Leading usual saamsaarika-jeevam, but not being involved in the bhogas (materialistic pleasures) and attaining Moksham is the speciality Bhaarateeyas. Bhaarateeyas do Karma but only with Krutagnyataa-buddhi, paropakaara-buddhi and Vairaagyam. Priya Vrata’s story stands as a nice example for this.
Priya Vrata was the putra of Svaayambhuva Manu (the first Manu of the current day of Brahmadeva. See this to know our Kaala-maanam). Due to Priya Vrata’s adrushtam, Naarada maharshi came and gave Adhyaamtma-vidyaa-daanam to him. Though Svaayambhuva Manu wanted to make Priya Vrata the King, seeing his Dharma-buddhi, Priya Vrata was not at all interested in the Bhoga-bhaagyas of a King and went to pavitra Gandhamaadana Parvatas (where Paandavas spent part of their Aranya-vaasam) and did Tapas with great Nishtha.
Brahmadeva appeared before Priya Vrata and said “being a Gruhastha and having Aatma-gnyaanam, one can attain Moksham. Similar to how one does archana of Durga Devi for Shatru-jayam, a Mokshaarthi can be in Gruhasthaashramam and do Shri Naaraayana Naama Smarana, win the arishadvargas and attain Moksham in the end. Hence you do your Kartvayam of Raajya-paalana, never forget Hari-bhajana and thus get Moksham”. Following the Brahmadeva’s aagnya, Priya Vrata then went back to his father. Svaayambhuva Manu did Raajyaabhishekam of Priya Vrata and took Vaanaprastham to do Tapas.
Priya Vrata did Kalyaanam with Barhishmati, the putirka of Vishvakarma and did Dharma-paalanam of his Raajyam, never being invloved in the sukhas and never forgeting Bhagavat-dhyaanam. All putras of Priya Vrata and Barhishmati became great Vishnu Bhaktas. Three of them left to forests for Tapas and reached Parameshvara-sannidhi.
One day Priya Vrata got this thought: “we know Suurya-deva goes around Meru and the other side will have darkness. Why did not anyone try giving light to the other side?”. He thought “why not me?”. He immediately, with his Tapas-shakti, aboarded a Divya-ratham and started going opposite of Suurya-deva! People were surprised to see the second Surya. Because of this, the sapta-dveepams were formed on the Bhuu-madalam: Jambu-dveepam (here is our Pavitra Bhaarata-desham), Paksha, Kusha, Krauncha, Shauka, Shaalmali and Pushkara Dveepas. Also Sapta-saagaras were formed: Lavana, Ikshu, Sura, Aajya, Ksheera, Dadhi and Jala. Priya Vrata made his seven putras the Kings of the Sapta-dveepams.
Priya Vrata then completely left his moham on the Raajyam, Bhaarya, putras and remembered the Aatma-vidya given to him by Shri Naarada maharshi and did Adhyaatma-satra-yaagam. He considered the sukhas in Bhuu, Svarga lokam as nothing and became more interested in Moksham. With nishkalmasha-hrudayam he always did Vishnu-dhyaanam and because of his Vishnu-bhakti reached Vaikuntham.
Morals in the story:
- The Vairaagya Buddhi of Bhaarateeyas is well shown in the story. They do their Kartavyam, but keeping in mind what is Satyam and never forget Bhagavat-dhyaanam.
- Priya Vrata, because of his paropakaara-buddhi, was able to use his Tapas-shakti to do adbhuta-kaaryams. He became an Apara-suurya and gave aanandam to many.