In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna continuing to motivate Yudishtra to continuously follow the path of “Dharma”, irrespective of any kinds of hurdles that come through. Of course, as we know, Yudishtra is extremely steadfast in his approach towards “Dharma”, however, Bhagawan Krishna wants to give some “pep talk” to Yudishtra, so that he would maintain his mental strength and will power. In these lines, we’ve witnessed Bhagawan Krishna explaining to Yudishtra that the world is in dire need of kings like him and time will give a good answer for those who are trying to humiliate people who follow “Dharma”. By saying so, Bhagawan Krishna also indirectly assures Yudishtra that He is behind the Paandava brothers at all times, protecting them wherever they are. As Bhagawan says thus, Sage Maarkandeya arrives at the spot where all these people are sitting and chatting. As Sage Maarkandeya arrives, Yudishtra and Co. are surprised and they straightway pay their respects to the great Sage. Yudishtra makes Sage Maarkandeya comfortable and with this, Sage Maarkandeya also joins the conversation along with Bhagawan Krishna. Meanwhile, Sage Maarkandeya is also very happy to have the divine “Darshan” of Bhagawan Krishna!
As all of them settle down, Bhagawan Krishna also comforts Sage Maarkandeya. Many of us might be knowing this – Sage Maarkandeya is an age-old person and has been living for several “Yugas” before the “Dvaapara Yuga”. Thus, when he had come to meet all these people, he was a very old man and was even finding it difficult to walk and make himself comfortable. We would have even seen in many temples of Bhagawan Vishnu – Sage Maarkandeya would be sitting alongside Bhagawan Vishnu in the “Moola-Sthaanam” (Sanctum-Sanctorum) itself. In fact, some people even claim that Sage Maarkandeya is also one of Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations as well, just like how we had witnessed Sage Kapilaachaarya earlier. Hence, Sage Maarkandeya is a very significant person and Yudishtra knows this very well. Thus, upon seeing Sage Maarkandeya, Yudishtra talks to him with folded arms: “Oh Great Sage Maarkandeya! We are very happy that you’re here amidst all of us today. We’re indeed very fortunate to be amongst such a learned scholar! I know you’ve come here with the intention of rendering some important advice to all of us. Bhagawan Krishna is also here with us today. Hence, you may feel free to render advice on anything that you wish to. We are here to listen to you and follow your golden words of wisdom meticulously. Hence, please go ahead and talk about anything that you feel will be of great interest to all of us here! We are waiting to hear from you! You’ve to narrate us the Ithihasas and Puraanas in detail to all of us, and also the “Dharma” that we can learn from all of them!”
As Yudishtra says thus, Sage Maarkandeya should have started with an accord, isn’t it? But he does not! He remains silent for a few minutes. Yudishtra sees this and thinks within himself thus, “Oh wow! Maybe Sage Maarkandeya is having a “starting trouble”! He doesn’t know where to start! Hence, maybe I shall ask a question, and from that, he can build his accord by answering it!”
Hence, thinking thus, Yudishtra poses a very important question here! He asks Sage Maarkandeya thus, “Oh great sage! To begin with, I have a question for you – We talk a lot about “Karma”, don’t we? We talk about “Punya Karma” and “Paapa Karma” in particular. Generally speaking, whatever actions we perform today, will return back to us through some other way as our “Karma”. So where do our actions originate? Does Bhagawan have any role in whatever actions that we perform? Or, is it from our own discretion we decide to perform certain actions? Do we have the complete discriminatory control in us to decide and act in a certain way? Or is it Bhagawan who is trying to decide everything whatever we’re wanting to perform as actions in this world?”
Now this is a very important question that Yudishtra is asking, for which Sage Maarkandeya is going to give a beautiful answer. Indeed, Sage Maarkandeya was also waiting for this kind of an apt beginning to commence his accord, and Yudishtra just paves the way for a riveting conversation! So for today, let us understand Yudishtra’s question very clearly and we shall also keep pondering meanwhile for answers. We shall discuss the answer from Sage Maarkandeya in detail, in the next class! Stay tuned! 🙂