Mahabharata # 01 Prelude: Sarpsatra-The great serpent sacrifice

The bright yellow flames were reaching up high like they were trying to touch the sky, they were blazing such that other animals feared and run away to the jungles. The Sage Uttanka with many brahmins were chanting the sacred mantras and pouring more and more Ghee, the purified butter, with sacred herbs. There were thousands and thousands of innocent crying Nagas-the serpents being thrown into the fire roasting them alive turning them into the ashes. That was a Sarpsatra-The great snake sacrifice to destroy entire Naga breed from the earth. The immolating flames were killing the snakes and cobras instantly which was the job given to the Agni- the fire god, who was also known for his purifying nature, to assassin the whole breed into the coals and ashes. The host emperor of the great Bharatvarsa  (India)- Janmejay-Son of King Parikshit and grandson of Abhimanyu and great grandson of Arjuna was taking his revenge to the entire Naga breed of serpents as the Naga king Takhshaka killed his father Parikshit. Emperor Janmejay was strong determined to destroy whole breed of Nagas and hence was pouring Ghee with sacred herbs fiercely like a warrior was moving his sword to slay his foes.

“STOP THIS MEANINGLESS AND ENDLESS ACT” a young boy shouted when the soldiers were about to throw the Naga king Takshak into the Yagna Vedi-fire pit.

Mahabharat:Prelude#1

King Janmejay looked upon surprisingly to find out who claimed the emperor’s actions meaningless. Whole sacrificial ground was amazed by boy’s courage to oppose the emperor’s actions.

“Who are you” Janmejay asked. “I am Astik, son of sage Jaratkaru and Devi Manasa-sister of Naga king Vasuki so I am not favoring anyone.”

“Why are you opposing the Sarpasatra?” asked Janmejay.

“Because it is never-ending cycle of revenge, why are you planting the seeds of enmity for next generations that your grandfather did?” said Astika.

“What hostility my grandfather the Great Pandav Arjuna sown? He wouldn’t have made any mistakes.” said Janmejay.

“He did, my lord ! by burning the dwellings of millions of Nagas living with themselves in the Khandav van which is called Indraprastha now.” replied Astik.

“O great king you need to know when the cycle of hostility will stop, I reckons never because enmity only could be won by love. You are unknown that you are also half Naga and half human.” Astik continued.

“Me A half NAGA!!!!! STOP THE SACRIFICE.” The words of the emperor of great India echoed in the Yagna hall and the snakes stopped being thrown into the scorching fire.

“O great sage! Please narrate me the story of my great ancestors and the great descendants of Bharata-The great king on after him this great country is called Bharatvarsha.

“I am happy for the mankind and the Nagas for avoiding generation long hostility.” said Astik.

“ Rajan! Please ask sage Vaishampayan the pupil of Krushna Dwaipayan Vyas to narrate you an epic called Bharat. Bharat has been evolved by sage Vaishampayan from original epic Jaya written by Krushna Dwaipayan Vyas who is also called Maharshi Vedvyas.” Continued Astik.

“O mperor of entire greater Bharatvarsh! May you find your all answers within and learn peace, love and humility from the consequences of war sprouted from five enemies within which are Kam-lust, Krodh-rage, Lobh-greed, Moh-attachment and Ahankar-ego.” Astik showered his blessings onto Janmejay and Sarpsatra-the great serpent killing mission withdrawn.

Sage Vaishampayan narrated Bharat-the story of great descendants of the emperor Bharat. With much of delight, Janamejay won his enemies within and found the peace.

  • The core story of Mahabharat is called Jaya which was written by Maharshi Vedvyas.
  • Jaya was expanded by Sage Vaishampayan, the version called Bharat.

Bharat was turned into Mahabharat with total 100,000 verses centuries later with more stories added into.

Dear readers I am starting a series of Mahabharat retelling of my own version please give me your feedback and share if you like it.

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7# पितृ देवो भव् – Remembering My Father on His Birthday

“मातृ देवो भव् पितृ देवो भव् “… (Taittiriya Upanishad) means Respects to Mother and Father. They are all forms of God.

I believe they are the only living gods we see in our life.

I am dedicating this article to my inspiration,friend,philosopher and guide – My Father.

He was a fourth child among six siblings born to educated farmer. His parents and my  grandparents Narayandas and Gangaben were a happy couple, working hard to raise their family with very small pack of land inherited by forefathers and were living in my native village Karbatiya (Ta. Vadnagar , India).

I heard from my father that his parents had to sell their most of their belongings over the time to give their kids a good education. My grandfather always believed that the education is the only way to transform to your spiritual and socio-economic status.The same belief percolated into my father due to his real life experiences.The respect and love for his parents was great.He did anything he could do to make them feel cared and loved. I rate him dedicated and responsible son.

My Father-SSC Photo

 A person being emotional , family , friends and native place lover was very popular in every community of our native village. Even today his friends still tell us his stories about all the mischief they did together and also how academically brilliant, handsome (actually people called him Rishi Kapoor in his school/college days) and brave was he? that makes us feel proud. I have seen his friends cried for him when he left us forever.Members of every community came to his funeral.That showed the love he received from his friends and community and vice versa.

I consider his love for his siblings and their kids was very sacrificial however it has never been appreciated. My cousins still recognise and accept the fact about his solicitude to our big family.

His love and respect to my mother was just phenomenal however he admitted that he could never give everything she deserved due to his illness and other commitments. He expressed regret in front of me in his last days that whether he could ever give her anything back what she has sacrified for us.

