Monday, August 06, 2007

Story 46 - Story of Bala Krishna's plays - 07

Brahma praised the Lord thus:

O Lord filled with splendor and currently in the form of gopakumara, my prostrations unto you. O Bhooma! It is impossible to attain you without devotion. Still your nature of Nirguna Brahman can be known only by people who have purity of mind. This is because you are inactive, of the nature of one’s own Self and have to be experienced as devoid of everything else.


Brahma here praises the Lord beautifully. Two things that Brahma clearly mentions here are that the Lord cannot be achieved without devotion and the Lord is of the nature of Nirguna Brahman thereby only be known through purity of mind.

Even as a person cannot see his own face in a mirror which is impure, similarly the ultimate reality of Lord cannot be known without purity of mind. All spiritual sadhana or practices including chanting, meditation, singing bhajans etc. are meant to purify the mind through selfless Lord-oriented actions. The Lord can be achieved only through pure devotion or knowledge. The devotion that Brahma here mentions isn’t the devotion that we are quite familiar with. Devotion or bhakthi is split into two – apara bhakthi or lower devotion where the devotee finds himself as different from the Lord and para bhakthi or higher devotion where the devotee merges into the Lord. The devotion that Brahma mentions here is para bhakthi which is the same as knowledge or jnaana of the Upanishads. Real bhakthi is that wherein the devotee speaks, hears, and thinks etc. about the Lord alone; the devotee doesn’t know anything apart from the ultimate reality of Lord. When such devotion is there, the devotee doesn’t find himself as different from the Lord as everything is the Lord alone. Slowly through constant practice, the difference between the devotee and the Lord vanishes thereby only the Lord exists. Thus through the practice of seeing everything as Lord the devotee realizes the reality that there is nothing here but the Lord alone exists. It is for this reason that Brahma mentions that achieving the Lord is impossible without devotion. Though our general notion of devotion and the devotion that we generally follow is apara bhakthi, we need to focus and try to gain para bhakthi as that is equivalent of realizing the Lord himself.

The second point that Brahma mentions here is that the Lord is Nirguna Brahman. Nirguna means devoid of any qualities. Though this might seem contradictory to the concept of a Lord who is endowed with many qualities including the quality of being the creator of the world, still this is the reality that the Lord is without any qualities. Anything that has qualities is in fact limited by the quality. Any entity that is limited is subject to limitation by time, space and causation. This means such an entity will be non-eternal and therefore not blissful. But we know the nature of the Lord to be satchidananda or existence, consciousness and bliss absolute. This is thus only possible if the Lord is unlimited. This means that the Lord is devoid of any qualities. Thus Brahma mentions that the Lord is nirguna or without any qualities.

Now we may have a doubt as to how such a nirguna Lord seems to be present as the world (which means he is subject to qualities or is saguna). This is answered as Vedanta accepts Saguna Brahman at the empirical plane. Brahma answers this question in the next part of is praise which we will see tomorrow. This concept of Saguna and Nirguna Brahman is very important as a clear understanding of this is enough to lead us to realization of the ultimate reality of Lord. On the other hand if we don’t understand this concept, we will end up in sorrow like the Vaishnavas and Saivas fighting amongst each other in the name of Saguna Lord being greater. We have to thereby always remember that though the Lord might seem to take the form of Vishnu or Siva, still by nature the Lord is Nirguna or without any qualities as he is all-pervasive (such an all-pervasive Lord cannot be limited to a particular form).

Brahma praised the Lord thus:

Again it is impossible to know all of your mahima who take various forms (or appear as Saguna) through your own very will. Trying to gauge your mahimas (powers) is like trying to count the sands on earth or the dew drops in space.


We discussed about the very nature of Lord as Nirguna or devoid of any qualities. But today we see Brahma describing the Lord as also taking a particular form or with a particular quality (Saguna) depending on his very will.

Though the Lord is by nature Nirguna, yet he can take any form or be endowed with any quality as everything is an illusion in the Lord. Even as a magician can create anything that he wills though everything he creates is only an illusion, similarly the Lord can appear or take any form that he wills though the forms are only an illusion. The very aim of the Lord taking different forms or being endowed with qualities is for the seekers to contemplate on such a form. It is quite impossible for most of us contemplate on a Lord who is formless and pervades everything like space. Hence in order to get focus of the mind and concentration of the mind on the Lord, the Lord can be assumed to take a particular form. This also helps in that we all are not yet out of the effects of the likes and dislikes of the mind. Hence it is easy to divert all our likes to a particular form instead of directing it to a worldly object. Thus a seeker should take a particular form that is most dear for him and then see that form as pervading the Lord. Thus it is as good as seeing the formless Lord everywhere in the world. Through this oneness vision and through the one liked form, the seeker will get rid of all likes and dislikes as he sees everything as that form. When the seeker everything as one form, there cannot be any likes or dislikes as likes and dislikes arise out of duality or differences. Thus the seeker gets rids of likes-dislikes as well as gains concentration of the mind by always contemplating on the form Lord as pervading everything. Slowly the form will go on increasing and expanding. Finally the seeker will realize the truth that the Lord can never be limited to a form thereby the form will get merged into formless Lord. At that time the seeker will realize his very nature of formless or Nirguna Lord.

Thus though the Lord is without any form or quality, still he assumes different forms so that seekers can contemplate on the form and thereby realize their nature of formless Lord.

If we assume the Lord to be with forms by his very will, then we can have infinite forms as are possible in the illusory world. Even as a magician’s creation has no bounds because it is only an illusion and is dependent on the magician’s will, similarly the Lord’s forms and powers are innumerous because it is an illusion and is dependent on the Lord’s will which in turn is dependent on the requirements of various seekers. Thus Brahma says that the powers of the Lord is boundless and cannot be counted or judged or gauged. This also in a way proves that the powers of the Lord are only an illusion as an illusion can never be judged. We can never know how much quantity of water is present in the mirage as there is no real water present. Similarly since the powers of the Lord cannot be gauged, it is only an illusion in the Nirguna Lord.

We should understand the necessity of Saguna or Saakara Lord in the spiritual path keeping in mind always that Nirguna is the very nature of the Lord lest we are diverted and distracted.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?