Monday, July 23, 2007

Story 46 - Story of Bala Krishna's plays - 04

Once Krishna along with the gopas and calves were walking and reached the shores of Kalindi river. There they sat and enjoyed time by eating the food kept in bundles. At that time, the calves had wandered into the forest and were lost. The gopas were all worried and afraid. Krishna after consoling them started out searching for the lost calves. At this time, Brahma who was born out of the lotus of the Lord's navel, wanted to test the avatar of Lord as Krishna. Brahma thus went to the forest and due to his attractive power took the gopas as well as the calves to a far off place. Brahma is that magician who through his own will creates the entire world and makes it as if real. Thus Brahma wanted to test the maya power of Krishna.


Though this story of Brahma's ego being defeated by the Lord is well known to us, but there are certain aspects of the story is yet unknown to most of us.

The very first thing we need to know is that our mind or sense organs is like the calves mentioned in this or the other stories of Sri Krishna as a child. The mind or the sense organs aren't different from one another as they are both interdependent. Mind cannot function without the sense organs and the sense organs cannot function with the mind. Mind can be considered the tap through which the thoughts of water flows - the sense organs are the pipe through which the water goes out thereby taking a particular form of the vessel (the vessel or the form indicates sense objects). Thus both the mind and sense organs cannot be without one another. The calves are like the mind and sense organs. One moment they will be stuck at the monitor in front and the very next moment they will be looking at the person sitting in the adjacent cube. One second the mind will be meditating and the very next second it will be contemplating on the beautiful actress shown in the TV. One second the mind will be chanting the names of Vishnu or Goddess and the very next moment it will be contemplating on the talks going on between the women in the house (mother and sister). This is the very nature of the mind - it jumps from one thought to another thereby taking the shape of the object of the particular thought. This is the reason why Swami Vivekananda beautifully described the mind as a drunken monkey - monkey itself jumps from one thought to another - so what to speak about a drunken monkey.

To illustrate the nature of the mind, there is a beautiful story mentioned by Swami Amritaswaroopananda (the senior sanyaasin disciple of AMMA). The story is about a monkey who decided to take vratam (doing meditation all day without eating any food). The monkey once heard a satsang where it was mentioned that vrata is very good for progress in life. Thus the monkey came home and decided to do meditation. It sat and closed its eyes for meditation. Then it thought - what if I don't eat anything and become very tired, hence let me keep some fruits ready in case I become very tired. It kept the fruits in the kitchen and again sat down to meditate. At that time, it thought - what if I become so tired that I can't walk to the next room, therefore it kept the fruits in the same room. It again sat down to meditate but thought - what if I become so tired that I can't reach till the fruits - therefore it kept the fruits on its lap and started meditating. It again thought - what if I become so tired that I can't lift the fruits with my hands - therefore it kept the fruits in its hands. It again thought - what if I become tired that the fruits will not reach my mouth - therefore it kept the fruits in its hand and the hands very near to its mouth. It then thought - anyway I have brought the fruit very near to my mouth, let me eat it. It ate the fruit. After that its stomach felt heavy and then it slept down to sleep.

Thus the monkey never fasted or meditated. This is what is the situation with the sense organs if they are not always focused on the ultimate reality of Lord. What we need to do is nothing but the remembrance of the truth that the Lord alone is resent there as the dual world. Mere remembrance of this truth will make our mind and sense organs always focus on the Lord instead of the illusory world objects. Thus there will not be any fall down from the spiritual path thereby never leading us to sorrows and sufferings which happen when the mind goes extroverted towards the worldly sense objects.

Krishna couldn't find the calves in the forest; when he returned back to the shore, he couldn't find the gopas as well. After some searching and still not being able to find them, Krishna understood immediately understood that it was the play of Brahma. Krishna who creates the entire universe as a leela decided to make the mothers (of the gopas) as well as Brahma happy by making himself as many (and the various gopas and calves).


As we discussed earlier, this story is something which has a deeper import than the external magic of Krishna evident in the story.

It is but natural for a person like Brahma to think of fooling and testing the ultimate reality of Lord in Krishna avataara. Brahma here denotes the ego in each spiritual seeker. Initially when we are starting in the spiritual path as helpless folks whirling in the ocean of samsaara, we are devoted to the Lord always surrendering unto him for help. But once we progress in the spiritual path through various spiritual practices and knowledge, we develop a sense of Ego. This sense of Ego makes us think that we can do without the help of the Lord or the various Mahatmas in the world. It is but foolish to think that the badhha jeevas (bonded jeevas) that we are can get to liberation without the help of Guru or the Mahatmas. Those are but foolish people who after learning a bit of swimming think that they can swim in the ocean and reach the shore without the help of a trainer.

It is very tough indeed to overcome the Ego. When we learn that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists, we tend to think that we can do away without the Lord's grace in the form of Guru or without proper spiritual practices. It is but the Ego that makes the various pundits in the world think that they are realized when they are always bonded in the spiritual world and its activities.

Once Totapuri (who is the Guru of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) was sitting with Ramakrishna nearby to the ritual fire burning in the hall. At that time a person came by and lit his bheedi (a local and smaller version of the cigarette) from the ritual fire. Suddenly Totapuri scolded the guy. At that time Sri Ramakrishna (with innocence) said to Totapuri "O Guru! Isn't the bheedi also Brahman (the Lord)"; then Totapuri realized his mistake.

Totapuri was the advaita Guru of Sri Ramakrishna; he never stayed in a particular place for more than a few days lest he get attached to the place. Such a great saint himself was unable to remember the reality that everything is the Lord alone when a person lit the bheedi from the ritual fire.

If this is the state of Sri Ramakrishna's Guru, what to speak about seekers like us? This story through the state of Brahma and his Ego is thus warning us that we should always be dedicated to devotion towards the Lord with the knowledge that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists. There is a very famous saying that humility comes with knowledge. A knowledge-able or learned person will be the height of humility. We can see this in all the Mahatmas who though having realized the ultimate reality of Brahman and ever being immersed in Brahman show humility in all their activities in the world.

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