Episode # 51 – Hiranya Kashibu’s “RAPID-FIRE” questions to Prahlada on Bhagawan Narayana!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Little Prahlaada’s growing up, and how he was totally immersed in the Bhakti of Bhagawan Narayana. Although being born to a Raakshasa by name Hiranya Kashibu, Prahlaada was deep-rooted on Bhagawan Narayana and was steadfast in his approach, although his father is trying all tricks in the trade to move him away from this. Thus, we had witnessed yesterday that Hiranya Kashibu had sent Prahlaada to the formal “Gurukula” under the guidance of Chanda and Amarka. The instruction given to the teachers is that they should make Prahlaada forget Bhagawan Vishnu and immerse him into the “devotion” of Hiranya Kashibu. Thus, Chanda and Amarka welcome Prahlaada to the Gurukula and try to teach the “Mantra” – “Om Hiranyaaya Namah”. However, the little child hears this as “Om Namo Narayanaya Namah” and repeats it firmly with all his Bhakti. As Prahlaada couldn’t hear anything else around him, except for the “Narayana Mantra”, he only kept repeating the same thing like a parrot. 

Frustrated by this, both Chanda and Amarka take Prahlaada back to Hiranya Kashibu and say thus, “Oh Hiranya! We tried to teach your son in the best way we can, however, your son is unwilling to learn any lesson from us! His only focus is that Narayana and is incorrigible to change! Hence, we’re not interested in wasting our time and teaching him anymore. You may feel free to find another teacher for him, who can deal with his arrogance and stubbornness!” Saying thus, Chanda and Amarka leave the place. After they leave, Hiranya Kashibu calls little Prahlaada by his side and asks him lovingly thus, “Oh Prahlaada! Now that you’ve come back from the Gurukula, your father wants to know what all have you learnt there! So can you please tell me?” Upon this, Little Prahlaada replies to his father thus, “Oh father! My teachers taught me very well! They taught me to chant the sacred Mantra, “Om Namo Narayanaya Namah”! 

Upon hearing this from the little child, Hiranya Kashibu was shell-shocked! He was very sure that Chanda and Amarka wouldn’t have taught this to Prahlaada. There was somebody else behind this. He asks Prahlaada thus, “Oh! I’m sure your teachers wouldn’t have taught you this. There is someone else behind this. Tell me who is teaching you all unwanted things? I want to know who that person is!” Child as he was, Prahlaada couldn’t understand what his father was asking him. He replies from his heart thus, “Oh father! This is nobody’s conspiracy. I just repeated what my teachers taught me. I heard what I chanted and I chanted what I heard! There is nobody who is instigating me to do anything!” Hearing this from Prahlaada, Hiranya Kashibu couldn’t understand what to do for a moment! He was taken aback! He was confused! For the first time in his life, someone has challenged him – And that too, the person who is challenging him is none other than his own darling son! 

Thinking thus, Hiranya Kashibu comes to a conclusion – He decides to “interview” his son and probe him more. He now asks Prahlaada thus, “Oh Prahlaada! If there is nobody who is instigating you to go behind this stupid Narayana, how are you getting this thought of going behind him? Is there someone internal within you, who is instigating? Tell me the truth!” Upon being questioned by Hiranya Kashibu thus, Little Prahlaada calmly replies, “Oh father! Whoever is within you, is the same person who is within me also! He is none other than Bhagawan Narayana!” Hearing thus, Hiranya Kashibu probes further, “Oh Prahlaada! If that is the case, who is he? Can you describe him?” Prahlaada replies, “Oh Father! It is not possible to describe him! He is beyond all descriptions!” Hiranya Kashibu probes further thus, “Oh really? In that case, show him to me! I shall see him myself and know!” Upon this, Prahlaada drops the next “riddle” thus, “Oh father! Bhagawan Narayana cannot be seen with our naked eyes! He is omni-present! He is everywhere and is an embodiment of all the creations in this world!” Hiranya Kashibu probes further thus, “Oh! We can’t see him isn’t it? Can I touch him?” Prahlaada replies, “Not possible! You cannot touch him!” Hiranya Kashibu asks further, “Oh wow! Can I smell him through my nose?” Prahlaada replies the negative to this also! 

Finally Hiranya Kashibu asks Prahlaada thus, “Oh Prahlaada! If we can’t understand Narayana through any of the above ways and means, how else can we understand him?” Prahlaada sarcastically replies thus, “Oh father! It is not possible to understand Bhagawan Narayana at all!” However, He is there everywhere! That’s His speciality!” Upon hearing thus, Hiranya Kashibu was confused to bits! He didn’t understand what was Prahlaada trying to tell here. We should understand that Prahlaada was a “Mahatma” and his answers cannot be understood just by the very outline of it. There were deep meanings within each and every sentence that Prahlaada uttered, which went into Hiranya Kashibu’s “spiritually deaf” ears! Now what is Hiranya Kashibu going to do next? Is he going to take Prahlaada to task straightaway for acting against his wishes? An absorbing accord awaits us in the next episode! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 50 – Little Prahlada stays firm on his devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Prahlaada took birth. We had seen how Indra wanted to abduct Kayatu and kill her, since he was scared whether the baby in her womb would be as destructive as its father, Hiranya Kashibu. In fact, the Devas were not able to tolerate the atrocities of this Hiranya Kashibu itself, and with the advent of his son, the fear was even more and quite understandable. However, as Indra was abducting Hiranya Kashibu’s wife, Sage Naarada intervenes in the middle and requests Indra to abort the mission. Sage Naarada explains that the baby is going to be a “Parama-Bhaagawatha”  of Bhagawan Vishnu, and not a Raakshasa like its father. Paying heed to Sage Naarada’s words of advice, Indra frees Kayatu and with this, Sage Naarada begins his long accord of advice and “Satsanga” to Kayatu. As Sage Naarada was narrating this, the little baby inside Kayatu’s womb listens keenly to his words and with this, Sage Naarada sows the seeds successfully for the birth of one of Bhagawan Vishnu’s greatest and most ardent devotees, after Dhruva. 

