Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Story 35 – Story of King Chitrakethu - 2

We saw that Sage Angiras and Narada came to guide Chitrakethu into the ultimate reality of Lord. Today we will try to analyze on the grace of the Lord and how it works on each and every person irrespective of whether he is a believer or not.


It is generally a wrong notion in our minds that the Lord hates all those who dont seek him or love him or accept him. This is a notion which is kind of prevalent in Christianity as well as in certain systems of Vedanta.

If we consider the ultimate reality of Lord as one who is beyond everything, then he has to be beyond like and dislike as well. Thus such a Lord cannot be partial to any person whether it be a disbeliever or a believer. It is but a fact that we have been brought up in utter ignorance with stories and fables pointing out that a person who doesn’t accept the Lord goes to hell. Those stories are just meant to bring the attention of the seeker towards the Lord. Statements which have no real meaning but are just praises or things to get the attention of the seeker is called ARTHAVAADA in technical terms.

It is sure that a Lord who is impartial and above everything as the creator-sustainer-destroyer of the world cannot like a particular person and dislike another person. The Lord is ever present and waiting for each seeker to seek him so that he can reveal himself as bliss absolute. As Swami Chinmayananda beautifully puts it “God is not a sultan of sky sitting amidst clouds showering blessings on selected individiuals”. Instead God is the indwelling Self of all beigns – God is the ultimate reality behind all illusory existences. As the various hymns and scriptures speak, God is the inner nature of all beings – we all are but God only – there is nothing apart from God – whatever is there, whatever was there and whatever will be there is only God, one without a second.

Thus it is illogical to say that the Lord hates some people and sends them to heaven (like certain people in Vaishnava clans say).

Let us now try to see what the Lord himself speaks about the same in Bhagavad Gita:

Bhoktaaram yajnatapasaam sarvaloka maheshwaram
Suhridham sarvabhootaanaam jnaatvaa maam shaanthim ricchathi

A person who knows Me (the ultimate reality of Lord) as the enjoyer of all yajnaas, peace-giver of all worlds and friend of all beings in the world – he attains eternal peace.

Samoham sarvabhooteshu na me dveshyosthi na priyah
Ye bhajanthi tu maam bhakthyaa mayi te teshu chaapi aham

I treat each and every person in the same way – I neither have hatred nor love towards any person. But those who worship me, they are in me and I am in them.

As the above sloka tells, the Lord never either hates or loves any person. He cannot love any person because he is the very nature of each person. He cannot hate any person because in such a case, he would be hating himself which is impossible. Thus the Lord has the same feeling with each and every person in the world.

Then what is the use of worship, seeking etc. --- can’t we then ignore the Lord and hate him as then also we are the same only????
The difference is in the fruit for the individual. As the Lord says, he who worships the Lord, he is in the Lord and the Lord is in him. This means that he who worships the ultimate reality of Lord, he realizes his own very nature of Lord and therefore finds himself as the non-dual reality of Lord.

What is the worship that the Lord mentions here????
The worship is that of seeing the Lord everything and everything in the Lord. When a person remembers the ultimate reality that there is nothing here but the Lord alone, he realizes that everything is but the Lord alone (an illusion in the Lord) and everything is in the Lord as an illusion is in its substratum. Thus when a person sees the Lord alone as existing and doesn’t even differentiate his own very nature with the Lord, he realizes that he is in the Lord and the Lord is in him. This is what is termed as moksha or realization or getting eternal bliss – the primary goal of life.

On the same line, we have to remember that since the lord is impartial --- the grace of the Lord is ever present for everyone. Thus it is wrong to say that “I dont get the grace of the Lord”. It is our fault if we dont open our hearts, surrender to the ultimate reality of Lord and remember that everything is the Lord alone. As AMMA says, if we close the doors and windows & say that “sun is not giving light to my house”, it is wrong. The sunlight is ever present but we will be able to grasp it only if we open the doors and windows. Similarly the grace of the Lord is ever present but we will be able to get it only when we open our hearts. Thus we need to be capable and eligible to grasp the ever present grace of the Lord.

This is possible when we follow the spiritual path of seeing oneness everywhere, always surrendering unto the Lord and doing all actions without craving for the fruits. When we follow this, we will be able to see the grace of the Lord working at all times and situations. Thus we will be able to realize that the Lord cannot hate or love anyone because there is nothing apart from the Lord. Whatever does exist is only the Lord.

We find in the story of Chitrakethu that he respected angiras and was devoted to the Lord. Thus when he was in grief, he could feel the grace of the Lord by the presence and arrival of Narada and Angiras. Thus if we are totally devoted to the Lord by remembering him at all times, then we will be able to feel the presence of the Lord at all times in one way or the other.

