Episode # 481 – “It is disheartening to see people following “Dharma” suffer badly” – Balarama tells Bhagawan Krishna!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important accord wherein Parasurama is killing 23 generations of Kshatrya princes all across the world! All of this started when Sage Jamadagni was attacked by King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna, who was later killed by Parasurama himself. However, when King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna’s sons started messing up badly with Parasurama, he couldn’t bear it anymore. He killed everyone at a stretch, and also started going around with his “Parasu” weapon to kill whichever “Kshatrya” prince came by his way! This treacherous journey continued till a point wherein Parasurama killed 23 generations of Kshatrya princes completely and started drinking all their blood to quench his thirst! Narrating Parasurama’s history thus, Sage Naarada and Sage Dhoumya lead the way as Yudishtra and Co. worship the ashram of Parasurama. As Sage Dhoumya explains the whole thing, he says thus, “Oh Yudishtra! This is the place where Parasurama created five huge storage blocks for all the blood that came out of the 23 generations of the Kshatrya princes! The blood that was collected here, used to be Parasurama’s quencher! Please worship this place!” As Sage Dhoumya says thus, Yudishtra and Co. bow down to the place and worship it as they move forward from there. 

Moving on further thus, the next destination where Yudishtra and Co. reach is the “Praabhaasa Kshetra”. This place is in the Western Indian state of Gujarat, and is extremely significant because Bhagawan Krishna is later going to choose this very place to transcend back to Vaikunta. As Yudishtra and Co. arrive at Praabhaasa Kshetra, all the Yaadavas arrive there to meet them. Bhagawan Krishna too comes to know that Yudishtra and Co. are camping at this place and He too comes to meet all of them. As Bhagawan Krishna comes along, His brother Balarama also accompanies Him. Thus, all of them meet after a long time and Bhagawan Krishna says to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! I heard that all of you are undertaking a long “Teertha Yatra” until the time Arjuna comes back! I hope you’re having a good time visiting all the important places across the entire country!” As Bhagawan Krishna enquires thus, Yudishtra and the others are extremely happy and they too share their experiences with Him. As the conversation goes on like this, Balarama starts talking about something which is very important here. We shall witness the content of this important conversation between Balarama and Yudishtra in a bit of a detail, before we move further. 

Upon seeing the pitiable condition of Yudishtra and Co., Balarama turns to Bhagawan Krishna and says, “Oh Brother! Look at how Yudishtra is suffering! Yudishtra is supposed to be an epitome of “Dharma”, isn’t he? Now look at how he has been dragged down to the level of a popper! This clearly shows that “Dharma” doesn’t have a place in this “Dwapara Yuga”, isn’t it? Oh Krishna! Why are people who are ardent followers of “Dharma” suffering so badly like this? On the other hand, see how Duryodhana and the others are enjoying their lives! Duryodhana is leading a life of luxury with all the wealth and kingdom! Even when he illegally abducted the Indraprastha Kingdom from Yudishtra, there were no repercussions for him! He is fully enjoying his time there at Hastinapura, whereas, poor Yudishtra has to bare all the brunt! Is this the way “Dharma” operates in the present day? Look at the condition of Yudishtra – He is not even having a proper dress to wear! What kind of a king he is actually? He is a great “Chakravarthy” isn’t he? Look at how Yudishtra is today! Moreover, look at the condition of Bheemasena! He is normally a person who has a great appetite for food! Now he doesn’t even get proper three basic meals a day! We don’t even know where Arjuna is and what he is doing right now! Thus, overall, tt is so disheartening to see good people suffering like this! What is your take on this situation?”

Balarama asks this with a lot of pain upon seeing Yudishtra, and Bhagawan Krishna isn’t really convinced with this! At the same time, Sage Saathviki who is also part of Yudishtra’s tour group along with Sage Dhoumya talks thus, “Oh Balarama! This is not what I think! Of course, I do not know whether the Paandavas would be able to wage a war and win over Duroydhana in the future. However, the Paandavas are good-hearted people. They will always follow the path of “Dharma” till their last breath! If at all they’ve to fight a war in the future and win, I shall be with them at all times and be of help to them in whatever way possible!” As Sage Saathviki says thus, Bhagawan Krishna is listening to all their conversations, and doesn’t look really convinced with the way Balarama is talking! Bhagawan Krishna replies back thus, “Oh Balarama! What are you talking? The way in which you’re talking is highly misleading! People who follow the path of “Dharma” are actually happier than those who practise “Adharma”! People who practise “Adharma” are undergoing enormous suffering! This is the fundamental principle upon which the entire world operates. Now do not come with some new philosophies like this and mislead the world!” 

Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna is extremely stern in His response to Balarama. An important accord from Bhagawan Krishna awaits us tomorrow! So for today, let us understand up to this point and let us wait till tomorrow to find out what Bhagawan Krishna has to say to Balarama in detail! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 480 – Parasurama destroys 23 GENERATIONS of Kshatrya princes around the world!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the “Charitra” of Sage Jamadagni and his son Parasurama. We’ve witnessed how Sage Jamadagni got furious with his wife Renuka Devi, for allegedly “looking at” Chitra-Rasa, who was an “Apsaras” male passing by the garden from which she was plucking flowers. Sage Jamadagni suspected Renuka Devi to be in a relationship other than him and with this, he wanted her head to be chopped off. While none of their sons came forward to execute this instruction, Parasurama, who was their last son, obeyed his father. He chopped off Renuka Devi’s head then and there, however, he requested two boons, with which, Parasurama got his mother back alive. The other boon was that, this “Karma” that he had performed by killing his own mother, shouldn’t come and haunt him at any stage in his life. Happy with the dedication of Parasurama, Sage Jamadagni granted the two boons, and with this, Renuka Devi came back alive. Thereafter, all of them lived together happily as a family. We’ve witnessed the “Charitra” of Jamadagni until this point, and in today’s episode, we shall continue it further. 