Thus, as Kayatu reaches the time of the delivery, she delivers a beautiful baby boy, with all smiles! The baby is born with devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu, courtesy, Sage Naarada! This is where we witness that although Prahlaada was a Raakshasa by birth, he was a great devotee of Bhagawan and in turn, Bhagawan responded to his devotion, which we’re going to witness in the upcoming narrative. So the point here is that, it doesn’t matter where, how and to whom we take birth. All that is important here is whether we’re exhibiting Bhakti and surrender to Bhagawan when we are alive. Prahlaada thus, was a great epitome of being a Raakshasa, but being able to attain the highest “Moksha” through the “Bhakti Maarga”. 

Now moving on thus, let us look at what happened to Prahlaada as he was born and as he was growing up. Hiranya Kashibu was overwhelmed with the birth of his son and named him “Prahlaada”. This Prahlaada started eventually to grow, but his devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana also grew along with him. As time progressed, Hiranya Kashibu tried his own ways and means to “re-direct” his little son from Bhagawan Vishnu towards himself, but all his attempts went in vain! Child as he was, Hiranya Kashibu had a soft corner towards Prahlaada during the initial days. He didn’t bother too much about Prahlaada’s devotion towards Bhagawan Vishnu. However, as Prahlaada was about 9-10 years old, Hiranya Kashibu wanted to send him to the “Gurukula” for formal education. He appointed two people namely “Chanda” and “Amarka” as the teachers for Prahlaada. These two people are students of Sage Shukraachaarya, who is in turn the Guru for all the Raakshasas. Thus, Hiranya Kashibu calls both Chanda and Amarka to the palace and gives them formal instructions thus, “Oh Chanda and Amarka! I’m sending my son Prahlaada to you for formal education. All what you’ve to teach him is the “sacred Mantra” “Om Hiranyaaya Namah”! 🙂 If Prahlaada is not willing to chant the Mantra, make him do so, by your own ways and means. But, somehow, make Prahlaada forget that reckless Narayana forever. I don’t want to hear him chant that idiotic name again ever!” 

The instruction is very clear here – Thus, Prahlaada goes along with Chanda and Amarka, as Hiranya Kashibu wishes “Good luck” for his son’s “academic success”. As per the instruction, Chanda and Amarka did their assigned job perfectly well. They began the formal lesson to Prahlaada by asking him to chant – “Om Hiranyaaya Namah”! However, little Prahlaada did not hear these words at all in his ears! He was deeply immersed in the Bhakti towards Bhagawan Narayana and hence he repeated the Mantra, “Om Namo Narayanaya Namah!” Upon hearing this, both Chanda and Amarka were shocked! They did not believe what they’re hearing! Initially they thought within themselves that perhaps they dodn’t teach properly. They repeated the “Mantra” – “Om Hiranyaya Namah” again to Prahlaada. However, the answer from Prahlaada made no difference! He stuck to his basics firmly! There was no going back as far as Prahlaada was concerned! 

Recollecting the instigation done by Hiranya Kashibu, they made Prahlaada understand thus, “Oh little child! From now on, as per your father’s instruction, you should forget Narayana completely. You should only be chanting “Om Hiranyaaya Namah” from now!” However, little Prahlaada was unmoved! He was as solid as a rock in his stance! He never paid heed to what these two were saying. Finally, both Chanda and Amarka came to a conclusion that it is not going to be possible for them to correct and resurrect this Prahlaada on to the right track! Hence, they decide to take him back to his father, before the blame comes on to their head. Thus, both the “Aachaaryas” take little Prahlaada back to Hiranya Kashibu! They complain to him saying thus, “Oh King! We tried our best to teach him, but your child  is very adamant and is not willing to learn anything from us! He only remembers Narayana everytime, and refuses to chant your name even once! Hence, it is upto you to resurrect him, and we cannot take any more responsibility on him!” 

Saying thus, Chanda and Amarka leave the place with anger and frustration. Now, what is Hiranya Kashibu going to do with Prahlaada? Is he going to get angry on Prahlaada and is he going to take it upon himself to teach him? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 49 – Birth of PRAHLADA – A “Parama-Bhagawatha” of Bhagawan Vishnu!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the advent of Hiranya Kashibu, who was the brother of Hiranyaksha. We might remember that this Hiranyaksha was killed by Bhagawan Vishnu during His Varaaha Avatara. To seek revenge for killing his brother, Hiranya Kashibu decided to take it upon himself to prove his might to Bhagawan Vishnu. With this intent, he quickly proceeded to the forest and undertook an intense penance towards Bhagawan Brahma. Impressed by his penance, Bhagwan Brahma appeared in front of him and requested Hiranya Kashibu to ask for a few boons. With this opportunity, Hiranya Kashibu started asking for a long list of boons, wherein he literally asked Bhagawan Brahma that he shouldn’t be killed by any living being that was created either Bhagawan Brahma or by his “associates” in this world! With this, Bhagawan Brahma also granted the boon, and Hiranya Kashibu became totally invincible with regards to power and position. 

As Hiranya Kashibu comes back to his kingdom, he coronates himself and starts going on a rampage against all the living beings, including the Devas. Indra was meted out with some harsh treatment by Hiranya Kashibu, because he had apparently played a foul game with regards to the “Amrita” distribution. All the Devas were in the firing line of Hiranya Kashibu as he imprisoned all of them for their gross “misdeed” towards the Raakshasas. Now the turn of Bhagawan Vishnu comes – Hiranya Kashibu goes on a rampage all over the world, forcing everyone to follow himself as Bhagawan, and propagating against following Bhagawan Vishnu. Anybody who followed Bhagawan Vishnu and worshipped Him would be brutally tortured by Hiranya Kashibu. Even in today’s world we’re sadly able to see such behaviors by some sects of people of one particular religion, however, such irrational behaviors had existed even during ancient times as well! 

