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Dev-Putra (contd.)

For an ambitious King, his army is the reflection of his aspirations; greater the army, better the chances for his conquests and when in n...

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Golden Sandals

My past few blogs were focused on the exile commandment for Shri Ram and different perspectives had been showed since. We all know what happened at last; in spite of all the labor Bharat did to make sure Shri Ram's comeback, he had to accept what was already scripted by the almighty.

According to Valmiki Ramayan; before giving in, Bharat left no stone unturned to ensure Shri Ram's crowning. He sat on strike to change his decision, he even volunteered to live the exile in Shri Ram's place, Everyone watching the brothers debating for each other’s good was overwhelmed; not just the civilians, even the scholars were bemused. Both of them were right with their set of rationale, one brother was setting highest standard for truth, honor, pride, responsibility for an ideal son whereas another brother was himself an idol of a true brother whose love, devotion and adherence mesmerized everyone.
Shri Ram was dazed with Bharat's persistence but refused to revoke their late father's command. Vashishth for the first time was in a perplex as what to say and whom to support as both were royalties and right on their part.
It was that time when the cosmic sages decided to intervene, they were aware about the prophecy and
Narayarn’s incarnation and the very motive of it; Raavarn’s end. They reminded Bharat of his late father's commitment and the condition put by Kaikeyi(only Ram had to live in exile).


Bharat's plight was pitiable, with a heavy heart and tears in his eyes he asked Shri Ram to step on a pair of gold plated sandals for once as  a symbolic gesture of his presence in Ayodhya. He bowed before the sandals and announce that for the coming fourteen years, those sandals would be placed at the royal throne and he would serve the kingdom affairs staying in Nandigram
So this was the unforgettable legend of Bharat; no brother had been like him till date, he had shown world the real devotion towards a brother. He stayed complete 14 years in valkals and jatas, served the sandals as a king and looked after the kingdom efficiently.
Whoever listens this part of the legend, praises Bharat for his unconditional devotion. Still there are minds who tend to think different, I sincerely thank them as it is their curiousness that a fairer picture of Ramayan comes out every time a query raised.
"Did Bharat had those gold plated sandals(chararn paduka) along with him all the time, when he was confident for his efforts why did he brought them, was that on purpose?"



Certainly a big NO; he was Shri Ram's brother, he had the element of Narayarn, doubting his intent is as pointless as doubting Sunrise, no matter how dark the night is, it is bound to happen.
He never ever aspired the throne, he always visioned himself serving his elder brother the way a devotee does. But he also knew Shri Ram; he saw a minuscule chance of his success and for that he decided to play against all odds. Kaikeyi put the exile condition very cleverly, it couldn't be revoked and Bharat tried to counter it by offering a switch(he living the exile in Shri Ram's place). Whether he would succeed or not, he needed Shri Ram's graciousness in either condition and for that he took those golden sandals with him; if Shri Ram would have agreed to Bharat's request, then also he would have requested Shri Ram to step on those sandals so that he can live the exile worshiping them. Inside, he knew the rarest chance of it and that's what happened, those sandals acted as cicerone in running the kingdom.

That's the affection and sanctity an ideal relationship demands; so out of touch in present times ain't so, well that is the reason of our miseries too. We cry foul for our sufferings alleging others when we ourselves are not honest(neither with others, nor with ourself). The world doesn't need a hero, it needs trueness and compassion in every individual's heart and mind. Within moments, the new year will arrive bringing new hopes and happiness. This new year; be yourself, be humane.

Have a joyous 2016. 
"a true relation never needs attestation"
'सियाराम'
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Friday, December 25, 2015

Anouncement

    It all started three years back when I decided to pen my thoughts and boy what a journey it has been since, and this is when I haven't even started yet. The passion of writing kindled inside me when I decided to put Ram-katha in front of the world to let know it's actual perspective. I invite you to visit my page:

    Check out my website for all updates with regards to my literary works:


    I seek your best wishes and support to put forth my efforts.
    'सियाराम'

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Saints of Aryavart(contd.)

