Episode # 393 – Dwaaraka city gets engulfed by the ocean waters – Once & for all!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagwan Krishna being hit by a hunter, with that arrow wherein the metal piece was tied. Bhagawan Krishna realizes that this is the moment that He was waiting for, to ascend back to Vaikunta. At almost the same time, all the Devas, headed by Indra gathered around the skies, inviting Bhagawan back to His divine abode. Bhagawan Krishna too acknowledged the call by Indra and Co. and this was the time when He was hit by the hunter’s arrow. Although the hunter felt bad for his “misdeed” of hurting Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet, Bhagawan Krishna explained to him calmly that this was not his fault, and this incident was bound to happen. In fact, the hunter has done a great service to Bhagawan by enabling Him to ascend towards Vaikunta. Because of this, Bhagawan Krishna granted the opportunity to this hunter to reach “Svarga Lokha”, straightaway.

Once Bhagawan grants this to the hunter, he immediately ascends to the “Svarga Lokha” without any delay. Now after this hunter left, Bhagawan is all alone. It should be remembered that even Balarama, Bhagawan’s Shanka and Chakra, Rukmini Devi, etc. have all left too! It is at this time, Bhagawan’s charioteer Dhaaruka comes to see Bhagawan Krishna, and upon seeing Him all alone, he was moved to tears! How many people have Bhagawan Krishna helped to attain Moksha? How many people have benefitted from Bhagawan’s divine grace? How many people had approached Bhagawan Krishna for various reasons, all through these 125 years? Inspite of all this, when Bhagawan Krishna is passing through His last stages of incarnation, there is none near Him! How selfish can this world be, and that too to Bhagawan Himself? Seeing all this, Dhaaruka couldn’t hold back his tears. He proposes to Bhagawan Krishna that he could be with Him for the remaining time period and he could be of some service to Bhagawan. Upon seeing Dhaaruka in tears, Bhagawan consoles him and explains that He has some important work to be assigned to him.

Bhagawan Krishna says to Dhaaruka thus, “Oh Dhaaruka! Just go to Dwaaraka city once and check if anyone is still living there! I had asked all of them to vacate the city as quickly as possible, because there is a huge danger awaiting them if they stay there any longer. If there are women in Dwaaraka, please protect them for a while and take all of them to Indraprastha, wherein Arjuna is. Please request Arjuna to take care of all these women and children carefully. If you do this assignment meticulously, you shall reach the Svarga Lokha then and there!”

Hearing thus from Bhagawan Krishna, Dhaaruka sets off to Dwaaraka to execute Bhagawan’s words. He finds that there are many people still yet to leave Dwaaraka. He thus takes all of them with him and travels all the way to Indraprastha. This Indraprastha is today’s New Delhi, which is the capital of India even today! If we go to Delhi, even now there is a place called “Indraprastha Maarg”. Thus, we can infer that our entire Bhaarata Desha (India) is the land of “Sanaatana Dharma” and nobody can refute this reality. We might term India as “Secular”, etc. today, but each and every fabric of India is made up of our “Sanaatana Dharma” principles only. If not that, how would we find all these places still, in direct correlation with what is given here, Mahabhaarata and the Ramayana texts? Thus, we should understand that each and every place that our spiritual texts explain, is all present even today. It is only we who have to take the initiative to visit these places and understand their significances for ourselves. For instance, here we’re witnessing Indraprastha, wherein the Paandavas are ruling. In the Mahabharata text, all of us know of Kurukshetra, wherein the 18-day long war took place. We can worship this place even today. Similarly, Ayodhya in Ramayana is extremely significant even today, isn’t it? Not only Ayodhya, there are “n” number of places that are extremely significant in our Bhaarata Desha. Thus, with all of these, we should understand how significant our “Bhaarata Desha” is.

Thus, Dhaaruka drives all the women and children of Dwaaraka city to Indraprastha and hands them over to Arjuna. He also communicates Bhagawan Krishna’s message to Arjuna too, and with that, Dhaaruka too attains the “Svarga Lokha”! As Dhaaruka was bringing all of these people from Dwaaraka, the sea slowly started intruding into the city. Just like how we see in some movies and shows on the TV, as people start leaving the place, the sea is engulfing each and every house of the city, and a “tsunami-like” situation arises. Since many of us might have witnessed this tsunami disaster inn the year 2004, we might be able to relate the damage that was caused by this, to what happened at Dwaaraka too. The entire city was ravaged by the sea waters, and each and every house was destroyed, except the house of Bhagawan Krishna’s father, Vasudeva. This is why we say that the entire Dwaaraka city was destroyed after Bhagawan Krishna leaves the place. Even today, we would be able to find few remains of the city if we venture into the ocean for a little distance off the Gujarat coast. I had explained this already when we had witnessed the significance of the five “Dwaaraka Kshetras”. We had discussed this when Bhagawan Krishna first moved into Dwaaraka from Mathura. Readers can recollect this episode whenever you get time!

So for today, let us understand this event fully and let us wait till the next episode to witness what happened next! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 392 – Bhagawan Krishna grants “Svarga Lokha” to the hunter who hit Him!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced to witness the series of events that led to Bhagawan Krishna departing back to His divine abode, Vaikunta. We had witnessed yesterday that Balarama, brother of Bhagawan Krishna took leave from Him and departed to Vaikunta. Simultaneously Bhagawan’s “Shanka” and “Chakra” too took permission from Bhagawan and left for Vaikunta. Finally it was only Bhagawan Krishna who was remaining. One fine day, Bhagawan was relaxing amidst a tall tree, in the reclining position, wherein His foot was up from the ground a little bit. Upon seeing Bhagawan’s foot, a hunter who passed by that way thought that this was a deer that had come there to drink some water. Thus, he quickly pulled out his arrow, locked it into his bow, let it go fiercely towards Bhagawan’s foot. Ultimately, as the arrow hits Bhagawan, blood oozes out from His divine feet! With this, Bhagawan Krishna takes the pain on to Himself, so as to allow Sage Vishwamitra’s curse to take its course. We should also remember the curse of Gaandhaari here, as she had also pledged that the entire Yaadava clan would be wiped out of this world, just like how her Kaurava clan was wiped out after the Kurukshetra war. Bhagawan Krishna was the only remaning person from the Yaadava clan at that point in time, and with Gaandhaari’s curse, He too had to bear the brunt of it. Thus, Bhagawan respected the sentiments and the prowess of people’s penance and “Prathignya” and thus decided to use these as the “ways and means” for Him to depart to Vaikunta.

