Episode # 67 – An Aachaarya always thinks of a disciple’s “LONG-TERM” benefit – End of the first “AMSA”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the conclusion of the first “Amsa” of the Shri Vishnu Puraana. This “Amsa” had 23 “Adhyaayas” and we’ve witnessed a jist of all of it for the past 66 episodes. With this, we  now move on to the “Phala-Stuthi” of this “Amsa”, wherein Sage Paraashara is going to explain the immense benefits that one is going to attain, if he / she reads or listens to this “Amsa”. But as we move on to this important section, we’re in the midst of an important discussion as to why Sage Paraashara is giving such a detailed explanation and description to just one question that Sage Maithreya was asking. Readers would remember the question here – “How was the world created?” – And for this, Sage Paraashara has explained the answer in 22 different Adhyaayas! The answer is not over yet. In fact, he has just begun the answer and we’re going to have a huge discussion moving forward. We shall witness the answer for the question as to why is Sage Paraashara giving such a huge answer for just this one question, and then go on into the “Phala-Stuthi”. 

If we look deeply into this sequence of events, Sage Maithreya is just asking that one question. However, if we would’ve been there in that situation, we would have asked 100’s of cross questions! We would never have had the patience to sit quietly and listen, first of all! We would have raised questions thus, “Oh! I’ve just asked one question about the creation of the world. However, what is the connection between creation of the world and Bhagawan’s Varaaha and Narasihma incarnations? How do these incarnations make sense here?” We should realize that only because there’s a huge sense behind all these incarnations, is Sage Paraashara explaining here. There’s definitely a link. For instance, even if we see the sequences that led to Bhagawan Krishna giving the Bhagawad Gita to Arjuna, it was just that one question from Arjuna that prompted Bhagawan Krishna to go for the lengthy 700-sloka Bhagawad Gita. Similarly, for the Vishnu Sahasranaama too, Yudishtra is asking Bhishmacharya as to what is “Dharma” in this world. For this, Bhishmacharya is coming up with a 108-sloka Vishnu Sahasranama! We might wonder here thus, “Oh! Neither Yudishtra or Arjuna or Sage Maithreya had never asked for such a lengthy answer, isn’t it? Then, why did Bhagawan Krishna or Bhishmacharya or Sage Paraashara give such a lengthy reply?” This is where the “Aachaarya” is showering his divine grace on his disciple. It is out of the inner, deep-rooted desire of the Aachaarya to enlighten his disciple, is he giving an answer that encompasses various aspects of human life inside it. Just like how a mother wouldn’t stop giving her child only what it wants for that moment, an Aachaarya also gives all what the disciple requires for a peaceful life in the long-term. 

Thus, we should realize here that an Aachaarya is a person who always thinks about the long-term benefit for the disciple, and not just the short-term benefit. This is the difference between great Aachaaryas and normal people like us. The Aachaaryas have a foresight and a long-term thinking, which makes them give answers that would be applicable, even after so many years! This is where we had also seen at the end of our previous project – Shrimad Bhaagawata Puraana that Sage Sukaachaarya gave a huge accord about how the present Kali Yuga would span out in the coming centuries. In fact, King Parikshit hadn’t even asked for all of it, but Sage Sukhaachaarya took it upon himself to explain the nook and corner of the Kali Yuga with great foresightedness. Such is the significance of our great Aachaaryas and we should learn to respect their enormous contributions. 

With this, we shall move on with the “Phala-Stuthi” – Something that we’ve been waiting to hear for a while now! 🙂 Sage Paraashara explains thus, “Oh Maithreya! Those who are reading or listening to this first Amsa of the Vishnu Puraana would get the same “Punya” (Benefit) that they would get if they take a holy bath at the “Pushkara” lake during the Kumba Mela that occurs once every twelve years!”  We might be aware of this “Pushkara-Kshetra” wherein Bhagawan Vishnu resides there in the form of the water in that sacred lake. Thus, Sage Paraashara assuredly explains to Sage Maithreya that a person who listens or reads through this Amsa would get such a huge “Punya” in his / her life and with this, all the sorrows and sins of that person would get washed away with ease. Such is the power of this first “Amsa” and with this, we come to the end of it here. 

So for today, let us ponder over, read over and analyze each and every section of this important first Amsa and we shall wait till the next episode to commence our discussion on the second “Amsa”! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 66 – “Persistence” is extremely important to walk the spiritual path – Sage Paraashara’s important advice!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how the mind plays an important role in enhancing or deviating us from our spiritual path, and how Bhagawan’s “Chakra” signifies this wavering mind. Just like how Bhagawan controls the “Chakra” to have a go at only those who follow the path of “Adharma”, we should also control our mind and focus it towards Bhagawan. This is what Bhagawan expects from us, and this is exactly what Bhagawan Krishna explains in the Bhagawad Gita as well, with regards to the characteristics of an ardent devotee. As we understand this point clearly, we shall move towards the next important point that Sage Paraashara is going to talk about now. 