We will start from where we ended last; everyone was astounded to what Jabali tried to preach Shri Ram. His materialistic words that disapproved spiritualism, the very basis of dharm, for a moment created discomfort around putting the wisely sages in a tight spot. And it happens when an acclaimed sage or intellect decides to play contrary. They were also anxious as how Shri Ram will deal with this new school of thought, he being the supporter of ideals and traditions those coming straight from the vaidas(being rational).

But Shri Ram was steady and calm like always, his composure never got disturb by any situation. Though there was more gravity in his talks this time; he not just addressed Jabali, but everyone around, explaining every aspect of dharm that Jabali tried to counter. Dharm, that acts as a guide, as a companion for all mankind to live an ideal life also saves from any involvement in peccancy.  It directs their conduct and thoughts towards truth without getting corrupt and the ones who disbelieve never gets respected in the society. It is the conduct of  a person that describes his/her roots, whether he is pure or distorted.
The conduct that Jabali preached might make a man look noble if he follows it but in reality it would be un-sanctified, it was actually adharm in the guise of dharm.

' I will be the corrupt one and will be taken as disgraced, if I follow to whatever you just said. Charity, rituals, ascesis and vaid- these all stand on a strong basis of satya, therefore everyone should be truthful and so am I and I swore on truth following my father’s oath and why shouldn’t I do it? I won’t  betray my father breaking morality by following your instructions. Whatever sin a man commits from his body is first well thought in his mind, only then he is able to deliver it through his words and action, and it happens whenever there is absence of vaidas, shastras.'
{Valmiki Ramayan; Ayodhya Kaand; Chapter 109}

He further  spoke on the essence of vaidas that is only possible from the divine inspiration that comes from the devotion one has towards the almighty. In this earth, it is the sages who educate the being, the gist of dharm delivering him/her towards emancipation. The existence of a soul/spirit cannot be denied(even modern science validates it) and so are the rituals which connects the alive to the deceased. Yes the rituals performed in the shraddh karm promote donation, but that's a miniscule dimension of the real picture. A soul is indestructible and immortal, it originates from the almighty and arrives in this mortal world through a body that is mortal. A body is a mere mode for a soul to function, it will deteriorate after a span of time but the soul is eternal, it will travel other realms based on the deeds it performed through the body and then again will be born with a new body(look around, take your smartphone for instance, functions amazing, isn't so. But without the battery it's nothing, the battery too functions with the help of electric charge. With the course of time, the smartphone and battery will perish, what will remain is electric, likewise, a human body is nothing without a heart and brain, but they too can't function without a soul). A death happens to a body, but the souls remain alive and hence can connect, the rituals of shraddh karm are the means of communication between us and the deceased, physically we make the donations in the form of food and clothes, but it is our true devotions and emotions that connects our soul to the deceased's  and the services reaches them hence.
Jabali was a virtuous sage, he was aware of what Shri Ram told, he apologized to Shri Ram and others for his behavior as he did so to induce Shri Ram so that he might change his mind. Vashishth also assured Shri Ram of Jabali's motive.
So this was sage Jabali; as I told in my last post, he was neither a revolutionary nor an atheist, but a royal sage who tried a different approach in order to propel Shri Ram, that's it.
The mentioning of Bharadwaj's and Jabali's episode shows a different side of our saints. Usually what we read or hear is they being preaching, teaching or penancing. Grand hosting or hate speech is never found in our scriptures(the welcoming of Vishwamitra by Vashishth was limited to edibles).
My friend asked once whether other sages also were this powerful and did they indulged themselves in such pleasures?

