Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Story 39 – Story of Mahaabali - 02

Mahaabali was instructed by his acharya (Shukracharya) that everything is but Brahman or Consciousness or Lord alone. A person is just playing a role in the play of illusory world. The world is nothing but Brahman playing the role of many people. Mahaabali got the conviction that the role he was playing now was that of an asura chakravarthi. The duty of an asura was to fight the deva and hence he fought with the devas. He lost to the devas for the first time. But he didn’t become tired and after having pleased the Guru, he attacked the devas with still more power. The devas became afraid and sought Brihaspathi seeking a solution for the same. Brihaspathi told the devas that the time is not good for them now and hence it was better for them to stay in a place away from svarga. Heeding the Guru’s words, devas along with Indra fled from svarga. Mahaabali’s fame spread throughout the world. Mahaabali started doing many ashwamedha yajnaas.


We find Bhagavatham as well mentioning that Mahaabali received instruction from his Guru of Shukracharya. What is the instruction??? The instruction is the essence of all the scriptures irrespective of whether it is sruthi (Vedas and Upanishads) or smrithi (gita, manu smrithi, yajnavalkya smrithi etc.) or puranas or the brahma sutras. The instruction is that there is no duality whatsoever here – whatever exists is only the ultimate reality of non-dual Lord of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute. The duality or differences that are seen in the world are only names and forms of the ultimate reality of Lord. Even as gold chain and gold necklace are mere illusions of names and forms in gold, similarly the various entities in the world are mere illusions of names and forms in the reality of Lord. Any name and form is not real and has no reality apart from the underlying substratum. The world also has no reality apart from the ultimate reality of Lord. It is thus one and the same Lord who is portraying different roles in this long world. It is very much similar to the dream world where the dreamer portrays the different characters appearing in the dream. Each role has its own dharma or rule to be followed. This is the reason why we cannot really define dharma as this or that. Dharma word itself signifies that which supports life – for an asura, the dharma is attacking devas. The dharma for a sanyaasin is contemplation whereas keeping up the generation through begetting of children is one of the dharma of a grihastha. Both are contradictory if we try to mix them. Dharma of different people is different.

What is important for a seeker is to follow his dharma (svadharma) remembering the ultimate reality of Lord and offering it as an offering to the Lord. This alone purifies the mind thereby making it easy for him to contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord. Constant contemplation of the Lord along with the knowledge that there is nothing apart from the Lord alone leads a person to realization of one’s own nature of non-dual Lord. We have discussed about dharma and adharma many times before but it is very important to remember that real dharma of human being is realization of the ultimate reality of Lord. The very first dharma that we say of a child is knowing its name, its parents etc. Similarly until we know our own very nature of Lord, we haven’t or aren’t following any dharma. If we don’t seek the knowledge that gives us the answer to the question of “who am I”, we are not different from mad people who have forgotten their own state of human-hood. It is thus very necessary to understand and know clearly that the primary dharma of human life is realization of the ultimate reality of Lord. All other dharmas are only secondary when compared with this primary dharma of realization of the Lord. All sadhana or practices that leads a person to the ultimate reality of Lord are the actions to be given primary importance. We spend 18 hours in the world and only half an hour or even less for the Lord; instead we have to spend 18 hours for the Lord and half an hour for the Lord – this is the only way to realization of the Lord as it is possible only through constant contemplation and continuous effort from the seeker. This doesn’t mean that we have to quit from the world and take sanyaas – but this only means that even while we are doing activities in the world, we have to remember the Lord and offer the activities unto the Lord. This way, we are in fact sanyaasins renounced from the activities with respect to the fruits of actions and the ego. It is because of this that Janaka, Mahaabali and others were considered to be jeevan mukthas and even Vyaasa sends sanyaasins like Shuka to these kings for gaining knowledge.

It is to emphasize constant remembrance of the Lord that Bhagavatham is repeatedly giving the accounts of the lives of kings like Janaka and Mahaabali. On the contrary we find very few stories of sanyaasins in the puranas. The path of sanyaas is very tough indeed and a person can follow it only if he has strong conviction and is fit to follow the path. Hence sanyaas is not for all people – the path of offering all actions unto the Lord while remembering the Lord at all times is easy and can be followed by any person. There is no limitation whatsoever for this whereas even sanyaas has limitations. A sanyaasin cannot indulge too much in sensual pleasures – he cannot go after lust whereas there is no such restriction for a person in the world. Even though a person might be having lustful thoughts in the mind but if he is offering that also to the Lord while remembering the Lord, the lustful thought itself becomes a sadhana in the spiritual path. Though the person is succumbing to lustful thoughts, he is not at all being affected by those as there is no thinker in the person (because he has offering everything unto the Lord – even the lustful thought and thinker as well).

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Seeing her children suffering, Aditi (the mother of devas) became very sad. She started performing vratas. She prayed sincerely to Lord Vishnu that the sorrow of her children be removed. Thus the Lord was born as Vamana (the son of aditi) in order to remove the sorrows of the devas. The Lord who has four arms, is the form of Brahman and controlling the entire world took this particular form of Vaamana as a role in a big play.


We find a couple of important things in this part of the story. One is that the Lord alone is the refuge for the people who are suffering in the ocean of samsaara. If the Lord is sought, then worldly problems as well as spiritual problems also will be solved. The Lord is so compassionate that he doesn’t stop with solving of worldly problems alone – instead he takes the seeker to the ultimate reality of eternal bliss. This is what is signified through the four weapons (equipments) that Vishnu has in his four hands. The Lord shows the blooming lotus which signifies the eternal reality of Brahman or Lord which alone can give bliss to the seeker. If the seeker fails to see the lotus, the Lord blows the conch to get the attention of the seeker. Still if the seeker doesn’t seek the ultimate reality of Lord, the Lord takes out the mace and gives a blow to the seeker. If the seeker still doesn’t give attention towards the Lord, the Lord takes the disc (chakra) and kills the Ego. All these are valid only for the seeker who takes refuge in the Lord for one or the other thing. Hence it is mentioned by saints that a person who seeks the Lord even for worldly pleasures is greater and superior to the one who doesn’t seek the Lord at all. Such seekers who seek the Lord for worldly pleasures have been termed as arthis (wealth seeking person) in the Gita.

A person who seeks the Lord for worldly pleasures but still is devoted to the Lord will be shown the lotus of the Self. If the seeker doesn’t give much attention to the Self or the Lord but gives more attention to the worldly entities, the conch will be blown. This is in the form of messages and advises from all directions for the seeker to seek the Lord. The Lord as we have been learning till now can be realized only through pure devotion and knowledge. Both knowledge and devotion are not different but one alone. There needs to be scriptural study as well as devotion accompanied by surrender towards the ultimate reality of Lord. Thus for the seeker who is devoted to the Lord for worldly pleasures, there will be messages through friends and devotees of the Lord to study the scriptures as well as to spend more time in satsang related activities. If the seeker still doesn’t spend time in spirituality, the Lord will give small blows to the seeker. This will be in form of troubles and sorrows. It is but natural that a seeker who is devoted to the Lord for worldly pleasures will seek the Lord at times of distress. Thus these distress moments will be quite frequent for those seekers who fail to seek the ultimate reality of Lord. Even if still the seeker doesn’t seek the Lord, the Lord himself will kill the Ego of the seeker by forcefully making him study the scriptures and achieve devotion. It is thereby we find people being taken to such a bad situation that they cannot but totally surrender unto the Lord for solution to their problems. Thus those problems are not problems but ways in which the Lord is making the seeker come towards the ultimate reality of Lord. This is thus the way through which the Lord makes his devotee realize the ultimate reality of Lord. We find here thus the devas and aditi in distress thereby making them seek the ultimate reality of Lord. The Lord himself during the Krishna avatar mentions to his mother that this is the third time you are seeking me as the son – at least now stop. The Lord was first born as kapila to devahuti, then as vamana to aditi and finally Krishna to Devaki.

All these stories thus show that a seeker who has taken refuge in the Lord will be lead to the ultimate reality of Lord finally. Seekers who gain conviction about the futility of worldly pleasures and eternality of the Lord alone will be lead easily and directly to the Lord whereas those who tend to get attracted and deviated into the worldly pleasures will be lead slowly and progressively.

The second important point we get from this part of the story is that everybody is but the Lord alone playing one or the other role in this huge play of waking world. As the single dreamer plays different roles in the dream world, similarly the ultimate reality of Lord plays different roles of Krishna, Vaamana etc. in this huge play of waking world. It is knowledge of this reality that there is nothing here but the Lord alone that these avatars are not affected by the activities of the illusory world. It is for the same reason that the realized saints in the world also are unaffected by worldly activities and outcome of those worldly activities. Through this the scriptures point out that we all are nothing but the Lord alone but in one or the other role (which has a different form, name etc.). If we know this reality, we will not be affected by the activities but will be a mere witness to all the activities of the world. This witnesshood is what Vedanta terms as kutastha or sakshi. This is the real state of the Self which is our very nature of Consciousness. We have constantly remember that we all are not the ego but the witness of Consciousness – that which is the same as the ultimate reality of Lord. Once we remember this, we will not be affected by activities and will be constantly contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord thereby realizing our own very nature of non-dual Lord.

We will continue with the story in the next day

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

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