He now talks about the beautiful garland that Bhagawan is wearing – Also referred to as “Vaijayanti Maala”. This is an important accord here, and there is a reason behind why Bhagawan is wearing this. This garland again signifies our five sense organs and how they’re co-ordinated by a single element called “mind”. These are nothing but the “Karma-Indriyas”. Moreover, there are another five set of elements called the “Gnyaana-Indriyas”, which are signified by the arrows that Bhagawan is holding in His hands. Moreover, Bhagawan has a long sword in His hands, which is embedded inside a cover. This sword signifies the ‘Gnyaana”, or the knowledge, and the sword’s cover signifies the “Avidhya”, which is nothing but “ignorance. The message here is that, all of us have the “Spiritual Knowledge” deep within us, but the problem is, our “Avidhya” or the “Ignorance” is refusing to let it shine, just like how the sharp sword is not  let out by it’s cover. 

We’re seeing this even in today’s scenario too – We might read a lot about Bhagawan. We might listen to the discourses of eminent “Upanyaasakas”. We might listen to sweet music, singing in praise of Bhagawan. However, even after all of this, our mind refuses to change course, isn’t it? For instance, we attend a music concert of an eminent musician. We get raptured by the music and the “Bhakti” behind the songs that are being presented. Sometimes, we might even get tears in our eyes as we feel Bhagawan in the music. However, after the concert is over, do we still continue to realize Bhagawan? Do we still continue to think about Him? In most of the cases, we don’t! The moment we’re outside the concert hall, we start getting into the folds of the “Maya” or the “Illusion” isn’t it? This simply means that we’re still not mature enough to get into the spiritual path completely. Our mind isn’t still cooperating. Thus the point here is, although our mind knows that this is the spiritual path that we’ve to follow and although we have the spiritual knowledge deep within us to enjoy the music in the right way, we’re still deluged over the “Avidhya” (Ignorance) that we’re not able to persist on our spiritual path. This is where, “persistence” and “consistency” is very important when it comes to following the spiritual path. 

This is like playing a Test Match in the game of cricket. Just like how the batsman should wait, wait and wait till he gets the loose ball to play his shots, and just like how the bowler should be consistent enough to bowl good deliveries to the batsman, we too should be consistent in our approach towards Bhagawan. This is what Bhagawan expects out of us. There might be hurdles in the middle, in the form of various disturbances coming by our way. If we’re getting carried away by those hurdles, it is imperative that we’re letting our “Avidhya” to take over. We’re slowly starting to lose the game here. This is where we’ve to be careful. We should never let our “Avidhya” to take over our spiritual progress. If such a thing happens, we’ve to start from scratch once again, and this is where we tend to lose interest towards spiritual progress. We should thus take the resolve within ourselves that whatever comes by, we should never ever thread backwards in our spiritual path. This is where our mental strength is put under test and Bhagawan expects us to live up to this challenge. 

So with all these important points, we come to the end of the first “Amsa” of the Shri Vishnu Puraana. This “Amsa” had 23 “Adhyaayas” and we’ve witnessed a jist of all of it for the past 65 episodes. Now to conclude this “Amsa”, Sage Paraashara explains the “Phala-Stuthi”, or the benefits that a Bhakta would get, if he / she reads through this “Amsa”. We shall wait till the next episode to look at this “Phala Stuthi”, but before this, we’ve to look at yet another important message as we move on. Here, as Sage Paraashara commences the “Phala-Stuthi”, he once again addresses his disciple, Sage Maithreya. We might be wondering here – Till this point, Sage Maithreya was never to be seen. Where did he come from again, all of a sudden? We should remember this important point here that it was only upon Sage Maithreya’s question about how this world was created, is Sage Paraashara narrating the whole accord. We’ve already witnessed Sage Maithreya’s question in our earlier episodes itself. However, we might wonder here, as to why Sage Paraashara is giving such a lengthy answer for just that one question. When we say “lengthy”, the answer is spanning over 22 Adhyaayas, and counting! Why can’t he stop by just giving a “one-liner” as how most of us do today? Why is Sage Paraashara explaining things in such minute detail? What is the role of the “Dhruva-Charitra” and Bhagawan Narasimha’s incarnation here? All these questions have only one important answer and we shall witness the answer in the next episode! An absorbing discussion awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 65 – An ardent devotee of Bhagawan is the one who has complete control over his / her mind!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the significance of Bhagawan’s “Shanka” and “Chakra” that He holds in either of His two hands. We’ve seen that the “Shanka” signifies our “Pancha-Indriyas”, which are nothing but our five senses of eyes, ears, nose, taste and touch. These are collectively referred to as the “Saatvika Ahankaara” in our Sanaatana Dharma literature. Similarly, the “Chakra” represents the “Pancha-Bhootas” or the five important elements of the earth surface, comprising the earth, fire, wind, water and sky. In our Sanaatana Dharma literature, these are collectively referred to as the “Taamasa Ahankaara”. Previously, we’ve also witnessed that Bhagawan Vishnu is holding the “Gadha” in His hand, and this signifies the “Intellect” or “Buddhi”. In continuation of this, we also know that our intellect is often inn the control of the mind, which is not very stable at all times. Our mind keeps wavering here and there unwantedly, and this is represented by the revolving “Chakra” of Bhagawan. Just like how the “Chakra” is ever-revolving and is not stationary at one point, our mind is also ever-revolving all around, and is never stationary at a single point. This is where, we’ve to realize that real spiritual progress happens in a person, only when the revolutions of the mind would reduce. More the reduction of the mind’s revolution, more the spiritual progress. This is what we’ve to understand from this important description from Sage Paraashara. 

