Episode # 492 – Ashtaavakra & Sujatha make their way to meet King Janaka!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a brief background about who was Sage Ashtaavakra, and how he went on to meet King Janaka at Mithilapuri. As discussed yesterday, Sage Ashtaavakra was the son of Sujatha and Sage Kahoda. Sage Kahoda was the “Sishya” of Sage Utthaalaka and impressed by the disciple’s meticulous effort to learn, Sage Utthaalaka gave his daughter Sujatha in marriage to Sage Kahoda. As Sujatha became pregnant, the child from inside the womb made a sarcasm against his father that he is not so intelligent. As Sage Utthaalaka came to know about this, he was extremely angry that Sage Kahoda had to go through this, and immediately cursed the baby that it would be born with eight major defects in its body! This is why this child has the name “Ashtaavakra”. Thus, as the child was born and growing up, Sujatha and Sage Kahoda were suffering from extreme poverty. They weren’t even able to satisfy the child’s hunger even once in a day. Hence, Sage Kahoda decided that he would go and earn some “Biksha” from others and with that, they can meet their food requirements for the day. As Sage Kahoda was going here and there, he finally arrived at King Janaka’s Mithilapuri. 

As Sage Kahoda arrives there, he decides thus, “Oh wow! Anyway I’ve come all the way to this beautiful city. Let us go and meet King Janaka and convey our wishes and “Anugraha” to him!” Thinking thus, Sage Kahoda makes his way to King Janaka’s palace. As he enters the palace, he meets a person by name “Bandhi”. This Bandhi was a peculiar person – He was a great scholar, but he had a problem! He had a lot of pride in being a scholar, and sometimes this becomes too much! If for any instance, a learned sage or a “Panditha” comes to meet King Janaka, Bandhi would first meet them and test that person’s scholarliness. If Bandhi is not satisfied with the scholarliness of the person, he would go to the extent of pushing that person into the water and killing him! As Bandhi tests each and every person like this, most of the time, these tests turn into fiery debates! Bandhi would literally start fighting with each of them, and if the other person tries to outsmart Bandhi in the debate, Bandhi would get extremely intolerant and thus, he would go to this extent to even kill the other person by pushing him into the water. This was going on for several months continuously and it is at this time, Sage Kahoda makes his way to meet King Janaka. 

As Bandhi sees a sage coming by, as usual, he goes and stands in front of the sage and starts his accord! Bandhi tries to test Sage Kahoda of his intelligence and this as usual turns into a fiery debate. As Sage Kahoda was slowly outsmarting him, Bandhi couldn’t tolerate him anymore. He quickly rushes towards Sage Kahoda, drags him all along, pushes him into the deep pond of water nearby and kills him! Sage Kahoda fell into the pond and couldn’t survive the deep waters and eventually breathed his last. This news of Sage Kahoda’s death eventually reaches Sujatha and her child and both of them are stunned to bits! Sujatha was in tears and she was inconsolable. However, Sage Utthaalaka who was by her side, tried to console her and instructed her that she shouldn’t tell about Sage Kahoda’s demise to Ashtaavakra. Sujatha obeyed her father’s words, and at that time, Sage Ashtaavakra was still a toddler.

Days, months and years passed by, and as Sage Ashtaavakra was growing into a boy, he assumed Sage Utthaalaka as his father. He did not know what had happened to Sage Kahoda who was his original father as yet. He also treated Shweta-Kethu as his own brother. However, Shweta-Kethu knew the story of what happened to Sage Kahoda. Once upon a time, when Sage Ashtaavakra was going and sitting on the lap of Sage Utthaalaka, Shweta-Kethu was also there, and he got irritated that Ashtaavakra is going too much overboard with his father! Hence, out of frustration, Shweta-Kethu burst out to Ashtaavakra thu, “Oh Ashtaavakra! Ideally a person should only sit on his father’s lap. Why are you sitting in my father’s lap?” As Shweta-Kethu asks thus, Ashtaavakra did not understand anything! He replies back to Shweta-Kethu thus, “Oh brother! Isn’t Utthaalaka my father as well, just like how he is for you?” As Ashtaavakra asks thus, Shweta-Kethu suddenly realized that he was going overboard and tried to manage the situation by not telling the truth to the child. 

However, Ashtaavakra wasn’t really convinced with Shweta-Kethu’s explanation and patching-up. He ran to his mother to find out why Shweta-Kethu spoke that way. Sujatha however convinced Ashtaavakra that perhaps Shweta-Kethu was in a bad mood and it was because of that, he spoke that way. Sujatha then tells Ashtaavakra that both of them shall leave this place for the moment and proceed towards Janakapuri for a few days. Ashtaavakra also agreed to it, and both of them packed up their bags and left for Janakapuri on the next day! We should understand here that Ashtaavakra was still a child and he did not know what exactly was going on in his family. He doesn’t even know that his father is no more, but all the others knew. Shweta-Kethu almost spilled the beans, but he resurrected himself not to tell the truth to Ashtaavakra. 

Now comes the interesting part of the story – Ashtaavakra and Sujatha made their way to Janakapuri to meet King Janaka. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall wait till the next episode as to how the story unfolded further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 491 – Sage Utthaalaka curses Sage Ashtavakra even before he takes birth!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra and Co. travelling all the way up King Janaka’s capital city – Mithilapuri. In our previous Ramayana project, we’ve already witnessed the significance of Mithilapuri and King Janaka and how Mother Sita incarnated in this very place. We’re currently in the process of witnessing an important accord that is taking place between King Janaka and Sage Ashtavakra. But before we commence the conversation, we’re currently witnessing a brief background of who Sage Ashtavakra is. We’ve seen the meaning of his name, wherein he has eight different irregularities in his physical body – The reason for it is a curse that he had to obtain from none other than his grandfather, Sage Uthaalaka. We shall now see why Sage Utthaalaka ended up cursing his grandson, even before he was born! That is, even when Sage Ashtavakra was growing up in Sujatha’s (Sage Utthaalaka’s daughter) womb, he had to obtain the curse. We shall see this in detail. 

