Saturday, June 02, 2007

Story 44 - Story of Rantideva - 03

Rantideva continued thus:

Hunger, thirst, tiredness, bodily pain, sorrow etc. make people in the
world really pitiable. By spending time for them and giving my entire
life, let all these be removed from the people of the world.


As we saw in the last day, let us once again try to analyze what is
wrong with this attitude of Rantideva to serve and save the world.

The Lord in Gita proclaims the world to be temporary and ever changing.
Any changing entity is only an illusion in a changeless substratum
where it seems to appear for some period of time. The scriptures proclaim that the world came from the ultimate reality of Lord, resides in the Lord and merges into the ultimate reality of Lord after destruction. Thus the world is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord even as water seen in desert is only an illusion in the desert and the dream world is only an illusion in the dreamer. Trying to save a person in dream or trying to do fishing in the water seen in desert is futile as they aren't real at all. Similarly trying to save or serve the world is futile as the world itself is an illusion.

If this is so, why do we see Mahatmas as doing service to the world?

The Mahatmas never proclaim themselves to be doing service. If any
so-called Mahatma proclaims to be doing service to the world, then we can be very sure that such a Mahatma is not a Mahatma. We have to better stay away from such a Mahatma as he/she will only lead us more and more into the delusion of samsaara.

Isn't Mahatmas like AMMA proclaiming that they are doing service to the

This question is only due to utter ignorance. If any person can show
me as to where AMMA proclaims that she is doing social service to the
world, the question can be accepted as valid. On the contrary if we read AMMA's discourses or the books of AMMA, we can clearly find AMMA
speaking in par with scriptures in terms of illusory nature of the world. There are places where AMMA openly speaks about the world being an illusion and Brahman alone being real - such words are said not to the general public but to her disciples or devotees who are capable of apprehending this truth. It is true that the scriptures start with explanation of the creation process though finally negating creation itself. This is because we see the world as existing and hence initially cannot apprehend our experience of the waking world as unreal. Only when our minds are purified and intellect gains logical strength, will we be able to apprehend the illusory and unreal nature of the world that we experience now.

Thus it is clear that Mahatmas never proclaim that they are doing
service to the world. Though the Lord proclaims in Karma Yoga that a seeker should do actions unattached considering worldly welfare in mind and that a Mahatma does actions for the welfare of the world, this
explanation is not from the perspective of the Mahatma but from the perspective of the ignorant seeker who sees the Mahatma as doing activities and hence requires an explanation for the same. The Lord says clearly from the perspective of a Mahatma quoting himself that "there is no duty whatsoever for me in the entire three worlds".

If we see the very great service-doers or savers of the world, we will
see that all of them were utter failures in this aspect. Whether it is
Lord Krishna who couldn't stop the Mahabharatha war or whether it is
Jesus Christ who couldn't & haven't been able to stop the fights between Christians themselves or whether it is Buddha whose words have become the various fighting sub-schools of Buddhism, all were utter failures in the aspect of serving and saving the world.

It is not this aspect of saving or serving the world that makes these
saints Mahatmas but it is the attitude with which they dealt even this
action of social service. They internally knew that the world is an
illusion and the action of social service is also an illusory action in
the world. It is for this reason that whatever happened in Mahabharatha, Lord Krishna was ever blissful - even when his entire clan fought amongst themselves and died, Lord was blissful. Even when Jesus was crucified, he was happy and blissful. Similar is the case with Buddha as well.

If we see the current day social service doers, wherever we find a
Mahatma we also find a Osama Bin Laden. This in itself shows the futility of such social service. But all these Mahatmas including AMMA are ever blissful and unaffected by the activities of the world though externally they seem to be affected. When Tsunami killed thousands of people in the world, AMMA was sad. But for her disciples who went near her and were contemplating on her, she was blissful and unaffected though she did many activities for the welfare of the people at that time. For a ignorant devotee, such Mahatmas might seem to be doing activities getting entangled with them like us. But for an analyzing disciple, he will find such Mahatmas to be mere witness to all the activities even as an actor is a mere witness to his action in a film.

Speaking thus Rantideva gave the water left in the porridge to the
chandaala. With this the Devas, who give fruits to those seeking
karmaphala, appeared in front of him. With the sight of the devas who are mere illusory creations of Vishnu (Lord) Maya, Rantideva became more detached. How? Because he realized that there are many other people to protect the world than myself. With this whatever Saattvika ego was left in the king vanished. The King thus attained paraa bhakthi towards the ultimate reality of Lord.


We find Bhagavatham here mentioning as to how Rantideva came out of the
final illusion of Saattvika ego. The attitude of doing service to
others is good in that it helps us to remove the individualistic ego as ego is very tough indeed to conquer. Through knowledge, the jnaana marga seeker removes Ego through continuous assertion that "I am not the Ego but the Self". This way is very tough for normal people. It is quite easy to always try to be of service to the people in the world as this automatically removes individual Ego. But this also is not final as we have clearly seen in the last few days about social service. The world and its people is only an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord. If we forget to remember the illusory nature of the world, we will end up trying to do service and become sad when we aren't able to do service to the world. This is the problem with almost all the paths of spiritual progress unless it is associated with knowledge that the Lord alone exists and that everything else is only an illusion in the Lord.

There are people who become very sad if they don't do sandhyaa
vandhanam in a day or don't chant sahasranaama or don't meditate. All these are due to lack of knowledge that the Lord alone exists here and everything else is an illusion. As long as we don't apprehend the illusory nature of the world, we will try to do all sorts of things in the world. When we will be ending up our life in this birth, we will still have n number of things to do to the world. Thus such a person will have to take birth again in order to serve the illusory world. Trying to serve and cleanup the world is as good as trying to purify the water seen in desert. The water never exists and hence all efforts to cleanup will be failures. Similarly any effort to cleanup the world will only end up in failure. This failure in turn will make us dejected and make us delude in the ocean of samsaara again and again. Thus the very social service which should have helped us in removing the ego makes us attached to the world and service-attitude. This attachment to the world even if it is for cleaning up the world has to be removed in order for a person to contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord.

As long as we see the world of names and forms, we will not be able to
apprehend the underlying reality of Lord. Thus a seeker should always
try to remember that the Lord alone exists here, whatever is seen as the world is only an illusion in the Lord. Such a seeker will be doing
service to the world like the various Mahatmas of today; but he will not be affected by the outcome of the activity. Even if the world is not purified, he will not be sad as he knows that the world is only an illusion and his efforts to cleanup the world is also an illusion in the long play of waking world. We find Rantideva finally realizing this reality that the world is only an illusion through seeing many devas and others who are there to protect the world. The attitude that I should serve the world is there only when we don't realize the ever-present creator. If the creator created the world (even if it is an illusory creation), he can control the world as well. The dreamer who created his dream world can control his dream world. Unlike this dreamer, the ultimate reality of Lord who is the creator of the waking world is all-knowing and all-pervasive thus requiring no help from ignorant people of the world.

Isn't it God who is telling me to do service to the world through
showing me the miseries of the world and speaking through saints like Sri Sri Ravishankar?

It is the same God who is shouting at the top of his voice in Gita and
other scriptures to realize our very nature of God. The world has God
shouting that he is only present as the substratum of the world even as
the desert is always shouting that I am not water but desert. The
various saints proclaim us to do social service only to remove individual Ego - if we stick on to this social service, we will still have ego left in us which will hinder our progress and lead us to sorrow only as in the case of Rantideva.

Once Rantideva realized the futility of social service (even if it was
through seeing that there are many others to serve the world), he was
able to contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord beyond the illusory

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?