As a continuation of this point further, we should understand why Bhagawan’s Chakra” signifies the unstable mind, in a better way, as we move on. We’ve already witnessed a glimpse of it, but we shall witness this point in a bit of more detail, so as to drive home a very important point. For instance, even as we read through this episode, our mind would be wavering into so many different aspects – We might have some personal issues plaguing us, or some issues at work. Thus, even as our lips would continue reading the episode of Shri Vishnu Puraana, our mind would never be grasping it! At the end of the reading, if someone asks us what did we understand from the entire episode, we wouldn’t be able to recollect even a single point! This is the beauty of the mind here. For instance, how long would it take for us to read this one episode? Hardly 10 minutes? It is within this ten minutes, our mind revloves all around the world and comes back! Our mind would start thinking, “Oh! Are we wasting time in reading such stuff? Instead, if we could do some office work that is pending, we would get some salary hikes! What are we going to gain by reading all this Vishnu Puraana?” 🙂 

We should remember and think within ourselves thus, “Oh! We’ve invested these 10 minutes of time for Bhagawan, and we’re learning something constructively. This is an investment for us to finish off our birth-death cycle. If we’re not focusing on this in this birth, we would have to keep repeating the birth-death cycle by taking countless number of births again and again, isn’t it? Already we’ve taken so many births, and finally we’ve landed up now with the golden opportunity to learn about Bhagawan. Why should we waste it? So we should make each and every minute count, rather than wavering and oscillating here and there!” If we counter-attack our mind in this way, automatically with the passage of time, our mind would come under control. This is what Bhagawan expects from us. In His Bhagawad Gita, Bhagawan Krishna highlights this important point. He explains that His ardent Bhakta is the one who has complete control of the mind. An ardent Bhakta is a person who doesn’t get extremely happy, extremely sad, jealous about somebody, etc. Thus, when the mind comes under control, all of these characteristics would be achieved by us. It might sound very easy for all of us to say and read through, but when it comes to implementation, it becomes tough. This is why we’re repeatedly emphasizing this point over and over again. We should take a step forward to put in the effort. Once we start putting the effort, Bhagwan would automatically guide us through with His divine grace. 

The problem comes only when we’re totally reluctant to take even a single step forward. If such is the case, even Bhagawan becomes fed up after a stage. If we’re not putting the effort, even after Bhagawan gives us the opportunity, Bhagawan too starts thinking, “Oh no! Inspite of giving so many opportunities, this fellow is not taking them up! Looks like he wants to keep revolving in the birth-death cycle and doesn’t want to come out of it anytime soon!” This is where we lose out! Hence, this is why we drive home the important point here that our mind is very unstable and we’ve to somehow find out ways to control it. This is what the “Chakra” of Bhagawan signifies, and just like how Bhagawan is taming the “Chakra” to go and hit only those who follow “Adharma”, we’ve to train our mind to attain Bhagawan, and nothing else. This is what is the true characteristic of an ardent devotee as per Bhagawan Krishna! 

So for today, let us once more ponder over this important point, and let us wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 64 – Significance of Bhagawan Vishnu’s “SHANKA” and “CHAKRA”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the commencement of the next important discussion as to how all of us – Jeevatmas form tiny, yet important components of Bhagawan’s “Vakshasthala” (Chest & Heart). We’ve seen that Bhagawan Vishnu always wears the “Kausthuba” stone on His chest portion, and all of us are embedded within that “Kausthuba” stone. It is in this way, does Bhagawan gives us the respect for our ardent devotion. If such is Bhagawan’s respect for all of us, it is up to us to live up to that respect and follow the spiritual path laid down by Bhagawan. All He wants us to do is to follow whatever He says, and nothing more. Moreover, whatever He says as words of advice, is for our own benefit, and nothing is going to affect Him. Hence, isn’t it wise for us to follow what Bhagawan advises us to do? Let’s think about it as we move on with our life. 

Next, moving on further, Sage Paraashara explains how Bhagawan Vishnu is holding the “Gadha” in His hand, and this signifies our Buddhi or Intellect. Next, our “Pancha-Indryas” or our “ Five Sense organs” comprising of our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch – Are all controlled by the “Sathvika Ahankaara” and the “Pancha-Bhootas” (Five important elements of the world) are controlled by the “Taamasa Ahankaara”. Thus, both these “Ahankaaras” constitute the “Shanka” and “Chakra” respectively. If we see Bhagawan Vishnu, He would be holding the “Shanka” in one hand and the “Chakra” in the other, isn’t it? These two are very important aspects that we’ve to understand. In fact, we can see here that every aspect of our Sanatana Dharma has its own meaning in-depth. It’s up to us to understand the in-depth meaning and experience Bhagawan’s beauty. In fact, the “Chakra” that Bhagawan possesses in His hand also signifies our mind, which runs here and there crazily like a mad monkey. Just like how our mind keeps on wavering, the Chakra of Bhagawan keeps rotating in His hand, without stopping for a single minute. Of course, our mind is revolving here and there for all the wrong reasons! 🙂 For instance, we would start meditating on Bhagawan’s beautiful form, and it is only at this time we would remember what happened to our friend who was with us at office or at a restaurant! Our mind would immediately start thinking about that friend’s family history, etc. and would waver into some other person too! All these happen within a jiffy, and many a times, we do not have control over our mind, isn’t it? Ultimately we would have sat down to chant Bhagawan’s divine names and to picturize Bhagawan’s divine form! However, we would end up doing everything other than that! This is the power of the mind! However, Bhagawan’s Chakra is not going to be employed for all the wrong reasons. It is something that is going to be a death knell for all the “Adharma” that is happening around us. 