Now we shall trace the story before Sujatha got married. Sage Kahoda was one of the disciples of Sage Utthaalaka. Sage Kahoda was an extremely good student and Sage Utthaalaka was very impressed with Sage Kahoda’s brilliance as well as his dedication and devotion towards his Guru. Thus, Sage Utthaalaka wanted to reward and motivate Sage Kahoda in some way, and immediately his thought went into giving his own daughter Sujatha in marriage with Sage Kahoda. Thus, Sage Kahoda was also very happy to receive his Guru’s daughter in marriage. Both of them got married thus, and eventually Sujatha started carrying. As the baby was growing inside Sujatha’s womb, Sage Kahoda, who is the father of the baby, was sitting everyday and trying to byheart the Vedas and the other scriptures. He was so meticulous in his effort that even the baby started to understand what his father was trying to byheart and recite. Here, Sage Kahoda had a problem – During the nights, he would meticulously put efforts to byheart all the “Panjathis” of the Vedas, but during the daytime when he was trying to chant, he would make a lot of mistakes! The baby from within Sujatha’s womb observed this for a while, and even before taking birth, the baby started talking to his father! The baby asks his father thus, “Oh father! Every night I’m hearing your repeated chanting of the Vedas and I understand that you’re trying to memorize the whole thing. However, why is that you’re making so many mistakes while chanting the same “Panjathis” during the daytime? Is there any problem?” 

As the baby asks thus, somehow Sage Utthaalaka hears this! As Sage Utthaalaka heard these words from the baby, he was angry! How can an eight-month-old baby have the audacity to make fun or criticize his student in this way? Sage Utthaalaka knew that his “Sishya” was putting meticulous effort to memorize and study. However, he felt that this baby would be a demotivator for Sage Kahoda to put more efforts and hence, Sage Utthaalaka cursed the baby! The curse was very simple – Since the baby was behaving in a very arrogant way, he would be born with eight defects in his body! As per the curse, when Sujatha delivered the baby, it was born with eight different defects in its body! 

Thus, Sage Ashtavakra was born with a defective body and eventually he started growing up. As the child was growing up, Sage Pahoda and Sujatha were so poor that they did not have the resources even to feed milk for their baby. Hence, after a few days, Sujatha requested her husband thus, “Oh Sage Pahoda! As you know, we are suffering to get even one meal a day for ourselves – I’m not even bothered about our meals, but we’ve to feed our baby properly, isn’t it? Hence, for this main purpose, why don’t you go somewhere and obtain some “Biksha”, so that we can use that resource and somehow manage our baby’s food requirement?” Paying heed to his wife’s advice, Sage Pahoda set out to obtain the “Biksha” from various people around. Gradually as he walks on and on, he reaches King Janaka’s palace at Mithilapuri. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we’re going to commence the important conversation that took place between Sage Pahoda and King Janaka, as they meet each other! Stay tuned for an interesting accord on this! 🙂 

Episode # 490 – Yudishtra & Co. reach King Janaka’s city – An interesting accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had concluded the discussion on King Shibi and how three important factors – Perseverance, Patience and Tolerance are extremely important if one has to walk the path of “Dharma”. King Shibi and Yudishtra are classic examples of how they exhibited these three characteristics consistently at all times, and were able to follow “Dharma” meticulously. If we look at various parts of the Mahabharata story, we would be able to witness Bhagawan Krishna Himself appreciating Yudishtra and Co. for their consistency in “Dharma”. We shall witness them as we progress further. Moving on thus, we’ve to understand that this “Charitra” of King Shibi is being narrated to Yudishtra and Co. by Sage Dhoumya and Sage Lomasha, as they move away from Dwaraka and Prabhaasu Teertha towards the banks of River Yamuna. As they make their way towards the Yamuna River, they cross two other rivers by name “Jala” and “Upa-Jala”. As they cross these two rivers, the Paandava brothers are taking a holy dip in both these rivers and it is in between these two rivers was the territory of King Shibi. 

Moving on further thus, the “Tour-Group” is walking its way further northwards and reaches an important place – The city of King Janaka – Mithilapuri! The sages explain the significance of this city to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Please understand that this city that we’ve currently reached is the capital of King Janaka. This is where, King Janaka, who was himself a “Raja-Rishi” and a great scholar, had learnt all his lessons under his Guru, Sage Yaagnyavalkya. Apart from Sage Yaagnyavalkya, there was another important sage by name Sage Ashtavakra. There was an important conversation that took place between King Janaka and Sage Ashtavakra, and this conversation took place at this very place!” As the sages say thus, Yudishtra immediately asks, “Oh Sages! Who is Sage Ashtravakra? Why did he talk to King Janaka, and what was so important about it? Can you explain this to me in detail? Also, I’ve heard about King Janaka and how he was meticulous about his “Dharma”. I would also like to understand more about King Janaka and his significance!” 

