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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"

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