Thus, the point here is that, Bhagawan’s “Shanka” and “Chakra” has lot of significance, and for today, let us understand this point very clearly. We shall move on with the next important point in the next upcoming episode! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 63 – “VAKSHTHALE KAUSTHUBHAM” – All Jeevatmas are embedded within the Paramatma!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed some key lessons that we can learn from the “Prahlaada Charitra”, and a few words of advice for youngsters of today. We’ve witnessed how Bhagawan honors the ardent devotion of a true devotee, no matter who he / she is, no matter how old he / she is, and no matter where he / she is. We’ve witnessed the classic cases of Prahlaada and Dhruva and how these two children were able to obtain Bhagawan Vishnu’s divine “Darshan” at such a tender age, with their blind and one-pointed devotion. Both Dhruva and Prahlaada were great “Mahatmas” in their own ways, and their levels of Bhakti are some things that we’ve to learn as we move on with our spiritual progress. 

Moving on further thus, we enter into the last “Adhyaaya” called “Asthra Bhooshana Adhyaaya”. In this “Adhyaaya” we’re going to see what are the important items in this world that Bhagawan Vishnu is maintaining. Here, we’re going to see something very similar to the one that we witnessed during the Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana text earlier. We’re all constituted of “Atman” and the “Deham”, and all of us constitute the “Jeevatmas” in this world. Bhagawan is the only one “Paramatma” who resides inside all the Jeevatmas, and this is why we say that Bhagawan Vishnu is omni-present. This is exactly what Little Prahlaada too tried to make his father, Hiranya Kashibu understand many times. However, due to Hiranya Kashibu’s ignorance, he could never understand this, and finally he had to meet a ghastly end to his life. Thus, we should understand here that Bhagawan is omni-present and resides inside all of us, Jeevatmas, in this world. 

Now this is one level. If we’ve to move one level up, we’ve to understand that all of us, Jeevatmas also reside in Bhagawan’s heart! This is where our true devotion and Bhakti comes into play. Only if we have the Bhakti towards Bhagawan, would we be able to realize this second level – That we’re ingrained in Bhagawan’s heart. In fact, when we visit a temple, Bhagawan Vishnu would have a blue coloured stone in His chest portion. This stone is a very expensive one, and is called “Kausthuba”. This is why, we often see this phrase in Sanskrit – “Vakshasthale Kausthubam!” This phrase means that Bhagawan Vishnu has this “Kausthuba” stone embedded in His chest. Now, the question comes – Why is Bhagawan embedding this stone and not anything else? We’ve to understand that by embedding this most expensive “Kausthuba” stone on His chest, Bhagawan conveys the message that, all of us, Jeevatmas are equivalent of that “Kausthuba” stone! By wearing that on His chest, Bhagawan signifies that all His divine children – The Jeevatmas are embedded within that stone forever. 

This is the level of respect Bhagawan is giving to all of us. If Bhagawan is giving us such an amount of respect, isn’t it our bound duty to pay our respects back to Him? For instance, in our normal daily lives, if someone gives us some expensive gifts for our birthday or some wedding anniversary, etc. how do we react? We immediately become overwhelmed and give something nice to them again, isn’t it? In short, we reciprocate our gratitude to that person who has gifted this expensive item, isn’t it? Now, Bhagawan has gifted us with such an elite gift, and what is that we’re doing for Bhagawan, so as to express our gratitude towards Him? The best way to reciprocate to Bhagawan is through our ardent Bhakti, and nothing else! Bhagawan isn’t going to ask for money, jewellery, property, etc. as He Himself has plenty of all those! In fact, He’s the one who is giving us all the money and property that we possess today! In fact, it is all His, and not ours at all! So, what are we going to give Bhagawan back, as a token of gratitude? It’s only our ardent Bhakti – Our innocent faith that we bestow upon Him, which is going to make His heart melt! 

Next, Bhagawan is holding the “Gadha” weapon in His hand, isn’t it? This “Gadha” is obviously employed to destroy all the evil from time to time, but there’s a deeper meaning to this. Sage Paraashara explains this beautifully here – He says that this “Gadha” signifies our “Buddhi” or the “Intellect”. It is with the Gadha that Bhagawan Vishnu controls the evil from lifting its face everytime, isn’t it? Similarly, it is with our “Buddhi” or “Intellect” that we’ve to control our mind from straying away from the path of Bhakti. 

So for today, let us understand these two important points, and let us wait for the next episode to continue this important discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 62 – Important life lessons from the “Prahlada-Charitra” – A special message to youngsters!!!

