In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Shaunaka rendering a very important advice to Yudishtra with regards to “Atma-Gnyaana”. He says that the only thing that grows in a human being is “Gnyaanam” or Knowlege. This is something that all of us are experiencing in our regular routine too. If we get involved and interested in a subject, we tend to go deeper into it and explore more to understand many intricacies and nuances of it. For instance, if one is interested in music, he / she tries to learn from an accomplished musician and gets more and more involved. Moreover, he / she tries a lot of improvisation and innovation in various aspects of music and tries to grow it further and further, isn’t it? Such is the case in almost all domains that we see today. Similar is also the case for learning about the “Atman”. The more we devote time, interest, effort and involvement in understanding about the “Atman”, the more we would learn. However, the gross difference between learning about the “Atman” and other forms of worldly education is that we tend to show more interest towards worldly education as compared to the “Atman” education. Why is that so? The primary reason is because whatever we learn as part of our worldly education can be seen right in front of our eyes. Hence, we’re easily able to connect what we learn and what we see and experience. However, this feature is somewhat lacking in the “Atman” education. Whatever we might learn from our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature, we might not be able to visualize and experience immediately. This creates a disconnect in us, and eventually we tend to lose interest. Thus, for pursuing the “Atman” education, “Vairaagya” or “Will power” is extremely important. Of course I’m not saying that we would never see the connect between what we learn and what we see here. The point is that, this “Atman” education would require some time, persistent effort, and consistency to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hence, we’ve to take the effort for the same!
Moving on thus, as Sage Shaunaka explains all these points to Yudishtra, he concludes by saying thus, “Oh Yudishtra! This thirteen-year period is a golden opportunity for you, which not many kings would get. Hence, rather than considering this as an exile or a punishment period, you should feel happy that you’ve got this chance to understand about your “Atman”, various aspects of “Dharma” that revolve around the “Atma-Gnyaanam”, etc. Hence, go to all the sages who are experts in all these aspects of knowledge and try to learn as much as possible. This is your learning phase, and once you finish this phase successfully, you would be able to execute your duties as a king with all the aspects of “Dharma” in place! Thus, once you go back to Indraprastha, people should see a visible change in you – A change towards the path of “Dharma”!”
As Sage Shaunaka concludes thus, Bheemasena and Draupati look up in surprise! Till that point, both of them were frowning and were hanging their heads down and now, the moment Sage Shaunaka talks about going back to Indraprastha, both of them look up in awe! Draupati asks thus, “Oh Sage Shaunaka! What is the meaning of your last sentence? Are we still going to get back our kingdom anytime soon? Is that really going to happen?” As Draupati asks thus, Sage Shaunaka doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry! He quickly replies to Draupati thus, “Oh Draupati! I never said in assurance that you would get back your kingdom very soon. Please do not mistake my words. Did you not hear all the advice that I rendered till now? Why do you only want to capture the last sentence that I uttered? What I meant to say here is that, if at all you get back your kingdom in the future, all these aspects of “Dharma” that you would learn for the next thirteen years would be of immense usage. If by any chance you’re not able to get back your kingdom, then also these aspects of “Dharma” would be of immense usage. I’m not an astrologer to exactly predict whether you would get your kingdom back or not, and when you would be able to go back to Indraprastha! I’m just a normal sage who knows “Dharma” and I’m explaining to you about it! Hence, please do not come to a conclusion that you would surely get back your kingdom! Time would give an answer to all these things and you’ve to be patient!”
As Yudishtra listens to all these conversations and accords from Sage Shaunaka, he slowly replies thus, “Oh Sage Shaunaka! I’m indeed extremely happy that all of you are here with me to make me understand the various aspects of “Dharma”. Please do not think even for a moment that I would deviate from my path of “Dharma”. That is never going to happen. However, what I’m more concerned about is that, feeding all of you is also a part of my “Dharma”, and because of my current state of affairs, I’m afraid that I’m deviating from my path of “Dharma”. I totally understand that you can live on your own without any food and water – Thanks to your immense power of penance! However, my concern is not that. My concern is that I would not be able to satisfy my “Dharma” by not feeding you! Moreover, you were talking about money, wealth, etc. Never in my life till today, have I accumulated money and wealth for myself. I’m least interested in the luxuries that I want to experience. My intent behind earning the wealth and money is only to feed all of you and to ensure your happiness. This is my “Dharma”. Hence, Sage Shaunaka! Please clarify my concern and throw some light on it from your rich knowledge about “Dharma”!”
As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Shaunaka is going to render a very important answer! So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to continue witnessing Sage Shaunaka’s important answer! Stay tuned! 🙂