Episode # 128 – Bhagawan Vishnu incarnates in this world every time with several “agendas”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion wherein we emphasized how we should not get overwhelmed and carried away by the problems or challenges that we might face in our life. Just because we face some problems here and there, we shouldn’t immediately take our horoscope and start running to the astrologer’s doorstep. We should realize that in life, everybody have problems and every human being goes through several challenges at different times. This doesn’t mean that our life is completely doomed and the only way to recoup from the challenges is to perform some listless “Parihaaras” that are “prescribed” by some equally listless and selfish astrologers who prey on such weak-minded and spineless people. Thus, the point here is that I’m not against astrology of any sorts. But unethical practices like this, which would potentially mislead innocent people are what I’m against of. We in turn as common people should realize that there’s no better “Parihaara” than surrendering ourselves on to Bhagawan’s feet. There can be no medicine or a solace equal to this in our life, for any problem or challenge. Hence, instead of getting carried away by problems, let us make up our mind to face them with courage and take them head-on! In the process, let us exhibit our “Sharanaagati” Dharma towards Bhagawan and leave everything to His lotus feet. 

Saying thus, we shall thus move forward with a brief introduction of Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation. As mentioned earlier as well, any incarnation of Bhagawan in this world would be with a definitive purpose. In fact, to be more specific, Bhagawan incarnates in this world with not just one sole agenda, but with multiple agendas together. We can see this phenomenon coming true in every “Avatara” of Bhagawan – For instance, during the “Rama – Avatara”, Bhagawan Rama’s sole agenda was not just to kill Ravana and go back to Vaikunta. He played multiple roles during His incarnation, isn’t it? First, He illustrated to the world how a son should obey his father’s words. Secondly, as a brother, Bhagawan Rama illustrated how the younger brothers should obey the words of the elder brother, and how should the elder brother behave in such a way that he is a role model for the younger ones to follow. Similarly, Bhagawan Rama also showed to the world how a husband-wife relationship should be nurtured and respected. In these lines, Bhagawan Rama set high standards as to how friends are to be treated, how should a king behave towards his subjects, how should a “Guru” (Spiritual Master) take care of his “Daasas” (Disciples), etc. Thus, apart from killing Ravana, which might still be considered as the main event in the Ramayana story, Bhagawan Rama was an epitome in all the above-mentioned points. Thus, the “Rama-Avatara” proved to fulfill multiple agendas within the lifespan of Bhagawan’s incarnation in this world. 

Similarly, the “Shri Krishna Avatara” is no less an epitome as well. Apart from just killing Raakshasas like Kamsa, Jaraasandha, Sishupala, Duryodhana, etc. Bhagawan Krishna proves as a perfect launchpad for all those people who want to surrender to His lotus feet and attain Vaikunta. He has been instrumental in directly sending many ardent devotees to Vaikunta then and there, irrespective of who that person is – Whether he / she is a fruit seller or a crorepati. Moreover, Bhagawan Krishna gives us a unique experience of seeing Him as a little child, which no other incarnation of Bhagawan provides, isn’t it? We can see how Bhagawan Krishna played with all His friends, performed so many “Leelas” with all His little friends during His childhood days. In fact, this is the uniqueness that Bhagawan Krishna brings to the table as compared to other incarnations of Bhagawan Vishnu. 

So for today, we shall realize the important point that Bhagawan’s incarnation in this world is not solely for one particular purpose, but He combines so many other agendas too in His incarnation. In other words, Bhagawan offers us a complete “package” of wonderful experiences to cherish, so that we can also involve with Him and attain “Moksha” quite easily. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with this important point of discussion forward. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 127 – How do modern-day “ASTROLOGERS” trap us to make money from our ignorance? An important accord!!!

We’re amidst an important discussion wherein we’re seeing why we shouldn’t get carried away too much with looking into “Auspicious days”, “Auspicious times” and also too much into Astrology for everyday aspects of life. Of course, these are important if we perform some important spiritual practices and other key life events. However, if we’ve to start looking for such things for our regular routine works and our job-related things, we’re simply trying to shrug off responsibility, and in turn, we’re getting more and more scared to face challenges in life. We’ve to understand that at whatever “auspicious” time and day we commence doing something, challenges are inevitable, and we’ve to live through tough phases in life. It is a wrong concept that prevails in some echelons of the society that if we start something at an auspicious time and day, only then will things be successful. These are some wrong pieces of information that are constantly being fed by some so-called “famous astrologers”, who mint money by taking advantage of our ignorance and weakness. 

In regards to this as well, we’ve witnessed during our previous episode itself as to how some astrologers take common people for a ride, misguide them and make money out of it. In fact, in our “Sanaatana Dharma”, there is nothing called “Parihaara” for any adverse planetary positions that we might have. Today too, I’m going to reiterate this point in a different way, and let us see in due course how these so-called “astrologers” exploit the weakness and ignorance of common people. If for instance, we as common people who have zero knowledge in astrology go to an astrologer, what would happen? That astrologer, if he / she has the sole agenda of making money, would nicely start brainwashing us that our planetary positions are pathetic and we’re staring at a great danger in our near future! This would serve as an emotional blackmail and we would automatically tend to get scared. As we get scared, the astrologer would use this fear to drive his / her agenda. 

Now what would be this “agenda” for the astrologer that we’re talking about here? The astrologer would start explaining the “bad” planetary positions and that the only way that we can escape the dangers that it can cause is by doing an expansive “Parihaara”. The astrologer would then “prescribe” some temple wherein he / she would have a few connections and contacts. In fact, the modus operandi of these people is like that of a mafia gang. If we happen to ask the astrologer that if we can go to any other temple to perform the “Parihaara”, the astrologer would immediately negate it and “explain” to us that we’ve to go only to this particular temple, and do the “Parihaara” as per the set of people whom this astrologer asks us to go and meet. Now when it comes to the payment, we’ve to pay a hefty amount of money to the astrologer, as well as to the entire gang of people in that temple as well. Ultimately after the so-called “Parihaara” is performed, do we see any sort of improvement in our day-to-day life? Unfortunately the answer in most of the cases would be a big “No”! All that happens is that we waste our hard-earned money and lavishly spend them on useless things like these. 

