|Sage Vasishtha with Lord Rama|
Along with individual character, one is required to possess virtues like patience, sacrifice, valour, courage, boldness, compassion and many others. If you do not have courage, you cannot face the difficulties in life. Without valour, one cannot achieve anything. One has to exhibit indignation that will have no adverse effect on his national or individual character.
Vishwamitra was a mighty person, who could not so easily acknowledge others’ greatness. Once, he came to know the merit of Sage Jamadagni’s cow known as Kamadhenu (wish fulfilling cow) and desired to take possession of that using force. He thought within himself that such a valuable cow should be with the rulers and not sages. He took away the cow using force. He insulted and tortured great sages with arrogance and attempted to grab all their precious belongings. As per the sacred texts, any person who covets others’ belongings would be construed as an animal and not a king.
On another occasion, in order to equal the powers of Sage Vasishtha, Sage Vishwamitra did severe penance and undertook several austerities. However, at that time Vishwamitra reflected thus, “Super human powers would not be possible to attain through penance alone. What is the goal of this penance? It is futile. Only Divine power is important and useful and the rest is useless.” The moment he realised this truth, he conceded the greatness of Sage Vasishtha and prostrated at his feet. As soon as he gave up his ego, he became eligible for receiving Brahma Vidya (highest wisdom).
|Sage Vishwamitra with young princes |
Rama and Lakshmana
|An episode from the life of King Harishchandra|
King Harishchandra lost everything (all his riches and kingdom), yet he adhered to truth very firmly. To uphold truth, he even parted with his wife and son. Even after this, he was not able to pay the interest part of the loan he promised to repay to Vishwamitra. He had nothing to eat or drink. His wife also followed him wherever he went. She assisted her husband in every effort that he undertook in order to pay back the amount he had promised to repay. One day, his wife told Harishchandra, “Oh Lord! We lost everything and we have nothing left with us to settle the balance of the loan. At last only you and I are remaining. Hence, sell me to someone for a price and with the sales proceeds repay part of the balance amount.” Does anybody today in similar circumstances behave the way the wife of Harishchandra did? Everyone should emulate Harishchandra.[i] Every husband and wife have to understand each other, support each other in troubled times and follow the path of truth and sacrifice.
|Motilal Nehru (1861-1931)|
|Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru|
Ancient Indian Kings
|An episode from the life of Sage Dadheechi|
|King Bali with his Guru Shukracharya and Lord Vamana (in the background)|
|The Story of King Shibi|
[i] The events narrated with respect to King Harishchandra and his wife Chandramati have to be studied with reference to the period of Krita Yuga, which is supposed to have happened thousands of years back. In those times, the societal norms and social circumstances were entirely different and as such they cannot be evaluated by using the evaluation bench marks of current times. They have to be appreciated keeping in mind the reference norms of Desha (country), Kaala (relevant time frame), and Paristhiti (circumstances) in the words of Baba.
[ii] Vasishtha, Harishchandra, Dharmaraja, Bali Chakravarti, Shibi Chakravarti and Dadheechi are all the names of people in Indian theological history, who have gone through difficult experiences in their lives to uphold Satya (truth) and Dharma (righteousness). Sage Vasishtha was the Guru of Lord Rama against whom Vishwamitra harboured ill will because of which he lost his sons and suffered much. King Harishchandra was an ancestor of Lord Rama, who sacrificed his wife and only son, and worked in a crematory to uphold truth. Bali Chakravarti was the grandson of Prahlad who sacrificed his own life for the word given to Lord Vishnu who incarnated as Vaman. Shibi Chakravarti sacrificed a pound of flesh from his own body to save the life of a bird (who in reality was a demi-God come to test him).