Moving on thus, after a few years, as the family accumulated more wealth and cows, etc. King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna who hails from the Kekeya Desha, noticed that Sage Jamadagni has a lot of resources that he can abduct. Hence, he waited for the right opportunity to attack Sage Jamadagni and his family. We should note here that King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna did not know the significance of Parasurama, who was living along with Sage Jamadagni. Without knowing about Parasurama thus, King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna attacked Sage Jamadagni, and proclaimed that he is going to abduct all his wealth! Sage Jamadagni warned him to get out of his ashram, but King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna stood his ground! A huge fight broke out between both of them and the fight went on and on endlessly. Both of them were equally powerful. King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna was a great Kshatrya warrior and Sage Jamadagni was a great Brahmana Rishi. It was literally a battle between the power of penance and the power of weapons! 

Finally, as the fight was going on endlessly, at one stage, King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna started running away with the battle, as Sage Jamadagni started losing strength. With this, King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna killed Sage Jamadagni’s ego and the entire power of his penance, and insulted him a great deal! King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna had a thousand hands as he was an “Aavesha Avatara” of Bhagawan Vishnu Himself! As King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna was insulting Sage Jamadagni left, right and centre, Parasurama couldn’t stand it any further. The moment Parasurama saw this, he immediately took out his powerful “Parasu” weapon and flayed it on Kaartha-Veeryarjuna. Since the weapon was too powerful, King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna couldn’t bear it and finally had to succumb to it! As this happened, King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna’s sons came to understand that their father had been killed by someone called Parasurama. With this, all of them came to fight with Parasurama. Initially when they had come, Sage Jamadagni was in deep penance! Kaartha-Veeryarjuna’s sons were making a ploy to irritate Parasurama and make him come to a war with them. Hence, the best way that they found to infuriate Parasurama was to kill Sage Jamadagni! Thus, they took out their sword and flayed it over the head of Sage Jamadagni. As the attack was all of a sudden, Sage Jamadagni did not even have a split of a second to react, and with this, he had to die! This, as expected, infuriated Parasurama, who came with his powerful “Parasu” weapon to wage a war with these people. A huge battle broke out and eventually Parasurama’s weapon proved to be the most powerful amongst all! With this, Parasurama singlehandedly destroyed all of them! 

After killing these people, Parasurama did not stop there. His anger knew no bounds. He came to a conclusion that all the “Kshatrya” princes are as bad as King Kaartha-Veeryarjuna and his sons! Hence, Parasurama started going around, all over the Bhaarata Desha and started killing each and every “Kshatrya” in this world! Thus, it is said that Parasurama had killed almost 23 generations of “Kshatrya” princes all across the world! As this was happening, the entire world started to tremble with Parasurama’s fiery arrogance! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall continue this interesting accord in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 479 – Parasurama kills his mother Renuka Devi, but brings her back to life later!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the birth stories of both Parasurama and Sage Vishwamitra. Because of the “Paayasam change” that took place between Satyavati and her mother, Parasurama incarnated in the family lineage of Satyavati and Sage Richeeka, but after one generation. This is because, Satyavati requested Sage Richeeka to “postpone” the birth of a baby with extreme anger and “Kshaastrava Tejas”, and hence, she delivered a baby named “Jamadagni”, who later on became a great Brahmana Rishi. The child that was born to Jamadagni was none other than Parasurama, according to Sage Richeeka’s words. On the other hand, Satyavati’s mother delivered a baby who was none other than Sage Vishwamitra. Thus, Sage Vishwamitra was a “Kshatrya” by birth, since Gaadhi was a king. However, since the “Paayasam” that Satyavati’s mother consumed was meant to produce a Brahmana Rishi, Sage Vishwamitra obtained that interest to become a “Brahma-Rishi” at a later stage in his life. Thus, we can see here that Parasurama was a “Brahmana Rishi” by birth, but went on to become a “Kshatrya” and Vishwamitra on the other hand, was a “Kshatrya” by birth, but went on to become a great “Brahmana Rishi”! This is the important understanding that all of us should have! 

Moving on thus, we shall now discuss the “Charitra” of Jamadagni, as narrated by Sage Naarada and the others to Yudishtra, as they continue with their “Teertha Yatra” further. As we’ve seen earlier, Jamadagni was a great sage born to Satyavati and Sage Richeeka, and he later married a girl by name Renuka. After the marriage, they started having children. One amongst these children of Jamadagni was Parasurama. Once upon a time, after the children were born, Renuka Devi was once busy plucking some flowers for the “Nitya-Aaraadhana” of her husband Jamadagni. This used to be a daily routine for Renuka Devi and on one particular day, one of the “Apsaras” (Celestial being) by name “Chitra-Rasa” happened to pass by that place. Upon seeing the beauty of Renuka Devi standing there as she was plucking the flowers, Chitra-Rasa fell in love with Renuka Devi for a moment! He simply stood there and admired her beauty, and after a few minutes he went away. 

As Renuka Devi came back home with the flowers and the “Teertham” for Jamadagni’s “Aaraadhana”, Jamadagni sensed something unusual. He got angry with it as well. Jamadagni called his wife and asked her straightaway thus, “Oh Renuka! Why are the flowers that you brought today so pale? What happened to you? Indeed, even the holy water that you’ve brought also seems to have some bad vibrations! Did you see someone in the garden? Did you give yourself to that person who saw you? The vibrations that are emitting out of the water and these flowers point to an illicit affair that you’ve had with someone else! Tell me the truth! What happened in the garden today?” As Sage Jamadagni asked thus with great anger, Renuka Devi did not know what to reply! She was shell-shocked! In fact, she hasn’t even seen Chitra-Rasa standing and admiring her, even though he had seen her! She replied to her husband thus, “Oh Sage Jamadagni! I’m a “Pathi-Vratha” woman and till this moment I’ve never thought of anyone else other than you in my life! How are you saying all such words to me? I’m not understanding what you’re saying! Please forgive me if I’ve done something wrong!” 

