Episode # 110 – All “Atmans” in this world are Bhagawan’s “Sevakas” – Sage Jada-Bharata’s assertion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another important point from the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam”, wherein Sage Bharata repeatedly emphasizes how different is the “Atman” from the “Deham”. In these lines, we had witnessed yesterday as to how in various spheres of our responsibilities and roles that we take up during our lives ultimately pertain to the “Deham” and how the constant factor called “I” pertains to the “Atman”. For instance, if we’ve to say that I’m an elder brother to my younger brother, or I’m a father to my son, or I’m a son to my father, or I’m a husband to my wife, etc. all these variables called elder brother, father, son and husband pertain to the “Deham”, which is why we say that the “Deham” is ever-changing in nature. Whereas, there is a constant factor in all of these, isn’t it? It’s nothing but the factor called “I”, which is a constant in all cases here. We can see that this “I” never changes in any of these cases, and this is what pertains to the “Atman”. Thus, we can see here that the answer to the question “Who am I?” should ideally be “I am the ever-permanent entity called “Atman”!” This is what we’ve understood in yesterday’s episode, and from here, we shall try and move on further with what Sage Bharata had to say to King Rahuguna. Indeed, we’re at a very interesting phase of the entire Shri Vishnu Puraana text, and I’m sure our readers are gaining a lot of insights from this meaningful discussion that we’re having currently. 

As we’ve said that the “Atman” is the permanent entity and cannot have any sort of worldly significance that can be attached to it, there can however be one significance that we can attach to it. Sage Bharata himself explains it in the following way. Upon trying to answer a quick counter question from King Rahuguna with regards to this context that we’re trying to pen down, Sage Bharata explains thus, “Oh Rahuguna! You’ve to understand one thing here – If we say that the “Atman” can never be attached to any significance or uniqueness, I mentioned it in the context of worldly items only. However, the “Atman” has a unique significance, which is nothing but the significance of being Bhagawan’s “Sevaka” (Faithful servant)! This is the ultimate significance that every “Jeevatma” like you and me should realize from within. All of us need to be in constant service to Bhagawan in whatever way we can, and this would constantly keep adding to our “Atman’s” significance!” This is something that we should realize too, as we move towards our spiritual progress. We should slowly and steadily cultivate this thought within all of us that the very purpose of taking birth in this world is to serve Bhagawan in whatever way possible, and all our actions and thoughts should be rooted and channelized in this path only. The moment we start thinking thus, we would automatically start walking the path towards spiritual progress. This is the ultimate truth and reality that Sage Jada-Bharata beautifully explains to King Rahuguna. 

Moving on with the next important point thus, Sage Bharata continues further to highlight upon which actually gives “Shreyas” or significance to the “Atman”. He explains the mentality of some people who repeatedly assert that having a son is the ultimate significance of taking birth in this world! Does having a son add to the significance of our “Atman”? Or, some people have this attitude that having a girl child (also referred to as “Seemantha Puthri” if a daughter is born as the first child) would bring enormous prosperity, etc. Thus, does having a daughter add to the significance of our “Atman”? An interesting answer awaits us for both these questions in the next upcoming episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 109 – “WHO AM I?” – Sage Jada-Bharata gives a beautiful narrative to this question!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Sage Jada-Bharata was starting to slowly make King Rahuguna understand a few important points that would clear off the doubts from his mind. In that way, he had reiterated his answer that he had given to King Rahuguna’s question as to why he didn’t carry the carriage properly. Here, Sage Bharata clearly explains how he cannot be held responsible for this, as Goddess Bhoomadevi was the one who was solely responsible. He gives a detailed accord as to how the “Atman” is totally different from the “Deham” and how everything in this world is interconnected to each other. Here Sage Bharata gives the example of how we boil rice in a kettle – He explains how the boiling of rice depends not only on the heat that is generated, but also on various other things like the nature of the firewood that is used, the match stick used to ignite the fire and finally Goddess Bhoomadevi, upon which all of these rest. Hence, it is wrong to blame just one entity for something which is not happening. Moreover, in the second point, Sage Bharata has clearly explained the context wherein the words “I” and “You” do not signify the “Deham”, but the “Atman”. For instance, when King Rahuguna made fun of Sage Bharata initially by saying that he was stout and well-built and yet, he couldn’t carry the coach properly, the reply was very clear – If we’ve to say that someone is well-built, it does signify only the “Deham” and not the “Atman” in anyway! Thus, Sage Bharata countered King Rahuguna that it is wrong to point at “him” and to say that “he” was well-built. In fact, it was his body that was well-built, but not Sage Bharata as an “Atman”. It might be a little confusing for few readers, but I urge here that if you feel confused, please read the above-explained point one more time for better understanding. 

Moving on thus, King Rahuguna slowly starts to open up his doubts to Sage Bharata. He now asks Sage Bharata thus:  

“Shruyataam sohamityetath vaktum bhoopana sakhyate!

Upa bhoga nimittham cha sarvatra aagamanah kriyaa!!”

