Episode # 525 – Sage Maarkandeya arrives to meet Yudishtra – An important conversation begins!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna continuing to motivate Yudishtra to continuously follow the path of “Dharma”, irrespective of any kinds of hurdles that come through. Of course, as we know, Yudishtra is extremely steadfast in his approach towards “Dharma”, however, Bhagawan Krishna wants to give some “pep talk” to Yudishtra, so that he would maintain his mental strength and will power. In these lines, we’ve witnessed Bhagawan Krishna explaining to Yudishtra that the world is in dire need of kings like him and time will give a good answer for those who are trying to humiliate people who follow “Dharma”. By saying so, Bhagawan Krishna also indirectly assures Yudishtra that He is behind the Paandava brothers at all times, protecting them wherever they are. As Bhagawan says thus, Sage Maarkandeya arrives at the spot where all these people are sitting and chatting. As Sage Maarkandeya arrives, Yudishtra and Co. are surprised and they straightway pay their respects to the great Sage. Yudishtra makes Sage Maarkandeya comfortable and with this, Sage Maarkandeya also joins the conversation along with Bhagawan Krishna. Meanwhile, Sage Maarkandeya is also very happy to have the divine “Darshan” of Bhagawan Krishna! 

As all of them settle down, Bhagawan Krishna also comforts Sage Maarkandeya. Many of us might be knowing this – Sage Maarkandeya is an age-old person and has been living for several “Yugas” before the “Dvaapara Yuga”. Thus, when he had come to meet all these people, he was a very old man and was even finding it difficult to walk and make himself comfortable. We would have even seen in many temples of Bhagawan Vishnu – Sage Maarkandeya would be sitting alongside Bhagawan Vishnu in the “Moola-Sthaanam” (Sanctum-Sanctorum) itself. In fact, some people even claim that Sage Maarkandeya is also one of Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations as well, just like how we had witnessed Sage Kapilaachaarya earlier. Hence, Sage Maarkandeya is a very significant person and Yudishtra knows this very well. Thus, upon seeing Sage Maarkandeya, Yudishtra talks to him with folded arms: “Oh Great Sage Maarkandeya! We are very happy that you’re here amidst all of us today. We’re indeed very fortunate to be amongst such a learned scholar! I know you’ve come here with the intention of rendering some important advice to all of us. Bhagawan Krishna is also here with us today. Hence, you may feel free to render advice on anything that you wish to. We are here to listen to you and follow your golden words of wisdom meticulously. Hence, please go ahead and talk about anything that you feel will be of great interest to all of us here! We are waiting to hear from you! You’ve to narrate us the Ithihasas and Puraanas in detail to all of us, and also the “Dharma” that we can learn from all of them!” 

As Yudishtra says thus, Sage Maarkandeya should have started with an accord, isn’t it? But he does not! He remains silent for a few minutes. Yudishtra sees this and thinks within himself thus, “Oh wow! Maybe Sage Maarkandeya is having a “starting trouble”! He doesn’t know where to start! Hence, maybe I shall ask a question, and from that, he can build his accord by answering it!” 

Hence, thinking thus, Yudishtra poses a very important question here! He asks Sage Maarkandeya thus, “Oh great sage! To begin with, I have a question for you – We talk a lot about “Karma”, don’t we? We talk about “Punya Karma” and “Paapa Karma” in particular. Generally speaking, whatever actions we perform today, will return back to us through some other way as our “Karma”. So where do our actions originate? Does Bhagawan have any role in whatever actions that we perform? Or, is it from our own discretion we decide to perform certain actions? Do we have the complete discriminatory control in us to decide and act in a certain way? Or is it Bhagawan who is trying to decide everything whatever we’re wanting to perform as actions in this world?” 

Now this is a very important question that Yudishtra is asking, for which Sage Maarkandeya is going to give a beautiful answer. Indeed, Sage Maarkandeya was also waiting for this kind of an apt beginning to commence his accord, and Yudishtra just paves the way for a riveting conversation! So for today, let us understand Yudishtra’s question very clearly and we shall also keep pondering meanwhile for answers. We shall discuss the answer from Sage Maarkandeya in detail, in the next class! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 524 – “Mother Earth requires a king like you!” – Bhagawan Krishna motivates Yudishtra!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Bhagawan Krishna’s accord on how Yudishtra meticulously follows the path of “Dharma”, no matter whatever happens. We’re witnessing this important accord by setting the context to our present-day life, wherein we’re struggling to follow certain important aspects of “Dharma”, and moreover, we’re also struggling to pass on the “Dharma” to the younger generation. This is where we were talking about how “interest” is very important for any task to attain perfection. In the case of following “Dharma” too, we should first have the interest in us, which would automatically aid us in exploring this path. While we’re cultivating the interest in ourselves by listening to various spiritual discourses, reading various aspects of the Sanaatana Dharma Literature, etc. we should also ensure that the younger generation is also into it on a gradual basis. This is because of the primary reason that the younger generation today is exposed to enormous amounts of disturbances in the form of social media and other things, wherein they get confused as they attain adolescence. Hence, we’ve to be patient with them and at any cost, we should never force them to do something which is not of their interest. We should let them develop interest gradually in them as time progresses and with this, their path towards “Dharma” will be sustainable and long-term with full dedication. We should always remember this point as we move forward.

