In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important leadership & management lesson with regards to how we view short-term and long-term orientations. In due course, we’ve witnessed how King Yayaati got carried away by the short-term pleasures of youthfulness while being a king, and the lucrative “Svarga-Lokha”, only to be pushed out at the end of his tenure. Eventually, King Yayaati’s accord teaches us the important lesson that if we’re getting carried away by short-term goals and orientations, it is only temporary happiness and can backfire at any point of time. However, if we’re looking at a sustained growth with a long-term orientation, this is like aiming to reach the ultimate “Vaikunta” or “Moksha” with Bhagawan’s divine “Anugraha”. Once we reach “Vaikunta”, we are never going to return back to any of the “Lokhas” once again, unlike the cases of the “Svarga Lokha” and the “Naraka Lokha”.
Moreover, King Yayaati explains to Sage Ashtaka thus, “Oh Sage! After going all the way to the “Svarga Lokha” and after being pushed back thus, I feel that I could have been in this “Manushya Lokha” itself, performed penance to attain “Vaikunta” from here itself!” Sage Ashtaka did not understand what King Yayaati was telling. The real meaning of King Yayaati’s words is this – The lifespan of a human being here in this “Manushya Lokha” is around 90 years, isn’t it? In today’s context, it is hardly 80 to 85, if everything goes well. Whereas, the lifespan at the “Svarga Lokha” is around a thousand years. If anything goes wrong in these 80-85 years in the “Manushya Lokha”, our time span is quite less to correct course and attain “Moksha”. Whereas, if we deviate from our path of “Dharma” in the “Svarga Lokha”, we’ve to wait for a thousand years to correct our course of action! Moreover, once we reach the “Svarga Lokha”, it is very difficult for us to transcend from there to “Vaikunta”. Very few people who had that extreme “Vairagya” (Will power) have done that. But for normal people like us, we’re unable to resist our desires even in this “Manushya Lokha” for 85 years. But in the “Svarga Lokha”, it is all going to be pleasures and desires 24*7*365 for a thousand years! Won’t we get carried away with ease by all these pleasures? The moment we get carried away, where is the question of even thinking of Bhagawan or “Vaikunta”? We would immediately say thus, “Oh! We’re extremely happy here at the “Svarga Lokha”! We do not need the “Vaikunta” at all!”
For instance, we’re conducting elections in our country / state once every four to five years. If we as common citizens of the country aren’t happy with a government and its performance, we’ll have to wait for five years to change the government, isn’t it? Similarly, if we’re not happy with our own progress in the path of “Dharma”, Bhagawan is waiting for us for around 85 years (in this human birth that we’ve taken) for course correction. Only if we don’t do anything, Bhagawan acts accordingly with the next step. However, this 85 is much less as compared to a thousand, isn’t it? If we’re getting carried away with all the pleasures at the “Svarga Lokha”, Bhagawan has to wait for a thousand years to correct our path towards “Vaikunta”! This is the potential problem that we would encounter when we reach the “Svarga Lokha”! We might attain all pleasures and luxuries, but we might not be able to attain Bhagawan! Hence, it is up to our priority and the choice is ours – Whether to choose the “Svarga Lokha” luxuries or Bhagawan!
We should note here that all these question-answer sessions are happening as King Yayaati is falling down! He hasn’t completely fallen down on the “Manushya Lokha” yet! But Sage Ashtaka is asking him all sorts of questions as the falling process is on! 🙂 Sage Ashtaka not only asks about the tenure of the “Svarga Lokha” that we’ve discussed till now. This is a seemingly very long conversation that is going on between the two of them. Sage Ashtaka is asking question after question to King Yayaati! I shall just explain some of the important questions that Sage Ashtaka asked here. The first question that he asked was to which all “Lokhas” we would transcend to, after our demise at the “Manushya Lokha”. If we’ve to transcend to any of these “Lokhas”, how would we transcend? We wouldn’t be having a physical body, isn’t it? We would be having only the “Atman” at that time. In that case, do we take a new physical body to reach those respective “Lokhas”? Now that King Yayaati is falling down with his original physical body – Did King Yayaati go to the “Svarga Lokha” with this same physical body? How come he was falling with the same physical body with which he went to the “Svarga Lokha”?
We can see here as to how many questions are coming from just that one question that we started with! Initially, Sage Ashtaka started with the question of why is King Yayaati falling down, and from where is he falling down! Readers should remember this sequence of conversation very carefully here. It might be a bit confusing. Sage Ashtaka commences with this particular question, and from the answer that King Yayaati gave, Sage Ashtaka asks around a hundred questions associated with that! So for today, let us understand Sage Ashtaka’s questions and let us wait till the next episode to witness what are the answers that King Yayaati gave to Sage Ashtaka! Stay tuned for the most interesting part of the conversation! 🙂