Moving on thus, as the hunter sees the blood oozing out, he gets shell-shocked! He thus rushes forward to see what had happened. This hunter had hit his arrow, thinking that it was a deer, but to his dismay, he found Bhagawan Krishna there! Upon seeing this, the hunter realized the folly that he had committed and starts profusely crying! He was so helpless and was feeling gutted with his act! He thus falls on Bhagawan Krishna’s lotus feet and seeks unconditional refuge. Upon seeing the hunter’s unconditional surrender, Bhagwan replies thus, “Oh my dear son! Why are you feeling sad? You’re just an instrument in my divine hands! This was about to happen anyways, and this is not your fault. It was the curse of Sage Vishwamitra that has conspired through you! So please do not feel sad for what happened. I’m going to give you the highest “Moksha” for your unconditional surrender! In fact, you’ve done a great help to me – I was planning to ascend back to Vaikunta, and you were of a great service in making that happen! So, rather than feeling guilty, feel proud of yourself that you’ve helped Bhagawan in ascending back to Vaikunta! Thus, with my permission, you can now go to the “Swarga Lokha” for now, and from there, you can reach Vaikunta later!” 

Saying thus, Bhagwan Krishna sends Him to “Swarga Lokha” and this is the time Bhagawan Krishna’s charioteer called “Daaruka” comes near Him. He was sad to see Bhagawan Krishna all alone with a hurt foot! In fact, when Bhagawan Krishna left for Vaikunta, He left all alone and all by Himself! Whereas, when Bhagawan Rama descended to Vaikunta, the entire Ayodhya city was with Him, and with Bhagawan’s compassion, He took all the Ayodhya people along with Him to Vaikunta. But here, Bhagawan Krishna is all alone by Himself. Unable to bear this, Dhaaruka asks Bhagawan Krishna whether he can be alongside Bhagawan. At this time, Bhagawan replies back thus, “Oh Dhaaruka! Don’t worry! You don’t need to be alongside me. I shall manage by myself! I’m going to give you the opportunity to go to the “Svarga Lokha”, but I want you to do one important duty before that!”

Upon hearing from Bhagawan Krishna, Dhaaruka asks Him what should he do. Bhagawan Krishna is now going to entrust an important responsibility to Dhaaruka. What is that? Let us wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 391 – A hunter aims his arrow at Bhagawan Krishna’s foot!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the aftermath of Gaandhaari’s and Sage Vishwamitra’s curse on the Yaadava clan. We’ve witnessed that after Bhagawan Krishna left Dwaaraka city to Praabhaasha Kshetra, there was a huge infighting within the Yaadava clan. People started feeling insecure suddenly and in turn, they started attacking each other with sticks, weapons, bows, arrows, etc. As the infighting intensified, scores and scores of people started dying overnight, and ultimately the entire Yaadava Clan got destroyed within no time! As mentioned yesterday, we should remember that Bhagawan Krishna had a curse from Gaandhaari that just like how her Kaurava clan was totally destroyed, Bhagawan Krishna’s Yaadava clan would also be totally destroyed as well. Similarly, Sage Vishwamitra too had cursed the Yaadava clan that they would be destroyed because of their arrogance that they had exhibited towards him. Thus, after this aftermath, Bhagawan Krishna was the lone surviver of the entire clash.

Moreover, to add on to Sage Vishwamitra’s curse, we’ve already witnessed that these Yaadavas had mocked his penance by tying a wooden log on to a male’s stomach, disguised him as a female and asked Sage Vishwamitra to predict if that person is going to deliver a male or a female child. Sage Vishwamitra understood the plot and cursed the entire Yaadava clan that it is only this wooden log that is going to serve as a huge destructive agent for them. This wooden log would answer their arrogance and pride. We should remember that Bhagawan Krishna is also part of the Yaadava clan and He was no exception to this curse. Although He was Bhagawan Himself, a Sage’s curse would always sustain on Him as well, and this is very powerful.

Thus, we’ve also witnessed that the Yaadavas tried to destroy the wooden log by throwing it into the ocean and by breaking the log into several pieces. But as the curse would still stay, the small metal piece that was sticking to the log, became the biggest enemy for the Yaadavas. It is only with this metal piece, were the entire group of Yaadavas destroyed. Currently, there was one small metal piece that was still remaining from the wooden log, and this piece was picked up by a hunter, who was looking out for some metal pieces for his hunting process. Eventually he tied that metal piece to his arrow. It is only because of this arrow hitting Bhagawan Krishna, is He going to descend back to Vaikunta. Let us witness what happened henceforth.

One fine day, Bhagawan Krishna was leaning towards a huge tree, taking some rest. At this point, Balarama, who was Bhagawan’s brother takes permission from Him, takes His real form of Bhagawan Aadisesha and descends back to Vaikunta. At the same time, Bhagawan Krishna’s chariot, His “Shanka” and “Chakra” also start descending back to Vaikunta. All the Devas were assembling all over the skies, awaiting Bhagawan’s arrival. They’re starting to shower flowers continuously, so as to welcome Bhagawan back to Vaikunta. We should remember that it was only on the request of the Devas and Mother Bhoomadevi did Bhagawan incarnate as Bhagawan Krishna. Thus, He had finished all His duties and is now getting ready to leave back. The Devas talk to Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Your divine duties in this world are completed for this incarnation! Hence, it is time for you to come back to Vaikunta! We’re waiting for your return and we want to thank you for all what you’ve done to us, so as to protect Dharma! You’ve lived for 125 years in this world and finished all your duties, and hence, please return back to our abode!”

