Bhagabad Saptaha (XVII)

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Tales of Bharat Maharaj
            Maharaj Parikhit asks Sukdev Maharaj, what happens to the dynasty of Priyabrata. Adorable Sukdevji says, Rajan, priya means pleasant/nice and brata means vow. In one’s life when one takes a nice vow, he is priyabrata. When we fast, for example today is ekadashi brata, today is dwadasi brata just like that is priyabrata.
            Maharaj Priyabrata takes a vow that; I will not let this samsara become dark out of ignorance. He achieved a divine chariot which is as bright as the sun. Priyabrata’s son is Agnidra, Agnidra’s son Nabhi and Nabhi’s son is Maharaj Rishavdev. As in the Sanatan dharma there are 24 avataars (incarnations of God), similarly in the Jain dharma there 24 tirthankara. By the touch of whose feet a place becomes sacred like a tirtha, he is a tirthankara means “tirthang karoti ja” one who makes a tirtha he is tirthankara. Jain dharma is also sanatan hindu dharma. The first acharya of Jain dharma is Bhagavan Rishavdev and in Srimad Bhagavattam he is the eighth incarnation. This Rishavdev has 100 sons; he was the emperor of the entire universe consisting of seven islands. Rishavdev’s eldest son’s name is Bharat.
            Regularly after returning back from his royal court, Rishabdev assembles all his sons and gives them advices and instructions about dharma (religious duties). If parents don’t give advices about dharma to their children they are in fact enemies.
            Rishabdev says to all his sons, now as all of you have grown up, please listen attentively to what I say, than he asks, why do we get this body, my dear sons this body is not for eating, bathing, laughing, enjoying happiness, this body is for performing austerities, this body is for associating with great souls. Rising up early in the morning and after taking bath we should meditate - think about Paramatma. Three things are to be remembered while constructing a house, first is a nice place for the Lord to stay i.e. a temple, without a temple a house is like a crematorium. In the temple the deity as if resembling a dham (God’s abode) and the food which is prepared, first it has to be offered to the Lord and to be taken as prasadam (remnant of the Lord). Not only food every item without offering it should not be used. In the residence of a Vaishnava always bhog (offerings to the Lord) is prepared not food.
            Rishabdev says to his sons, to serve the great souls is the gateway of salvation, service to the saints and sadhus opens the door of salvation and association with drunkards, gamblers, flesh traders open the door of hell. Now, that I will serve the saints, but who is a sadhu – one who accomplishes the spoiled activities he is a sadhu, sadhus and saintly persons always endeavor to relieve others from miseries and to serve them is the foremost duty. Love others but never develop any attachments. 79 sons of Rishabdev turn out to be birakta (dispassionate) and goes to the forest and Rishabdev also goes to forest to practice austerity. Many people use to approach Rishabdev with various questions but he gave only one reply – chant the holy name of the Lord Hari, all your hazards will go away and all your desires will be fulfilled. Rishabdev observed that people in this world want to see miracles, but one who is a real saint will never show any miracle, it is a job of a magician, lives of great souls are itself full of wonder, their simplicity, their intently devoted to truth these are all wonderful. Risabdev sacrifices everything, uses to roam around with a stone inserted inside his mouth. He had sacrificed bathing; wearing clothes everything and seeing his condition people do not happen to come near to him.
