In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on which is greater – “Tapas” or “Dhaanam”. Here, Sage Vyaasa is giving beautiful answers wherein he is explaining how “Dhaanam” combined with “Tapas” is an excellent path towards “Dharma”. He says that if we give something in “Dhaanam” to someone, we should never think of that material again in our entire life. If we’re giving something to someone in “Dhaanam”, we should completely detach ourselves from that material and should give it in such a way that from this minute onwards, this material is yours! This is very important and we’ve to take this opportunity to reflect upon ourselves as to whether we’re following this or not in our daily lives! Thus, a person who offers a “Dhaanam” of some material that he / she has earned out of hard work and effort with complete detachment, is equivalent of the “Devas” (Celestial beings).
Moving on further thus, Sage Vyaasa is going to narrate a beautiful story to illustrate his point – He is going to narrate about someone by name “Mudgala”. Sage Vyaasa explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra! There was a person by name Mudgala, who put in hard work and effort to collect paddy from the agricultural fields every passing day, and once in every fifteen days, he would donate all the paddy that he had collected to the needy as “Dhaanam”. By doing so, this Mudgala attained the highest “Moksha” as well! Now isn’t this a great achievement and a noble way to reach “Moksha”?” Thus, the point here is very simple! Oh Yudishtra! It is not important as to what material you’re trying to offer as “Dhaanam”. It is more important as to how you are giving it. For instance, it is not necessary that you do a “Vasthra-Dhaanam” or “Svarna Dhaanam” (Donating gold) everytime. Even if it is a simple paddy, which is of no significance much, if you’re doing it whole-heartedly and with a lot of “Tapas”, this is more than enough to take you to the highest “Moksha”! Thus, your involvement, detachment and “Tapas” matters a lot, more than what you are giving! Of course, you are a great epitome of offering “Dhaanam” to people as a righteous king and I do not even need to talk about all this with you. However, since you had asked this question to me, I’m giving you an answer to the best of my knowledge!”
Saying thus, Sage Vyaasa narrates the story of Mudgala. He says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Once upon a time in the Kurukshetra-Desha, there was a person by name Mudgala. He was an epitome of “Sathyam” (Speaking the truth all the time) and also offering the “Dhaanam”. Even though Mudgala had a family – Wife and children, he would ensure that all of them are fed adequately, but he would consume food only once in fifteen days. He will fast for the entire “Parva Kaala” and consume food only during the end of the “Parva-Kaala”. By mentioning the phrase “Parva Kaalam”, I’m referring to the fifteen-day time period that is present between the “Amaavashya” (No-moon day) and the “Pournami” (Full-moon day). Hence, Mudgala will consume food only once in these fifteen days. This is because, the small amounts of paddy that he is collecting, will transform into a substantial amount for cooking food, only once in fifteen days. Now, we’ve to understand one thing here – Oh Yudishtra! When Mudgala gathers the paddy, it is not an ordinary process. He only gathers those paddy grains that are fallen on the ground without being taken by others. For instance, he would not touch those paddy grains that are being consumed even by ants or other living beings apart from humans. He would collect only those food grains that are spilled on the ground and those that aren’t being consumed by any other insect or animal. If he has to collect grains like this, we can imagine how much will he be able to collect per day! This is why it takes almost fifteen days for him to collect a substantial amount of food grains for a meal to be prepared. During this time, the entire family of Mudgala will be fasting and will not have any food! Mudgala’s wife was extremely co-operative in this, as she understood the noble intentions of her husband. Thus, she also participated actively in contributing to Mudgala’s path of “Dharma”!”
So for today, let us understand and appreciate Mudgala’s “Dharma” path and in the next episode we shall continue to witness what happened to Mudgala after this. Stay tuned for Sage Vyaasa’s interesting accord! 🙂