Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gold - Bhaktiyog

When Sayesha asked me: "Kanan, Sheesh! How much gold will you take?? :D", the first thing that came to my mind was this story and so I took this as an opportunity to share this gem of a story.

It is not about how much gold I will take, it is about gold - the real and true gold of these times, our times.

The story starts when the noble King Parikshit, who is the son of Abhimanyu and grandson of Arjun, goes hunting one day. On his way to the forest, he meets Kaliyug, who has just descended to the earth because his time has come. Parikshit challenges Kaliyug to fight against him as he can not arrive when Parikshit is alive. Kaliyug replies back saying the movement of time can not be changed as it is the nature and since it was the end of 3rd epoch (yug) "dwaapar". He then adds that if Parikshit and Kaliyug can not coexist, then the time has come for Parikshit's departure.

Parikshit had taken a vow to protect his kingdom and people so he decides to fight against Kaliyug. Kaliyug asks the king for shelter and suggests that he be given some places to stay until the end of Parikshit's life, this way his vow will not be broken and the principles of nature will also not be broken. Kaliyug accepts to limit himself to certain boundaries until Parikshit's lifespan. He asks for shelter where he can stay/dwell.

The king gives Kaliyug four places to stay: gambling (juaa), alcohol (madyapaan), lust for a woman (par-stree-sang), and violence (heensa) as these places have untruth (asatya), intoxication (mad), lust (kaam), and cruelty (nirdaytaa). Kaliyug is disappointed and says these are very limited places and that he be given some more places to stay in. King then decides to let him stay in gold as there is greed (rajogun) in wealth (dhan). The king was wearing a golden crown so that is the first place Kaliyug decides to stay in.

Right after this, the tired, hungry, thirsty king arrives near Shamik Muni's aashram but finds him in meditation. Kaliyug riding on his crown does the king no good and he eventually loses his temper and misbehaves. He throws a dead snake around the Muni's neck and goes away from there. Shringi, Shamik Muni's son returns to the aashram only to see this humiliating gesture, an insult of his father and in anger, without knowing who has done this, he curses the king that in 7 days, the Takshak snake will bite him and he will die.

When Shamik Muni finds out about the curse, he gets very disappointed at his son's actions and scolds him for being irresponsible and for using his powers to hurt someone instead of helping. He tells how such actions and the death of such a king will bring bad times to the world. The times when the "vedic aryan religion (dharma) will seize to exist, improper/bad conducts (anaachaar) will increase and there will be an increase in confusion of castes, which will arise through intermarriages". He quickly rushes to the king to tell him what has just happened. The king welcomes the Muni respectfully and listens to him. When he finds out that he is going to die within 7 days, he goes to meet Shukdevji. A wonderful conversation takes place there. Since I listened to this in Hindi, I am writing it as it is. Also, I feel that translating would not do justice to the richness of this beautiful language. Here goes:

परीक्षित: हे ब्रह्मऋषि, आप योगीओ के परम गुरु है
इस लिए मैं आप को अत्यंत महत्वपूर्ण प्रश्न करता हूँ।
जो पुरुष मृत्यु के द्वार पर खड़ा हो ऐसे मरणासन पुरुष को क्या करना चाहिए?

शुकदेवजी: परीक्षित, यह प्रश्न जो तुम ने किया है, इस में लोक हीत भी छुपा हुआ है।
क्यों की वास्तव में सभी मनुष्य मृत्यु के द्वार पर ही खड़े होते है, हाला की वोह इसे जानते नहीं है।
तुम्हारा प्रश्न है की मृत्यु के द्वार पर आया हुआ मनुष्य क्या करे?
हे राजन, इस का उत्तर सुनो...
मृत्यु का समय आने पर मनुष्य घबराए नहीं।
मृत्यु के आक्रमण से पहले ही वह वैराग्य की तलवार से शरीर की ममता को काट दे और ॐ रूपी प्रणव का मन ही मन जप करे।
प्राणवायु को वश में करके अपने मन का दमन करे. बुद्धि की सहायता से इन्द्रियों को उनके विषयो से हटा ले, और मन से भगवन की मंगलमय मूर्ति का ध्यान करते करते प्रभु के श्री विग्रह में पूर्ण रूप से लीन हो जाए।
तब मनुष्य को तुरंत ही भक्तियोग की प्राप्ति हो जाती है।
इस लिए शास्त्रों ने कलियुग में सब से सहज एक ही साधन बताया है - भक्ति।
इस लिए, हे राजन, मैं तुम्हे भगवत पुराण की कथा सुनाऊंगा जो भक्ति रस की ऐसी गंगा है की जो प्राणी एक बार उस में स्नान कर लेता है वोह फिर भक्ति रस की उस नदी से बाहर निकलना ही नहीं चाहता, उसी में डूब जाता है। वोही उस का मोक्ष है।
तुम भगवन के परम भक्त हो इस लिए मैं तुम्हे वोही भगवत कथा सुनाऊंगा जिस में श्री कृष्ण की सगुण लीलाओ का वर्णन है।
तुम्हारे अंत समय में कृष्ण-लीलामृत का सेवन ही सहाय होगा।

Source: Ramanand Sagar's Shri Krishna, Episode 2

No comments: