In the previous episode, we had witnessed Sage Kaushika realizing the importance of “Pathivrata Dharma” through a woman whom he had met while going around collecting his “Bhiksha”. As this woman was serving her ailing husband and her in-laws, Sage Kaushika was made to wait and this made him extremely angry. This led to a debate and a war of words between Sage Kaushika and that woman, and eventually the woman made fun of Sage Kaushika by reminding him that his technique of burning down the innocent swan for not complying to his requirement and expectation wouldn’t work with her! She was steadfast on her “Dharma” and asserted herself that this “Dharma” would protect her if at all she had to undergo any sort of curse from him. This answer from the woman made Sage Kaushika think, rather than going ahead and inflicting the curse on her. Moreover, she adds that if at all he wants to know anything about “Dharma”, he has to go and meet a person who is a meat-seller on the roadside in the city. Upon listening to this proposal from the woman, Sage Kaushika’s ego was hurt, however, he refrained from reacting angrily to that woman because he realized that there’s a point in what she is saying!
As the woman says thus, Sage Kaushika moves out silently without making any further mess. He slowly walks towards the Mithila Desha and searches for this person whom she had wanted him to meet. He ultimately finds out after a lot of searching, that person whom this lady was referring to. However, when Sage Kaushika went near him, there was a lot of flesh and meat strewn everywhere around! A pungent and unbearable smell was coming out from that entire place, which made Sage Kaushika very uncomfortable. Obviously one can only expect such a level of cleanliness when it comes to a meat shop, isn’t it? Upon seeing all this, Sage Kaushika thinks within himself thus, “Oh wow! Look at my fate! Who is this fellow afterall? A roadside vendor who is selling meat! What should I learn from him? This is so disgusting and I can never digest this in my life. Anyway, let me not waste any time standing here and let me get to my job of interacting with him!” Thinking thus, Sage Kaushika walks towards that meat vendor. However, to his utter dismay, there are ten other Rishis who are waiting to see this person! This startles Sage Kaushika a bit, and he did not understand what is going on here! However, Sage Kaushika realizes one thing very clearly here – This so-called meat vendor is not an ordinary person as he was thinking earlier! So anyway, he decides to wait for the meat vendor to come.
As the vendor sees Sage Kaushika waiting for him, he comes up to Sage Kaushika and talks thus, “Oh great Sage! Welcome to my shop! As the shop is not a very conducive place for us to sit and talk, let us go to my home and we can talk as much as we want!” As the meat vendor invites him to his home, Sage Kaushika gets puzzled. He asks back thus, “You do not even know who I am, and what are you going to talk about after we reach your home? You never even asked me for what purpose I had come to meet you!” For this, the meat vendor gives a witty reply thus, “Oh Sage Kaushika! First tell me one thing – You came here to meet me only on the advice given by that woman who is an epitome of the “Pathivrata Dharma” isn’t it? You never came on your own, did you?” As Sage Kaushika hears thus, he gets stunned! He thinks within himself thus, “Oh wow! How come these people guess so many things about me so correctly? On one hand, that woman correctly says that I had cursed a swan before I went to her, and here, on the other hand, this man says correctly that this woman sent me here! What is going on? I couldn’t believe what was happening around me!”
Thinking thus, Sage Kaushika asks the meat vendor thus, “Oh vendor! I guess you know that woman already before! Did both of you co-ordinate and discuss with each other earlier that Sage Kaushika will come to you? Else, how do you know that she is the one who sent me to you?” Upon listening to this question from Sage Kaushika, the meat vendor did not know whether to laugh or cry! However, he laughs out loudly and declares that nobody had informed him earlier that Sage Kaushika would come and meet him! He also explains that he doesn’t know who that woman is! However, you might ask me how did I know that you were sent here by a woman! I’m regularly doing selfless service to my aged parents with all my dedication and involvement! This involvement in what I’m doing, is making me walk the path of “Dharma”, and this “Dharma” gives me this foresightedness to understand what is happening in your life! Thus, it is not because I know the woman or something like that! It is only because of the sheer power that my “Dharma” gives me in knowing about people and their behaviours! Similarly, that woman was able to identify who you are because she was steadfast in her “Dharma” of taking care of her husband and her in-laws. Thus, we know what all happens outside, however, unlike you, we do not show our knowledge to the outside world! We keep all this within ourselves and only if you come and ask us, we express our knowledge! Thus, Sage Kaushika! This is the secret behind following “Dharma” meticulously! If we do this, we will automatically be protected against eventuality at any point in time! This is something you should understand and realize!”
This answer from the meat vendor shocks Sage Kaushika even more! With this, he also realizes how the “Pathivrata Dharma” and the “Dharma” towards our aged parents are very important at all times. So let us also take this opportunity for today, to realize these two important aspects of “Dharma” along with Sage Kaushika and let us try to put them in practice as well! We shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