Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Story 39 – Story of Mahaabali - 05

Since Mahaabali didn’t heed his Guru Shukracharya’s words, Shukracharya cursed him. The curse was that since he didn’t heed his Guru therefore he will lose all aishwarya (glory). The curse didn’t affect Mahaabali’s mind even a bit.


Since Mahaabali didn’t heed to Shukracharya’s words, Shukracharya cursed him that he will lose all glory and fame. What has glory to do for a person who has established in the ultimate reality of Lord? A person who has totally merged into the ultimate reality by constant contemplation on the ultimate reality of Lord has nothing to do with the asta siddhis or any other thing in the world. He is ever immersed in the ultimate reality of Lord thereby ever rejoicing in the eternal bliss of the Lord. For such a person there is no worldly glory required nor can any curse touch such a person. Curses and sins are only for the person who considers himself the ego associated with the body-mind-intellect complex. But for the seeker or the realized saint who are ever immersed in the ultimate reality of Lord as one’s own Self distinct from the body-mind complex, there is no curse at all. Everything is but the blessing of the Lord alone. As a father can never curse nor leave his children in a bad shape, the ultimate reality of Lord cannot curse or leave his children (which are all seekers and non-seekers) in a bad shape. Hence even if something bad happens in the life of a seeker it is only for the welfare of the seeker. A real devotee will ever consider everything as the blessing of the Lord. The devotee ever waits to be of any service to the Lord or his devotees. Hence Mahaabali considered this as a great opportunity to serve the Lord. Also since Mahaabali considered all worldly curses and even the Guru as secondary to the ultimate reality of Lord, he ignored the curse of his Guru Shukracharya.

Once there was a minister to a king. The minister was intelligent and learned but always used to say that “everything happens for the best”. Many of the kings people didn’t like this. Once the King the minister and other soldiers were going for hunting. At that time a branch fell over the head of the King and his head was hurt. They did bandage for the injury. Again the minister said that everything happens for the best. The king couldn’t tolerate this and ordered the minister to be executed the next day morning. The king and his soldiers again went for hunting. The king got lost going ahead. Suddenly some tribal people surrounded the king and captured him. The king became afraid. The tribal folks were getting things ready to offer the king to their goddess. They were dressing the king properly and at that time they found the injury on the king’s head. They stopped the process and released the king because people in injury couldn’t be offered to the goddess. The king then realized the statement of the minister that “everything happens for the best”. He then set the minister free and acknowledged the words of the king.

A seeker has to always remember that the ultimate reality of Lord is ever there to protect him and hence whatever is happening in the world is only for the good. The seeker just has to remember to be ever focused in the ultimate reality of Lord thereby constantly contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord at all times. If the seeker forgets this, that is the biggest sin and curse that can befall him. This curse of forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord will lead the seeker more and more into the ocean of samsaara characterized by sorrows and sufferings in the world. Thus a seeker has to be like Mahaabali setting aside everything for the ultimate reality of Lord ever focused in the ultimate reality of Lord

Mahaabali filled water in his crown, offered it at the lotus feet of Vaamana and put a bit on his head (symptom of respect). Devas offered flowers on Mahaabali for the bold thing that he was doing of giving three feet land to Vaamana though he knew that Vaamana would destroy his clan by the same.


It is very tough indeed to be bold enough to accept bad/tough situations as the grace of the Lord. It is during these times of distress that everybody succumbs to worldly passions. It is easy to propound and preach Vedanta when a person is in a good situation. But when the real test comes through tough or crisis situations, it is very tough indeed to remember the ultimate reality of Lord and consider the same as the blessing of the Lord. Those who consider everything as the grace of the Lord and seek the Lord at all times irrespective of conducive and non-conducive situation are DHEERAS or bold people. They alone can be called as bold because they are bold enough to withstand the pressure and temptation from the world and be focused on the ultimate reality of Lord.

Mundaka Upanishad openly proclaims that the Lord is not known through either preaching or listening to discourses or through one’s intellect but the Lord is known as one’s own nature of Consciousness through the strong desire of the seeker to realize the Lord which leads the seeker to be ever fixed unto the ultimate reality of Lord. Katha Upanishad proclaims that person to be a dheera who doesn’t succumb to worldly pleasures, thereby controls/diverts the sense organs towards the ultimate reality of Lord.

Swami Tejomayananda (the current head of Chinmaya Mission) once mockingly said: everybody likes sanyaasins except that they shouldn’t be their childrenJ. We can go on speaking about how to react when tsunami comes or when terrorists capture us etc. etc. But when the real situation comes, it is tough to remember whatever one has learnt and apply the same promptly. It is easy to console one’s friend when he hasn’t cleared the CAT but it is tough to stay calm when oneself has failed to clear CAT.

Maintaining calmness and poise at all times is possible only by the person who is ever fixed in the ultimate reality of Lord. This is possible for such a person because he knows clearly that there is nothing here apart from the ultimate reality of Lord. He knows that the world is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord. Thus he merely witnesses all the activities of the world even as we witness the activities happening in a screen in front of the theatre where a movie is going on. This attitude of witnesshood doesn’t let the seeker identify/associate himself with the activities in the world and makes him focused on the non-dual reality of Lord (the substratum of the illusory activities). Thus the seeker is ever established in the non-dual reality of Lord thereby not getting affected by the temporary situations and surroundings.

AMMA says in many places that it is not the surroundings that has to be changed but the inner mental attitude towards the surroundings that has to be changed. Once a king was walking outside his palace in the kingdom. Suddenly a stone pricked his feet. He ordered the entire kingdom to be carpeted for avoiding the same. The minister then advised the king that the entire kingdom need not be carpeted (which is not possible) but the king could wear footwear and avoid the same. It is not possible to change the world because there is no real world at all. Changing the world is like trying to control the water that is seen in desert (mirage). It is because of this reason that powerful people like George Bush and Osama Bin Laden are trying hard to control the world but leading them to destruction of themselves and others alone. Instead of trying to control the illusory world, the seeker has to control the mind by making it strong through knowledge that everything is but an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord. When the seeker gains intellectual conviction and constantly remembers this reality, then nothing really affects the seeker & he remains unperturbed by worldly events. This is what we find in Mahaabali in this part of the story. Even though his Guru Shukracharya advised him and even cursed him, Mahaabali was not at all affected. He was ever the same and happily (without any regret) decided to offer three feet of land to Vaamana knowing that it would lead to his destruction. Mahaabali knew that whoever sought the ultimate reality of Lord will never be lead to eternal destruction – it would seem to be leading to worldly destruction but world itself being an illusion, therefore such a destruction doesn’t matter to the real seeker of the Lord. There is and never will be any destruction spiritually for the real seeker of the ultimate reality of Lord – there is just one and only one goal achievable by the seeker of the Lord & that is eternal bliss characterized by complete cessation of sorrow. We will see in the next few parts of the story as to whether Mahaabali was lead to destruction or bliss.

We will continue the story in the next day.

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