Emphasizing all these points to Yudishtra thus, Bhagawan Krishna explains to him, “Oh Yudishtra! Since you’re an embodiment of all the above-mentioned characteristics, you will definitely get to rule your kingdom one day very soon. “Dharma” will definitely win! Please be patient for some more time. You’re not only going to rule the Indraprastha kingdom alone, but also the entire world with your “Dharma”. The world needs your administration and the “Dharma” path that you follow! Oh Yudishtra! Please do not think that you’re in the forest with nothing at all in your hands! The “Dharma” and the “Gunas” that you possess are the real aspects of wealth that you have, which not many people have outside! Some people might think that they have all the prowess in the world, like swords, arrows, bows, “Gadha”, and other weapons. Some people might think that they have all the powerful people with them who can win any war easily! But let me tell you one thing very clearly – All these are not going to help anyone! It is only the “Dharma” that will win finally! Hence, don’t worry! Only those people who have the “Dharma” in them are going to win the fight at the end of the day! It is not only about the fight here – Mother Earth also wants to be ruled by a king who is an embodiment of “Dharma”. Right now, Mother Earth is feeling very bad and depressed that she hasn’t got the right ruler for herself. However, things will change very soon. Mother Earth will get what she deserves! Hence, please be patient with things and do not make any hasty decisions in the middle. Let things go by the flow.  You will definitely rule the entire world! These are my firm words!” 

As Bhagawan Krishna is talking thus, Yudishtra is also getting motivated and is extremely happy. Yudishtra thanks Bhagawan Krishna for His kind words of appreciation and bows down to Him with all his respect. As this is happening, Sage Maarkandeya makes his way to meet Yudishtra and Co. So for today, let us understand up to this point and we shall wait till the next episode to understand what Sage Maarkandeya has to say to all of them! An interesting accord awaits us! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 523 – Long-term development of “Dharma” & “Bhakti” in children & youth – How is it possible???

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on how Yudishtra gives his 100% effort in following the path of “Dharma” meticulously. For this to happen, we’ve witnessed how “interest” is very important. If we have that interest in us to explore and follow “Dharma”, automatically we would find our own ways to implement it with our dedication. This is exactly what happened in Yudishtra’s case as well. Right from day one, we have witnessed how Yudishtra was steadfast in his path towards “Dharma”, no matter whatever happened to his life. We’re currently in the midst of a conversation between Bhagawan Krishna, Yudishtra and Co., Draupati, Satyabhama and Sage Maarkandeya who is going to join all of them in a bit, wherein Bhagawan Krishna is praising Yudishtra for his meticulous following of “Dharma”. In this context, we’re seeing its applicability in today’s scenario, wherein we’re currently discussing how to develop this “Bhakti” and “Dharma” in our children and next generation. 

Given this context, we’ve to remember one thing very importantly here – If we’ve to develop that interest in the younger generation today, patience is extremely important. Because, given the amount of distractions and the so-called “Westernization” in today’s world, youngsters are bound to get carried away by it when they reach the age of 16 to 20 or 25. Given the fact that most of the youngsters are working in big corporate multinational companies, their work environment, the nature of colleagues with whom they work, etc. have a huge impact on their life. As parents, we might have instilled all the principles of “Bhakti” and “Dharma” during their childhood days, but when they grow older, it would seem to us as if they’ve forgotten whatever we’ve taught them. Actually this is not true. Even though the children do not show it out, they would definitely have these basic principles of “Dharma” instilled in them somewhere deep within. Of course, they might run around here and there due to their adolescence and youth, but at a later stage, say after 30-35 years of age, they would slowly start coming back to their basics. Once they get married and start having their own family, they will slowly realize the importance of our “Sanaathana Dharma” and would definitely start searching for it more meticulously than before. This is because, till their childhood days, we would be feeding them with a lot of lessons, but now, as they grow up, they themselves will start referring to books, discourses, etc. and commence their research into this. This is what we call “long-term and sustained” growth! Hence, for this to happen, elders should exhibit a certain level of patience and perseverance as well. Of course, we should create that environment at home, which would stimulate their interest into “Dharma” and “Bhakti”, but we should leave it at that. We should never start forcing children to do things, unless and until they have their own liking towards it. If we do so, things would backfire and chances are very high that children will move away from “Dharma”. This is why we see in a lot of families, things are getting into a disarray and a mess. This predominantly happens because parents start getting agitated to see their children not following what they want them to follow. We should always allow the individuality of children to come out. We should always remember this point – Every human being has his / her own individuality and we should never try and suppress it. Of course we shall try and advise them, correct them if they are wrong, etc. We can shape up their individuality as parents, but we should not go to the extent of completely dominating them to an extent that they cannot even take basic decisions for their own lives! This is where parents need to draw the line. 