At this time, Hiranya Kashibu had four sons. Out of the four sons, Prahlaada was one of the important ones. This Prahlaada was a “Parama-Bhaagawatha”, which means, a true, ardent devotee of Bhagawan Vishnu. It is amazing to note that there is a son who is an ardent Bhagawan Vishnu devotee, born to a father who is totally against Bhagawan Vishnu! Anyway, this was all part of a bigger ploy, and let us witness what the ploy was. As Prahlaada was born, he was born with the knowledge and Bhakti towards Bhagwan Vishnu. In fact, when Prahlaada was in the womb of his mother, Sage Narada paid a visit to Hiranya Kashibu and his wife, Kayatu. As Kayatu was pregnant with Prahlaada in her womb, Sage Narada gave some important “Upadesha” to her. As this was happening, little Prahlaada was listening to all of this “Upadesha” very keenly and through that, the baby absorbed all what Sage Narada wanted to say! Prior to this, when Hiranya Kashibu was out to the forest for penance, Kayatu was carrying little Prahlaada in her womb and at this time, Indra tried to abduct Kayatu and take her off somewhere far away from Hiranya Kashibu. Indra wanted to kill Kayatu because the Devas were scared that Hiranya Kashibu’s son would be even more a fierce Raakshasa than himself. As Indra was abducting Kayatu, Sage Narada intervened. He explains to Indra thus, “Oh Indra! You’ve made a wrong decision! You do not understand the ploy behind this. Please give Kayatu to me, and I shall take care of her and the baby carefully. Do not enter into the sin of killing a pregnant woman and lose your position and power yet again!” 

Hearing thus from Sage Narada, Indra accepted his fault and submitted Kayatu to Sage Narada. Thus, Sage Narada brings Kayatu to his place and starts telling her a lot  of stories about Bhagawan Vishnu! As Sage Narada was narrating thus, the baby was listening to all the stories with keen interests and with this, the child was transformed into a “Bhaagawatha” of Bhagwan Vishnu, with the divine grace of Guru – Sage Narada. Thus, even while taking birth, Prahlaada was immersed in Bhagwan Vishnu’s devotion. He breathed and ate Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine name, “Om Namo Narayana”. Prahlaada clearly knew the difference between the Paramatman and Jeevatman and clearly understood that all “Atmans” in this world were Jeevatmas, who are controlled by Bhagawan Vishnu who was the Paramatma. He was a total embodiment of honesty, straightforward character, non-violence, truth, simplicity and unending devotion towards Bhagwan Vishnu. Prahlaada grows this way, all through his childhood, even while Hiranya Kashibu took him too lightly in the beginning. 

We might wonder how one can be totally opposite to the parent in terms of character and habits. We’re clearly witnessing an example here – Hiranya Kashibu was a Raakshasa by nature, and had all characteristics to justify what he was. However, Prahlaada, although being a Raakshasa by birth, did not even have a single trace of any characteristic of being a Raakshasa. This is an important point for all of us to note, and for today, let us ponder over and reflect upon this, as we wait for the next episode! We shall continue with how Prahlaada became a serious threat for Hiranya Kashibu and how he thwarted every attempt of his father to kill him. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 48 – Advent of HIRANYA KASHIBU – Bhagawan Brahma grants an “almost” invincible boon to him!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Vishnu responding promptly to Little Dhruva’s intense penance and within just months, Little Dhruva was able to see Bhagawan Vishnu in person. What a great achievement this is! As Bhagawan Vishnu appeared in front of Dhruva, he didn’t even realize that it was Bhagawan who was standing in front of him. Such was his level of penance and internalization of Bhagawan within him. In fact, it took a few minutes for Bhagawan Vishnu to bring Little Dhruva back to his senses. Once this was done, Little Dhruva was able to see Bhagawan Vishnu in front of his eyes and was shell-shocked! Bhagawan has fulfilled his prayers within just a short time! Upon seeing Bhagawan in front of him, Little Dhruva did not know how to react, and he started crying innocently. Bhagawan Vishnu picks the child up and makes him sit on His lap. We should remember that this was exactly the agenda with which Little Dhruva started this entire exercise. Bhagawan Vishnu thus promptly fulfills Little Dhruva’s wish and this is the perfect example of how Bhagawan fulfills the wishes of a genuine and an ardent devotee. All what is required from our side is pure and innocent devotion towards Bhagawan, and with that, He is ready to fulfill whatever is our genuine wishes. 

Moving on further thus, we’re going to now witness the subsequent generations of Dhruva. As Dhruva gets older, he obtains a son by name “Anga”. Anga’s son subsequently was “Vena”. Vena eventually had a son by the name “Pruthu”. Pruthu had a son in turn by name “Praacheena Barhi”. This Praacheena Barhi had a son by name Daksha Prajapati. Now we’re going to witness the important story of Daksha Prajaapati. He had two children by name “Diti” and “Aditi”. Both these girls get married to a  person by the name “Kashyapa”. Thus, all the sons who were born to Aditi, out of this marriage were none other than Bhagawan Soorya, Indra, etc. who comprise the Devas. Similarly, Diti’s sons with Kashyapa were none other than the Raakshasas. This is where we see intense competition between the two camps – The Devas and Raakshasas. Both of them had the same father, but different mothers. The competition gained a lot of ground because of this. This was continuing perennially, including the time when Bhagawan Vishnu had to distribute the “Amrita” for immortality. Thus, everytime when the Devas sense victory, the Raakshasas would be on the losing side, and vice versa. This is a constant happening that keeps rolling on and off. 