All of us know who King Janaka is, don’t we? He is the father of Mother Sita and we’ve witnessed a lengthy accord during our Ramayana project. However, there are certain things that we’ve to understand about King Janaka here, which we’ve not witnessed during our Ramayana project, and we shall discuss that from today’s episode onwards. Moreover, all of us know that Bhagawan Krishna Himself has praised King Janaka for his meticulous practice of “Karma Yoga”. He says to Arjuna as part of the Bhagawad Gita thus, 

“Karmanaivahi sam siddhihi aashrutha janakaadayaha!!” 

Here, Bhagawan Krishna explains to Arjuna that King Janaka was one of the finest examples of someone attaining the highest “Moksha” by meticulously following the “Karma Yoga”. We’re going to witness what is “Karma Yoga”, “Gnyaana Yoga” and “Bhakti Yoga” when we discuss the Bhagawad Gita in detail later on. But for now, we’ve to understand that King Janaka was an epitome of “Karma-Yoga”, who was certified by Bhagawan Krishna Himself! Moreover, not only in the Bhagawad Gita does King Janaka find a place of praise, but also in various parts of the Upanishads as well. If we look into the “Chandogya Upanishad”, we will be able to witness several places wherein King Janaka’s mention would be there, and some interesting conversations that he has had with various great Maharishis about “Dharma”. For now, we shall witness an interesting conversation that took place between these two people – King Janaka and Sage Ashtavakra. 

But before we go into the conversation in detail, we shall first understand who Sage Ashtavakra is. The phrase “Vakra” means “defect”. “Ashta” means eight. Thus, “Ashta-Vakra” means that this sage had eight defects in his physical body. However, Sage Ashtavakra was a great scholar and a “Brahma-Gnyaani”. This means, he was having the supreme knowledge of the “Brahman” within himself and with this, he was a great sage. There was a sage by the name Sage Utthaalaka. Sage Utthaalaka had a daughter by name Sujatha and a son by name Shweta-Kethu. This Sujatha married another sage by name Sage Kahoda. The son who was born to Sujatha and Sage Kahoda was none other than Sage Ashtavakra. Now the question is – Why did Sage Ashtavakra take birth with eight defects in his body? When he was in the womb of his mother Sujatha, Sage Utthaalaka cursed him that he would be born with defects. Now the story is very simple – Why did Sage Utthaalaka curse Sage Ashtavakra, who was none other than his own grandson? What had happened in the meanwhile, that led to Sage Utthaalaka cursing Sage Ashtavakra? This is the detail that we’re going to witness. 

So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this interesting discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 489 – Patience, Perseverance & Tolerance – Key requirements to walk the path of “Dharma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the greatness and significance of King Shibi who hailed from the Ikshvaaku Dynasty long ago. King Shibi is even today seen as an epitome of “Dharma” and “Compassion”. We’ve witnessed how King Shibi even chose to cut his own flesh from his thighs to feed the eagle, instead of the pigeon being exposed to it. The eagle and the pigeon were none other than Indra and Agni Bhagawan respectively, and impressed by King Shibi’s enormous amount of “Dharma” in his actions, they granted him enormous amounts of their divine “Anugraha”. With this, King Shibi lived happily forever. As we witness this, we’ve to learn a few important lessons that are primary to our lives today. In today’s episode, we shall talk about these lessons as we move on further into the Mahabharata story. 

Firstly, we should have that consistency in following the path of “Dharma”. Yes, of course, there would be several bottlenecks and hiccups all along the process, but a person who remains steadfast in his “Dharma”, is the one who would ultimately be successful. Even if severe problems come our way, or, even if we’ve to go through some tricky or critical situations, we should compose ourselves, think well and walk the path of “Dharma”, even if the path is extremely tough. This is the hallmark of King Shibi as well as Yudishtra to a great extent. In King Shibi’s case, the only way to protect the interests of both the pigeon and the eagle was to cut his own flesh and serve the eagle. In this way, the hunger of the eagle could be satisfied, and at the same time, the pigeon’s life could also be saved! This might seem very easy or sometimes unbelievable to normal people like us, but, these are critical times wherein “Dharma” is under test. If we should evolve successful from this test, we’ve to make some tough decisions, and this is exactly what King Shibi did here. Even though he ended up physically hurting himself, he actually did not hurt himself here – Because, King Shibi clearly knew that his “Deham” was the one which was bearing the brunt. However, what is important here is the “Atman”. By hurting the “Deham”, or by cutting his flesh, is the “Atman” getting injured? The answer is “No”! This is the clarity that is required for all of us to understand. King Shibi was very clear in his approach – No matter whatever injury the “Deham” is facing, it doesn’t really matter. If the “Atman” is pure and unpolluted, it means that we’re steadfast on the path of “Dharma”. 

Just like King Shibi in this context, there are innumerable instances where Yudishtra has walked this tough path as well. Even now as we discuss this context, Yudishtra is walking the path of “Dharma”, even Bhagawan Krishna Himself is acknowledging openly. We’ve seen this happening over the last couple of episodes, haven’t we? When Balarama was openly criticizing “Dharma” and urging all of them to go for an immediate war with Duryodhana and Co., Yudishtra wasn’t really ready. Of course, Yudishtra was ably supported by Bhagawan Krishna, who asserted confidence that He knows the callibre of Yudishtra’s path of “Dharma”. Bhagawan Krishna exuded confidence that Yudishtra would not take a hasty decision to go for a war at this juncture, when his thirteen-year exile is still going on. It is Yudishtra’s “Dharma” to endure this tough thirteen years of exile! Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna also expresses that for Yudishtra, winning the war against Duryodhana is merely not important. Walking the path of “Dharma” is of paramount importance for Yudishtra. If the “Dharma” warrants Yudishtra to fight a war against Duryodhana after the thirteen-year exile period, he would definitely do it. However, Yudishtra wouldn’t take such a decision without analyzing whether going for a war is according to the path of “Dharma” or not. 