As Renuka Devi says thus, she falls on Sage Jamadagni’s feet and seeks unconditional apology! However, Sage Jamadagni’s anger towards Renuka Devi did not subside. With extreme anger, he called out all his sons to come forward and chop off Renuka Devi’s head for the mistake she had committed! He calls the first son and instructs this, however, the first son was moved by the bonding he had with his mother. He refused to chop of his own mother’s head! Subsequently, Jamadagni called out for his other sons, and everyone refused to do this. Finally, Parasurama came forward. Parasurama was Jamadagni’s last son. As the instruction comes from his father, Parasurama immediately took his weapon in hand and rushed towards his mother. Even though his mother pleaded with Parasurama to leave her, Parasurama stood by his “Dharma” of obeying his father’s words! With this, Parasurama chopped off his own mother’s head and Renuka Devi fell on the ground dead! 

As this treacherous incident happened, everyone started crying, but Jamadagni was extremely happy. He was contented that atleast one of his sons had the guts to come forward to execute his words. Parasurama was also happy because he stood by his “Dharma” of obeying his father’s words, even though it was for a disastrous cause of sacrificing his mother! Impressed by Parasurama’s dedication, Sage Jamadagni requests Parasurama to ask for two boons! As Sage Jamadagni asks thus, Parasurama spells out his two boons – “Oh father! My first boon to you is to bring back my mother to life! She should once again get up and be along with us! My second boon to you is that, the “Paapa-Karma” of killing my own mother should not touch me at any point in life! I had to do it, just because it is my “Dharma” to obey my father’s words. However, this should not cause any harmful effect to my mother! Also, this “Karma” shouldn’t haunt me in my life! Please grant these two boons to me!” 

As Parasurama spells out his two requests thus, Sage Jamadagni became very happy and appreciated his son for his dedication to both his parents. He immediately brought Renuka Devi back to life and assured that the sin of killing his own mother would never haunt him at any point in his life. With this, all of them lived happily henceforth, along with Renuka Devi. They had all the possible wealth with them, along with the cows, and other forms of resources too. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall witness what happened further in Parasurama’s life! Stay tuned for an interesting accord! 🙂 

Episode # 478 – Birth of Parasurama and Sage Vishwamitra – An interesting narrative!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced an important discussion on the birth background of Sage Vishwamitra and Parasurama. We’ve witnessed that King Gaadhi had a daughter by name Satyavati, who had been given in marriage to Sage Richeeka. As days and months progressed, King Gaadhi and his wife visited Satyavati and enquired about her life. As Satyavati and her mother were conversing with each other, both of them had a wish to have their own sons. That is, Satyavati wanted to have a son with Sage Richeeka and at the same time, Satyavati’s mother wanted to have a son with King Gaadhi. Thus, Satyavati’s mother wanted her daughter to approach Sage Richeeka who was a great sage, for a solution to this wish. Accordingly, as Satyavati expresses her wish along with her mother’s, Sage Richeeka prepares two cups of “Paayasam” out of his power of penance – One for Satyavati and the other for her mother. The cup of “Paayasam” designated for Satyavati was to give birth to a Brahmana Rishi and the other cup designated for her mother was to give birth to a Kshatrya prince. Sage Richeeka gave both these cups to Satyavati and asked her to give one of them to her mother. 

Now, as Satyavati gave the designated cup of “Paayasam” to her mother, she did not drink it immediately. She waited until Satyavati drank her cup. However, Satyavati did not drink her cup as well. This led to her mother thinking thus, “Oh! Since Sage Richeeka is Satyavati’s husband, probably he might have prepared her cup of “Paayasam” with a lot more dedication than mine. Perhaps, the son who would be born to Satyavati might be more intelligent and brilliant than mine! Hence, maybe if I drink that cup of “Paayasam” which Satyavati should have, I might obtain that more intelligent son!” This thought of jealousy came into Satyavati’s mother’s mind and with this, she drank the cup of “Paayasam” that was designated for Satyavati! Thus, as Satyavati was sleeping during the night, her mother secretly drank Satyavati’s cup of “Paayasam” before she woke up! Next morning when Satyavati woke up, she initially did not realize that her mother had drank the wrong cup of “Paayasam”. Assuming that the remaining cup of “Paayasam” is her’s, Satyavati drank it! 

As days passed by, both of them became pregnant and started carrying. However, the babies that were growing inside both of them had contrasting characteristics! Satyavati was the first one to understand this because the baby that was growing within her womb started exhibiting aggressive characteristics! With this, Satyavati understood that there was some problem and she immediately reported this to her mother. As Satyavati explains the problem, her mother accepts the truth that she had allegedly consumed the cup of “Paayasam” that wasn’t designated for her! Upon hearing this, Satyavati was shell-shocked! She was in tears of anger and frustration and with this, she immediately ran to Sage Rickeeha for a solution! Satyavati cries to her husband that a blunder has happened and this should somehow be reversed! As Satyavati cries thus, Sage Richeeka replies back, “Oh Satyavati! Now it is too late. Nothing can be done! When I trusted my power of penance and prepared the two cups of “Paayasam”, I had clearly mentioned which cup was for whom. If you had mistakenly consumed the wrong cup, it is not my fault and the situation cannot be reversed! Thus, the son who would be born to you would be an embodiment of “Kshaastrava Tejas”, which means that the baby would be full of anger and aggression! You’ll have to bear with it and I cannot reverse this situation!” 

As Satyavati listened to this, she was again shell-shocked! She could not digest this fact! However, she fell on her husband’s feet and prayed once again to him! With this, Sage Richeeka thought for a while and replied thus, “Oh Satyavati! Maybe I can do one thing – Of course I cannot change the outcome completely, but maybe I can “delay” it a bit further. This means, the subsequent generation child who would be born, would be extremely aggressive with the “Kshaastrava Tejas”!” As Satyavati heard this, she heaved a huge sigh of relief! Atleast, her baby will not be this aggressive, isn’t it? It is only going to be this baby’s baby, which would take another thirty to forty years time! Thus, she accepted Sage Richeeka’s proposal and with this, Satyavati delivers a son by name “Jamadagni”. This baby was a great sage and had all the characteristics of a Brahmana Rishi. Eventually, Jamadagni becomes a great sage similar to his father and when Jamadagni marries and obtains a child, this child was extremely aggressive with a lot of “Kshaastrava Tejas”! This child was none other than Parasurama! Thus, we can see here that Parasurama, even though he was a Brahmana Rishi’s son, had extreme anger and “Kshaastrava Tejas” in him. This is why we see that Parasurama went around the world killing all those people who practised “Adharma” and drank all of their blood to quench his thirst! Parasurama’s aggression and anger knew no bounds and this is the history behind it! 