It is at this time when Bhagawan Vishnu had destroyed Hiranyaksha during His Varaaha Avatara, the Raakshasas were finding it tough to make both ends meet. They were very badly ravaged and hurt by Bhagawan Vishnu, who supposedly acted in favor of the Devas. This conspiracy theory was floating around the Raakshasas’ camp, and unable to bare this insult, Hiranyaksha’s brother, Hiranya Kashibu decided to step up the pedal and take on Bhagawan Vishnu heads on! It must be remembered that this Hiranyaksa and Hiranya Kashibu were once bodyguards for Bhagawan Vishnu, by the names Jaya and Vijaya. Because of the curse of two great Sages, namely Sanaka and Sanatkumara, both these people were to take birth in this world as Raakshasas, opposing Bhagawan Vishnu and at the end, they would get “Moksha” as Bhagawan Vishnu incarnates in this world. 

With this curse thus, Hiranyaksha took birth and was destroyed by Bhagawan Vishnu. Now it is the turn of Hiranya Kashibu, who is now seeking to take revenge on Bhagawan Vishnu for killing his dear brother. He thus went into the forest to perform a long and a deep penance. Upon Hiranya Kashibu’s deep penance, Bhagawan Brahma appears in front of him and requests him to ask for a boon. Upon this, Hiranya Kashibu requests Bhagawan Brahma to grant him the boon that he would not be killed by anybody in this world. As Hiranya Kashibu was asking for the boon thus, he elaborates the boon in such a way that even Bhagawan Brahma was astounded! He asks thus, “Oh Bhagawan Brahma! Grant me a boon in such a way that I should not be killed by a human being, or an animal, or any living being in this world! I should not be killed during the day, nor the night! I should not be killed by poison! I should not be killed by plants! I should not be killed in the forest! I should not be killed in the palace! I should not be killed on the road!” The list goes on and on! As Hirayna Kashibu lists out all the various categories thus, he finally utters the sentence “Oh Bhagawan Brahma! I shouldn’t be killed by any living being in this world who has been created by you or your successors!” It is only upon this very sentence, Bhagawan Brahma heaved a huge sigh of relief! 🙂 Till now, Bhagawan Brahma was fearing that with the way in which Hiranya Kashibu was asking for boons, he is going to be totally invincible and is going to wreak havoc in this world. However, with that one sentence, Bhagawan Brahma breathed easy – Because, Hiranya Kashibu can still be killed by the person who had created Bhagawan Brahma, isn’t it? It’s none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself! 

Thus, Bhagawan Brahma grants all the boons that Hiranya Kashibu had asked for, and with this Hiranya Kashibu is going to unleash his full potential in the world, with full throttle! So for today, let us unwind ourselves and “fasten our seatbelts” to witness how Hiranya Kashibu is going to take the entire world for a ride and how he is going to wreak havoc, in tomorrow’s episode! An interesting accord awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 47 – Bhagawan Vishnu blesses Dhruva – Places him amidst a huge constellation of stars!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Vishnu appearing in front of Little Dhruva, as a reward for his extremely intense penance. However, as Bhagawan Vishnu appears, Little Dhruva was totally unaware of Bhagawan’s divine presence in front of him. There were no signs of Little Dhruva relenting from his deep penance. It is at this time, Bhagawan Vishnu realizes that Little Dhruva had impinged Bhagawan’s image strongly into his heart and mind, and is only seeing Bhagawan from within. In other words, Little Dhruva had totally “internalized” Bhagawan Vishnu within him in such a way that His external appearance doesn’t matter to him any more. Bhagwan Vishnu however waits and waits patiently for a long time, yet, Little Dhruva was unmoved! It is at this time, Bhagawan Vishnu realizes that there’s no point waiting for Dhruva to open his eyes. He immediately seizes that very moment to pull Himself out of Little Dhruva’s mind and heart. The moment Bhagawan Vishnu is out of Little Dhruva’s heart and mind, he doesn’t know what was going on! Suddenly his penance gets disturbs in a very unexpected way, and with that, Little Dhruva opens his eyes to see what has happened! In fact, Little Dhruva had opened his eyes after so many days, that he’s unable to even open his eyes fully to see what is happening. 

As Little Dhruva opens his eyes with great difficulty thus, he was shell-shocked to see someone standing in front of him with a handsome, smiling charming look, but with an extremely powerful radiance and charisma. This was the same person that Little Dhruva was internalizing all this while! The same form! The same smile! The same radiance! Little Dhruva realized that this person who is standing in front of him was none other than Bhagawan Vishnu Himself! He has taken all the pains to come all the way to see this Little Dhruva! His penance has finally born fruit! His step-mother’s words have come true! His mother’s wish has come true! His blind devotion has finally born fruit! Sage Naarada’s “Mantra-Upadesha” has finally worked! For a moment, Little Dhruva did not know how to react! He was just standing there without being able to do or say anything and after few seconds, he automatically fell on to Bhagawan’s feet, with tears in his eyes! 

Collecting his breath thus, and coming back to this reality, Little Dhruva talks to Bhagawan thus, “Oh Bhagawan Vishnu!! I’m very sorry if I had disturbed you and called you without any agenda. I’ve not gone to any school and have not learnt any lesson or any sloka. If that would have been the case, I would have sung atleast a hundred slokas in praise of you now. But I do not even know how to sing in praise of you. All I know is what Sage Naarada had taught me. I feel very guilty that I’m unable to sing anything for you, although you’ve come in search of me!” Saying thus, Little Dhruva started to weep profusely. Upon seeing a child weeping innocently thus, how can a father keep mum? Bhagawan Vishnu immediately hugs the child with Him and caresses his cheeks with His “Shanka”. The moment Bhagawan’s “Shanka” touches Little Dhruva’s cheeks, he immediately is able to sing a hundred slokas non stop! Thus, Little Dhruva falls on Bhagawan’s feet and surrendered to Him unconditionally! 