Another important problem in today’s scenario is that parents dominate over their children to such an extent that they “shield” them from the outside world completely! For instance, some parents are so “protective” of their children in such a way that they would not allow their children to even move with friends and mingle with them. They teach the notion to their children that friends can be extremely “dangerous” and they can lead them down a bad path in life! This is quite unwanted! It is extremely unfortunate that parents today are taking this extreme route! Of course, I can understand the psychology of parents too, given the amount of distractions that we have today, however, we should understand one thing clearly – For how long can we shield our children from all this? If we do so, do we think that the children will not understand current happenings and the distractions around them? Of course they will! If we’re so strict with children in this way, children will find their own ways to go behind distractions! Thus, after a point in time, things will become huge and will burst out in a big way, after which, parents might feel very sorry for whatever had happened! This kind of a situation happens often in many families in the case of children getting addicted to drugs, gambling, etc. The parents might think that they’re extremely strict and their children are following their strictness. However, behind the door, the children would slowly start getting addicted to unwanted things, which the parents cannot even trace! I’ve seen many families go down this dangerous path, and when the situation goes out of control, parents realize their fault, but it is too late by then! 

Hence, the point here is that, “Dharma”, “Bhakti”, “Shraddha”, etc. will take time to build in children and as parents, we’ve to give them that time, rather than forcing things on them. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 522 – “Interest” in the subject is required to put our 100% effort – An important thought!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how anger and jealousy can wreak havoc in one’s journey of success. If we’ve to put our 100% effort into whatever we’re doing, we should be completely devoid of both these characteristics. If anger and jealousy start raising their ugly heads, our focus would completely get distracted and this is where many of us suffer today. Of course, all of us have the good intent of doing things perfectly – But on the way, we get distracted many times because of these two factors and all of us have to introspect at what times we get carried away by these two factors. Moreover, especially for our spiritual growth and advancement, what we should cultivate is dedication and involvement. When we’re doing a prayer (It might be even chanting a “Mantra” continuously), we should have complete focus on it. Rather, we should not keep doing a hundred things around and chant! This is not the way to do it. If we’re reciting a sloka or whatever it is, our concentration should be 100% on Bhagawan only, and not on anything else. Many of us find this difficult to achieve, but we should keep on trying till we attain perfection in this. 

Moreover, we should understand one more thing here – What would make us do something with that 100% effort? Let us track a little backward here – Only if we are interested to do something, we will do it with our 100% effort involvement, isn’t it? For instance, if I’m a musician and if I’m interested very much in singing Bhagawan’s Keerthanams, I would automatically devote time every day to practise it (“Saadhagam”) won’t I? Similarly, if I’m extremely interested in spiritual growth, I would automatically find ways to achieve it. Hence, having interest is very important for something to materialise. Similarly, when will we involve ourselves in selfless service towards others and towards Bhagawan? This is also part of spiritual growth, isn’t it? We will get involved in these things only if we accept Bhagawan as the “Purushaartha” (The all-pervasive). Only if we develop this thought strongly within us, and only when we realize that the “Purushaartha” is the one which is making us do whatever we’re doing, we would develop that dedication and devotion towards Bhagawan. Only if we realize this concept of “Purushaartha”, will we involve ourselves in the path of spiritual growth and spiritual advancement. Whereas on the other end of the spectrum, if we do not have that interest in us, no matter how much ever someone pushes us into something, we will not be able to do it perfectly. We might have seen this and experienced this in our childhood days as well – For instance, if we do not like the subject called Mathematics, no matter how good the teacher is, or how good he / she teaches us, we will not be able to understand it, isn’t it? Ultimately, because of this “mental block” that we develop, irrespective of whether Mathematics is a very interesting subject or not, it would never interest us, isn’t it? Hence, similarly, only if we have the interest in spirituality and spiritual growth and Bhagawan, will we be able to involve ourselves 100% into this. Else, it becomes extremely difficult! 

Now the question will come – Just because someone doesn’t have interest in something, should we just leave it like that? For instance, if our children are not showing interest in Bhagawan and spirituality, should we allow them to become atheists? Should we allow them to talk ill about Bhagawan? This is where we’ve to have the balance – We should of course not force them into Bhagawan and spirituality, and if we do so, the children might develop aversion for them. However, we should slowly induce them into Bhagawan and Spirituality by narrating some beautiful and interesting stories and anecdotes about Bhagawan and how He played His divine “Leela” on His devotees. We can narrate such interesting and heart-attracting stories, so that slowly and steadily the children would get involved. Instead, if we start explaining high-level spirituality like “Dvaitham”, “Adhvaitam”, Jeevatma, Paramatma, etc. to kids, they wouldn’t be able to understand and relate anything of these. This is because, they’ve not seen Bhagawan and they do not know who Bhagawan is! Only if we’ve seen something or heard about something a lot, or if we’ve experienced something, will we be able to relate to, isn’t it? This is applicable for adults like us itself! If such is the case, we can understand how children’s psychology would work. Of course, I’m not saying that the concepts of Paramatma, Jeevatma, and the others don’t exist. All of them exist! However, what we’ve to inculcate in children is something at a simpler level. We shall narrate interesting stories of Bhagawan Krishna and how He unleashed His divine Leela during His childhood days. There is no dearth of stories of “Krishna-Leela” isn’t it? We can keep on narrating one after the other in a very interesting way, so that children can slowly get involved. Once their involvement level increases, we can slowly start inculcating the complex aspects of spirituality, and at this stage, they would also be prepared to accept them. 

