Who is more elevated than the Earth? Who is higher than the sky?
Mother is more elevated than Earth. The father is more elevated than the sky. This was the response of Yudhishthira to the next question of the Yaksha. The sky cannot exist without the earth because both of them meet at the horizon. Hence a living entity is retained between the sky and the earth. The father is the role model for the family. He has to set the standards for the family and hence he sets the ideals for the family. He is the highest authority governing the family and hence compared to the sky. The mother on the other hand has to absorb the shocks within the family and keep the family united. She maintains the affairs of the family and bears the problems of the family in her heart and acts with patience and forbearance. Hence she is compared to the Earth that bears the burden of all the living entities.
What is swifter than the wind?
The mind is swifter than the wind, was Yudhishthira’s answer to the above question. The five senses have a limitation, beyond which they cannot operate. The body is compared to a chariot and the spirit is the passenger. The intellect is the charioteer. The senses are the various horses that pull the chariot like body in various directions. The mind is the reins of the horse. The mind which is purified can control the senses that hanker for objects of the world. The intellect that is purified keeps the reins of the mind and the senses under control. Mind normally does not think of good things or travel to desirable places because of the impurities that remain lodged within the mind.
How can Women attain Liberation according to Shastra?
The Shastra has many easy as well as simple provisions for a woman to attain liberation as compared to Brahmana men who have to follow many rules and regulations and follow the Varna Ashrama Dharma etiquette in exquisite detail. It is the duty of the woman to care for children and bring them up in the proper Varna. A woman of the Brahmana class should ensure that her child is made to follow the rules and regulations of the Brahmana class and likewise women belonging to the other Varnas should do so for children belonging to respective Varnas. She should ensure that she provides food and deliver the required honor for visiting guests in the most befitting manner. The housewife should support her husband in arranging articles for worshipping the Lord. She should support and advice even her husband in matters related to Dharma and ensure that Dharma is executed in all household related matters. A woman who simply abides by these fundamental guidelines becomes a candidate for ultimate liberation. Such a woman has no need to carry out Yajna or any other sacrifices. It is a fact that the renunciants of Bharath, the ones belonging to the highest Varna and Ashrama have to accept alms from the woman of a household. Thus the foodstuff that the renunciant or sanyasi consumes comes from the woman, who is even entitled to decide the fate of a being placed on the topmost rungs of the Varna-Ashrama Dharma. It is to be known that a man in the household cannot attain liberation without the support of the woman of the house. A woman not only is responsible for her liberation but also holds the key to the liberation of the man in the household. This is the superiority of her position. Thus it is a misconstrued idea that men have an upper hand in religious or Dharmika (धार्मिक) activities. In fact, it is quite the other way round. It is also asserted that for the mind to lose its impurities, following the Varna Ashrama Dharma becomes pertinent.
What can squeeze in more and more through the smallest opening, better than grass?
It is a well-known fact that however small an opening may be, grass of any size can be easily squeezed into it. Not only can grass enter through the smallest hole, but unlimited amount of grass can be forced through the smallest hole. But here Yudhishthira says that finer than grass are worries which enters the hole of the mind. The worries of man are unending and the mind is infested by the never ending entourage of worries. Right from a 5 year old to an 80 year old, every soul is busy with worries looming in the mind. People lose hair, their hair greys too fast and face develops wrinkles because of the army of worries that enter their minds without respite.
Worry should be dealt in relation with the Lord
Once sage Narada passed by a place where many sages were assembled. However sage Narada was lost in thought and his face was wrinkled by worry. One of the sages called out to sage Narada. He said “Of all people, how are you harassed by the devil of worry?”. It is astonishing indeed to see a man sunk in the holy names of God, worried. This is indeed a great mystery. Such is the position of worry that even hermits are attacked by it, owing to a moment of inattention. It is a fact that since man is a thinking entity, it is befitting him to have thought. However if man overthinks or goes about thinking needlessly, it results in worry, which does not befit his position. The philosophy that can save man from the ocean of worry is this. Whether one worries or not, whatever has to transpire shall happen, whether we desire it or not. Everything that happens, happens by the will of God. Since we are devotees of the Lord, the Lord knows what is best for us. Although we may not understand the significance of the happenings, the Lord is aware of all that happens and is the owner of it. So whatever he does should result in ultimate goodness. This faith one should have and this shall prove to be the way out of worries.
Only our faith in the Lord shall see us through our worries
Only through faith and dependence on the Supreme Being, one can be relieved from all worries. It is to be noted that under no condition should the events that happen in life develop a capacity to break us and shake our faith on the Lord. When we have rehearsed enough, that whatever happens, is with the will of the Lord, aimed only towards our long term benefit, shall we retain our undying love and faith on the Lord. This simple faith has the capacity to topple mountains, say the Scriptures. Worry is considered as the fever of the mind. If the mind gets infected with the termites of worldly illusion, no medicine can cure it. The only antidote to the disease of worry is our undying faith and surrender at the feet of the Lord. Hence, the mind has to be trained to be at the feet of the Lord, by inculcating the proper values in line with the Dharmika Shastra. If one discusses about the Lord and his devotees with a non-envious disposition, this can be considered as a very strong potion that shall keep our minds healthy and free of frailties.
Comparing 4 things can end worry
There are 4 things of life through which we can compare ourselves with others. First is Knowledge. Second is with respect to developing good qualities. Next is wealth or money. The last is standard of living. Consideration for two of the areas should be in an opposite way compared to the other two areas. While comparing ourselves with regard to money and standard of living, one should consider people who are at a lower standard of living than us and people who have their monetary status below us. Looking at these people we should be greatly satisfied. One has to envy the people having better qualities compared to us and the people who have higher knowledge than us. This shall make us humble. But on the practical front, we compare ourselves with people richer than us and people who have a better standard of life than us and feel envious of them. We compare our knowledge with the less knowledgeable and see ourselves having better qualities than the people who are not well-mannered or ill-mannered and feel proud. This is seen to be the major source of our worries.