Now let us witness the other side where the “Paayasam” got interchanged – King Gaadhi’s wife (Satyavati’s mother) delivered a son and this baby was none other than Sage Vishwamitra. Thus, even though Sage Vishwamitra was a “Kshatrya” prince by birth, he wanted to become a “Brahma-Rishi” during his later period of life and he somehow achieved it as well! The reason behind a “Kshatrya” obtaining the highest title of “Brahma-Rishi” is this interchange of the “Paayasam”! Thus, we can see here that Parasurama was a “Brahmana Rishi” by birth, but went on to become a “Kshatrya” and Vishwamitra on the other hand, was a “Kshatrya” by birth, but went on to become a great “Brahmana Rishi”! This is the important understanding that all of us should have! 

So for today, let us understand this story clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to witness the next accord of Sage Naarada and Sage Dhoumya! Stay tuned! 🙂  

Episode # 477 – How did Sage Vishwamitra and Parasurama incarnate in this world? An important accord!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important accord that Sage Naarada is narrating, with regards to Parasurama and Sage Vishwamitra. As Sage Naarada was narrating all these accords, the Paandavas led by Yudishtra have already begun their “Teertha Yatra” and are proceeding to each and every place as per Sage Naarada’s instruction and guidance. Sage Naarada is also accompanying them for a few important places, however, Sage Dhoumya takes the centre-stage here as well. We’ve already witnessed Sage Dhoumya’s association with Yudishtra and Co. earlier as well – When the Paandava brothers were proceeding towards the Drupada Desha for Draupati’s “Svayamvara” event, Sage Dhoumya got introduced to them, and subsequently, wherever the Paandavas travelled to, Sage Dhoumya was always with them at every occasion. Hence, while witnessing all these accords about various great sages, rivers and “Punya-Kshetras”, we should understand here that along with Sage Naarada’s main accord, Sage Dhoumya also gives his own inputs on these places and people. Sage Dhoumya himself was a great scholar and his knowledge on these subjects were excellent. Thus, in this context, Yudishtra is being apprised of Sage Vishwamitra and Parasurama. We’ve witnessed earlier that Sage Vishwamitra had a definitive role to play, both in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata times, which means that he was living right through the Tretha Yuga and the Dwapara Yuga as well! 

All these “Charitras” come up when Yudishtra and Co. meet a sage by name Sage Akritavrana. The entire caravan of Yudishtra and Co., along with Sage Dhoumya and many other sages, including Sage Naarada at different points are travelling to various places and now they have come to Sage Akritavrana’s ashram. From there, Yudishtra is seeking guidance to reach Parasurama’s ashram, so as to pay his respect to the great sage. As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Akritavrana replies back – “Oh Yudishtra! I’m so glad that you’ve come all the way to meet all of us! However, you should understand here that meeting Parasurama isn’t that easy, even though he resides somewhere amidst this dense forest area only. He comes out in visibility to others only during the “Chaturdasi” (Fourteenth day of every month) day. Hence, you should wait till the “Chaturdasi” day to meet him and obtain his divine “Anugraha”. Till that time, you stay here in this forest itself!” 

Saying thus, Yudishtra asks Sage Akritavrana – “Oh great Sage! We shall obey your instructions by staying here itself till the next “Chaturdasi” day arrives. But till then, I would like to understand a detailed accord on the history and significance of Parasurama. Of course, Sage Naarada had earlier given an accord on him in brief. Now since we have a lot of time, I would like to understand Parasurama in detail!” As Yudishtra asks thus, Sage Akritavrana replies – “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve asked an important question. Now let me give you the details. Once upon a time, there was a king by name Gaadhi. He had a daughter by name “Satyavati”. As Satyavati grew up, he wanted to get Satyavati married to a great Brahmana Rishi. Thus, he found out Sage Richeeka and got his daughter married to this sage. As the marriage happens, Satyavati and Sage Richeeka were living happily thereafter together. One day, King Gaadhi and his wife wanted to pay a casual visit to his daughter’s house. As Satyavati was talking with her mother, both of them exchanged their wish to each other that they wanted to have a son. Satyavati’s mother opined that even though she had a daughter, she wanted to have a son. Similarly, Satyavati too wanted to have a son with Sage Richeeka. As this happens, Satyavati’s mother comes up with an idea and proposes it to her daughter thus, “Oh Satyavati! Do one thing – Go to your husband and explain our wishes to him. Tell him that you want a son and your mother also wants a son. He is a great Brahmana Rishi, isn’t he? Maybe he can give a solution to this!” 

Thus, Satyavati goes to her husband, Sage Richeeka and proposes this idea to him. Immediately, Sage Richeeka is very happy with the idea and creates two cups of “Paayasams” – One for his wife and the other for his mother-in-law. The reason why he gave two separate cups of “Paayasams” is that, the son who should be born to Sage Richeeka and Satyavati should be a Brahmana Rishi and the son who should be born to King Gaadhi and Satyavati’s mother should be a “Kshatrya prince”, since King Gaadhi is a “Kshatrya” himself. With this intention, Sage Richeeka prepared two separate cups of “Paayasams” and gives to Satyavati. 