            Maharaj Bharat thinks his father is such a great person, such an ideal person and I being his son lying in this samsara. One must stay in this samsara as there is no other way, but samsara should not enter into him and that is sadhan (accomplishment) bhajan (worship). For instance a lotus flower which although stays in water but does not allow a single drop of water stay in its body. Maharaj Bharat also hands over his kingdom to his sons and goes to the forest. In a sacred place Damodar Kund, he absorbs in deep meditation and starts chanting Om Namah Bhagavate Vasudvaya”. This Damodar Kund is now presently in Nepal and from there emerges river Gandaki, it is very deep, covered by ice and salagram sila (black geode worshiped as the symbol of Vishnu) is only found here. If somebody wishes a salagram sila than just throw a leaf of tulasi (Basil) into its water and from twenty, thirty below the sila will automatically come out and get enclosed with the tulasi leaf. This salagram sila is mentioned as Hiranyagarbha in the Vedas, it is the direct resemblance of God. In such a sacred place Bharat Maharaj is meditating. Sacrifice should be from internal, externally I have sacrificed but internally the fire of enjoyment is burning profusely, than all sadhana will be burnt in that fire. In this Gandaki river Maharaj Bharat dips himself and performs severe austerities. If somebody chants gayatri mantra in the seven auspicious rivers likes Ganga, Jamuna, Saraswati etc. than he achieves spiritual salvation. One day while chanting when Maharaj Bharat opens his eyes he notices a wonderful scene. One pregnant deer comes to drink water in the river and hearing a roaring sound of a tiger it jumps into the river and while crossing delivers the child. But out of delivery pain and out of tremendous fear the mother dear dies, and her child becomes shelter less. As is the heart of a great saint, Bharatji is extremely merciful; he picks up the newly born child into his lap and as the baby deer was shivering out of cold, Bharat muni takes it to his asrama, lights fire out of dry wood, leaves etc. gives it proper heat and in this way saves the baby from its certain death. It is the nature of sadhus and mahatmas to do be engaged in benevolent activities. Sukdevji says Rajan, Bharat muni saves the life of the baby deer that is alright, I term it as a definition of love but now after serving for some days when it grows up it should be let loose to go and join its group, but in case of Bharat Maharaj that did not happen. His love towards the deer gradually reaches the stage of affection and attachment and this affection and attachment is the cause of binding. Bharat muni remains busy the whole day in preserving the child deer and as a result his meditation and austere activities begins to decline. The person who used to be on deep meditation the whole day now could not settle his mind upon the Lord even for a little while. One who has left his palace, kingdom for the sake of doing Hari bhajan, his heart is now totally swallowed by the deer child. The sadhus and the mahatmas had always instructed us to always chant the holy name of the Lord so that at the time of death if we at-least remember the Lord’s name once than our salvation is confirmed. As the time of death of Bharat Maharaj approaches neither Rama, Krishna, Govinda, nobody’s name but only the remembrance of the child deer appeared in his mind, who will look after it, who will feed, who will take care of it and absorbed in these thoughts he leaves his body. The scriptures says that at the time of death only think of Govinda, forget about the subjects of illusory world, because according to the thoughts which are there in you mind at the time of death that kind of body you will acquire in your next birth. Same thing happened to Bharatji, after death he received the body of a deer, but due to his sacredness and austere practices, remembrance of his earlier life did not erase. So after receiving the body of a deer when he remembered his previous life, his mind becomes filled with mortification and a deep feeling of repentance and inferiority awakens, he resolves that this kind of mistakes are never to committed again, never to do any kind of activities which binds to return again in this mortal world. Although being a deer still he does not stay with his group, the other deer eats green grass, but he eats dry leaves, and use to stay alone. In the green grass there may some worms which might get killed so he boycotts green grass. Once upon a time a severe fire engulfs the forest due to friction among the branches of dry trees, the other animals flees away but Bharat muni does not and in this way while thinking about the Lord he gives up his life. The only honest means to invest life is to do bhajan, all other duties of this samsara are to be performed in an unattached and unselfish manner and only to think of Parmatma is sadhan-bhajan.

Bharat Muni becomes jada Bharat
            After death Bharat muni gets his third birth in a house of a brahman pandit. The brahman pandit has two wives, one has one son and a daughter and the other one has twins. The younger one among the twins is Bharat Maharaj and he remembered his two previous lives.