In the previous episode, we had concluded the discussion on how Hiranya Kashibu was neutralized by Bhagawan Vishnu, as He incarnated as Bhagawan Narasimha. In order to honour the ardent devotion and prayers of Little Prahlaada, Bhagawan Vishnu couldn’t tolerate the atrocities of Hiranya Kashibu after the threshold limit had been breached. He burst out of the pillar which Hiranya Kashibu broke open with his weapon, quickly advanced towards him and neutralized him within minutes. With this, the treacherous Hiranya Kashibu was put to an end, and “Dharma” was restored again in the world. We also witnessed in the yesterday’s episode as to how Bhagawan Narasimha’s anger was brought down by none other than Little Prahlaada himself. As Bhagawan Narasimha was looking around with extreme anger, the Devas, Sage Naarada, etc. were starting to shake with fear. They were scared if Bhagawan would take this anger forward to destroy the entire world. However, thanks to Little Prahlaada, Bhagawan’s anger started coming down gradually. With this, Bhagawan Vishnu protected Little Prahlaada with all His divine love and grace. 

As we move on with the next set of events from here, we should witness two important lessons that we can learn from this “Prahlaada-Charitra”. First lesson that we can infer is that, Bhagawan always honours the sincere and focused prayers of His devotees, no matter who we are, where we are and what we are. We can see here that Prahlaada was afterall the child of a Raakshasa. Bhagawan could have easily discarded him because he was in a Raakshasa family. But He didn’t! He honoured Little Prahlaada’s ardent devotion by appearing in front of him at the most crucial time. Thus, we should understand here that Bhagawan Vishnu would always honour our prayers, if done sincerely. Second lesson here is that, age doesn’t matter when it comes to exhibiting Bhakti towards Bhagawan. Many of us have this “theory” in our mind that Bhakti and spiritual path is to be undertaken only by people who are above the age of 60 and after retirement! This is a wrong concept. Bhakti can be exhibited by anybody at any age. We can see here how Prahlaada exhibited Bhakti at such a tender age and thereby attained the highest Moksha. Similarly, we’ve previously witnessed the “Dhruva-Charitra”, wherein Little Dhruva too attained Moksha at such a young age. Thus, age is not a criteria for exhibiting Bhakti, and for undertaking spiritual practices. 

As I say this, on one side, it is very heart-warming to see that youngsters of today are getting into spirituality more and more. This is a good sign and I take this opportunity hereby to appreciate and applaud all the efforts taken by youngsters to promote and propagate our Sanaatana Dharma in a worldwide way. Many young and talented carnatic musicians are taking to the online space nowadays, owing to the CoVID-19 pandemic situation and their sole aim is to take our music to more and more people across the world. Similarly, I’m very happy to see many “Upanyaasams” (Spiritual Discourses) being done by youngsters and that too in the social media space such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, etc.. These are definitely some important ways through which the internet and social media space can be used in a constructive way. These youngsters are definitely setting a benchmark as to how technology can constructively be employed to reach more and more people and involve them into our Sanaatana Dharma.

All these are thus, definitely signs that the younger generation is very much interested in our Sanaatana Dharma and are very eager to follow and propagate it to the world. We should always remember that our Bhaarata Desha is the land of Sanaatana Dharma and we should never ever leave our rich tradition and culture behind for anything. This is the way forward, and I’m sure that in the coming days, months and years, more and more youngsters would take part in this spiritual journey and attain high levels in this life, as well as at Vaikunta, with our beloved Bhagawan’s grace. The most important thing here is that, just because we’ve achieved this much, we shouldn’t become complacent. We should continue this good work and take this forward to reach more and more people across the world. My request to all of you, youngsters, is to keep putting the right effort and channelize it in the right way. 

So with this note, we shall conclude today’s episode, and from the next episode, we shall move on with what Sage Paraashara has to say from this point onwards. Many more interesting “Charitras” are yet to come! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 61 – Bhagawan Narasimha assures “Moksha” for Hiranya Kashibu!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Bhagawan Vishnu incarnating as Bhagawan Narasimha, wherein, He comes out of a pillar in the form of a half-lion and half-human form, with a ferocious demeanour that shakes the entire world with fear. Bhagawan Vishnu is extremely angry on Hiranya Kashibu for all his atrocities on Little Prahlaada. Thus, Bhagawan Narasimha swiftly makes a move towards Hiranya Kashibu, grabs him with His extremely powerful hands, takes him to the entrance of the palace, places Hiranya Kashibu on His lap, tears open his chest portion with His sharp nails and devours the blood from his heart, without a single drop of the blood spilling out on the floor. Hiranya Kashibu is clearly outsmarted here by Bhagawan Vishnu – He makes sure that Hiranya Kashibu’s boons were neutralized completely, by killing him in the way that he didn’t even think of! Thus, outsmarted by Bhagawan Narasimha, Hiranya Kashibu falls to the ground dead! 

As Bhagawan Narasimha kills Hiranya Kashibu, His anger should have come down, isn’t it? It didn’t! Bhagawan Narasimha’s anger is not going to come down at all! He’s shining with His face full of anger and looking all around Him! Upon seeing this, all the Devas started fearing for their lives! Little Prahlaada too didn’t understand how to bring down Bhagawan’s anger. He was looking on helplessly, however, his devotion overpowered him, as usual. He immediately went into a state of bliss and started to pray to Bhagawan to control his anger. As this was happening, all the Devas, including Sage Naarada approached Prahlaada in unison. Upon seeing all of them, Prahlaada folds his hands and talks to them thus, “Oh Devas and Sage Naarada! I know that Bhagawan has answered my prayer. But at the same time, He is very angry at the moment. How do we control His anger and how do we save the world from His anger?” Sage Naarada replies thus, “Oh Prahlaada! Please realize that Bhagawan Vishnu has come here only to help you out. It is only out of your fervent calls, has Bhagawan killed Hiranya Kashibu and has protected you from his atrocities. So it would be appropriate if you go and stand in front of Bhagawan, so that, upon seeing you in front of Him, the anger would automatically come down!” 

