Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Story 43 – Story of Yayati - 05

After having got back youth from his son, Yayati lived for a long time enjoying all the sensual pleasures but still he was not able to get peace and contentment. He tried to get peace through performance of many yajnas. That Lord whom the dvaita prapancha veils even as clouds veil the Sun, that Lord in whom this dual world is seen as a dream Yayati tried to pacify that Lord by concentrating in his heart and performing yajnas. Devayani also returned from her father’s place to serve her young husband. Thousands of years passed by – still Yayati didn’t get either peace or happiness (eternal bliss). The King whose Self of the nature of happiness was veiled through over-craving for desires finally understood one thing and started narrating a story to Devayani.


Here we find Yayati realizing the futility of sensual pleasures. He had thought that gaining youth and enjoying sensual pleasures will give him peace and contentment. A worldly person does the same mistake again and again that Yayati did. He thinks that youth and sensual pleasures will give him eternal bliss. Sensual pleasures can never give us eternal bliss as they are obtained from sense objects which are temporary. Anything which is temporary cannot give eternal bliss. Eternal bliss can be rejoiced only by realizing that which is eternal and ever-present. The entire world composed of sense objects is temporary and ever changing. Anything that changes is subject to birth and death. Such a dying entity can never give us eternal bliss as the entity itself will not be there after its death to give us bliss. Thus only fools who fail to understand the temporary nature of the world will seek sensual pleasure thinking them to be sources of eternal bliss. But the wise person will always use his intellect to ascertain the truth about the temporary nature of the world. After knowing that the world is temporary and thereby cannot give eternal bliss, the wise person will try to seek the changeless ever-present entity of Lord.

Bhagavatham though here is mentioning just one life of Yayati to point out the truth that we will never get peace or contentment without realization of our very nature of non-dual Lord, this is something that happens with every person for births. We take births in order to enjoy and after enjoyment we do more actions. We keep on doing actions and seek bliss again and again in the temporary world. The seeking of sensual pleasures will never lead to contentment. Birth and death will never end without contentment. Thus as long as a person is craving for sensual pleasures, he will keep on taking birth. This vicious circle of birth and death continues as long as there is craving for sensual pleasures.

After having enjoyed sensual pleasures for births, a seeker will come to realize the futility of them through his intellect and by the grace of Lord. Such a seeker will then stop seeking worldly pleasure and instead seek the eternal entity of Lord mentioned in the scriptures. Such a wise person alone will be able to realize the non-dual reality of Lord through constant contemplation of the Lord knowing that the world is only an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord. Ever contemplating on the reality of Lord, such a seeker will not crave for sensual pleasures nor will he be deluded by the sense objects of the world. Ever steadfast in the ultimate reality of Lord and always remembering the Lord as the substratum of the illusory world, such a wise person will eventually realize his very nature of non-dual Lord. Once a person realizes his very nature of Lord, there will remain nothing more to be known or sought – such a state wherein the seeker is ever blissful, not seeking anything else is the state of realization. This state alone can give us peace and contentment arising out of the saturation of all seekings and being ever blissful.

It is bliss that makes us seek worldly objects and the pleasures from them. But the worldly objects don’t give us eternal bliss instead gives us only sorrow. Therefore the seeker goes on seeking bliss in the world. But once he turns his attention towards the ultimate reality of Lord, he realizes that the Lord alone can give him bliss. Remembering this, he realizes his very nature of Lord through constant contemplation of the ultimate reality of Lord. Thereby ends all seeking as he ever rejoices in bliss which is inherent in his nature of Lord.

We all have to one day or the other stop seeking worldly pleasures by realizing the futility of temporary worldly objects – the earlier we realize this, the lesser will our be sorrow and the easier we will realize our very nature of Lord. This is what Yayati realized after knowing the futility of worldly pleasures.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Yayati spoke thus to Devayani
“Listen to the story of a male goat roaming in the forest like me and not getting peace at all. Once a male goat was looking for food in the forest. It came across a female goat lying in a well due to karma gati. Using its horns somehow the male goat brought out the female goal. The male goat couldn’t but get attached towards the female goat in the form of worldly love. The male goat thus married the female goat.”


In the last day we saw Yayati realizing the mistake that he did of thinking that sensual pleasures will lead to eternal bliss. Thereby he started explaining a story to Devayani. The story is very similar to the life of Yayati.

There is a very important aspect spoken in the story which is karma gati or flow of karma. Science accepts things as in the control of space, energy and time. Similarly Vedanta accepts empirical life as being dependent on karma or action. Lord proclaims in the 15th chapter of Gita that the world is karma loka as it is dependent on karma. The law of karma is eternal with respect to the empirical world. The law is very much same as the law of Newton that any reaction has an equal and opposite reaction. Law of karma says that whatever karma a person does, he will reap the fruit of that particular karma. The vicious circle of karma and phala is eternal, without any beginning and end. We cannot really trace this circle to the first karma or first phala. This cycle of doing karma, enjoying fruits, again doing karma and again enjoying fruits goes on and on. There is no way out of the ocean of samsaara based on karma through any amount of karma whether it is worldly action or spiritual action. Actions cannot thereby lead a person out of the miseries caused by action.

As Vidyaranya beautifully puts it in Panchadashi, man does action to enjoy and enjoys in order to perform more action. This goes on endlessly. There is only one way out of this ocean of karma which is knowledge. Knowledge is not knowing about mathematics or computers or gaining Ph.D in certain areas. Knowledge here is knowledge of the nature of karma that it is only an illusion. Anything that doesn’t begin but still gives fruits and goes on-on without ending has to be an illusion. Actions cannot be traced to their origin or to their end – therefore it has to be an illusion. Once a person realizes actions to be an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord, then the illusion of action ends. A person who knows that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists, will be out of the clutches of karma as karma is possible only when there is a doer and something to be achieved. Who is the doer and what is to be achieved when there is only one entity existing which is the ultimate reality of Lord? It is this knowledge that there is only the Lord present which makes a person wake up from the illusion of karma. The actions that we do in this world is similar to the actions that we daily do in dream. In dream there is no action but still it goes on endlessly in the dream world. But once we wake up from the dream world, we realize that there never was any world to be able to perform actions in the world. Similarly once we realize that whatever exists in the world is only an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord, we will wake up from this illusion of karma. Thereby ends all sorrows and miseries caused out of karma and phala.

How can you say that the Lord alone exists and everything else is an illusion in the Lord? The Lord alone exists of the nature of Consciousness because of the anvaya-vyatireka yukthi. Anvaya means that if Consciousness is there, the world is there. Vyatireka means that if Consciousness is not there, the world is not there. Thus the world is fully dependent on Consciousness or the Lord. Any dependent entity is only an illusion in the independent entity even as a variable is only an illusion in the constant. Thus the world is only an illusion in the Lord even as water is an illusion in the desert and dream world is an illusion in the dreamer.

Knowing that karma is only an illusion in the Lord, we overcome attachment to karma and the craving for the fruit. This is the only way out of karma which is an illusion. As long as we depend on karma, fate, destiny etc. we will be bound to suffer or enjoy based on the fruits of the actions. But once we realize the futility of karma and its illusory nature, we will be ever blissful as there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists, one without a second.

If we don’t get knowledge about the ultimate reality of Lord as the substratum of the illusory world and karma, we will be depending on karma thereby believing it to be existing and trying to do more actions to either gain worldly things or to propitiate any form God.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

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