Acknowledging Little Dhruva’s unconditional surrender, Bhagawan Vishnu lifts him up and makes him sit on His lap. Readers should remember that this was the primary aim with which Little Dhruva started his entire pursuit. Thus, we should understand here, as to how Bhagawan fulfills His devotees’ wishes if the devotion is blind and unconditional. Replying thus to Little Dhruva, Bhagawan says, “Oh Dhruva! I’m extremely pleased with your devotion and surrender to me! HerebyI’m fulfilling your wish of making you sit on my lap. Moreover, I’m going to give you an extremely important position from today – You would be designated as a “star” in the galaxy and many other stars and planets would revolve around you. With this, I can constantly keep seeing you from where I am, and in turn, you would also be able to see me from where you are! Once your lifetime in that galaxy gets over, you would automatically reach Vaikunta without any prejudice!” 

Saying thus, Bhagwan Vishnu blesses little Dhruva and immediately he ascends into the night sky, and merges amongst the huge constellation of stars! This is why we see even today, the “Dhruva Nakshatra” in the night sky often. Thus, Little Dhruva is in the form of a star and is blessing us constantly every day. The important lesson that all of us should learn from this incident is that Bhaagwan would definitely answer the prayer of an honest, sincere and an unconditional devotee, just like how He answered Little Dhruva’s unconditional prayer. Little Dhruva never desired for any position or wealth or name or fame from Bhagawan. All he wanted is to see Him, obtain His divine darshan and sit on His lap! We can witness here as to how Bhagawan fulfilled the wishes of this little child, no matter whether he sang in praise of Him, or if he composed any sloka, etc. 

So for today, let us understand and experience this beautiful incident and let us wait till the next episode to continue with the further set of incidents that took place after the “Dhruva Charitra”! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 46 – Bhagawan Vishnu appears in front of Little Dhruva – Why should we “INTERNALIZE” Bhagawan from within???

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of Little Dhruva’s relentless pursuit towards obtaining Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine darshan and to sit on His lap. Being denied by his step-mother to sit on his father’s lap, Little Dhruva got instigated and motivated to take this as a challenge! He was under a savage resolution and was determined to make this count. Thus, inspite of several Maharishis trying to flag off his pursuit, Little Dhruva was extremely steadfast in his approach. He was very clear with what he intended to do and proceeded straightaway to the forest, without paying any heed to what the Maharishis had to say. Sage Naarada was moved with Little Dhruva’s ardent devotion and resolution that he himself came forward to perform the “Mantra-Upadesha” to Little Dhruva. With this, there was no looking back for the child, as he hurried his way to the forest. He commenced his penance and as days and months rolled by, his penance and resolve were only moving northwards. There was never an instance wherein Little Dhruva relented even an inch. Although the “Apsaras” and the “Devas” tried to intervene and distract him, Little Dhruva was as solid as a rock. Eventually upon seeing Dhruva’s firm resolve, Indra started getting jittery! He feared whether Little Dhruva was trying to compete for his position in the Svarga Lokha! 

With this insane level of insecurity, Indra ran to Bhagawan Vishnu, seeking solace, only to be blasted by Him straightaway! Bhagawan Vishnu explained how selfless and detached was Little Dhruva, as compared to Indra, who was extremely selfish at all times! All what the Devas require every time is whether they would get the “Amrita”, whether they would become immortal, whether they would be able to enjoy all the pleasures of the Svarga Lokha, etc. However, Bhagawan’s ardent devotees like Little Dhruva are solely interested in attaining His feet and nothing else! They’re totally detached from any sort of pleasures, from any sort of dance, music, and other distractions that can veer them off the spiritual path. They have a one-point focus on Bhagawan and that is their only target and Vaikunta is their only go-to place! Little Dhruva was the perfect epitome of this characteristic and this moved Bhagawan Vishnu too, quite easily! How can a father not understand his child’s fervent calls out of love and blind faith? Bhagawan Vishnu is our divine father afterall! 

Thus, the penance of Dhruva enters into the sixth month, and he has reached a state wherein he doesn’t even inhale and exhale oxygen and carbon-dioxide respectively. This is where the world starts experiencing the vibrations of Dhruva’s intense penance and all the creations of Bhagawan start getting impacted. Bhagawan Vishnu has had enough now! He wants to fulfill Little Dhruva’s wish immediately! He thus gets on top of His “Garuda-Vaahana”, rushes towards Little Dhruva and stands in front of him! As Bhagawan Vishnu was standing in front of him, Little Dhruva was not even aware of this! He was totally into deep penance and is never seeming to be perturbed even by Bhagawan’s divine presence in front of him! Such was Little Dhruva’s level of intensity. At this point, even Bhagawan couldn’t understand for a moment as to how to make Little Dhruva open his eyes. 

Thus, Little Dhruva’s intensity makes even Bhagawan think for a while and feel helpless! However, after a few minutes of standing there in front of him, Bhagawan Vishnu realizes this, “Oh! Now I understand why Dhruva is not opening his eyes. He has firmly stationed me in His mind and heart, that he’s not able to understand my presence physically in front of him. The only way to make him open his eyes is to remove myself from his mind and heart!” Thinking thus for a moment, Bhagawan Vishnu reacts within a flash of a second – He quickly pulls himself out of Little Dhruva’s mind and heart! 

We might be wondering here – Why aren’t we able to witness Bhagawan within our mind and heart? Why are we looking and searching for Him everywhere around us? The answer is very simple – We’re not able to realize that Bhagawan is inside us! 🙂 The big difference between little Dhruva and us is that Little Dhruva is able to station Bhagawan inside of him, and we’re unable to do so! If we’re able to station Bhagawan within our heart and mind, what is the need for us to go around searching for Him? This is exactly where Little Dhruva got it right, and we’re getting it wrong constantly! Thus, the point for all of us to learn and understand here is that, real spiritual progress of an individual signifies the extent to which one can “internalize” Bhagawan and see Him from within us! Of course, Bhagawan exists externally everywhere too! He is omni-present and He engulfs within all of his creation. However, the real focus on Bhagawan would be attained only if we internalize Bhagawan within ourselves. This is exactly what Little Dhruva did, and Bhagawan responded to His fervent calls within a jiffy! 

