Monday, April 03, 2006

Story 31 - Story of King Puranjana – 4

King Puranjana thus was born as a woman and got married to a king. Once her husband died & she was very sad on the same. She started lamenting on the same. At that time, a Brahmana came to her (Brahmana was an eternal friend of King Puranjana) and started telling thus:

Who are you? Whose wife or daughter are you? Who is the man lying here? It appears you are lamenting for this dead body. Don't you recognize Me? I am your eternal friend. You may remember that many times in the past you have consulted Me.
My dear friend, even though you cannot immediately recognize Me, can't you remember that in the past you had a very intimate friend? Unfortunately, you gave up My company and accepted a position as enjoyer of this material world.
My dear gentle friend, both you and I are exactly like two swans. We live together in the same heart, which is just like the Maanasa Lake. Although we have been living together for many thousands of years, we are still far away from our original home .
My dear friend, you are now My very same friend. Since you left Me, you have become more and more materialistic, and not seeing Me, you have been traveling in different forms throughout this material world, which was created by some woman.
In that city [the material body] there are five gardens, nine gates, one protector, three apartments, six families, five stores, five material elements, and one woman who is lord of the house.My dear friend, the five gardens are the five objects of sense enjoyment, and the protector is the life air, which passes through the nine gates. The three apartments are the chief ingredients — fire, water and earth. The six families are the aggregate total of the mind and five senses. The five stores are the five working sensory organs. They transact their business through the combined forces of the five elements, which are eternal. Behind all this activity is the soul. The soul is a person and an enjoyer in reality. However, because he is now hidden within the city of the body, he is devoid of knowledge. My dear friend, when you enter such a body along with the woman of material desires, you become overly absorbed in sense enjoyment. Because of this, you have forgotten your spiritual life. Due to your material conceptions, you are placed in various miserable conditions.
Actually, you are not the daughter of Vidarbha, nor is this man, Malayadhvaja, your well-wishing husband. Nor were you the actual husband of
Purañjanī. You were simply captivated in this body of nine gates. Sometimes you think yourself a man, sometimes a chaste woman and sometimes a neutral eunuch. This is all because of the body, which is created by the illusory energy. This illusory energy is My potency, and actually both of us — you and I — are one and the same. Now just try to understand this. I am trying to explain our factual position.
Narada thus concluded: My dear King Prācīnabarhi, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, the cause of all causes, is celebrated to be known directly as one’s own very nature. Thus I have described the story of
Purañjana to you. Actually it is an instruction for self-realization.


We come to the end of the story of Puranjana. We will try to see a summary of the story tomorrow but today we will try to see the main import of this story. The reality behind the apparent and illusory world is called Brahman or Lord of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute. There is nothing apart from Brahman which is one without a second. Whatever is present, whatever was present & whatever will be seen is nothing but Brahman alone. The world is just names and forms in the ultimate reality of Lord. Names and forms are mere illusions in the reality. As there is nothing but Brahman alone, therefore we are all Brahman. If that is the case, why am I not rejoicing in bliss which is my very nature? This is what Vedanta calls as avidya or ignorance. Somehow, ignorance creeped in & "I" forgot my own very nature of Brahman. The question as to "where is ignorance, how it came" etc. are invalid and futile because a person never analyzes the cause of his ignorance of a subject but just tries to remove the ignorance by getting knowledge about the subject. Thus instead of analyzing into the illusory ignorance, a seeker has to seek out the ultimate reality behind the illusory world which seems to be veiled by ignorance but is never veiled at all. This ignorance is removed by knowing one's very nature of Self distinct from the body, mind etc. "I" am not the body or mind but am different from all of these & am the changeless entity behind the changing things in the world. I am the mere witness to the various changes & thus am ever blissful in nature. Whatever exists here is only the Self - nothing but the Self alone, one without a second. Duality perceived is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of non-dual Lord or Brahman or Self. Puranjana when he forgot his nature of Self got entangled in the illusory pleasures of the world. Thus he had to suffer from the illusory things in the world - also he got entangled in the vicious circle of birth and death. This is what happens when a person forgets his very nature of Self and indulges in the illusory sensual pleasures. A real seeker has to distinguish his very nature of ultimate reality from the illusory world & thereby realize his own very nature of eternal bliss unaffected by illusory activities in the world.