As the Devas explain thus, Bhagawan Krishna did not talk a word back! He too realized that it was time for Him to descend back, as the advent of Kali Yuga was very close. He thus, goes and leans on a gigantic tree and this is where, Bhagawan’s foot was seen by a hunter, which resembled like a deer for him. This hunter thinks that a deer is coming there to drink some water and this is the right time for him to have a shot at the deer. Immediately, the hunter takes his arrow, locks it into his bow, aims at the “deer” (Bhagawan’s feet), and releases the arrow towards it. On the other hand, Bhagawan Krishna was also waiting for that arrow to come and hit Him. Finally the arrow comes thick and fast and hits Bhagawan’s feet. Of course, nothing can harm Bhagawan, and this small arrow is just a miniscule thing to harm Him in any way. However, we should remember that this metal piece from that log of wood was tied to this particular arrow and it was this arrow that has come and hit Bhagawan. Thus, Bhagawan wanted to use this opportunity to pay His respect to Sage Vishwamitra and His prowess of his penance.

As the hunter witnesses that his arrow had hit the desired target, to his utter surprise and dismay, there was human blood oozing out from the point where the arrow had hit. It is only then he realizes that he had hit a wrong target. The target was supposed to be a deer, but unfortunately it was a human being – And that too, Bhagawan Krishna of all human beings! The hunter runs and comes to the vicinity of Bhagawan Krishna and he was shocked to see what has just conspired! What happened next? Let’s wait till the next episode to witness! Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 390 – The entire Yaadava clan faces MASS DESTRUCTION!!!

In the previous episode, we had concluded the all-important “Keshava-Uddhava-Samvaadham” that we were discussing in detail for quite sometime now. We had witnessed important pieces of advice given by Bhagawan Krishna to Uddhava, with regards to some pertinent aspects of detachment, “Bhakti”, etc. and how these aspects are ruled by our three “Gunas” – Satva, Rajo and Tamo Gunas at all times. Bhagawan Krishna had even classified each and every aspect of life into three types, depending on these three “Gunas” and we’ve witnessed all of it at length. Moving on further, as Bhagawan Krishna finishes His accord, He decides that it is almost time for Him to return back to Vaikunta, as His duties were almost over. He is now thinking as to how can this happen. At the same time, it is also going to be the end of the Dvaapara Yuga, and all the omens were visibile for the commencement of “Kali Yuga”, which is one of the most treacherous Yugas so far. Bhagawan Krishna decides upon understanding this, that it is not going to be feasible for Him to be in this world during the advent of the Kali Yuga.

In that way, He calls for all His people at Dwaaraka city and explains to them that they would all go together to “Praabhaasha Kshetra” near Somnath in the western-Indian state of Gujarat, as there are so many bad omens visible in and around Dwaaraka. Bhagawan Krishna also explains that once He departs, the entire Dwaaraka city is going to be engulfed by the ocean waters and is going to be totally inhabitable after that. Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna adds another crucial point here to His people that after His departure to Vaikunta, “Dharma” in this world is never going to sustain any further, and hence, it would be ideal for all of them to leave at once!

Saying thus, Bhagawan Krishna starts off from Dwaaraka city, bids adieu to His place once and forever, and comes to Praabhaasha. As Bhagawan Krishna leaves the Dwaaraka palace, there was a huge fight that broke out between the fifty-two crore Yaadava people who were living there! The fight broke out due to an insecure feeling that creeped into all of them after Bhagawan Krishna’s departure. All of them took all possible weapons in their hands, like swords, knives, bows, arrows, etc. and started attacking one another, and with that, the entire Dwaaraka city became a battlefield – Just like how Kurukshetra was! With all this terrible fighting going on, all weapons were destroyed to pieces and so were the Yaadavas too! Truckloads of people started falling dead every passing day and at the end, the entire “Yaadava clan” got totally destroyed, except for Bhagawan Krishna alone.

Thus, at the end of the whole fight, it was only Bhagawan Krishna who survived. It should be remembered by readers that Bhagawan Krishna had a curse from Gaandhaari, who was the mother of Duryodhana. Many of us might have known this episode – As the Kurukshetra battle draws to a close and when Duryodhana was the last person to be killed by Bhima, Gaandhaari, who was the mother of all the Kauravas felt miserable that the entire Kaurava clan was destroyed by one person who was none other than Bhagawan Krishna. She was under the impression that it was Bhagawan Krishna who had viciously plotted against her sons, on the pretext of “protecting Dharma”. With that, she cursed Bhagawan Krishna thus, “Oh Krishna! Just like how I’m standing here as a mother of a totally destroyed clan, one day you would also stand alone as a single person, with the complete destruction of your entire Yaadava clan!” It is that very day which has arrived now, wherein the entire Yaadava clan was destroyed due to infighting amongst themselves!

Moreover, it is not only Gaandhaari’s curse – It should also be remembered by readers that Sage Vishwaamitra had also cursed the same thing. Few episodes ago we had witnessed that the Yaadavas had gone and mocked Sage Vishwaamitra’s power of penance by asking him to predict the pregnancy of a male! At this particular day, Sage Vishwaamitra’s curse that the Yaadava clan would cease to exist, has come true as well! Hence, this day was a fateful day for the entire Yaadava clan and Bhagawan Krishna was left all alone to fend for Himself! So for today, let us understand this point and we shall wait till the next episode to witness what happened next! Stay tuned!

