Episode # 302 – Our focus should be more on the “ATMAN” than the “DEHAM” – Yudishtra demonstrates!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Yudishtra gives more importance to the “Atman” rather than the “Deham”. This is an important point that we have to understand as we move on further. Again – I’m spending more and more time explaining Yudishtra’s path of “Dharma” because this understanding is the basis for all whatever is going to unfold for the next thirteen-year period. We’ve discussed for the past four to five episodes on how Yudishtra was extremely meticulous with his three important “Shabadhams” that he had undertaken in front of the Paandava brothers and Draupati. This entire discussion stems out from these “Shabadhams” and how Arjuna countered it. The way in which Arjuna countered Yudishtra, might exactly be the thought process that all of us might have – What is the use of following the difficult path of “Dharma”, if nothing is going to be impacted in this “Kali Yuga” because of whatever we do? This is where we’ve to understand the difference between the “Deham” and the “Atman”. 

I’ve already explained this subject in our earlier episodes and projects as well, but this context warrants a revision of the same. Basically, we’ve to understand that all of us are made up of two elements – the “Deham” (Physical Body) and the “Atman” (Soul). If we’ve to pursue the path of “Dharma” (The difficult path that Yudishtra took up), we’ve to give more importance to the “Atman” and lesser importance to the “Deham”. Now we’ve to understand what are those things that satisfy the “Deha-Soukhyam” and those things that satisfy the “Atma-Soukhyam”. All the worldly pleasures and luxuries that we go behind – For instance, a plush house, an expensive car, and all those items that make our physical body comfortable will all come under the things that enable “Deha-Soukhyam”. Also, name, fame, position, power, controlling others, creating politics, ego clashes, etc. are also those that ultimately satisfy the “Deha-Soukhyam”. We should understand it in this way – The elements of name, fame, position, power, etc. that I had just mentioned, are all ways and means of achieving the worldly pleasures of a plush house, expensive car, luxurious lifestyle, etc. which directly pertains to the “Deha-Soukhyam”. 

Amidst this, we should also understand clearly here that none of these above-mentioned elements that satisfy the “Deha-Soukhyam” directly or indirectly pertain to the “Atma-Soukhyam”. This is where all of us get confused. What we wrongly understand here is that, if we have a luxurious lifestyle, that’s the end of life and we’ve achieved something great. This is actually not the case. The real achievement of a human being is attaining the “Atma-Soukhyam” and this is the unique philosophy that our Bhaarata Desha has been propagating since ages! All the western cultures promote only the “Deha-Soukhyam” with all the luxuries and everything that they propose and this is the primary reason as to why a huge number of western people are flocking towards our Bhaarata Desha for obtaining “peace of mind”. We should understand clearly here that one can attain the ultimate happiness and peace of mind only if we focus more on the “Atma-Soukhyam”, because this is the one that is permanent in nature. All the physical luxuries, money, fame, etc. might be with us today, and might disappear tomorrow! Hence, “Deha-Soukhyam” is transient and temporary in nature, and the “Atma-Soukhyam” is the permanent one. 

Now let’s understand what “Atma-Soukhyam” is all about. Basically, the “Atman” that is present inside each and every living being in this world including plants and animals is nothing but the manifestation of Bhagawan inside all of us in some form or the other. The “Atman is the one that drives us forward in all our actions. If we’re trying to equate the “Atman” to a manifestation of Bhagawan, now what are those elements / factors that satisfy the “Atma-Soukhyam”? The elements are our “Nitya-Karma Anushtaana”, routine prayers towards Bhagawan, performing “Naamasankeerthanam” regularly, chanting the “Mantra” or a regular basis, making sure that we are of help to others in some way or the other, making sure that we do not hurt anyone either through words, thoughts or actions, etc. All these factors would directly contribute to the betterment of our “Atma-Soukhyam”. 

Now we should correlate all these factors that contribute to the “Atma-Soukhyam” to the “Shabadhams” that Yudishtra has taken here – Are we able to see a direct mapping? This is exactly what “Dharma-Atmas” do. All their actions would be directed towards the “Atma-Sukham”, rather than the “Deha-Sukham”. In the case of Yudishtra itself, we are going to witness that for the next thirteen years, he had to endure so much insults, cheating, forest life which is extremely difficult, wars, etc. Yet, Yudishtra was strong and steadfast in his approach towards “Dharma”. Never for a single moment did he change his approach, isn’t it? Thus, all the above-mentioned items – Insults, cheating, forest life, etc. are all those factors pertaining to the “Deha-Sukham”. Yudishtra never gave any importance to all these elements. However, what was important for Yudishtra was to ensure the “Atma-Sukham”. The moment we start ensuring the “Atma-Soukhyam”, we would automatically start avoiding many grave mistakes and errors. Once we are mistake-free, we can be confident of our approach. Once we’re confident in our approach, it is very easy to be successful in whatever endeavours we do in life. This is the most important lesson that we’ve to learn from Yudishtra’s life. 

Having said this, we might have a question in our mind – If we’ve to mature spiritually, should we only give importance to our “Atman” and not to our “Deham”? What if our “Deham” gets into some disease or something, because of lack of proper maintenance? The answer is very simple here – Of course, we’ve to give importance to our “Deham”, because the “Deham” is the vehicle gifted to us by Bhagawan to execute all the actions that we’ve to perform. We should of course ensure that we’re up and running at all times, as much as possible. However, the problem comes only when we start giving too much importance to the “Deham” and when we completely forget the “Atman” component in us. This is where all differences of opinions, anger, fights, ego clashes, etc. come in. Thus, to begin with, we should start giving equal importance to the “Atman” and the “Deham” and as we slowly mature spiritually, our priority towards the “Atman” should increase more than that of the “Deham”. In fact, Bhagawan Krishna is going to give a detailed accord on this as part of His Bhagawad Gita, which we would be discussing in detail in the future episodes. But this is an extremely good prelude for that detailed accord. 

Hence, for today, let us clearly understand the difference between the “Deha-Soukhyam” and the “Atma-Soukhyam” and let us also understand that as we mature spiritually, we should give more priority to the “Atma-Soukhyam” as compared to the “Deha-Soukhyam”. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! 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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