We will try to analyze more on this the next day by concluding the import of the story which is a very important one to all seekers.

PS: Due to some problems, the postings have not been there daily since the past two weeks. This will continue in the coming weeks too. Will try my level best to have daily one posting but if in case it is not possible, please pardon the same. I regret for the inconvenience caused.

We have come to the end of the story of king puranjana. As discussed in the previous mail, the ultimate reality behind the illusory world is called Brahman or Lord or Consciousness, one without a second. This reality is the very nature of each and every person in the world. It is when we forget our own very nature of Self which is bliss in nature that we have to face sorrows and sufferings. This forgetfulness of the Self is called ignorance or avidya. When a person forgets his own very nature, he automatically considers himself as something else. This is called superimposition of the not-real on the real. This is what Vedanta calls adhyaasa or superimposition. Thus when a seeker forgets that he is the Self, he considers the body, the mind etc. as the Self. Since he considers himself as the body, the problems of the body becomes his problems - the sorrows of the body becomes his sorrows. Thus he suffers like anything even though he is different from the body & the body is just like a house where a person lives. Once the house becomes worn out, the person leaves that house & gets a new one -- all the while knowing that he is not the house but different from the house. Instead of this, the seeker thinks the troubles of the body as his & thereby starts sufferings & search for happiness.

Happiness can be achieved only by realizing one's own very nature of Lord or Self. As Sankara mentions in many places, that happiness which is not inherent in the seeker or is not the very nature of the seeker is temporary & will vanish any moment. That which is attained will definitely be lost. If a person argues that the wife or lover who he has will stay forever, he is wrong because that "love" ends when he leaves the body or the state of death is achieved. Thus anything that is gained is lost also. Thus if happiness is something gained by doing various sadhanas or by going to different places, such happiness will surely vanish one day or the other. Such temporary happiness can never satisfy a person as a seeker seeks eternal happiness (that which lasts forever). This happiness if it has to be eternal has to be the very nature of every being.

Thus we have to conclude that happiness is the very nature of all beings -- this happiness is what a person enjoys during deep sleep when the ignorance about one's own nature & the illusory duality temporarily merges into the Self. Thus when a seeker realizes his own very nature of eternal bliss, he never again suffers because he has realizes the non-dual reality behind the illusory world which is similar to the dream world we very often experience.

Puranjana is in reality the Self only. When the Self resides in the body or seems to reside in the illusory body, it is called Puranjana. This Self forgets its own very nature due to ignorance & thus identifies itself with the body, mind etc. Thus Puranjana even though is pure & blissful, considers himself as suffering and enjoying. He thus becomes a victim of action-reaction, birth-death, enjoyment-sorrow etc. So long as there is ignorance about one's own very nature of Lord or Consciousness, there will be sorrows and sufferings. We see this in our daily lives itself. The only person who is ever happy is the person who knows his very nature of non-dual Lord or Self. Thus Puranjana due to ignorance seems to be suffering and enjoying. He seems to be enjoying because of some of his good deeds. But all of a sudden, time overpowers him (him here means the body and as Puranjana is identified with the body, body is called as him), he suffers like anything. He thus is churned in the ocean of samsaara filled with birth & death based on the chain of actions & reactions. This suffering ends only when the seeker realizes his own very nature of eternal bliss.

When the seeker realizes his nature of Self as distinct from the illusory body, mind etc. he realizes that he is the witness to all the illusory activities. Thus he realizes that he never was sad & never will be sad. He realizes that there is neither birth nor death for him. This is what the Brahmana advised Puranjana that "you are neither the wife of a king nor the king Puranjana". This reality that "I am the non-dual Lord" is very tough indeed to apprehend and assimilate but this is the reality beyond doubt. This non-dual reality that "I am bliss in nature" is experienced by every person in deep sleep but at that time, he doesn't know that experience or he is not aware of the experience. But the moment the seeker becomes aware of his nature of eternal bliss, he doesn't suffer at all because there is nothing apart from himself. The Lord who was being sought by the devotee, the sensual objects sought by a worldly person and the happiness sought by a seeker are all nothing but one's own very nature itself --- there is nothing apart from the Self. There is no Lord different from the Self -- it is only due to ignorance that a person sees himself different from the Lord. When knowledge dawns, he realizes that he himself is the Lord-- there is no Lord apart from himself. He also realizes that there is only the Self & nothing else -- whatever duality is perceived is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Self like the dream world (which in fact is nothing but the dreamer alone).

