imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata
yogo nastah parantapa
Years back, in Nalanda and even before, Guru – Shishya parampara was followed. The best part of this parampara was knowledge was handed down in regular succession from generation to generation. If I refer “Bhagavad Purana” or “Garuda Purana” or “Agni Purana” then the first apparent teacher was “tridev” (Vishnu, Bhrama and Mahesh). These three teachers are the sources of knowledge. Not getting into more details here about “tridev”, I would like to elobrate this shloka of Gita.
Krishna, addressing Arjuna, says, “This knowledge was handed down in regular succession from generation to generation. The royal sages knew this yoga. But by long lapse of time it has been lost here.”
Krishna, in this shloka refers to a type of rishi, “Rajarishi”.
A Rishi is said to have thorough knowledge of Vedic scriptures and culture. They are ideal for others to follow the path of spiritual development. They have conquered the mind and senses, practices the art of “Nishkama karma and karma Phala tyaga”. They have attained a vision of the “supreme”.
Rishi can be classified as Maharshi, Rajarshi, Brahmarshi and Devarshi.
Rishis following the parampara of imparting knowledge to successors use to first choose a disciple. The motive of such parampara was to preserve the true essense of knowledge. With this shloka, Krishna says, the parampara of imparting knowledge has been lost. People in the name of knowledge impart their interpretations, which is like half cooked food. To grasp the eternal knowledge, true knowledge and the essense of vedic scriptures, one must have spiritual eyes and ears. Cosmic body is not capable of handling such beautiful knowledge.
In Bhagavad Purana, Shukdev muni, narrates the importance of the eternal knowledge with the following incident.
“With the intension to have benefits of divine knowledge Indra and others come to see Sutaji. Knowing the intenstions of Indra and others, Sutaji, laughs on them and says, you cant get the true eternal knowledge in return of ‘amrita’.” So was the valuable the eternal knowledge and essense of Gita. That one day, Bhrama decided to weigh it, he placed all the divinity like Kalpavriksha, Amrita on one side of the weighing scale and the Bhagavata Gita on the other side of the weighing scale. To the surprise of all, the Bhagavata Gita weigh more than all the divinity.
In the name of knowledge and spirituality people have learnt to earn money and fame. On the name of Krishna and Vishnu and the Supreme, they impart their feelings, understanding (which is half cooked food), dreams (to be hero, powerful) and aspiration.
Again, taking reference of Shukdev muni’s words from Bhagavad Purana, “This knowledge is sweeter than mangoo, yet it doesnt have elements like skin which other fruits have. One can only enjoy and relish its sweetness when he devotes himself wholeheartedly.”