Swamiji begins this episode by recapitulating the conversation between Shamika Maharishi and his son. The Rishi reprimands his son that the curse that he had pronounced on King Pareekshit was disproportionate to the act committed and was not befitting an ascetic. He gives correctional advice to the child.
Dwelling on the wisdom behind the Maharishi’s words to his son, Swamiji says that the innocent mind of a child has to be guided by the parents. It is their responsibility to instill proper values in the child. Swamiji exhorts all parents to be aware of this responsibility. Childhood is the best time when values can be imparted and instilled in the children.
Swamiji paints a picture of Pareekshit who is overcome by feelings of guilt and remorse. In atonement for his rash act, he vows to undergo a fast until death (praayopavesha) and renouncing his kingdom goes to the banks of Ganga to undertake his vow.
Swamiji unfolds the message that the example of Pareekshit illustrates to us that for any sin committed there is a redress for it. Pareekshit holds an eternal message that in spite of all pitfalls in life, there is always a silver lining. There is always a streak of goodness and felicity associated with them.
Verses Discussed: (1.18.50)
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Narayanashrama Tapovanam, an Ashram located in Thrissur, Kerala, embodies the unique tradition of Guru-shishya Parampara, disseminating Brahmavidya (Science of Self-knowledge) through regular classes, satsangs, and above all, through learning in the association of a realized spiritual master.
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Those days, there were many rats staying in various pockets of the tiled roof. My room had a very low ceiling and I could even touch the roof tiles. At night, I would see big, big rats running around just near me.
I got back to my daily chores, but the scene remained in my mind – the old man’s wrinkled face, his gleaming eyes, the contentment he enjoyed, his refusal to accept more than ‘his minimum needs’! How many of us can take such a stand?
Bhakti is not so much in the worship with flowers, garlands, lamps or incense sticks. Neither it is in chanting His names and praises. It is verily in living and acting according to the wish of the Lord, pleasing Him, imbibing qualities and attitudes that He wants us to imbibe.