Faith

Lessons taught by sages

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The Supreme One incarnates to help jivatmas attain moksha. As Krishna, He gave the world the Bhagavad Gita. But He also got Bhishma to tell Yudhishthira about the power of His names. Bhishma had already set an example to everyone by his virtuous conduct. Sages have laid down rules which we must follow to attain His feet.

When He Himself has taken avataras, to show us the right path, why did He send sages to instruct us? Although as Rama He lived an exemplary life, we might dismiss it saying He was able to adhere to dharma, because He was the Supreme One. But if a fellow human being were to advise us and show us how to live life in accordance with dharma, then we are likely to pay attention. That was the reason why He sent rishis to this world, to give us important lessons in life, said Velukkudi Krishnan in a discourse. Saunaka was one such rishi who listed steps to follow in life in order to reach Him and to be rid once and for all of repeated births and deaths. Saunaka’s advice is compiled under the title Vishnu dharma, and it came in response to questions asked by King Sataneeka.

Sataneeka had an illustrious lineage. He came in the line of Pariskhit. Parikshit, knowing that he had only a few days to live, listened to Suka’s narration of Srimad Bhagavatam. Parikshit’s son was Janamejaya and Janamejaya’s son was Sataneeka. Kings used to pay attention to what sages told them, for they needed to govern in accordance with dharma. They, therefore, paid heed to rishis.

Sage Vaisampayana narrates the story of the Mahabharata to King Janamejaya. Janamejaya’s son turns to sage Saunaka for answers to his questions. In Vishnu dharma, there are stories within the main story, conversations within the main conversation.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:12:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/lessons-taught-by-sages/article30578090.ece

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