In the previous episode, we witnessed that Sage Vishwaamithra was finally able to take king Dasharata’s two sons – Rama and Lakshmana along with him to his ashram and all the three of them started to walk along the southern banks of the river Sarayu. We also saw that while they were progressing in their way forward, Sage Vishwaamithra thinks within himself that these two children should have the strength and the will power to handle the tough situations that are going to unfold later during this journey. Hence he teaches the two great manthras “Bala” and “Athi Bala” to Rama and Lakshmana. In due course, Sage Vishwaamithra himself explains the significance of these two manthras. Let’s recollect the sloka for our easy understanding, and move forward from there.
“Balaam athibalaamschaiva patakastaatha raaghava!
Na soubhaagye na daakshinye na gnyaane buddhi nischaye!!”
Here, Sage Vishwaamithra says to Rama, “Oh Raaghava (Rama)! If you learn these two manthras, you’ll never face a decline in your health, your knowledge and your intellect would be constantly in the active mode every minute!”
In the modern day, may a time we too go in search of “Manthras”. We approach numerous ways in obtaining them and we try to use them for our personal gains. There is a general opinion prevailing amongst many of us that if we chant a “Manthra” for ‘n’ number of times a day, whatever we wish for in this world would come true! My opinion is that, all these kind of narratives are false! Some people publish a few slokas and some “Yanthras” (Divine Symbols) in a weekly or a monthly magazine and propagate to their viewers and readers that “If you keep this ‘yanthra’ in your house, you’ll have uninterrupted flow of money!” Trust me… Nothing like that would ever happen! We should note here that things are not so easy as we think and our ancient “Maharishis” were not fools! Why am I saying this with such an authority is that, we never even know who published the article with that sloka, we never have the proof that if something really has happened like that before and we also do not know where and how was that “yanthra” made. Just for the sake of getting more money, name and fame, if we keep all these divine symbols at home – This is what I call “Superstition”! In the Vedas and the Shaastraas there is absolutely no room for superstitions. We should understand this point very clearly! I shall justify it in the following description.
All of us are in the wrong notion that those people who learn the Vedas and the Shaastraas are in a “superstitious world”! It is not the case. Also, sadly many of us are nowadays under an impression that only those people who go to a proper university and graduate in engineering, management, etc. are brilliant and those who opt for the Vedas and Upanishads as their line of education are dull people – This is a very wrong attitude! If we look into the arguments and the discussions the Vedas and the Upanishads put forth on the table, we cannot even stand there to counter-argue continuously for five minutes! The Vedas speak extensively about the modern day subjects of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Astro-Sciences, Botany, Zoology and even Management. There is also a consensus emerging amongst many modern day scholars that the “Bhagavat Gita” can probably be the richest source of the modern-day Management concepts. Hence, we should learn to appreciate our Vedas and Shaastraas and try to spend some time to learn it.
Moreover, people who are skilled in our Vedas and Shaastraas tend to talk very precisely and “directly to the point” and they do not bluff around. For instance, if a topic has to be spoken within 10 minutes, many of us tend to speak for more than 10 minutes and never come to the point of the discussion. Whereas, those who are scholars of the Vedas and Upanishads would easily be able to make their point authoritatively and also within the stipulated time frame! This is because they do not have any confusion in their minds while talking. They are very clear in their approach, concepts, related slokas and their meanings to substantiate their arguments! This is the significance of our great Vedic scholars and we should learn to appreciate their brilliance!
Now, having discussed all the above things, you might ask me whether it is advisable to chant any “Manthra” or not. My answer to the question is, “Yes! We should chant ‘Manthras’!” However, the austerities that are required to be practiced while chanting the “Manthras” are extremely important. If we chant the “Manthras” as per the instructions of our great “Maharishis” I’m sure that they would have a positive effect in our lives. Moreover, we should follow the correct procedure to obtain the “Manthra”. We should approach the right “Sadguru” (The Spiritual Master), learn it from him/her in the proper way and then follow it meticulously with all our concentration, austerities and determination. It is a kind of a spiritual practice. If we adopt this proper procedure, I’m sure that we would reap the benefits of chanting the “Manthra”. As we move forward and when the context comes, I shall elucidate in detail, the benefits of chanting a “Manthra”.
Hence, coming back to the context again, Sage Vishwaamithra teaches the children Rama and Lakshmana the two important Manthras. Where did the three of them go? What happened next? Let us wait to find out till the next episode!