In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion on two aspects namely “Deha-Soukhyam” and “Atma-Soukhyam”, and how Yudishtra focused on the latter more than the former. By walking the path of “Dharma”, Yudishtra sent out a clear message that no matter whatever difficulty comes his way, he would bear it and not frown over it. This is because these difficulties are of worldly nature, which directly pertain to the “Deham”, and not the “Atman”. For instance, Yudishtra had to lose the Indraprastha kingdom, he had to descend to the forest for the next thirteen years, he had to face the dilemma whether he should get back the kingdom or not, after the thirteen-year period, he had to endure enormous amounts of physical discomfort while living in the forest – All these pertain to the “Deha-Soukhyam”. However, Yudishtra’s firm stance on the “Dharma-Maarga” invited Bhagawan Krishna to visit the Paandavas amidst the forest many times. Moreover, a good number of great Maharishis made a beeline to visit Yudishtra and from them, he had various opportunities to learn a lot of lessons pertaining to the “Dharma” that he was following directly from them. All these pertain to the “Atma-Soukhyam” and Yudishtra’s focus was primarily on that. Thus, if we understand Yudishtra through these lenses, we would be able to appreciate how he firmly stood by the “Dharma-Maarga”, which nobody else was able to!
Moreover, as we move on, we should understand one more thing pertaining to this subject of “Atman” and “Deham”. Why is it stressed in various contexts of our “Sanaatana Dharma” that we should give more importance to the “Atman” and lesser for the “Deham”? We’ve seen a glimpse of this yesterday itself, but let us elaborate a bit on this today. Normally, as we know by now, “Atma-Sukham” pertains to permanent happiness and “Deha-Sukham” pertains to temporary happiness. We should recollect here that the “Deham” (Physical Body) is destroyable in nature at the end of our human birth, whereas the “Atman” is permanent. After our demise at the end of this birth, our “Atman” gets transferred into another new “Deham” and the cycle continues, which is what we refer to as the “Birth-death cycle”. In this, we perform various types of “Karma” (Actions) – Both good as well as bad. Again within this, each one of us should take a small statistic here – What are all the “Karma” (Actions) we keep on doing every passing day to satisfy our “Deham” and what are all the “Karma” (Actions) we keep on doing every passing day to satisfy our “Atman”? If we take a statistic truly to our heart, we would realize that most of our “Karma” every day is primarily for satisfying the “Deham” and not the “Atman”. If we’re honest in our introspection, we would be stunned with ourselves and because of this, we seem to encounter enormous problems in our day-to-day life. Readers might ask how! I shall explain with an example:
For instance, assume that we’re contracting a small disease – Maybe an ordinary fever / viral infection or a common cold. The moment we catch a cold, what would be our immediate action? We would start feeling tired and giddy! Many of us would start running around frantically here and there for medicines! Many of us would feel as if the entire world has come to an end for us! All these are because we’ve caught a simple cold! Now we should ask ourselves – Why are we running here and there frantically and making a big issue out of this? It is primarily because we’re more concerned about our “Deham” and if anything small affects our “Deham”, we’re unable to take it! Whereas, if we’re trying to give equal importance towards our “Atman” along with the “Deham”, gradually we would stop running around like this! This is where we’ve to strike a balance – Of course, I’m not saying that we should refrain from taking care of our “Deham”. That’s not the point here. But, we shall always try not to lose hope of our entire life just because of this simple cold, isn’t it? This is where we’ve to balance – If the “Deha-Soukhyam” reduces a bit, it can be compensated by the “Atma-Soukhyam”. The moment we’re strong with our “Atma-Soukhyam”, we would automatically develop the confidence that we shall be able to face any type of problems with ease! This is because, if we’re strong in our “Atma-Soukhyam”, Bhagawan will always be with us and He will take care of our well-being at all stages of our life. This is the basic understanding that we should develop.
Thus, the point here is that focusing on the “Atma-Soukhyam” gives us permanent happiness and our “Deha-Soukhyam” is transient in nature. This is exactly what Yudishtra is demonstrating here to all of us, and for today, let us understand this point very clearly as we move on further! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