Saturday, June 02, 2007

Story 44 - Story of Rantideva - 04

O Parikshit, the intellect of Rantideva which removed the notion that there is something else and thereby was focused on the Lord alone, got rid of the gunas of Maya and like a dream merged into the Self.


We find Shuka here saying to Parikshit the fruit of ekaantha bhakthi that Rantideva achieved through focus on the Lord alone and remembering that everything else is only an illusion in the Lord. Once a person knows the world to be a mere illusion in the reality of Lord and that the Lord alone exists (one without a second), then he always contemplates on everything as the Lord. For such a person, there is no dvaita bhaava or thought that there is something different - as for him there is only one thing which is the ultimate reality of Lord. The duality that we see is only an illusion in the reality of Lord. In fact, there is no many things here - it is only various names and forms of the reality of Lord. Even as various gold ornaments are mere names and forms of Gold, similarly the world is only names and forms of the ultimate reality of Lord. Any name and form is not real but only a temporary existence in the reality - thus the world is not real but only temporary apparent existence in the ultimate reality of Lord. If we set aside the ultimate reality of Lord, there will be no world at all. If we remove the names and forms of the world, we will find them to be the Lord of the nature of Consciousness. This is the real vision of the world as its substratum of Lord even as the real vision of dream world is seeing it as the substratum of dreamer.

As long as a person considers the world to be real and duality as real, he will not be able to contemplate on the non-dual reality of Lord. This will only lead him to like certain things and dislike certain other things. Likes and dislikes lead to desire and anger. This in turn leads to state of tension and finally to sorrow. The goal of each human being is to be ever happy - attain bliss which is ever-lasting and
changeless. This bliss is synonymous with satisfaction, contentment, peace and happiness. This bliss can be achieved only through realization of the non-dual reality of Lord through contemplation on the Lord along with knowledge that there is no duality whatsoever here. The happiness that we get from worldly objects is temporary as the objects themselves are temporary. Moreover the happiness in worldly objects is filled with sorrow even while achieving it or after it has vanished. Thus a wise person will get away from sensual pleasure and will always be contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord.

When the seeker knows that there is no duality whatsoever here and thereby contemplates on the ultimate reality of Lord, everything merges into the Self or the Lord. This is as if a dream person has woken up from his long dream. When a person is dreaming, he sees many things and considers each of them as real. But once he contemplates on the truth that there is no dream world at all, he wakes up and the entire dream world merges into the one dreamer. Similarly when a seeker contemplates on the non-dual reality of Lord, everything merges unto the ultimate reality of Lord even as the dream world merges into the dreamer upon waking up.

When the seeker wakes up from this long dream of waking world wherein he sees things as many, he will be ever blissful as there will be nothing but the ultimate reality of Lord alone. We are almost reaching the end of this short story of Bhagavatham. We will see as to what happens to Rantideva in the next day.

Thus Rantideva after having merged the intellect/mind unto the Self ever rejoiced in the bliss in the Self.

This story of Rantideva was a lesson of advise to all yogis who were getting deluded into thinking that various activities like daana, dharma etc. would lead to liberation. Any person who knows this story will never get deluded into activities but will always be immersed in contemplation of the non-dual reality of Lord alone.


We come to the conclusion of this short story of Rantideva here. We find Bhagavatham here concluding by telling that Rantideva's story is an advice to all yogis - what advice? The teaching that any activity whether it is worldly or spiritual will not lead us to liberation. All activities are born out of ignorance and hence will lead us to ignorance alone. The more a person tries to do activities in the world, the more entangled he will be in this ocean of samsaara. In order for a person to come out of this ocean of samsaara characterized by ignorance, a person has to seek the ultimate reality of Lord through constant contemplation of the Lord along with the knowledge that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists. This alone can lead a person to his ultimate goal of happiness which is crossing over this ocean of samsaara.

There are many people in this world including Mahatmas who recommend doing service to the world. There are even people who following Swami Vivekananda proclaim that "we cannot do help to the world but only service". Thus these followers proclaim that a person is spiritual if he is doing service to the world, if he is serving the poor, if he is following these saints by living for others rather than themselves - we should never fall into the trap of such followers who though claim to be following Vedanta are in fact far apart from Vedanta. These followers though proclaiming to be knowing and following Bhagavatham are only getting immersed in the ocean of samsaara without understanding the real import of Bhagavatham. We should remember to not fall into the trap of such followers or saints. If we do so, then we will befall the same fate that Rantideva befell due to his thinking of doing service to people.

Shouldn't I listen to the words of saints like Swami Vivekananda and others as they are realized?

Bhagavatham following Vedanta says that everybody is realized. There is nobody who is not realized here because there is only one entity here which is ever-realized Atman or Lord. We all are the Lord alone - some know it, some don't - that's the only difference between such saints and ourselves. Just because a person speaks fluently or is able to attract people or has experienced God doesn't make him great and others low.

Real saints who are ever immersed in contemplation of the ultimate reality of Lord will never proclaim themselves to be realized. If any saint proclaims himself to be realized and others to be ignorant, we can outright reject such a saint as false-saint. Swami Vivekananda himself proclaimed - "Glad I did big blunders". It is but a pity that the so-called followers of Vivekananda including current day saints of the mission don't bring out this essence of Swamiji's words. Instead they take the words of service that Swamiji proclaimed. Such people are not to be believed nonetheless followed.A real Vedantin will never ask any person to blindly follow him or the
scriptures. He will tell the disciples and devotees to follow what they feel as right and what is logical. The Lord himself at the end of Gita proclaims to Arjuna to thoroughly analyze his words and then follow whatever seems right to Arjuna.

If we don't analyze the words of any person (even if it is Bhagavatham or AMMA or Sankara himself), we will only end up in the trap of false-saints leading us to more and more action when the scriptures clearly proclaim that actions will only lead us to sorrow whether it is worldly selfish action or spiritual service to the world.

We will see the summary of this story in the next day and start with another story of Srimad Bhagavatham.

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