My answer; not just Bharadwaj, there were many profound sages who were equally or more powerful, yet composed. We need to understand the essence of a sage’s life, he doesn’t perform ascesis and achieves miraculous boons and powers for his enjoyment, he does attain them for society's benefit, the only reason why that is, as only that person can be a sage who is free from all desires and has won over his senses. There’s not an obligation to be a sage as even anyone can get booned by the Gods or devas through ascesis but that is for him only, but sageship is meant to be for the society’s good and that’s what Bharadwaj did. He was pleased by Bharat’s will and devotion so he used his tapobal to greet them for a day. Another merit of doing so was that the huge army that Bharat brought was motivated with it as they were personally serviced and now they could go ahead with new energy.
Our saints laid the basis of this world's civilization; Vishwamitra, who founded the Gayatri Mantra, Dadhichi on whose bones was the mighty Vajra was made, Gautam laid the foundation of Dharm-Sutra, Kashyap who was the father of the humanity and all other races and so many sages were there to guide humanity. They are and will always be the reason of our pride, a few incidents what we see or hear today won't change this truth. Such individuals are not eligible to be acknowledged as a saint who doesn't have in them to qualify, humility is the biggest prerequisite and they lack it. What we must learn that a few bad examples won't change our legends, we will be able to identify the good ones only if we are aware of our heritage.
Like I always say, be proud.

"One must be open and know the subject thoroughly in and out and then arrive at an opinion"
 'सियाराम'


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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Saints of Aryavart

Today there won't be any alluring prelude, we will get straight to the point and look over two scenarios:

Bharadwaj: On his journey to bring Shri Ram back to Ayodhya, Bharat first met Guh after being advised by Sumantra(he dropped Shri Ram at Shrungverpur, Guh's district). Guh not only helped with all his means but also accompanied him to Prayag(Allahabad) where a great sage was based and who was well versed with the whereabouts of the aranya(forest area) that lied ahead. Sage Bharadwaj, a renowned sage who also helped Shri Ram guiding him towards Mount Chitrakoot. Bharat and sage Vashishth decided to consult him  before proceeding further in the dark.


Bharadwaj advising Shri Ram to base at Mount Chitrakoot
The prince didn't receive a warm welcome from the sage, 'you are ruling Ayodhya aren’t you, then what brings you here. Be truthful as I don’t feel right about you, I am not able to have faith on you. The great son who spread cheer everywhere was banished by your father due to a woman for 14 years. Are you here to eliminate him so that you can rule without any hurdles?'
{Valmiki Ramayan; Ayodhya Kaand; Chapter 90; Verse- 10-13}

But Vashishth cleared all his doubts, he was pleased to see Bharat's devotion and blessed him for his sanctity. He then expressed his wish to host Bharat and the people with him and thus, asked him to accept his hospitality for the night.   
Bharadwaj then invoked Vishwakarma and other devas to make arrangements and requisites for Bharat's reception.
Within moments, grand arrangements were made; a light and cool breeze started prevailing in the air that with its touch soaked the sweat, a spin drift of flowers from the clouds fragrant the ambiance. Gandharvs and nymphs arrived  to entertain the guests with their dance and music, the whole environment transformed divine and magical. Land of closed sides were balanced and dense grass was all over there that shined like blue sapphire and emerald. Square shaped mansions for people and stables for elephants and horses emerged. Maireya(a wine made from date palms), sura(a kkind of wine) and water as fresh and sweet like sugarcane juice along with range of delicacies were presented to pamper every individual. It was a dream come true for the citizens of Ayodhya, everyone was witnessing an absolute heaven on earth, no one had any desire left that evening and even the animals were deeply contented.
A divine palace that gleamed synonymous with the white clouds emerged for the royal family, it was enriched with all facilities. With Bharadwaj’s permission Bharat entered the palace with his family as well as the ministers and the sages, they all were amazed with it's ostentatious beauty.
The palace offered a royal throne and an umbrella over it. As Bharat looked at those, he saw Shri Ram' glimpse there, joining his palms; he bowed the throne and be-seated at the minister’s seat.
The wondrous night passed and the new day arrived with the sunrise. People of Ayodhya were still bewitched with the ecstatic evening they experienced. Bharat took Bharadwaj’s permission as well as his assistance to depart for Chitrakoot and left for his pursuit.