Remembering that the Lord is ever impartial but we will be able to get eternal bliss which is the nature of the Lord only when we open our hearts to the ultimate reality of Lord, let us all try to become eligible for the ever present grace of the Lord.

We will continue with the knowledge imparted by Narada and Angiras to Chitrakethu in the next day.

Angiras said thus to Chitrakethu:
O King! We have come here to get you rid of all sorrows. I had the desire to give you the knowledge about the ultimate reality of Lord but during that time, desire for a son was very strong in you. Hence I gave you the son that you desired. And as a result of that, you have now understood as to what is the sorrow from a child. The situation of all happiness and prosperity is the same. They all lead to sorrow and sorrow alone. Even great Vibhootis or siddhis are also endowed with sorrow alone.


Srimad Bhagavatham drives here one of the eternal rules of desire fulfillment in this part. The rule is called eternal only from the empirical level and not from ultimate level as ultimately there is only the Lord, one without a second.

The Lord says in Gita that whoever seeks me in whatever form, I appear to them in that form. This is the eternal rule for desire fulfillment. A person who seeks mathematical knowledge and seeks it completely, he gets it. Thus any person gets whatever he desires.

This doesn’t mean that a mere desire will make it be fulfilled in life. But fulfillment depends on the strength of the desire. As strong the desire, so is the probability of its fulfillment.

Mahatmas speak that fulfillment of desire is a very complex thing as it involves not just a single person but multiple people. The farmers pray to the Lord for rain whereas normal people pray to the Lord that rain is not there.

We also have to remember that the more and more we have the thought of the Lord in the mind & offer the desires as well to the Lord, the more chances of it getting fulfilled. Thus we find in the lives of great saints that they were not short of anything at all in the world. Whatever they wanted and even more than whatever they wanted, was given by the Lord to them.

Thus if a person requires something to be achieved in life, he has to first strongly desire for it & work towards fulfillment of the desire. All the while, he has to remember the ultimate reality of Lord and offer the desire as well as actions to the Lord. If a seeker follows thus, he will see that the desire gets fulfilled very easily and without much hurdles-obstacles.

We find here that Chitrakethu had the strong desire to have a son even though Angiras was ready to give him the ultimate knowledge – knowing which nothing ever remains to be known. As a result of this desire, Chitrakethu got a son by the grace of the Lord. Also the way the Lord follows to teach the seeker and make the seeker realize the futility of things in the world is strange --- many a cases, we find that the Lord teaches through experience. Thus Chitrakethu experienced the futility of a son who gave him nothing but sorrow alone. Similarly each and everything in the entire world is full of sorrow alone. They can give nothing but sorrow alone. Thus only fools follow and seek temporary happiness from the worldly objects which will finally lead to sorrow alone. But the wise do not seek temporary happiness, instead they seek eternal happiness through knowledge of the ultimate reality of Lord – the one and only eternal entity in the world.

Even great siddhis like aakaasha gamanam (traveling through space) is also temporary and will lead to sorrow alone. All worldly objects whether they are living or non-living will lead only to sorrow. Thus a seeker has to realize the futility of seeking out these objects & instead should seek out the ultimate reality of Lord who is the only permanent and blissful entity. Once a person seeks out the ultimate reality of Lord, he develops a dispassion towards the worldly objects which is accompanied by discrimination between real and unreal. Such a person who is endowed with viveka or discrimination and vairagya or dispassion is eligible to know and apprehend the ultimate reality of Lord. This is what Vedanta calls as Saadhana Chathustayam or four-fold qualifications of a seeker which include discrimination between real-unreal, dispassion, the mental qualities of mental calmness-control of sense organs-withdrawal of sense organs from sense objects-forbearance-faith in the scriptures-tranquility of the mind and Mumukshutva or burning desire for liberation.

We can very rarely find a seeker who is endowed with all of these qualities. Thus when Vedanta says that a seeker should be endowed with these qualities, it only means that he who is endowed with these alone will be able to apprehend the reality – others will just be able to know the reality at the mental or intellectual level. Knowing is something different from experiencing. Experience is when the seeker is ever established in the ultimate reality of Lord ever thinking about the Lord and ever calm. Such a seeker always knows the reality behind the illusory world & that everything is but the ultimate reality of Lord. Vedanta calls such people as Jeevanmukthaas or liberated beings.

The aim or goal of human life is to become jeevan muktas or realization of one’s own very nature of eternal bliss – it is only by this that human life is satisfied by getting that which everyone is striving for – eternal bliss.

We will continue with Angiras instructing Chitrakethu on knowledge of the ultimate reality of Lord in the next day.

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