Episode # 121 – Short-term vs. Long-term benefit – Attaining “Svarga Lokha” or “Vaikunta” – An accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed King Yayaati being pushed upside down from the “Svarga Lokha” by Indra. We’ve witnessed how Indra created a trap and how King Yayaati fell into it. Indra had asked a “double-edged” question, wherein whatever answer King Yayaati would have given, it would be wrong in some way or the other. This is what we refer to as “Dharma-Sankat”. However, since King Yayaati always stood for truth and “Dharma”, he decided to give an answer to Indra’s question, even though he knew that he would get into trouble. As he expected, Indra declared that King Yayaati was self-proclaiming in nature and this is also an “Adharma”. With this, King Yayaati officially lost the rights of residing at “Svarga Lokha” any longer and thus, Indra pushed him upside down, back to the Manushya Lokha. At this time, there was a group of sages who were discussing something important, and King Yayaati was falling right at the place where these sages were discussing. 

As the sages see King Yayaati fall, one of them orders him thus, “Oh King Yayaati! Why are you falling down like this?” Will we ask someone who is falling down from somewhere as to why he / she is falling? 🙂 These sages were asking King Yayaati thus! We might find this a bit silly, but there is a definitive purpose behind this question. Readers should understand here that this is not a mere outward question that the sages are asking. The real meaning of this question is something that talks extensively about the depth of the “Samsaara”, and how we too are falling every day into it, without even knowing that we’re falling! Of course, in King Yayaati’s case, the sages are seeing him falling in front of their own eyes. But in our cases, we’re falling into the “Samsaara”, without even knowing that we’re falling into it. Again, all this is the outcome of the “Karma Theory”, isn’t it? If a person’s “Punya LKarma” gets exhausted, he / she descends back from the “Svarga Lokha” to the “Manushya Lokha” to take a new birth. If a person’s “Paapa Karma” gets exhausted, he / she descends back from the “Naraka Lokha”, to again come and take birth in this world. What we’re seeing with King Yayaati is of the same case here – Until his “Punya Karma” was ruling, he was also enjoying a lot in the “Svarga Lokha”. However, when his “Punya Karma” was coming to a close, Indra stepped in at the right time and made sure that King Yayaati fell back into the earth for another birth!

Thus, given the fact of the Karma Theory, can we really say that Indra is opportunistic? In the previous episode, we had mentioned that Indra was a highly opportunistic person, isn’t it? We had discussed that he doesn’t like anybody trying to surpass him in terms of name and fame in the “Svarga Lokha”. But if we look at it in the angle of the “Karma Theory”, we would understand that Indra has just done his job perfectly here! When King Yayaati’s “Punya Karma” was getting over, he would automatically lose his right to reside in the “Svarga Lokha”. Thus, as the leader of the “Svarga Lokha”, it was Indra’s duty to push King Yayaati down to the earth again, once his “Punya Karma” got over! But we might all be wondering why such a story is part of this “Mahabharata” text? What is the lesson that we can learn from this? The answer is very simple here – If we’re aspiring to ascend to the “Svarga Lokha” so as to enjoy all the pleasures and luxuries that are present there, it is only a short-term benefit. Readers might know by now that if our “Punya Karma” exceeds our “Paapa Karma”, we would ascend to the “Svarga Lokha” or “Indra Lokha” wherein we would enjoy all the benefits of our “Punya Karma” over there. However, when our “Punya Karma” comes to a close, we would again come back to this world and take another birth! 

However, this is where we’ve to think and make a decision whether we want a short-term benefit or a long-term benefit. Now what do we mean by “long-term benefit”? A situation where we never come back to this earth again is what we call “long-term benefit”! This is the stage where we attain “Moksha”, or “Vaikunta”. We should always remember that this “Moksha” stage is way beyond the “Svarga Lokha” and the “Naraka Lokha”. This is because, if we get into either of these “Lokhas”, there is always going to be a day where we would be pushed back into the earth for another birth! Of course, we would enjoy enormous luxuries there, but that is short-lived! However, if we’re going one step beyond and are aspiring for the highest “Moksha”, Bhagawan is never going to leave us forever! We’ve to take the call here – Whether to enjoy luxuries at “Svarga Lokha” or whether to enjoy Bhagawan’s divine presence at “Vaikunta”! If we reach Vaikunta, we’re never going to come back and we would hence become “Muktatmas”. This is the long-term benefit. 

Thus, it is for us to decide! So for today, let us think about these two aspects – The “Short-term” and the “Long-term” benefits and make an appropriate decision for ourselves! We shall continue with this discussion in the next episode to witness further on how King Yayaati fell down! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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