We’re at an important juncture wherein Sage Shaunaka is finding it tough to answer one of Yudishtra’s questions and this is where Sage Dhoumya volunteers to answer. In yesterday’s episode, we recalled who Sage Dhoumya is. We’ve seen that Sage Dhoumya is the chief mentor of the Paandavas and his presence with them at all times ensures that they are safe and secure. Now, as Sage Shaunaka thinks for an answer to Yudishtra’s question, Sage Dhoumya stands up to give an answer. We shall witness Sage Dhoumya’s answer today. Sage Dhoumya says thus:
“Puraa shrishtaani bhoothaani peedyante shudayaabrisham!
Tato nu kampayaa teshaam savitaah svapitaa yathaa!!”
Here, Sage Dhoumya explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Bhagawan Surya (Sun God) is the one who enlightens this entire world with his bright light. It is in this same “Surya-Mandalam” is Bhagawan Narayana resides as well. Now let me do one thing – I shall educate you with an important “Mantra” that is devoted to Surya Bhagawan. This “Mantra” is called “Surya-Namaskaara Mantra”. As you keep chanting this Mantra repeatedly with dedication, Bhagawan Surya would be impressed. With his divine “Anugraha”, Bhagawan Surya would guide you as to how to feed all these people who have come with you!”
As Sage Dhoumya advises thus, Yudishtra is surprised. He did not expect this sort of an answer perhaps. Yudishtra asks thus, “Oh respected Sage Dhoumya! Why should we worship Bhagawan Surya for this? Is there a specific reason to do so?” Sage Dhoumya replies thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Yes! Bhagwan Surya is the one who is solely responsible for the survival of this entire world! It is only with his light are the crops and trees growing! It is only with the crops, we get rice and other food grains, isn’t it? Hence, it is Surya Bhagawan who is feeding all of us every passing day, isn’t it? So, what is wrong in directly approaching Surya Bhagawan for guidance? Hence, you can ask Surya Bhagawan directly and there is no problem with that!”
As Sage Dhoumya gives confidence thus, Yudishtra gets prepared to learn the “Surya-Namaskaara Mantra” from him. It is at this place in the Mahabharata text wherein we have the “Surya-Namaskara” clearly described. In fact, there is a “Astothra Shata Naamaavali” (108 divine names of Bhagwan Surya) that is chanted by Sage Dhoumya as he passes on this important knowledge to Yudishtra. Thus, Bhagawan Surya has the following names. I’m just listing a few examples here – “Suryaha”, “Aryamaa”, “Bhagaha”, “Tvashtaa”, “Pooshaa”, “Arkaha”, “Savita”, “Ravihi”, “Gabhasthimaan”, “Ajaha”, “Mrutyuhu”, “Prabhaakaraha”, “Prithivyaa Pascha”, “Kam-vaayuscha Paraayanam”, etc. Thus, there are several slokas in this “Adhyaaya” that sing in praise of Bhagawan Surya, which in turn forms the “Surya-Namaskaara Mantra”. We can also chant these slokas everyday to obtain the divine “Anugraha” of Surya Bhagawan. Thus, Sage Dhoumya’s point here is that, if Yudishtra chants this “Surya-Astothra-Shata Namaavali” (108 divine names of Bhagawan Surya), Surya Bhagawan would directly guide Yudishtra in feeding all the people who have followed him.
Thus, during the dawn time of the next day, Yudishtra wakes up early, finishes all his oblations and gets ready to chant the “Surya-Namaskara Mantra”. He does so in a very nice manner, which impresses Surya Bhagawan straightaway! Thus, Surya Bhagawan presents Yudishtra with a huge “Akshaya Paatra”, with which, he can feed any number of people who come to him for food. This term called “Akshaya-Paatra” is quite famous even today isn’t it? Normally it means that this vessel (“Paatra”) rejuvenates with food at all times. Hence, whatever food items we think of, would be available in it, in unlimited quantities. Thus, Yudishtra obtains this “Akshaya-Paatra” from Surya Bhagawan and from that day onwards, he is able to feed everyone with ease, and with utmost satisfaction. Thus with this, Yudishtra is also satisfied that even though he is a popper at that stage, he is still able to walk the path of his “Dharma” of feeding all the Brahmins and the Maharishis who have come with him to the forest.
Hence, the important point for all of us to understand here is very simple – Where there is a will, there is always a way! Yudishtra genuinely opined that there should be nothing that stops him from executing his “Dharma”. Sage Dhoumya was a guiding light for him with this important suggestion of worshipping Surya Bhagawan directly. Yudishtra obeyed Sage Dhoumya’s words and immensely benefited from it! This is what we’ve to learn – If elderly people, Gurus and Mahatmas say something, we’ve to make it a point to listen and act, rather than questioning them back. Moreover, if our reasoning is genuine, Bhagawan would always find out ways to resolve the hurdles that might come our way in preventing us from executing our “Dharma”. So for today, let us understand this important point and let us wait till the next episode to find out what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