Episode # 389 – Bhagawan Krishna plans His ascent to Vaikunta!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important clarification when it comes to Bhagawan being omni-present amongst all of us and other living beings around. We had witnessed that a person is a true ardent devotee of Bhagawan only if he / she is able to exhibit “equality” amongst all living beings by experiencing Bhagawan amidst all of them. So we had asked a counter question while discussing this point at length – If we’re able to witness Bhagawan amidst all the beings around us, why should we particularly visit a temple to worship Bhagawan in the idol form? We had witnessed a justification for that in yesterday’s episode – Unlike great “Maharishis” who have the ability to “visualize” Bhagawan with their prowess of deep penance, we do not have such amounts of spiritual maturity and because of that, it is vvery difficult for us to visualize Bhagawan to that extent. This is where, idol worship assumes lot of significance. For spiritually “immature” people like all of us, visualizing Bhagawan in the form of a beautiful idol standing in front of us with a beaming smile and a charming face is the best way to attain spiritual progress.

Moreover, it becomes easier for us to focus a form which we can relate to quite well. As we’re human beings, it would be easier for us to relate Bhagawan to a human form, more than any other. If we’ve to imagine Bhagawan as a form other than a human, this is where we get disconnected. Psychologically it is easier for us to understand something when we relate to whatever we’re comfortable with. For instance, even when we study some concepts of management and leadership, it is always easier for us to study those concepts when we link them with relevant examples and anecdotes related to them. This enhances our understanding with greater depth. Similar is this concept of idol worship as well – If we’ve to be able to visualize Bhagawan in a beautiful idol form, it becomes easier for us to focus and meditate upon, which would in turn slowly enhance our spiritual maturity.

Moving on further thus, we enter into the 30’th “Adhyaaya” of this “Skandha”, wherein Bhagawan Krishna makes the final decision to ascend back to Vaikunta. With the above point, we come to the end of the “Keshava-Uddhava-Samvaadham”, wherein Bhagawn Krishna concludes His long addressal to Uddhava with regards to attaining spiritual progress, even without Him being in the forefront. We’ve witnessed that Uddhava was sad when he came to know that Bhagawan Krishna was descending to Vaikunta, leaving all of His devotees in the lurch. This is where, Bhagawan Krishna gives a lengthy accord to console Uddhava that he has to wait till the time comes for him to ascend to Vaikunta. It is only for this, Bhagawan Krishna teaches the “Maarga” (Way) to reach Vaikunta or Moksha, which is also important for all ardent devotees like us. Hence, we’ve to make sure that we read and re-read these important points that Bhagawan Krishna had emphasized to Uddhava, so that we get a hold on it.

Now, we’ve to witness how Bhagawan Krishna is going to ascend to Vaikunta. After Uddhava takes leave, Bhagawan Krishna is thinking as to which way should He adopt to ascend back. All these instances that had unfolded, have taken place at “Praabhaasha Kshetra”. This place is near to Somanath in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Now we’re going to witness the “Charitra” that conspired at this “Praabhaasha Kshetra”. At this juncture, when Bhagawan Krishna was still at Dwaaraka, He explains to His people thus, “Oh people! I’m somehow seeing some bad omens in and around Dwaaraka city! Things are not looking so good and feasible for us to stay here anymore. Hence, let us all pack our bags and leave Dwaaraka and go to a place which is filled with natural beauty! I feel that we should all go to this place towards the west wherein River Saraswathi is flowing by. This, I think, is a safe place for us to live the rest of our days!”

Bhagawan Krishna continues further thus, “I’m seeing all these bad omens because this Dvaapara Yuga is going to come to an end very soon. The treacherous Kali Yuga is going to commence anytime soon. Once the Kali Yuga commences, Dwaaraka city is going to be engulfed with the ocean waters. We’ve to leave this place before all of this takes place!”

So for today, let us understand this part and let us wait till the next episode to continue this “Charitra” forward. We’re going to witness how Bhagawan Krishna moves His base from Dwaaraka City to “Praabhaasha Kshetra”, and what happened after that! Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 388 – If Bhagawan is omni-present, why should we visit a temple to worship Him???

In the pevious episode, we witnessed the continuation of the discussion on why should we ensure fair treatment and equal respect to all living beings in this world, inclusive of animals, insects, plants, etc. We had witnessed yesterday that modern day research suggests how plants and trees too have emotions and feelings as they grow up. Hence, we should respect the feelings of plants as well. As we moved on, we also witnessed that Bhagawan Krishna is asserting that He’s omni-present and is residing inside all the Atmans of all living beings put together. This one point summarizes the reason why we should refrain from hurting another living being in any way possible. We’ve to infer that if we’re hurting other living beings, we’re ultimately ending up hurting Bhagawan who is residing inside that living being in the subtle form. Thus, we should understand this point very clearly.

As Bhagawan Krishna explains thus, He continues further and says, “Oh Uddhava! Do you know to whom I never disappear in their vision? Those who are able to feel my divine presence inside every living being, irrespective of whatever form that living being might be in, I never disappear from their vision. I would keep appearing in front of them at all times and they can witness my divine darshan!” We might be wondering why is Bhagawan Krishna saying thus. Let us look at this point in a different angle here, for our understanding. For instance, if a person believes that Bhagawan is only inside a temple and nowhere else, he / she would go to the temple, worship Bhagawan there, and once he / she comes out, Bhagawan would disappear automatically from his / her vision. Why? This is because, this person is having a “closed mindsset” that Bhagawan is only in a temple and nowhere else. The moment this person comes out of the temple, he / she is only going to see hatred towards other living beings too, and thus, Bhagawan is never going to appear in front of such people. Whereas on the other hand, if a person is able to witness Bhagawan even in the walls of the temple, on the streets, in the stray animals that might be roaming around here and there, etc. Bhagawan is never going to disappear from his / her vision isn’t it? This person has seen Bhagawan inside the temple, and also outside of it! Hence, where is the possibility that Bhagawan is going to go “out of sight” for this person?

