Monday, December 04, 2006

Story of the churning of the ocean - 08

The goal of human life is to attain immortality in the form of ever-present and unlimited bliss. This is what each and every being in the world is searching throughout day and night. We all are searching for happiness in the external world. There would be no place or area which has not been tested out by humans for happiness but the result of all such testing and search has been sorrow and sorrow only; humans haven’t been able to get eternal bliss which is being sought by them at all times. Eternal bliss cannot be achieved from the external world because the world is temporary. Anything that is temporary cannot give eternal bliss as the entity itself will vanish after some time. That which is not present after some time cannot give happiness after it vanishes. Hence temporary entities cannot give eternal bliss. Eternal bliss can be achieved only from eternal entity.

The scripture speak about Brahman or Lord as the one and only eternal entity. Everything else that we see and perceive is only a temporary appearance in the Lord. Since Lord alone is real and everything else is changing, therefore the Lord is called the ultimate reality. Ultimate means that which is permanent, eternal and absolute. Reality is that which is ever present as real or existent in all the three times of past, present and future.

The ultimate reality of Lord or Brahman is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. The Lord is existence because he exists beyond time and time itself is only a creation in the Lord. The Lord is consciousness because he is conscious of his own existence; he gives light to himself as well as other temporary existences of the world. If the Lord was not conscious of his own existence, then he will become like an insentient rock; such an insentient entity will not be able to illuminate either itself or other entities; hence such an entity will not be existent at all if not for any other light. The Lord is therefore mentioned a the light of all lights and the light that illumines everything and the light following which everything else becomes illuminated or get existence. The Lord is also bliss because he is infinite and unlimited. That which is unlimited will be full of bliss because there is no limitation.

Thus we can conclude that realization of the ultimate reality of Lord who alone is blissful can lead us to eternal bliss - lead us to the goal that we all are seeking. It is only through realization of the Lord that a person can get eternal bliss, there is no other way to eternal bliss. This Lord is not different from oneself because we all are conscious beings and of the nature of Consciousness. It is ignorance of one’s own nature which causes a person to think that he is different from the Lord and the limited ego. This ignorance can be removed only through knowledge and devotion towards the ultimate reality of Lord. When a seeker constantly contemplates on the ultimate reality of Lord as the only real entity and the world as a mere illusion in the Lord, he overcomes the ignorance which veils his very nature of Lord. It is this contemplation that is achieved through the various beautiful and miraculous stories of the Srimad Bhagavatham. If we tend to forget this aim of Srimad Bhagavatham in helping the seeker gain contemplation of the ultimate reality of Lord, the study of Bhagavatham itself will be futile and of no use. It is very easy to get diverted in the stories about the glory, power and miracles of the Lord but a seeker should never get deviated into the stories instead he should ever remember the ultimate reality of Lord as the essence of the stories. All the stories help the seeker in gaining more and more knowledge as well as contemplation of the ultimate reality of Lord; they also show the user as to how to progress in life overcoming the obstacles and finally achieving the goal of realization of one’s own nature of Lord.

It is always important to remember the goal of ultimate reality of non-dual Lord while hearing or studying the stories of Srimad Bhagavatham. It is for this reason that we have been trying to analyze and bring our attention back to the ultimate reality in between each and every story.

This might seem to be a repetition of the same thing over and over. But it is through constant repetition that focus is gained and it is ensured that the seeker is not distracted from the ultimate reality of Lord. When a small child is learning a rhyme, he/she repeats it tens and hundreds of time thereby making the mind focused and fixed on the rhyme. Through this the child becomes clear and can repeat the rhyme anytime. This is even true in the case of any subject irrespective of age. This is the same thing that is required and emphasized in Srimad Bhagavatham as well. Each story of Bhagavatham is not telling the glory of the Lord but shouting aloud that the Lord alone is there, one without a second. Each story is emphasizing in different ways the ultimate reality of Lord as one’s own nature and non-dual reality of Consciousness. We have to make sure that we don’t forget this reality amidst the beautiful stories.

Let us all try to be focused on the ultimate reality of Lord thereby constantly contemplating on the Lord as our own nature and gaining the ultimate goal of eternal bliss in this very birth itself.

We will start with the next story in the coming days keeping in mind the ultimate reality of Lord as the goal of all the stories of Srimad Bhagavatham.

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