Ashtavakra Gita – Sloka I (contd…)

I remember a story related to King Janaka.

One person (I do not remember the name) having completed his education at Gurukulam was proud about his knowledge and asked Guru whether there is anything more that he needs to learn. Obviously, he expected to be told that he has completed his studies and ready to get back to routine life.

Instead, Guru asked him to the disciple to go to King Janaka to complete his education. The disciple was surprised to be told that he has to learn something from a king; something that he did not learn from a highly acclaimed Guru. Nevertheless, he set on a journey to meet King Janaka.

King Janaka asked him to go around the balance with a put filled with water to the brim, and not to spill even a drop of water. He can enjoy sights around the palace but spilling even a drop of water would cost his head

On return, King asked him about what he saw around but the poor guy was lost in fear as his life was at stake and could not enjoy anything.

What is the message:

Well, life is like that anyway. You know, for sure, you would die. It may appear pretty close at times. You do not, however, know how soon/late, it would actually be.

Easy recourse is abstention or renunciation. Accepting reality of life in daily life, amidst all its pleasures, pressures and pain, is essence of grihasthashram. No wonder, Grihasthashram is often considered to be superior even to Sanyasam

Unlike public perception of this line of philosophy, all the popular advocates (like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, his disciple Swami Vivekananda, Osho, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Ramana Maharishi etc) were men of action (not mere idealists). Advise is to act; not to abstain from action. Key is to stay as observer even while involved in action


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