When we perform Aarati, we often see the is the form of Garudji sculpted on the bell in the hand of the priest. What is the reason behind this?
Garudji can be seen from different point of views. Firstly, Garudji is Śrī Nārāyan’s vehicle and the bell ringing means Garudji is praying. With the uttering of ‘Ghaṇtā sthāya Garuḍāya namaḥ’ we worship the bell and by saying “Ghaṇtānādaṁ prakurvita paścād ghaṇtāṁ prapūjayet” we first check if the bell is one that will ring. By ringing the bell, the environment becomes holy and then we start worshipping it.
Garudji is also considered to be a form of the Vedas. It is said that when Garudji takes flight, then Sāmveda hymns can be heard from its wings. Lord Vishnu, Lord Narayan travels on this very Garudji to reach us. This means, that the Truth, which is approving of the Vedas, is brought to you by the Vedas.
That which you believe in, is not the truth but the truth is what you need to believe. That which we believe is not Dharma; Dharma is what we need to understand and believe. This is a great confusion: do Vedas drive us, or do we want manipulate Vedas according to our wishes and desires? This attempt to manipulate Dharma according to our wishes and this type of desire is Duryodhan’s disposition.
In Mahabharat, on the side of Kauravas we see Dharma in the form of Vidur and Pandavas have Yudhishthira in the form of Dharma. Both are virtuous and both have great love for each other.
Duryodhan wants that because Vidur is being fed by his family, Vidur should talk in terms favourable to him. That is why whenever Vidur says anything which is for the wellbeing of all, Duryodhan does not like it. When Shri Krishna came for conflict resolution, Vidur provided advice to Dhritarashtra which Duryodhan did not like. Duryodhan then insulted Vidurji by saying, “Who called this maiden’s son here, he is fed by us but always prefers the wellness of the Pandavas”. This implies that if we spend some money for virtuous causes then we start expecting that Dharma is driven according to our wishes. No, we should do what Dharma says.
Whatever I do is Dharma, is the disposition of Duryodhan. Duryodhan’s nature includes stubbornness, selfishness and ego. Then he talks about throwing Vidur out. Such is how Dharma is treated on the side of Kauravas whereas in the case of Pandavas all the brothers follow with discipline as Yudhishthir guides and instructs, even in scenarios when they dislike what is asked. At times, all the brothers do not agree to what Yudhisthira is saying, for example in Draupadi’s case. Was it appropriate to gamble her? It was natural for the others to be angry, but Dharma is respected on this side to a great extent. By doing so, at the end Shri Krishna, the embodiment of Truth, sided with the Pandavas. As the Pandavas were driven by Dharma, God stayed with them. In the end the Pandavas won the battle of Mahabharat.