In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bandhi losing the plot against Sage Ashtaavakra as the debate continued for hours together in a fiery mode! Sage Ashtaavakra was highly unforgiving in his approach towards Bandhi, even though Bandhi gave befitting replies to Sage Ashtaavakra’s fiery arguments. However, at one point of time when the “number challenge” went beyond a point, Bandhi couldn’t manage it any further and ultimately gave up to Sage Ashtaavakra! Finally it was proved that Sage Ashtaavakra’s sheer brilliance ruled the roost and Bandhi right royally fell prey to it! As Bandhi accepted defeat, ideally he should have pushed Sage Ashtaavakra into the pond of water, but strangely he did not do that. Instead, he explained the real reason why he was doing that all these days. Bandhi was the son of Varuna Bhagawan and he was pushing extremely good scholars into the pond because they were being redirected towards the “Varuna Lokha” for a massive “Yagnya” that was going on there. All of them who were pushed into the pond were very much alive, but were in a different Lokha.
As Bandhi revealed this secret, all those who were pushed into the pond, started coming back alive. This includes Sage Pahoda as well, who is none other than Sage Ashtaavakra’s father! Thus, Ashtaavakra, who was thinking otherwise, was surprised to see Sage Pahoda for the first time in his life, claiming that he is his father! We should remember here that Sage Pahoda disappeared into the pond even when Ashtaavakra was a months-old baby and nobody, including his mother, revealed to Ashtaavakra that his father was dead! Finally, even as the debate came to an end, Sage Ashtaavakra wasn’t really satisfied with Bandhi’s explanation. He retaliated by saying that Bandhi shouldn’t have “cheated” people like this. He should have earlier informed people of the “Yagnya” and should have given the option to the scholars to choose if they really want to go and participate in it or not. Since Bandhi compelled and forced people to dance to his whims and fancies, Sage Ashtaavakra was in a relentless and an uncompromising mode and blasted him for what he had done!
Finally as the debate once again continued in this fashion, Sage Pahoda had to intervene in the middle and sort this out! Sage Pahoda says thus, “Oh Ashtaavakra! I understand your sheer brilliance and I completely appreciate your knowledge and expertise! I’m indeed proud to state to this world that you are my son! However, you should understand one thing – Whatever Bandhi had done was right. If there is a “Yagnya” happening in the “Manushya Lokha”, he could have left it for people to decide whether to attend it or not. However, if it is happening somewhere else, the concerned person has all the rights to decide who is to go and who is not supposed to! Hence, Bandhi is well within his limits to decide on this. Moreover, certain things have to be kept confidential and Bandhi had actually followed all the protocols correctly. Hence, please do not blame Bandhi for what had happened! You should forgive him and move on with things!”
As Sage Pahoda explains this in a calm manner, Sage Ashtaavakra understands the reality and forgives Bandhi. With this, Bandhi allows Sage Ashtaavakra to go and take a holy dip in the pond from where all of them went to the “Varuna Lokha”. As Sage Ashtaavakra does so, all the “Vakrams” (Defects) that were there in his body got cured, and with this, he obtained his normal form. Thus, with this, we come to an end of the “Charitra” of Sage Ashtaavakra and how he defeated Bandhi in the fiery debate and proved his intelligence and brilliance to the world. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall move further with the next “Charitra” in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