Jabali: The reunion of Bharat and Shri Ram was an emotional moment, everyone surrounding them praised both brothers for the affection they shared. But soon things turned serious when Bharat asked Shri Ram to take the throne, ' bhaiya, our father fulfilled my mother’s boons and then she presented this kingdom to me. Now, I present this kingdom at your service, kindly rule it as per your accordance.You are the only rightful person who deserves to rule this great kingdom of Ayodhya.'
{Valmiki Ramayan; Ayodhya Kaand; Chapter 105; Verse- 4}

Shri Ram humbly refused to Bharat urge, reminding him of the boons that their father promised Kaikeyi as well as the famous Raghukul pledge "prarn jaye par vachan na jaye"(live up to your words, even if you loose your life). Even after rounds of debate no outcome could be derived. Bharat refused to give up, but he was loosing his point against Shri Ram's firmness that was driven by righteousness. The wise sages were also perplexed whether to speak in whose favour as they both were right at their part. One sage though was quietly observing all, in order to support Bharat's view he chose to do something that he in his wildest dreams hadn't think off. That sage was Jabali; he tried to deviate Shri Ram with an effort to persuade him through a whole different school of thought. Donning atheist approach that was unthinkable, his words were, 'a being comes alone in this mortal world and dies alone, no one is related to anyone and one is a fool to have been caught in false grief for his parents. As a traveler halts in a place during his journey and the next day leaves for further way, likewise mother, father, money, home all are just like the same, therefore you shouldn’t be distracted by leaving your father’s kingdom and living on these hard conditions.
King Dashrath was nobody to you neither you are anyone to him, he was someone else and so are you, father is mere a reason for a son’s being. People do shraddh for their loved ones and keep food so if they will come and eat it; think about it how a dead man is going to eat it. Such wastage of food, this all hippocracy was created to divert mankind’s mind towards donation.
{Valmiki Ramayan; Ayodhya Kaand; Chapter 108}
Imagine such guts that too in those times. Everyone else eagerly awaited for Shri Ram's response.


We will continue the rest in the forthcoming post to know their significance, before we sign off, let me brief about these two sages. Sage Bhradwaj was an esteemed and highly revered sage of those times, a great scholar of vedic knowledge. Son of Brahaspati(guru/adviser of the devas) he was a Saptrishi(one of the prime seven sages). 

Sage Jabali was one of the prime sages of Ayodhya, he was also among the royal sages headed by Vashishth. Contrary to the "popular" belief, he was never outcast from the royal court and was a devoted and a theist sage like others. More on him and Bharadwaj next week to reason their mentioning as what we saw today is quite unusual(knowing the simplistic approach of our sages).
Till then, be curious.

"Being unusual doesn't mean being unorthodox"
'सियाराम'

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Agni-Pariksha

Agni-Pariksha - the moment these two words appear, the picture of Devi Sita comes in our mind. The innocence that endured within, the clearness and uprightness in her conduct, her fortitude that shook the rakshas empire. The term is famously associated with the incident of yuddha kaand in Ramayan when Devi Sita had to testify her chastity, where she sat firm on fire in order to prove so. Since then, any stiff situation where an individuals' sanctity is in dock, this term is coined(not in a literal way though). Neither Agni-Pariksha, nor her banishment can be justified knowing her chastity and divinity but the rationale behind would surely be brought up in near future(as why and how it befell) as a lot has to be understood before we reach there.

