“There is no wealth like knowledge and no poverty like ignorance said, Buddha”.
My conclusions from this quote go like this; Currency notes and bank balances can make you wealthier but the only thing that can make you worthier of your wealth is Knowledge. People run behind making money but have no proper route to achieve it. The right way to earn money is to gain knowledge and derive wisdom out of it. The knowledge that lets you make the right decisions. Vedas also teach us the importance of Knowledge.
In Hindu culture, Goddess Saraswathi is considered as the mother of learning. We already learnt that Lakshmi is the god of wealth. Before we derive the connection between knowledge and wealth, let’s understand who needs what.
So, the point is who needs Knowledge? Is it the Devathas or Rakshasas?
Both Devathas and Rakshasas were powerful. Devathas drank Amrit and have become immortal. Rakshasas didn’t back-off and had fought tough battles with their muscle power. But the only sufferer was Manavas. Humans were raw, immature and devoid of knowledge. They neither had Lakshmi nor Saraswathi with them i.e. Wealth (or) Knowledge.
After the Sagar Manthan episode, there was a demarcation in the place of living. Devathas enjoy their immortality and ruled the 3 lokas. Rakshasas in a disappointing way and unapproved of their loss move back to Pathala Lok. Of course, Manavas remained in Bhu Loka. Bhu Loka was a place of calm as the Manavas were devoid of both Knowledge and Wealth. Seeing this Saraswathi plans to help the Manavas in securing knowledge and become more efficient
As time passed, good things and innovations started to take place in Bhu Loka. Manavas have discovered writing and reciting things inventing knowledge.
Relationship between Saraswathi and Lakshmi:
Saraswathi (Knowledge) and Lakshmi (Wealth) share a very close relationship. Knowledge is crucial in anyone’s life so is money for surviving. The order goes like this, first comes Saraswathi – mother of knowledge. Next comes Lakshmi – mother of wealth. But it is believed that both of them don’t coexist. People go either for Knowledge or wealth.
The fruit of knowledge is wealth. Using knowledge, one will be able to get the tricks to make money. But the moment you acquire Lakshmi (wealth), it becomes addictive and it makes you forget acquiring knowledge. This angers Saraswati and she leaves. Devoid of her, Alakshmi, the elder sister of Lakshmi comes in, bringing in fights and misunderstandings and soon the wealth is gone, and so is Lakshmi.
So the moral is, one should not give importance to Lakshmi by neglecting Saraswat. This makes him incapable of learning new things.
Goddess Saraswathi puts her foot into Bhu Loka to bless Manavas
When Goddess Saraswathi arrives in Bhu Loka, Lakshmi follows her. This made Bhu Loka also a wealthier place. Humans started to earn big and earn rightly. The Rakshasas in Pathala Loka got jealous about this and had an eye on the Bhu Loka. Humans were able to replicate the wealth of Swarga Loka with knowledge.
Parallel to this story, the mother of Rakshasas Dithi was unhappy and heartbroken, having lost all her sons in the war with Devas. She goes to her husband Kashyap and demands him to bless her with sons who can bring back the glory of Rakshasas. Seeing her sad state, Sage Kashyap obliges and through divine lovemaking, blesses her with two powerful sons. Dithi is happy. She names them as Hiranyaksh and Hiranya Kashyap. She takes up the task of training them. One should understand that Devas and Rakshasas are cousins, they share the same father Kashyap but Devas mother is Adithi and Rakshasas mother is Dithi.
Sri Maha Vishnu – A Balancer
But there’s a story behind the birth of Hiranyaksh and Hiranya Kashyap. After making Devas immortal, Vishnu felt that it could disturb the balance in the society and devas can become very powerful and self-destructive if their power is not checked. Thus, Maha Vishnu thinks of creating a situation to balance society. He wants to maintain order by creating Rakshasa with abilities to compete and defeat Devathas.
One day, he sees his two gatekeepers Jaya and Vijaya guarding entry gate. He drafts a plan and puts it into action the next moment.
There are four Kumaras – young kids living in Tapah Loka. Sanaka, Sanatana, Sanandana and Sanat Kumar. Tapah Loka is 6th Loka, right before Brahma Loka. Vishnu invites them to visit Vaikuntam and on the other side, he calls Jaya and Vijaya and orders them not to let anybody inside.
A few moments later, four Kumaras arrive. Jaya and Vijay stop and insult the kids. Youngest one among them, Sanat kumara gets angry. He curses the gatekeepers.
“You arrogant people. You will never be gatekeepers again. You will go back to Bhu Loka and live there” Vishnu comes out and embraces kids. Shell shocked gatekeepers ask Vishnu why? Vishnu takes kids inside, spends time with them and then they leave.
Two gatekeepers fall on the feet of Vishnu. Vijaya tells Maha Vishnu that they can’t live without them. We have been taking care of Vaikuntam. Vishnu says this curse is irrevocable. Even the Kumaras can’t take it back. You both have to go to Bhu Loka and serve the punishment.
They plead and ask is there a way out. Vishnu says yes. There are 2 choices for you.
- You will be born in Bhu Loka for 7 times as good people. Live a long noble life. After 7 lives you will unify with me attaining moksha.
- You will be born for 3 times and you will be Rakshasas and do bad deeds. Due to a lot of bad deeds, you will be killed by me. It won’t be a long life
Jaya and Vijaya chose the second option and the three births are:
- Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashyap
- Raavan and Kumbhkaran
- Shishupala and Dantavakra
Vishnu in a way has given work to himself. He has challenged the immortal Devathas, given hope for Rakshasas. Most importantly, Vishnu entrusted himself the work to enlighten people and protect Dharma…
The next avatar onwards we will discuss the Leela’s and Maya orchestrated by Sri Maha Vishnu. Next up is Varaha avatar…