In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of the “Teertha-Yatra Parva” after the culmination of the “Nala-Upaakhyaana Parva”. We had witnessed Sage Brihadarsha detailing to Yudishtra as to how King Nala too had to undergo enormous suffering because of the ill-effects of playing the gambling game. As this gets over, Yudishtra and Co. are missing Arjuna’s presence amidst them, as he had gone to the “Svarga Lokha” for a period of five years! As nobody knows when Arjuna would be back amongst them, in the meanwhile, Yudishtra and the others decide that they would go on a “Teertha Yatra” to some of the “Punya-Kshetras” in and around the Bhaarata Desha. All these details are provided by Sage Vyaasa as part of the “Teertha-Yatra Parva”, which we’re going to commence in detail from today.
Moving forward, before we move into the details of this Parva, we should understand the reason behind going for “Teertha-Yatras”. Many of us would have this dilemma in our minds – Why should we go for “Teertha Yatras”? What are we going to gain out of visiting various temples across our Bhaarata Desha? Why should we invest our time and money at our young age? Can we start going for all these Yatras after retirement? Many questions like these would definitely be lingering in our minds, but we might not be able to ask them in a public forum upfront. We shall witness the answers for all these questions one by one. Yes! We should definitely embark on “Teertha Yatras” and this has many reasons – Firstly, every “Punya-Kshetra” and every temple has its own sacred energy. Every river in our Bhaarata Desha, starting from River Ganges in the north to River Cauvery and River Thaamiraparni in the south have their own unique significance. As a “Jeevatma” born in this earth, it is our prime duty to mark our presence in all these places and take a holy dip in all these rivers, so that our “Paapa-Karma” is brought down. We might ask immediately here – “How do we say that our “Paapa Karma” can be brought down if we take the “Snaanam” (Holy dip) in the River Ganges or River Cauvery? This is where Bhagawan’s “Deiva-Sankalpa” (Divine Will) lies in! We’ve witnessed during our earlier Ramayan project wherein Bhagawan Rama Himself proclaims to Mother Sita when both of them are crossing the “Ram-Sethu Bridge” built by the Vaanaras (Monkey Army), after Ravana’s demise! Bhagawan Rama says to Mother Sita thus, “Oh Sita! This is the holy bridge that we had constructed to cross over to Sri Lanka to see you! Please look at the bridge with your divine eyes and provide your “Anugraha” to it!”
As Bhagawan Rama says thus, Mother Sita asks back, “Oh Rama! Why should I look at it now? I’ve been looking at it and the entire Sri Lanka all these ten months! Only you’re new to this place, whereas I’ve been here for a while now!” As Mother Sita says thus, Bhagawan Rama gives an important reply – “Oh Sita! Till now, you were looking at Lanka and the bridge very angrily because of Ravana’s wrath! But now, our son Vibhishana is going to rule Lanka! Now you should extend your divine “Anugraha” upon Vibhishana, shouldn’t you? Hence, the best way to do so is to cast your divine look on to the entire territory and on to the bridge! Moreover, in the future, whoever comes to this shore and takes a holy dip in these waters, all their sins would be permanently washed away! This place would become a “Punya-Kshetra” henceforth!” These words from Bhagawan Rama are true even today, aren’t they? Even today, we see hundreds and thousands of people flocking towards the holy town of Rameshwaram and Danushkoti in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, to take a holy dip in the ocean waters! Thus, every “Punya-Kshetra” in India has its own significance like this, and Bhagawan has established all these places for His devotees in such a way that they would be able to experience His divine presence even today! There are enormous amounts of temples in our Bhaarata Desha which have extreme spiritual vibrations in them, which can be a solution for all problems that we face in today’s world! Hence, it is our duty as a “Jeevatma” to pay a visit to such places and to experience Bhagawan’s divine presence in all of them.
Moreover, in today’s context, all of us are busy with our own professional and personal commitments and are not able to find time to visit these places. Hence, we keep postponing our “Teertha-Yatra” trips everytime. We should understand one thing very clearly – Firstly, age is not a bar for anything in life. Prahlaada was a child when he exhibited ardent devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu. Similarly, Dhruva was also a child who was able to see Bhagawan Vishnu in person within just days of his penance! We’ve witnessed all these “Charitras” in our “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” project earlier. Moreover, Aandal was a small girl when she exhibited ardent devotion towards Bhagawan Krishna and this is why we have the 30 Paasurams of the Thiruppaavai, which many of us chant during the auspicious month of “Maargazhi” in Tamil. Thus, there are innumerable examples wherein people have exhibited ardent Bhakti towards Bhagawan even at their tender age and have attained the highest “Moksha”! Hence, age is never a bar for approaching Bhagawan for “Moksha”.
So for today, let us understand up to this point very clearly and we shall continue addressing the remaining questions with regards to the “Teertha Yatra” in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