Monday, June 04, 2007

Story 45 - Story of Krishna Avataara - 03

After the seventh lost was lost, Devaki became pregnant again. Kamsa became very frightened and afraid. Thereby he put Devaki and Vasudeva in jail. Kamsa had heard from Narada that Bhagavan Vishnu was taking birth as the eighth child of Devaki and would kill him.


We see here the man of Kamsa trying all means in order to overcome death. Bhagavatham is here symbolically pointing out that the goal of all beings is to overcome death and attain immortality. This nothing but being in a state where there is no cessation of existence. As we are quite familiar that Existence is bliss (sat and ananda), therefore all beings fight for survival and existence in this illusory world. Thus there is knowledge in us to seek eternality as that alone can give us bliss. But the problem is the way and place where we seek this eternality. We try
to get eternality through possession of worldly things and people. This only leads us to more and more sorrow rather than leading us to bliss. We tend to forget that the external world is temporary and constantly changing. Such a temporary and changing world is only an illusion and not real. That which isn't real cannot give us eternal bliss instead it will only lead us to sorrow in the long run.

We just tend to forget this and thereby search eternality in the external world and trying to control things outside us like Kamsa trying to control the external factor of Krishna. Once we become experienced in the futility behind the search for eternality in the external world, we become afraid and fear takes control. When fear takes control, we tend to do all sort of weird and foolish things.

Kamsa in this part of the story thought he could control the situations or birth of Krishna by controlling devaki and vasudeva. Out of fear, he even put them into jail so that nothing goes wrong. But as the famous statement goes "man proposes and god alone disposes", we know what happened to Kamsa's environmental control and the birth of Lord Krishna.

Fear is something that arises when we think that we will cease to exist some day or the other. The Upanishads give quite a beautiful definition of fear as that which arises out of the notion of duality. When there is something apart from ourselves, then only we will fear that. Thus fear arises out of the notion of duality - the notion that there are many things here which are different from one another. This notion that there are different things here is only out of ignorance of the real nature of the world. The world that we see is only an illusion of names and
forms in the reality of Lord who is the substratum of all names and forms. It is this ignorance of the illusory nature of the world which makes a person to consider the duality which is perceived as real. Considering duality as real causes a person to fear things which are distinct and apart from oneself. It is this fear that causes a person to do things wrong and finally ends up in self-destruction as in the case of Kamsa.

Fear is also something which can in turn lead us to the ultimate reality of Lord. Most of us will agree on this that when we fear something, the first thing we do is call out the Lord. We will see as to how this aspect of remembering the Lord at times of fear leads a person to the state of eternal existence in the next day.

Kamsa's mind became focused on the Lord due to fear of death at the hands of the Lord. Whatever is the worldly attitude with which a person is focused on the Lord, finally the attitude will vanish and the person will merge unto the Lord. This is the rule.

As for kamsa, while sitting or sleeping or eating or wandering, he was thinking about the Lord alone and thus for him the entire world became filled with the Lord.


We are all familiar with nava vidha bhakthi mentioned by Prahlaada in Bhagavatham as well as the ekaadasha vidha bhakthi mentioned by Narada in Narada Bhakthi Sutras. Here we find the basis of such different ways of devotion towards the Lord proved by Bhagavatham through kamsa's life itself.

The attitude with which he contemplate the Lord is not important; what is important is the attitude of constant contemplation. A person who is always contemplating on the Lord will merge unto the ultimate reality of Lord as his mind is ever focused on the Lord. The rule of contemplation or focusing is very simple - that which we contemplate always, we will become that. If a person is always contemplating on worldly things, he will in turn merge into the worldly things - thinking that he is one with them. But with contemplation on the ultimate reality, we will not think that we are one with the Lord but we will realize our very nature of Lord (as that is our true nature which has been forgotten).

Thus it doesn't matter as to how we are thinking about the Lord but it matters as to how many times or hours in a day are we thinking about the Lord. There are certain devotees and sects of people who claim that we have to develop a particular type of attitude only towards the Lord. This is in fact proved wrong by Bhagavatham in this part of the story. It doesn't really matter as to with which attitude we are contemplating on the Lord. What is required is constant contemplation of the Lord and seeing the Lord as pervading the entire world. It is this attitude that
Kamsa developed out of fear. Even though Kamsa wasn't a devotee in the normal definition of the word, but still he was a devotee whose attitude towards the Lord was fear. When we fear something very much, we always contemplate on it. It is natural for those who fear ghosts to think about ghosts during night. It rarely happens that such people are able to forget ghosts while sleeping. Similarly since Kamsa feared the Lord, he was always contemplating on the Lord. He was always thinking about the Lord and that the Lord will appear before him in some form and kill him. Kamsa also knew about the tricky nature of the Lord and his Maya
power to assume any form. Hence whatever Kamsa saw, he saw that as the Lord appearing in a different form. Thus whatever was seen was seen as the Lord. Whatever be the activity that Kamsa was doing, he was always thinking and seeing the ultimate reality of Lord. This attitude of constantly contemplating on the Lord will make us realize the entire world to be filled with the Lord alone.

Thus Bhagavatham through Kamsa's experience is in turn telling each one of us to constantly contemplate on the Lord and focus our mind always on the Lord. This will ensure that we see the entire world as the Lord alone. Thus the dual world will be seen as the non-dual reality of Lord. This non-dual vision will make us take everything as not different but the Lord alone. Such equanimity of vision will in turn take us away from likes and dislikes which in turn causes us to be whirled into
happiness and sorrow. Thus through constantly thinking about the Lord, we will be able to overcome the dual notions of the world or samsaara itself. Once we overcome samsaara, we will be experiencing nothing but the Lord alone as the world.

This vision of the world as Lord will in turn make us realize our very nature of Lord thereby taking us from mortality to immortality as was the case with Kamsa. We will continue with the story in the next day.

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