This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna is explaining here – If a person is able to visualize Bhagawan in all aspects around him / her, He doesn’t disappear at all in their vision! Such people’s vision automatically becomes divine, because they’re able to see Bhagawan throughout! In fact, Bhagawan Krishna had to give the “divine vision” for Arjuna to witness His “Vishwaroopa Darshan” during the Bhagawad Gita, isn’t it? In this case, Bhagawan doesn’t even need to give all that to these people who are able to see Him in all living beings! Without even obtaining the divine vision, if we’re able to exercise this point clearly, Bhagawan is going to grant us His vision at all times!

Now with this point being emphasized, some of us might have a question here – If we’re able to visualize Bhagawan all around us, then why should we go to a temple specially to obtain His divine darshan? In fact, during those ancient times, great “Maharishis” used to sit amidst thick and dense forests and to “Tapas” or penance. They were able to visualize Bhagawan then and there with their prowess of the penance. For them, obviously going to a temple exclusively to worship Bhagawan doesn’t make any sense, or it is not required also. In fact, amidst thick and dense forests, which are “no-man’s lands”, where would we be able to even find a temple? However, if we’ve to apply that same logic to us, how can that be feasible? Do we have that much of prowess to sit for days, months and years together in deep penance? Our scenario today is that, if we’ve to sit continuously for an hour together, we’re getting fed up and bored! If such is the case for us, how can we even think of applying such a logic for our cases? We do not have the spiritual strength, prowess and maturity to witness Bhagawan then and there with such a strong “Tapas”. This is why, we should visit the temple to worship Bhagawan.

Moreover, for our low levels of spiritual maturity, we would be able to get that divine experience only by worshipping the idol of Bhagawna in the temple. We are not in that spiritual state to witness Bhagawan as earth, fire, wind, water, etc. In fact, Alwar in one “Paasuram” explains this clearly. He says thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I understand that you’re amidst every element that constitutes this world! You’re the fire! You’re the wind! You’re the water! You’re the soil! You’re omni-present! You’re formless and is an embodiment of divine consciousness” Upon hearing thus, Bhagawan replies back, “Oh Alwar! Good that you’ve realized that! Now that you’ve attained this much of spiritual maturity, I’m not going to come near you in any form henceforth! You may worship me as a formless entity!” Hearing thus, Alwar replies back to Bhagawan thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Do not blabber something like this! I just told you now that I know you’re formless! But I’m not that spiritually matured enough to witness you in air, water, etc. I still want to worship you in the form of an idol, wherein you stand in front of us like a child, with your ever-beaming smile and handsome face! This is what I want to worship!”

So from this, we’ve to understand that, going to the temple is extremely important for all of us, just for the purpose of increasing our spiritual maturity and progress. If we’re able to worship Bhagawan in the idol form, we would be able to retain that beautiful form in our memory and with that, we shall commence our spiritual practices at home, or viewing Bhagawan in every living being around us! So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this point further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 387 – “I’m omni-present within the “Atmans” of all living beings!” – Bhagawan Krishna’s firm assertion!!!

In the previous episode, we had continued the discussion on the subject of “Equality”, and the reason behind Bhagawan Krishna emphasizing this point vehemently again and again at various instances. Here, as He’s giving important pieces of advice to Uddhava, Bhagawan Krishna talks about equality in the sense that those people who are able to see and treat all living beings equally in this world, are His greatest devotees. This is where, we’re witnessing series of points wherein we first started with the scenario amongst fellow human beings. Whether it is at home, or at office or at any public place, we should be able to view all human beings equally and should come forward to help all those people who are in need of it. Irrespecctive of whether it is he or a she, rich or poor, lower or upper caste, etc. we should be able to exercise our service to all human beings equally at all times.

In similar lines, in yesterday’s episode we had witnessed that we should not only treat human beings equally, but also animals and all other living beings as well. We had witnessed few instances in the previous episode as to how animals are much more devoted to Bhagawan than we are. We saw how Sugriva, Hanuman and the other Vaanaras were exceptional in this quality towards Bhagawan Rama and how did they get to reach the ultimate “Moksha”. In similar lines, we witnessed how a small squirrel was devoting itself in the ardent and selfless service towards Bhagawan Rama in building the Ram-Setu Bridge. Moved by its devotion, Bhagawan Rama granted “Moksha” to the squirrel immediately then and there! Similar is the case of Jataayu. When Ravana was abducting Mother Sita in full steam, it was none other than Jataayu who volunteered forward to rescue her. Jataayu was an eagle and all of us would be knowing this by now. He fought valiantly with Ravana, only for his wings to be razed by Ravana’s “Chandrahaasa” sword. Upon seeing Jataayu in this pitiable condition, Bhagawan Rama immediately grants “Moksha” to him then and there! In similar lines, we’ve witnessed how elephant Gajendra attained “Moksha” with its ardent prayers towards Bhagawan Naarayana.

Thus, in all of these instances, be it a squirrel, monkey, elephant, bird, etc. we’re able to witness ardent devotion in animals too, and hence, how can animals be inferior to us in any way? In fact, to be very honest, the devotion exhibited by animals is more intense and ardent than what we do! This is because, animals are innocent by nature and their devotion is blind and pure. Whereas, we human beings have so many prejudices while we pray to Bhagawan! Most of the times we only pray to Bhagawan for fulfilling our own selfish personal needs and greeds. We’ve witnessed this point too when we spoke about the three classifications of “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan. Thus, the point here is that, we should also treat animals with equal respect and magnanimity like how we treat our fellow human beings. We should realize that animals are in no way inferior to us, just because we’re not seeing them talking and walking like how we do! Just like how we have our right to live our life our own way, animals too have the same right and is given by Bhagawan to them also. Hence, we should refrain from hurting any animal in even a small way, and instead try to shower love and affection towards them.