Thus, the instruction is very clear – One designated cup should go to Satyavati and the other should go to her mother. So for today, let Satyavati have both the cups of “Paayasams” in her hands and in tomorrow’s episode, we shall witness what happens to these “Paayasams”! An interesting accord awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 476 – Did Parasurama & Sage Vishwamitra live during both “Treta Yuga” & “Dwapara Yuga”? An interesting discussion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a detailed accord on Sage Rishyashringa and how he got married to Shaanta Devi, who was the daughter of King Lomapaada of the Anga Desha. Once upon a time, when the Anga Desha was going through a treacherous drought situation that crippled the entire territory, King Lomapaada learnt through his sources that only if Sage Rishyashringa sets foot on the soil of Anga Desha, this drought situation would come to an end. Subsequently, Sage Rishyashringa was made to come to the Anga Desha, but this was not easy for King Lomapaada. This is because, Sage Rishyashringa did not have any experience in interacting with any human being on earth! He was a unique person and gave is 100% to his deep penance, without even having basic interactions with anyone around! Thus, to convince such a person and to bring him inside a place which is dominated by human beings was a herculean task for King Lomapaada, however, he finally achieved it. Thus, once Sage Rishyashringa set foot on Anga Desha, rains started to lash the territory and with this, the drought situation came to an end! Impressed with the divine capability of Sage Rishyashringa, King Lomapaada gave his daughter Shaanta Devi in marriage to him. Thus, both of them lived happily together at a place called “Shringiberapura”, which is also the residing place of Guha – The hunter whom Bhagawan Rama approached first, when He was going on his 14-year exile. 

Moving on from here, Sage Naarada is explaining about the significance of River Kaushiki and how River Ganga goes and meets the ocean after travelling for thousands of kilometers towards the eastern direction. I’m not going into these stories in detail at the moment, but we shall discuss them when the apt context comes up in the near future. Now we move into the next important “Charitra” that Sage Naarada is going to narrate – Something about Sage Richika. Now, this is going to be a very interesting story and this is going to lead to the birth of two very important people here. Moving on into what Sage Naarada explains – There was a great sage by name Richika. Sage Richika was a very pious person and was extremely into deep penance, similar to how we’ve seen Sage Rishyashringa and the others. This Sage Rishika gets married to a woman by name “Gaadhi”. Both of them had a son by name “Jamadagni”. Later on, Jamadagni got married and out of this marriage, Parashurama took the divine incarnation. On the other hand, Gaadhi had a daughter along with Jamadagni. This daughter was married to a king, and gave birth to none other than Sage Vishwamitra. We might wonder how Sage Vishwamitra was born to a king! This is where the twist of the story is – As we’ve discussed in our previous Ramayana project, Sage Vishwamitra was born as a “Kshatrya Prince” but later on with enormous effort, he obtained the title of “Brahma-Rishi” from none other than Sage Vashsitachaarya himself! We’ve witnessed this story in our earlier episodes as to how there was a huge fight between Vishwamitra and Sage Vasishtachaarya, over the “Kaamadenu” cow. Vishwamitra, when he was a king, wanted to abduct the Kaamadenu cow from Sage Vasishtachaarya, who in turn resisted it. Vishwamitra was defeated left, right and center by Sage Vasishtachaarya – Thanks to his extreme power of penance. However, Vishwamitra did not leave it there. This insult that he obtained was stirring continuously in his heart. He somehow wanted to take revenge over Sage Vasishtachaarya. Hence, he decided that there is no warfare technique that can defeat Sage Vasishtachaarya and only the power of penance could! 

Thus, Vishwamitra goes into deep penance and eventually he again goes to fight with Sage Vasishtachaarya and ends up killing all his family members and children! This irks Sage Vasishtachaarya to a great extent, however, he decides to forgive Vishwamitra’s anger and vengeance. Eventually, Sage Vasishtachaarya himself gives Vishwamitra the “Brahmarishi” title and with this, Vishwamitra becomes “Sage Vishwamitra”. This is one side of the story. On the other side, if we look at Parasurama’s role in the Mahabharata text, we’ve earlier seen that Guru Dhronachaarya was a student of Parasurama, with regards to all the techniques of warfare. Similarly, when Karna was denied by Guru Dhronachaarya to be accepted as his student, we’ve witnessed the Karna straightaway went to Parasurama, who in turn accepted him as his student. Thus, Karna is a student of Parasurama. Similarly, when Amba, Ambika and Ambaalika were being brought by Bhishmachaarya to Hastinapura, to get them married to King Vichitraveerya, Amba had an issue with getting married to him, as she was in love with another king. However, the king wasn’t ready to accept her as his wife, since Bhishmachaarya had already won over her in the “Svayamvara” event. Thus, when Amba came back to Bhishmachaarya, he wasn’t ready to accept her either! Hence, unable to understand where to go from here on, Amba straightaway rushed to Parasurama for help. Thus, Parasurama was pressured by Amba to fight with Bhishmachaarya! However, when the fight happened, both Parasurama and Bhishmachaarya weren’t able to defeat each other, because both of them had equal strength and power! 

Thus, we can see here that both Sage Vishnwamitra and Parasurama lived during the Dwaapara Yuga as well, when the Mahabharata took place. There are also references about both of them during the Ramayana time as well. Hence, both these people had lived for two Yugas together! So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness a few of these events in detail! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 475 – Sage Rishyashringa puts an end to the extreme drought situation at Anga Desha!!!

In the previous episode, we witnessed the next important accord given by Sage Naarada – This time about Sage Rishyashringa. Sage Rishyashringa was the son of Sage Vibhaandaka and he got married to Shaanta Devi. Once, in the Anga Desha wherein he was residing, there was a huge drought and people started to struggle for food and water. At that point in time, the king of Anga Desha learnt that only if Sage Rishyashringa’s feet touch the soil of Anga Desha, will it rain again. Hence, upon the king’s request, Sage Rishyashringa was brought to Anga Desha and the moment his feet set on the soil, it started raining copiously and with this, the drought condition came to an end. Moreover, Sage Rishyashringa was the person who was approached by King Dasharata of the neighbouring Ayodhya for performing the “Putra-Kaameshti-Yaaga”. This, as all of us know, was aimed at obtaining children for King Dasharata and with this, four divine children (Incarnations of Bhagawan Vishnu Himself) were born – Bhagawan Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna. Thus, Sage Rishyashringa was instrumental in ensuring that Bhagawan Rama incarnated at Ayodhya. 