According to Sage Naarada’s instruction, Little Prahlaada goes upto Bhagawan Narasimha and stands in front of him with tears of Bhakti in his eyes! Upon seeing Little Prahlaada in front of Him, Bhagawan Narasimha slowly starts calming down. His anger is coming down, and is getting transformed into love and compassion towards the little child. What an achievement is this from Little Prahlaada! With his ardent devotion, he has made Bhagawan Vishnu make a successful and a remarkable incarnation in the form of Bhagawan Narasimha! Thus, as Bhagawan Narasimha calms down completely, Little Prahlaada goes up to Him with folded hands. Bhagawan Narasimha hugs the little child with Him, with all His love and compassion. Looking at Prahlaada, Bhagawan Narasimha requests him to ask for a boon. 

The answer that Little Prahlaada is going to give now to Bhagawan, is something extremely remarkable for us to see here. Little Prahlaada replies to Bhagawan thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I don’t really have anything to ask you, other than your close proximity at Vaikunta forever. However, since you’ve asked me to request a boon, I ask you this: You know that my father was performing all these atrocities on me and on the world, out of sheer ignorance. He did not know who you were, and it is only because of this, he was trying to harm me every time. Anything that is done without the adequate knowledge, cannot be considered to be a sin, isn’t it? Hence, my only request to you, Oh Bhagawan! Please grant my father the highest Moksha, as he has had the divine opportunity to be killed by your divine hands! This is my only request!” 

As Little Prahlaada asks selflessly thus, Bhagawan Narasimha was moved! He immediately replies to Little Prahlaada thus, “Oh Prahlaada! You would definitely attain Moksha at the end of this birth. You still have lot of duties to fulfill in this world and one you’re done with them, I myself would take you personally to Vaikunta! You don’t need to worry about it. As far as your father is concerned, please understand that your father is one of my greatest devotees ever. It is only because of a curse that he was born a “Raakshasa” and had to meet such a ghastly end. However, please note that your father has already reached Vaikunta by now, and he is safe and secure. You don’t need to worry about him anymore! Now, your focus should be to practice Dharma and spread Dharma to the entire world!” 

Saying thus, Bhagawan Narasimha bids adieu to Little Prahlaada, and with this, we come to the end of the great “Prahlaada-Charitra”. We shall continue from this into the next event in the next episode, by witnessing how Sage Paraashara is going to take this along! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 60 – BHAGAWAN NARASIMHA bursts out of the pillar – End of Hiranya Kashibu!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Hiranya Kashibu interrogating and confronting Little Prahlaada straight on his face. He has had enough with the “gimmicks” that Bhagawan Narayana has been playing with him, by keeping Prahlaada as his proxy. Hiranya Kashibu thus finally asks a question to Prahlaada thus, “Oh Prahlaada! Where is your Narayana? If he has the guts, let him come and stand in front of me and engage in a battle. Why is he doing this cowardly battle with you in the front? Is he there inside this pillar in front of me?” As Hiranya Kashibu angrily asks thus, Prahlaada replies back with enormous confidence – “Oh father! I assure you that you will find Bhagawan Narayana everywhere in this world, just not this only pillar. You can try it for yourself and I’m sure you’ll be able to find Him! He is omni-present. He is everywhere! It is only your ignorance, which is not letting you see Him!” As Little Prahlaada says thus with extreme confidence, Bhagawan Narayana Himself started to shake with fear! He was thinking within Himself thus, “Oh wow! What level of confidence and trust is this Prahlaada having upon us? Now I somehow need to honour his words, else, I would end up being a huge disgrace to an ardent devotee! If I’m not honouring Prahlaada’s words today, the world would say that I’ve failed to protect my devotee. I don’t want such a bad name and reputation upon me! Hence, I’ll have to somehow  quickly get into the pillar, which Hiranya Kashibu is about to target!” 

Thinking thus, Bhagawan Vishnu recollects and reminds Himself of all the boons that this Hiranya Kashibu had obtained from Brahma, and within a jiffy, enters into the pillar! He’s all set now, for the final assault! We can witness here, how Bhagawan honours the words of an ardent devotee – No matter whether he is a child or an adult. We’ve witnessed a similar instance earlier in the form of Little Dhruva too, wherein Bhagawan had appeared in front of him, to honour his blind devotion. Here too, Bhagawan Vishnu is making sure that He’s going to honour Little Prahlaada’s words, come what may. Thus, the important lesson for all of us to learn here is that, age is not a criteria for exhibiting devotion towards Bhagawan. Many of us might have this thought in us – “Oh! Young age should be enjoyed by going out with friends, partying, etc. and Bhagawad Bhakti is only for people who are 60+ in age!” This is a huge misconception that we have. We should understand here that age is not a bar for Bhakti, and little Prahlaada and Little Dhruva are great examples of it. 

