|Date: 15 Aug 2006
|Occasion: Athi Rudra Maha Yajna
|Place: Prasanthi Nilayam
is responsible for the birth, existence, and death of man.
It holds sway over all stages of his life
as the very deity of human existence.
It is responsible for the joy and sorrow of man.
What is karma? It is
the action that we perform. Karma
is the cause of man's birth, his life on earth, and his ultimate death.
The very existence of man depends upon karma. There can be no human
life without karma?
Spiritual practices like yajnas
and yagas are also forms
of karma. The welfare and
well-being of the world depends upon these spiritual practices. The
very basis of the world is karma.
Therefore, everyone must necessarily perform karma.
You should strive to attain God realisation by doing your duty. As the action, so is the result. No one can escape from the consequences of his actions. Karma does not mean merely the actions that we perform with the limbs of our body; even the process of breathing constitutes karma. Eating, drinking, walking, sitting —all are various types of action that man performs. So, it is not possible to know the consequences of our actions. We should enquire about the nature of karma before performing. Being a human being, we should enquire whether the actions that we perform are befitting a human being or not. If you perform action without proper enquiry, you will not have the desired results.
Karma is verily God. God is not separate from you. God is present in subtle form in every action. God exists in the form of karma in everything right from microcosm to macrocosm. Anoraneeyan mahato maheeyan (Brahman is subtler than the subtlest and vaster than the vastest). Man must necessarily perform action and should offer all his actions to God. Sarva karma Bhagavad preetyartham (do all actions to please God). If you do like this, you will not be bound by the consequences of your actions.
Easwara sarva bhutanam (God is the indweller of all beings). He is present in all beings, be it a human being, a snake, or a scorpion. He performs actions appropriate to the vesture He takes upon Himself. Develop clear thinking and do not spoil your mind by unnecessarily thinking about something that you do not know. Man today ventures into fields about which he has very little knowledge. That is why he faces so many troubles. Therefore, men and women should undertake actions appropriate for them.
In childhood, one develops absorbing
interest in play and
enjoys the company of one's playmates.
In youth and middle age, one is engrossed in
cultivating worldly relations and earning money.
In old age, one repents for not having this and that.
In this way, man wastes his precious human birth.
Right from birth to death, man should lead his life befitting his
human birth. Divinity is immanent in every human being. Man passes
through the various stages of childhood, youth, and householder and
ultimately grows old. With the advancement of age, man does not think
of God and repents about what he has not got in life.
What is the use of worrying at this stage? We should have proper
thinking from the very beginning. The youth leader, Vinay Kumar, prayed
to Me to tell him what the youth should do. So, I told him that youth
should always remain young and energetic. When youth misuse the power
of senses, they lose their energy and start growing old. They should
always remain young and never grow old with the advancement of age.
You should preserve our energy. Look at My body. I am 81 years old.
Can anybody say that I am 81 years old? My body is free from all
diseases. Sometime back, My leg was fractured when one boy fell on Me
accidentally. That is why I am walking like this. I walk very freely
inside My residence. But the doctor advised that I should take the
support of one or two boys when I moved among the devotees. On the
advice of doctors, I am taking the support of one boy while walking.
Since it is My nature to satisfy everybody, I follow this advice for
the satisfaction of doctors. All the same, I keep on telling the boys,
"Don't hold Me, don't hold Me."
But you may not know that there is a subtle meaning behind whatever
I do. Nobody can know the reality of My nature. I have never suffered
any ailment whatsoever in My life, be it fever, cold, or headache. I
have always been healthy. I am not only healthy, but wealthy also (loud
Nothing escapes My attention. I noticed a couple of young ritwiks (priests) talking to
each other during the performance of the yajna. I am hearing all that
you speak. But, for Me, both good and bad are the same. I do not find
anything bad in this world; everything is good. Similar is the case
with right and wrong. Something may appear to be right at the present
moment, but, on enquiry, it may turn out to be wrong.
Pleasure is an interval between two pains. We may eat very good and delicious items today, but how long that will remain good? The very next day, it may turn into a different matter. Difference of time determines what is good and what is bad. Therefore, we should understand everything clearly and act carefully in life.
In the Mahabharata war, Duryodhana and Dussasana and other Kaurava
brothers fought with the Pandavas due to hatred for them, but they
could not defeat the Pandavas because Krishna was on their side. Since
the Kauravas were unable to meet the challenge of the Pandavas, they
found Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, all alone one day and devised the Padmavyuha (an army formation
in the shape of a lotus). Then they challenged Abhimanyu to enter it.
Abhimanyu was a young boy then. His father Arjuna was not there;
only Dharmaraja was present at that time. He sought the permission of
Dharmaraja to enter the Padmavyuha.
Dharmaraja told him that it was not an easy task for him.
Then he went to his mother Subhadra and sought her permission and
blessings. She tried to dissuade him saying, "Dear son, it is a
difficult formation devised by Dronacharya himself. Moreover, your wife
is pregnant now. We do not know whether the time is favourable to us or
not. Your father, Arjuna, and uncle Krishna are also not here to give
you necessary guidance and support. Hence, give up the idea of going to
Abhimanyu was upset on hearing the words of his mother and said to
her, "Being the son of Arjuna, I have to accept the challenge of the
enemy. Otherwise, my father's name would be in disrepute. Even if I
lose my life, I will fight in the battlefield." He was very firm in his
resolve and quite confident of coming out of the Padmavyuha successful.
Then he told his mother, "I am going to attack the Kauravas like a
tiger ready to pounce upon the horde of elephants. You should bless me
to come out victorious in this fight by shooting the divine arrows on
the enemy. Instead of blessing me, is it proper on your part to prevent
me from going to the battle?"
Listening to the words of her brave son, at last she gave her consent.
May the same kind of protection cover you
as that which
Mother Gowri conferred on her son Kumara
when he went out for battle against Tarakasura;
The blessing conferred by Kausalya on Rama when he was
going to the forest to safeguard the Yajna of Viswamitra!
May such great and auspicious blessing and, the greatest of all,
Sri Rama Raksha (the protection of Sri Rama) be with you and protect you!
With these blessings, she sent him to the battlefield. He offered
his salutations to his mother and entered the battlefield. He
penetrated the Padmavyuha.
While his father Arjuna was narrating all about Padmavyuha to Subhadra,
Abhimanyu heard the same being in his mother's womb. When Arjuna was
half way through the narration, Krishna appeared on the scene and
cautioned him that his son in the mother's womb was listening to all
this. Krishna advised him to stop the narration forthwith. In this way,
Abhimanyu could know only how to enter the Padmavyuha but did not know how
to come out of it. As a result, he was trapped in the Padmavyuha by the Kauravas and
The lesson to be learnt from this episode is that one should never ignore the advice of one's parents and elders. One should listen to the advice of the parents carefully, contemplate on it, assimilate it, and put it into practice. That is why the Vedas declare, Matru devo bhava, pitru devo bhava (revere your mother and father as God). Whatever be the circumstances, wherever you may be, always obey the command of the parents.
When Arjuna returned, he was full of anxiety not to find Abhimanyu, who always ran to the door to receive him whenever he returned home. When Arjuna came to know that Abhimanyu died in the battlefield, he became very sad. Krishna asked him not to lose heart, saying, "Whatever was destined to happen has happened." He also told Arjuna that the Kauravas who conspired against the Pandavas even in the past had again resorted to foul-play and killed Abhimanyu. In this moment of great anguish, Arjuna spoke to Krishna in very strong terms that He had not told him about the death of his son earlier and thus had betrayed him. As was His nature, Krishna heard all this, smiling all the time.
At the time of the death of Abhimanyu, his wife Uttara was in the
family way. When the child was still in the womb of Uttara, Aswatthama
attacked the child with Brahmastra.
As a result, Uttara gave birth to a still-born child, and the Pandavas
were grief-stricken. They blamed Krishna for all their misery because
Abhimanyu was killed in the battlefield, the sons of Droupadi were
slain by Aswatthama, and the son born to Uttara was a still-born child.
Thus, there was none to continue the lineage.
Krishna tried to pacify them and advised them to be calm and
composed. He asked Droupadi to bring the still-born child before Him.
She brought the child in a plate. Krishna saw the child and said, "Look
at his eyes, look at his nose, look at his face, he exactly resembles
his father Abhimanyu."
When Krishna was describing the child like this, the Pandavas grew very angry. They felt that He was describing the dead child without bothering about their pitiable condition. Krishna then held the child in His hand and patted on its back and stomach. Immediately, the child started crying, to the sheer joy of the Pandavas. Krishna named the child Parikshit, because He brought the child to life after putting the Pandavas to a pariksha (test). Without test, nobody can pass the examination and go to a higher class. That is why God subjects His devotees to test. We should never consider it as a test; rather we should have a taste for such tests. All the tests given by God will be of good taste.
When Parikshit became the king of the Pandava empire, Krishna protected him in several ways. What I am narrating now has never happened anywhere else, in any country, at any time.
After Krishna left for His divine abode, a grief-stricken Arjuna
returned from Dwaraka. Mother Kunti, being unaware of the happenings in
Dwaraka, enquired of Arjuna about the well-being of Krishna. Arjuna
wept inconsolably saying, "Mother, Krishna is no more."
The moment Arjuna told that Krishna had shed His mortal coil, Kunti
collapsed and breathed her last. The Pandavas were immersed in sorrow.
They thought, "Krishna was our very life-breath. He had been our source
of strength and courage. What is the use of our life without Krishna?"
They decided to coronate Parikshit and go to the Himalayas. Dharmaraja instructed Arjuna to make arrangements for the cremation of the body of their mother. At the same time, he gave necessary instructions for the arrangements for the coronation of young Parikshit. Thereafter, he told Nakula and Sahadeva to make preparations for their mahaprasthana (final journey) to the Himalayas.
After the cremation of their mother and coronation of young Parikshit, the Pandavas began their march to the Himalayas, proceeding one behind the other. Dharmaraja, led the march. Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva followed him in that order. And Droupadi walked behind all.
Everyone has to face the consequences of
whoever he may be.
No one can know what lies ahead for him in future.
But this much is sure that everybody has to reap
the consequences of his actions.
During their mahaprasthana, Droupadi, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva shed their mortal coils one after the other. Dharmaraja continued his march all alone.
Dharmaraja had never uttered a lie in his life. However, during the
Mahabharatha war, he did say something that caused the death of
Dronacharya. When an elephant by name "Aswatthama" was killed in the
battlefield, Dharmaraja declared, "Aswatthama
hathah kunjarah". He deliberately lowered his tone while
uttering the word "kunjarah
Since Dronacharya could not hear the word "kunjarah", he thought his son
Aswatthama was killed. He became utterly dejected and consequently gave
up his life. Dharmaraja had to spend some time in the hell as a result
of uttering this "lie". People may wonder, how is it that even
Dharmaraja, the very embodiment of dharma, had to pay a visit to
the hell. The fact remains that however great and noble one may be, one
cannot escape from the consequences of one's actions.
When Dharmaraja entered the hell, Droupadi and the other four
brothers were already present there. The five Pandavas were like five
life-breaths. They were the embodiments of dharma. That is why their mere
presence in the hell alleviated the suffering of all those who were
undergoing punishment for their sins. They fell at the feet of
Dharmaraja and pleaded with him to stay there for some more time.
Dharmaraja replied, "My dear ones! I am not allowed to stay here any longer. I am being sent away by the Lord of hell from here." Thereafter, the five Pandava brothers and Droupadi left for their heavenly abode.
In this manner, even the Pandavas, who were the very embodiments of
righteousness and morality and who had acquired great merit, could not
escape from the consequences of their karma.
Droupadi was a great pathivrata (woman of chastity). Even she had to face the consequences of her karma. Once, there was a debate as to who was the greatest karma. People expressed various opinions. It was Lord Krishna who gave the final verdict saying,
She dutifully obeyed the command of her
She would never say to any one of them that she had no time to serve him.
She was satisfied with whatever she got in life.
She was the supreme example of chastity, and
None could match her in this respect.
In this Kali age,
women find it hard to obey the commands of their husbands. Imagine the
case of Droupadi. She had to obey the command of not one, but five
husbands. She never complained. She always had time to serve each of
These days, we find women whose demands are much more than what the
husbands can really afford. When the husband is drawing a salary of one
hundred rupees per month, his wife demands a sari worth two hundred
rupees! But Droupadi was not like that. She was always satisfied with
whatever she had. That is why she earned a reputation as the greatest pathivrata.
The Pandava brothers were fully aware of her nobility and chastity. They always took her views into consideration and acted accordingly. That is why their name and fame remained firmly etched in the annals of history.
A person is respected even for small acts of nobility. However,
while performing any action, there is always a possibility of mistakes
creeping in. Whatever may be the mistake committed, one cannot escape
from its consequences. Hence, one should always speak truth, follow
righteousness, and lead a life suffused with love. This is the foremost
duty of man.
One should consider the five human values of truth, righteousness,
peace, compassion, and love as his
pancha pranas (five life-breaths). One bereft of these five
values is verily a living corpse. One should never speak untruth even
in a lighter vein. Never make fun of others. It is the worst of sins to
criticise others. Hence, however wicked a person may be, never
Love all. Love is God. God is love. Love is your very life.
(As per Bhagawan's instructions, the students sang the song "Love is My form, truth is My breath, bliss is My food" Then, Bhagawan continued His discourse.)
Develop love. Wherever you may be, be it in the forest, or in the
sky, be it in the city or in the village, be it on the mountain top or
in the middle of deep sea, love is your sole refuge. Love even your
enemy. If you happen to see him, do not turn your face away from him.
Instead, greet him with love saying, "Hello brother! How are you?"
Suffuse your life with love. Develop courage and conviction. Only then
can manavatwa (humanness)
gets transformed into Divyatwa
Propagate this principle of love to one and all. This is My
principal message for you today.