Black Lives Matter: No two Opinions. All Lives Matter: No two opinions. All Lives including Black Lives Matter: No Two opinions. Should police be defunded? There may be two or even more than two opinions.
Without going into any opinions, let’s relate a story. It is from ancient times, but it is as relevant today as then, as we in USA are currently battling Coronavirus, and at the same time having racial protests due to unfortunate death of George Floyd, a black man, by pinning him down by a Policeman.
But before relating the story, let me introduce the main characters of the story:
Parashar was son of Shakti. Shakti was son of Vasishtha. Thus, Parashar was grandson of Vasishtha. Vasishtha was a great sage (God- realized person). Vishvamitra, was the then King, a contemporary and adversary of Vasishtha. The story of Vishvamitra and Vasishtha tussell is very interesting and educative, but that is for another time. Maitreya was student of Parashar.
According to the story, Maitreya asked Parashar:
I am now desirous, Oh you who are profound in piety! To hear from you, how this world was, and how in future it will be? What is its substance, Oh Brahman, and whence proceeded animate and inanimate things? Into what has it been resolved, and into what will its dissolution again occur? How were the elements manifested? Whence proceeded the gods and other beings? What are the situation and extent of the oceans and the mountains, the earth, the sun, and the planets? What are the families of the gods and others, the Manus, the periods called Manvantaras, those termed Kalpas, and their subdivisions, and the four ages: the events that happen at the close of a Kalpa, and the terminations of the several ages: the histories, Oh great Muni, of the gods, the sages, and kings; and how the Vedas were divided into branches, after they had been arranged by Vyása: the duties of the Brahmans, and the other tribes (classes), as well as of those who pass through the different orders (Ashramas) of life? All these things I wish to hear from you, grandson of Vasishtha! Incline your thoughts benevolently towards me, that I may, through your favour, be informed of all I desire to know.”
“Well inquired, pious Maitreya! You recall to my recollection that which was of old narrated by my father’s father, Vasishtha. I had heard that my father had been devoured by a Rakshas (Monster) employed by Vishvamitra: violent anger seized me, and I commenced a sacrifice for the destruction of the Rakshasas (Monsters): hundreds of them were reduced to ashes by the rite, when, as they were about to be entirely extirpated, my grandfather Vasishtha thus spoke to me:
“Enough, my child! Let your wrath be appeased: All Rakshasas (Monsters) are not culpable for your father’s death: your father’s death was the work of destiny. Anger is the passion of fools; it becomes not a wise man. By whom, it may be asked, is anyone killed? Every man reaps the consequences of his own acts. Anger, my son, is the destruction of all that man obtains by arduous exertions, of fame, and of devout austerities; and prevents the attainment of heaven or of emancipation. The chief sages always shun wrath: be not you, my child, subject to its influence. Let no more of these unoffending spirits of darkness be consumed. Mercy is the might of the righteous. Being thus admonished by my venerable grandfather, I immediately desisted from the rite, in obedience to his injunctions, and Vasishtha, the most excellent of sages, was content with me.
Then arrived Pulastya, the son of Brahma, who was received by my grandfather with the customary marks of respect. Pulastya said to me:
“Since, in the violence of animosity, you have listened to the words of your progenitor, and have exercised clemency, therefore you shall become learned in every science: since you have forborne, even though incensed, to destroy my posterity, I will bestow upon you another boon, and, you shall become the author of a summary of the Puraanas; you shall know the true nature of the deities, as it really is; and, whether engaged in religious rites, or abstaining from their performance, your understanding, through my favour, shall be perfect, and exempt from doubts”.
Then my grandfather Vasishtha added: “Whatever has been said to you by Pulastya, shall assuredly come to pass”.
And Parashar, after thus telling his personal experiences, had gone on to answer Maitreya’s questions.
The history has it that Parashar gave up his anger and stopped violence, because, logically, you can’t blame and punish the whole tribe or race for one person’s misdeeds. That one person should be brought to justice, is fair and reasonable. Parashar, overcoming his anger and violence, had devoted himself to pursuit of knowledge and became a venerated sage, author, teacher of his times. He authored many texts including Vishnu Puraan, Vishnu Sahastranaam, Parashar Hora (a treatise on Astrology) and Parashar Samhita. A key message of the story may be: In your anger, don’t hold against the whole tribe or race. The guilty must be brought to justice, of course.
Note: The source of this story is Vishnu Puraan, Verse 1/ 2-27. Vishnu Puraan is one of the 18 Puraanas. The term Puraan means ‘of old time, past, history’. The source of the English translation of the story is https://www.vyasaonline.com/vishnu-puran-amsha-1-chapter-1/. We accept, no translation can fully capture the intent, context and meaning of the original)
Author: Renu Parashar
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.