Tackle Obstacles with Integrity


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Life often scatters obstacles in our path. Some of us sidestep them while others overcome them. Yet, if we are riddled with difficulties from time to time, we tend to give up. A story from the Mahabharata says that if one tackles problems intelligently and with integrity, it will stamp our success with moral satisfaction and happiness.

Princess Sukanya had to marry the old sage Chyavana whom she had blinded inadvertently. Though there was no equivalence of any sort in the marital ties, the young bride did not have any complaints. She was quite cheerful and sincere in carrying out her conjugal duties.

A couple of years later, the handsome celestial twins, the Ashwinikumaras, happened to sight the beautiful Sukanya. They were smitten by her ethereal beauty. They tried to wean her away from her marriage and make her theirs. The principled lady refused to comply with their wishes, politely, yet firmly.

The demigods were struck by her loyalty to her husband despite his shortcomings. They offered to cure him and restore his youth as a reward for her steadfastness.

Sukanya and Chyavana were ready to accept a lease of normal and healthy life. Just when things seemed to fall in place, the divine twosome laid out their condition. The clause said that Sukanya could continue in her marriage if only she could identify her husband in his new Avatar. She accepted the challenge without batting an eyelid.

Accordingly, the sage was taken to a nearby lake by the duo. The trio immersed themselves in the waters.

When they emerged, Sukanya was startled to see that the three of them were identical in every single way. She was stressed, but gathered her wits and observed the threesome walking towards her. She recollected from her vast repertoire of knowledge that Godly entities never came into physical contact with earth. She noticed that only one of the three dazzling men was leaving footprints on the wet banks of the lake. She walked demurely towards her only love in life and stood by him.

The Ashwinikumaras were highly impressed by her integrity and intelligence and blessed the couple a happy and fruitful life of togetherness. Sukanya had every reason to flounder under the circumstances, that she chose to overcome it reflects her diehard spirit.

Architects of our Karma


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One man’s food is another man’s poison. We find our lives constantly riddled with the vagaries of life which offer contrasting situations. We often find people working on cross purposes sometimes defeating the very cornerstone of their goal.

For instance students are more interested in clearing or topping examinations than learning the subject. Teachers are busy finishing portions as against imparting knowledge. Businessmen, journalists, governmental and non-governmental organisations are more worried about meeting deadlines rather than investing quality time and research on their projects.

In other words, most people in every walk of life, no matter what their age, gender, occupation or station, are keen on working towards their goal. Little do they realise that the not so pleasant or positive side effects of the journey launched by none other than themselves  is the direct result of their own Karma.

A tale in the Puranas puts across this point ever so well. Once upon a time, king Shwetaki decided to perform a series of homas and yajnas for a period of a hundred years. He used several thousand pots of pure ghee as oblation to Agni the god of fire in order to appease all the gods in the pantheon.

As years passed by, Agni found it extremely difficult to digest the rich offerings. He lost his resplendence and became very pale and weak. He rushed to the creator Lord Brahma to seek a solution for his unique problem. He was asked to consume the green vegetation of the Khandava forest to restore his healthy appetite.

Accordingly, Agni spread his flames into the verdant area. The creatures of the forest appealed to Lord Indra to protect them from the raging fire. The area was doused by torrential rains by the grace of Indra. Agni found it difficult to continue with his treatment.

He sought the help of Krishna and Arjuna who were passing by to help him on his mission. The twosome was initially reluctant to interfere in a matter which did not concern them in the least. Yet the prayer, petulance and persistence of Agni made them consider his request.

Little did they realise that they would be inviting the fury and vengeance of Takshaka, the venomous serpent who lived in the forest. Long after the Great War of Kurukshetra, Arjuna’s grandson king Parikshit became the victim of the long-drawn animosity created through an inadvertent chain of events.

So, when the results of our endeavours are met with unsavoury situations and unexpected outcomes, we must trace back our steps and analyse our situation. We are most likely to find that we are the architects of our destiny.