Thus, Hiranya Kashibu is also getting ready to have a go at the pillar, as he takes his weapon in hand. He slashes hard at the pillar, and out emerges a ferocious form! The light that is getting emitted out of the pillar is something that nobody was able to witness with the naked eye! A ferocious form emerges out of the pillar, with a unique physique – The upper half of the body is of a lion (Simha) and the lower half is  of a human (Nara)! Recollecting Hiranya Kashibu’s boon here – He shouldn’t be killed either by a human being or an animal. But, there is a possibility for him to be killed by a “half-human-half-animal”! Bhagwan Vishnu thus, has incarnated as Bhagawan Nara-simha – A combination of a human and a lion, so as to protect Little Prahlaada! As Hiranya Kashibu’s atrocities have reached the threshold, Bhagawan Vishnu has had enough with him! He’s going to be taken to task and is going to be shown his place! 

Bhagawan Narasimha emerges thus, out of the pillar with all His fury. He quickly advances towards Hiranya Kashibu, grabs him with both His hands, takes him to the entrance of the palace. We should recollect Hiranya Kashibu’s yet another boon here – He shouldn’t be killed either inside or outside the house. This is why, Bhagawan Narasimha takes him to the entrance of the palace, which is neither “inside” nor “outside”! We can see here how Bhagawan can outsmart anybody, who might even perhaps have the greatest of the great boons in this world! He thus grabs Hiranya Kashibu to the entrance of the palace, sits down on the ground and has him on His lap! Again, recollecting Hiranya Kashibu’s boon here – he shouldn’t be killed either on the ground or in the “Aakaasha” (Air). Thus, Bhagawan Narasimha was smart enough to have him on His lap, which was neither the ground, nor the air!

With this, all of Hiranya Kashibu’s boons were neutralized, and with his immense fury, Bhagawan Narasimha tears open Hiranya Kashibu’s chest with His ultra-sharp nails! Even before Hiranya Kashibu can react a bit, Bhagawan Narasimha was quick enough to tear him open and cut him to pieces! Hiranya Kashibu was in a pool of blood and with that, he passed away! Little Prahlaada was saved and Hiranya Kashibu’s atrocities come to an end! Thus, Bhagawan Narasimha finishes off Hiranya Kashibu and we can see here, how Bhagawan’s fury was beyond description if His ardent devotee was harmed by someone! There’s a very important lesson that we’ve to learn from this point, and we shall wait till the next episode to witness that! We shall also see what happened to Prahlaada and Bhagawan Narasimha after this! An absorbing episode awaits us tomorrow! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 59 – Bhagawan Vishnu gets ready for the “Final Assault” on Hiranya Kashibu!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed the “poison bid” too ending up in failure, as Hiranya Kashibu is clearly being outsmarted everytime. Little Prahlaada is not going to change an inch from his position. Hiranya Kashibu is clearly running out of options now – He has tried the elephant bid, only for the elephants to worship Prahlaada! He has tried the mountain bid, only for Little Prahlaada to come back unscathed! He has tried the ocean bid, only for Little Prahlaada to come back unscated again! He has tried the snake bid, again, only for Little Prahlaada to be worshipped by Bhagawan Adisesha! Finally, as the poison bid also goes for a toss, Hiranya Kashibu was feeling embarrassed on one hand, and on the other, he decides that the time has now come to take Bhagawan Narayana head on. Hiranya Kashibu’s ego doesn’t allow him to concede defeat, even though he knows that all his bids are being foiled one after the other. There is no point in taking on Little Prahlaada any more. Instead, Hiranya Kashibu decides to take on the “invisible” hand that is making Prahlaada escape every time. 

Thinking thus, a firm decision is made here – Hiranya Kashibu calls upon Prahlaada and talks to him thus, “Oh Prahlaada! You’re always talking about this Narayana everytime. You’re chanting only his name all the time, isn’t it? Can you show me where is this Narayana? Where will I be able to see him? I would like to take him on and prove to you that I’m stronger than him!” Upon hearing thus from his father, Little Prahlaada, being a Mahatma, doesn’t know whether to laugh or to cry! He laughs a bit upon seeing the foolishness and ignorance of his father, but cries a bit upon seeing a tragic end to his father in a short while! Thus, with mixed emotions, Prahlaada replies to his father – “Oh father! As I had mentioned earlier too, Bhagawan Narayana is omni-present! He’s there everywhere. It’s upto you to feel and experience His presence. I cannot show a single place where He would be, and where He wouldn’t!” 

As Prahlaada answers thus, Hiranya Kashibu wasn’t very satisfied. He decides to probe more and get to the bottom of this mystery. He asks again to Prahlaada thus, “Oh Prahlaada! Don’t give me such ridiculous answers! I’m fed up of all this now. If this Narayana has the guts, let him come in front of him and I shall show who this Hiranya Kashibu is! I shall show him his place. I shall directly seek revenge for what he did to my brother! Ask him to come out of his hiding place, if he’s not a coward! If he has that much strength, why is he using you as a proxy to outsmart me everytime? Why isn’t he coming out in the open, to fight against me?” As Hiranya Kashibu angrily proclaims thus, Prahlaada repeats his answer – “Oh father! Bhagawan Narayana is not a coward as you think. He’s the savior of this world and He would always be. He is not someone who wouldn’t respond if an ardent devotee calls upon Him. He would definitely come if you call Him with Bhakti!” 

