In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Vyaasa going one step further to make King Drupada obtain faith in what he was narrating. Sage Vyaasa had clearly explained the past happenings and how this marriage between the five Paandava brothers and Draupati was destined to happen according to Bhagawan Shiva’s divine will. Even after the detailed description that came from a great Sage, King Drupada wasn’t fully convinced. Thus, Sage Vyaasa blessed King Drupada with a pair of “divine eyes” with which he was able to see all whatever Sage Vyaasa narrated – The five Indras, Bhagawan Shiva, Goddess Parvati Devi, etc. This was the final conforming point and King Drupada did not have anything more to say. He was totally convinced with the words of Sage Vyaasa and Yudishtra and was very happy that he and his daughter were part of a larger ploy of Bhagawan Shiva and Goddess Parvati Devi.
Thus, the entire gathering was now getting ready for the marriage to take place. Now that all the doubts were cleared, the stage was set for the grand marriage event to happen. Thus, the day wherein the “Pushya Nakshatra” fell was chosen as the auspicious day for the event. It was decided that first Yudishtra would get married to Draupati, and subsequently, Bheemasena, Arjuna, Nakula and Sahadevi would marry her. The marriage happened with all the grandeur and with the divine “Anugraha” of Bhagawan Krishna, Bhagawan Shiva, Goddess Parvati, all the Devas, great Maharishis, etc. Once the marriage is over, Kunthi Devi is going to do some “Upadesha” (Important pieces of advice) to the newly married Draupati. She says thus, “Oh my dear Krishnaa! Please listen to my words – Just like how Nala and Damayanti lived together always, just like how Sage Vasishta and Arundati lived together always, just like how Bhagawan Krishna is always with Rukmini Devi, you should always be with your husbands at all times. Firstly, you should understand how to feed the guests (Atithis) who would be visiting our house! I shall teach you that first!”
We might wonder here, why Kunthi Devi is teaching something that might sound a bit silly. It is mentioned in the “Dharma-Shaastra” that if the lady of the house is not taking care of the guest properly and if the guest’s stomach isn’t satisfied of its hunger, all the property (“Selvam”) of the house would go away as the guest walks out of the house. We should always remember this point very carefully – “Athithi Sathkaaram” is very important as part of our “Sanaatana Dharma”. We should make sure that the guest who visits our house is well fed and well satisfied with the best hospitality possible. On the other hand, if we behave like a miser to our guests by not feeding them or by not taking care of them properly, Goddess Lakshmi Devi just walks out of our house by carrying away with her, all the “Punya” that we had accumulated over the past, along with all the wealth and property. This is why, Kunthi Devi makes sure that she starts her advice with this very important point. “Atithi-Sathkaaram” is one of the most important points that every lady of the house should ensure. Of course, men also have a part to play in this, but the responsibility falls more on the woman of the house, because, she would be managing all the kitchen activities mostly. Of course, in today’s scenario, this itself is a big question mark in many houses! However, the point here is that, we should take care of our “Atithis” and ensure that they are satisfied both in terms of food and hospitality.
Apart from the “Atithis”, the lady of the house should also feed the children (Balas), teachers (Gurus) and aged people (Vriddhas). Thus, these four categories of people should be very carefully taken care of by the lady of the house. All these points should be noted down by all the women who are reading through this episode. These points are evolving from the advice of Kunthi Devi towards her daughter-in-law, isn’t it? Hence, this is extremely relevant for all of us in today’s scenario too. Moreover, Kunthi Devi continues with her advice thus, “Oh Krishnaa! This clan into which you’ve come, is a very important clan. All the ancestors and forefathers who had been part of this clan have been steadfast in their spiritual practices, like performing the “Ashwamedha Yaaga”, “Raajasuya Yaga”, etc. regularly. Hence, you should develop the thought and intention to support your husbands when they perform all these spiritual practices and “Dharma Kaarya”. Moreover, I’m blessing you with all the requisite wealth, good health, etc. to start and continue your married life with your husbands for a long long time. May you have a lot of kids as you progress in your married life!”
Saying thus, Kunthi Devi advises Krishnaa with all these points of advice and in the meanwhile, Bhagwan Krishna comes with all the gift items that need to be given as part of the marriage event. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness what Bhagawan Krishna had to say when He arrived with all the gift items! Stay tuned! 🙂