Thus, such was the confidence of Bhagawan Krishna on Yudishtra, that he would at any point in time, not deviate from the path of “Dharma”. Of course, if we’re sincere in our path, Bhagawan will never leave us unattended. At every point in time, Bhagawan will always be behind us, if we’re true to ourselves and to others. We should understand this point very clearly today, from both the examples of King Shibi and Yudishtra. King Shibi was extremely sincere to himself, as well as to the eagle and the pigeon. At the end, he was rewarded for his sincerity, wasn’t he? Similarly, here also, Yudishtra is extremely sincere in his path of “Dharma”, and Bhagawan Krishna is automatically rallying behind him at all times, protecting the Paandavas at all critical junctures. Just like Yudishtra, the others like Bheemasena and Arjuna also walked the path of “Dharma” meticulously, and this is why Bhagawan Krishna Himself decided that He would be the charioteer for Arjuna! In fact, we’re going to witness in the future episodes that Bhagawan Krishna Himself openly proclaiming that if Arjuna isn’t there by His side, Bhagawan Krishna’s life has no meaning at all! If Bhagawan has to make such a strong statement, we can understand what kind of perseverance and patience Arjuna and Co. exhibited! 

Thus, the message is loud and clear here – If we’ve to follow the path of “Dharma”, patience and perseverance are extremely important. Things will take time to settle down, but till that, we’ve to be patient. If we start working on our patience levels, definitely we shall be able to endure a lot of things in this world. For walking the path of “Dharma”, tolerance is also extremely important! So for today, let us work on all these characteristics – Patience, Perseverance and Tolerance, without which, it might be difficult to walk this tough path! We shall wait till the next episode to move on further with Yudishtra’s “Teertha-Yatra” details! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 488 – King Shibi of “Ikshvaku Dynasty” – An epitome of “Dharma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Balarama getting more and more impatient and as Bhagawan Krishna finishes His lengthy accord, Balarama urges Yudishtra and Co. to get ready for the war with Duryodhana at this moment itself! Balarama expresses his thoughts that if “Dharma” prevails, Yudishtra should easily win the war, given his capabilities and his brothers’, and hence, a solution for the problem will come by immediately. However, Bhagawan Krishna is not convinced with Balarama’s wish. Bhagawan Krishna explains to Balarama that if the ruling has come from the king of the land that Yudishtra has to finish thirteen years of exile, it is his “Dharma” to obey it and finish it without any hiccups. Going for an all-out war is always an option, but that should not be exercised at this point. It is too early for that. If in future, Duryodhana once again plays spoilsport, we shall think about the war. But for now, we’ve to give Duryodhana a fair chance. Of course, Duryodhana has committed a huge blunder, but still, there are chances that he can correct himself and mend his ways. Hence, Yudishtra has to accommodate Duryodhana and Co. because they are also his brothers. Hence, let us see what happens in the future. 

As Bhagawan Krishna explains thus, Balarama is still not convinced. He still thinks that Yudishtra should go for an all-out war immediately without prolonging the situation too much. Balarama is talking so much in favour of Yudishtra now, isn’t he? But when the situation of war comes later on, he is not going to be with the Paandavas at all! Actually, if we look at the sequence of events that took place before the war, Balarama was the first person to rule himself out of the entire war affair, and he went off for a “Teertha Yatra”! He never came back and supported neither Bhagawan Krishna nor the Paandava brothers! We’re going to see all of this in detail later on. But just to set the context here, Balarama at this moment is highly in favour of Yudishtra and Co. going for an all-out war immediately, and he was steadfast that he would be of great support to the Paandava brothers. However, Bhagawan Krishna decisively says thus, “Oh Balarama! More than the war and winning it, “Dharma” is first in the list for Yudishtra! He will definitely finish these thirteen years in exile and then will go for a war and win it for sure. At that time you come and support Yudishtra if you can!” As Bhagawan Krishna asserts thus, Balarama did not want to talk further and he accepted Bhagawan Krishna’s words. Yudishtra and Co. too acknowledge Bhagawan Krishna’s words along with Sage Saathviki and the others. 

Moving on thus, we’re going to witness the next important “Charitra” of a famous king who came as part of the “Ikshvaaku Dynasty” – King Usheenara or King Shibi. We might have heard about this king as to how he stood for “Dharma”, at all times, even when he was put to brutal tests! King Shibi was a “Dharma-Atma” and just like Yudishtra, he made sure that he followed the “textbook” of “Dharma” exactly as it is. He will not deviate even an inch from it. Once upon a time as King Shibi was meditating on the top of his terrace, the “Devatas” wanted to test King Shibi as to how he is meticulously following “Dharma”. Indra and Agni Bhagawan took the forms of an eagle and a pigeon respectively and went near King Shibi. The eagle was chasing the pigeon and both were making rounds near King Shibi. There was a great sound that was emitted by the pigeon as it was desperately calling for help to save its life. Finally after going around King Shibi for many times, the pigeon decided to take refuge under King Shibi’s lap. Arriving near King Shibi, the pigeon requests thus, “Oh king! This wicked eagle is chasing me for a long time now. I do not have the strength anymore to protect myself. I request you to give me shelter from the eagle and protect my life. It is my humble request!” 