Hence for today, let us understand this point very clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to take this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 521 – Anger & jealousy – Two big enemies thwarting our 100% effort!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Bhagawan Krishna heaping praises over Yudishtra for his meticulous following of “Dharma” at all times. We’ve also witnessed till date that irrespective of whether he suffered or was happy, Yudishtra has been steadfast on following “Dharma” by giving his 100% to it as a commitment. This is the characteristic that captured Bhagawan Krishna’s heart and thus, He heaps praise on Yudishtra for this quality. In these lines, we’ve also spoken about how this characteristic applies to today’s life as well – Are we giving our 100% effort in whatever activity we perform today? Especially, if that activity is focused towards “Dharma”, are we really giving our full effort and time to it? Or, are we doing things just for the sake of doing it? If we introspect within ourselves, we would get startling answers! We would be alarmed to find out that we keep performing many things in life in a very monotonous way, not giving it a thought! I had given this example yesterday about how we clean our house – Do we really clean every portion of our house with that utmost dedication, thinking that this is Bhagawan’s dwelling place? Or, do we clean our house in a very monotonous way, just because we’ve to sweep and mop our house every day? If we give our 100% to our work, we would definitely achieve the real fruits of it. This is what we’ve to understand from Bhagawan Krishna’s words of praise about Yudishtra. 

Moving on thus, to highlight this same point on how important is cleaning ourselves and cleaning our homes, Mother Sita explains an anecdote to Ravana. This is worth visiting in this context here – When Mother Sita was in the “Ashoka Vana” being imprisoned by Ravana, she was undergoing untold suffering and misery, which we’ve already witnessed in detail during our previous Ramayana project. Once, when Ravana comes along to meet Mother Sita and to express his wish to marry her, Mother Sita gives a beautiful explanation thus, “Oh Ravana! You have so much dirt in your mind and heart, which you need to throw out. Only if you clean both your mind and heart, will you be able to think and walk the path of “Dharma”. At this moment, your dirt is blocking your eyes from looking towards the path of “Dharma”. This dirt is nothing but anger and jealousy that you have in you. By looking at me wrongly, you’re only trying to shift the dirt from one place to the other. You’re shifting your wrong looks from one woman to the other. This is completely disgusting. However, what you should do here is to eradicate the dirt of jealousy and anger. If you’re not going to do this, life is going to be very difficult for you!” 

Thus, the lesson that we can learn from this is that, these two factors – Jealousy and anger can ruin a person completely. Why do you think we get anger and jealousy in life? If we move towards certain expectations in life, and if these expectations are not being fulfilled as per our will and wish, we get into the angry mode. However, if we see other people fulfilling similar expectations with ease, we start feeling jealous about them! This is where we’ve to think twice – Are we doing the right thing by feeling jealous about somebody else? Life is like a “Chakra” (Wheel) and happiness and sorrow keeps rotating up and down. We’ve to go through phases wherein we would be happy and at the same time, we would also be going through phases of suffering as well. Just because one person is going through a happy phase in front of our eyes, does that mean that we would feel jealous of him / her? The moment we start feeling jealous about someone, automatically we would start feeling the anger as well. With both these qualities starting to dominate, we would ultimately lose our focus towards our work. We would instead start thinking of how to pull down the success of other people, rather than focusing on our own work and success. This is where all the problems start, and we’ve to be extremely careful and mindful of our activities. 

Moreover, if we start feeling angry on someone, our mind starts losing our thinking capability. Ultimately because of this, we start making wrong decisions, and our 100% effort goes for a toss as well. Thus, even if we’re doing the most interesting activity, our anger and frustration would not allow us to give our 100% effort into it. This is where, we’ve to be extremely careful. At any cost, we should never give into these two bad qualities in life – Both on the personal and professional fronts. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly, and we should realize that these two characteristics have the full potential to hamper our 100% dedication and effort into whatever we’re doing! We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 520 – Giving our 100% effort – Are we really doing it today?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Krishna arriving to meet Yudishtra and Co. in the forest. As Bhagawan Krishna settles down, He sees Yudishtra and Co. and praises Yudishtra that he is an epitome of “Dharma” in all ways and means. Bhagawan Krishna explains how Yudishtra gives his 100% into “Dharma” and follows each and every aspect of it meticulously without any margin for error. Through this praise, Bhagawan Krishna also motivates Yudishtra that he has lost nothing by not residing in Indraprastha. Instead, by his practice of “Dharma”, he has won over the entire world, and the entire universe is Yudishtra’s kingdom! Eventually, Bhagawan Krishna also explains how Yidishtra is a great example of four important qualities that every human being in this world possess – “Daanam”. “Satyam”, “Tapas” and “Shraddha”. We’ve also witnessed how important these four qualities are and how these are applicable in today’s world as well. 