As readers are going through this, some might be shocked, and some might think that I’m anti-astrology. I’m not anti-astrology in any sense. I respect astrology as a science, but the problem comes when we start using it for our own convenience by flexing it as per our own requirement. This is something wrong and unethical. Of course, many astrologers might be angry with me for the fact that I’m exposing their “tricks” to earn easy money, but there’s no option. Earning money through unethical means is equivalent to “Adharma”. There is no mention in the “Vedas” that a “Parihaara” can solve planetary-related ill-effects. If such is the case, why mislead people and make money out of their problems? This is where, we as common people should be extremely careful. Just because we face problems in life, it doesn’t mean that we would run to an astrologer with our horoscope. Instead, we should learn how to face the problem and move up the ladder. We should understand that doing “Parihaaras” are never the solution for any problem in life. If such was the case, then all those people doing “Parihaaras” should be totally devoid of all problems in life, isn’t it? Is this ever happening in the world? Can we point out to one person in this world who doesn’t have problems and challenges? It’s totally impossible isn’t it? If such is the case, why going behind something that’s not going bare fruit in any way, and instead only going to drain out all our money? 

Thus, this is also the time we realize that we’re the sole cause for all sufferings that we’re undergoing. It is only our previous “Karma” that makes us experience all that we experience today. If we do the right things today, we’re going to have a brighter future tomorrow, isn’t it? So instead of worrying about our past and what has gone by, let us surrender to Bhagawan, invoke His blessings by seeking forgiveness to whatever we’ve done in the past and seek a better future in such a way that we ultimately walk the path towards attaining “Moksha”. This should be our prime focus, rather than going to listless astrologers for petty things in life. So for today, let us understand this important point and let’s wait till the next episode to commence Sage Paraashara’s discussion on Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 126 – Exhibiting “Sharanaagata” (Surrender) towards Bhagawan can solve what a so-called “Parihaara” cannot!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an important discussion as to why it is a myth that we’ve to look for an auspicious day to do something or to start something new. We’ve been witnessing this discussion as part of the important point that Bhagawan Krishna incarnated in this world on an “Ashtami” day, which is considered primarily as an “inauspicious” day by many people. This is where we had discussed that there is nothing called an “auspicious” or an “inauspicious” day in this world. Every day is the same, and every day is a good day for us to do something productive. In fact, if Bhagawan Krishna Himself decides to start His incarnation on an “Ashtami” day, it means that it is one of the most auspicious days ever! Similarly, when Bhagawan Rama Himself decides to commence His incarnation on a “Navami” day, (Again, Navami is also considered to be inauspicious), it should again be the most auspicious day without even a question! Hence, the point here is that, every day is auspicious and we should not keep cribbing about a “good day” or a “bad day”. 

Of course, as readers go through these two episodes, some of you might get a bit offended that I’m taking an extreme stance in this regard. This is obviously a common practice in our society and I’m trying to negate it by terming it as a complete myth. Nevertheless, it of course makes sense to look for auspicious days for performing some important spiritual practices and other events like marriages, etc. But the problem comes when some people have the calendar tied around their neck every time! Even for sitting at one place, standing up, breathing, etc. if we’ve to start looking at auspicious dates, there’s no end to it. In fact, by postponing something important just on the pretext of “not being an auspicious day”, has two implications according to me – One is, we’re extremely lazy and procrastinating by nature, and we like to shrug responsibility. We’re just trying to use this excuse called “auspicious / inauspicious day” to not perform our duty. Secondly, by doing all this, we’re trying to be defensive in nature. In other words, we’re not ready to face problems and challenges that come by. If we’ve to take up a mission, it is obvious that we’ve to face whatever is thrown at us. This doesn’t have any connection with the starting date and starting time! According to me, irrespective of the start date and time, challenges would galore, and this is the norm of life. We’ve to get along with it, rather than postponing things. 

Another important thing that I’ve observed in day-to-day life is that many people are so obsessed with astrology! Of course with due respect, “Astrology” is a science that is widely discussed in the Vedas and Upanishads at various occasions. It signifies the various planetary positions and how these positions influence a person’s life events. Of course, it has excellent meaning and deeper significances attached to it, without any doubts. However, if we’ve to hang on to our planetary positions for anything and everything that happens in our regular day-to-day affairs, this, according to me is mere foolishness, and it clearly shows that we’re trying to run away from problems. To aid such people, there are few “astrologers” who take up the role of a “medical practitioner” these days! Just like how we go to a doctor if we have some physical illness and like how the doctor prescribes some medicines for the same, some people go to an astrologer even for small problems that they face in life. The astrologer, who is smart in nature, typically uses this “weakness” of these people to face problems head on, “prescribes” some “Parihaara”, giving “false assurances” that if this “Parihaara” is fulfilled properly, all the problems would come to an end! 

Let me tell something very clearly here – Our planetary positions upon which we take birth (Janana-Kaala-Jaataga) is purely according to our “Karma” that we’ve accumulated over the past births. No astrologer can come in the middle and try changing all these. Similarly, the ill effects of planetary positions can never be eradicated by doing all these stupid “Parihaaras”. If one has to undergo the “aftereffects” of our “Prarabdha-Karma”, we’ve to go through it. There’s no other option! Otherwise, there can only be one option, if we still need to get over the effects of “Karma” – Surrendering to Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet (“Sharanaagatha Dharma”). We’ve spoken about this before too, that if we surrender to Bhagawan, it becomes His responsibility to take us to Vaikunta, by washing off all our “Karma”. Thus, a “Sharanaagatha Dharma” can achieve what a “Parihaara” can never achieve! 

