Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Story 40 – Story of Ambariksha – 6

For real seekers of the reality, one-pointedness of the mind and the siddhis will make the path of moksha clear for them. But those who become egoistic about siddhis, that itself will become an obstacle.

Since you are into trouble now, seek Ambariksha. He will surely give you peace and help you out of this situation as he is a real bhaktha.


Here we find the Lord explaining as to when siddhis become obstacles and when siddhis help a seeker in the spiritual path. As the Lord mentions in Gita, any action which is performed with thought of the Lord and as an offering to the Lord is an action which helps in the spiritual progress of the seeker. On the contrary, all actions that are done without remembering the ultimate reality of Lord is an obstacle to the seeker in the spiritual path. Any obstacle is something which makes the seeker forget the ultimate reality of Lord through association/identification with the Ego and getting attached to worldly things as a result of Ego.

Siddhis by themselves are not obstacles to a seeker. Though siddhis are considered as a hindrance to Samadhi in the Yoga system, Vedanta doesn’t consider anything as an obstacle if it is done remembering the ultimate reality of Lord. Siddhis in turn helps a seeker to realize the ultimate reality of Lord. The siddhi of finding out a Guru helps out the seeker so that he is able to progress in the right direction and quickly towards the ultimate reality of Lord. This is what we find in the case of Paramahamsa Yogananda who knew his Guru though hadn’t met him yet. All the while when he was meeting saints, he knew because of the siddhi that this isn’t my Guru. But when he once met Yuktheswar Giri and that too just saw him from a long distance, he knew that this is his Guru. Thus in the case of Paramahamsa Yogananda, the siddhi helped him in finding his Guru thereby leading him to realize the ultimate reality of Lord.

But the same siddhis become an obstacle as we see in the case of Durvaasa. Not just Durvaasa but we can find this in the case of many people in the puranas and many people in our current time as well. Personally have came upon many people who have some or the other siddhis but those themselves becomes an obstacle to the spiritual path. Any musician for an example is somebody who has progressed sufficiently in the spiritual path due to which his kundalini has raised up till the Vishuddhi chakra but got stuck there. The siddhi achieved is beautiful voice in singing. This siddhi itself locks up the person into money, fame and other things. There are very few like Swami Vivekananda, Swami Amritasvaroopananda puri (AMMA’s senior-most disciple) who haven’t got limited by the siddhi but progressed further in the spiritual path.

The siddhis that we are discussing here need not be siddhis like traveling through sky or creating asuras but anything which is not ordinary is a siddhi. If a person is able to attract people towards himself more than all other people, that is also a siddhi. If somebody is able to manage people very easily, that is also a siddhi. All these if properly offered to the Lord and performed with the thought of Lord will lead the seeker to ward off troubles at the empirical level and lead him further in the spiritual path.

But once we get attached to the siddhis forgetting the Lord, ego gets nourished. Once the ego is nourished, then there is no stopping it. It shows itself to everything and everyone until it finds something more than what it can tackle in the form of Mahatmas or jeevan mukthas or bhakthas who are beyond all siddhis as they are looked after by none other than the ultimate reality of Lord.

It is very tough indeed to conquer the ego or keep it under control. Only those who are constantly contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord will be able to control it easily. For such people, there is no Ego at all because what they know is only the Lord – for them, everything is but an illusion in the Lord. Such a bhaktha will always see things as an illusion of names and forms in the Lord. When a person sees things as an illusion in the Lord, there cannot be any attachment to the name-form but only to the Lord. Thus the seeker is ever contemplating and getting attached to the ultimate reality of Lord.

We will continue the next day as to how Ambariksha responds when Durvaasa seeks refuge in him.

