In the previous episode, we had witnessed a couple of important characteristics of the “Atman”, as part of our discussion on Sage Bharata’s conversation with King Rahuguna. We’ve seen that the “Atman” is an embodiment of endless peace and bliss (“Shantaha”), and any sort of external disturbances, both in terms of physical and verbal / mental injuries can affect the “Atman” in any way. In similar lines we had also witnessed that the “Atman” is referred to as “Aksharaha” wherein any sort of growth or decline is only for the “Deham” (Physical body) and not for the “Atman”. Of course, whenever we take birth time and again, we get a new “Deham” and this “Deham” keeps growing up to a point and then starts shrinking down, till the death / destruction takes place. However, irrespective of whatever happens to our “Deham”, our “Atman” never changes its form or size or shape. It is a constant entity and it would continue to do so, irrespective of how many births we take in this world, or even if we happen to attain “Moksha” and become “Nitya-Atmans” at Bhagawan’s Vaikunta! We’ve to remember and understand these points very clearly as we move ahead from here.
Moving on further thus, we’ve to witness the other characteristics of the “Atman” that Sage Jada-Bharata is talking about here. I’ve already quoted the two slokas through which Sage Jada-Bharata is driving home these points, and for our reference, we shall quote the slokas once again here. Sage 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!!”
Now Sage Bharata is going into the third important characteristic here, which is pointed out in the second sloka – “Nirgunaha”. The “Atman” never has any form of “Doshas” or ill-effects. Again, we’ve to understand that it is only the physical body that undergoes all sorts of “Doshas” and our “Atman” is never a victim here. In day-to-day scenarios, we often go in search of astrologers to weed off our “Doshas”, which are caused by our planetary positions, isn’t it? The astrologers would also suggest that we go to some specific temples, worship some specific deities and do some “Parihaaras” for the “Dosha” to come down in terms of intensity. However, Sage Bharata is explaining here that if we’re having confidence and unending faith on Bhagawan, none of these “Doshas” are going to affect us in any way possible. He drives home this point by going one step further here – Since these “Doshas” are just for the physical body and not for the “Atman” in any way, why worry about something that is affecting the destroyable? In any case, irrespective of whether there is a “Dosha” or not, our physical body is going to be subjected to destruction today or tomorrow! So why give so much of importance to something that is destroyable in nature? Why don’t we hold on to something that is permanent?
It is through this analogy that Sage Bharata is driving home the point that we shouldn’t be too much scared and worried about any forms of “Doshas” that might arise out of our planetary positions. We shouldn’t first of all get jittery because of all these, as constant movements of planets are something that we cannot prevent. Moreover, these planetary problems that arise out, are predominantly due to the “Karma” that we’ve accumulated over the past and thus, there is literally no “short-cut” solution for all these, unless and until we burn them out ourselves. Hence, the entire concept of doing “Parihaaras” for “Doshas” is something which is debatable. Of course, if some astrologers read through this episode, they might come for a fight with me, as I might throw their profession off track here! 🙂 But that is not the point here – The main point here is that, as spiritual seekers, we’ve to develop the maturity to face any sort of problems head-on, rather than running to the astrologer for anything and everything. So, how would that maturity come? It would come only when we understand more and more about the “Atman” and how the “Atman” is more significant than the “Deham”.
This is exactly why Sage Jada-Bharata is spending so much time describing the “Atman”. So for today, let us understand how the “Atman” can never be affected by any form of “Doshas” ever, and it is we who should gain that maturity to face problems as they come! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