Hence, the point here is we should understand how to use “Astrology” and how not to use it. Unfortunately there are many so-called astrologers who grossly mislead people on the pretext of “Parihaaras”, and this is a totally unethical and a wrong practice. At no point in the Vedas is it mentioned that any effect of any planet can be overcome by performing a simple “Parihara”. Aftereffects of “Karma” are not as simple as we think it to be! Thus for today, let us understand these important points and let us wait for the next episode to witness the continuation of this interesting and important discussion further! There are many more myths and tricks that the so-called astrologers employ to cheat people, and I’m going to systematically expose each of them in the coming days to come! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 125 – Every day is auspicious – Bhagawan Krishna incarnates on an “ASHTAMI” day!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the introductory part of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine incarnation. In these lines, we had witnessed firstly as to why Bhagawan’s Avataras are very important, and why do we consider the “Top-10” of them as extremely significant. Obviously Bhagawan’s incarnations come with definitive purposes behind each of them, and as we’ve seen yesterday, the main agenda for every “Avatara” is to re-establish the “Dharma” in this world, by destroying the “Adharma” that is causing the downfall of “Dharma”. This is not a one-down process, but is a one that keeps recurring every Yuga. In that way, in due course of our current Shri Vishnu Puraana and the previous Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana projects, we’ve witnessed the significance of some of Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations, such as Bhagawan Narasimha, Bhagawan Varaaha, Bhagawan Vaamana, etc. and in that way, with Bhagawan’s divine grace, we’ve also got the opportunity to experience each of the “Avataras” in great detail. Obviously, we’ve also witnessed Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation in minute detail during our first Ramayana project as well. Now with this, we’re now moving into Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation. 

We’ve already witnessed Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation during our Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana project as well, however, it is worth it to have a revisit again according to how Sage Paraashara is going to narrate it. Even though it’s almost the same, this is one unique incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu, wherein we can have the divine opportunity to experience Bhagawan as a little child, a little boy, a youth and an adult – In other words, we can experience Bhagawan in all walks and stages of life, which we might not be able to in other incarnations. For instance, we’ve seen Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation in great detail, however, there is literally no mention about Bhagawan Rama’s childhood days. Hence, we do not even know what Bhagawan Rama did when He was a child. However, this is not the same with Bhagawan Krishna, isn’t it? All the divine “Krishna-Leelas” have happened when Bhagawan Krishna was a child. Perhaps, this is also one reason why even today we keep names like “Bala-Krishna”. We see many people having names like “Balakrishnan”, isn’t it? However, nobody keeps a name as “Bala-Raman”, because nobody knows what Bhagawan Rama did during His childhood days! Thus, Bhagawan Krishna’s “Avatara” is unique in many ways like this. 

As we move on further, many of us might know that Bhagawan Krishna incarnated during the month of “Avani” (July-August in the english calendar) and on the “Ashtami” (Eighth day of the month) and on the day when the “Rohini” star falls. This is the day when we celebrate grandly as “Shri Krishna Jayanti” all over the world even today. Now here comes an important discussion – As we’re seeing here that Bhagawan Krishna was born on an “Ashtami” day, many of us might have a doubt. Why is Bhagawan incarnating on an “inauspicious” day? Generally it is a superstition that the days of “Ashtami” and “Navami” are not auspicious days in a month, and if we’ve to commence anything new, we tend to avoid these two days for it. In fact, the practice of selecting an “auspicious day” for doing something good is totally a false belief. Every day is a good day and it is only in our mindset and our willpower to face any challenge that comes by. 

This is a huge myth that exists in our society and I still keep wondering the reason behind this! Of course I’m not saying that we should avoid this practice completely. We shall obviously look into auspicious days for performing some important things like marriage, “Upanayana”, and any such religious functions at home. However, if we’ve to start looking into auspicious days for anything and everything in life, we’re only going to waste time and days by not doing anything. We can look at this in two ways – Firstly, if we’re looking into these kinds of things, it only conveys a message that we’re very defensive and trying to run away from problems and challenges. Irrespective of whatever time and day we commence any activity, there would definitely be challenges along our path, and we do not have any option but to face them to be successful. Secondly, we can see here too that if Bhagawan Himself is incarnating on an “Ashtami” day, does that mean that Bhagawan Krishna failed in His mission? Similarly we can see that Bhagawan Rama too had incarnated on a “Navami” day, which is what we widely celebrate as “Ram-Navami”. Thus, can we say that just because Bhagawan Rama had incarnated on a so-called “inauspicious day”, His mission in this world had failed? In fact, it is only to bust these unwanted myths that we have, Bhagawan took it upon Himself to incarnate specifically on an “Ashtami” and a “Navami” day. 

Hence, the point here is that every day is an auspicious day and we can always commence anything good with the divine grace of Bhagawan. All what is important here is our faith in Bhagawan and with the confidence that He would stand by us at any adverse situation. It is also important that we’re putting in our right effort towards achieving success, and there’s no point blaming the day or time if we encounter failure. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 124 – “Dharma-Samsthabhanarthaya” – Bhagawan’s key “AGENDA” for every “Avatara” is to re-establish “Dharma”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important and pertinent discussion as to why Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation is spoken about prominently in the Puraanas, more than any other incarnation. In fact, even though we have  24,000-sloka-Valmiki Ramayana in place, Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation too is not widely spoken about in either Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana or Shri Vishnu Puraana in much detail. In these lines, we had put forward a few points to seemingly justify this stance, however, there might be many other reasons as well. Of course, if great Sages in the likes of Sage Paraashara and Sage Sukhaachaarya are threading along a path, there should be a huge philosophy behind it, which common people like us might not understand at one go. We can only guess a few reasons with our limited knowledge and understanding, but there might be many other reasons that are beyond our understanding behind what they’re doing. Hence, for now, let us get on with what Sage Paraashara is going to discuss from here on. 