As Bhagawan Krishna talks this way, we’ve to also remember that Sage Maarkandeya is also there sitting along with all of them. Now Bhagawan Krishna highlights the last point that he mentioned earlier – “Shraddha” – How Yudishtra is able to give his 100% effort into “Dharma”? He says that Yudishtra gives importance to minute details of things. He makes sure that even a small insect is not harmed by Yudishtra – Forget the big ones. He also ensures that all of them are treated equally as per their merit. This is a very important point for all of us to note as well – For instance, if we’re cleaning our house too – We’re going to witness the importance of cleanliness while we discuss the “Sthree-Dharma” after a while, however, I’m just explaining this because of the importance of this context. For example, when we’re cleaning our house – Most of the times we do it just for the sake of doing. We mop and sweep the floor, just because it is 7 AM in the morning and it is our duty to do it. Everyday we take shower, which has also become a very monotonous thing isn’t it? Bhagawan Krishna Himself is later going to explain in His Bhagawad Gita about the importance of keeping our mind and body clean and pure. We should understand here that our body is the temple of Bhagawan, and we should maintain it very clean and tidy. Cleanliness should happen from our body and mind. Once this happens, automatically we would give our 100% to clean our house properly. This is also important because our house is the dwelling place of Bhagawan as well. We should ensure that there are no spider webs hanging around everywhere. If we have spider webs in our house, it implies that there is a lot of negativity in our house. They should be dusted periodically. Similarly, sweeping the floor and cleaning important places like the kitchen, washrooms, etc. are very important, as these are the places where positive and negative vibrations interact a lot. The more clean these places are, the more positive the vibrations of our house will be! 

Hence, we can see here as to how important it is for us to give our 100% in whatever we do. Once our house is clean, along with our mind and body, automatically our focus would turn towards “Dharma” and Bhagawan. Once we’re into Bhagawan completely, our mind will not deviate and crawl towards any “Adharmic” actions. This is exactly what all of us have to understand from Bhagawan Krishna’s words here. This is going to be talked about by Draupati to Satyabhama later on as well. We shall witness that portion in a great deal of detail. In fact, it is very interesting that this is the time precisely Sage Durvaasa comes in and gives Draupati a test. As Draupati proclaims that she keeps everything neat and tidy, when Sage Durvaasa arrives, she did not have anything to give him! However, Bhagawan Krishna jokingly points out that there is still one small rice grain sticking on to the “Aksaya-Patra”, and with this, Sage Durvaasa’s hunger got satisfied. We’re going to witness this story also in detail later on and how things unfolded. But for now, we’ve to understand the importance of cleanliness, and how it is important for all of us to give our 100% effort in whatever we do – Be it household works or at our workplace. There should never be a time wherein we would feel that some day earlier if we would have given our 100% effort, we could have become someone very superior in our career! This is a terrible feeling for all of us to have. 

Thus, the point here is that, we should make use of the opportunity given by Bhagawan and should progress both professionally and spiritually. Both are important. So for today, let us think on these lines once again, and in the next episode, we shall continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 519 – “He gives his 100% in whatever he does!” – Bhagawan Krishna praises Yudishtra!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the conclusion of Snake Nahusha’s accord and how Yudishtra liberated Nahusha back to the “Svarga Lokha” from where he came down as a snake, because of Sage Agastya’s curse. We’ve witnessed how Yudishtra answered all the questions which Snake Nahusha had asked him, which ultimately liberated him from the curse. Moving on further thus, Bhagawan Krishna once again pays a visit to the Paandavas and this is where we commence the next important “Upa-Parva” called the “Maarkandeya-Samaasya Parva”. As mentioned earlier, this is a long one and it contains three important conversations – One between Bhagawan Krishna and the Paandava brothers, second, between Sage Maarkandeya and the others, and thirdly, between Draupati and Satyabhama. The third conversation is going to be very important, wherein Satyabhama is going to ask Draupati thus, “Oh Draupati! You’ve married and managing five husbands very nicely. What are the various aspects of “Sthri-Dharma” (Dharma aspects that a woman should follow)? How should a “Pathi-Vrata” woman conduct herself?” This is going to be a very interesting and an important discussion and a lot of aspects of “Dharma” are going to come out here. Hence, this “Parva” is very important. With this, we’ve witnessed an overview of what is in store for us ahead as part of our detailed discussion and subsequently from today, we shall get into the details of the same. 

