In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra beginning to answer Snake Nahusha’s questions one after the other. In these lines, we had witnessed Snake Nahusha asking Yudishtra about who is a real Brahmin in this world and what are the major roles that a Brahmin should fulfil, while living in this world. Yudishtra gives a beautiful response that a Brahmin is an embodiment of “Satyam” (Truth), “Dhaanam” (Donating things to the needy), “Kshama” (Patience), “Sheelam” (Not having the attitude that he is higher and others are lower in background), “Aanrusamshyam” (Having enormous compassion towards all living beings in this world), “Tapas” (Capability of performing deep penance by fasting for days and months together) and “Grinaa” (Having the equality attitude with all living beings). Furthermore, Yudishtra also explains how a Brahmin should not only qualify himself for attaining the highest “Brahman” (Moksha in the bigger context), but he should also handhold others to walk along this path as well. Thus, if a person fulfils all these criteria, he can be called a Brahmin.
Continuing with this answer, Yudishtra further explains thus, “Oh Nahusha! A Brahmin while he makes the effort to walk the path of the highest Brahman, would not deviate into any kinds of worldly affairs. While he sees other people, he will see the Brahman in all of them. While he sees other animals and living beings, he will only see the “Atman” inside all of them, and not the mere physical body. While he listens to something said by some people, he will only listen to them in terms of seeing the Brahman in whatever they’re saying. A Brahmin will never insult anybody for anything. A Brahmin will never have any grudge for anybody within his heart. Whatever he thinks about somebody, will only be for their benefit, and not with an evil mindset! Thus, such exemplary qualities are supposed to be enriched in a Brahmin!”
This is exactly what is being talked about in the “Upanishads” and “Shri-Bhaashyam” as “Bhoomaadhikaranam”. As Bhagawad Ramanuja authors the Shri-Bhaashyam, in the Brahmasutra, this is a very important portion – As he authors it on and on, at various instances there was a question – What is this “Bhooma”? The literal meaning of the Sanskrit phrase “Bhooma” is “Extremely significant” or “Something that is very exemplary”. Now in this context, Bhagawad Ramanuja explains clearly thus, “An aspect in this existence upon which one’s eyes get fixated and never wants to see anything else in this world; An aspect in this existence about which, if one’s ears listen about, and after that the ears feel that there’s nothing more worthy to listen about in this world; An aspect in this existence about which if one’s mind and heart thinks about, after which, there is nothing worthy to think about further in this world, is referred to as “Bhooma”!”
This is exactly what Hanuman practised while he was living! Hanuman’s “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan Rama is an epitome illustration of this concept called “Bhoomaadhikaranam”. We’ve witnessed during our earlier Ramayana project and also at various other instances in subsequent projects that when Bhagawan Rama was preparing to transcend back to Vaikunta after His duties in this world got over, He wanted to take Hanuman along with Him. Hence, Bhagawan Rama asks Hanuman thus, “Are you willing to come along with me to the highest Vaikunta? I’m extremely impressed with your devotion towards me and I do not have the heart to leave you behind here!” As Bhagawan Rama says thus, Hanuman replies back with tears in his eyes, “Oh Bhagawan! I’m not interested in coming to Vaikunta with you! I know that there is no “Rama-Nama-Japa” happening there. It happens only in this Manushya Lokha. I’ll be here only, chanting your divine name every minute! The eyes of mine which have seen you all these years, will not want to see even Bhagawan Vishnu (Your own original form)! The lips that are constantly chanting your divine name will not be prepared to chant any other name in this birth of mine! The ears that are constantly listening about you and your divine “Leelas” will not listen to anything else in this world! My mind and heart which have been thinking and encapsulating you within, will not be able to give space even for Bhagawan Vishnu, which is your original form! Hence, I’m very happy being here!”
From this, we can witness how Hanuman as a “Panditha” (Scholar) practised this concept of “Bhoomaadhikaranam” meticulously, and saw Bhagawan Rama as “Bhooma” (The most exemplary aspect in this world). So for today, let us understand this point clearly, and Yudishtra is trying to drive home the point that an ideal Brahmin ardently practises this Bhoomaadikaranam every single minute of his life! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