Saying thus, we are now going to witness Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation, which is often referred to as the ninth incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. We’ve already seen a couple of episodes earlier too that there are innumerable “Avataras” (Incarnations) of Bhagawan, out of which, we prominently talk about ten of them. Each “Avatara” has its own purpose and agenda behind it. It is a well-thought out process of Bhagawan, to establish and re-establish “Dharma” in this world. As Bhagawan Krishna Himself explains clearly in the Bhagawad Gita thus, 

“Paritraanaaya saadhunaam vinaashaayacha dushkruthaam!

Dharma samsthaabhanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge!!”

Bhagawan’s main agenda behind any incarnation is to protect the “Saadhus” (Ardent devotees) and to destroy the “Vinaashaa” (Demons and evils that try and establish Adharma in this world). We can ask a question here – Bhagawan can do these two sitting at Vaikunta itself, isn’t it? Why should He take all the pains to come to this world, incarnate, live a life like normal living beings and then destroy the “Raakshasas”? This is where Bhagawan Krishna Himself answers this question in the next line – “Dharma Samsthaabhanaarthaaya”. Thus, the main agenda of Bhagawan incarnating in this world is to establish and re-establish the “Dharma”. This might not be possible to achieve when Bhagawan just sits in the Vaikunta. He has to come down to the earth, take a birth like a normal human being, practice all the “Dharma” principles and set Himself as a role model for others to follow. Only if this is done, people like us who do not have any basic understanding of our “Shaastras” would be able to understand something of our “Dharma”, if not everything. 

Of course, all these important principles of “Dharma” are clearly explained in the Vedas and Upanishads. But the problem is that, these principles are explained in a very complex way, and in a complex language called “Sanskrit” which is very difficult for us to read, understand and comprehend. Given this complexity, many of these principles go unread and virtually unheard of. Even if some people try to comprehend the Vedas, there might be certain principles of “Dharma” that might be very difficult for us to digest and follow in our regular day-to-day life. Thus, in order to take away these complexities and to make our lives simpler, Bhagawan took it upon Himself to incarnate and “enact” all these principles of “Dharma” in His life, and show us the way of implementation. Thus, we can understand here that the primary reason behind Bhagawan incarnating in this world is to establish and re-establish the “Dharma”. 

In order to do this, we might have another question – Isn’t it enough if Bhagawan does this establishment and re-establishment once? Is it a requirement for Him to do it again and again? The problem with we, human beings, is that we tend to forget things very quickly! 🙂 This is not the case today or yesterday, but has been the case for “Yugas” put together! In the “Krita Yuga” when Bhagawan established the “Dharma”, He was also perhaps happy that the world would be a better place to live in. However, that was not the case! In the “Tretha Yuga”, the “Dharma” deteriorated still. This is why Bhagawan decided that things are not going the way He wanted it to go, and there’s no use sitting at Vaikunta in trying to oversee things. He thus decided to incarnate as Bhagawan Rama and re-establish “Dharma”. However, at the end of the “Tretha Yuga” and in the course of the next “Dwaapara Yuga”, the Dharma started deteriorating even further! Bhagawan couldn’t tolerate the extent to which the “Adharma” was rising all the way to a peak, and hence He decides that He’s going to incarnate once more as Bhagawan Krishna to set things right! 

Thus, we can see here that establishing “Dharma” once and for all doesn’t work with people like us. We need constant reinforcement and constant pushing from our back to follow “Dharma” properly. This is why Bhagawan Krishna Himself explains at the end of the above sloka, “Sambhavaami Yuge yuge”. This means that Bhagawan keeps incarnating every Yuga, to set things right. This is not only true for Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation, but it holds good for all incarnations of Bhagawan. Thus, we realize that Bhagawan’s main agenda for incarnating time and again in this world is to re-establish the “Dharma” and here in this context, we’re going to witness the all-important “Krishna-Avatara” of Bhagawan Vishnu. Why did Bhagawan Krishna incarnate? Why was He born as a son of Devaki and Vasudeva? Why was He transported from Mathura city to Gokula? What did Bhagawan do there? We’ve got all these questions in mind, isn’t it? Let us wait till the next episode eagerly to start off with the answers for each of these questions! Stay tuned! 🙂  

Episode # 123 – Why is Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation focused more than that of Bhagawan Rama in the Puraanas? An important discussion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the conclusion of the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakyaanam” and we’re about to commence the next important section of the “Shri Vishnu Puraana”, which is nothing but the detailed accord of Bhagawan Krishna. Before we commence that, we might be wondering why are Sage Paraashara and Sage Sukhaachaarya not laying much emphasis on Bhagawan Vishnu’s other incarnations and why only on Bhagawan Krishna a lot. We’ve commenced a small discussion in this regard in yesterday’s episode itself and we shall continue this further today. In fact, when we trace back to our previous project – Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, Sage Sukhaachaarya had categorically explained to King Parikshit that if he wants a detailed accord on Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation, he should visit the Ramayana text, which comprises of around 24,000 slokas, wherein Valmiki Bhagawan had detailed Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation to the greatest possible extent. He doesn’t go inside details of how Bhagawan Rama took birth at Ayodhya and his subsequent life events. Similarly here too, Sage Paraashara explains to Sage Maithreya that he should go and visit the Ramayana text for more details about Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation. 