Thus, Bhagawan Vishnu removes Himself from Dhruva’s heart and mind, and within a flash, Little Dhruva is caught unaware of what was going on, all of a sudden! He starts searching for Bhagawan within himself, and unable to find Him anywhere, he opens his eyes – Only to see Bhagawan standing in front of him with all His beauty and charm! Now comes the real picture – How is Little Dhruva going to react to what he was seeing in front of him? Is he going to welcome Bhagawan, or is he going to react otherwise? Let us eagerly wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂  

Episode # 45 – Little Dhruva’s intense penance goes on for six months in a trot – Bhagawan Vishnu blasts Indra for his “insecurity”!!!

We were at a crucial juncture in the previous episode, wherein Little Dhruva was in a savage resolution to somehow gain Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine “Darshan” and to sit over His lap. According to his mother’s advice, Little Dhruva set out to the forest and was hurrying his way, as he met a series of great Maharishis who had lined up to meet him. All of them had only one thing to say to Little Dhruva – “Please go back home!” However, Little Dhruva was as strong as a rock with his resolution and decided not to pay heed to these words of the great Maharishis. Sage Naarada too tried his best to send Little Dhruva back home. As Little Dhruva exhibited his strong intention clearly, Sage Naarada was moved to tears by the child’s ardent wish and devotion. Beyond a point, Sage Naarada decided that he shouldn’t be the one who discourages the wish of an ardent devotee and rather, he should play a constructive role in bringing the little child’s wish to reality. Thus, Sage Naarada performed the “Mantra-Upadesha” to Little Dhruva. The Mantra was a very powerful one – “Om Namo Bhagawate Vasudevaya!” 

Little Dhruva was thus overwhelmed and thankful to Sage Naarada and he understood the blessing that he has just received! If one has to receive the “Mantra-Upadesha” directly from Sage Naarada himself, we can imagine how fortunate and blessed Little Dhruva was. Thus, Little Dhruva reaches his spot and is all set to start his treacherous spiritual pursuit. Thus, the penance starts – For the first three months, Little Dhruva is standing on one leg and doing penance. He stands on his right leg and lifts his left leg up and places it on his right thigh, closes his eyes and keeps chanting the Mantra. As this happens, Goddess Bhoomaadevi tilts towards the right side. As the next three months progress, Little DDhruva is now standing on his left leg, with his right leg on his left thigh. Now, Goddess Bhoomadevi is tilting towards the left side. The entire world is looking at Little Dhruva with awe! During the first month, Little Dhruva consumed some fruits, vegetables, etc. for his meal, as he was performing the penance. During the second month, the penance became more intense and Little Dhruva didn’t have time for eating much. He just consumed some leaves that fell from the tree branches above him and continued his penance, and that too, once in three days! This was not a regular daily affair. We can see how the intensity is building up here. 

As the third month progresses, Little Dhruva is now consuming food only once in nine days, and that too, only water. His food intake comes to a complete standstill. He just survives only on water and with this, the intensity becomes even more! He has now completely forgotten what is happening around him, and is totally into the penance now. Now moving on into the fourth month in a row, Little Dhruva was just inhaling air as his food, and that too, just once in twelve days! We can see the intensity building up here! This is extreme levels of penance and spiritual practice. All that was in focus for Little Dhruva was Bhagawan Vishnu and his lips kept chanting the Mantra “Om Namo Bhagawate Vasudevaya!” Anything apart from this was totally unknown for Little Dhruva and his mind was completely one-pointed and focused! Fifth month in a row now – And Little Dhruva’s total food, water and air intake came to a zero! He was totally into a different world now, and only his physical body was in this earth surface. 

This continues on and on and as the sixth month comes by, the entire world is now reeling under Little Dhruva’s penance. The temperature of the earth’s surface starts increasing due to the energy and vibrations that emerge out of Little Dhruva. It is at this time, the Devas run to Bhagawan Vishnu seeking help! Indra, as usual, was scared that there is somebody who is competing for his throne in the “Svarga Lokha”. He has already had a bad experience with Sage Dhurvasa and the Raakshasas before, and thus, immediately runs to Bhagawan Vishnu, seeking refuge! In the meanwhile, Indra tries some tricks under his sleeve to disturb Dhruva’s penance. He thus sends Menaka, and many “Apsaras” women to dance, sing in front of Dhruva, so as to bring him out of the deep and intense penance. Even with all of these divine dances and music, Little Dhruva was totally unmoved. He stood there like a solid rock, unperturbed by all the gimmicks that Indra was trying to do. Finally, when nothing of this worked out, Indra started to really feel jittery and thus, runs to Bhagawan Vishnu, seeking His help to stop Little Dhruva somehow. 

As Indra explains thus to Bhagawan Vishnu, He becomes angry with Indra! Bhagawan Vishnu replies back to Indra thus, “Oh Indra! Don’t you have any sort of sense left in you? Why do you look at everybody who does penance for me, as your competitor? Why are you feeling so insecure? Just because few Raakshasas were after your position and wealth, do you think all of them are the same way? I know who is Little Dhruva and my devotees would never go behind wealth and positions like you do! He’s someone who doesn’t care about ruling kingdoms, obtaining name, fame, money, prosperity, etc. He’s someone whose primary focus is attaining my divine lotus feet! Hence, you don’t need to worry. Please go back to your Svarga Lokha!” 