Thus, King Rahuguna asks a very important question here – “Oh Sage Bharata! What is that which gives the “Shreyas” (Unique speciality or Significance) to both the “Atman” and the “Deham”?” As King Rahuguna poses this question thus, Sage Bharata quips in reply immediately, “Oh Rahuguna! As I had mentioned earlier, the “Atman” doesn’t have a form or a shape for itself. It is an invisible element that is present within the body. So, like you think, there is nothing called “Speciality” or “uniqueness” for an “Atman”. You might wonder why I’m making this unique point here. Just imagine, Rahuguna! If we’ve to say that money is something that makes the “Atman” more significant, we’re making a mistake here. Money can never add any sort of significance to the “Atman”, as it is beyond all sorts of “Bhoga” (Worldly pleasures). Or, if we’ve to say that parents add speciality and uniqueness to the “Atman”, that might also not hold any water. It is because we have one set of parents in this birth, but at the end of this birth, they are not going to be existing anymore! Moreover, when we take the next birth, some other individuals are going to be our parents, isn’t it? Hence, this is also not a permanent phenomenon for an “Atman”. Hence, parents can never add any significance to it. Thus, none of the worldly pleasures (Bhoga) or parents are going to add any value to the “Atman”, and it is only the “Gnyaana” (Knowledge about Bhagawan and how to walk the path of spirituality) that gives real deeper meaning to the “Atman”. This is why I repeatedly emphasize the point that nothing in this world can add any sorts of significance to the “Atman”!” 

Sage Bharata now adds one more funny point here to poke King Rahuguna sarcastically. He says thus, “Oh Rahuguna! Every time you’re boasting that you are a king isn’t it? You have all the pleasures, wealth and status of a king, isn’t it? But are all these going to last forever? Or, are you going to be alive in this world forever to enjoy all these pleasures and status? Neither of these are going to happen, isn’t it? For instance, you might be the king for this country. However, you might have different other roles to play in life isn’t it? For instance, you are a husband to your wife. Similarly, for your son or daughter, you are a father. In similar lines, for the enemy country, you are an enemy. Similarly, for your elder brother, you are a younger brother. Thus, can you see how many roles you play in your life, although you only signify one role of yours, which is a “king”?” 

This is an extremely important point here that Sage Bharata is explaining. If we deeply introspect the above narrative of Sage Bharata into our lives, we would start having a big doubt now, as to who we are! For instance, I might be a husband to my wife. I might also be a son to my father. At the same time I might also be a father to my son. So here, I’m both a father and a son! Similarly, I might be a friend to another friend. Or, I might be an enemy to another enemy. Thus we can see here that I might be both a friend and an enemy at the same time. If we now combine all these sentences together, all the “I” that we used in the above sentences would collectively indicate the “Atman”, and all the other variables like friend, enemy, son, father, husband, etc. would indicate the “Deham”. Thus, again we see here that the “Atman” is just a constant entity and the “Deham” is an ever-changing entity, isn’t it? This is exactly what Sage Bharata is trying to explain to King Rahuguna here. 

So for today, let us deeply think and try to understand this point clearly and let us try to differentiate between the “Atman” and the “Deham”. It might be a bit confusing, and I’m reiterating my point here – Please read this more than once to understand clearly. We shall first introspect within ourselves to find out the “reality” of who we are, and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 108 – “I” / “You” signify the “Atman” and NOT the “Deham” – Sage Bharata explains the crux of “Vedanta”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Sage Jada-Bharata’s accord on the key characteristics of the “Atman” and how is the “Atman” different from the “Deham”, which is the physical body. In that way, we’ve witnessed four important characteristics of the “Atman” and in these lines, we had spoken about how the “Atman” is totally devoid of any kinds of “Doshas” in yesterday’s episode. We had witnessed a detailed accord in this regard, and the main underlying message for all of us from this is that, we should learn to face whatever problems that come through, with maturity and with the sense of feeling that nothing is going to affect our “Atman” ultimately. Instead of facing problems head-on thus, the main issue today with many of us is that, we immediately run to an astrologer if we confront any sort of problem in life. This is a wrong practice totally and we should understand here that everybody in this world have their own sets of problems to handle. We’ve to realize that nothing in this world comes easily to us, and we’ve to slog hard for success. Whereas, if we start running towards astrologers for all our problems, there is going to be no end for this. Ultimately, we would become cowards and there is no use in running away from the problems that we’ve to face. Hence, this is something important that we’ve to understand from this point that Sage Bharata is stressing upon. 

Moving on thus, Sage Bharata now answers the initial questions that King Rahuguna had asked. Sage Bharata now gives some expanded answers to the ones that he had given earlier. At that point in time, King Rahuguna was angry and frustrated when Sage Bharata was giving answers. But now, since King Rahuguna is more receptive to understand some important deeper meanings of what he had said, Sage Bharata is trying to give his previous answers a bit more sense, so that King Rahuguna, and in turn, all of us can understand clearly. Sage Bharata explains thus, “Oh Rahuguna! You had asked me as to who had lifted your carriage and why wasn’t it lifted properly, isn’t it? Now let me give you an analogy to explain my answer to you – For instance if we’ve to boil rice, what are the ingredients that are needed for it? We need rice grains, water for the rice to boil in, fire for boiling, firewood for the fire to catch and grow further, a match stick for igniting the fire, and finally Mother Earth (Goddess Bhoomadevi) for resting all the firewood and the pot of rice for boiling. Thus, for anything and everything to happen in this world, isn’t Goddess Bhoomadevi responsible? You might easily say that the rice is boiling in the kettle because of the heat, and finish it there. But I wouldn’t accept such an outward answer. I look at it in depth, to understand what is really responsible for the rice to boil!”

