In the previous episode, we had witnessed why India is undoubtedly the land of “Sanaatana Dharma” and why it can never be destroyed, no matter how much some fringe elements might try! We have enormous “Punya-Kshetras” with exemplary spiritual vibrations! We have enormous rivers, which have their origins from Bhagawan Himself in many cases. The water that flows through these rivers are extremely pure and is capable of washing away all our sins instantaneously. Moreover, the unique practices that we follow as part of our “Sanaatana Dharma” are closely aligned with nature and give us enormous benefits, both physically and spiritually. Also, the various art forms such as music, dance, theatrics, sports, etc. are again closely aligned with our “Sanaatana Dharma” and to various “Punya-Kshetras” that are spread all across our Bhaarata Desha. Thus, we can say that our Bhaarata Desha is a global hub for “Sanaatana Dharma” and it would always be the same forever, no matter whoever says / does whatever! Readers like us must be firm in this and deep-rooted in our thoughts and actions.
Moving on thus, we shall come back to the context wherein Bhishmachaarya is explaining the importance of “Teertha Yatras” to a group of great Maharishis, including Sage Pulasthya. We had earlier witnessed how Sage Pulasthya is posing a question to Bhishmachaarya in this regard. This conversation is referred by Sage Naarada while replying to Yudishtra on this same context. Readers should not get confused here – Initially, Yudishtra asks a question about the importance of “Teertha Yatras” and Sage Naarada refers to an important conversation that took place between Bhishmachaarya and Sage Pulasthya. Of course, the conversation given in the “Teertha-Yatra Parva” by Sage Vyaasa in the Mahabharata text is enormously huge and if we’ve to look at it line by line, it would precisely take the time that we would require to cover all the “Punya-Kshetras” in this country! Hence, within this short duration of time and within the reach of my knowledge on this subject, let us witness what Bhishmachaarya has got to say. If readers want a more detailed accord on this, we shall have a separate discussion some other day and in some other context. For now, I shall read out a few names of Punya-Kshetras that Bhishmachaarya is listing out here. As Sage Pulasthya asks thus, Bhishmachaarya first gives a reply – “Oh Sage Pulasthya! Before we delve into the effects and benefits of going on a “Teertha Yatra”, we shall first discuss who are eligible for obtaining all these benefits! Only those whose mind, hands, legs, and other parts of the body are pure in nature, would be eligible to enjoy the spiritual benefits of embarking on “Teertha Yatras”. Only those whose “Vidya” (Education / Knowledge), “Tapas” (Concentration at high levels and dedication towards the subject) and “Keerthi” (Interest towards this subject) are at high levels, would be able to enjoy these benefits!”
Bhishmachaarya continues thus, “Oh Sage Pulasthya! You’re a person who knows much more than what I know. You would agree with my statement here – Those who are high on “Ahankara” (Self-pride), “Krodha” (Anger / frustration”) and “Mamakaara” (Selfishness / greed that I should be the owner of everything in this world) would never be able to enjoy even a single benefit of embarking on “Teertha Yatras”, no matter how much he / she strives to embark on one! Moreover, if one has the intention that it was only because of me and my efforts, the “Teertha Yatra” was a success, he / she would never be able to enjoy any benefit of it. One should completely surrender to Bhagawan and develop the attitude that it was only due to Bhagawan’s divine Anugraha that I was able to embark on this “Teertha Yatra” and successfully complete it! Only then, the benefits would reign into that person!”
These are very important statements that Bhishmachaarya and Sage Pulasthya are discussing here. Many a time when we go for some “Punya-Kshetra” visits, it is quite common for us to get into this mindset – “Oh! It was only because of my effort did I reach that particular spot! People in that place were extremely surprised and asked, how did you manage to reach there without any problem!” The moment we hear such statements from someone, our ego would rise up immediately and we would automatically start crediting ourselves for the journey that we’ve undertaken. This is what we refer to as “Karthruthva Buddhi”. This simply means taking credit for whatever I’ve done! If we have a lot of “Karthruthva Buddhi” within us, we’re never going to enjoy any fruit of embarking on the “Teertha Yatra”. Instead, we should have the mindset thus, “Oh! We were extremely fortunate that Bhagawan had provided His divine Anugraha to us. Of course, when we went there, we had prayed for all of you as well! Perhaps, you would also get the opportunity to visit the Punya-Kshetra very soon!”
Thus, we can see clearly here that attitude is very important! If we have a selfish attitude and undertake the “Teertha-Yatras”, they are not going to bear any fruit! We’ve to be very careful here. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