Hari Om, This is a quick review of the topics we discussed on 12112022 & 12182022.
Great job on the Menti quiz. These were the questions and answers that we saw last Sunday.
How many Cantos (collection of chapters) are in the Bhagavatham ? 12
Sage Kapila taught the knowledge of Self Realization to his mother. What was her name ? Devahuti
In Kaliyuga, what is the method of Self-Realization prescribed ? Saying the Lord's name
Which Canto contains the beautiful story of Shiva, Sati & Daksha ? Canto 4
Which is the 1st verse out of the Chatushloki Bhagavatham (4 Verses recited by Bhagwaan to BrahmaJi) ? aham EvAsam EvAgre
Repentance / Confession / Prayaschit
At the beginning of Canto 6, Shri Shuka goes to describe the different types of worlds (heaven, hell, etc.). This is a very interesting & important conversation because Parikshit, true to his name, drills into the concept of 'Repentance' or 'Prayaschit'. Here are the salient points:
Shri Shuka says that the process of Prayaschit or Repentance thru rituals, yagnas, pujas and other processes is done or prescribed to avoid going to lower worlds (hell).
The main thing to understand from the concept of different worlds (heaven & hell) is that - all of these are states of the mind, because 'Place' & 'Time' are concepts germinating from the mind. So, for example - 2 people sitting in say, a spiritual discourse can experience 'heaven' and 'hell'. One of them revels in the experience and the other suffers, all external conditions remaining the same.
Parikshit shares that he is disillusioned by the process of 'Repentance' or 'Prayaschit', because usually man once again comes back to commit new sins. This is akin to the elephant which takes a shower in the pond only to come to the banks and roll in the sand.
The vicious 'Sin Cycle' is described as follows:
The key component which forces, prods & pushes us to commit new sins is the Vasana layer in the BMI chart.
As a solution to this 'Sin Cycle', Shri Shuka recommends a simple yet profound cure - Never Let Go of the Lord's name.
The Power of the Name - Ajamila
Imagine 2 people having a headache. One of them is throwing a fit and the other is pretty calm about the whole thing. A medicine for headache cures the irritating ache for BOTH of them, irrespective of their mental attitude.
Similarly, Shri Shuka shares the magic of Devotion and the Love and Compassion that Bhagwaan has for us. Irrespective of our devotion, mental attitude, purity of mind - If called out to, Bhagwaan will come.
To understand the concept better - Imagine our college-going child calling us if they are sick. Irrespective of where they are in the country, parents will figure out a way to go there to assist them, irrespective of when was the last time the child called them to enquire about their health or well-being. This is unconditional love and compassion.
This is being conveyed by the picture of the baby-monkey and the tiger-cub.
Ajamila, even though did not lead a totally pious life, called out to his son who was named 'Narayana' at the time of his death. The result was that - Bhagwaan Vishnu's attendants came over to help him, defeating the attendants of Lord Yama.
Looking at this scene, Ajamila develops true repentance and leads a pious life thereafter.
We also saw how each of our thoughts, words and actions are being watched/recorded by certain divine witnesses. Hence, we should be EVER watchful of what we think, say & do.
The eternal witnesses are:
The 'Power of the Name' is what will lead us to 'Self Realization' in this Yuga - Kaliyuga.
The lesson for us is to continue our simple rituals towards Bhagwaan - Japa, Chanting, Puja, etc. - irrespective of our daily moods, temperament.
Our Assignment/Quest for the future
Let us make sincere attempts towards spiritual development, this coming new year - at the Body, Mind and Intellect level. Also, at the same time, in a scenario where we end up doing the wrong thing at the BMI level, let us also ask for courage and strength from Bhagwaan to apologize and seek forgiveness.
Resources to Reflect
Srimad Bhagavatham Canto-Chapter Map:
This link provides the list of all the Cantos, Chapters & Topics within Bhagavatham. This should be a handy guide to help us navigate thru this voluminous text.
Chatushloki Bhagavatham (Core 4-Verses of Bhagavatham):
Here is a link to all the 4 verses from the Chatushloki Bhagavatham. Also is included a link to the audio recording.
Hari Om !!
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