Sage Bharata continues thus, “Oh Rahuguna! Think about this as well – There are so many things which are responsible for the rice to boil, isn’t it? Ultimately, see how Mother Earth is responsible. If something goes wrong in this rice-boiling process, whom would you blame? Would you blame the cook? How can you blame that person, if so many things are responsible for it? Perhaps, the fire wouldn’t have burnt properly, or the rice might have been overcooked! Or, perhaps the kettle would have had some problem. Or, perhaps the firewood which was used to light the fire might have been wet with water, and the fire wouldn’t have generated enough heat to boil the rice! Or perhaps, the quality of water that was used to boil the rice in the kettle wasn’t very good and upto the mark! So if these many things are there in the middle, how do you just put the blame on the poor person and punish him / her? How fair that would be? Similarly in our case also, yes, outwardly it might seem that I was the one who carried your carriage in an undesirable way. But, if it was my shoulder which carried your carriage, or if my hips that were carrying my shoulder, or if my legs that were carrying my hips, or if Goddess Bhoomadevi who was carrying my legs were at fault, what would “I” as an individual do? How would I be solely responsible for this?” 

Sage Bharata continues to give detailed descriptions further thus, “Oh Rahuguna! Next what did you say? You said that I’m well built and tall! I had just explained what is the real meaning of the words “I” / “You” here, isn’t it? The word “I” or “You” signifies the “Atman” and I’ve explained to you that the “Atman” can never grow or decline in size or shape. If you’re saying “You are tall and well-built”, how can the “Atman” be tall and well-built? Isn’t it a wrong perception that you’re having about the “Atman”? This is what I’m trying to point out. Hence, from this, you should understand that the “Atman” doesn’t have the capability to be well-built or tall or well-nourished. All these are attributes of the physical body, which cannot be denoted by the words “I” or “You”. Hence, do not confuse yourself between the “Atman” and the “Deham”. If you’re denoting somebody as “I” or “You”, it only signifies the “Atman”, and never the “Deham”!” 

This is an extremely important narrative that all of us should understand in depth and very clearly. I’ve tried to explain this in simple language, however, I would urge readers to read this episode more than once, so that we would be able to grasp the real  meaning behind what Sage Jada-Bharata is explaining here. We shall go a bit slow in this point because, these are some deep concepts of “Vedanta”, wherein they require repeated introspection and repeated understanding. So for today, let us read and re-read the underlying message that Sage Bharata is trying to convey to King Rahuguna and all of us so that we could understand better! Let us wait till the next episode to continue further from this point! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 107 – We should learn to face problems head-on, rather than running to an astrologer every time – Sage Jada-Bharata’s key message!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a couple of important characteristics of the “Atman”, as part of our discussion on Sage Bharata’s conversation with King Rahuguna. We’ve seen that the “Atman” is an embodiment of endless peace and bliss (“Shantaha”), and any sort of external disturbances, both in terms of physical and verbal / mental injuries can affect the “Atman” in any way. In similar lines we had also witnessed that the “Atman” is referred to as “Aksharaha” wherein any sort of growth or decline is only for the “Deham” (Physical body) and not for the “Atman”. Of course, whenever we take birth time and again, we get a new “Deham” and this “Deham” keeps growing up to a point and then starts shrinking down, till the death / destruction takes place. However, irrespective of whatever happens to our “Deham”, our “Atman” never changes its form or size or shape. It is a constant entity and it would continue to do so, irrespective of how many births we take in this world, or even if we happen to attain “Moksha” and become “Nitya-Atmans” at Bhagawan’s Vaikunta! We’ve to remember and understand these points very clearly as we move ahead from here. 

 Moving on further thus, we’ve to witness the other characteristics of the “Atman” that Sage Jada-Bharata is talking about here. I’ve already quoted the two slokas through which Sage Jada-Bharata is driving home these points, and for our reference, we shall quote the slokas once again here. Sage Bharata explains thus: 

“Aham tvancha tathaanyecha bhootairuhiyaama paarthiva!

Gunah pravaaha pathithaha bhoota vargopi yaatrayam!!

Aatma shuddhaha aksharaha shraantaha nirgunaha prakrithehe paraaha!

Pravrithabhayo naasya chaikasya akhila janthushu!!”

Now Sage Bharata is going into the third important characteristic here, which is pointed out in the second sloka – “Nirgunaha”. The “Atman” never has any form of “Doshas” or ill-effects. Again, we’ve to understand that it is only the physical body that undergoes all sorts of “Doshas” and our “Atman” is never a victim here. In day-to-day scenarios, we often go in search of astrologers to weed off our “Doshas”, which are caused by our planetary positions, isn’t it? The astrologers would also suggest that we go to some specific temples, worship some specific deities and do some “Parihaaras” for the “Dosha” to come down in terms of intensity. However, Sage Bharata is explaining here that if we’re having confidence and unending faith on Bhagawan, none of these “Doshas” are going to affect us in any way possible. He drives home this point by going one step further here – Since these “Doshas” are just for the physical body and not for the “Atman” in any way, why worry about something that is affecting the destroyable? In any case, irrespective of whether there is a “Dosha” or not, our physical body is going to be subjected to destruction today or tomorrow! So why give so much of importance to something that is destroyable in nature? Why don’t we hold on to something that is permanent? 

