The Supreme Incarnates to help jivatmas attain moksha. As Krishna, He gave the world the Bhagavad Gita. But He also let Bhishma tell Yudhishthira about the power of His names. Bhishma had already set an example for everyone through his virtuous behavior. Sages have established rules that we must follow to reach His feet.
If He himself has taken avataras to show us the right way, why did he send wise men to instruct us? Although he led an exemplary life as Rama, we could reject it by saying that He was able to keep dharma because He was the Supreme. But if a fellow person would advise us and show us how to live life according to dharma, then we will probably pay attention. That was why He sent rishis to this world to give us important lessons in life, Velukkudi Krishnan said in a treatise. Saunaka was such a rishi who summed up steps that he had to follow in life to reach Him and get rid of repeated births and deaths once and for all. Saunaka’s advice is compiled under the title Vishnu dharma, and it came in response to questions from King Sataneeka.
Sataneeka had an illustrious origin. He came in the line from Pariskhit. Parikshit, knowing that he only had a few days left to live, listened to Suka’s story about Srimad Bhagavatam. Parikshit’s son was Janamejaya and Janamejaya’s son was Sataneeka. Kings always pay attention to what the sages told them, for they had to rule according to dharma. They therefore pay attention to rishis.
Sage Vaisampayana tells the story of the Mahabharata to King Janamejaya. The son of Janamejaya turns to sage Saunaka for answers to his questions. In Vishnu dharma there are stories within the main story, conversations within the main conversation.
You have reached your limit for free items this month.
Register for free at The Hindu and get 30 days unlimited access.
Benefits of a subscription include
Find mobile-friendly versions of articles from the daily newspaper in one easy-to-read list.
Enjoy reading as many articles as you want without any restriction.
A select list of articles that match your interests and tastes.
Move smoothly between articles while our pages are loading immediately.
A one-stop shop for viewing the latest updates and managing your preferences.
We inform you three times a day about the latest and most important developments.
Not convinced? Know why you have to pay for news.
* Our digital subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper, crossword puzzle, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans improve your reading experience.