Monday, July 23, 2007

Story 46 - Story of BalaKrishna's plays - 05

Thus when Brahma hid the gopas and the calves, Krishna himself became all of those. How many gopas were there, Krishna became so many gopas. How many calves were there, Krishna became that many calves. There was no difference in the bodies and parts of the gopas and the calves (than the original). Each of the gopas had stick, flute, food-bundle etc. - whatever they originally had, that was there with the Krishna formed gopas also.


The quote of "sarvam Vishnu mayam" (everything is filled with Vishnu) is famous; this was illustrated and shown to be true by Lord Krishna in this part of the story.

This part of the story thus not only shows us the miraculous power of the Lord who controls Maya but it also is symbolic of the truth behind the names and forms of the world. Bhagavatham through this beautiful depiction is telling us that this is the reality that everything that we see is nothing but a name and form of the ultimate reality of Lord. As the various gold ornaments are nothing but mere names and forms of gold - names and forms are illusions and gold alone is the reality - similarly the world of names and forms is only an illusion in the reality of Lord. What really exists in the illusory world is nothing but the non-dual reality of Lord alone. The duality that we see is not real but an illusion in the underlying substratum of non-dual Lord.

It is Maya or the illusory power of the Lord that makes it as if that there is duality here and makes the world seem to be different from the ultimate reality of Lord. It is this Maya with which Krishna created the gopas and calves out of himself. Even as Krishna created the gopas and calves out of himself, the world is created out of the ultimate reality of Lord through the power of Maya.

Since Maya makes the non-dual reality seem as if becoming dual, thereby it is very tough indeed to conquer. If we have to conquer the power of Maya, we have to surrender to the ultimate reality of Lord through constant contemplation of the Lord with the knowledge that there is nothing here but everything is the Lord alone. This attitude of seeing everything as the Lord and thereby surrendering to the Lord is termed as prapatti or surrender in the Gita. It is prapatti that alone can take us out of this delusion of Maya. As magic is very tough to overcome but with the help of the magician we can very easily overcome magic, similarly Maya is very tough to overcome but with the help of the ultimate reality of Lord we can overcome Maya very easily. This is the one and only way to overcome Maya. As long as we don't overcome Maya, we will be deluded by Maya. Being deluded by Maya is the state portrayed by Brahma. We may have gained some little knowledge through scriptural study or by hearsay but this in itself becomes a bondage through cultivation of the Ego. Such a state has no other fruit than being deluded like Brahma thereby doubting the power and existence of the Lord. Brahma in this story not only doubted the power of the Lord but he doubted the Lord to be the ultimate reality of Lord. A person who is deluded in the power of Maya will thus be made to think and believe that the world of duality is real and it is different from the ultimate reality of Lord. The way to get out of this is by surrendering to the Lord through the knowledge that everything is the Lord alone - this is being portrayed beautifully in this part of the story wherein Krishna becomes the gopas and the calves.

Thus a samvatsara passed by with Krishna-turned-gopas and calves spending their life with their respective parents. Brahma was excited to know as to what had happened after his hiding of the gopas and calves. Thus he visited Gokula and was surprised to find everything the same (without any particular change).


Here we find Brahma's ego getting the perfect blow in this story. This is what would happen to each one of us if we are subject to Ego. Ego is something that cannot rise beyond a particular level. Once the Ego rises beyond the admissible limit, then there will be a blow given to it by the Lord himself. As the age-old saying goes "falling from a height causes more pain", since the Ego takes us to a very high level therefore falling down from that level causes a lot of pain. This story is a good lesson for all seekers to keep their Ego under control lest they will end up like Brahma.

Brahma thought that everything would have turned upside down in Gokula but he found to his surprise that no particular change had happened and that things were going as usual.

Each one of us can relate this to one or the other incident in our life when we would have been egoistic and thereby we had got a blow. There is a beautiful symbolism about the four arms of Lord Vishnu and as to the use of each of the entities in the arms. Vishnu holds a lotus, a conch, a mace and a disc in his four arms. The Lotus symbolizes the Self. Vishnu is thus calling out to all seekers to realize their very nature of Self. If we fail to realize the Self, then he blows the conch indicating that we have to focus on the Self. This is a kind of initial warning that we are missing something that is to be done. If we don't heed to the conch of the Lord, then he takes the mace and gives us a blow. This is severe warning that we have to seek the Self else it will be very bad for us. If we still don't heed, then he takes the disc and destroys the Ego.

A disease is curable through medicines when it is in the initial stage. But once it gets to a bit serious stage, it can be removed only through operation. If it becomes more serious, then a serious or major operation alone can remove it. The pain associated with each stage goes on increasing. This is exactly same in the case of Ego as well. It is easily curable with minimal pain if we tackle it in the initial stage by keeping it under control and offer it to the ultimate reality of Lord with the knowledge that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists. If it isn't cured at the initial stage, then the pain associated with removing it through operation is more. It is maximum pain when the Lord removes it by completely annihilating it through the disc. This is like falling down from the 100th floor to the ground floor. This is the pain that is signified here through Brahma being surprised by the state in Gokula.

When the Ego is raised, we expect things to happen as per our Ego. The Ego wants things to happen as it desires and if something is not happening as expected, it becomes sad. This sorrow is not mere sorrow but sorrow associated with pain. Thus through this story of annihilation and destruction of Brahma's Ego, Bhagavatham is pointing out to all seekers that we need to keep the Ego under control by offering it to the ultimate reality of Lord. With proper knowledge that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists comes humility which will automatically keep the Ego in control.

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