Srimate ramanujaya nama:
Priya arangan adiyar,
Whenever we travel somewhere, we have the habit of reserving tickets for that journey well in advance. But a prerequisite for booking the tickets is to be aware of the destination. Conversely, if the journey is certain and destination is uncertain, then one cannot reserve the tickets. If one considers our life as reserving a ticket, then our status afterlife is the destination. And destiny has it that the journey of afterlife is going to take place some day. So if we are not clear about the destination after this life, our journey would as miserable as travelling without a reserved ticket.
There was a Pandya king named Vallabhadevan who gave a thought about this journey, inspired by the words of a scholar as a result of which he conducted a debate to know who is the Supreme person. It was in the same debate wherein Periyazhwar established the supremacy of SrimanNarayana as mentioned in the Vedas. There was yet another king who pondered this question much earlier. That king once got cursed that he would face his end within the next seven days. Being disturbed by such a curse, that king approached Suka Maharishi, the son of Maharishi Veda Vyasa. That king was none other than Parikshit, the grandson of Arjuna. Parakshit narrates the incident, also explains the question he was having in his mind and conveys his concern over the short duration available with him to plan for his “journey”.
Then Suka Maharishi comforts him by telling the story of another king who lived even before. Khatvangan, a ruler of the Ikshvaku clan, was a valorous king who fought a war on the side of Devas and won that war. Pleased by his courage, he was offered a boon and the king said he wanted to know when he would face the end to his life. The Devas said that he had only one muhurtham to spare. He spent the remaining time in meditating about Emperuman and attain the exalted position of Sri Vaikuntam. Having comforting king Parikshit in this way, Suka Maharishi narrated the entire Srimad Bhagavatha Puranam and relieved the doubts of King Parikshit thus making him reserve tickets for his “journey” to Sri Vaikuntam.
Recently, a series of upanyasam on SriBhagavatham was conducted at Acharyah campus for a duration of seven days. SriBhagavatham is the epic narrating the pastimes of Lord Krishna. It is a text that enumerates the countless virtues possessed by Lord Krishna. In this upanyasam of SriBhagavatham, each day, certain major accounts from the Puranam were elaborated.
On the first day, the avatharikai (Prelude consisting of a sequence of events which led to the narration of the Puranam) was given with great elaboration. The charithrams of Dhruva, Jadabharatha, Ajamila, Ambarisha were explained in detail in the following days. On the next day, the account of Govinda pattabishekam (Govardhana uddharanam) was also narrated and the upayasam concluded with Rukmini kalyanam on the last day. The devotees were in ecstasy being engulfed by the sweet nectar of SriBhagavatham. This divine experience is indeed the ticket reservation for their “journey”.
The Divine pictures can be seen here :