Now, as we understood the background story of Sage Vibhaandaka and Sage Rishyashringa, we shall go into detail about Sage Vibhaandaka’s “Charitra” a bit, and through this, Sage Naarada is trying to drive home an important point. Once upon a time, there was a great Sage by name Sage Rishaba. Even though he was a sage, he was extremely short-tempered. In other words, even if there was something that was slightly happening against his liking, he would get extremely angry and inflict curses on the person who is instrumental behind that action. We might wonder here that Sage Rishaba is a great Maharishi, but how can he get angry so badly like this? The fact here is that Sage Rishaba wanted to live in absolute peace and tranquillity amidst nature. Hence, even if there was a slightest noise somewhere around, he would get angry very quickly! Hence, in the forest where he lived and performed his penance, he had even gone to the extent of instructing the rivers that pass by, to flow silently without any sound! Even for the animals and the birds there – They also should remain silent without making any noise, if they’ve to live there! 

It is in this same forest, Sage Vibhaandaka was living. Once upon a time, since Sage Vibhaandaka’s sperms somehow went inside a deer, the deer became pregnant and subsequently delivered a baby boy, who was none other than Sage Rishyashringa. Sage Rishyashringa, right from day one of his birth, did not know anything about human-to-human interactions, both in terms of conversations and physical interactions as well! He was extremely aloof and kept to himself and his “Tapas”. Of course, Sage Rishyashringa was an extremely great person in terms of deep penance, as we’ve witnessed earlier as well. If it is a human being that Sage Rishyashringa knew, it was none other than his father, Sage Vibhaandaka. Other than his dad, Sage Rishyashringa did not come in contact with any other human being in this world! 

As Sage Rishyashringa grew up like this, it was at this time, King Lomapaada of Anga Desha wanted his help. King Lomapaada was a good friend of King Dasharata of the neighbouring Koshala Desha where Ayodhya is situated. As the drought condition was at its peak, King Lomapaada did not know how to handle it. However, long ago, King Lomapaada had heard that if Sage Rishyashringa comes to the country, rains would pour cats and dogs! Thus, King Lomapaada himself went to meet Sage Rishyashringa to invite him to Anga Desha – However, Sage Rishyashringa wasn’t interested to come anywhere. This is because, he did not know how to meet and interact with human beings at all! Subsequently, King Lomapaada realized that Sage Rishyashringa can be brought to the country with the help of sending some women to his residing place, because Sage Rishyashringa doesn’t even know what it is to interact with women! Thus, the idea clicked, and with this, Sage Rishyashringa agreed to visit Anga Desha. Thus, as we had witnessed earlier, Sage Rishyashringa sets foot on Anga Desha and immediately the rains started to pour down! Impressed by this, King Lomapaada decided to give his daughter, Shaanta Devi in marriage to Sage Rishyashringa. 

Even today, there is a small temple dedicated to both Sage Rishyashringa and Shaanta Devi. There is a place by name “Shringibera-puram”, which was also the dwelling place for Guha – The hunter with whom Bhagawan Rama had made friendship, before going to the forest for fourteen years. It is in this place, on top of a cliff, this temple is located. Hence, next time when we visit Ayodhya and surrounding places, we should make it a point to visit Shringibera-puram. So for today, let us understand up to this point, wherein Sage Naarada is detailing the story of Sage Rishyashringa and Shaanta Devi, and in the next episode, we shall continue this discussion forward. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 474 – Sage Rishyashringa – How was he responsible for the growth of the “Ikshvaku Kula”?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the detailed accord on how Mother Ganga descended to the earth’s surface – Thanks to King Bhageeratha’s extraordinary efforts and penance. We’ve witnessed that Mother Ganga transcended to the earth and followed King Bhageeratha’s chariot, which went all the way from the Himalayan Mountains to the eastern coastline of our Bhaarata Desha, covering a distance of over 2,000 kilometers in total. On the way, the river passed through Jambu Maharishi’s ears and this led to Mother Ganga obtaining the divine name “Jaanhavi”. Thus, Ganga, Jaanhavi, Alakananda, Bhaageerathi, Deva-Strothas, etc. are divine names of our holy Ganga river in India. As Mother Ganga came down to the earth thus, King Bhageeratha sprinkled the water over the burnt ashes of his 60,000 ancestors, as per Sage Kapilachaarya’s instruction, and with this, all of them came back to life. Eventually, with the divine “Anugraha” of Sage Kapilachaarya and with the significance of the holy waters of Mother Ganga, these 60,000 people attained the highest “Moksha” as well. 

This is why it is widely believed that if we take a holy dip in the River Ganga, all our sins will be washed away and we would become pure. When we say that “we would get pure”, I mean to say that our “Atman” will get purified, along with our “Deham” (Physical body). Thus, with both getting purified simultaneously, we would get a step closer to attaining the highest “Moksha” at the end of this birth. Hence, readers should make it a point that we should take the holy dip in the River Ganga atleast once in our lifetime, and this is very important. This is exactly what Sage Naarada is also advising Yudishtra too, as they embark on the “Teertha Yatra”. Moving on thus, the storyline shifts to two different rivers – “Nanda” and “Apara-Nanda”. These two rivers originate from an important mountain range and this is where we’re going to travel to at this moment! Sage Naarada gives a beautiful explanation about this place, which is also associated with a great Rishi. Now let us witness this in a bit of a detail here. 

As Sage Naarada takes a deviation now, he talks about an important sage by name Sage Vibaandaka. Sage Vibaandaka’s son is none other than Sage Rishyashringa. Sage Rishyashringa, as he grows up in his life, marries Shaanta Devi, who was Sage Romapaada’s daughter. All this is happening in the “Anga Desha”, which is close to the city of Ayodhya. We’re currently witnessing some stories from the “Ikshvaaku Dynasty” isn’t it? King Sagara, King Amsuman, King Dileepa, King Bhageeratha, etc. belong to this important dynasty, wherein all of them have ruled Ayodhya at various points in time, before King Dasharata and Bhagawan Rama. Thus, coming back to the context here, Sage Rishyashringa is living with his wife, Shaanta Devi in his ashram, as once upon a time, the entire Anga Desha was suffering from extreme drought conditions! There was not even a single drop of rain and the entire country became dry, without even basic food production. People thus started to struggle even for basic food and water. As days and months passed by, the king of Anga Desha came to understand from his ministers that only if Sage Rishyashringa’s divine feet touch the soil of Anga Desha, this drought condition will come to an end. 