We might wonder why there seems a “partiality” and “sidelining” when it comes to Bhagawan Rama, as compared to Bhagawan Krishna! 🙂 Let’s look at some possible reasons here. Firstly according to my little analysis, Bhagawan Rama’s childhood days aren’t spoken about much in the Valmiki Ramayana. We’ve already witnessed earlier and readers can always go back to refer our first project of this blog on Valmiki Ramayana for details – If we consider the “Bala Kanda” (The first section of the Ramayana text), from sloka 1 to sloka 24 within the same “Sarga”, Bhagawan Rama takes birth as the son of Kaushalya, goes to the “Gurukula”, finishes all his education and Sage Vishwamitra makes his way to Ayodhya to take Rama and Lakshmana along with him. At this time when Sage Vishwamitra enters the scene, Bhagawan Rama is already 12 years old! Thus, within just 24 slokas, 12 years of Bhagawan Rama’s life has already been covered! Whereas, this is not the case with Bhagawan Krishna – To explain Little Krishna’s childhood days from His birth till the age of 12, there would be around 10,000 slokas, done by various Aachaaryas put together. Even in the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana, we had witnessed the “Dasamah Skandha” (10’th Skandha) fully dedicated to Bhagawan Bala-Krishna, isn’t it? We’ve to understand here that if we’ve to experience Bhagawan’s beauty, it is always wonderful to witness Bhagawan as a child. Automatically that love and “Bhakti” for Bhagawan would increase manifold. 

Of course by doing so, we’re not discarding Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation completely here. Bhagawan Rama is an epitome of “Dharma”. In order to put into practice all the important facets of “Dharma”, we need to have a certain level of maturity, isn’t it? For that, we need to get a bit older. This is why, Bhagawan Rama’s youth and adult experiences are very important for us to understand – Right from marrying Mother Sita to going to the forest for fourteen years, exhibiting various aspects of “Dharma” in various walks of life (As a husband, as a brother, as a friend, as Bhagawan Himself, etc.) Bhagawan Rama’s life at later stages (after childhood) gains more prominence. However, the main objective of these “Puraanas” are to experience Bhagawan in such a way that our level of “Bhakti” increases. For this to happen, experiencing Bhagawan as a child and getting immersed into the ocean of “Bhakti” is the easiest way. This is perhaps one reason why Bhagawan Krishna’s incarnation and His childhood days are enormously talked about, both in the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana and Shri Vishnu Puraana. 

Secondly, Bhagawan Krishna’s “Leelas” as a child are very absorbing and mind-capturing in nature. In order to exhibit Bhakti, there should be some “outstanding” and “remarkable” incidents and experiences, which would in-turn motivate us towards this channel. Even in today’s Marketing Management, we do talk about this isn’t it? If we’re trying to market or sell a product or a service, there should be something very appealing about the product, so that the attention of the customer is attracted. This is why we see every organization spending so much of money on marketing and branding activities, so that the outreach towards potential customers increases. Similarly here too, if we keep saying the Bhagawan is a strict epitome of “Dharma”, and if we’re going to deviate from it, we’re going to get punished by Bhagawan, how many of us are going to come into the “Bhakti-Maarga”? We would be scared and would probably run away! 🙂 However, I’m not saying that the above statement is false. It is true only, because it is Bhagawan’s words! 

Having said that, there should be some mechanism to attract devotees towards Bhagawan isn’t it? In fact, Bhagawan Himself thought within thus, “Oh! If I’m going to be so strict with my “Dharma-book”, nobody is going to come towards me! Hence, I’ve to “market” myself in the form of a little child, so as to give a beautiful experience to my devotees, and in turn attract them towards the “Bhakti Maarga”. I should make sure that I forgive those devotees who come to me thus, with an unconditional surrender!” It is with this intention that Bhagawan Vishnu incarnated as Bhagawan Krishna, whose childhood days are the primary focus. In fact, this is the reason why all the “Aalwars” and “Aachaaryas” have laid special emphasis on Bhagawan Krishna as a little child. Thus, we should understand that it is not the question about why Bhagawan Rama’s incarnation is being sidelined. It is only about experiencing the “Bhakti-Maarga” better. Thus, comparing Bhagawan Rama with Bhagawan Krishna is like comparing an apple and an orange. There’s no point in doing this, because all of Bhagawan’s incarnations have a definite purpose in this world. We’ve already seen this before as well. 

Hence, starting from now, we shall gear up ourselves to experience the “Bhakti-Maarga” at its highest peak, with Bhagawan Krishna as our center point of focus. From the next episode onwards we shall commence witnessing Sage Paraashara’s narratives on how Bhagawan Krishna incarnated in this world and what were His divine “Leelas” that He exhibited in this world, so that, normal people like us are also induced into the “Bhakti-Maarga”! Stay tuned for exciting times ahead! 🙂 

Episode # 122 – End of the “Jada-Bharata-Upakyana” -Why should we focus on the “PROCESS” more than “OUTCOME”?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a very important talk-point as to why we have different deities as part of our Sanaatana Dharma. This was an offshoot discussion from that of Sage Jada-Bharata’s, wherein he clearly explains how all the “Jeevatmas” can only be headed by one “Paramatma”, which is Bhagawan Himself. As we were emphasizing this, we had cleared off some myths about why we portray different Gods and Goddesses as part of our Sanaatana Dharma literature. We had compared this with a phenomenon in Chemistry called “Allotropy”, wherein one element can assume and exhibit various different forms at different times. Similarly, Bhagawan is like that one element, and He can assume different forms at different times, just like the various allotropic forms of the element. In due course, I had also explained why Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations are not just ten in number. There are various other incarnations that aren’t quite talked about much – For instance, Sage Kapilaachaarya and Sage Veda Vyaasa. In these lines, Bhagawan Vishnu Himself has hundreds of incarnations in this world at different points in time. Thus, readers should clearly understand here that our Sanaatana Dharma focuses only on one deity, but the manifestations of the deity are different at different times. We should not get confused thus, and when some anti-Hindu elements make fun of our Sanaatana Dharma, we should be able to give a befitting reply to them in these lines. We should always remember that our Sanaatana Dharma is the highest level of science, which cannot be compared even to the smallest speck of dust by any other religion in this world. 