This is where we see another difference as well – For people who have pets at home, they would be able to appreciate this point much better. The amount of respect and love that animals show towards us is immense and unconditional. If we take one step towards them, they take hundred steps towards us and shower all their love! If such is the case, isn’t it our duty to take care of them in the nicest way possible? Thus, if we’re having pets or if there are even some stray dogs or cats nearby, we should develop this habit of feeding them with food first, before we consuming food. Especially if we have pets at home, it is our bound duty to feed them first before having our food. We should ensure that these animals are well-nourished and happy. This is one step that we can take in the forward direction in treating animals equally.

Now that we’ve witnessed so much about human beings and animals – We’ve to also understand that plants and trees are integral part of the sphere, when we talk about “living beings”. Even the smallest of the small plants and saplings have an “Atman” within them, which has manifested in the form of that plant as its physical body. Of course, we know that plants have the capability to grow, just like how we do. However, there are extensive research studies today that prove that just like how we have emotions and feelings, plants and trees have too! There are numerous experiments that are continuously being conducted to prove the same. If we’re growing a plant with all our love and affection by watering it periodically, it is going to blossom with very attractive flowers and fruits. However, if we’re going to show restraint towards it, the plant can understand our negative emotions too very well, and they react to it by not growing to their full potential.

Thus, how can all these happen? It is only because someone is making all of it happen! This someone is none other than Bhagawan Himself! Thus, the important message from today’s episode is that, Bhagawan is omni-present inside all the “Atmans” and it is He who is enabling this entire world to be nourished with fresh green plants and trees, animals roaming around happily, along with human beings like us too. So for today, let us understand this point and let us realize Bhagawan in all living beings around us, including plants and animals! Let us all take a vow from today that we would not hurt even a single living being and we would treat all living beings with equal love and respect. We shall wait till the next episode to witness the continuation of this discussion between Bhagawan Krishna and Uddhava further! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 386 – Animals are a step higher than human beings in exhibiting “Bhakti” – Some illustrations!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another important point on “Equality”, which was stressed by Bhagawan Krishna to Uddhava. Here, Bhagawan Krishna continues from where He left in His previous point on the “Kartruthva Buddhi”. He beautifully links this point with the next by saying that those who are able to treat all living beings equally are His ardent devotees, along with those who realize that they are mere instruments in His divine hands! Equality as a point is important here because we tend to differentiate between people in terms of social status, rich / poor, male / female, etc. quite easily and this is where Bhagawan Krishna keeps the check for all of us. All of us in this world are Bhagawan’s children and for Him, all of us are equal, just like our parents would treat all their children equally. This is an extremely important point because, with the normal way of life, due to our ego and various other reasons, we tend to differentiate between us and others in lot of ways.

In that way, one more thing can happen in terms of “inequality” – We even tend to brand others as “less devoted to Bhagawan than what we are”! Is this right on our part to brand people like this? We should think for a moment here – Are we “Mahatmas” who were born with ardent devotion? We too were straying around all this while and it is only now that we’re getting into the track of Bhakti and Bhagawan, isn’t it? Some of us might might have even had disastrous previous births and who knows, we might have even been the most hardcore aethists too! Just because today we’re so and so, doesn’t mean that yesterday and in our previous births we were the same, isn’t it? Hence, we’ve to realize this point and just because we see someone not as devoted to Bhagawan as we are today, we shouldn’t underestimate them in any way. If we’ve to go by the ideal condition that right from day one of our birth we’ve to exhibit ardent devotion towards Bhagawan unconditionally, very few people might be like that. Only Mahatmas and Aachaaryas would have such an ideal quality in them.

For instance, we’ve witnessed the case of Prahalaada in our previous episodes. We had witnessed how he was devoted to Bhagawan Vishnu right from the day of his birth. No matter how much he was tortured by his father, Hiranya Kashibu, neither he was unfazed, nor he got angry on his father for treating him miserably like that. Instead, Prahlaada only tried correcting his father towards Bhagawan Narayana. We’ve also witnessed that even when Prahlaada was in acute dangerous and life-threatening situations, he was totally immersed in his thoughts towards Bhagawan Narayana, in such a way that he did not even realize that he was in such a precarious situation. Now let us think here – How many of us are like this in terms of devotion, even as we “brand” ourselves as “more devoted to Bhagawan than others”? In reality, our devotion towards Bhagwan would increase only when we face problems and troubles. However, if we’re happy and smooth with our life, we wouldn’t even think about Bhagawan! We would conveniently forget that there’s someone called Bhagawan who’s making us live happy and contented. Such is the case of our devotion in most of our cases! Now, whatever I’m saying here, might be a little provocative to few of us as we read through, but unfortunately, this is the harsh reality and we’ve to accept it and correct ourselves as we move on.

Of course, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t seek Bhagawan’s help while we are undergoing a suffering in life. We should definitely do it. However, when we’re happy and contented, we should also have the heart to thank Bhagawan for whatever good things He had done to us. If we do not have this level of maturity within us, what right do we have to pin-point others who seemingly aren’t devoted much? Moreover, many a times, we might come to a conclusion just by looking at the external appearance of someone, or by just observing their behaviour for just one single day! This is a wrong thing to do. We never know how this person might be on other days and appearances can be deceiving too! Hence, the point here is that, when we talk about equality, we should first of all stop “branding” people to be bad, just because of one or two instances or appearance or actions that they perform. In fact, this is the first step towards following Bhagwan’s point on equality. Rest all other things would automatically be taken care of later. We should realize that all of us are equal under Bhagawan’s eyes and all of us are His children. We should first respect that in everybody around us.