Scolding Indra left, right and center, Bhagawan Vishnu sends Indra back to his Svarga Lokha, as little Dhruva’s penance continues into the six month in a trot! Is Little Dhruva going to be successful in his treacherous pursuit? Is Bhagawan Vishnu going to respond to Little Dhruva’s request? Is Bhagawan Vishnu going to appear in front of Little Dhruva? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 44 – Sage Narada performs the “Mantra-Upadesha” to Little Dhruva!!!

In the previous episode, we had commenced our discussion on the important “Dhruva-Charitra”, wherein we’ve seen how little Dhruva was insulted in front of his father, Utthaanapaada, by his step-mother, Suruchi. No matter how Utthaanapaada confronted Suruchi for her “aggressive” and “abusive” talks to a child, she was not willing to relent. Her ego took the better of her and she stuck to her stance that her son, Utthama had the sole right to be with her husband and not Dhruva in any case. Thus, angered and frustrated by his step-mother, little Dhruva runs crying to his mother, Suneeti, seeking an answer for this inequity. However, Suneeti being a spiritually advanced and a matured person by nature, talks to Dhruva thus, “Oh Dhruva! Whatever your step-mother has said is partially right and partially wrong. Whatever she has said to you with regards to meditating towards Bhagawan Vishnu is excellent, and this is something that all of us have to do to attain Moksha. So you’ve to invariably follow her words of advice on this. On the other hand, the point that you should meditate and pray to Bhagawan, so that you would be able to sit on Utthaanapaada’s lap is wrong – If you’re ardently praying to Bhagawan Vishnu, who is the divine father for all of us, He would allow you to sit on His lap, isn’t it? If you’re getting that status, where does this Utthaanapaada stand? Hence, my advice to you is to go ahead to the forest and undertake penance!” 

We might wonder how cruel can a mother be to a child – By sending the child to the forest at such a tender age. But in fact, Suneeti was the best mother ever! She had the guts and boldness to guide her son in the right path, and little Dhruva too on his part, obeyed his mother’s words and set out to the forest! As he was walking along, this is where he sees a queue of great Maharishis coming towards him. In the meanwhile, all the great Sages come to know Dhruva’s savage resolution to take up severe penance at such a tender age and they were concerned whether little Dhruva would be able to sustain that level of intensity. All these Maharishis come along thus, and ask little Dhruva, “Oh little boy! Why do you want to undertake such a complex mission at such a young age? Do you realize what you’re up to right now? Are you in your senses? This is not the age for undertaking severe austerities like these. Just because someone scolded you, it doesn’t mean that you would take such an extreme step. So, please go back home! Please seek forgiveness to your parents and go back to your normal life!” 

As the Maharishi’s advice thus, Little Dhruva was unprepared to take a single step backwards. His resolution was very firm. He had decided to walk the path of austerity, no matter what comes by. Hence, he replies politely to the Sages that he cannot take a step back from here on, and he has to proceed with his mission, come what may! Little Dhruva also adds another point here thus, “Oh Maharishis! If you have some ideas and suggestions as to how I see Bhagawan Vishnu as soon as possible, please explain and guide me that path. If that is not part of your agenda, please do not stop me from my pursuit! I shall find out my own way to realize Bhagawan Vishnu by myself! Ultimately I want to sit on Bhagawan’s lap, and I don’t have anything else in my mind now!”

Saying thus, Little Dhruva was very adamant in his approach and the Maharishis were astonished with the level of spiritual maturity that little Dhruva had! Thus, not to discourage little Dhruva, each Sage starts pointing out different things thus – One Sage explains that he should worship Bhagawan Madhava. Another sage explains that he should worship Bhagawan Achutha, and the list continues. Finally Sage Naarada comes by! As Sage Naarada sees Little Dhruva going along firmly, he tries to bring in some confusion in his mind. As Sage Naarada always tries to do, he wanted to play his game on Little Dhruva as well. Even Sage Naarada explains to Dhruva that he should go back home and shouldn’t get angry at such a young age! Looking at Sage Naarada, Little Dhruva folds his hands and replies thus, “Oh Sage Naarada! I totally understand your kindness, love and compassion towards me. I know that you’re advising me for my own welfare only. I know that all of you are my well-wishers. However you should understand that I’m not disrespecting you in any way.  My agenda and mission here is different. If you’re able to pay heed to my mission and help me in any way, please do. Else, I request you to leave way for me, so that I shall strive in my own way to achieve my mission of seeing Bhagawan Vishnu and sitting on His lap!” 

Upon seeing the child’s firm stance, Sage Naarada was so touched and moved! He was in tears of joy and was willing to help out Little Dhruva in a unique way. Thus, Sage Naarada replies, “Oh Dhruva! I didn’t come to stop you from your pursuit. I came here to make you understand a very important methodology to attain Bhagawan. I hereby give you this “Mantra-Upadesha”. By chanting this “Mantra” regularly non-stop, you would be able to see Bhagawan Vishnu. So, chant this Mantra as you meditate – “Om Namo Bhagawate Vasudevaya!” 

We can see here, how fortunate Little Dhruva is. He has got the “Mantra-Upadesha” from none other than Sage Narada himself! What a blessing! With this, Little Dhruva hurries into the forest, and is now going to sit for penance. The Mantra is clear! The path is clear! The blessings and divine grace of Guru Sage Naarada is with him now! Thus, little Dhruva is all set to commence the treacherous path of seeing Bhagawan Vishnu! Is it going to be easy for him? Or, is it going to be a tough task from here on? Is Little Dhruva going to succeed in his pursuit? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! An absorbing session awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 43 – The “DHRUVA – CHARITRA” – Little Dhruva sets out to the forest!!!