Hearing the Lord’s words, Durvaasa ran to Ambariksha. He then fell at the feet of Ambariksha and asked himself to be saved from the chakra. Ambariksha seeing Durvaasa falling at his feet, was embarrassed and prayed to the chakra considering it as Lord Vishnu himself: “O Lord! I see everything as filled with the Lord. Therefore you who are one and possessing all qualities should show compassion towards this brahman (durvaasa) by removing his sorrow if you are pleased with me”. Hearing Ambariksha’s prayer, the chakra retreated and Durvaasa was saved from the chakra.


We see here the difference between Ambariksha and Durvaasa. Durvaasa was angry with Ambariksha for drinking water without waiting for him whereas Ambariksha was unaffected by all activities. Thus when Durvaasa goes back to Ambariksha seeking his help to get rid of the chakra, Ambariksha rather than being proud and showing ego, becomes embarrassed with the situation thereby helping Durvaasa out of it. Such is the state of real devotees of the Lord; they can never have ego. They are ever immersed in the thought that everything is but pervaded by the Lord. Thus there is not even a slight chance of ego attitude developing in the mind of such a real devotee of the Lord. This is but the simplest and easiest way to overcome Ego – through pure devotion towards the Lord. When we don’t know the real nature of the world, we think that we can control the world. What can a person control in the world? He is not even able to control his body once it becomes old; then what about controlling other beings in the world?

For a seeker, everything is filled with the Lord. It is the Lord who is acting through each and every being in the Lord. Thus all actions are not done by the seeker but by the Lord. The seeker is just a mere instrument in the hands of the Lord. This attitude of pure devotion keeps the Ego in check as well as is a form of contemplation of the reality that everything is an illusion of names-forms in the ultimate reality of Lord.

Such devotees have no Ego but consider everything as ordained, controlled and performed by the Lord alone because for them there is only the Lord, one without a second. It is this state that Vedanta calls as jeevan mukthi – the state wherein a person always contemplates on the Lord with the knowledge that everything is but an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord. When a person is in this state, everything including the Lord is under the control of the person (as we see in this story). Though such a jeevan muktha has everything under his control but he doesn’t require anything – this is because of the knowledge that everything is an illusion in the Lord. Also when a person has attained that by attaining which there is nothing else to be attained, what desire can come in the mind of such a person? It is following this that Gaudapada says in Mandukya Upanishad that “aapthakaamasya kaa spriha” (what desire can be there for a person whose all desires have been fulfilled).

What is fulfillment of all desires?
All desires end in eternal bliss which is what we all are seeking through other material pleasures. It is eternal bliss which is the final goal of all beings and activities performed. Eternal bliss is neither in the external world nor in siddhis which will only lead a person to sorrows if the ultimate reality of Lord is not remembered. Eternal bliss can be rejoiced only by realization of the ultimate reality of Lord. The Lord is realized through constant contemplation of the Lord and remembering that everything is but an illusion in the Lord. It is this knowledge alone that can lead a person to eternal bliss. Only by rejoicing eternal bliss will the desires be fulfilled completely and permanently. This state wherein there is no more desires left, there is nothing else desired & eternal bliss is always rejoiced is called moksha avastha or the state of liberation.

Such a state doesn’t mean that there will be no activity from such a muktha. It is a wrong notion that jeevan mukthas will be always meditation or teaching knowledge alone. We cannot apprehend the state of a jeevan muktha. He might be doing meditation like Patanjali, teaching knowledge like Sankara, doing activities like Janaka-Ambariksha or enjoying sensual pleasures like Lord Krishna. Whatever be the activity that a jeevan muktha does, his mind is ever fixed unto the ultimate reality of Lord. His mind will always be contemplating on the Lord – thereby all actions cease to be actions as they are offered unto the Lord (knowing that all actions are mere illusions like the actions in the dream state).

It is upto all seekers to decide whether they want to be a jeevan muktha like Ambariksha or a mere siddha purusha like Durvaasa. Durvaasa is a depiction of the people who have attained something or the other in the empirical plane but forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord. On the contrary Ambariksha is one whose mind is ever fixed unto the ultimate reality of Lord thereby overcoming the ocean of samsaara and rejoicing in eternal bliss.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

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