It is through this analogy that Sage Bharata is driving home the point that we shouldn’t be too much scared and worried about any forms of “Doshas” that might arise out of our planetary positions. We shouldn’t first of all get jittery because of all these, as constant movements of planets are something that we cannot prevent. Moreover, these planetary problems that arise out, are predominantly due to the “Karma” that we’ve accumulated over the past and thus, there is literally no “short-cut” solution for all these, unless and until we burn them out ourselves. Hence, the entire concept of doing “Parihaaras” for “Doshas” is something which is debatable. Of course, if some astrologers read through this episode, they might come for a fight with me, as I might throw their profession off track here! 🙂 But that is not the point here – The main point here is that, as spiritual seekers, we’ve to develop the maturity to face any sort of problems head-on, rather than running to the astrologer for anything and everything. So, how would that maturity come? It would come only when we understand more and more about the “Atman” and how the “Atman” is more significant than the “Deham”. 

This is exactly why Sage Jada-Bharata is spending so much time describing the “Atman”. So for today, let us understand how the “Atman” can never be affected by any form of “Doshas” ever, and it is we who should gain that maturity to face problems as they come! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 106 – “All external disturbances affect only the “DEHAM” and NOT the “ATMAN” – Sage Jada-Bharata explains beautifully !!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important point that Sage Jada-Bharata has been emphasizing to King Rahuguna that as spiritual seekers, the first step that all of us need to keep in mind is that, we should be able to see all the “Atmans” on the same plane. This implies that there is no real difference between all living beings in this world, as all of us have the same “Atman” dwelling inside! This is what we refer to in our Sanaatana Dharma as “Nishkrishta Vesham”. In due course of our previous episode, we had also witnessed another form of the “Atman”, which is called “Vishishta Vesham”, wherein we differentiate between living beings on the mere basis of our physical body and appearance. This is perhaps the lowest level to which a spiritual seeker can go, and as we move forward from here, we should raise our bars upwards from the “Vishishta Vesham” to the “Nishkrishta Vesham”. This is exactly what Sage Jada Bharata is talking about in his first point to King Rahuguna – The separation between the “Atman” and the “Deham”. 

Moving on further thus, we’ve to witness the other characteristics of the “Atman” that Sage Jada-Bharata is talking about here. I’ve already quoted the two slokas through which Sage Jada-Bharata is driving home these points, and for our reference, we shall quote the slokas once again here. Sage Bharata explains thus: 

“Aham tvancha tathaanyecha bhootairuhiyaama paarthiva!

Gunah pravaaha pathithaha bhoota vargopi yaatrayam!!

Aatma shuddhaha aksharaha shraantaha nirgunaha prakrithehe paraaha!

Pravrithabhayo naasya chaikasya akhila janthushu!!”

So till now, we’ve witnessed the key narratives of the “Atman” with regards to the first sloka, and now we’re moving on to the second one. Sage Bharata explains the next characteristic of the “Atman” as “Shuddhaha”. This means, the “Atman” is extremely pure and is never affected by the birth-death cycle that one undergoes. In fact, this is the same point which Bhagawan Krishna too emphasizes in His Bhagawad Gita – He says to Arjuna that the “Atman” never gets destroyed. It is a permanent entity, unlike the “Deham” which keeps getting destroyed at the end of every birth, only to take a new “Deham” at the beginning of every birth. However, the “Atman” inside all these physical bodies that we take birth after birth, is something that is permanent in nature and can never be subjected to any form of destruction. Even when we reach “Vaikunta” or the ultimate “Moksha”, our “Atman” would transform itself into “Nitya-Atmans”, which signifies that from that point onwards, we are never going to take births in this world anymore! Thus, we’ve to understand that even when we reach “Moksha”, our “Atman” is still going to exist, and we would get the ultimate opportunity to spend golden time with Bhagawan in our vicinity. Thus, the point here is that, the “Atman” is characterized as “Shuddhaha”, because it doesn’t get affected in terms of purity, unlike our physical body. 

Next in the list is “Aksharaha”. This means that our “Atman” never diminishes in size or form. It is  only our physical body that keeps growing, and then gradually shrinking in size and appearance as we progress with age. However, the “Atman” always remains “Young” and “beautiful”, and it doesn’t change it’s form, no matter what happens to our physical body. Even if we pass away and when our physical body gets destroyed, the “Atman” gets “transplanted” and “impinged” into another physical body (We take different physical forms owing to the Karma that we possess) in the same way, without any shrinkage, etc. 

Subsequently, Sage Bharata talks about the next characteristic – “Shaantaha”. The “Atman” is always calm, composed and beautiful. No external disturbance can really cause the “Atman” to worry or change its state from peace. All these external disturbances are only for our physical body, and not for the “Atman”. For instance, we talk with others, shout at them, vent out our frustration, laugh, feel happy, sad, etc. all through our lifespan isn’t it? Sage Bharata is clearly explaining that all these so-called “feelings” (happiness, anger, sorrow, frustration, etc.) are all for the physical body and not for the “Atman”. The “Atman” sits inside us without getting affected by all what is going on outside. Similarly, even if we get hurt physically or mentally by someone or something, this doesn’t affect our “Atman” in any way. This is why we say that if we’ve to control our anger or frustration over somebody, we should develop the thought process that after all this person is trying to insult our “Deham”, which is anyway subjected to destruction. Nobody can ever insult or scold the “Atman”, which is permanent. If such is the case, what is the point in paying heed to people who are abusing us in any way? Similarly, if we get physically injured also, we should understand that the injury is for the body and not for the “Atman”. If we develop such a thought, nothing can even cause any sort of a pain or discomfort to us! 