Moving on thus, Sage Jada-Bharata concludes his accord to King Rahuguna, and we’ve also spent so many episodes in understanding this important accord. As King Rahuguna listens to the entire accord, he now has all his doubts cleared. He was longing for this advice for a long time now, and he was under a lot of confusion just because he was not able to see the “Atman” and the “Deham” as separate entities. Thanks to Sage Jada-Bharat, King Rahuguna was able to realize the very purpose of his birth and in turn, he gave all the respects to Sage Jada Bharata as he was preparing to leave. A totally renounced saint has he was, Sage Jada Bharata immediately left the scene without saying an extra word, as the purpose of his visit was fulfilled. Normally, highly realized Sages wouldn’t talk an extra word apart from what they want to convey. We can see this even during the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana too. As Sage Sukhaachaarya finished the entire accord of 12 Skandhas to King Parikshit, he immediately stood up and started walking away! He didn’t stand there even for a minute to see whether King Parikshit is attaining “Moksha” or not. Thus, for highly realized people, the process of attaining “Moksha” is more important than the outcome. This is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna is explaining in HIs Bhagawad Gita too – As a golden piece of advice to Arjuna, Bhagawan explains that we’ve to do our duty and our complete focus should be on the duty only, rather than the outcome of it. This is an important point that all of us should recall and understand. We’ve spoken about this multiple times in the past as well, but this is something that we’ve to repeatedly reinforce into our memory.  

Saying thus, Sage Paraashara too puts an end to this important accord of the “Jada-Bharata-Upaakhyaanam”, and moves on with the next important accord. This time, he is directly entering into the incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu as Bhagawan Krishna! Yes! We’re going to witness a detailed accord of Bhagawan Krishna in the coming episodes. We’ve already done this during our previous project of Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana too, but this is something that we can keep doing endlessly over and over again, isn’t it? We can keep on talking about Bhagawan Krishna as long as we live and the profound bliss that we obtain by doing so, is incomparable. Sage Paraashara too is having the same agenda here. But we might wonder one thing here – Why is the Krishna-Avatara being talked about so much in both the Vishnu Puraana and Bhaagawatha Puraana and why is the previous Rama-Avatara being ignored time and again? Isn’t this a valid question? 

All of us know how much significance the Rama-Avatara has, and we ourselves started this blog series with the Ramayana project only. Inspite of this, both Sage Paraashara and Sage Sukhaachaarya have not spoken in detail about the Rama-Avatara in their respective texts. What might be the reason for it? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out this intriguing answer! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 121 – Why do we have DIFFERENT DEITIES in our Sanatana Dharma? An important answer!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the extension of the discussion on how all the “Atmans” in this world are “Bhagawad-Daasas” and cannot be “Svatantras” (Free in nature). As per our Sanaatana Dharma, no “Atmans’ ‘ can be “free” by nature, and are all abided by Bhagawan, who is the universal leader. Hence, rather than thinking it as something that is being forced upon us, if we take it in the right spirit, this is what blossoms into real “Bhakti” or “Ardent devotion” towards Bhagawan. In these lines, we had also witnessed a beautiful illustration as to how Hanuman walked this path alongside Bhagawan Rama and how he stood firmly as an epitome of being a “Bhagawad-Dasa”. We had witnessed how Hanuman accepted Bhagawan Rama to be his “Hero” and “Master”, the moment he saw both Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana at Kishkinta. Although this episode is a very emotion-packed and a beautiful one for us to cherish, there is this message that is important for all of us to understand and implement in our lives as well. Just like how Hanuman accepted to be the “Bhagawad Dasa” of Bhagawan Rama, we should also accept to be the Bhagawad Dasa of whatever is our “Ishta-Devata” (Favourite Deity). 

Readers should understand clearly here that we’re not talking about a specific deity in this context. In fact, this is the beauty of our Sanaatana Dharma. It would never force or compel anyone to follow any particular deity, unlike several other religions. Our Sanaatana Dharma would only explain the principles of Bhakti, procedures of following the spiritual path, etc. However, it would never ever say at any instance that we should follow only Bhagawan Shiva or Bhagawan Vishnu or Goddess Devi, etc. All the deities are various forms of a single entity called Bhagawan, and our Sanaatana Dharma is very clear on that. I’m emphasizing on this point today because there is a huge misconception amidst many people that Hinduism has many deities and is very misleading in nature. It is a myth and has to be busted out. Yes, it is true that our Sanaatana Dharma talks about various deities like Bhagawan Ganesha, Bhagawan Muruga, Bhagawan Shiva, Bhagawan Vishnu, etc. however, it also clearly explains that all these deities are different forms of the universal “Cosmos”, or the “Cosmic energy”. 

A beautiful analogy to this point that I can think of is something called “Allotropy” in Chemistry. Carbon as a chemical has a beautiful and perhaps a unique property of exhibiting this phenomenon called “Allotropy”. Of course, readers who are familiar with some aspects of Chemistry might be able to relate this concept very well, however, I shall explain this with my limited knowledge. Allotropy is a property wherein an “element” can manifest itself in different forms at different times. For instance, Carbon can manifest itself into “Graphite”, “Diamond”, etc. Thus, Graphite and Diamond are the same carbon only, but in various forms. This is why we would see that if we heat up Graphite or Diamond beyond a certain temperature, it would be converted into ashes, which is carbon again! This is the same principle that we’re talking about in this context as well, with regards to Bhagawan too. In a way, Bhagawan Ganesha, Bhagawan Muruga, Bhagawan Shiva, etc. are all “Allotropes” of a single universal “Cosmic energy” called Bhagawan. This cosmic energy manifests itself in different forms at different time periods and these manifestations is what we refer to as the different deities. 