We two brothers of course were jewels of his eyes. His way to love us was quite a different.The discipline and health were main themes in his affection.We were denied other food if would not eat any healthy stuff like bitter melon :). A good thing was that he just motivated to be excellent at whatever we do regardless of type and level of work.That made us more pressure free in our career paths. The bedtime stories he told us included the stories of Ramayan,Mahabharat and Indian independence.Further he nurtured our hobby of reading and my natural fine art skills. As a Mukhya Shikshak at RSS Shakha (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashtriya_Swayamsevak_Sangh), he took us there every evening.That encouraged our self-awareness of nationalism, morality, duties, leadership, equality and physical fitness. His teaching on moral values was practical, one of the real life experience when we kids bought chocolates from the shop and the shopkeeper returned us more change than it should be,we were happy kids because we got extra money by somebody’s mistake but eventually we had been brought back to the shop and told to return the extra bucks.We didnt like that initially but we felt respect about ourselves and our father for doing the right thing.

His motivation on our failures still reminds me that how positive was he.On the failures in the life exams and having the greatest disappointments, he usually said “you will have many other chances,this is not the end of life,on positive side you still can learn from your failures.”, to be honest he was damn right. Despite of his on and off 15 year bedridden illness , he was full of positivity and spirituality.He never got depressed because of his deteriorated health and eventually financial and other opportunities in his life. I don’t know where did he get that energy from? He always believed in “Law of Karma”. He always said that the reason of his suffering might be his Karma from his past life. He preached us to be conscious about our Karma and we are trying to be very conscious. We are taking our health very seriously because he gave his own example about how health is the real wealth.On kids development he used to say , “parents are the only best teachers in the world and we can’t just transfer our major responsibility of values and academic education to the kids’ school teachers only.”He used to say make good and long term friends and love them without any expectations.

I don’t know what people would have ever recognised him – just by his financial success or by his status? but for us he was our teacher, motivator, philosophical friend and a great father.

Would we ever be able to give such a wealth to our new generations? Would we be able to do such a great sacrifices for our parents ?

On his birthday today (23 November) he would have completed 60 years and we would have celebrated his Shasthi Poorti (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shashti_Poorthi).Unfortunately he is physically not with us since December 2007 but spiritually,by his thoughts and ideology he will be will us forever, generations to generations.

Love you dad and we need you today for ourselves and our kids.We acknowledge and appreciate your importance in our life. We know you are smiling and blessing us from the sky as Pitru (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitrs).

Wishing you a very happy birthday Pappa and Miss you so much…………………………

5# Management Concepts : Dharma – The Absolute Duty

Dharma is the term with multiple meanings in the Hindu,Buddhist,Sikh and Jain philosophy. It is a central concept of the way of living.

Dharma translates into the duty, law, righteousness, rights, conducts, order, model or virtues. Dharma in a simple way can be described as personal righteous duty.

For example, Earning for family is a Dharma of family head. Working in the interest of the employer is the Dharma of an employee.

In more details, Dharma is moral responsibility of the person in the context of the society he/she is living in. For an example, An employee sees his employer earning out the profit by anti-social or anti-national ways. It is employee’s Dharma to educate or stop the company’s decision makers about their acts affecting their social and national responsibilities. another one ,

The nation’s Dharma is to protect their citizens and prosper but not in the cost of others’ sovereignty, environment and other resources.

So Dharma’s definition vary for person to person and it is complex however the one, who is conscious about the world,nation,society,family,environment and shared resources, shouldn’t have problem to distinguish the absolute Dharma from relative Dharma.There will be always relative Dharmas in your way while you will be thinking of the absolute Dharma.

When the person who put his/her self-interest before the general interest and affecting overall population is called relative Dharma, Absolute Dharma bent for self-interest is called relative Dharma. For example, A thief steals to feed his/her family. It is his/her Dharma to feed his/her family but not by the cost of anybody’s resources via wrong ways. The absolute Dharma is to feed one’s family but it shouldn’t be by wrong ways.

How to check your Dharma?

Think of Universe First then World then Nation then State then Community then Family then lastly Yourself. It may give you more clear direction to choose your absolute Dharma.

I hope you all will pick your absolute Dharma for yours and whole universe’s betterment.

If you like this article please feel free to give me feedback for my self-improvement.

3# Indonesia Appreciating Her 10000+ years Old Rich Heritage

Being in Bali(Indonesia) in mid October 2014, I have realised that Indonesia is more secular, culturally and socially tolerant than Indian subcontinetal countries.

The Arjun, Karna, Krishna and other Mahabharata  and Ramayana incidents’ statues and paintings at/on major roundabouts/circles of the roads,public places, government offices, some of the old currancy notes and all over the places.

Indonesia respect her heritage more than India(psudo secular) as a country. I am feeling more Indian in Bali (Indonesia) than India.Why can’t India as a republic country respect and feel to be proud of it’s 10,000+ year old heritage in public.

0# Dipawali Wishes….

On the day of Dipawali….I wish disadvantaged people get their necessities and on the otherside advantaged may become wise and generous towards society.

Dipawali is celebrated in the memory of triumph of good over evil, light over darkness,truth over untruth and love over hate.

May this Dipawali bring us good life, light of wisdom, truth of absolute reality and love towards every creature of the universe.

HAPPY DIPAWALI AND NEW YEAR TO WHOLE UNIVERSE.