Of course, it is all easier said than done! 🙂 However, we need to put that meticulous effort to understand and implement these points if we’ve to progress spiritually upwards,, isn’t it? As I always keep saying time and again, putting the effort is very important here and we should strictly abide by this come what may! Of course, this is a slow process, but we should not give up. We should keep trying and trying. So for today, let us understand these important points that we’ve discussed and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 105 – “NISHKRISHTA VESHAM” – Seeing all “Atman” within all living beings equally!!!

In the previous episode, we had been amidst a very important conversation between King Rahuguna and Sage Jada-Bharata, wherein Sage Bharata was spot-on with his replies to all the questions of the king. He ultimately stressed and drove home the important point that all of us have a single-pointed agenda behind coming to this world, which is to wash off our Karma. We’ve all come from the same place, which is the womb of a mother. Similarly, we’re all the same Jeevatmas, which Bhagawan is creating every passing day. It is only Bhagawan who can be the “Paramatma” ultimately and none of us can attain that state ever. However, there is only one difference in all of us – The various ways that we take to wash off our Karma. In this case, Sage Jada-Bharata was washing off his Karma by carrying King Rahuguna’s carriage in his shoulders, whereas, King Rahuguna was washing off his Karma by sitting in the carriage! This process might differ from individual to individual, but the bottom-line remains the same – All of us are here to wash off our Karma in some way or the other. 

Upon hearing such a thought-provoking reply from Sage Jada-Bharata, King Rahuguna was chewed to bits! He was stunned beyond words! He immediately fell on the feet of Sage Jada-Bharata and replied thus, “Oh Sage! You’re perhaps the only person to whom I’m fearing now! I’ve never feared Bhagawan Vishnu’s “Chakra”. I’ve never feared Bhagawan Shiva’s “Trishoola. But today, I’m  standing in front of you with some sort of a fear within me. You’ve overpowered me with your words and thoughtful insights! In fact, knowledge is something that can defeat anybody at any point in time, irrespective of whatsoever weapons the enemy might be possessing!” 

King Rahuguna continues thus, “Oh great one! In fact, I was going in search of some great Sages to understand certain aspects of Vedanta in which I had doubts. However, upon seeing you today, I think all my questions are starting to get answers. After seeing you, I don’t need to continue my journey any further to meet any sage. You are my “Guru” and I would wish to learn many more things from you from now onwards!” As King Rahuguna surrenders himself thus, Sage Jada-Bharata begins to explain lot many important aspects of the “Atman”, “Deham”, how the “Atman” (Soul) and the “Deham” (Physical body) are different, how all the “Atmans” in this world are equal without any sort of difference between them! Sage Jada-Bharata explains thus: 

“Aham tvancha tathaanyecha bhootairuhiyaama paarthiva!

Gunah pravaaha pathithaha bhoota vargopi yaatrayam!!

Aatma shuddhaha aksharaha shraantaha nirgunaha prakrithehe paraaha!

Pravrithabhayo naasya chaikasya akhila janthushu!!”

Here, Sage Bharata beautifully explains the characteristics and the beauty of the “Atman”. He explains thus, “Oh Rahuguna! Please understand that there is no difference between the words “I”, “We”, “You”, “They”, etc. All of us are one. Because, even if we say “I”, it signifies the “Atman”. Similarly if we say “We”, that also signifies and indicates only the “Atman”. In the same lines, if we say “You”, this also indicates the “Atman” only. Hence, for all these words, the meaning is the same, which is nothing but the “Atman”. However, you might think that you are Rahuguna and I’m Jada-Bharata. But please understand here – These names of Rahuguna, Jada-Bharata, etc. are names given to our “Deham” (Physical body), and not for our “Atman”. Our “Atman” does not have any name or any kind of differentiation. All “Atmans” are the same. So, if you’ve to progress spiritually upwards, you need to identify the similarity in all living beings by looking at the “Atman” and not the “Deham”!” 

This phenomenon that Sage Bharata is talking about here, is often referred to in our Sanaatana Dharma literature as “Nishkrishta-Vesham”. In fact, the “Atman” has two different “Veshams”. The synonym of the word “Vesham” can be understood as “Form”. Thus, the “Atman” is considered to have two different forms – One is the “Vishishta Vesham” and the other is “Nishkrishta Vesham”. Now what is the difference between these two forms of the “Atman”? The first one – “Vishishta Vesham” is the form wherein the “Atman” is seen as being closely embedded with the “Deham”. This is where we start seeing all sorts of difference between various living beings in this world. Whereas, the “Nishkrishta Vesham” of the Atman signifies the separation between the “Atman” and the “Deham”. This is where we start seeing the similarity between all living beings in terms of the “Atman”. This philosophy is very important for all of us to understand here – As we progress in our spiritual growth, we should decrease our “Vishishta Vesham” and increase our “Nishkrishta Vesham” of our “Atman”. Only then we would be able to see all living beings on the same plane, without looking into any sort of differences between them. 

