Sunday, February 25, 2007

Story 41 – Story of Saubhari Muni - 04

Saubhari satisfied all his wives with his tapas siddhi. He created big palaces and beautiful things all over in order to make his wives happy. Thus he started living with all the worldly pleasures in a good way. Maandaathavu was surprised at seeing this and his ego was subsided completely by this. Here you might doubt that why is a siddha using the siddhi powers – siddhis are demonstrated and used by Mahatmas for the welfare of the world and not for their own personal use.


We see that Saubhari had to not just marry the daughters of the king but he also had to create lot of things for leading a happy married life. This is what would happen because of one single desire of getting married. This is meant not to degrade marriage but to show that any desire will lead to infinite desires which will never end or will man get satisfied and content with those desires.

Thus Bhagavatham is stressing the importance of not having desires at all. If at all we desire something for others, we should desire constantly remembering the ultimate reality of Lord and offering this desire as well to the Lord. This way, we will not be attached or bonded by the desire. As long as there is no bondage with desires or worldly things created out of these desires, the seeker will be progressing in the spiritual path removing obstacles and slowly realizing the ultimate reality of Lord. On the other hand, if the seeker forgets the ultimate reality of Lord and desires things, then it will lead him more and more into the ocean of samsaara.

The main problem with desires is that they can never be completely satisfied. Today I will want a bi-cycle. Tomorrow this will become desire for a bike – day after, it will become a car. After that, it would become a very good car and finally Ferrari. If we think that this will stop here, we are wrong. Again the desire will increase to helicopters. JWill a single birth be sufficient for all of these??? No, hence the seeker will be born again and again until all desires are removed. Desires can only be removed by the knowledge that there is nothing here but the Lord alone thereby desiring nothing all the while doing activities in the world. This alone can remove desires – desires can never be removed by enjoying them but only by surrendering unto the ultimate reality of Lord. We have to thus remember this always and surrender completely unto the ultimate reality of Lord – even if we desire something, we should desire remembering that there is nothing here but the ultimate reality of Lord alone.

Bhagavatham in this part also mentions about the use of siddhis and display of siddhis by Mahatmas. Mahatmas don’t need to display any siddhis nor use any siddhis because they are ever established in the bliss inherent in the ultimate reality of Lord – it is this bliss that we seek through worldly possessions which alone can be the effect of siddhis. Though Mahatmas and jeevan mukthas don’t need siddhis but still they use siddhi for the welfare of the world. Siddhis as long as they are used for the welfare of the world remembering that there is nothing here but the ultimate reality of Lord alone will never bind the seeker into the ocean of samsaara. But if siddhis are used to fulfill one’s own desire or others desire and is done forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord, then they bind the seeker into the ocean of samsaara. This is what happened with Saubhari. He used siddhis not for the welfare of the world but to fulfill his desire of enjoying sexual pleasure. Thus the siddhis became a bondage for him leading to more and more siddhis.

We will see as to what Saubhari realizes from this and as to how he focuses himself again on the ultimate reality of Lord in the next day.

Thus Saubhari was enjoying sensual pleasures but he found that there was no satisfaction or contentment out of enjoyment of these pleasures. Desires went on increasing even as fire burns more vigorously when ghee is poured in it. Once he became worried and started thinking. He felt Self-bliss getting reduced. He then realized that all of this was due to watching the fishes having sexual pleasure. But by that time, he had ten sons from each of his wives. He then thought thus “Bad! See what has befallen me. I was a tapasvi and following the path of spiritual realization. But because of association with the fish (by seeing the activities of the fishes), I have today lost all of my tapas that I had achieved in many years.”


We can never put an end to desire by gratifying it. Desires will go on increasing more and more. One desire will go and another will spring up in its place. As a child which is fully ignorant about things gets attached to toffees, similarly a seeker once enjoying a particular desire gets attached to it. Thus “let me enjoy it once” becomes an addiction. This addiction in itself will lead to many more related desires. Therefore trying to put an end to desire by enjoying them is like pouring ghee into fire (fire will not be extinguished but instead will burn more). If we want to put an end to desire, we have to take the path of knowledge and devotion to the ultimate reality of Lord. We need to know that the Lord alone exists & whatever is seen as the dual world is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord. This knowledge will cultivate devotion to the Lord as the seeker knows that constantly contemplating on the Lord as one’s own nature alone can lead him out of the bondages of the illusory world.

Thus knowledge that the Lord alone exists along with devotion in the form of constant contemplation of the Lord alone can lead us out of the ocean of samsaara characterized by ignorance-desire-actions. This alone can put an end to desires. There is no other way than this to put an end to desires.

As long as we don’t put an end to desires, there will be no contentment or satisfaction from sensual pleasures. Sensual pleasures will never lead a person to a state wherein he is fully satisfied with whatever he has; instead it will only lead him to crave for more and more pleasures. As Vidyaranya beautifully puts it in Panchadashi “Kurvathe karma bhogaaya, karma karthum cha bhunjathe” – man does actions for enjoyment and he enjoys for doing more actions – thus continues the vicious circle of actions and enjoyment.

A person when he realizes that he is none other than the ultimate reality of Lord of the nature of eternal bliss, he doesn’t need anything else in life. He then remains in the world doing all activities all the while internally content and satisfied with whatever he has. Bliss will be playing around such a jeevan muktha who has realized the ultimate reality of Lord. Any person who seeks such a jeevan muktha will be able to enjoy bliss which is inherent in the Self.

Thus when we go to Mahatmas we find satisfaction, contentment, peace and bliss. This is the bliss of realization of the ultimate reality of Lord emanating from them. This state of being ever blissful and content is what Vedanta calls as moksha. We all are seeking this state of eternal bliss wherein there is no sorrow, there is no craving, there is no seeking and there is no suffering; but there is bliss and bliss alone.

TAPAS or austerity will be lost if the seeker forgets the ultimate reality of Lord while getting deluded into the ocean of samsaara. This doesn’t mean that grihasthas are not doing tapas as they are always involved in sensual pleasures – so long as the seeker’s mind is contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord, he is not affected by desires of the mind or enjoyment of sensual pleasures. While performing activities in the world, internally he remains fixed in the Lord and thereby unattached to the activities even as the lotus-leaf is not afflicted by water though it is always in water only.

We should thus remember that while doing any activity or desiring anything, we should remember the Lord and offer it to the Lord. It is not possible to be without any activities or desires in the world – but it is possible to remember the Lord while doing activities. This is what is required in a seeker. Saubhari was fully deluded into sensual pleasures forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord. A seeker shouldn’t seek anything but should accept whatever comes to him – he should understand the state he is in and what all are required out of his role in the world – he shouldn’t get away or run away from it instead should do those like a worldly person but internally always contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord.

We will continue the story in the next day.

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