Thursday, June 21, 2007

Story 45 - Story of Krishna Avataara - 08

Experiencing the ultimate reality

Since we finished the story of Sri Krishna's advent on Earth, before starting the next story let us spend a day focusing on the ultimate reality of Lord. We have been always trying to focus on the ultimate reality in between stories - the importance of this is so much that the moment we forget the ultimate reality of Lord; we end up in the illusion of names and forms. Names and forms are not real but mere illusions in its substratum. Any illusion can give us nothing but sorrow alone in the long run. Initially the names-forms might seem to be giving happiness but the happiness derived out from them is temporary and seeds of sorrow. This is what we experience in our day-to-day life - getting only sorrow in the long run from the worldly objects.

But as long as we are able to contemplate and focus ourselves on the reality of Lord, we will be in the right direction towards immortality or bliss - that which is the goal of each and every being in the world.

Thus if we remember the Lord we will get bliss and if we forget the Lord we will end up in sorrow. Thereby its very important that we remember the Lord in order to get bliss which is being sought every moment.

We have been concentrating on the reality from a logical perspective. Logic is limited to the intellect. Mere intellectual knowledge cannot give us eternal bliss. Put in Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa's beautiful words, jnaana or intellectual knowledge is knowing milk whereas vijnaana or experience is tasting milk. Unless we get experience of bliss, we will still have a sort of void-ness in our spiritual path. We are all the time experiencing things in the world and hence want to experience bliss of the Self. We think that this is the only way to ensure that there is something called the Lord of the nature of bliss.

Thus let us today try to see as to how we can experience the Lord who is beyond all experiences. Any experience is of an object - only objects can be experienced. The experiencer who is the Subject of all experiences can never be experienced. But the Subject can only be intuitively experienced as one's own nature - this experience of the Subject is not an experience (yet we can call it nothing but experience alone - quite a misnomer).

How can we experience the Lord???

The more and more we do sadhana, the more and more we will experience the Lord. Experiencing the Lord is nothing but being blissful. Being blissful is nothing but a sense of completeness or a sense of perfection - that state wherein a person doesn't seek anything at all and is happy/content/satisfied with whatever is there with him. The sadhana that is to be done for being blissful is not mantra japa or dhyaana or keerthana but remembering the Lord at all times. We can go on chanting the
sahasranaama daily but still be without remembering the Lord. There are many people who chant sahasranaama daily yet don't know who is Vishnu preached in the sahasranaama. While chanting the sahasranaama, the father asks "what are you doing" and we reply back "I am chanting sahasranaama" - the real sadhana of chanting sahasranaama is when the seeker is merged into the Lord who is the content of the sahasranaama - such a seeker cannot reply anything in between chanting as he is merged unto the Lord. This is not the case - nor is the seeker remembering the Lord in his real nature. Chanting is done because it is considered good, it is considered as spirituality etc.

There are many of us (rather most of us) who consider themselves spiritual just because they discuss spiritual content, read spiritual mails and do such sadhanas. All these doesn't make a person spiritual. Spirituality is not doing external activities seeming to be engrossed in them.

Sankara beautifully provides a sloka regarding this in Maya Panchakam:

Sruthi shatha nigamaanthashodhakaanapi a haha dhanaadhi nidarshanena
Kalushayathi chathushpadaadi abhinaan tu aghatitha ghatanaa pateeyasee

There are many who give discourses on hundreds of scriptures but still are bound by wealth etc. - those are people who are deluded in Maya which makes them in par with four-legged creatures - such is Maya which makes the impossible possible.

Many of us consider ourselves spiritual when we are bound by our parents, our friends, our partners, our children and our instincts - all the while not remembering that the Lord alone exists. A person who remembers that the Lord alone exists will set aside all limitations without any fear. We have already learnt the story of Prahlaada who set aside his father and Mahabali who set aside his Guru for the sake of the ultimate reality of Lord. Yet we don't do it but still claiming ourselves to be spiritual - Such is the power of Maya.

As long as we are deluded in Maya, we will not be able to experience bliss. We will still lack experience which is the final testimony to being spiritual. A spiritual person will ever be blissful and bliss will emanate from him at all times. The one and only sadhana for this experience is constant contemplation of the reality of Lord with the knowledge that the Lord alone exists, one without a second.

If we do this sadhana of remembering the Lord, it doesn't matter what worldly activity we do. It doesn't matter whether we do chanting or dhyaana but slowly we will start experiencing bliss - the state wherein we will feel completeness, satisfaction and contentment. That is the real experience to show us that we are in the right path towards eternal bliss. This is only way to judge and find out whether we are following the right sadhana.

Let us all try to analyze for a day (24 hours) as to whether we are doing the right sadhana so that if we aren't doing it, we will try to implement it in our life rather than claiming ourselves to be spiritual when we are far away from it.

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