In the previous episode, we had witnessed a background of Sage Aasthika, who is going to be instrumental in stopping the “Sarpa Yaaga” that King Janame-Jaya is going to perform. Fuelled by Sage Utthanga, on one side, King Janame-Jaya is all set to begin the “Sarpa Yaaga”, which is meant to bring all snakes to the “Fire of death”, for all the havoc that they had wreaked. On the other side, as we commence with the “Aasthika Parva”, Sage Vyaasa gives a detailed accord on who is this Sage Aasthika. We’ve seen in yesterday’s episode that Sage Aasthika was born to a “Naaga-Kaanika” (Woman from the Naaga-Lokha), who was the sister of Snake Vaasuki. All of us know by now that Sage Vaasuki was the one who was instrumental in drilling the “Ocean of Milk”, to obtain the divine nectar (Amrita). Since Sage Aasthika was born to Snake Vaasuki’s sister, he obviously had a “soft corner” for snakes in the world. It is this Sage Aasthika who makes his way to King Janame-Jaya’s palace.
Now that we’ve seen the jist of the story, we shall go into the detail. Sage Jarath-Kaaru who was Sage Aasthika’s father, was one day, performing an intense “Tapas”, and with this, he was able to see his ancestors in the “Pitru Lokha”. He was looking at everybody who was there in the “Pitru Lokha” and found that all of them looked extremely sad for some reason. Immediately, Sage Jarath-Kaaru was anxious with regards to their sadness. He has never seen them this sad till date. Hence Sage Jarath-Kaaru enquires with the Pitrus as to what is making them sad. Upon Sage Jarath-Kaaru’s enquiry, the Pitrus reply this, “Oh Sage! We’re quite happy with all what we have. We do not worry whether we would be able to attain “Moksha” from this stage or not. We’re getting all the “Argya”, “Aaraadhya”, etc. from our next generations who are living in the world currently. Having said thus, we only have one worry – There is one person in this world, who is part of our generation and lineage. He is the main cause of worry for us! He’s not understanding our requirement and wish. Of course, he is extremely good at “Tapas” and penance, but the only thing that he’s not understanding is that, he has to have a family, through which the next generation would arise. If the next generation doesn’t arise, how will we continue getting the “Argya” and “Aarradhya”? If we do not receive them properly, we would be doomed, isn’t it? At one stage, we would not be able to transcend to “Moksha” and instead, we would be pushed upside down into this world again! This is our main cause of worry! We sincerely hope that this person understands our urgent requirement. Till this current generation, everything is going on smoothly. But for the future continuation of this smooth process, a requirement of the next generation being born is necessary!”
It is to be understood that the “one person” that the “Pitrus” are referring to, is none other than Sage Jarath-Kaaru himself! 🙂 They’re indirectly pushing Sage Jarath-Kaaru to get married and make way for the next generation to continue the “Pitru” offerings. Out of curiosity, Sage Jarath-Kaaru asks the Pitrus thus, “Oh dear Pitru Devatas! I’m so sorry to hear this. But, may I know who is that person you’re referring to all this while?” Upon this, the Pitrus slowly replied thus, “That person has a name “Jarath-Kaaru”. He is extremely good at “Tapas”. However, he’s so immersed into the “Tapas” that he forgets that having a family is also equally important. For some reason, he is not willing to marry and have a child!” As Sage Jarath-Kaaru hears thus, he was shell-shocked! Till this time, he did not realize that the main cause of the Pitru Devatas’ worry was he himself! He thus immediately falls on the feet of the Pitrus and proclaims thus, “Oh Pitru Devatas! Till this time you were referring to someone called “Jarath-Kaaru” isn’t it? I’m the one whom you were referring to! I’m Sage Jarath-Kaaru, and I’m the sole reason for all your sorrows! So please tell me, what should I do now!”
As Sage Jarath-Kaaru surrenders to their feet, the Pitru Devatas are extremely happy! They reply to him collectively thus, “Oh Sage Jarath-Kaaru! We’re extremely happy that you realized what our notion was. The first thing that we want you to do is to renounce and give up your Brahmacharya Vratha. Till date you have fulfilled all the requirements of the Brahmacharya Vratha, and now the time has come to move on to the next stage in life – The Grihastha Ashrama. Hence, you should look out for a good girl and get married to her. This is the first step that you need to do. Once this is done, all other things would automatically fall in place!” As the Pitru Devatas request him thus, Sage Jarath-Kaaru replies to them, “Oh Pitru Devatas! Till now I was engrossed into the Brahmacharya Vratha and I did not realize that there is a world apart from this. I was thinking that I would be able to directly attain Moksha through the Brahmacharya Vratha itself. Anyways, you’ve put forth your request and I realize your point. Perhaps, it is only possible to attain “Moksha” via the “Grihastha Ashrama” and if that is your wish, I shall fulfill it with all my heart and soul!”
Thus, the important lesson to learn here for all of us is that, if we satisfy the wishes of the “Pitru Devatas”, we would be able to lead a happy and a peaceful life. This is why we should make it a point that we do all the “Tarpanas” (Divine offerings) to the Pitru Devatas on time. So for today, let us understand upto this point and we shall continue this discussion tomorrow in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