Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Hara Hara Shankara, Jaya Jaya Shankara

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stories Less Told - Janaka

JANAKA, the Great

In our mythological stories, we come across many rishis were brahma gnanis. Among kings too, there were many who attained moksha. Janaka, is one such king, whom even Krishna mentions in the Bagavadgita (3.20). The Upanishads too mention his name with reverence. If Mahalakshmi Thayar herself chose King Janaka as her foster father, we can imagine the what a great king Janaka was. He was a karma yogi to the core. He went beyond the realms of the body and its attachment and realised that the soul is only eternal. He knew that one has to work for the realisation of the brahman.
I would like to quote an interesting story of the monarch by which he proves himself to be a realised soul.

Yagnavalkya was GURU to King janaka. Janaka was an extremely humble student and never showed a pomp when he came for his lessons. He sat along with other students for his lessons. As he was a very sharp, interested student and a student who put to practise what he learnt, he was the guru’s  favourite. This obviously made the other disciples jealous. They thought that the GURU is partial because Janaka was the king and would receive favours from him. But the GURU was undisturbed and knew that a day would come when his disciples would know as to who was the sun and who was the lamp.

One day, when the King and other disciples were listening to the lesson about BRAHMAN, they saw a sudden fire flaring up and the entire city of Mithila was in flames. There was chaos everywhere. People were running hither and tither to save themselves. The disciples also got perplexed. They all ran to their cottages. What for? They were Brahmin boys who did have any property. The cottages were given to them by the king. Why then did they run to their cottages?? Just to save their clothes and loin cloth. But King Janaka did not move from his place. He and the guru were intently discussing the Brahman. When people approached the king, the king gave a sharp reply: “Mithilayam pradagdhayam namekincit pranasyati".. “Nothing do I lose even though Mithila may be consumed to ashes.”  Here was a king who never bothered for his kingdom when it was in fire while there were the disciples who were running to save their clothes. The students realised the greatness of King Janaka.

All of us are always within the limits and illusion of the body. We think that the body is eternal, Many a times we perceive that the body and soul are one. But this is wrong. The soul and body are NOT the same. The souls is eternal and is not affected by the sun, cold, rain or wind, happiness, sorrow, etc. All pain and pleasure is only for the body and not the soul. The soul in in eternal bliss. Because of its association with the body and its karma, it feels pain or pleasure. It is only the soul that carries our karma to our next birth. 
In order to reach to this state of mind where we realise that the body and soul are different and understand the nature of the soul, we must first accept this fact and have an urge within ourselves to get redeem from this samsara. The first step that all philosophies prescribe towards the end goal is karma yoga. We have to follow the rules laid down by our shastras and vedas. If we are going to believe that these are just books of superstitious belief, then it is our folly. We will always be in the vicious cycle of birth and death. Moksha may remain only a dream.


No comments:

Post a Comment