These words of Prahlaada still irk Hiranya Kashibu more! Meanwhile, Bhagawan Vishnu is also watching all of this carefully. He is now preparing for the final assault of Hiranya Kashibu, as the time is nearing. Bhagawan Vishnu is waiting to honor the little devotee’s words, and is wanting to see where this conversation is leading to. Hiranya Kashibu, after a heated verbal duo with his son, asks one final question thus, “Oh Prahlaada! If that Narayana is present everywhere as per your words, is He present inside this pillar that is standing opposite to us? You’re saying that Narayana is omni-present, isn’t it? So as per your logic, he should be present within this pillar too!” Upon these words, Little Prahlaada too goes all out and proclaims to his father back thus, “Oh father! Without a doubt! Bhagawan Narayana is very much into this pillar as well!” Thus, Hiranya Kashibu has one last go at Prahlaada – “Oh Prahlaada! Now let us have a contest here – I’m going to now blast this pillar with my weapon. If Narayana appears from within this pillar, you win the contest! If he doesn’t appear, you lose the contest and with the same weapon, I’m going to blast you to death!”

This is it!! Bhagawan Vishnu was waiting for something like this to happen! He now has to honour Little Prahlaada’s words that He is present inside this pillar! So He quickly gets ready for the final assault, and enters inside the pillar, as the conversation is going on! Now what is Bhagawan Vishnu’s strategy going to be? How’s he going to take on Hiranya Kashibu? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out! A gripping final assault awaits us! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 58 – The “Poison bid” fails too – Hiranya Kashibu runs out of options!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed Hiranya Kashibu’s “snake bid” ending up to be a failure. Previously, the elephant bid, mountain bid and the ocean bid ended up in the same result too, and with the snake bid also falling apart, Hiranya Kashibu is clearly getting jitters within himself, more than ever! He now charts out a plan – Perhaps, one last plan, before he decides to take on Bhagawan Vishnu head on. Rather than depending upon other people to kill Prahlaada, he decides to take it upon himself to do the needful. Now the strategy changes a bit – Hiranya Kashibu is directly going to give poison to Little Prahlaada and kill him straight away! The plan was made! He thus comes with a cup full of poison and talks to Prahlaada thus, “Oh Prahlaada! Even now it is not too late. You’ve betrayed me as a son, for all these days. Atleast now change your mind, and turn yourself away from that Narayana. Chant my name. Please realize that Narayana is our enemy and you’re insulting me by following the footsteps of our enemy, more than your father! Change your mind now, else you’re going to meet with a ghastly end to your life. Here’s a cup of treacherous poison. If you’re not changing your mind now, I’m going to make you drink this cup of poison in front of me!” 

As Hiranya Kashibu poses the “poison challenge” thus, Little Prahlaada is unmoved as usual. He’s as solid as a rock. He replies to his father thus, “Oh father! Please realize that Bhagawan Narayana is not our enemy. He is our savior. If you’re devoted to him, He is the most compassionate person in this world. Hence, my devotion towards Bhagawan Narayana is unending, and it shall be that way, no matter what happens to me. Even if I’ve to consume this poison and die, I’m happy to do so, because ultimately I’m sure that Bhagawan Narayana will take care of me and perhaps this is the way through which I’ve to attain Moksha. If that’s the case, then I’m very happy to consume the poison that you’re going to give me. However, I’m not going to change my stance for all these things. Nobody else in this world can be a savior other than Bhagawan Vishnu!” 

This firm and stubborn answer from Prahlaada frustrates Hiranya Kashibu to bits. Every word that Prahlaada spoke were like “swords of insult” thrown upon Hiranya Kashibu. He thus decides that he has had enough with this little reckless boy! He’s not going to change his mind even a bit. Hiranya Kashibu thus decides to go ahead with his “poison plan”. He thus hands over the cup of poison to Prahlaada and orders him to consume it in front of him. Little Prahlaada obeys! He consumes the cup of poison, and is becoming still with Bhaagwan Vishnu’s “Naama-Sankeertana” (Chanting of Bhagawan’s divine names). As the poison enters into the little child’s body, he becomes blue in color with the impact of the poison. This is a critical time yet again, wherein Bhagawan Vishnu had to act! He has to come to the rescue of His ardent devotee once again! As Prahlaada is calling out to Bhagawan Vishnu for help, Bhagawan Vishnu immediately responds by making sure that the poison has “Zero” impact on Prahlaada! As minutes pass by, Little Prahlaada is recovering from the impact of the poison, rather than deteriorating! Thus, finally, to the utter surprise and horror for Hiranya Kashibu, Little Prahlaada opens his eyes, only to be safe and secure, despite the poison being so intense and powerful enough to kill anybody! 

Hiranya Kashibu couldn’t believe his eyes here! He has given the poison in person to Prahlaada, and still, he managed to escape unscathed! Till now, he had doubted his people whether they had executed the punishments to Prahlaada properly or not. But now, that doubt has been cleared. It was not the fault of the people, but it is Bhagawan Narayana who is playing an “invisible hand” in protecting Prahlaada everytime! Hiranya Kashibu is perplexed for a moment, and doesn’t know how to react! Now what is going to be his next move? Is he still sticking on with his plan of taking Bhagawan Vishnu head on? Let’s wait for the next episode to find out! Stay tuned! 🙂