In fact, even during our earlier episodes I’ve emphasized one point – With regards to Bhagawan Vishnu Himself, it is not just that He has taken only ten “Avataras” (Incarnations). As we commonly know, right from the “Matsya Avatara” till the “Kalki Avatara”, Bhagawan Vishnu is well known for the ten different “Avataras”. But is that all? The answer is “No”! Bhagawan Vishnu has taken innumerable more “Avataras” and in fact, they run into several hundreds or thousands of them. For instance, Sage Veda Vyaasa who had authored the Mahabharata text is also considered to be one of Bhagawan Vishnu, and this is why we have this sloka as follows: 

“Vyaasaaya vishnu roopaaya vyaasa roopaaya vishnave!!”

In similar lines, Sage Kapilaachaarya too is highly regarded as another incarnation of Bhagawan Vishnu. Like this, we can keep on expanding the various “Avataras” of Bhagawan Vishnu in this world. Thus, the point here is that, there needn’t be any confusion as to why we have different deities in our Sanaatana Dharma. Ultimately we should understand that all the different deities are “unique manifestations” of one single universal “Cosmic Energy”, just like how Diamond is an allotropic manifestation of Carbon.

So for today, let us understand this important point, and let us realize that all the “Jeevatmas” in this world are associated closely with the universal “Paramatma”, which is nothing but Bhagawan. This is exactly what Sage Jada-Bharata is also referring to in this context, and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 120 – Real meaning of being a “BHAGAWD-DASA” – Illustration of Hanuman!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on how the “Atman” should be viewed differently from the “Deham”. In these lines, we’ve witnessed an interesting question pertaining to what is real “freedom”. We had an argument that all of us have obtained freedom in the year 1947, and how can we still be slaves? Why should we be slaves to Bhagawan or the Paramatma? We had an interesting answer to these questions and the important point here is that, according to our Sanaatana Dharma, there is no question of obtaining any sort of freedom from the Paramatma. All of us, “Jeevatmas” are “Bhagawad Daasas”, which means we’re all slaves under one universal leader called Bhagawan. However, there is a difference here. Unlike how the British and the erstwhile muslim kings treated us, Bhagawan is not going to to torture us in any way. Bhagawan doesn’t know the language of beating, shooting, punishing, etc. unlike few people today. He is an embodiment of compassion and love towards all His children. Given this unique characteristic of Bhagawan, it is we who’ve to “modify” our mindset that instead of being “slaves”, why don’t we voluntarily surrender to His divine lotus feet and accept Him as the universal leader? There’s nothing wrong in this, isn’t it? Of course, Bhagawan is not asking us to do all this. It is only we who should voluntarily come forward to surrender to Bhagawan’s feet. 

In fact, as we’ve seen many times earlier as well, Bhagawan is constantly waiting for us to come towards Him, birth after birth. He’s indeed giving us so many opportunities so that we can mend our ways and walk the path laid by Bhagawan. However, as normal people in this world, what is that we’re doing? We’re everytime getting carried away by the worldly pleasures that are there in this world, and are totally forgetting who Bhagawan is! We’re indeed forgetting the fact that Bhagawan is yearning and waiting for our presence with Him. Thus, unlike other “Autocratic” leaders that the world has seen, Bhagawan is a “silent spectator” and is watching all the gimmicks that we’re doing in this world, except surrendering to His divine lotus feet. Of course, Bhagawan gets upset if we do not come to Him, but due to His unending compassion, He just remains silent and keeps waiting for us endlessly. How do we account for this enormous patience exhibited by Bhagawan? Hence, we should understand here that we’re not talking about “slavery” in the way of torture, but in the context of “Bhakti”. Slavery in the form of “Bhakti” is the highest level of spiritual attainment that a “Jeevatma” can obtain. Thus, we can firmly conclude that the “Atman” is the “Daasa” of Bhagawan and all the “Jeevatmas” are connected to the “Paramatma”, which is Bhagawan Himself. 

Moreover, we can infer yet another valid reason as to why we should be the “Daasa” to Bhagawan, rather than being a “Daasa” to somebody else. It is always worth of being Bhagawan’s “Daasa” because it was He who created us in the first place. It is He who has given us a sense of purpose in this life. It is He who has given us a good family, good education, good job to earn a decent living, fair amount of time and opportunities to lead a spiritual and a peaceful life. It is He who has made sure that we’re safe and secure amidst so many things going on around the world. Moreover, above all of these things, Bhagawan is an epitome of charm, handsomeness and beauty. If we see Bhagawan in front of us when we go to a temple, can we ever have the heart to take our eyes off His beautiful form? This is why we say that rather than forcing ourselves to be a Bhagawad Daasa, if we look at Bhagawan, the very charming beauty of His, would automatically make tears fall from our eyes. This itself means that we’re surrendering unconditionally to Bhagawan, isn’t it?

We can witness a beautiful anecdote from the Ramayana to illustrate this point. When Hanuman sees Bhagawan Rama for the first time, what happens to Hanuman at this point? Initially when Sugriva and Co. spotted two handsome young men walking towards the Rishyamukha mountain at Kishkinta, he got scared and thoughtful as to who these two men were. Thus, Sugriva sends Hanuman to find out details of these two young men. Hanuman sets out for the mission, not with his original form – He initially disguised himself to be a “Sanyasin” (Saint) and approached Bhagawan Rama and Lakshmana. Hanuman’s thought process was very simple – He should obtain all the details from these two young men, but he shouldn’t disclose an inch of his and Sugriva’s identity at any cost. However, what happened when Hanuman came in direct contact with Bhagawan Rama was something ironic and exactly the opposite of Hanuman’s agenda. The first reaction of Hanuman after seeing Bhagawan Rama in front of him was that he was moved to tears of joy! Something was attracting Hanuman towards Bhagawan Rama and he directly fell on Bhagawan’s divine lotus feet! The first words that Hanuman spoke was, “I’m Hanuman, minister of Sugriva!” We might wonder that Hanuman’s agenda was never to disclose who he was, but now what has happened to him after he saw Bhagawan in front of him? He was moved with devotion and at that moment itself, Hanuman became “Rama-Dasa”! From that day till today, Hanuman remains the same and indeed he feels proud of being a “Rama-Dasa”, isn’t it? 