This is exactly what Sage Jada-Bharata is talking about here too. He explains to King Rahuguna how we should see all the “Atmans” equally. Thus, in this way, Sage Jada-Bharata is indirectly talking about how we should develop the “Nishkrishta Vesham” of our Atman. So for today, let us understand and experience this important point that Sage Bharata is stressing here. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion forward. Lot of such important points lie ahead of us, and let us witness them one by one! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 104 – All of us have come to this world with a one-pointed agenda – To wash off our Karma!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Sage Jada-Bharata gave some befitting replies to King Rahugunua’s relatively “stupid” questions, which he had asked out of anger and frustration. Sage Jada-Bharata blunted every question that King Rahuguna had asked with some witty replies. Upon this, Sage Rahuguna slowly started realizing the significance of the person with whom he was conversing with. He immediately asked a set of three questions to Sage Jada-Bharata thus – Who are you? Where are you from? Why did you come here? Again, upon listening to the king’s fresh set of questions thus, Sage Jada-Bharata burst out laughing and once again mocked at King Rahuguna for his utter foolishness! We might wonder what is the big foolishness in asking for an introduction to someone whom we do not know! However, Sage Jada-Bharata being a high-profile “Vedanti” by nature had other plans! He had a different view for these questions and replied to King Rahuguna sharply thus, “Oh king! For heaven sake, please do not ask these three questions to anybody else in your life from today!” King Rahuguna was completely taken aback by such a reply from Sage Jada-Bharata. Upon probing further, Sage Jada-Bharata continued further thus, “Oh king! If you ask these three questions to someone, you’ll end up getting the same answer from all of them! Hence, why waste time in asking people the same questions over and over again?” 

So what would be that common answer which all people might end up giving? Let us continue witnessing the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam” from this point onwards in today’s episode. As Sage Jada-Bharata gives a peculiar reply thus, King Rahuguna asked a counter question – How can that be the case? How can all people have the same answers for these questions? Different people have different identities, isn’t it?” Sage Bharata replies back thus, “Oh King! Listen carefully! You are the same person that I am! You had asked me where did I come from, isn’t it? Let me tell you one thing – I came from the same place from where you had come! Next, what did you ask? What was the purpose behind me coming here, isn’t it? Let me tell you – I also came for the same purpose for which you had come here!” 

Now what is Sage Bharata trying to explain here? For the first question – Who am I? The”common” answer for all of us would be, I’m a Jeevatma, and you are a Jeevatma! For the second question, Where did you come from? I came from the womb of a mother, and you also came from the womb of a mother! So all of us have a common answer here also, isn’t it? Now for the third question – What was the purpose behind you coming here? The simple answer is “To wash off my Karma”. This is precisely the same agenda with which all of us come to this world, isn’t it? So what is the big difference between you , me, King Rahuguna or Sage Jada-Bharata? Explaining thus to King Rahuguna, Sage Bharata re-emphasizes his advice to him thus, “Oh King! As you would have witnessed how all of us are the same in terms of the three questions that you had asked, please do not ask these questions to anybody whom you see from today! By doing so, you’re only wasting your time as well as other’s! However, there is a slight difference here. When I had said that all of us take birth in this world to wash away our Karma, we obviously do so in our own different ways. For instance, you’re washing off your Karma by sitting inside the coach, whereas I’m washing off my Karma by carrying your coach in my shoulders! That’s the only difference here!” 

What a reply this was from Sage Jada-Bharata? Indeed, something that all of us should ponder over, isn’t it? If we consider our own examples here, both myself and all of our readers are born in this world to wash off our Karma, and we’ve all come from the same place, which is the womb of our mothers. However, the ways through which we wash off our Karmas are going to be different. For instance, in this case, I’m trying to wash off my Karma by writing something little about Bhagawan every passing day, and as readers, all of you are trying to wash off your Karma by reading whatever I’m writing every day. This is how we have differences in the process through which we wash off our Karma. However, the agenda of washing off our Karma remains the same for all of us and that is our ultimate goal in our life. Thus, just because I’m the person who’s writing everyday, I’m not going to be a step higher than everybody else, and just because many of us are only reading this content, we’re not going to be inferior in any way. We should realize and understand from this point that all of us have only one important agenda, and we should meticulously focus on that every passing day! 

So for today, let us understand this important message of Sage Jada-Bharata very clearly and let us start doing the needful! We shall wait till the next episode to continue with this important conversation between Sage Jada-Bharata and King Rahuguna further! Stay tuned! 🙂  

Episode # 103 – Sage Jada-Bharata renders King Rahuguna completely speechless!!!

We’re amidst an important juncture and a set of turn-around events as part of the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam”, wherein Sage Jada-Bharata is giving a befitting reply to King Rahuguna’s anger-mixed sarcasm. Initially we’ve witnessed how King Rahuguna made Sage Jada-Bharata lift his carriage and how Sage Jada-Bharata was swaying left and right, which irritated the king very badly. Upon questioning Sage Jada-Bharata for his haphazard way of carrying the carriage, Sge Bharata replies that he was not the person who carried King Rahuguna’s carriage! As the king was puzzled with this answer, Sage Jada-Bharata backs it up further by spinning a web between the carriage and Mother Bhoomadevi! Ultimately, Sage Bharata drove home the point that it was not “he” who carried the carriage, but it was Mother Earth or Mother Bhoomadevi who did it. This left King Rahuguna speechless and angry at the same time! 