Moving on thus, as we’ve seen earlier, Bhagawan Krishna makes His way to visit Yudishtra and Co. Arjuna runs to Bhagawan Krishna to welcome Him with enormous warmth. He had missed seeing Bhagawan Krishna for a long time now and Bhagawan Krishna too is very happy to see Arjuna. As the initial respects are over, all of them sit together and talk. Bhagawan Krishna initially enquires about the well-being of Yudishtra and Co. and also about their recently concluded “Teertha-Yatra”. As all these customary exchanges are over, Bhagawan Krishna is extremely happy with what Yudishtra is achieving here. He openly praises Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! You do not know what you’re achieving, which not many kings in this world have done! Even though you’re in a forest, roaming around here and there, you’ve won over this world with your “Satyam” (Truth) and “Dharma” (Righteousness). These two characteristics are extremely rare to find in someone in today’s world! You’re an epitome of these two characteristics and I’m extremely proud of you! Maybe for normal people, their perception would be that you’re in a forest without any kingdom. But let me tell you this – You’re in an extremely good country! You’re having a kingdom which nobody in this world has! Now let me tell you all the good characteristics that you have, which the world should learn from you and follow – “Daanam”. “Satyam”, “Tapas” and “Shraddha”! If one has these four qualities in him, he becomes a great “Panditha” and eventually is on the path to attain the highest “Moksha”!”

From whatever Bhagawan Krishna is saying here, we can see a replica of what Yudishtra had just told Nahusha. This is exactly what Yudishtra said, when it comes to someone attaining “Moksha”, isn’t it? Of course, Bhagawan Krishna adds two more characteristics here – “Tapas” and “Shraddha”. Whereas “Tapas” can be equated to immense concentration and intensity with which we are performing an activity, “Shraddha” implies the dedication with which we’re performing it. Both are important. The problem today with all of us is that, we do something just for the sake of doing it. This is a wrong practice. While commencing an activity, we should ask ourselves thus, “Are we going to give our 100% effort into this activity that we’re intending to perform? Are we going to dedicate ourselves fully to whatever we’re doing?” If we have an answer called “Yes”, then we’re on the right track. Thus, the point here is that, “Tapas” and “Shraddha” are extremely important aspects that all of us should develop in us, if we’ve to achieve success in whatever we’re doing. At all times, we should give our 100% effort to our actions. There should never be a situation wherein we’re only giving our 99.9% effort. It should always be 100! This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna says about Yudishtra too. He says that Yudishtra gives his 100% in whatever he does – Be it following the path of “Dharma” or “Satyam”, or answering questions of someone! We’ve seen earlier too as to how Yudishtra took it upon himself to answer each and every question of Snake Nahusha. In the past, we’ve also witnessed how Yudishtra has been an epitome of meticulously following the path of “Dharma” 100% without any deviation. In other words, Yudishtra would follow exactly 100% whatever is there in the “Dharma” textbook! This is where we’ve to reflect here – Are we doing this? Are we giving our 100% in following our “Dharma”? Are we giving our 100% in whatever duty we’re doing? Are we dedicated and devoted 100% towards Bhagawan? These are the questions for which all of us have to explore and find out answers! 

So for today, let us understand these important points and let us start our internal exploration. Let us ask these questions within ourselves. Of course, we might not get immediate answers for these. These are tough questions to ask ourselves! However, this is where we’ve to understand ourselves and try to improve! Hence, let us do this for our own improvement and we shall wait till the next episode to witness what Bhagawan Krishna is going to say next! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 518 – The “Markandeya – Samaasya Parva” – Bhagawan Krishna visits Pandavas once again!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra’s yet another important answer to Snake Nahusha pertaining to the three important aspects that one should possess, if he / she has to attain the highest “Moksha” – “Satyam”, “Daanam” and “Ahimsa”. As he had explained it earlier as well, if one is standing by the “Dharma” (Truth), if one is donating things to the needy at the right time and finally if one is steadfast that he / she doesn’t harm any living being unwantedly, is completely on track to attain “Moksha”. We’ve witnessed epitomes of these characteristics in our previous episodes as well, and with this, Snake Nahusha’s questions come to an end. As Yudishtra gives this important and beautiful reply, Snake Nahusha talks to Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! You’ve given all the correct and important answers to my questions! I’m very happy to have met you and received those answers, and with this, my curse of being a snake comes to an end!” We’ve to note here that we’ve only seen a selected few questions that Snake Nahusha had asked. There are around 40 to 50 questions that Snake Nahusha had asked Yudishtra, and since we have to move on further, I’m skipping them for a while now. We shall come back to all these questions at a later stage, and meanwhile, readers can get a fair bit of knowledge by reading the text directly, before we go deep into this context once more. 