Secondly, we should be able to extend this same aspect to animals and other living beings as well. Just because that living being would be a dog or a cat or a mouse or whatever it might be, it doesn’t mean that it is inferior to us in any way. Just like how we have our right to live our own life in whatever way we like to, those living beings also have the equal right to live their lives in their own ways. Thus, just because we tend to “think” and “talk” and “move around” much more freely than animals, it simply doesn’t mean that they are inferior in any way. In fact, we’ve witnessed in many instances in our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature that even animals have attained the highest “Moksha” along with human beings. For instance, we’ve witnessed this episode of “Gajendra Moksha” few episodes back, wherein we’ve seen how elephant Gajendra was an ardent devotee of Bhagawan Narayana and ultimately reached “Moksha” with its devotion. Similarly, we’ve witnessed in the Ramayana how monkeys, eagles and squirrils have attained “Moksha” because of their ardent devotion. We’ve witnessed the likes of Jatayu, Sampaathi, etc. who were eagles. They had devoted their entire lifes and even sacrificed their lives for “Rama Kainkarya” isn’t it? Similarly, we’ve witnessed how the squirrel helped the Vaanaras while building the Ram-Sethu bridge. Awestruck by it’s ardent devotion, Bhagawan Rama was moved to tears of joy, and He granted “Moksha” to that squirrel immediately! Similarly, there are innumerable instances wherein various animals were also part of the “Bhakti-Maarga”, along with human beings.

Thus the point here is that, even animals are in no way inferior to us when it comes to Bhakti. In fact, animals are a step higher than human beings in exhibiting Bhakti because they’re pure and innocent in nature. Their Bhakti is extremely blind and one-pointed! Whereas, we human beings have lot of doubts, prejudice, etc. while we practice Bhakti! Hence for today, let us understand that all living beings are equal and it is our duty as ardent followers of our “Sanaatana Dharma” to treat all living beings with love and compassion! We shall wait till the next episode to witness the next important point! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 385 – “Those who are able to see all living beings equally are my greatest devotees” – Bhagawan Krishna to Uddhava!!!

In the previous episode, we had continued the important discussion on why should we let go off our “Kartrutva Buddhi” by witnessing few instances from the Ramayana and Mahabharata. We had spoken about Hanuman in the Ramayana and Arjuna from the Mahabharata, as to how did they succeed in their respective missions by shedding this “Kartruthva Buddhi” off them. The moment Hanuman surrendered himself to Bhagawan Rama’s lotus feet, and the moment he prayed to Mother Sita to reveal her identity all by herself, rather than “he” searching for her, Mother Sita immediately appeared beneath the very tree on which Hanuman was sitting. Similarly, when Arjuna was carried away by the “Kartruthva Buddhi” during the Kurukshetra war, he was so distressed and disturbed that “he” is going to kill all his family members and destroy an entire “Vamsa” (Clan) in the pretext of a war and a kingdom! This is where, Bhagawan Krishna advises Arjuna to shed off this thought, and perform his duty as a “Kshatrya”, by surrendering the fruit of his actions to Bhagawan’s feet. The moment Arjuna had shed off his “Kartruthva Buddhi”, all of us know what happened after that, and it is for us to analyze the aftermath of the Bhagawad Gita!

Moving forward thus, Bhagawan Krishna explains to Uddhava, “Oh Uddhava! Apart from this “Sathvika Bhakti” that is being practised by my ardent devotees by shrugging off the “Kartruthva Buddhi”, I like those who are able to see everybody equally without celebrating any differences between each other! If a person is able to view all “Atmans” in the equal stature, irrespective of male / female, rich / poor, high status / low status, educated / uneducated, etc. and if he / she is able to treat all of them equally with the same level of universal love and compassion, he / she becomes my most ardent devotee and my best companion at Vaikunta! Even while they’re alive in this world, such people would be able to constantly keep obtaining my divine vision at all times! They needn’t put any special efforts beyond this! Thus, they would be able to see me with all my divinity clearly even before they attain Vaikunta!”

This is where we falter most of the times – The moment we see someone or some animal in front of us, we tend to walk past that living being, without giving any sort of respect to it. This is where Bhagawan Krishna keeps the check for all of us – If we’re seeing a living being suffering, irrespective of a man or an animal or a plant or an insect or whatever it might be – If one goes down to its level and alleviates its suffering to whatever extent he / she can, this is true devotion and this is true equality that Bhagawan Krishna is expecting us to do. This is what Bhagawan Rama illustrated to all of us in the Ramayana. We’ve witnessed this important point in our Ramayana project, wherein Valmiki Bhagawan is praising Bhagawan Rama with the leadership quality of “Samartaha”. This means, Bhagawan Rama treats every living being equally. For instance, when Bhagawan Rama went to Guha’s house on the way to the forest, He accepted Guha as his own brother. This Guha was afterall a hunter, whereas Bhagawan Rama was a great king from a great dynasty. Similarly, when Bhagawan Rama went in search of Mother Sita, he accepted Sugriva as his brother. Sugriva was afterall a monkey and not even a human being by birth! Still Bhagawan Rama accepted him and worked with him to destroy Vaali and restore the Kishkinta kingdom to Sugriva. Moreover, Bhagawan Rama’s greatest and the most ardent devotee being Hanuman, is a monkey again! Hanuman’s devotion towards Bhagawan Rama is world-famous isn’t it? Finally, when Vibhishana surrendered to Bhagawan Rama’s feet, He accepted Vibhishana as His brother! Vibhishana was afterall a “Raakshasa” and was Ravana’s brother. But, did Bhagawan Rama desert him? Thus, we can see here how Bhagawan Rama was an epitome of “walking the talk” when it comes to this important point of “equality”.

