Posted at 21:09:43 IST on Mar 20, 2010
Storyline for the 5th Session delivered on the 3rd day of the Yajna, Morning of 19th Mar 2010
Listening to the epic Bhagavatham, Raja Parikshit had two significant questions to Sage Shuka, the narrator. First one was, is there Arth in Anarth, that is, is there meaning in meaningless, the waste? and the second one was, is there Divinity in Selfishness?
To understand the import of these two questions with clarity, one need to have overriding wisdom, that, the world is a big stage and each and everyone is a puppet in the hands of the Puppeteer whose strings cannot be seen, the all powerful hands of the Lord. The Puppet who knows the Truth is realized, and is symbolized by “I”.
In reply, Sage Shuka had King Vena’s example, who had unfortunately mistook the “I” with the lower egoistic “i’, symbolizing selfishness. King Vena, out of his ignorance had ordered to install himself (his idols) in all the temples in his kingdom, preaching everyone to worship him instead of God.
Moving deep into the story, there is a contrasting episode of King Prithu, son of King Vena, who set out to perform 100 Yajnas to undo the damages done by his ignoramus, selfish father.
At this point of time, Mother Earth, assuming the form of a cow, had run away and the king in distress called out her asking: Oh! Mother! You are supposed to provide everything to everyone, to all the beings…why are you withholding? Mother replied that her children have become so selfish in worldly pursuits, and man is busy in abusing all that Mother could provide and thus she decided to withdraw. King Prithu, by the sheer power of his righteousness and dedication, propitiated Mother with devotion and soon kingdom started raining prosperity.
On the other hand Lord Indra was much worried at the whole of the developments that he feared that King Prithu by virtue of 100 sacrifices would become powerful than him. Recognising the plight, Lord Himself approached the King with a request to stop at 99 so that Indra would be at ease. King Prithu, who is the epitome of sacrifice, implicitly obeyed the command of the Lord that ultimately made him greater than Lord Indra.
The second story for the morning session was that pertaining to King Bharata. Bharata was the son of King Rishabhdeva. The King had instructed his son into the ways of the king and the duties that he should undertake, before retiring into the forest, on Vanaprastha. Maharaj at this point made a mention of the Bharata of Ramayana who worshipped Lord Rama in the “Nirakara” aspect.
King Bharata was a righteous ruler and had conducted his duties to the best of his ability before retiring to forest on Vanaprastha. Having renounced everything his mind was fixed in the Divine.
One day the King witnessed that a hunter was chasing a deer and the deer, which was carrying, in its struggle to survive, jumped in to the water and died at the other end, after delivering a fawn, a baby deer.
Seeing the helpless fawn King Bharata felt great compassion toward the deer, and he began to feed it grass and protect it from the danger of tigers and other animals. He felt compelled to raise the deer, and becoming affectionate the King would pet it and even kiss it out of love.
With this the king who had renounced his vast kingdom, got attached to a baby deer. Having developed deep attachment with the baby deer, the king had the thoughts of the deer even at the time of his departure that resulted in him attaining a ‘deer’ birth.
The new born ‘deer’ had the knowledge of its previous births and thus having understood the folly that was committed in its previous life, it remained near a hermitage and thus attained a human birth in its next outing.
The newborn baby again had the same wisdom of the previous births. Having got the wisdom that everything is in the hands of God and he is only a puppet in the hands of the Lord, he never spoke even as he grew up. He remained ‘inert’ and thus earned the name ‘Jada Bharata’.
During the time that Jada Bharata was wondering around aimlessly he was captured by a band of thieves and murderers who were ordered by their leader to search out a fresh victim for human sacrifice to the Goddess Kali, he being desirous of having a son.
Jada Bharata was a perfect physical specimen, and being a dullard appeaed no more aware than an animal, he was considered ideal. Doing whatever he was told Jada Bharata was brought to a remote temple of Goddess Kali to be killed in sacrifice.
According to their own fanciful way, the robbers cleaned and decorated the body of Bharata. They covered his limbs in scented oils and fine garments, which they considered suitable for the ceremony. After preparation, Bharata was agreeably taken before the Goddess. He was made to sit before the statue of the Goddess while the robbers sounded music and tossed flowers.
Then the priest amongst the thieves was ready to offer the blood of this man-animal to Goddess Kali and taking a consecrated sword he raised the sharp blade above his head, ready to decapitate the great soul known as Jada Bharata…
Seeing the great devotee, Jada Bharata kneeling before Her about to be sacrificed the Goddess Kali became infuriated. The Idol of the Goddess cracked open and the Goddess Kali Herself emerged seething with anger. Her eyes burned like fire, her teeth were like fangs, and she appeared in a horrific form, as if to destroy the entire creation.
The Goddess sprang forth from the altar and snatching the sacrificial sword from the evil priest, she immediately slaughtered all the thieves, chopping off their heads and limbs. With blood spurting from the dismembered bodies of the dacoits the Goddess drank Her fill, and becoming intoxicated she began to play with the severed heads like a child plays with toys. The associates of the Goddess also appeared on the scene and drank the remaining blood. Then they began singing loudly and dancing with such force as if to crush the Earth beneath their feet. Such is the fate of anyone harming a pure devotee.
Later, at another place, a certain King of Sindhu and Sauvira named King Rahugana was being carried in a palanquin amidst a large procession en route to visit a great sage at Kapilashram. The palanquin required a replacement carrier, and it just so happened that they came across Jada Bharata during his aimless wanderings.
The King’s servants, seeing that Jada Bharata was young and strong, ordered him to carry the burden. Being attuned to allowing his remaining karma to expire he accepted the duty without protest.
When the procession again continued there was shaking of the palanquin because Jada Bharat would only step forward after checking the ground in front of him to ensure that no ants got crushed; this walking held up the other bearers and upset the palanquin. Agitated and annoyed, the King admonished his men to carry properly, and again they tried without success because Jada Bharata was in a mind of his own.
Finally, the king questioned as to why he could not carry the palanquin properly without allowing it to tilt.
In reply, Jada Bharata, gave a profound answer:
He who can be moved can be moved, but He that cannot be seen cannot be seen and He who can be seen can be seen and He who cannot be seen cannot be seen.
The Maharaj concluded the narration leaving the audience to ponder over the greater import of Jada Bharata’s profound answer that had an underlying greater wisdom.