King Dasaratha, a descendent of Ikshvaku dynasty, ruled the country very ably. Kula Guru Vasishta had helped him to a great extent. Today's [11th August 2009] lecture is from Vasishta Peetam in Ayodhya. It is a wonderful sannidhi. As we enter, we are welcomed by ancient pictures and drawings. Sri Rama and His Three brothers studied here only [gurukula vasam]. In the First floor is the new temple. In the ground floor is the ancient temple. In the new temple, sage Vasishta is accompanied by Sri Rama and His brothers Lakshmana, Bharata and Shatrugna. In the old temple, in the ground floor, we can see small idols of important persons. We see sage Vasishta with his wife Arundati on his left. Sarayu river was born as daughter to Vasishta and Arundati. Sarayu is on his right side. We can also see Sri Rama, Sri Sita, Lakshmana and Anjaneya. There is an important scene here. As we go down further through long steps, we find water filled Vasisht kund. This pond was supplying water to the Ashram of Vasishta. Water for this kund comes straight from Sarayu river. The water level of Sarayu river and Vasisht kund are always same. Near this kund is written Sarayu's history, tapas of Vasishta, reasons for names of Sarayu like Netraja, Vaasishti, Ragabandha, etc. In this place Sri Rama studied from sage Vasishta. He studied for Tweleve years only. After this only, sage Viswamitra requested and took with him Sri Rama to assist his yagna, by safe guarding the yaga shala. If Sri Rama had studied here for 12 years, it is obvious that He was born earlier! And, He was not born immediately after the marriage of Kausalya and Dasaratha! At present we are going to see a very important spot. In this place Putrakameshti Yaga was performed. This place is called Yagnashala, Yagna Bhoomi, Putra Kama Ishti Bhoomi, etc. There is Yagna bhoomi in Vasishta's Ashram we already visited. This Yagna Bhoomi is about 20 KMs from there. Here the King invited sage Rishyasringa and performed a yagna, when a Deva emerged from the havan kund, with a vessel containing payasam [kheer खीर]. The Deva gave the vessel to King Dasaratha and asked him to distribute the payasam to his wives, so that after drinking they would concieve children. First, Dasaratha made the payasam into Two halves and gave one half to Kausalya. She drank that and later Sri Rama was born to her. Then, Dasaratha, halved the remaining half and gave that quarter portion to Sumitra. She did not drink immediately, but was waiting. Then, Dasaratha, halved the remaining quarter portion of the payasam and gave that one-eighth quantity to Kaikeyi. Keikeyi thought that since Kausalya had drunk the portion given to her and Sumitra was yet to drink and so if she drank her portion immediately, her son could be Prince! Dasaratha was wondering to whom he could give the last remaining one-eighth portion. After a long thinking, he gave the balance also to Sumitra. With Two portions of the payasam in her hands, Sumitra prayed that she should give birth to two children, one to serve Son of Kausalya, her senior and one to serve son of Kaikeyi, her junior! Then she drank both together and later gave birth to Lakshmana and Shatrugna! Lakshmana was Sri Rama's devotee and Shatrugna was Bharata's devotee. One was serving the Lord and the other was serving the Devotee of the Lord. This place, Yagnashala, is the origin for all these. All should visit this place when visiting Ayodhya. Now, we will see sloka 13 of Chapter 18, in which important concepts are revealed:
pañcaitāni mahābāho kāraṇāni nibodha me
sāṃkhye kṛtānte proktāni siddhaye sarvakarmaṇām 18.13
Mahabaho = long handed [Arjuna]! Perhaps, Sri Krishna is pointing to Arjuna's muscle strength, so that he should get mental strength also from His teachings. Etani = these, panca karanani = five reasons, me = from Me [Sri Krishna], nibhoda = learn. The Lord asks Arjuna to learn from Him the Five reasons. Sarvakarmanam = all actions, siddhaye = to fructify or even to start yielding results. Sarva karmani includes all domestic [laukika] karmas and also Vedic [Vaideeka] karmas. These Five reasons are for the start of all laukika and vaideeka karmas. These Five reasons are must for all actions. These Five reasons are not mentioned by the Lord in this sloka, but in the ensuing slokas. Where is it told that these Five reasons are must for all karmas? Sankhya = buddhi or intellect, in accordance with Vedas. Krta = to be done, ante = decision. That is, these Five reasons for all actions are told in the intellect formed in accordance with Vedas, decisively. Arjuna had a doubt. In the earlier sloka, the Lord had told that karmas have to be done with Three types of tyaga or sacrifice. By sloka 12, the Lord had explained what was tyaga and sanyasa. From sloka 13, He explains, asakrutva anusandhanam, one of the Three sacrifices. That means, repeatedly remembering that I-am=not-the-doer! All are done by Lord and we are not doers, is asakrutva anusandhanam. Here, phala tyaga is not emphasized by the Lord. Arjuna should remember that he was not doing and only the Five reasons. Both desiring for results and action belonging to self are not the main criteria, in this sloka. But all commentators are of the opinion that once the thought of I-am-the-doer is abandoned, it implies phala tyagam also. Arjuna's doubt was that even if he were to remember that he was not the doer of the action, what if the results belonged to him? That is result could be his even if action was not his! How is this possible? We frequently find even results are not reaped for actions done by us; then how is it possible that we reap results for action by another? If we study, we can hope to get good marks in the exam. but, can another person study and we get marks? Arjuna's doubt was doer and results go together; doer can not be different from person reaping results. But there are many instances. We are in Putrakameshti Yagna bhoomi. Yagna was performed by Rishyasringa, under the auspices of Vasishta. But children were born to Dasaratha! Thus kartha, Rishyasringa was different from bhokta, Dasaratha. This objection is refuted by Sri Krishna as the case He was telling was different. It is not like in an Yagna, where Ritviks perform Yagna and the Yajamana reaps the benefit. Here, the Lord is Sarva Loka Mahesvara - Leader of all Universe! We, like His body, act in various deeds. So, the result of every karma performed by us, will not reach us but the Lord. When a King comes in procession on an elephant, the elephant is decorated, not to please elephant but the King! Thus action for some is enjoyed by some other! This way we have to interpret this sloka. We are not the doers and results are also not for us, but to the Lord. Another, question arises. All karmas are due to the Lord. It is OK to assume results of vaideeka karmas to reach the Lord; but what about laukika karmas? When we eat, our hunger is satisfied. Like wise in all domestic actions like sleeping, playing, etc., the results are enjoyed by us only. How, the Lord is mentioned as reaping the benefits? A princess uses a parrot for her plays. Surely, here, princess only enjoys. But to keep her enjoyment, she nourishes the parrot. Unless, the parrot is well looked after, she can not enjoy. Therefore, whatever parrot does, like eating and sleeping, is all for the enjoyment of the princess. Similarly, we are like the parrot and all our actions like eating, etc., are meant for the Lord, like the princess! Therefore, we are not doers, nor karmas are ours and neither results are ours. We should note tha sankhya mentioned is not about sankhya philosophy, which never accepts there is Lord or Sarveshvara! Sankhya here means intellect conforming to Vedas.