Now as it was Sage Bharata’s turn to question the king, he grabbed this opportunity to mount more and more questions to King Rahuguna! He continues thus, “Oh King Rahuguna! Do you understand your mistake here? What did you ask me? Who lifted the carriage in an improper fashion, isn’t it? There is a huge mistake in the way your question is formed! Even before this, you had told me that I was well-nourished! How did you say that? Upon looking at my face? Or upon looking at my arms and legs? Or upon looking at my “Atman”? Or upon understanding how I was in my previous birth, as compared to how I look today? So your narratives and questions do not stand any value to me, and you do not know what you’re asking!” 

This left the king even more speechless! Every word that the king spoke is being negated by Sage Bharata here. First, the king had told him that he was well-built and well-nourished! Sage Bharata negated that as well! Second, the king had asked, why isn’t he carrying the coach properly! Sage Bharata negated that he was not carrying it at all! With all of these, King Rahuguna slowly started realizing that this person standing in front of him was not an ordinary person by any means! He was a great “Vedanti”! A “Vedanti” is a person who is an expert in all aspects of “Vedanta”. Normally in today’s scenario, a person gets this “title” called “Vedanti” if he / she talks about something that nobody understands! 🙂 We must have seen it in our day-to-day life as well isn’t it? If we talk about something that the other person doesn’t understand, immediately the other person would ask us “Oh! Why are you talking all Vedantic stuff? Talk something that we would understand!” This is exactly what King Rahuguna was thinking here! As he listened to Sage Bharata’s response thus, what would King Rahuguna reply back? 

King Rahuguna immediately got down from the coach and stood in front of Sage Jada-Bharata. He now asks Sage Jada-Bharata thus, “Oh! Who are you? Where are you from? Why are you asking such riddle-like questions? Your questions seem to be having a lot of deeper meaning, and I’m sure they are not outward in nature. There’s surely something behind your questions! You’re not an ordinary person by any means. So tell me who you are! What made you come here?” Thus, the crux of King Rahuguna’s reply was a set of three questions importantly here – Who are you? What have you come here for? Where are you from? As Sage Bharata listens to the king’s questions, he bursts out laughing! Sage Bharata laughed out loud for a few seconds, and replied back thus, “Oh King Rahuguna! I had just now asked you a set of questions, and now you’re again asking yet another set of stupid questions! Please remember one thing – Never ever ask these three questions to anybody else in this world!” 

As King Rahuguna listened to this reply, he couldn’t understand anything again! Normally whenever we see someone new, we would ask only these three questions, isn’t it? First is, who are you! Second is where are you from and the third is what is the purpose behind your visit! For instance, if you ask me these three questions, I would reply back saying that I’m Jeayaram, I’m here to write about Shri Vishnu Puraana and I’m from Chennai, India. However, Sage Jada-Bharata thinks otherwise here – He says that we should never ask these three questions to anybody whom we see! Why is that so? It is because, as per Sage Bharata, to whomever in this world we ask these three questions, we would get the same reply! 

Now what is this “same reply” going to be? An absorbing and a fascinating reply awaits us in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 102 – Sage Jada-Bharata OUTSMARTS King Rahuguna with a stunning reply!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very interesting juncture on the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam”, wherein King Rahuguna is trying to initiate a heated conversation with Sage Jada-Bharata for not carrying his carriage properly. Little did King Rahuguna know that he was talking with a highly spiritual soul, who was constantly in bliss, although he was roaming here and there by being a laughing stalk for everyone around! King Rahuguna mixed aggression with sarcasm and insults Sage Jada-Bharata that even though he was well-built and nourished, he wasn’t having the “strength” to carry the carriage properly. He threatened Sage Jada-Bharata to beat him with the stick as well, if he’s not going to execute his duty properly. As King Rahuguna was fuming with anger and frustration, he was awaiting a response from Sage Jada-Bharata, which initially did not happen, as expected. This made King Rahuguna even more furious and he repeated his question with more anger. 

Finally as the king asked him multiple times, Sage Jada-Bharata retorted back with a sharp, yet unexpected reply! Instead of directly answering the king, Sage Jada-Bharata asked a counter question thus, “Oh King Rahuguna! You had just said that I’m fat, well-nourished, etc. Can you explain the meaning of fatness? What is the meaning of being well-nourished?” Upon hearing this from Sage Jada-Bharata, King Rahuguna didn’t understand anything for a moment! His head went into a spin! He didn’t expect such a counter question from this person, whom he imagined to be totally dumb! Now it was totally Sage Jada-Bharata’s turn to plummet the king with questions. As King Rahuguna couldn’t understand what to reply to such a blunt question, Sage Bharata continued thus, “Oh King! You had mentioned that I had not carried your carriage properly, isn’t it? First of all, who told you that I was carrying your carriage? To be very frank, I was not at all carrying the carriage! If that is the case, how do you blame me for the mishap? On what basis do you do so?” 

