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I am an ardent blogger and a web enthusiast. My blogs include varied topics from the picturesque details of my travelogue to theology and worldly facts. My passions are reading English and Tamil classics, Management Topics, Playing Tennis and taking long walks. I live with my wife in Bangalore. Visit regularly my children in Michigan and Colorado to spend time with them and three grandsons. Please brief your opinions there in when you read my blog :-

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Srimad Bhagavatham - Chapter 19 (contd.) - Suka Appears Before Parikshit.


(Source: Velukkudi Sri. Sri. Krishnan Swamy's writings in recent Tamil weekly Tuglak  - This would serve the limited purpose to read this chapter of Sacred Srimad Bhagavatham by those who don't know to read Tamil or don't get access to the related recent issues of the  Tamil weekly magazine 'Tuglak')

King Parikshit who was overwhelmed when many great Rishis arrived at the banks of Ganges soon after his decision to renounce his body, addressed the gathering in a choked voice :- “ Today is  a day to reckon with. You all don’t go anywhere normally for no reason. I consider that it is my good fortune that all of you have assembled here and by virtue of the same, this place has become more holy and my sins are also washed away”.

A significant point needs to be understood here why Parikshit said so. God resides in our minds, so also at our homes.Why then should we visit sacred  temples?  It is because many great devout people visit these temples, sing in praise of the deities installed and also due to important religious activities being carried out at regular intervals. A devotee can feel the vibration of the Vedic chanting in the temple-atmosphere.

Parikshit pondered that he had spent most of his time in vain in worldly pleasures. Rishi Kumara’s curse might have been a blessing in disguise as it  had been instrumental for his resolution to renounce his life. He prayed to Lord Krishna with deep devotion when Devas from heaven showered their good wishes in the form of flowers. He also wished to listen to the sacred stories about Gods in the short time as only seven days were remaining for him to leave the earthly abode. He addressed the Sages:- “ It is believed that Vedas are present physically in some forms in Brahma’s Satya Loka - in a similar manner I consider that the same Vedas have come alive in the form of all of you and physically present before me. Please advise me what a person like me who is standing at the threshold of death should do?".  Suka appeared at the scene all of a sudden like lightning.

Suka who was only 16 years old was known for his laudable interest primarily in giving lectures about Gods and  narrating stories. He would wander all over with a single minded approach to search where 'Bhagavatha-Puranas' were being narrated. He evinced interest in no other matter. He was contented with what he possessed already. He had a wonderful personality with sparkling eyes, broad shoulders, long, strong hands, curly hair, good looks and a slender neck. When he appeared before them the Rishis showed their veneration and gathered around him. It was akin to a scene when Moon is seen in the center of stars and planets like Sukra. Suka appeared resplendent in his ever growing thoughts about Bhagavan. Parikshit prostrated before Suka and showered encomiums upon him. He felt that his sins took to heels just like the Asuras ran away in fear when they saw Bhagavan. He also believed that it was because of his faith in Lord Krishna, Suka was present when he was about to die. He also told Suka that it was Krishna’s blessings  that brought victory to Pandavas over Kauravas in the Kurukshetra war that ended not long ago.

Parikshit added that it was Bhagavan who would beget a  Guru and in turn it was Guru who would pave the way to access Bhagavan. Who is greater of the two? Bhagavan is akin to be 'silver'  whereas Guru is like 'Gold' - which is more valuable. The person who donates Gold is looked upon with more respect as compared to  the one who gives away Silver. By the same logic, it is very much apparent that Bhagavan who leads us to Guru goes up in the scale, as he guides us to acquire more valuable things. When viewed in another angle the Guru is placed high whereas Bhagavan is rated higher still. Both protect  every one of us

An illustration can be cited to explain this point.The lotus looks for the rays of Sun to blossom. If fire or heated charcoal is brought near, the lotus flower would  not  bloom but only wither away.  In case the lotus is plucked up from the pool of water and planted on the earth, the same Sun would not open its petals , instead the flower would 
only dry up under the heat of the Sun. The duality is clear. The Sun can  bloom the lotus flower only when the lotus is in the pool of water. A devotee when he wishes to approach God who is believed to be at a far-off place, needs the guidance and help of a Guru, as in the case of lotus.   What lesson does the lotus impart to mankind ? Jeevatmas' atma-jnana' (knowledge of the Self) brightens up, just as the lotus blossoms, for which God's grace is essential. The important tool for the connection between Jeevatma and Paramatma happens to be the presence of a Guru. A lotus has to be in water  only when the rays of the Sun can blossom the flower. The link between an Acharya and Sishya, that is 'the teacher and the taught'  is considered unique and when  ' the Guru-Sishya Bhava ' grows in stature, it paves the way for the Sishya to acquire  Bhagavan's blessings easily.

Parikshit continued-, “So Gurudeva Suka, I am to leave my body in seven days from now. Please guide me regarding the things I should listen to, meditate upon, perform or take up as an exercise or lesson before dying. I am aware when you go for 'bhiksha'  you don’t  wait for more than a few seconds at the door. In fact your stay will last the same duration it  takes to milk a cow just once. Any further delay would make you not only to deny the ‘bhiksha’ (alms), but would also lead you to fast for the whole  day. Though I am thoroughly aware of this fact, I beg you with folded hands to stay as long as it requires and impart knowledge  as to ennoble me to attain greater heights”.

Sukacharya laughed thunderously and began to address Parikshit in a loud voice.

( Skanda 1 ends here  and we will continue Skanda 2 of Srimad Bhagavatham.)



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