Hence, the King of Anga Desha requests Sage Rishyshringa to pay a visit to his territory. He immediately refused, as he was in deep penance and also, he hasn’t visited a town / city for a long time. Hence, Sage Rishyashringa was hesitant to come to Anga Desha immediately. However, with the repeated persuasion by the ministers of Anga Desha, Sage Rishyashringa finally agreed. Thus, as expected, when Sage Rishyashringa set his feet on the soil of Anga Desha, rains started to lash the entire territory and with this, the drought situation was brought under control! Thus, Sage Rishyashringa is a very divine person, and it is with the same Sage Rishyashringa only, the famed “Putra-Kaameshti-Yaaga” also took place under the leadership of King Dasharata, which resulted in the divine incarnation of Bhagawan Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrughna.

Thus, Sage Naarada is narrating here about the significance of Sage Rishyashringa and how he has been instrumental in the growth of the “Ikshvaaku Dynasty” as well. So for today, we shall understand up to this point, and this story is not going to end here. Sage Naarada is narrating an accord about Sage Rishyashringa, to arrive at another important point here. We shall witness what is this point in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 473 – Mother Ganga referred to as “Jaanhavi”, “Bhaageerati” & “Deva-Strotas” upon descending to the earth!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on how Mother Ganga landed on to the earth’s surface for the first time from the “Aakaasha”. Upon King Bhageeratha’s request and because of his deep penance, Mother Ganga was impressed and she agreed to descend down to the “Manushya Lokha”. However, upon her warning that if she comes down with the intensity of her flow of water, she may end up potentially destroying the vegetation and habitat on the earth. Hence, King Bhageeratha requested her to hold on for a while and performed a deep penance towards Bhagawan Shiva for a solution to this. Bhagawan Shiva accepted King Bhageeratha’s request and He held Mother Ganga in His head amidst His dense “Jataa-Mudi” (Divine hair). From there, Mother Ganga was about to flow down, however, Bhagawan Shiva felt that Mother Ganga had too much arrogance, which is not expected of a woman! Hence, Bhagawan Shiva decided to teach Mother Ganga a befitting lesson and locked her up into His “Jataa-Mudi”. However, as He does this, King Bhageeratha was waiting desperately for Mother Ganga to come down. As Bhageeratha again goes to Bhagawan Shiva and enquires, Bhagawan Shiva provides His divine “Anugraha” by opening up one of His divine hair strands. Through this one opening, Mother Ganga flows down to the earth. This place can be worshipped even today, which is called “Bindusaras”, amidst the great Himalayan Mountains in the Northern Indian State of Himachal Pradesh. This place is in the form of a huge glacier, termed as “Gangothri” and this is where Mother Ganga transcends into the earth surface from Bhagawan Shiva’s head. 

Now that Mother Ganga had started flowing, she instructed King Bhageeratha thus, “Oh Bhageeratha! Now you take your chariot and ride it as fast as you can. I shall keep following you wherever your chariot is going. I will also stop at a point where your chariot will stop!” King Bhageeratha, as per the instruction, took his chariot and started riding it as fast as he could. On the way, his chariot passed through Sage Jambu Maharishi’s ashram, wherein Sage Jambu Maharishi was in deep penance. Not knowing how to bypass his ashram, King Bhageeratha tore open his ashram, and even ended up passing through Jambu Maharishi’s one ear and coming out of the other! Mother Ganga followed King Bhageeratha’s route meticulously and she too passed through Jambu Maharishi’s one ear! However, with this act, Jambu Maharishi’s penance got disturbed, and with this, he became angry! Thus, he did not allow Mother Ganga to flow out of his other ear, and instead, he drank up all the waters of Mother Ganga! King Bhageeratha did not realize this for a while, as he was riding extremely fast on his chariot! 

However, after covering a certain distance, he did not hear the sound of the waters following him! Upon sensing this, King Bhageeratha realized that there is some problem and Mother Ganga has stopped following him! Hence, he immediately took a “U-turn”, to trace where Mother Ganga had got stuck! Upon coming back for a distance, he once again reached Jambu Maharishi’s ashram, only to find Mother Ganga being stuck inside him. Sensing this, King Bhageeratha deeply apologized for his mistake of barging in and tearing up his ashram and requested Jambu Maharishi to relent from his anger. As King Bhageeratha requested thus, Jambu Maharishi too thought that it was not his fault and thus, provided his divine “Anugraha”! With this, Mother Ganga was able to flow out of Jambu Maharishi’s body through his other ear! Thus, as Mother Ganga flows through the body of this great Jambu Maharishi, she is also referred to as “Jaanhavi”! 

Thus, we witness here that the holy river of Ganga has multiple names – “Ganga”, “Jaanhavi”, “Bhaageerathi”, “Aalakanada”, etc. Since she decided to touch down upon the earth surface after an enormous effort of various people including King Amsuman, King Dileepa and finally King Bhageeratha, the river is called “Ganga”. Also, since the river was finally brought down by King Bhageeratha after a lot of effort, it is called “Bhaageerathi”. Since the river passes through Jambu Maharishi’s ears, it is referred to as “Jaanhavi”. Also, since the river comes from the “Deva Lokha”, it is also referred to as “Deva-Srothas”. Thus, we witness various such divine names for this holy river! Coming back to this discussion thus, King Bhageeratha once again commences his journey towards the eastern direction, and now Mother Ganga follows him without any hindrance. Thus, the duo pass through various important places like Varanasi, Prayagraj, Patna, etc. and finally enter Bengal as River Hoogly. Thus, the duo pass through the eastern Indian city of Kolkata and finally reach the sea coast near the “Sunderbans” forests. 

This is why, we call this great effort of King Bhageeratha as “Bhageerata-Prayathnam”! Even today we use this term often in our everyday usage too – If someone is writing an exam repeatedly over and over again and fails to clear it, we say thus, “Oh wow! What a “Bhageeratha-Prayathnam” this person is doing!” 🙂 Of course, the term “Bhageeratha Prayathnam” in our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature is used for a good cause and to appreciate King Bhageeratha’s great effort. This term is not used to indicate someone who is failing every time in an examination! 🙂 Thus, as Mother Ganga starts flowing into the earth, King Bhageeratha is extremely happy and with the sprinkling of the divine waters from the river, all his 60,000 ancestors were woken up to life! With this, they also attained the highest “Moksha” as well! Thus, Sage Naarada is narrating all of these to Yudishtra, so as to drive home the important point of Mother Ganga coming into the earth for the first time. So for today, let us understand up to this point and in the next episode, we shall continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 472 – Mother Ganga enters the “Manushya Lokha” – Follows King Bhageeratha’s chariot!!!

