Recap : We have seen how the pure minded Suka, the son of Vyasa, was born from the Vedic fire started by his father using Arani sticks. We have seen how he completed his Vedic studies under the Deva Guru, Brihaspati himself. We have heard his arguments with his father, where he refused to live the Vedic way and considered his father deluded and his guru idiotic. He insisted on going directly to the sannyasa asrama and refused all wordly knowledge. Then his father taught him the Devi Bhagavatham together with Romaharshana (Suta). Even after this Suka was not satisfied and his father advised him to visit Rajarshi Janaka at Mithila. He was stopped at the gate of Mithila. When the gatekeeper was impressed with Suka’s knowledge he was allowed into Mithila. Next Suka passed the minister’s test for absorption in the Self.
This Episode : When Raja Janaka heard that Suka, the son his guru Veda Vyasa had come, he came and presented himself before Suka.
I have read that Yajnavalkya was the nephew and student of Vaisampayana , who was the student of Veda Vyasa वेद व्यास. Vaisampayana learnt the Yajur Veda from Veda Vyasa. yAgnyavalkya taught brahmagnyAna to rajaRSi Janaka. – satyA
The purohita of Mithila walked before Janaka and the ministers of Janaka followed behind him. Janaka offered Suka pAdya (water for washing feet), arghya (water for washing hands), Asana (a seat) and a milk yielding cow and worshipped him as the son of his guru.
Recall that in our pUjA paddhati we offer pAdyam, arghyam, AcamanIyam (water to sip) and so on… even today. Of course we offer our guests water to drink and maybe coffee and something to eat now. So the way we respect our guests is now different from the method in which we show respect to the dEvatAs.. but at one time it was the same – Satya
Janaka asked Suka why he had travelled so far to see him. Clearly he had no material desires. And he was spiritually so advanced! Then Suka told him about how his great and honoured father and guru Veda Vyasa was forcing him to get married and ho he had no interest whatsovever in the grihastha stage of life. As a final suggestion, Vyasa had asked Suka to meet with Janaka. Suka had become very curious to see how a king could be a RSi and how a RSi could be a rAja. He firmly believed they were mutually incompatible.
Janaka said :– “O son of my Guru! I am telling what ought to be done by Brâhmanas, following the path of Moksa, so listen.
- After upanayanam, a Brâhmin should live in the house of his Guru to study the Vedas, the Vedântas and pay the Dakshinâ (the fee) to the Guru according to rules;
- he should then return home and marry and enter into the householder’s life; he should lead a life of contentment, be free from desires, sinless and truthful and earn his livelihood with a pure heart and according to the sanction of justice and conscience. He is to perform the Agnihotra and other sacrifices; and after getting sons and grandsons,
- he is to leave his wife under the care of his son and then to take the life of a Vânaprastha (3rd stage of life, just before sanyas where he lives in the forest). That Brâhman, the knower of Dharma, must practise tapasyâ and become master of his six passions (enemies); and when he gets disgusted with the world and when the Vairâgyam (dispassion) will arise within him,
- he would enter into the fourth Âs’rama. For, the man is first to enter into the householder’s life and when he will be quite dispassionate towards the world, he will then have a right to take the Âs’rama of Sannyâsa (Renunciation). A course contrary to this can never entitle one to the Âs’rama of Sanyâsa.
This is the beneficial word of the Vedas and it must hold true; it cannot be false; this is my firm belief. O S’ûka! In the Vedas are mentioned forty-eight Samskâras (consecrations; purificatory rites); out of which the learned Mahâtmas have reserved forty Samskâras for the householders and the last eight Samskâras (S’ama, Dama, etc.,) for the Sannyâsins. And this good usage is heard to come down from very ancient times. A Brâhmana ought to complete his previous Âs’ramas successively and then enter into the succeeding Âs’rama.
Suka thought this was all old hat. He felt pretty ready for sannyasa asrama right away., was least interested in the “trap” of a householder’s life!