This moment, its all about Bharat, as I promised that there is more of Bharat we must know and here it is. He did went through such hardships plenty of times where he underwent in disbelief. In his expedition from Ayodhya to Chitrakoot in order to bring Shri Ram back, he had to prove himself, even to people that were close to him, they all knew him since the day he was born and yet he was the man in dock. Let's review those conditions one by one:

  • Kaikeyi - yes, his own mother failed in understanding him. The point that she aspired for Bharat's kingship even after knowing about the tradition that only the eldest prince is crowned, raises doubts. The doubt being, she believed that even Bharat aspires the crown and there, she did the blunders, blunders for which Bharat's image put at stake and after this episode, everybody doubted the poor soul's intentions. 
  • Kaushalya - when Bharat came back from Kaikeya, he straightway went to meet his mother Kaikeyi only to be cognized about the unfortunate happened. Afterwards, when Kaushalya summoned his presence, he appeared in front of her. Kaushalya was a simple woman, an optimist, even her brain was forced to doubt whether Bharat's intentions were dubious, was he the actual conspirator.
  • Vashishtha -After Dashrath's cremation, the royal sages lead by Vashishth straightaway asked Bharat to accept the throne. They didn't cared to take his views on his father's sudden demise, Shri Ram's exile and, whether he was interested in taking over the throne. They were pretty much perturbed with the recent happenings and had no more faith left in him.
  • Guh - After Bharat convinced the sages about his intentions those were never desecrated, he was poised to bring his brother back. He planned an expedition and took the royal family, the sages and the prominent people of Ayodhya with him. When they reached Shrangverpur(a district ruled by Guh) the tribals were horrified looking at the gigantic army. Their leader Guh decided to inspect what Bharat was up-to and asked his troops to be ready for the war situation in order to guard Shri Ram. The plight of  Bharat was piteous when Guh asked his sudden arrival with a huge army.
  • Bharadwaj - When Bharat approached sage Bharadwaj(he guided Shri Ram towards Chitrakoot) along with sage Vashishth, sage Bharadwaj bluntly questioned his intent whether he was there to finish Shri Ram in order to be future safe. Bharat's stream of tears even moved Vashishth and he defended the former answering Bharadwaj on his behalf.
  • Lakshmarn - While they were close to Mount Chitrakoot, Lakshmarn saw the royal flag and an enormous army, he predicted it right that it was arrival of Bharat, but reasoned it wrong that he was here to slew them. Lakshmarn's rage is hidden to no one. He pledged to eliminate Bharat along with anyone allied to him. It was then Shri Ram who reprimanded his such behavior and calmed his anger. 
No one except Shri Ram and Devi Sita trusted Bharat, those who did were unsure. Kaushalya, Vashishth, Guh, Bharadwaj and Lakshmarn all misunderstood Bharat because of what Kaikeyi did. Though they all were convinced after conversing to him but his heart was broken every time. I know above all given incidents are short in duration and have not much to interest you about. 
But, try to put yourself in Bharat's place, what he would have went through every time he visited the people above described. It wasn't just that particular moment he was questioned, but his whole lifespan, his all good deeds were been discarded for something he was not even accused of. 

Here we also see the role of Guh and Lakshmarn; both devotees of Shri Ram, both were ready to fight for him. The difference was their attitude and the way they interpret the situation. Guh stayed positive and before making a final opinion, confronted Bharat, whereas, Laksmarn in spite of knowing Bharat, refused to be rational and gave in to his rage. It teaches us one thing, being emotional is okay, but not being rational will only harm you, as it did in Laksmarn's case where he had to face Shri Ram's anger.

One last thing, for the feminists who regularly cry foul to the injustice happened to Devi Sita or with any women; it was never about gender inequality in our legends but about the particular situation. What about the situation when two women conspired against Shri Ram and delivered him to exile. What about the situation when Lakshmarn's character, his conduct that was pure, was questioned and allegations so untrue were imposed on him that brought tears on his eyes. EMPORER Dashrath, fell week against a woman.
You reason.
"never make an opinion before closely looking at both sides of the situation, you may end in remorse otherwise"
'सियाराम'

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