Monday, March 22, 2010

Shrimad Bhaagwat Notes

Often times when I read Bhaagwat katha, I feel like revisiting some of the stories because they are so interesting. This one is the same.

Also, there are so many relationships that come up and since there are so many, just thought of keeping some notes for myself.


Born from Lord Brahma's halfbody was Swaayambhoov Manu.

Shatroopa and Swaayambhoov Manu had two sons - Priyavrat and Uttaanpaad.

King Uttaanpaad had two queens - Suruchi and Suniti. Suniti had a son named Dhruv. Suruchi was the king's favorite and had a son named Uttam.

પવિત્ર કીર્તિવાળા અને શ્રીહરિના અંશરૂપ બ્રહ્માના અર્ધશરીરથી જન્મેલા સ્વાયમ્ભૂવ મનુ. મનુએ શતરૂપા ન સ્વામી અને તેમને પ્રિયવ્રત અને ઉત્તાનપાદ નામે બે પુત્રો હતા. રાજા ઉત્તાનપાદને બે રાણીઓ હતી - સુરુચિ અને સુનીતિ. સુનીતિનો પુત્ર ધ્રુવ હતો. સુરુચિ રાજાની માનીતિ રાણી હતી અને તેનો પુત્ર ઉત્તમ હતો.


Excerpt from this same chapter:

નારદ બોલ્યા: મનુષ્યને દૈવયોગે સુખદુઃખ જ્યારે પ્રાપ્ત થાય ત્યારે સુખ થતા પુણ્યનો ક્ષય થાય છે અને દુઃખ આવતાં પાપ નાશ પામે છે. એમ માની સુખમાં કે દુઃખમાં પણ આત્મા ને સંતુષ્ટ રાખનારો અજ્ઞાનરૂપ અંધકારનો પાર (મોક્ષ) મેળવે છે. પોતાના કરતા અધિક ગુણવાનને જોઈ મનુષ્યે આનંદ પામવો (અદેખાઈ ન કરવી), પોતાના કરતાં ઓછા ગુણવાનને જોઈ તેના પર દયા લાવવી (તિરસ્કાર ન કરવો) અને પોતાની સમાનને જોઈ તેની જ સાથે મિત્રતા કરવી (સ્પર્ધા ન કરવી). આમ કરનારો સંતાપથી દુઃખી થતો નથી.

શ્રીમદ્દ ભાગવત - ચતુર્થ સ્કંધ - અધ્યાય ૮ મો - "ધ્રુવ ચરિત્ર - સાવકી માતાનાં કઠોર વચનો થી ધ્રુવનું વનગમન, તપશ્ચર્યા અને ભગવાનની પ્રસન્નતા"

Naarad said: When a humanbeing experiences happiness or sadness, they should consider happiness as usage of their good-deeds (punya) and hardships as the result of their bad-deeds (paap). The one who remains satisfied and indifferent towards both of these is the one who truly achieves liberation. When one sees someone with higher accomplishments (virtuous) than themselves, be happy for them (don't be jealous), on seeing someone with lesser number of accomplishments than themselves, be generous towards them (don't show dislike or hatred) and on seeing someone with similar accomplishments befriend them (don't compete with them). If one does this, they are not pained with anguish.

Source: Shrimad Bhaagwat, Section 4, Chapter 8 - Dhruva Charitra.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meeting "old" people

More like time-wise, than age-wise.

This past week was very exciting but that was only inside me. Outside it was just a normal week, nothing extraordinary. But inside me, I was smiling, laughing, jumping with joy, and feeling so excited I couldn't contain it.

I got in touch with some long lost classmates. Mind you, they aren't my best friends or anything but still, we shared a connection, we shared memories, we shared childhood, we shared the crazy teenage years. We went to school together (5th standard through 10th) and then college. Well, not really college but for us 11th-12th were sort of like college because we changed schools then. I got in touch with some of the brightest girls from my batch and some very sweet, others were just my classmates that I rarely interacted with, but that didn't matter. What made it so much fun was to be in touch with them 15 years later. Most of them are now happily married and settled, some doctors, some engineers, some pharmacists, and others I'm still finding out. It was like we were virtually in one room together and chatting away, sharing who was in touch with whom, who got married, who isn't, who has how many kids and what they do for living, where they live... too many OMG! OMG! moments.

I also got in touch with someone who helped save my life once. It was blessing to get in touch with him after 18 years. It just made me feel so grateful once again, for this life and reminded me of the fact that in life, what people remember are things like your attitude, your behavior more than anything else. It is how your actions leave a mark behind for someone to change their lives forever. This person has touched the lives of my family members and I such a way that can not be described. I can never be more grateful to him than I am today and will always be for the rest of my life. I was so happy to talk to him and find out how he was doing, how happily settled he is with his family. God, please bless him and his family always.

Why am I writing this? I had been thinking... you know how young kids are, remembering silly things and holding grudges and not letting go… oh wait, it's not just kids, practically anyone and everyone does that, but I used to be like that once and there were times when I didn't get along with a few of those classmates. When I got excited to meet them, I was reminded of those certain old times. It got me thinking, do I care to remember about how and what we argued about back then? Or do I just be happy to make new friends out of them? I think I choose the latter. :) I am so happy today to be back in touch with those people and wish I get to meet more childhood friends.

Oh yeah, and I also got to reconnect with some old neighbors!! :D

Friday, March 12, 2010

Why do we get married?

This topic has come up so often in recent years, more because of the age I guess, but M and I discuss this on weekly basis these days.

Question is why do we get married? Or why should we get married? Can't we be single and continue to live life like we do when we are single?

I sit and ponder often and then observe people around, couples around. One thing I've realized is that life is always more fun and exciting when shared with others. With people around us. Then again, you think, well don't you actually share your life with your parents, siblings?

It is to have someone in life with whom we belong. Someone who is our age. Someone who is different from us in how we were raised in the past, yet similar in how we will be raised in future. Someone we can tell everything to and not be afraid of what they will think. Someone who trusts us and whom we trust, with all our heart, without a single doubt. Someone we like despite of how many bad qualities or shortcomings they have because the good in them is more than enough for us to like them, love them, tolerate them, accept them. Someone we can go ask questions to when we are confused. Someone who is like a parent when we need them and someone who can become like our child when they need to be. Someone who recognizes our shortcomings and helps us overcome them or at least does not let them not bog us down. Someone who stands by us when no one else does or wants to. Someone who tells us stories. Someone who lifts our spirits when we are down. Someone that gets our good qualities out and makes us a better person. Someone who respects and cares like no one else does. Someone who makes our lives worthwhile to live. Someone to hold our hand and walk with us the journey of life. Someone who makes us experience life like we have never experienced it before... btw, this list does continue.

Someone who doesn't boss you around or control you. Someone who doesn't just think of you as a bank account. Someone who doesn't consider you their property or worse, a thing they own. Someone who doesn't treat you like a slave. Someone who respects you and earns and deserves your respect...

Well, imagine all of these people getting bundled up in one. Because they can, depending upon the arising need, they will be able to take up one of the above roles for you. And because parents, siblings, grandparents, children can not do the same thing, they come to our lives.

Now I know why we get married, rather why we should get married.