Moved by the pigeon’s earnest and emotional outburst, King Shibi’s compassion knew no bounds. He immediately gave shelter to the poor pigeon and protected it. However, moments later, the eagle arrived! The eagle asks King Shibi thus, “Oh king! There was a pigeon that was making rounds here. Where has it disappeared suddenly? It was my prey for the day!” As the eagle asks thus, King Shibi replies, “Oh eagle! It is me who has given shelter to the pigeon. It is safe under my protection. You may go and catch another bird or any other thing for your food, but since this pigeon asked me for refuge, I cannot deny it. This is my “Dharma” – Whoever comes to me for refuge, I shall never leave them!” Upon hearing this, the eagle got angry! The eagle replied thus, “Oh King Shibi! Till today I was thinking that you’re an epitome of “Dharma”! But today, you’ve proved otherwise! Hunting down pigeons for prey is my “Dharma”! By protecting and shielding the pigeon, you’re doing a huge injustice to me! If I’ve to starve to death, will it be your “Dharma” to let me die without food? Hence, give me the pigeon and protect my “Dharma”!” 

As the eagle said thus, King Shibi was clearly caught in two minds! On one hand, it is the “Dharma” of a king to protect whoever comes and seeks refuge. However, on the other hand, he would be deviating from his “Dharma” if he lets this eagle die without its food! Now what does King Shibi do? He thought for a while and decided thus, “Oh Eagle! Let me do one thing – You want food, don’t you? Instead of this poor pigeon, I shall give my own flesh to you as food! Eat it and satisfy your hunger!” Saying thus, King Shibi took out his sword, and even before the eagle could say anything in reply, he cut open his thighs, took out his flesh and offered it to the eagle as food! Impressed by King Shibi’s steadfast following of “Dharma”, the eagle turned into Indra and the pigeon turned into Agni Bhagawan! Indra talks to King Shibi thus, “Oh Shibi! Both of us are extremely impressed with your steadfast “Dharma”! We actually wanted to just test you, but you’ve lived up to our test much beyond our expectations! We shall bestow you with all the boons that you want, along with a prosperous life ahead!” 

Thus, King Shibi was rewarded for his steadfast following of “Dharma” and for today, let us understand this beautiful “Charitra”! We shall continue this discussion further in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 487 – “Let Yudishtra finish his 13-year exile first!” – Bhagawan Krishna asserts!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna extending the conversation further with Balarama, in order to advise him not to spread “wrong” information by saying that those who follow “Dharma” are the ones who are suffering a lot. Bhagawan Krishna has various narratives to prove Balarama wrong – He invokes the “Karma” theory once again here, to highlight the point that perhaps Yudishtra is on the verge of attaining the highest “Moksha”, as maybe only his “Paapa-Karma” is left over to be burnt. Maybe once this is burnt away with all the suffering that he is currently undergoing, Yudishtra might become eligible to attain “Moksha”. Hence, without knowing the in-depth situation about anybody, Bhagawan Krishna advises Balarama to not pass some generic and vague statements like this, without any proof. This might end up misleading a lot of people and especially those who are against us! For those who are atheists, these kinds of statements will add more fuel to their fire of building up false narratives, and hence, Bhagawan Krishna advises Balarama to maintain some amount of sanctity to the laws of nature and “Karma”. 

As Balarama listens to Bhagawan Krishna’s lengthy accord thus, he replies back, “Oh Krishna! Whatever you’re saying is correct. I completely agree! However, my heart cannot be without melting towards the suffering that the Paandava brothers are currently undergoing. No matter whatever “Dharma” and “Karma” are existing and might be true as well, I cannot see Yudishtra and Co. in this state of affairs. Let us do one thing – We shall declare war against Duryodhana now itself and let “Dharma” win during the war. I shall also take all my weapons and come. Let us together march towards Hastinapura and call Duryodhana and Co. for a war now. Let us make sure that “Dharma” wins and in that way, Yudishtra’s suffering can come to an end. Let us start immediately!” As Balarama says thus, Bhagawan Krishna is still not happy with him. Bhagawan replies thus, “Oh Balarama! You’re still not understanding the in-depth truth about “Dharma” and its functioning. What was the mandate given by King Dhridarashtra? It is twelve years of exile and one more year of “Agnyaata-Vaasa” isn’t it? Yudishtra’s “Dharma” is to follow the mandate and finish these twelve years plus the one year of “Agnyaata-Vaasa”. Perhaps later on if the situation gets better at that time, who knows? We might not even need a war! Duryodhana will automatically hand over the Indraprastha kingdom back to Yudishtra. If this happens, everything will be smoothly concluded, isn’t it? Hence, Balarama! Please do not show your hurry in everything! Things will take place in their own pace only and as per Bhagawan’s divine will! There is a time for everything in this world, and who are we to alter Bhagawan’s divine wish? Hence, we should go with the flow, rather than going against it! If we do so, we would end up acting against Bhagawan’s wish, and we might end up on the wrong end! Hence, my take here is very simple – Let Yudishtra finish these thirteen years of exile period. We shall decide on the next course of action after that!” 