With this, Snake Nahusha requests Yudishtra thus, “Oh Yudishtra! As per Sage Agastya’s words, I shall be relieved from this curse if you touch me with your divine feet, and now that you’ve answered all my questions, please help me in doing so!” As Snake Nahusha requests thus, Yudishtra touches Nahusha with his feet and with this, a divine light goes up from the python’s body towards the “Svarga Lokha”. Snake Nahusha is liberated from his curse finally, and Bheemasena also gets freed! With this, we come to the end of this “Charitra”, and we shall now quickly move on to the next “Parva” – The “Maarkandeya-Samaasya Parva”. This is a really long “Parva”, and I shall first give a short overview of the same, to set up the context. The word “Samaasya” means “Sitting together and conversing with each other”. Now who were the ones who sat and conversed with each other? Sage Maarkandeya, along with the Paandava brothers, Draupati, Bhagawan Krishna and Satyabhama. Sometime after this Nahusha episode gets over, Bhagawan Krishna feels that He has to visit the Paandava brothers once more amidst the forest. It has been a while since He had seen Arjuna, because when the “Teertha Yatra” was going on, Bhagawan Krishna only saw Yudishtra and the others, except Arjuna. At this time, Arjuna had gone to the “Svarga Lokha” for five years, and the “Teertha Yatra” takes place only during this time when Arjuna was absent. Readers should remember this very carefully. 

Thus, Bhagawan Krishna comes down along with His wife, Satyabhama to see Yudishtra and Co. This is where Sage Veda-Vyaasa has poured in all the aspects of “Dharma” through the discussion that we’re going to witness here. As Bhagawan Krishna arrives, Yudishtra and Co. welcome Him with all the “Argyam”, “Paadhyam”, “Aachamaneeyam”, etc. as per the traditional protocol. Arjuna is pleased to see Bhagawan Krishna and vice versa too. It is to be noted here that the Paandavas are now residing in the “Kaamyaka Vanam” and they’ve moved away from the “Dvaita Vanam”. In this “Parva”, we’re going to see three important conversations – One between Bhagawan Krishna and the Paandava brothers, second, between Sage Maarkandeya and the others, and thirdly, between Draupati and Satyabhama. The third conversation is going to be very important, wherein Satyabhama is going to ask Draupati thus, “Oh Draupati! You’ve married and managing five husbands very nicely. What are the various aspects of “Sthri-Dharma” (Dharma aspects that a woman should follow)? How should a “Pathi-Vrata” woman conduct herself?” This is going to be a very interesting and an important discussion and a lot of aspects of “Dharma” are going to come out here. Hence, this “Parva” is very important. 

Thus, for today, let us understand up to this point, and we shall witness the continuation of this discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 517 – Three important attributes required for attaining “Moksha” – Yudishtra lists out!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra’s two important answers as to which ones are better than the other – “Satyam” vs. “Daanam” and “Ahimsa” vs. “Manju Bhaashanam”. All of them are important here, but it depends wholly on the context of the situation and how we should adapt to them. Hence, adaptability is very important for a “Panditha” (Learned scholar) to succeed in any situation. We had witnessed examples on all these points in the previous episode and seen how different people were epitomes of these four qualities at different situations. Moving on, we shall now witness the next question, which is also incidentally the final question from Snake Nahusha. 

Snake Nahusha asks thus, “Oh Yudishtra! Now tell me – Who in this world is eligible to attain “Moksha”?” This is the most important question that all of us were looking forward to witnessing, isn’t it? Now Yudishtra is going to give a very important answer for this as follows. He talks about three important things here – “Oh Nahusha! The following three attributes are prima-facie important to be present in an individual, so as to attain the highest “Moksha”. Firstly – “Daanam”! The more the person donates and gives something to somebody who is in dire need, this person gets the first box ticked to attain “Moksha”. We should of course earn a lot of wealth by going along the path of “Dharma”, and in the process, we should also give a lot to those who are needy. Second in the list is “Satyam” – At any point in time, one should speak the truth and stand by the truth, no matter what the situation. If the truth is going to give you difficulty, endure it. It is better than telling a lie and acting against “Dharma” to escape from the suffering. Hence, “Satyam” is the second box to be ticked if a person has to attain “Moksha”. Third and most important in the list is “Ahimsa”. At any cost, we should not cause any harm to any living being. The connotation called “living being” includes all varieties of animals, plants, insects, etc. We can somehow follow the first two, but the third one is where all of us get stuck! If we’re ensuring that no living being is harmed by us unwantedly, we’re on the track of attaining the highest “Moksha”!” 

Now this is an important point for us to ponder – As Yudishra himself admits, the first two points can be followed by us quite easily. The problem comes in the third point, which is Ahimsa. Even in our daily lives, we kill so many living beings or keep harming them, don’t we? For instance, we kill small insects like mosquitoes, cockroaches, spiders, etc. every passing day. Now the question arises – If we kill all these living beings, wouldn’t we be able to attain “Moksha”? This is where there should be awareness in whatever we’re doing. Of course, the best way is not to kill any of these poor living beings for no fault of theirs. The best way is to merely move them away from our vicinity without killing them, if we think that they might cause harm to us. But how many of us think this way? The moment we see a cockroach, the immediate course of action that comes to our mind is to kill it, isn’t it? This is where we’ve to pause and think – By killing this poor insect, is Bhagawan going to be happy? What right do we have to kill Bhagawan’s creation? If we are getting killed by this, will we be happy? What wrong did this insect do to me? If we start thinking on these lines, definitely our mindset will see a change. We cannot of course completely eradicate this, but to an extent we can induce a change! 

