In the previous episode, we had been witnessing a very important and a relevant conversation between Yudishtra and Sage Shaunaka wherein Yudishtra feels bad about his pitiable situation – not because he cannot help himself, but because he cannot help the Brahmins and Maharishis who are with him. However, the Maharishis led by Sage Shaunaka advise Yudishtra not to think about them and their survival at this moment. All what is important for Yudishtra is to safeguard “Dharmaa” by not deviating an inch away from it. Yudishtra’s primary goal should now be to learn how much ever he can from various Maharishis around the forest area for the next thirteen years and implement all his learnings when he goes back to the kingdom. Moreover, the Maharishis highlight to Yudishtra another important point that he should not think that he was the one who was feeding all of them till that day. The Maharishis have enormous “Tapo-Bala” with which they can easily feed themselves, or even be without food for several days, months and years together. But yet, why did they stick around with Yudishtra all these days? The primary reason was that Yudishtra was an epitome of “Dharma” and the Maharishis were interested in the “Dharma” aspect more than anything else. Thus, once Yudishtra left the kingdom, the Maharishis also decided to leave along with him to the place where he goes, because wherever Yudishtra is there, “Dharma” is always present.
Continuing this discussion forward thus, Sage Shaunaka explains a very important in-depth aspect of “Dharma” here. From now onwards we would find very interesting and intense discussions on various aspects of “Dharma” and we shall also have detailed discussions and deliberations as much as we can. So for now, Sage Shaunaka wants to console Yudishtra because he has raised a valid doubt pertaining to “Dharma”. Sage Shaunaka explains further thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Please remember this – There are a hundred instances wherein sorrow would come and keep showing its face for a person, and there are a thousand instances wherein fear would show up its ugly face for a person. All these faces would be shown to people who are “Moodas” (Fools) and not for those who are “Pandithas” (Learned scholars)!” As Sage Shaunaka says thus, Yudishtra has another doubt within himself! He thinks within himself thus, “Oh wow! Why is Sage Shaunaka saying this now? Is he trying to categorize me into the “Moodas”? Of course I don’t have a problem with being branded as a “Mooda”, but how do I learn from my mistakes?” With this question in mind, Yudishtra asks back thus, “Oh Sage! How do you categorize a person to be a “Panditha” and a “Mooda”? What are the prerequisites for it?”
As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Shaunaka immediately understands his thought process and what Yudishtra intends to ask. He immediately changes his course of reply a bit, to suit Yudishtra’s query here. Sage Shaunaka replies thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Please understand one thing very importantly here – A person who has the “Atma-Gnyaana” is referred to as a “Panditha” or a completely learned scholar. However, a person with zero “Atma-Gnyaana” is referred to as a “Mooda” or a complete fool, who is in darkness!” Thus, for a person who has the complete knowledge of the “Atma-Gnyaana”, sorrow and fear cannot show their ugly faces. All the faces of sorrow and fear would be valid only for those who do not possess the knowledge of the “Atman”! There would be of course a thousand instances wherein a person would feel scared or experience suffering. This is never going to change in this world. Everybody has to undergo this. However, what is important here is that, how does the person come out of all these, without getting affected by the consequences of experiencing the sorrow and fear! For this, one should have the complete understanding of his / her “Atman” and its significance!”
As Yudishtra listens keenly, Sage Shaunaka continues his accord thus: “Oh Yudishtra! Please look at it in this way – If you talk to a person who is a “Mooda”, he / she would look for various instances to feel scared of! He / she would always feel that something is causing fear and sorrow to them at every instance of time! There are many people who might not have big problems in their life, but that itself would be their biggest problem! They would somehow search for instances and situations to keep lamenting, which in turn would give them sorrow and fear in their lives! If such sorrow and fear engulf us, we would never be able to enjoy the beauty of life and they would serve as stumbling blocks for our spiritual progress as well!”
This is a very important point for all of us to ponder as well – Many a time we might be undergoing sorrowful experiences and fear in our daily lives. This is something that is natural in all of us. However, the most important understanding should be how to overcome this fear and sorrow, rather than keep on brooding over them! This is where we need the knowledge of the “Atman”. We should basically understand that all whatever sufferings and sorrow that we undergo in everyday life only pertains to the “Deham” (Physical body) and none of these would affect the “Atman”. Thus, from our prior knowledge that the “Deham” is something that is temporary in nature and the “Atman” is something that is permanent in nature, we should ponder within ourselves as to which should gain more importance in our priority list – “Atman” (Permanent entity) or the “Deham” (Temporary entity). If we give more importance to our “Deham” than the “Atman”, all the sorrows and fears would automatically engulf us and this is where Sage Shaunaka is classifying such people as “Moodas”. Whereas, those who understand the trick wherein they give more importance to the “Atman”, are largely unaffected by whatever happens around them, and these are the people whom Sage Shaunaka categorizes as “Pandithas”!
So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and let us ponder over ourselves to reflect deep within! In the next episode, we are going to continue this discussion forward and witness few examples of “Pandithas” who “walked the talk” – One such person was King Janaka, and Sage Shaunaka is going to explain how King Janaka was extremely successful in this pursuit! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