Thus, Bhagawan Krishna makes His stance very clear – Whatever is the “Dharma” path, the Paandavas will never deviate from it even an inch. They will follow “Dharma” inch by inch, no matter whatever hurdles come in the middle. If at all there is a necessity of a war in the future, Yudishtra will still go for the war, if it is the question of protecting the “Dharma” through it! This is exactly what happened towards the end isn’t it? So for today, let us understand Bhagawan Krishna’s declaration very firmly and let us wait till the next episode to witness further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 486 – “Perhaps Yudishtra is on the cusp of attaining “Moksha” soon!” – Bhagawan Krishna opines!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna adding a few more important points to the discussion on why Yudishtra is suffering at this point in time, whereas why Duryodhana seems to enjoy his life at the same time. Bhagawan Krishna explains to Balarama that all these are because of the “Karma” cycle which all of us are into. If we’re feeling happy and joyous at any time, it means that our “Punya-Karma” is getting burnt, and whenever we feel sad and suffer, our “Paapa-Karma” is getting burnt down. Bhagawan Krishna explains that perhaps Yudishtra’s time now is to burn all his “Paapa-Karma”, and thus, he is undergoing this suffering now, and perhaps Duryodhana’s time now is to burn all his “Punya-Karma” and hence, he is leading a luxurious life at Hastinapura. However, these are transient and the tables will turn. At any point in time, “Dharma” will always have the last laugh, and Bhagawan Krishna re-emphasizes this point strongly to Balarama and the others who have gathered there. Moreover, we’ve also seen how Bhagawan sends “signals” to mend our ways, if we’re walking the path of “Adharma”, however, if we’re not tuned to receive those signals and still continue doing what we’re doing, Bhagawan will only keep pushing us to further and further perform more of “Adharmic” acts. Ultimately, we will face disaster for all what we’ve done, and there’s no point blaming Bhagawan after that! 

This is exactly what is happening in Duryodhana’s case as well – As Duryodhana is walking the path of “Adharma” right from day one, Bhagawan keeps sending him signals and signs of warnings periodically through various forms. Even while the gambling game was going on, Vidura tried to stop it and educate Duryodhana that playing this game in a public courtroom is an illegal affair. Duryodhana failed to grasp Vidura’s advice, which was Bhagawan’s indirect signal. Apart from this, when Draupati was publicly manhandled in the courtroom in front of everyone, Bhagawan Krishna mysteriously saved her with the unending saree. This was a direct signal and a warning from Bhagawan, conveying the message that His devotees can never be touched nor insulted. Even then, Duryodhana failed to grasp the warning and is continuing to do what he is doing. Thus, Bhagawan is only pushing Duryodhana now deeper and deeper into the pit, from which he is never going to recover. With this, slowly Yudishtra’s hand will start getting stronger and this is what we’re going to gradually witness from here on. 

Emphasizing these points strongly thus, Bhagawan Krishna tells Balarama thus, “Oh Balarama! With all these narratives, I’m trying to drive home the point that it is a gross misconception that people who are good-hearted are suffering and bad people are enjoying life. It is never the point. Everybody has to undergo both happiness and suffering at different time periods in life and this is nature’s rule. Moreover, just think in this way too – Maybe Yudishtra has already neutralized all his “Punya-Karma”, and now it is time for him to neutralize all his “Paapa Karma” as well. With this, he might even transcend to the highest “Moksha”! This is also possible, isn’t it? If our “Punya-Karma” accounts are extremely strong, we will not transcend to “Moksha”, but only to the “Svarga Lokha”. We will experience all the pleasures there and once again be pushed back into the “Manushya Lokha” for the next birth. However, if our “Paapa Karma” is very strong, we will be pushed into the “Naraka Lokha” and here, as all of us know, we would experience all the punishments in different forms and once again be pushed into the “Manushya Lokha” for the next birth. However, attaining “Moksha” or “Salvation” is possible only when we’re able to neutralize both our “Paapa Karma” and our “Punya Karma”, and maybe Yudishtra is at that stage right now! Hence, Balarama! You’re a scholarly person and I’m sure that you know all these principles of nature and “Karma”. Scholarly people like you should not be talking like this, else, this would send a bad message to people outside!” 

Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna is trying to set the record straight once again. He adds one more important point to this as well. Bhagawan Krishna says, “Oh Balarama! If someone hears what you’re saying, they would come to a conclusion that only if we walk the path of “Adharma”, will they be able to lead a luxurious and a happy life. This is a huge misconception and we should not be responsible for spreading such messages amongst people. Especially for people who are atheists, this will be a “short in the arm” for them. They will only take these kinds of points very seriously and on the other hand, they will discard all the good things that we keep saying every day! Hence, Balarama! Please let us not talk like this and create some wrong notions amongst people!” As Bhagawan Krishna says thus, Yudishtra too agrees to whatever He says! 

So for today, let us reinforce these points in our mind firmly and let us try and walk the path of “Dharma” as much as possible. We should never get misguided by all those false narratives which we’ve discussed as part of what Balarama has spoken. Of course, Balarama knows all this very well. It is only to build such a strong narrative in favor of “Dharma”, he wanted to bring words out of Bhagawan Krishna’s mouth. Thus, Balarama is not to be mistaken at this point. We shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 485 – If someone walks the path of “Adharma”, what does Bhagawan do? Bhagawan Krishna explains!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna continuing to set records straight. As Balarama started talking otherwise, Bhagawan Krishna immediately chips in to correct his stance. He re-emphasizes the point that people who follow “Dharma” will always taste success, sooner or later. This time lag is only because of our Karma that we’ve accumulated over time and over various previous births. Once we neutralize the “Karma” that we’ve accumulated, we would automatically be able to attain “Moksha”. Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna has a word of praise for all the sages who are accompanying Yudishtra and Co. at all times, especially Sage Dhoumya and Sage Saathviki. Bhagawan Krishna openly appreciates both of them by saying that He is breathing a bit easier because of the presence of these two sages constantly with Yudishtra, who are trying to guide Yudishtra all the time towards the path of “Dharma”. Maybe, had these two people not been there, Bhagawan Krishna’s job of protecting the Paandava brothers would have been complicated. Thus, as Bhagawan Krishna appreciates them, the sages, including Balarama also get reassured. 

Moving on thus, Bhagawan Krishna continues his accord further with another angle here. He looks at Balarama and says, “Oh Balarama! Please understand one thing very clearly – No matter how much we talk and lament, Bhagawan’s arithmetics never go wrong at any point in time. Bhagawan has all the accounts of our “Paapa” and “Punya” correctly maintained for each and every individual. According to that, maybe Yudishtra might have committed some sins in his previous birth or earlier in this birth itself. We never know! Hence, if that is the case, how can he escape the punishment for his wrongdoing? No matter whether the misdeed has been performed in this current birth or in any of his previous births, there is no way that the punishment can be evaded. Hence, you’ve to understand that Yudishtra is suffering today because of his “Paapa” accounts being burnt down. At the same time, you’re saying that Duryodhana is very happily enjoying a luxurious life. Yes, this is true, however, you’ve to understand that Duryodhana has performed enormous “Punya” either in this current birth, or in his previous births. The resultant of the “Punya-Karma” is happiness, and this also has to be experienced. Just like how punishments have to be experienced for the “Paapa-Karma”, happiness should also be experienced for the “Punya-Karma” that we do. Hence, for the moment Duryodhana is enjoying the fruits of his “Punya-Karma” and because of this, we should not get carried away. Duryodhana is currently performing an enormous amount of “Paapa-Karma” and the punishments for all this are awaiting him. It is only a matter of time now!” 

Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna continues to give another perspective here too! He says thus, “Oh Balarama! You’ve to also understand one more thing – If someone is going in the path of “Adharma”, Bhagawan will try and motivate him / her to walk deeper into that path, so that this person goes deeper and deepr into the pit. You might ask me – Why is Bhagawan doing this? Why shouldn’t He correct that person from the path of “Adharma” to “Dharma”? Why is Bhagawan pushing someone into the pit? Doesn’t Bhagawan have compassion towards people? The answer is very simple – Bhagawan definitely has compassion towards all His devotees. If someone is going by the path of  “Adharma”, He will definitely give a signal to resurrect the path. However, it is upto us to pick up that signal. Bhagawan has given the intellect to all of us to pick up those signals. If our “antenna” is not tuned to that frequency of Bhagawan, it is going to be nearly impossible for us to pick up those signals, and eventually if we’re not doing so, Bhagawan will not stop us from doing the “Adharma”. Ultimately, we would only fall into the pit, and after we fall, why should we blame Bhagawan for it? He has given the warning signals of our wrongdoing, and if we’re not correcting ourselves and mending our ways, what will Bhagawan do? This is where Duryodhana is also getting stuck! Hence, Balarama! Just wait and see how things proceed from here, and don’t lose heart!” 

Now this is an important eye-opener for all of us here – The message from Bhagawan is loud and clear to all of us! If we’re not tuning our “antennas” to receive Bhagawan’s signals, we’re going to fall into the trap of “Adharma”. Hence, all of us should make it a point to try and get closer to Bhagawan as much as possible, and this is the way in which we tune our antennas towards Him. We should follow whatever Bhagawan is trying to teach us. So for today, let us understand and reflect on these important points and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 484 – “It is because of you, I’m feeling relieved!” – Bhagawan Krishna appreciates Sage Sathviki & Sage Dhoumya!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important assertion given by Bhagawan Krishna with regards to how “Dharma” is always bound to win, no matter how long it takes to do so. This is indeed an eye-opener to all of us. Also, to substantiate this point further, Bhagawan Krishna explains the path to “Moksha”, wherein He clearly spells out that we’ve to neutralize both our “Paapa Karma” and “Punya Karma” accounts before we reach there! For this, we’ve to obviously undergo some trials and tribulations in our lifetime, along with the happiness and joy. We cannot have a life with only happiness, which might also be quite dangerous. If we’re only going through happiness, it means that only our “Punya_Karma” is getting burnt. If such is the case, when is our “Paapa Karma” going to be burnt? For this, we’ve to suffer, don’t we? Hence, we should not get perturbed by the suffering that we undergo every now and then. We should be able to treat both happiness and suffering equally with balance, and embrace both of them so that all our “Karma” balance gets burnt down! We’ve to understand this point very clearly as we move further. 

As Bhagawan Krishna says thus, Sage Saathviki replies back to all of them: “Oh Bhagawan Krishna! Whatever you’re saying are words of gold! I totally agree to all your words of wisdom. However, as you explained now, I do not know the difference between suffering and happiness, as I’m a sage. Everything for me is the same. But, no matter whatever it takes, I shall always be alongside the Paandava brothers, irrespective of whether they’re happy or suffering. I do not care whether they fight a war with Duryodhana and win over him. I do not care whether Yudishtra once again goes back to Indraprastha and becomes a king. I shall support him in whatever cause, in whatever way possible!” As Sage Saathviki says thus, Bhagawan Krishna acknowledges his words and replies with tears in His eyes: “Oh Saathviki! I truly appreciate your stance. Now let me tell you something frankly and openly to all the sages gathered here – It is only because of your divine presence with Yudishtra and Co., I’m having a huge sigh of relief! If you hadn’t been around the Paandavas, then it would have been a herculean task for me to protect them. All of you are time and again inculcating the “Dharma” into Yudishtra’s mind, and with this, Yudishtra is also following the “Dharma” meticulously. Oh Yudishtra and Co.! Oh Sages! Please do not worry! “Dharma” will win. It might take some time, but I shall ensure that “Dharma” does not have a downfall beyond a point! Moreover, I do not know how to thank Sage Dhoumya for what he is doing here! He is another person along with Sage Saathviki who is guiding Yudishtra and Co. in all possible ways! It is only because of all of you, I’m happy that Yudishtra is in safe hands!” 

