease our “Vishishta Vesham” and increase our “Nishkrishta Vesham” of our “Atman”. Only then we would be able to see all living beings on the same plane, without looking into any sort of differences between them.
This is exactly what Sage Jada-Bharata is talking about here too. He explains to King Rahuguna how we should see all the “Atmans” equally. Thus, in this way, Sage Jada-Bharata is indirectly talking about how we should develop the “Nishkrishta Vesham” of our Atman. So for today, let us understand and experience this important point that Sage Bharata is stressing here. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion forward. Lot of such important points lie ahead of us, and let us witness them one by one! Stay tuned! 🙂