            Bharat muni was a nice good looking young boy and his father thought that this boy of mine will one day become a great learned person. His father performs his upanayan (sacred thread ceremony) and bestows gayatri mantra in his ear. The bestowal of gayatri mantra is to attain self realization but the intention of his father was to save the priestly service. So today, gayatri, tomorrow grihasanti than Satyanarayan brata than marriage ceremony, than obsequies, etc. etc. so Bharatji thinks that it will not be proper to correctly follow the studies allotted otherwise father will try to teach more and more varieties of mantras. Noticing this kind of attitude of his, Bharatji’s father gets angry and rebukes him, but Bharatji never replied, whether it is right or wrong. Bharatji use to think, whether it is good or bad, everything is done according to the God’s will so in dissensions or factions we should always adopt a same mood. After the death of his father, Bharatji’s step mother would not behave properly with him, use to serve him stale and left over food and makes him do all sorts of household works. But Bharat Maharaj considers his food as mahaprasada (left over of the Lord) and pleasantly eats everything, never felt any trials and tribulations. Even with this insignificant meal, the body of Bharat Maharaj was very beautiful and healthy. One who holds his life taking the shelter of Paramatma all kinds of danger and obstacles are removed from his life and he achieves total emancipation. As Bharat Maharaj was driven out of his home by his brothers, he goes away to the forest. There he was caught by some aboriginal tribes who took him to Goddess Kali as a sacrificial beast, but Goddess Maa Kali reveals Herself and saves him. One who is free from all desires, indifferent, disinclined and a devoted saint, he always remains unaffected under all circumstances. Joy-grief-illusion, winter-summer, honor- dishonor these are all alike for him. The aboriginal tribes could not kill Bharat Maharaj, Goddess Kali saves him and from there he starts walking along the road without any destination, without any intention. On the way he meets Rahugana the king of Sindhu Soubir. Although king Rahugana is a truthful associate, but till now could not conquer the bodily pride. King Rahugana was traveling in his palanquin and among four of his carriers one gets ill, as three carriers are incapable, so they began to search for a fourth person. The king says, this is my kingdom all citizens are my servitor, find anyone who is coming and engage him. As there was nobody else in the road accept jada Bharat, (Maharaj Bharat was name jada (inert) Bharat by his family members as they finds him without any feelings and emotions) they engages him as the fourth carrier. Sukdevji says Maharaj Parikhit please close your eyes and feel the sight, such a learned saint carrying the palanquin of a king in his shoulder. Jada Bharat watches five steps forward while moving so that ants or any other insects is not get killed under his step and whenever his finds an insect he use to jump his steps. Now if a carrier jumps like that than what will be the condition of the rider, the king gets hurt in his head by the wooden roof and warns the carriers to drive properly. The other carriers say, forgive us Maharaj we are driving properly, but this new carrier who joined us is jumping and walking. The king warns jada Bharat to drive properly but again when some creatures comes in front, he jumps. The king gets angry and says, you posses such a fat and fresh body, but can’t you drive properly, again and again I am getting hurt. As the same thing again happens and king Rahugana angrily shouts, this person is as good as dead, from where you have brought this mad man, although I am repeating but this man does not seem to have any transformation, now if such thing happens again then I will give you such punishment that you will remember it for life. Hearing all these words, tears begins to flow from jada Bharat eyes; he becomes grave and stands still. He thinks up till now I have completed forty years of my life but never spoken a word, but today I will have to speak.