Moreover, as Bhagawan Krishna once again reassures all of them thus, He also explains one important thing here. He explains thus, “Oh Yudishtra and Saathviki! All the accounts of “Paapa” and “Punya” Karma that all of us do, are carefully maintained by Bhagawan! He knows when to give the prize for our “Punya Karma” and when to punish us for our “Paapa Karma”. We might not get the effect immediately as and when we think. There is a time for everything and perhaps, Yudishtra is undergoing some suffering as a token of punishment for some “Paapa Karma” that he has done earlier! This might have been in this birth, or in any of his previous births as well, and we never know! Hence, let us take this in the right sense and move on. Atleast now I’m happy that Yudishtra and Co. are walking the path of “Dharma” which is very important for me at this time! Hence, please do not worry! Things will take its shape when the time comes!” 

Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna once again reassures all of them gathered there, and for today, let us once again understand and reflect this point within us. We shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 483 – “We should embrace suffering & enjoyment equally with balance” – Bhagawan Krishna’s eye-opener!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna giving a befitting reply to Balarama’s concern about Yudishtra and Co. Although Balarama’s concern is genuine in nature, it seems a bit misleading for others. Balarama, when he expressed concern, he put it in a way that people following “Adharma” were enjoying life, and those who practise “Dharma” were suffering the most. This might send a wrong message for people like us, had Bhagawan Krishna agreed to what Balarama said. Of course, there is no doubt that Yudishtra and Co. are suffering at this moment, but that might be because of various other reasons as well. This simply doesn’t mean that all people would suffer if they practise “Dharma”! Hence, to set the record straight, Bhagawan Krishna indirectly “pokes” Balarama by saying that some so-called “scholarly” people are sometimes talking nonsense, whereas people who are devoid of any spiritual knowledge are actually talking sense! Of course, if Bhagawan Krishna gives such indirect “punches”, Balarama is no less smarter to understand it! 🙂 However, the point here is that, Bhagawan Krishna is trying to emphasize and re-emphasize that “Dharma” will ultimately have the upper hand and will definitely pay rich dividends, if followed meticulously. Hence, there is no question of deviating from the path of “Dharma”, no matter whatever happens. This is the “Vairagya” that all of us should also strive to develop within ourselves. 

Moreover, we’ve to understand this in a different perspective too, and let us witness this perspective of Bhagawan Krishna’s words in today’s episode. Yesterday, we had left a thread incomplete – Bhagawan Krishna explains how our past “Karma” comes in the middle of our sufferings and enjoyment that we undergo alternatively in our life. If our “Paapa-Karma” account is more, obviously we’ll have to suffer, so as to pay the price for whatever mistakes we’ve done in the past. This “past” can be in this birth itself too, that is, for instance, we might have committed some mistake a few minutes ago, and immediately there might be a repercussion for it! Sometimes, we might have to face the repercussion for a “Paapa Karma” that we might have committed years ago! Many a time, we experience the resultant of our “Paapa Karma” after many births! Hence, we never know which “Paapa Karma” is having its effect on us today! However, one thing is clear – As per Newton’s third law of motion which says, “Every action has an equal and an opposite reaction”, here too, every “Paapa Karma” that we commit today, will definitely have an equal and opposite reaction at some point of time, which we might not be able to calculate accurately! Of course, as per Newton’s law, if a ball is thrown on a wall, it will immediately bounce back upon us! However, in the case of “Karma”, we never know the time at which it would come back to us! This is the difference that all of us should understand! Hence, in Yudishtra’s case, he might have done a wrongdoing during some other birth, which is reflecting upon him now, and perhaps because of that, he had to lose his kingdom, stay in exile for twelve years, and one year of “Agnyaatavaasam”, then fight a disastrous war and then establish himself! Thus, “Karma” is something that none of us can escape, no matter whoever or whatever we are! 

If such is the case for the “Paapa Karma”, the same is the case with our “Punya Karma” as well. If we perform good actions, these too will have an equal and opposite reaction as per Newton’s law! The resultant of all our “Punya Karma” is the enjoyments that we experience in our lifetime! Thus, life will always be a mixture of both suffering and enjoyment, which simply means that we’re paying dividends for all what we do! However, in today’s mindset of ours, what do we want? We want only happiness and enjoyment, but no sufferings! How can this work out? In lieu of this, we’ve to understand one more thing here – We shall be able to attain the highest “Moksha”, only if we’re able to neutralize both our “Punya Karma” and “Paapa Karma”! We’ve to also understand here that whenever we undergo a difficulty in life, our “Paapa Karma” is getting burnt! At the same time, whenever we’re undergoing an enjoyment, our “Punya Karma” is getting burnt! Hence, if we want to experience only enjoyment, our “Punya Karma” will only keep on burning down! Our “Paapa Karma” will be staying still without any downward movement, isn’t it? If such is the case, how on earth are we going to attain “Moksha”? 

Thus, the point here is very clear – We should learn how to look at life with a balance. We should embrace suffering in life in the same way as we embrace enjoyment. This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna is trying to convey here. Hence, the underlying meaning of what Bhagawan Krishna is saying here is that, no matter whether it is happiness, joy or sadness or suffering, we should develop that mindset to view all of them in a balance. He is going to give a detailed accord on this point during the Bhagawad Gita later on, which we’re also going to witness in great detail! However, for now, let us understand this important point very clearly, as we try and introspect within ourselves too! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