The only sadhana for realizing one's own very nature of Lord is constant contemplation of the reality that "I am the Self, one with the Lord & distinct from illusory body and mind". There is nothing else required --- constant contemplation itself will lead to removal of ignorance & thereby a seeker will rejoice in eternal bliss which is his very nature itself.

A recap into the ultimate reality

We have been learning the various stories of Srimad Bhagavatham till now. Let us just do a quick recap about the ultimate reality – that reality which we are trying to understand with the help of the various stories of Srimad Bhagavatham.

The reality behind the world that we perceive is termed as Brahman, Lord, Self or God. This is nothing but one’s own very nature of Consciousness. It is this Consciousness that alone exists. Whatever is perceived temporarily and whatever is seen as existing is nothing but illusions in the reality of Consciousness.

The world that we see currently is only an illusion because it is always changing. Any changing entity has a beginning & an end. That which has a beginning and an end never really exists but just seems to exist. Dream, water seen in desert etc. are examples of such illusions which seem to exist but never really exist. That which is changing needs to have a changeless substratum even as a variable (which is ever changing) requires a changeless constant as its substratum. A mathematician clearly knows that there is nothing called variable but just constants alone exist. A variable is just an illusion in a constant – it is just a name and value of the constant. As gold chain, gold necklace, gold ring etc. are all mere names and forms of Gold, similarly the world of names and forms is nothing but Consciousness or Lord alone. Names and forms don’t have any reality at all – there are seemingly appearing illusions in the non-dual reality of Lord.

When a seeker realizes that there is nothing here but the Lord alone, the sorrows and sufferings arising out of likes & dislikes to the objects of the illusory world vanish. The Lord or the ultimate reality is not an insentient entity but it is a pulsating entity of Consciousness. It is not sorrow in nature but blissful in nature. This bliss of the Lord is what we all enjoy during deep sleep when we are sleeping but yet not dreaming. In that state, the duality or names and forms just merge into the reality & the reality alone exists as one without a second. Thus this ultimate reality which is the Lord is blissful in nature. This reality is not different from each one of us because there is nothing here but the Lord alone. Thus “I”, “YOU” and everyone are nothing but the Lord alone. But when we forget this reality about one’s own very nature of Lord, we enter into the world of illusion & consider the names-forms which we perceive as real. We forget to go beyond the names and forms to the underlying reality of Consciousness or Lord. That Consciousness alone exists is known through the logic of anvaya-vyatireka (co-existence and co-absence).

The anvaya yukti says that “If consciousness is there, the world of names and forms is there”. Vyatireka yukthi says that “If Consciousness is not there, the world of names and forms are not there”. This clearly shows that Consciousness is independent & names-forms are dependent on Consciousness. Any dependent entity is only an illusion in the independent entity. Thus whatever exists is only the Lord, one without a second. When we realize this through knowledge about one’s own very nature from the scriptures and Guru, we overcome the illusory ignorance about one’s own very nature of the ultimate reality of Lord.

When we realize that there is only Lord & “I am that Lord”, there is neither sorrow nor suffering. There is no thirst or struggle for happiness as there is only happiness. Knowing one’s own very nature of Lord is the one and only way to get eternal bliss which we are seeking each and every moment. Each and every person is seeking happiness which is ever-lasting but still we are searching in the illusory names and forms. This is as if trying to save money in dream – this is temporary & will not last long. When the names and forms themselves are temporary, how can they give eternal bliss? But when a person contemplates on the ultimate reality of Lord as one’s own very nature, he gets eternal bliss – that which is being sought out.

The very aim of studying the stories of Bhagavatham is not just learning stories but it is to understand the underlying reality of Lord through various stories depicting the ways, dos-don’ts to the ultimate reality. Let us continue our journey of learning about the reality & realizing our own nature of the reality through the stories but without forgetting the underlying ultimate reality of non-dual Brahman or Lord of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute, one without a second.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?