In fact, one of the most emotional scenes in the entire Ramayana was when the Vaanaras march back to Kishkinta after Hanuman has found Mother Sita’s whereabouts at Lanka. We’ve witnessed this when we were discussing the “Sundara Kanda” section of the Valmiki Ramayana. As the Vaanaras were jumping up and down with joy after knowing about Mother Sita, Bhagawan Rama initially did not understand why are these Vaanaras so happy! He thus bends down to the level of these tiny-looking Vaanaras, calls them lovingly near Him, one after the other and asks thus, “Oh! Tell me please! Did you see Sita?” Bhagawan Rama was asking each and every Vaanara with tears in His eyes. As Bhagawan Rama started asking thus, all the Vaanaras were overwhelmed with joy and the respect that they’re receiving from their leader! With that joy, they push Hanuman towards Bhagawan Rama by giving a clear message through their body language that it was this Hanuman who had crossed over the ocean and witnessed Mother Sita who is safe and secure without any harm.

Thus, the point here is that, we should learn from Bhagawan Rama’s “implemented message” that “equality” amongst all living beings is a very important virtue that all of us should try and follow. Just because someone is of a higher / lower status, etc. we should not discard people or underestimate them. We should also remember one point within ourselves here – Were we so ardent devotees of Bhagawan right from our birth? Most of the times, the answer would be a “No”! We’ve also crossed through many stages of being unaware, uneducated, etc. and only after that we’ve reached where we are currently! And, is that enough? Don’t we have an even more steeper ladder to climb towards Bhagawan? Hence, where is the need to have that pride or a “sense of achievement” or whatever, over others?

Hence, for today let us understand this important point and let us wait till the next episode to take this discussion further! Stay tuned! 😊

Episode # 384 – Letting go off our “Kartruthva Buddhi” – Examples of Arjuna & Hanuman!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced an important discussion on why shouldn’t we possess the “Karthrutva Buddhi” while performing any action. In other words, Bhagawan Krishna is emphasizing the point that we should not have this attitude of “I am doing something” while performing our “Karma” our duties. Instead, we should always have the attitude of “Bhagawan is enabling me to peforming this”. This is where, we surrender our personal ego behind performing something and experiencing the results of our actions. This is what Bhagawan Krishna refers to letting go off our “Karthrutva Buddhi”.

In fact, this is not the first time that Bhagawan is talking about this point. In His Bhagawad Gita too, Bhagawan had spoken about this point at length to Arjuna. We might know this famous sloka from Bhagawd Gita:

“Karmanyeva adhikaaraste maa phaleshu kadaachana!”

Here, Bhagawan Krishna advises Arjuna that he shouldn’t worry about the fruits of the actions that he is going to perform. He should surrender all actions to Bhagawan’s lotus feet, take the “Gaandipa” (Bow) and start waging the battle. This was at a time when Arjuna got emotional upon seeing Bhishmaachaarya, Guru Dhronaachaarya and all his brothers standing in front of him on the opposition side. Arjuna loses himself and drops down the bow, coming to a conclusion that he’s not going to wage any battle against all his relatives and his own teacher! This is where, Bhagawan Krishna is motivating Arjuna to commence the fight. This is where the context becomes very important – Although Arjuna’s “Karma” as a “Kshatriya” prince was to wage wars and protect the country, he failed to commence his duties because of the “Maya” (Illusion) that he is going to be responsible for the demise of hundreds of innocent lives, including his own family members. Arjuna is getting to this state because he was high on the “Kartruthva Buddhi”, that it is he who is waging the war against Duryodhana and Co. Little did he remember and realize that it was Bhagawan Krishna who is using Arjuna and Co. as instruments to establish “Dharma” in the name of war.

Thus, if we’re able to develop this attitude that Bhagawan is the one who is executing all our actions through us, we would be letting off our “Kartruthva Buddhi” completely, and this is very important. But however, as I had mentioned in the yesterday’s episode itself, readers shouldn’t mistake this point by thinking, “Oh! We do not need to perform any of our duties and it is upto Bhagawan to take care of everything!” This is a wrong perspective here. We’ve to understand that the onus of performing our “Karma” is upon us, but the main point is that, we should perform our duties without expectations of the result or fruit of our “Karma”.

We can relate this point to Hanuman’s instances in the Ramayana as well – Initially when Hanuman crosses over the ocean and commences his “mega-search” for Mother Sita, he wasn’t able to find Her anywhere! He had gone lane after lane, street after street, passage after passage, house after house, palace after palace, etc. In fact, Hanuman had even searched every nook and corner of Ravana’s palace, but all his efforts went in vain! At this juncture, he starts getting demotivated and he doesn’t know what to do next. It is at this time, Hanuman suddenly realizes that till this moment, he had been searching for Mother Sita with the intent that “I’m the one who has taken this upon me and is doing it!” Now he changes his attitude a bit and prays to Bhagawan Rama thus, “Oh Bhagawan! Please forgive me for my selfish attitude! Till now I’ve made a great mistake! Now I’m realizing that it is you who’ve to show me the whereabouts of Mother Sita! It is you who’ve to enable me to obtain Her divine darshan!” Hanuman also prays to Mother Sita thus, “Oh Mother! If not anybody else, it is only you who should give me your divine darshan to this yearning child of yours! Please forgive me for my selfish attitude!”

As Hanuman prays thus to both Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita, sitting on top of the “Simshupa Vriksha”, he was able to have the divine darshan of Mother Sita, just at the bottom of that very same tree! Thus, we can witness here too that when Hanuman was high on “Kartruthva Buddhi”, he wasn’t able to bare any fruit of his actions. However, the moment Hanuman let go off it, he was immediately able to see Mother Sita right below him! So from these two instances, we should understand that “Kartruthva Buddhi” is something that we’ve to discard, as we move on. Of course, it is easier said than done – Our ego wouldn’t enable us to do it right away! But we’ve to keep on trying. This is where we grow up spiritually.

So for today, let us realize and understand this important point emphasized by Bhagawan Krishna and we shall wait till the next episode to continue further! Stay tuned! 😊