Thus, we’ve to ask a question here – Is Hanuman forced to be a “Rama-Dasa”, or is he voluntarily being a “Rama-Dasa”? The answer is very simple from the above explanation – Hanuman is voluntarily being a “Rama-Dasa” out of his love and devotion towards his hero, Bhagawan Rama. At every instance after this, Hanuman had embedded Bhagawan Rama into his heart, isn’t it? This is the real meaning of being a “Bhagawad Dasa”. So for today, let us understand this point clearly with the Hanuman example, and let us wait till the next episode to continue this point further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 119 – Is Bhagawan an “AUTOCRATIC” or a “DEMOCRATIC” leader? An interesting discussion!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the continuation of the discussion on the “Adhyatma Dharma” and this time with a beautiful analogy of a flute (A musical instrument). Sage Jada-Bharata had earlier said that the “Deham” and the “Atman” have to be viewed as separate entities and not as something that smudge on to each other. If one sees the “Deham” and the “Atman” together, he / she is going to get carried away with all the worldly pleasures and ultimately the dream of attaining “Moksha” is going to constantly be elusive. However, if one tries to separate the “Deham” and the “Atman” and views both of them as separate entities, he / she can clearly distinguish which are the worldly pleasures and which is required for the upliftment of the “Atman”, which is necessary to attain “Moksha”. In that way, we should also infer that the “Atman” inside all living beings are the same and it is only the “Deham” that is different from each other. Sage Jada-Bharata had compared this philosophy with that of a flute – Just like how air can only be the same that enters into the various holes of the instrument producing the musical notes, the “Atman” is the same in all living beings across the world. Just like how there are different holes through which the air passes in and out, the “Deham” of all living beings are different in nature. This is a very important and an interesting analogy given by Sage Bharata and this is something that all of us need to understand clearly as we move on further. 

As we proceed further, we should also remember this important point that the “Atman” that we’re talking about here has a common feature – It is the “slave” of Bhagawan. I specifically use this term called “Slave” for a particular reason. In Sanskrit, this term can be translated into “Dasa”. Thus we can say here that all “Atmans” in this world are “Bhagwad Dasas”, which means, “Bhagawan’s slaves”! This is the single commonality amongst all the “Atmans” (“Jeevatmas”) in this world. In other words, all the “Jeevatmas” are the slaves of the “Paramatma” who is none other than Bhagawan Himself. This is an allied point that we’ve to remember, which is being emphasized beautifully by Sage Bharata here. 

As we say thus, we might have a big doubt – How can we call ourselves a “slave”? Isn’t it wrong? We all got independence in 1947 from the British rule, didn’t we? Before the year 1947, of course all of us were literally slaves under the then viceroys of the British. However, we’ve obtained freedom and yet, how can we call ourselves slaves? This is the gross difference between the constitution of a country and our Sanaatana Dharma. According to the constitution of India, of course all of us are independents and nobody can exert control over us for anything. However, according to the Sanaatana Dharma, the concept of freedom from “Paramatma” is never accepted. We might have obtained freedom from the British, but we can never obtain any freedom from Bhagawan. We should always abide by the “rules and regulations” that Bhagawan has laid down in the Vedas and Upanishads, if we’ve to attain “Moksha”. Else, we’ve to keep on taking birth after birth due to our accumulated “Karma”. Thus, we can see here that there is nothing called “freedom” when it comes to the relationship between the “Paramatma” and the “Jeevatma”. The “Jeevatma” is always and any day a “Dasa” of the “Paramatma”. 

We might look at this in another angle too – Yes, we’ve got freedom from the British in 1947, but do we have the authority to frame any rules, any regulations on our own? Can we frame our own laws in the country? Just because we’ve got freedom, can we go on a rampage in stealing things, killing others, etc.? At least, normal people like us cannot do all this, isn’t it? Of course I’m not talking about the political class here. Thus, if we’re unable to frame our own laws, rules, etc. for our living, how do we say that we’re free? We still abide by the constitution of India, isn’t it? Hence, where is the freedom here? My answer for this would be – Yes, we do not have freedom in all these aspects. However, we have the freedom to “elect” our leader isn’t it? We do have elections to elect the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, etc., who in turn take up the responsibility to frame the laws of the land. Thus, we as citizens of the country do not directly frame the laws, but we elect someone on our behalf who can frame the laws, isn’t it? This is why we call India as a “Democracy”. However, before 1947, we did not have this luxury – We were imposed with the leadership from the British. We did not have the right to choose the leader, but we were destined to be under someone by force. This is the difference between having freedom and not having it. 

Now how do we link this analogy to Bhagawan? Why should we consider ourselves as Bhagawan’s slaves? It all depends on the mindset, isn’t it? We can witness this concept in two ways – We can either consider being under Bhagawan as a “forced leadership” upon us (Like the British), or we can consider this as a “democratic leadership” (Like how we have in India today). Of course, all of us know how kind and compassionate Bhagawan is. Hence, why can’t we create a mindset within us that Bhagawan is a “democratic leader” and not a “forced” or an “autocratic” leader? Is Bhagawan coming to us every now and then and scaring or scolding us? Is Bhagawan coming with the stick everyday to beat us? Is Bhagawan forcing anything on us? The answer to all these questions is a big “NO”, isn’t it? If such is the case, we can infer here that we do have freedom for whatever we want to do, but the freedom is “democratic” in nature, just like how in India we have rules and regulations, and at the same time we have freedom as well. This is the real meaning of the term “Bhagawad-Daasa”. 

Thus, for today let us realize the significance of this important phenomenon in our Sanaatana Dharma” and let us understand how Bhagawan is a “Democratic leader”, rather than an “Autocratic leader” to all of us. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this important discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