We’re in the midst of an important discussion wherein King Sagara’s 60,000 sons were burnt to death by Sage Kapilachaarya in the “Paathaala Lokha” for their alleged wrongdoing. Since this happened underground, nobody had a clue of what happened! Subsequently, King Sagara’s son, Asamanjas tried to search for the whereabouts of his 60,000 brothers, but was unable to trace them anywhere in the world. Next in the family lineage was King Amsuman, who was Asamanjas’s son. King Amsuman tried his best to search for his 60,000 ancestors and the horse. He made his way to the “Paathaala Lokha” and he found the horse standing near Sage Kapilachaarya. Also, King Amsuman learnt that his 60,000 ancestors were burnt down by none other than Sage Kapilachaarya. Upon apologizing for what his 60,000 ancestors did, King Amsuman requested Sage Kapilachaarya to give the horse back, for which Sage Kapilachaarya readily agreed. However, when King Amsuman requested Sage Kapilachaarya to give life to these 60,000 people, Sage Kapilachaarya expressed his inability. However, he gave a solution to that as well – He asked King Amsuman to somehow bring Mother Ganga to this earth and perhaps if the holy waters of Mother Ganga are sprinkled on them, they may come back to life! 

Subsequently, King Amsuman tried his best to bring Mother Ganga down to the earth, but wasn’t really successful. King Amsuman had a son by name Dileepa. King Dileepa was a great king and he too tried his best to bring Mother Ganga down to the earth, but he failed in this pursuit as well. King Dileepa had a son by name Bhageeratha. King Bhageeratha performed an extremely intense “Tapas” towards Mother Ganga, and with this, Mother Ganga was moved! She finally accepted King Bhageeratha’s request, but she asked him thus, “Oh Bhageeratha! I’m impressed with your Tapas and I accept your request to flow down into the Manushya Lokha. However, you should understand that my flow would be extremely powerful and this would destroy all the towns and cities in the world. There would be a great disaster. How do you think you can manage this?” As Mother Ganga explains thus, King Bhageeratha requested her to give him some time to think and act. Immediately, King Bhageeratha decided that none other than Bhagawan Shiva could save him at this crucial juncture. Hence, he immediately went into a deep penance towards Bhagawan Shiva. Subsequently, Bhagawan Shiva appears in front of him and King Bhageeratha explains thus, “Oh Bhagawan Shiva! My 60,000 ancestors have to be brought back to life, and Sage Kapilachaarya had explained to me that this is possible only with Mother Ganga transcending down to the Manushya Lokha. However, if she comes down, she might potentially destroy human habitat with disastrous flooding. I do not know what to do, and hence, I seek your help in this!” 

As King Bhageeratha explained thus, Bhagawan Shiva replied back to him – “Oh Bhageeratha! Please do not worry. I have a plan for this. I shall hold Mother Ganga amidst my dense hair (“Jataa-Mudi”). From there, I shall regulate her flow into the earth. This should prevent any form of disaster from happening in the “Manushya Lokha”!” Saying thus, Bhagawan Shiva holds Mother Ganga on to his head, and this is why we worship Bhagawan Shiva as Bhagawan “Gangaadhara” and “Bhagawan Jataadhara”. These divine names of Bhagawan Shiva simply refers to this story of how Bhagawan Shiva held Mother Ganga on His divine hair and from there, the river commences its flow. However, in the middle, as Bhagawan Shiva understands the intense flow of Mother Ganga, He thought within Himself thus, “Oh wow! How can a woman have this much of an intensity? A woman needs to exhibit some sort of steadiness and calmness isn’t it? This intensity of Mother Ganga is not the characteristic of a woman. Hence, I shall teach her a lesson today!” 

Thinking thus, Bhagawan Shiva opened His divine “Jataa-Mudi” (Dense hairs) and as Mother Ganga flows, Bhagawan Shiva collects all the waters of the river and ties His hair completely! Thus, Mother Ganga got stuck into Bhagawan Shiva’s “Jataa-Mudi”. As this was happening, King Bhageeratha was waiting for River Ganga to flow down. However, this did not happen, because Bhagawan Shiva had tightly packed Mother Ganga into His head! As time was passing by, King Bhageeratha lost his patience. He talks to Bhagawan Shiva thus, “Oh Bhagawan Shiva! I had to put immense effort to convince Mother Ganga to fall on to the earth. However, since her flow might be destructive to the earth, I requested you to intervene. However, you’ve completely packed Mother Ganga into your head! Now, how are we going to get her down?” Paying heed to King Bhageeratha’s tearful request thus, Bhagawan Shiva opens just one strand of His divine hair, and through this open hair strand, Mother Ganga starts flowing down towards the earth. The place where Mother Ganga lands on the earth’s surface for the first time is called “Bindusaras”. This place is amidst the Himalayan Mountains and can be worshipped even today. This place is also referred to as “Gangothri”, which can be worshipped as a huge glacier. It is from this place, Mother Ganga commences to flow into the earth! 

Now that Mother Ganga commences her flow, she requests King Bhageeratha thus, “Oh Bhageeratha! Now take your chariot and drive towards the eastern direction. I shall closely follow your chariot. Moreover, you should ride your chariot with the maximum speed possible, and you should not turn back and look at me. If you do so, I will stop my flow and go back to the “Aakaasha”!” Obeying Mother Ganga’s words thus, King Bhageeratha starts driving his chariot with the maximum speed possible, and goes as far as the eastern coast near the Indian city of Kolkata. So for today, let us understand up to this point, and in the next episode, we shall witness the passage through which Mother Ganga passed by. This is going to be another interesting accord, and stay tuned for the next episode to understand! 🙂