In the previous episode, we had finished our discussion on the “Mohini-Avatara” of Bhagawan Vishnu and now we’re making our transition into the all-important “Dhruva Charitra”. Here, we’re going to witness Sage Paraashara’s beautiful description as to how little Dhruva was able to obtain Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine “Darshan ” within just a few days of intense “Tapas” (Penance). As we move on into the “Dhriva Charitra” thus, we’ve already witnessed earlier that Bhagawan Brahma is continuing the job of creating the world, and in turn, Bhagawan Brahma entrusts the job of creation to Svaayambhva Manu. As Svaayambhuva Manu was continuing his job thus, he had two sons, namely Priyavratha and Utthaanupaada. This Utthaanapaada had two wives, namely Suneeti and Suruchi. Suneeti was the elder one and Suruchi was the younger one. Suruchi had a son by name Utthama and Suneeti had a son by name Dhruva.

One fine day, as the two children were playing alongside their father Utthaanapaada, Utthama was trying to get on to the lap of his father. Seeing this, Utthaanapaada was very happy to have little Utthama on his lap, while Dhruva was also playing alongside. However, Dhruva also had the same wish of sitting on the lap of his father. He also tried getting on to his father and at this time, Utthama’s mother, Suruchi stops little Dhruva from doing so. She authoritatively dictates thus, “Oh Dhruva! You do not have the right to sit on your father’s lap. Only my son has that right, because your father is more dear to me, than your mother. Hence from now, you are not having the rights to either play with my son or to move closer to my husband! If you really want to have that right, go to the forest, do some penance and spiritual practice towards Bhagawan Vishnu, and if at all He showers grace on you, you might be born as my child in your next birth and perhaps after that, you can sit on your father’s lap! But not before that!” 

Upon hearing this, Utthaanapaada was shocked! As he confronts Suruchi for her arrogant talk, she stood firm on her ground! Unable to bear the insult and abuse, little Dhruva started crying helplessly out of frustration and neglect. He thus ran straight to his mother, Suneeti. It should be understood here that this Suneeti is a very spiritually advanced and mature person. As little Dhruva comes crying to her thus, she understands what really happened a while ago. But here is where Suneeti is extremely mature – Rather than going ahead to fight with Suruchi, she directs her son to go to the forest and undertake a penance! We might think, how cruel can a mother be, so as to send her 7-year-old son to the forest, just like that! Just because, someone had scolded the child, does it mean that he has to go to the forest at such a tender age to undertake something that even spiritually advanced people might find it difficult to do? Suneeti explains to her son thus, “Oh Dhruva! I understand your pain and frustration. But don’t worry. Take it as an opportunity to have Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine darshan! He would definitely pay heed to your innocent prayers. If Bhagawan Vishnu is letting you sit on His lap, impressed by your penance, who is Utthaanapaada in the middle? Bhagawan Vishnu is to be your real father – The divine father! Hence, go ahead and start your penance right away!” 

Saying thus, Suneeti sends her son off to the forest, and little Dhruva too understood the meaning of his mother’s words. Obeying his mother blindly, Dhruva sets off immediately without asking a single question. As little Dhruva sets out with a savage resolution, the entire world is watching him with awe! Sage Naarada too was caught by surprise! The entire lot of Devas were looking on at little Dhruva, as he sat down to meditate! Is Dhruva going to be successful in his pursuit? What is going to happen next? Is there any sort of obstacle that is going to come by his way? Let’s wait till the next episode eagerly to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 42 – The Devas become “IMMORTAL” – Thanks to Bhagawan Vishnu’s Mohini incarnation!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Vishnu, incarnated as Mohini, distributing the “Amrita” to both the camps, supposedly. However, there is a ploy here, wherein Mohini is trying to divert the attention of the Raakshasas with Her beauty, and thereby, giving the “Amrita” only to the Devas camp. As the process is underway, obviously the Devas were the “first” in the queue to receive the “Amrita”, and the distribution starts with Indra, who is the leader of the Devas. Thus, as Indra consumes the “Amrita”, he obtains the divine blessings and grace of Goddess Mahalakshmi and with the grace, he once again re-gains all his lost wealth, empire, name and fame. Thus, the Devas along with Indra are very happy and satisfied that finally Bhagawan has answered their fervent call in a very “smart” way. However, the Raakshasas are being fooled right royally here, isn’t it? So, two people, also referred to as “Raahu” and “Kethu” understood that there is a ploy that is being played on the Raakshasas camp, so as to cheat them and give the undue advantage to the Devas. Hence, these two Raakshasas slip out from their camp, disguise themselves as “Devas”, and join the Devas camp. 

Now, we’ve to understand that the Devas are smart too! But their smartness came into limelight only after these two Raakshasas have consumed the “Amrita”. As this fraud has happened, the Devas immediately sent signals to Bhagawan Mohini, who tosses the spoon over these two Raakshasas, and cuts them into pieces straightaway! However, as both of them had consumed the “Amrita”, they’ve become immortal and thus, they still exist as “Raahu” and “Kethu”, whom we worship even today as part of the “Navagrahas”. 

Thus, with this, the process of distribution of the “Amrita” gets over, and the Devas benefit from the entire exercise. With this, the Mohini Avatara comes to an end, and with this, the Devas also regain their lost glory, power and position. Most importantly, the Devas attained immortality with the “Amrita”, which means that they are permanent entities of the “Svarga Lokha” or the “Indra Lokha”. 

Moving on now, we would enter into the next important “Charitra” of a person by name “Dhruva”. Sage Paraashara gives a detailed accord on the “Dhruva Charitra”, and the importance of this event is that Dhruva is able to have Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine “Darshan” within just a few days of intense and deep penance. Moreover, Dhruva was a small child when he undertook such huge strides in spiritual practices. We can thus understand clearly here that age is  not an important parameter when it comes to exhibiting devotion towards Bhagawan and to adopt austere spiritual practices. 

So for today, let us enjoy the events that concluded as part of the Mohini Avatara and let us wait till the next episode to commence the all-important “Dhruva Charitra”. Stay tuned! 🙂