In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another interesting and an important message from Sage Maarkandeya with regards to the “Karma theory” and how Bhagawan has a role in this. Of course, as we had witnessed earlier, Bhagawan doesn’t straightaway involve or intervene in our “Karma” cycle. He just remains a mute spectator and keeps watching all the happiness and suffering that we keep undergoing in all our births that we keep taking again and again. At some point in time, when the situation arises, or, when we’re beginning to experience the “Phalam” (Fruits or benefits) of our good “Karma”, Bhagawan will give us the opportunity to come closer to Him. It might be directly, or might be through the influence of a “Guru” (Spiritual Master). It is we who’ve to realize this and catch hold of this opportunity given by Bhagawan to exhibit “Sharanaagati” or complete surrender towards Him. If we’re able to do this meticulously, Bhagawan’s heart will melt and with this, we would be freed from the cycle of birth and death completely. With this, we would be able to attain the highest “Moksha”. Thus, we can see how Bhagawan’s role is clearly defined here – If a devotee exhibits “Sharanaagati”, He will intervene. Else, He would remain a mute spectator. This is just like the role of a CEO / Managing Director of an organization. Only if there is a critical issue and if people go to him / her with the right representation, the CEO will intervene, isn’t it? Similar is the role of Bhagawan too in this context!
Stating thus, Sage Maarkandeya also talks about the four “Yugas” to Yudishtra and he explains how the “Dharma” will see a huge downfall as Yugas progress. However, at the end of the “Kali Yuga” Bhagawan would incarnate in the form of “Kalki Bhagawan” and will ensure that the entire “Adharma” comes to an end. With this, Bhagawan will re-establish the “Krita Yuga”. Saying all this, Sage Maarkandeya explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Even though “Dharma” is having a downfall consistently, there are great Maharishis and “Tapasvis” who are still living and who are the embodiment of “Dharma” themselves! I shall talk about one such “Tapasvi” by the name Puranjaya. Oh Yudishtra! You’ve to understand one thing very clearly here – The most important characteristic of these “Tapasvis” is that, they never have the fear of death! All of us keep fearing that important day when we will experience death, isn’t it? Of course, all of us are bound to die some day, and we cannot change that. However, we keep fearing that every passing day, isn’t it? But, “Tapasvis” think otherwise! Once there was a king by name “Puranjaya” of the “Heheya Vamsa”. Once upon a time, when King Puranjaya was going on a hunting spree, he spotted a figure that resembled a deer. Upon assuming that figure to be a deer, King Puranjaya hits it with his arrows and kills it! However, to his utter dismay, this figure wasn’t really a deer, but a Maharishi who was doing penance in the forest! As the Maharishi was hit, he succumbed to the injury and passed away. As King Puranjaya realized this, he was horrified! With this guilt written all over his face, he returned back to his kingdom and spoke about this to his advisors and ministers who were also great Maharishis themselves! All of them advised Puranjaya thus, “Oh Puranjaya! Please do not worry! Go back to that same forest once again, find out who his relatives are, meet them and seek an unconditional apology! If you do this, you can escape the wrath of the suffering that you might have to undergo. We are sure that they would accept your apology as they are part of the family of great Brahmana Rishis. They will understand your situation and forgive you!”
Paying heed to this advice, King Puranjaya comes back to the forest and meets the relatives of this Maharishi whom he had killed earlier! King Puranjaya expected the family to be in grief because of the death of their family member, however, all of them were extremely happy and were in celebration mode! As Puranjaya enquires the reason behind their happiness, inspite of a death that had just taken place in their home, the relatives, who were also great Maharishis replied to King Puranjaya thus, “Oh Puranjaya! We are people who do not fear death! We are Maharishis and we know when our “Karma” comes to an end. Once this happens, automatically we will descend back! Hence, you were just an instrument to my relative whose “Karma” had come to an end, to help him descend back!”
This reply from the relatives was an eye-opener for King Puranjaya! As King Puranjaya hears this, he too started introspecting within himself and with this, he slowly started coming out of the fear of death!” Narrating this anecdote to Yudishtra thus, Sage Maarkandeya drives home the important point that once our “Karma” in this world gets finished, all of us have to descend back some day or the other! This world is just like a marketplace and our physical body is just like a “rented apartment”. Once our Karma gets completed, our “Atman” has to vacate this rented apartment and leave this marketplace as well. So for today, let us understand this important point and we shall wait till the next episode to continue the discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