This made King Rahuguna stand there like a pillar, without knowing what to answer! Of course, he quickly understood that these are not ordinary questions (although they sounded pretty ordinary and childish), but there were some deeper meanings attached to what this gentleman was asking! However, the ego of King Rahuguna drove over him completely. He got more furious and shouted angrily at Sage Bharata thus, “Oh fool! What are you blabbering? It is me who appointed you as the fourth person to carry my carriage. Here you are, standing with all your well-nourished body near the fourth corner of the carriage. If you had not carried it, who else did that then? Why are you trying to bluff to me like this? Do you know the repercussions of what your answers are?” 

As the king angrily asked thus, Sage Jada-Bharata calmly replied again with the same answer, but with some rephrasing and a bit of sarcasm attached to it! In fact, Sage Jada-Bharata was giving King Rahuguna the taste of his own medicine here! We’ve to remember that King Rahuguna tried to sarcastically insult Sage Jada-Bharata, however, it is now time for Sage Bharata to give him back with interest! He replies to King Rahuguna thus, “Oh king! I hope you understand the language in which I’m talking with you right now! I hope you’re not dumb enough! I’m saying for the second time now – I’ve not carried your carriage! In fact, to go one step further, please understand that I’ve never carried anything in my life so far! Please understand – The carriage of yours was carried by the beautifully decorated handle that is there on all four sides. This handle was carried by my shoulder. My shoulder is being carried by the upper portion of my physical body. This upper portion of my body is being carried by my thighs and knees. My thighs and knees are carried by my legs. My legs are carried by Mother Bhoomadevi from below! So ultimately, your carriage was carried by none other than Goddess Bhoomadevi, and not me! So if you have a problem with the carrying part, please ask her, and not me!” 

What an answer this is! King Rahuguna was caught clearly on the wrong foot! He did not expect such a reply ever! In fact, Sage Jada-Bharata had outsmarted King Rahuguna so easily with just one answer! This answer was enough to send King Rahuguna into a deep thought process! Now what was King Rahuguna’s response to this? Is he going to continue his aggressive streak or is he going to stop right there and introspect what Sage Bharata is telling him? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 101 – King Rahuguna tries to instigate Sage Jada-Bharata by mixing anger with sarcasm!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam”, wherein Sage Jada-Bharata is now going to get in touch with King Rahuguna. We’ve witnessed yesterday that King Rahuguna, who is the local king of that area, being a spiritually oriented person, is preparing himself to meet Sage Kapila to clear off some doubts that he had in his mind. Thus, he decides to set off with his long journey to Sage Kapila’s place. As the king got into his carriage, there were three men to lift it and take him to the destination. However, there was a need for one more person to lift the carriage, and at this point in time, Sage Jada-Bharata was passing by. Immediately upon casting a look on Sage Jada-Bharata’s tall and well-built body, King Rahuguna decided that he’s going to be the fourth man to lift the carriage! LIttle did the king know that he was employing a highly spiritual soul into such a low-level task. Little did the king realize that he was going to insult a great “Mahatma”. 

As the ministers approached Sage Jada-Bharata with this proposal, he just nodded his head, without even knowing what he was nodding his head for! As we know, Sage Jada-Bharata was a totally aloof person, with zero understanding of what is going around him. Accordingly, Sage Jada-Bharata’s nod was taken as a positive sign by the ministers and subsequently they placed the heavy carriage on his shoulders. The beauty here is that, even at this stage Sage Jada-Bharata did not understand what was going on! He was just walking as if he’s simply wandering around in the usual way. Little did he realize that it was the king sitting on top, inside the carriage. Sage Jada-Bharata was swaying here and there and eventually the king started feeling uncomfortable. As this was continuing for a while, the king got furious. He thus fumed in anger towards the men who were carrying the carriage thus, “Oh people! Why are you carrying the carriage in such a haphazard manner? I’m feeling extremely uncomfortable sitting inside! Who is that person swaying here and there?” 

As King Rahuguna questions harshly thus, the three other men squarely put the blame on Sage Jada-Bharata. They immediately replied to the king thus, “Oh King Rahuguna! You had picked up this fourth fellow to carry your carriage isn’t it? It is this fellow who is wreaking all the havoc. It is not because of the three of us. We’re carrying you in a normal way only, however, this fourth fellow is the one who is swaying irresponsibly here and there, as if he is drunk! Perhaps you’ve selected the wrong person for this job!” As King Rahuguna heard this from the three men, he immediately ordered them to stop and keep the carriage down. He wanted to get down from the carriage and give some thrashing to the fourth person. King Rahuguna came out of the carriage and advanced towards Sage Jada-Bharata swiftly! Upon seeing Sage Jada-Bharata being tall and well-built, King Rahuguna took up a stick in his hand while advancing forward. As he nears Sage Jada-Bharata, King Rahuguna asks thus, “Oh stupid fellow! Don’t you even know how to carry a carriage properly? You look well-nourished and well-built, isn’t it? What is the problem with you? I guess you need some beatings to set things right! Perhaps you’ve not been fed properly for the past four days! Do you need some food? Or, do you need some beatings with this heavy stick?” 

With these words, Sage Rahuguna tried to poke into Sage Jada-Bharata and was awaiting a reaction from him! The king purposefully mixed anger and sarcasm together as he addressed Sage Jada-Bharata. Ultimately, King Rahuguna wanted to insult Sage Jada-Bharata very badly in front of the entire set of people. So did King Rahuguna succeed in his attempt? Was he able to invoke a response from Sage Jada-Bharata? If so, what was the response? Let’s wait till the next episode to continue further! Stay tuned! 🙂