In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on why we should go on “Teertha-Yatras” within our lifetime. We’ve seen how “Punya-Kshetras” are designated “spots” created by Bhagawan for all of us, to feel His divine presence and vibrations. These “Punya-Kshetras” might be temples, ashrams, rivers, seashores, etc. Thus, we’ve to take the initiative to embark on such journeys, so that we would get closer to Bhagawan. Moreover, we’ve also witnesesd that by visiting these “Punya-Kshetras” in our lifetime, our “Paapa-Karma” comes down enormously and hence, it becomes easier for us to attain the highest “Moksha”. For instance, many of us might be aware that by taking a holy dip in the River Ganga, all our sins are washed away! These are certain opportunities given by Bhagawan to wash off our “Karma”. If we do not utilise these opportunities, how on earth are we going to overcome our “Karma” and its effects? Hence, we should think about this and do the needful.
Moving on thus, we shall slowly get into the details of the “Teertha-Yatra” Parva and the accord begins with an interesting accord that takes place between Yudishtra and Sage Naarada. As the Paandavas decide to embark on their “Teertha-Yatra” thus, they have an opportunity to have a conversation with Sage Naarada and Yudishtra asks an important question to him. However, Sage Naarada doesn’t give a straight and a direct answer to Yudishtra, but instead, he refers to an important conversation between Bhishmachaarya and a very important Sage. Thus, Sage Naarada enters Yudishtra’s house in the Dandaka Vanam forest, and at that point in time, Yudishtra and Co. are extremely worried and sad that Arjuna is not there amongst us. Yudishtra is extremely concerned about Arjuna’s whereabouts, but is confident that he would be safe and secure at the “Svarga Lokha”. As Sage Naarada pays a surprise visit to Yudishtra and Co. the spirits of the Paandava brothers are lifted up! Yudishtra immediately runs forward and receives Sage Naarada with all the due respects. As Sage Naarada settles down, Yudishtra asks him a very important question thus, “Oh Sage Naarada! You’ve come at the right time, wherein we were looking for some guidance and support! We’re planning to embark on a “Teertha-Yatra” for sometime until Arjuna comes back to us. Hence, please explain to us – Why should we embark on a “Teertha-Yatra”? What are the effects (“Phalam”) of going on such voyages? What does one gain spiritually by going on “Teertha-Yatras”? Oh Sage Naarada! You’ve to explain all these to us, as we’re embarking on this mission!”
As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Naarada replies back. “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve asked a very important question! But I shall refer to an important conversation that took place when Bhishmachaarya was once sitting on the banks of River Bhaageerathi!” Readers should remember here that Bhaageerathi, Alaknanda, Jaanhavi, Tripagadha, etc. are all important divine names of River Ganga. Thus, at different places where the river flows through, it is described by different names. But the river is the same! This is the significance of River Ganga, right from its beginning to its end. Now coming back to the conversation, Sage Naarada explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! As Bhishmachaarya was sitting on the banks of River Bhaageerathi, there were a number of Maharishis who were sitting around him. At that point, Bhishmachaarya had just finished performing all his respects to his mother, and was sitting there on the river bank. Amongst that group of Maharishis was Sage Pulasthya. As Sage Pulasthya arrived amongst everyone, Bhishmachaarya asks him an important question, which is quite similar to the one that you’ve asked me now – “Oh Sage Pulasthya! I have certain doubts in my mind with regards to “Teertha-Yatras”. Why should one embark on a Teertha-Yatra? What are the effects of the same? Is it just a mere waste of money by travelling all the way up and down to those places? What are we going to gain with these Yatras?”
We might also have these same doubts in our minds as well! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall wait till the next episode to expand on this conversation a bit more. We’ve to witness what was Sage Pulasthya’s answer, and how is Sage Naarada going to use this answer to explain to Yudishtra, so that he gives a reply to his question! An interesting accord awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