Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Story 47 – Story of Destroying Indra’s pride – 03

Nandagopa replied thus to Krishna’s questions:

Bhagavan Indra is the God for rain. The clouds are parts of his body. It is by the showering of the clouds that all beings get water which sustains their life. Therefore, O Child, we are offering things that we got because of his compassion to him thereby worshipping him. By what remains behind, we get dharma-artha-kaama out of those. He who doesn’t keep up this tradition will be caused to death due to kaama, krodha etc. Therefore we are getting ready to do the yajna.


We learnt the previous day that we shouldn’t do any action without knowing the import behind the action. In order to illustrate this, the Lord had questioned Nandagopa regarding the action of Indra yaaga. We find in this part Nandagopa replying as to the import behind the action of Indra yaaga. Thus unlike many of us today who don’t know the import behind most of the rituals that we do, Nandagopa new as to what to do.

What is the necessity of rituals of offering to various Gods?
The necessity is because we get things from various Gods and hence we ought to offer part of it to them as a mark of gratitude and surrender. Not only do we learn humility and gratitude but we also develop a sense of selflessness which is contrary to the selfish actions of current day people. It is because we don’t know that we are able to do all activities and we get fruits by the grace of various Gods that we don’t offer anything in return to their service.

The scriptures speak about each and every organ as well as activity having a God controlling it. We don’t even need to go that further to analyze things. We have the Sun, the moon and the Ocean helping us to sustain life. But do we offer our gratitude to their service? But for these Gods we would not be living. What the current day scientific brains do instead of offering our gratitude is term them as dense masses of matter. This terming of matter goes even for human beings who are mere masses of matter with some energy in them. Science thus takes us to the state that even life can be cloned without the help of the sentient principle of Consciousness (which is what we call as God or Ishwara or Brahman).

But unlike our ignorant state about the various Gods presiding over many activities, Nandagopa knew the importance of these Gods. This is only because of scriptural knowledge as well as devotion towards the ultimate reality of Lord. Ancient people saw the entire world as a manifestation of Ishwara in various names and forms. Thus everything was Ishwara for them. Whatever was seen, whatever was heard, and whatever was touched was nothing but Ishwara alone. This attitude of seeing Ishwara as pervading everything is the path to remove likes and dislikes thereby making us liberated from the ocean of samsaara.

The famous Narayana Sooktha proclaims thus about Ishwara:

Yat cha kinchit jagat sarvam drishyathe srooyathe api vaa
Anthar bahischa tat sarvam vyaapyan naaraayana sthithah

Whatever is present in this world as Seen or heard, all of those are pervaded in and out by Narayana (Ishwara).

The Lord proclaims the same in many places of Gita thus:

Ishwarah sarvabhootaanaam hriddeshe arjuna thistathi
The Lord resides in the heart of all beings O Arjuna.

It is remembrance of this reality that makes a person grateful towards whatever he has got and is getting from the world. This gratitude is expressed in the form of various yajnas.

We will continue with as to how the Lord plays in order to destroy the Ego of Indra in the next day.

Let us all see everything as pervaded by the Lord so that we are grateful towards the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Earth, the Ocean and all beings thereby getting liberated from the ocean of samsaara.

After hearing Nandagopa’s words, Krishna started explaining as to why the Yaaga was unnecessary though he knew the yaaga was apt in order to make Indra angry.


We all know about the compassion and teaching nature of the Lord in his various avataaras as well as through the various jeevan mukthas. But here we find the Lord’s mischievous nature. We all know about the incidents of Krishna when he was a kid running around houses and spilling the butter/ghee in the houses. But here we find the merging of the mischievous and teaching nature of the Lord.

The Lord wanted to destroy the Ego of Indra. Ego can be destroyed only when it is at its peak. The ego is at the peak only when a person becomes angry. Anger takes us to such a state that we then say “do you know who I am?” totally losing oneself in the notion that “I am great”, “I can achieve everything” etc.

The Lord knew that what Nandagopa said about the yaaga and the yaaga in itself was part of the vedic tradition in which everything is offered to the various Gods from whom we get it as paying gratitude along with contemplation that everything is a manifestation of the ultimate reality of Lord. But still he wanted to destroy the Ego of Indra thereby making him realize his very nature of non-dual Lord. The scriptures proclaim that due to ignorance the Ego is superimposed on the Self. Therefore though the real ‘I” is the Self, we consider “I” as the Ego associated and attached with the body-mind-intellect complex. Only when the Ego is destroyed by completely banishing it a person will be able to realize his very nature of Lord. Destroying the Ego is possible only when the Ego is at its peak – even as the maximum damage to a person happens when he falls from the 100th floor (than the 1st or 2nd floor). Thus in order to destroy the Ego thereby help Indra realize the reality, the Lord started questioning Nandagopa about the Indra Yaaga. We will find in the next few days as to how the Lord beautifully angers Indra by telling Nandagopa not to offer the share of Indra in the form of the Yaaga.

Mahatmas and Jeevanmukthas living in the world are termed as karuna sindhu or ocean of compassion. Though these Mahatmas don’t need to help the people in the world as they are free of all desires yet they help out people because of their infinite compassion in making others as well experience the bliss that they are experiencing.

Doesn’t a person who has realized know that the world is but an illusion in the reality of Lord? If so, then how can he help others?As long as a person is ignorant, he will be considering the world as apart from the ultimate reality of Lord. Thus for an ignorant person the world will not be seen as an illusion in the reality of Lord. This means that when an ignorant person sees the Mahatma or realized person as living in the world yet realized he will have the doubt as to how such a realized person can perform actions as he sees only Brahman here. The scriptures in order to satisfy the question of the ignorant person thus say that the Mahatma works for the benefit of the other ignorant people. Such an explanation is only for the ignorant seeker seeking an answer as well as to give courage and hope to the ignorant seeker that he will get help in realization. But once a seeker progresses in the spiritual path, he will be told that there is neither jeevan muktha nor baddha jeeva, there is neither jnaani nor the ajnaani, there is neither an illusion nor the reality but whatever exists is only the non-dual reality of Lord. Until a person is eligible to apprehend this truth, the scriptures will explain the duality in as logical as possible way so that the seeker’s question will be answered and he will be able to proceed further in the spiritual path.

Remembering that the compassion and actions of the Mahatma are only from the perspective of the ignorant seeker as for a realized saint there is only the ultimate reality of Lord existing, we will continue the story in the next day.

Let us all have devotion and surrender to the Lord of Krishna thereby killing the snake of Kaliya and making the water pure (symbolizing realization of our own nature of Self thereby rejoicing in eternal bliss).

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