Thursday, August 16, 2007

Story 46 - Story of Bala Krishna's plays - 08

Brahma continued:

If a person does all actions through body, words and mind as an offering to the Lord remembering that the Lord alone exists, he will become eligible to experience brahmanandam (bliss of Brahman).


In the previous days we discussed about Nirguna and Saguna Brahman. In this part Brahma in brief gives us the way to experience the bliss of Brahman. The ultimate reality of Brahman is ever blissful and just seems to be limited by a form thereby becoming Saguna depending on the mental state of a seeker.

That Brahman or Lord who is present everywhere can never be limited by anything. The truth behind the dual world is the non-dual reality of Lord. The duality is only an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord. Thus whatever really exists is only the non-dual reality of Lord even as the dream world is only an illusion in the reality of dreamer. In order to realize this reality that whatever is present is only the Lord, we have to see the Lord as present everywhere and thereby offering all actions unto the reality of Lord. This is what Brahma is propounding here. Though our very nature is that of blissful Brahman or Lord, still most of us are incapable of experiencing the bliss which is our very nature because of ignorance and the obstructions caused by the adjuncts of body-mind-intellect.

Even as a person cannot see his face in a mirror which is impure, similarly we will not be able to experience our very nature of blissful Lord unless the mirror of mind (through which we experience our nature) is pure. Therefore though each one of us are by nature of bliss, we are not capable of experiencing it unless we purify our minds. Purification of mind is the first step to experiencing bliss. The second step is that of knowing through the tri-fold process of sravana (listening to the scriptural truth), manana (reflection using logic about the scriptural truth) and nidhidhyaasana (contemplation on the scriptural truth) that my very nature is blissful Lord.

The scriptural masters who have realized their nature of Lord are so compassionate that they provide us a blend of the two steps of purification of mind and knowledge through doing actions as an offering to the Lord along with the knowledge that the Lord is the only real entity present amidst the illusory duality of the world. The path that Brahma propounds here is not something new but this is what has been propounded in the Upanishads and Gita. The Lord in Gita propounds this way of offering all actions unto that Lord who alone is present in many places. Two such slokas which are worth by-hearting in order to always remember and implement in life are:

Brahma arpanam brahma havih brahma agnau brahmanaa hutam
Brahmaiva tena gantavyam brahma karma samaadhinaa

Brahman is the oblation performed in the yajna of actions in the world;Brahman is the homa kunda; Brahman is the fire; Brahman is the person offering the yajna; Brahman is also the goal to be achieved through this yajna; the attitude which has to be followed while doing this yajna is the knowledge that everything is Brahman alone.

Yat karoshi yad ashnaasi yad juhoshi dadaasi yat
Yat tapasyasi kaunteya tad kurushva madarpanam

Whatever actions you do, whatever offerings you do, whatever oblations you perform, whatever you give to others and whatever austerities you perform, do it unto Me O Arjuna.

What is the purpose and use of offering everything to the Lord?

Shubha ashubha phalairevam mokshyase karma bandanaih
Sanyaasa yoga yukthaatma vimuktho maam upaishyaasi

Therefore you will overcome the fruits of good and bad, bondage of actions as well; thus ever established in the Lord with the knowledge that everything is Lord and having renounced actions-fruits, you will become liberated and attain me.

This is in short the one and only thing that is to be performed at all times in order to get brahmananda or infinite and eternal bliss – that which is being sought out by everyone in the world. All other sadhanas of chanting, dhyaana etc. are only means to focusing ourselves directly to the Lord so that we may be able to do this one thing of always offering actions to the Lord.

Brahma continued:

If a person tries to externally find out the answers to the questions as to where, how, when etc. the world came into existence in the reality of Lord, he will not be able to get any logical answers. It is for this reason that the world is proclaimed to be an illusion in the reality of Lord.


Here in this part we find Bhagavatham explaining in brief the essence of the Vedantic scriptures. As Sankara proclaims in one of his works that the entire scripture can be explained in half a verse thus:

Brahma Satyam jagan mithyaa jeevo brahmaiva na parah

Brahman alone is real; the world is only an illusion; the jeeva (individual Self) is one with Brahman and not different from it.

The scriptures through various statements like “sadeva soumya idamagre aaseet ekameva adviteeyam” (Sat alone existed here prior to creation, one without a second O Dear), “sarvam khalu idam brahma” (everything is verily Brahman here), “ishavasyam idam sarvam” (Iswara alone is present here as everything) etc. propound beyond doubt that whatever is really present here is nothing but the non-dual reality of Brahman. There is nothing whatsoever apart from Brahman here – the seemingly appearing duality is only an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Brahman even as various gold ornaments are mere illusions of names and forms in gold. Thus whatever really exists is only Brahman or the ultimate reality of Lord.

If everything is Brahman, then the individual Self who seems to be limited in knowledge has to be one with Brahman; thus we all are nothing but the ultimate reality of blissful Brahman. This is what the Lord propounds in many places of Gita that “Ishwarah sarva bhootaanaam hriddeshe arjuna thistathi” (Ishwara resides in the heart of all beings O Arjuna).

In this part Brahma is giving the logic as to why the world of duality is considered as an illusion of names and forms in Brahman. Anything that cannot be explained through logic is an illusion as illusions are devoid of reality for them to be logical. The water seen in desert cannot be really explained through logic except that it is seen in desert and is not real. If we try to analyze as to where water came from, why water came from etc. we will only end up in confusions. The very reason that we cannot ascertain the why, where etc. of an illusion proves it to be an illusion. Similar is the case with the world as we cannot find out where it came from and why it came. The world is said to have come from Brahman – but this explanation is only for the initial seeker as such an answer is illogical. Brahman is pure and blissful whereas the world is impure and sorrowful. There can never arise the impure world from pure Brahman. Hence we say that the world is only an illusion of names and forms in Brahman.

Instead of concentrating on the where, why etc. we must focus on the substratum of the illusion. Thus a wise person would find out that the substratum of the world is the non-dual reality of Brahman (which is one’s own very nature) and thereby try to realize Brahman.

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