            If I don’t speak today than people will say that although a learned person like jada Bharat had pulled the king in his shoulders but still the king remained ignorant. Going on with the palanquin, jada Bharat turns his head and glances at the king and says, king, I could not comprehend your words. The labor of driving the palanquin is felt by one who carries it, but the person who does not carry and does not drive how will he feel that labour? A person who will move upon the earth will feel labor and one who does not how will he feel. Secondly as you told me that I have a fresh and fat body but still I could not drive the palanquin properly, that is also not correct. Fatness-slimness, tall-short these are all properties of the body, than king, how can you notify me as being fat or slim. Thirdly you said, although you are living but as good as dead, king in this life living and dead are both same. Taking birth, dying, becoming fat, thin these are all nature of the body, hunger, thirst, fear, fatigue these are all properties of life, mind and intelligence, but I am not all these, I am not this life, not this body, neither am I intelligence, I am chinmayi atma (personifying conscious soul) who had neither birth nor death. You further said you will treat me, give me punishment. Rajan when wheat is crushed it becomes flour, now if you further crush flour you cannot make anything. From the juice of flower perfume is created, but from the juice what will you create. This palanquin is just a piece of this earth, the king who is sitting inside the palanquin, whose name is Rahugana is another piece of earth and jada Bharat who is carrying is another piece. If a piece of earth is kept in another piece and another piece kept on another who will feel exhaustion. Hearing all these king Rahugana jumps out of his palanquin and falls down at the feet of jada Bharat and says, O lord, please forgive me, who are you, I am a most guilty person, I am sinful, I could not recognize you, a carrier of palanquin cannot be so learned. You have a sacred thread around your neck, so it is confirmed that you are a Brahmin and most learned. Who are you, are you Vyas, Parashar, Bashistha, Kapildev, you are you, are you Lord Kapildev, have come to drive out my ignorance. Bharatji says this is your another mistake to ask me who am I, just as I so are you and just as you, so am I. Under this great sun if thousands of pots are kept, than in each and every pot you will see the sun separately, although the sun is only one, similarly this soul is the reflection of the Supersoul and it is present in both you and me. So if you view through the eyes of wisdom than you will find that just as you so am I, So what introduction shall I give about myself. Rahuguna requests, Maharaj please explain in more simple language as I could not understand at all what you have said, please tell me with whom is this body related. Bharatji says, the body is related to the senses, senses to the intelligence and intelligence is related with the soul. When we keep a container upon fire and give water and uncooked rice in it, the fire gets related with the container and when the container heats up the uncooked rice which is inside it gets boiled and turns into cooked rice. If the body is connected with the senses, than the labor which is given by the carrier of the palanquin will be enjoyed by the senses, then by the intelligence, but the soul will not. In the container which I kept in the fire, in that container alongwith water if I keep stones in place of uncooked rice then will there be cooked rice, in this way we are transformable.
            Acharya Sukdev Maharaj explains this topic to Maharaj Parikhit. Sukdevji says, Rajan this is the specialty, that a great saintly person like jada Bharat explains atma tattwa (truth about the soul) to a proud ruler of Soubir, king Rahugana. King Rahugana asks Bharatji how I will realize the soul. Bharatji says,  Rajan the realization of soul could not be done by tapasya (austerities), neither if you leave your house and go to jungle, nor by studying large number of books, because the nature of soul is not a subject which can be expressed by language neither it is a subject of hearing. It is also not possible to see the soul because soul is only a subject of thought. Untill and unless the head gets the touch of dust which flows of the feet of a Siddhapurush (a person who had attained divine grace) – untill the time there is no satsanga (truthful association) with great saintly persons, you will not be able to realize the soul. So the only way to attain self realization is sadhu sanga, satsanga. Bharatji further says, Rajan, I was a king by the name of Bharat and have attained the satsanga of my father and heard satkatha (virtuous words) from him. Thus detachment awakened in me and I left my home, my kingdom and went to the forest. But there I got so much attached to a deer child that after my death I have to take the body of a deer, but due to the mercy of the Lord I had not lost my previous remembrance. How much fortunate am I that by the influence of satsanga and by the mercy of Lord Sri Krishna today I am wandering in this samsara unassociated, unattached. I have neither love towards anybody nor do I have any hatred and under all condition I remain equipoise.
            So Rajan, think, and at the end ask yourself who am I, what is my real nature because when the soul is realized, than only you will be able to meet Paramatma. As long as you think that these carriers are inferior and I am the king so I am superior, as long as this kind of discrimination exist in you, till that time you will not attain self-knowledge, self consciousness. So have a impartial view to everybody in this samsara. From a minute living creature upto great mahapurushas, if you view from the spiritual angle, than you will find that all are same, it is not proper to differentiate. By hearing all this, a great feeling of detachment arouses in the mind of king Rahugana and later on he abandons his kingship and absorbs in the thoughts of Paramatma.
            Acharya Sukdev says to Parikhit Maharaj, Rajan from the name of Bharat Maharaj the name of this land which was earlier called Ajanava Varsha became Bharat Varsha. to be continued
(A part of the Summary of Srimad Bhagavattam translated from the diary of Sri Gurudeb)