Hence, for today, let us understand this point clearly and let us ponder over how do we implement these three important points – “Satyam”, “Daanam” and “Ahimsa”, so that we’re slowly making ourselves eligible to attain the highest “Moksha”! We shall continue this discussion in the next episode as well, and with this answer, Snake Nahusha is also convinced that Yudishtra has given answers to all its questions! Stay tuned for an interesting accord tomorrow! 🙂 

Episode # 516 – “Sathyam or Daanam? Which is more significant?” Yudishtra’s beautiful answer!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Yudishtra’s explanation of the four “Varnaashrama Dharmas”, and how it is important not to create any unwanted differences between all of them. To emphasise this more, Yudishtra explains how the supreme knowledge of Brahman can be rest with people from any of the four Varnaashrama Dharmas equally. In simple words, it is not that only the Brahmins are eligible to receive the ultimate knowledge of Brahman. Even a so-called “Shurdra” is equally entitled to receive it. Yudishtra also goes on to explain that if this knowledge is with the “Shudra”, a Brahmin should bow down to him / her and receive it with Bhakti and humility. Thus, such is the unity and the equality that has been existing amongst the four “Varnaashrama Dharmas” for ages. It is only in the later Vedic period, all these unwanted differentiations, equality / inequality, etc. started to come, which is currently being fuelled by these useless “Dravidian jokers” of Tamil Nadu. Hence, it is important to once again re-emphasize that all the four Varnaashrama Dharmas are equal and there should be no differences between people based on these lines. There are innumerable examples of how the so-called “Shudras” became excellent Bhaktas of Bhagawan, and we witnessed a few of them yesterday. 

Moving on from this discussion thus, Snake Nahusha asks the next question – “Oh Yudishtra! Now tell me! Is “Dhaanam” higher in significance than “Sathyam”? Or is it vice-versa? Which is more significant than the other?” Now Yudishtra answers back thus, “Oh Nahusha! It depends on the place and situation. For instance, at some places “Dhaanam” is more significant than the “Sathyam”. I learnt this from the episode of King Mahabali. At certain places, “Sathyam” is more significant than “Dhaanam”, and I learnt this from the episode of King Dasharata!” We’ve to reflect upon this answer a bit deeper here – At points wherein “Dhaanam” is greater than “Sathyam” in significance – In the case of King Mahabali, he was steadfast in donating whatever Bhagawan Vamana (Bhagawan Vishnu) was asking! Even if Sage Shukraachaarya comes and tries stopping King Mahabali from giving things to Bhagawan Vamana, King Mahabali is steadfast in his approach, isn’t it? Thus, in this context, the “Dhaanam” gains more prominence than the “Sathyam”. Whereas, in the case of King Dasharata, it was the other way round. Since he had granted the three boons to Kaikeyi, King Dasharata had no other option but to send his son, Bhagawan Rama to the forest. Even though he collapsed upon granting Kaikeyi’s boons, King Dasharata stood by “Sathyam” and made sure that he granted it without going back on his words. Similarly, Bhagawan Rama too, accepted to go on exile for fourteen years, and He protected King Dasharata’s “Sathya-Vaakyam” meticulously. Hence, we should understand here that it is the context and the situation that decides whether “Sathyam” or “Dhaanam” are more significant than the other. 

Moving on further thus, the next question is a beautiful one – “Oh Yudishtra! Is “Ahimsa” more significant than talking sweetly, or vice versa?” Yudishtra answers thus, “Oh Nahusha! Again – It’s a situational decision. Of course, both are important. When it comes to talking sweetly, my role model example is none other than Bhagawan Rama Himself! He doesn’t talk anything bad or harsh to anyone. He ensures that the other person feels extremely happy while listening to Him! This is the real speciality of Bhagawan Rama! However, on the other hand, “Ahimsa” is also important. Here, “Ahimsa” means not to harm any living being unnecessarily! Is it enough if we only do the sweet talking, but end up causing harm to others? Not at all! “Ahimsa” is also very important. I learnt this from none other than Mother Sita herself! When all the “Raakshasis” had to be killed by Hanuman after Bhagawan Rama won the war against Ravana, Mother Sita stopped him from doing so. Mother Sita had earlier assured of protection to the Raakshasis, after Trijada (Vibhishana’s daughter) explained who Bhagawan Rama and Mother Sita really are. Hence, Mother Sita was steadfast that none of the Raakshasis have to be killed, because they realized their mistake and did not harm her any further. Thus, “Ahimsa” is a very important attribute and it is also subjective of the situation in which we are in!” 

So for today, let us understand these two important points with the relevant examples as narrated by Yudishtra, and we shall continue this interesting discussion in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