S’ûka said :– If the pure Vairâgyam (dispassion) arising out of knowledge and wisdom (jñân and Vijñân) already arises (before taking to the grihasth Âs’ram), is it still necessary to pass through house holder’s life, Vânaprastha life, etc., or is one entitled then to take up at once the Sannyâsa Âs’rama, quit everything and reside in the forest?
Janaka explained that no one could be ever sure that they had attained perfect vairagyam unless they passed through the householder (gRhasta) stage. What if they discovered some left over little wishes such as having a son or tasting a nice meal? The fall from sannyasa would be very great.
Janaka said, “The net of desires is very difficult to be conquered by men; that can never die out. Therefore, to put an end to them, the advice is to cut them slowly. If anybody, remaining in his household life be of a quiet temper and of good intellect, and if he takes success and failure in the same light, and be not elated in times of pleasure and not depressed in times of pains and does his duty for duty’s sake without troubling his mind with cares, and anxieties, then that householder acquires pure happiness by the realisation of his self and acquires Moksha. O Sinless One! See, I am liberated while living, though I am engaged in preserving kingdom; if any source of pain or pleasure arises, I am not in any way affected by them. As I will attain in the end Videha Mukti (liberation from bodies) though I am always wandering at my free will, enjoying various things as I like and do various things as it pleases me, so you can do your duties and then be liberated in the end.“
It is the mind that is the cause of bondage or freedom; and not the body, nor the Jivâtmâ (the embodied soul), nor the senses.The Self or Âtman is always pure consciousness and is ever free so, truly speaking, it can never be bound. Jîva is Brahmâ. (See Tat Tvam Asi).
Swami Vivekananda said “Renounciation is of the mind” – Satya
Suka was not to be convinced so easily. All this is very well he said, but what about himsa. Some of the karmakAndA practices require himsa for eg that an animal be killed. How can this be acceptable?
He said, “One can see before one’s eyes that the drinking of Soma rasa, the killing of animals, the eating of fish and flesh and so are advised in the Vedas; so much so that in the sacrificial ceremony named Sautrâmana the rule of drinking wine and many other vratas are clearly mentioned; even gambling is advised in the Vedas. So how can Mukti be obtained by following the Veda Dharma?”
Satya Says :
This can be considered a tricky question relevant even today.
- We see how western religions slaughter animals with machines and put the meat into packets and consider themselves non-violent, though they eat meat every day.
- And we see how if a Hindu sacrifces a goat once a year to the Gods before he eats it, then CUPA, SPCA, media (especially western) etc focus on it continuously.
- The point is that the Vedas require ANYTHING that you eat .. even dry grass.. if that’s what it is, to be offered to God before eating it.
- The Vedas require you to eat anything fresh, be it lentil rice – supa anna or goat meat.
- One was not advised to eat meat all the year round on just any occasion.
- It was to be consumed only on special occasions after first offering it to God.
- (Today the brahmin dharma requires that no meat be eaten at all. It was not always so.)
So the modern westernised being has no objection to the slaughter of animals for food, himsa for cosmetic trials, medical experiments etc. His only real objection is to “offering that animal to God” especially to a Hindu God, they don’t usually mind if it is a middle eastern God receiving the animal offering.
I am a vegetarian by birth and by choice. To me animal killing for food or for fun, cosmetics testing, medical testing on animals.. everything does look like himsa. I cannot think otherwise. I do not personally think God wants the fruit or flower you pick of a plant or a lamp lit from animal fat or vegetable oils. I do not think he wants an abhishekam from water that could quench the thirst of some living being. I don’t think God wants anything at all.
I think we want God. We want IT’s help, IT’s love, IT’s protection, IT’s inspiration, IT’s realisation.
We try to give IT our favorite things in our favorite way and feel happy, that we have done something nice for IT. There is no need to look down on someone else’s way!
Sri Krishnaarpanam. It is the Indian way to state the thoughts of all the thinkers before us and then to append your own thoughts at the end saying Chanakya says or Varahamihira says. Many try to correct me, some leave offensive/idiotic comments, some leave curt demands for more information. Some try to promote their views or works on this platform. I generally delete such comments.
Some think I have a point, And some leave a few words of encouragement – I treasure these comments.
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