In the assembly of great sages, King Parikshit who had decided to give up his life on the banks of the Ganga had asked the young Rishi Shuka several questions about what a dying man should remember.
This brings us to the end of the first chapter of the great Purana called the Srimad Bhagavatam. The whole story told so far is simply known as the entry of Shuka.
Even though so much drama happened in the story related to Krishna’s death—the conversation between Kali and Parikshit; Parikshit’s tryst with destiny in the hermitage of Shameeka Rishi; the deadly curse by Shringi that the king would die in seven days bitten by the snake Takshaka—the title of the chapter is simply ‘The Entry of Shuka Brahma Maharshi’.
In the same way, in our life too which is filled with so much drama—nothing is of any consequence. The entry of the guru in our life is alone a matter of great importance. Once the guru enters, our life goes through tremendous transformation. The situations and the drama outside may continue to be the same but our thinking and response is different. This transformative knowledge is given by the guru alone.
Chapter two of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana begins with the words of the vakta—the speaker, Sage Shuka—to the highly attentive shrota—the listener, King Parikshit. The speaker first congratulates the student on the brilliant questions, the answers for which would be of great help to all people of the world. This question has the approbation of all knowers of the self and the answer one seeks is the supreme thing that needs to be known. For the people engaged in their daily household duties, there are indeed many things that they can hear and know. Their lifetime is expended by sleep and the pleasures of the senses.
Their day time is absorbed by seeking wealth or discharging their duties.
The people of the world are generally attached to thoughts of their body, their children, their spouses and the whole army of things that belong to them. Even if they are seeing an end to all these attachments in life, they do not really understand the finitude of these relationships. Since everything else that we know of in the world is transient, the only thing that people need to do is to remember the self of all, the one who has all wealths—Bhaga—the master of this universe from time immemorial.
That name and the glories of the Lord is the only thing they need to listen to, remember and praise. That alone can confer the state of fearlessness in our personality, the Sage Shuka told Parikshit.
The author is Sevak, Chinmaya Mission, Tiruchi; email: email@example.com; www.chinmayamission.com