In the previous episode, we had commenced witnessing the details of “Teertha-Yatra” Parva, wherein, Sage Naarada makes his way to meet Yudishtra. At a time when the Paandava brothers, sans Arjuna are preparing themselves to commence their “Teertha-Yatra”, Sage Naarada’s visit assumes a lot of significance. As Sage Naarada arrives, Yudishtra asks him a very important question as to why should one embark on a spiritual journey, and what are the positive effects one would gain out of it. As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Naarada doesn’t give a direct reply, but he refers to an important conversation between Bhishmachaarya and a group of Maharishis. On the banks of River Ganga, one fine day after Bhishmachaarya had finished his oblations towards his mother, a group of Maharishis, led by Sage Pulasthya approach Bhishmachaarya with almost a similar question which Yudishtra is asking here. Bhishmachaarya is now going to give a fitting reply to this context, as an answer to Sage Pulasthya, which, Sage Naarada is going to link to Yudishtra’s question. We shall witness the details in today’s episode.
Moving on further, to extend this accord a bit further in today’s context, we too would have enormous questions lingering in our mind – Especially for those of our readers who are living outside the territorial borders of our “Bhaarata Desha”! In fact, even when I was residing in Europe for a while, I too had the same doubts within me! We might ask these questions – “Oh! Our Sanaatana Dharma text says that Bhaarata Desha which is south of the Himalaya Mountains and north of Kannyakumari is the “Punya-Bhoomi” and whatever “Nitya-Karma” including our regular “Sandhyavandanam”, “Brahma-Yagnyam”, etc., along with our “Naimitthika Karma” such as “Shraadham”, “Tarpanam”, etc. that we perform in this Bhaarata Desha will only give us the fruits! However, we are living outside the Bhaarata Desha! Hence, do we obtain the same effects of performing our “Karma”? Moreover, the other land masses apart from our Bhaarata Desha aren’t classified as “Punya-Kshetras”? If “No”, what is the use of performing all our “Karma”? Moreover, even if we’ve to perform all these activities, there is a time difference between where we reside and that of our Bhaarata Desha, isn’t there? So, if we’ve to do something at 9 AM Indian time, should we do it at the same time corresponding to our time in our country, or, should we wait till it is 9 AM in our country? Moreover, we’re unable to visit any of the “Punya-Kshetras” that are there in India, because of our geographical constraints! How on earth are we going to attain “Moksha”?”
This is a very important question here. Of course, I’m not going to negate what our Sanaatana Dharma is saying! Also, I’m not going to say that performing our “Karma” outside the territorial borders of our Bhaarata Desha is a mere waste of time. Wherever we are, and whatever we do in life, all what I can say at this point is that, we should never ever compromise our “Karma”. Of course, it might not be effective as per the Shaastras, but if we’re performing our “Karma” regularly and with utmost sincerity, we should remember one thing – Bhagawan’s heart is going to melt towards us! If Bhagawan is going to get pleased with our actions, why should we bother about our geographical location or time difference or our inability to visit the requisite “Punya-Kshetras” at crucial points in time? Of course, I’m not saying that it is not necessary to visit all these places at all! We should assure Bhagawan that whenever we are visiting India, we would take time out to visit these places and finish all our duties, and we should execute our assurances properly! This would be more than enough!
Hence, my answer to this important question is that, wherever we are in this world, we should never compromise on our “Nitya-Karma” and “Naimitthika-Karma”, for the mere fact that by doing so, we are earning Bhagawan’s happiness. It is only with Bhagawan’s happiness we’re going to obtain the highest “Moksha”, and not by merely performing this “Karma” in our Bhaarata Desha or by visiting the “Punya-Kshetras”. Of course, these are important as well, but the problem in India now is that, we ourselves do not understand the significance of being able to live in this holy “Punya-Bhoomi”! Even those of us who live in India, are today questioning the validity of whatever is mentioned in our “Sanaatana Dharma” texts, which is extremely unfortunate! Hence, we should clearly understand that for all of us who are residing in India, we’re extremely lucky and fortunate and this is a great opportunity given to us by Bhagawan to wash off all our past “baggage” and to attain “Moksha”! For all of us who live abroad, let us not worry – We should still continue performing our “Karma” regularly, and with this, Bhagawan would get mighty pleased! This would enable a lot of things to happen!
So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and we shall take this important discussion forward in the next episode as well, before we move on with what Bhishmachaarya said! Stay tuned! 🙂