Monday, June 04, 2007

Story 45 - Story of Krishna Avataara - 01

Remembering the ultimate reality of Lord as the import of all the stories of Srimad Bhagavatham, let us enter into the next story. This is one of the very important stories of Srimad Bhagavatham and very close to bhakthas as well as jnaanis. This is very important in that it portrays the necessity of knowledge as well as drives forth the truth behind avataaras.

We ourselves have learnt previously while dealing with avataaras that Krishna is considered a poorna avataara. This is because of the way in which Lord Krishna lived. Even when Krishna was enjoying with 10008 wives or when the Mahabharatha war killed lot of people or when his entire clan killed themselves, he was ever blissful. This is the nature of the Self that is portrayed to perfection by Lord Krishna - the Self is ever blissful. The Self is a mere witness to all activities. Whatever activities happen whether they are good or bad, the Self is ever blissful as it cannot have any kind of attachment with fruits or objects of the world.

Why can't the Self have attachment to things or fruits?

The Self cannot have attachment as association is impossible for the Self which is partless. Anything that has parts is subject to birth and death as it changes like the tree and the body. Since the Self is eternal, therefore it has to be part-less. The scriptures speak about the Self as the source of space. We also know that space exists only when there is Consciousness. Thus Self of the nature of Consciousness is the source of space. As space is part-less, therefore its cause of Self also has to be part-less. Thus the Self is part-less and hence association or attachment is impossible for the Self. Since there is no association or attachment for the Self, it has to be non-dual and everything else has to be an illusion in the Self. Thus the Self alone exists, one without a second. Therefore the Self is blissful. It is this blissful Self that is portrayed in each and every moment of his life by Lord Krishna. This is not the experience of Lord alone but it is the experience of each
one of us. Most of us are ignorant of our very nature of bliss - that bliss which we experience in the deep sleep state. But once we realize our very nature of Self, the experience of blissful Self will not be just for the Lord but for each one of us. Thus through living the truth propounded in the scriptures, the Lord also shows us in this avataara that bliss is our very nature and if we want to, we can also live blissfully whatever be the situation or surroundings or environment is.

Since the Lord not only gives advice in the form of teachings to Uddhava in Uddhava Gita of Bhagavatham and the very famous Bhagavad Gita portion of Mahabharatha, but he also shows us the goal of realized existence through living it his entire life. Not even for a single moment was the Lord non-blissful. We cannot find in any of the puranas a description of Lord Krishna being sad. This in itself proves Vyaasa's
proclamation of Krishna avataara as a poorna avataara. JWe are not here to compare
avataaras of Vishnu but just to learn as to how to live blissful through the life of Lord Krishna.

We have already seen previously as to that avataara itself means descend from the natural realized state of Brahman or Lord. Thus any avataara is only another name and form in the reality of Lord. But it is these avataaras that show us as to how to live blissfully. This bliss or Lord-ship is not only for the avataaras but for everything in the world as everything is an illusion of names and forms in the ultimate reality of Lord. This everything includes us as well and hence description of the life of Lord Krishna is not just his life but it is our natural state
of Self - just that we are ignorant of the Self thereby becoming sad and sorrowful due to association and superimposition of the body-mind-intellect complex on the Self.

Though most of us know the birth of Lord Krishna, we will see certain aspects of this that Bhagavatham beautifully portrays. Though many of us have attended many Bhagavatha sapthaaham, many of the deeper aspects in this story has been either hidden or given less importance by the various sapthaaha speakers. We are not here to criticize those speakers but just to learn the various stories of Bhagavatham as a means of realizing the ultimate reality of Lord through focusing on the Lord at all times. It is thereby important for us to learn those aspects of the various
stories that involve things which we have to perform in the world in order to reach our goal of Lord.

We will start this story from the next day keeping in mind that our focus is not the form-Lord of Krishna but the ultimate reality of formless non-dual Lord who is the essence of everything ranging from Lord Krishna to a bacteria.

Due to the atrocities of asuras, Bhoomi Devi became very sad. Devi with creator Brahma went to the shore of paalaazhi and poured her worries to Bhagavan Vishnu. The Lord consoled them by telling that he will be born to Devaki and Vasudeva and thereby will get rid of the problems of Earth.


The Lord proclaims in Gita thus:

Yada yada hi dharmasya glanirbhavathi bhaaratha
Abhyuttaanam adharmasya tadaatmaanam srijaami aham

Wherever dharma is lost and adharma rises, I will appear myself there in order to change the same.

What is dharma and adharma?

Anything that is associated with remembrance of the ultimate reality of Lord is dharma. Any activity that is done forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord is adharma. Even if we chant the sahasranaama or rudra or do gayatri but forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord, then such an activity is an adharma. It is not the activity that determines whether it is dharma or adharma but it is the attitude of remembrance of the ultimate reality of Lord that determines whether such an activity is dharma or adharma. It is for this reason that the Lord in his Krishna avataara did many things which are considered adharma but still all of those are dharma only.

It is our general notion that has been handed down from the so-called traditional believers that certain activities like gayatri, chanting, meditation etc. are dharma and other things are adharma. Dharmavyaadha was butcher but he was considered a realized saint by the Lord because he did the action with remembrance of the ultimate reality of Lord. Though Yudhisthira was always following dharma but still he failed in many places as he characterized dharma-adharma based on the activity rather than on the attitude.

We have to make this point clear in our mind that if we kill a person but remembering the ultimate reality of Lord and offering the action to the Lord, we are doing dharma and not adharma. JBefore anybody doubts and accuses "Hariram" of making such false statements, this is not "my" words but the very words of the Lord in the 18th chapter.

Yasya na ahamkrithirbhaavo buddhiryasya na lipyathe
Hatvaapi sa imaan lokaan naayam hanthi na hanyathe

If a person is bereft of ego and his intellect is attached to things,
then even if he kills the entire world he is not a killer nor does he die.

When we do an activity as an offering to the Lord, then there is no sense of doership. Thus there is no ahamkaara or ego attitude. When we do action remembering the reality of Lord, we remember that the world is only an illusion in the reality of Lord and that the Lord alone exists here - therefore there is no attachment in the intellect as attachment is caused only when there is something different here (but here there is only the non-dual Lord). Thus such a person who remembers the ultimate reality of Lord and offers the actions as an offering to the Lord is
doing dharma only whatever be the action that he does. This is what is clearly illustrated in the life of Lord Krishna.

Since dharma is activity done with the right attitude, adharma is activity done without remembering the Lord. When dharma is not followed and adharma rises, the Lord appears them. How does the Lord appear? The Lord appears then in the form of sorrows and sufferings which are so unbearable that the seeker is forced to seek the Lord at that time. It is thus that the Lord appears to us and attracts ourselves to him so that we follow dharma thereby realizing the ultimate reality of Lord.

We will see more of this analysis in the coming days.

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