Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Story 47 – Story of Destroying Indra’s pride – 12

After having experienced the miraculous power of Krishna, Indra gave up his pride thereby withdrawing the clouds. Indra was dumbstruck at the miracle displayed by the child Krishna who was just a seven year old boy yet holding the mountain for seven days without any pain or tiredness.


Though Indra had pride, yet we find here a person who had learnt the scriptures and forgotten it for some time. If not for scriptural study or knowledge about the Lord, Indra would have continued showing his pride in vain like many of the asuras of Kamsa, Jarasandha etc. (which in turn would have lead to his total destruction). The sign of knowledge is accepting one’s fault and mistakes. Indra therefore surrendered to the Lord knowing his fault of showing pride. It is for this reason that all Mahatmas proclaim knowledge of scriptures.

Knowledge of scriptures is not mere by-hearting of slokas or being able to give long discourses on any of them; but it is knowing that the ultimate reality of Lord alone exists, one without a second. Along with the knowledge that the Lord alone exists, seeker realizes through study of scriptures in the right way that the dual world is only an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord and that he himself is of the nature of eternal Lord.

Unless we know about the ultimate reality of Lord being the only reality beneath the illusory world, we will not be benefitted by scriptural knowledge. Such people who know the entire Vedas yet don’t know the reality of Brahman are termed as donkeys carrying the load of Vedas (by Yoga Vasistha). We are all aware of the age-old saying that quality is more important than quantity. This is valid in terms of scriptural knowledge as well.

Scriptures speak about a highway killer of the name of Ratnakar who happened to attack a saint who instructed him into chanting the mantra MARA (as he refused to chant the name of RAMA). Mere chanting of the mantra with full faith and devotion lead him to become the famous Valmiki who captured the life of Rama in Valmiki Ramayana. Here also we find the emphasis of quality and not quantity. It is not because Valmiki chanted for a thousand years that he became realized but it was the faith with which he chanted. We find a number of people who have been doing all kinds of spiritual activities starting from their childhood in the form of sandhya vandhana or rama nama japa etc. yet at the end of their life they still have many desires to be fulfilled thereby being dissatisfied with the very God whom they worshipped.

Bhagavatham here indirectly is thus emphasizing the need for proper scriptural knowledge which concentrates not on stories or the creation of the world or glories of the Lord but on the non-dual reality of Lord as the substratum behind the illusory world. A person who has thus gained knowledge that the Lord alone is present as the substratum of illusory names and forms of the world might at times due to his vasana forget the Lord. But the Lord himself would help such a devotee in realizing his fault like he does here with Indra. Unless we have right knowledge we will not thereby be helped by the Lord as we will not be able to apprehend the reality which we have learnt in the wrong way.

Let us all try to always remember that the Lord alone is present here even while learning the scriptures, listening to the glories of the Lord or doing any spiritual activity so that we may be always protected by the Lord in our path to eternal bliss.

Once the clouds were withdrawn by Indra, with Krishna’s permission and request the gopas went back to their houses happily. Krishna placed the Govardhana Parvatha in its previous position. The gopas and gopis hugged, embraced and kissed Krishna thereby showing their bliss. Krishna being the ultimate reality of Lord became strengthened once again in the minds of gopas and gopis as a result of this miraculous incident.


As we have discussed previously, it requires a few magical stints for a sadhaka to gain belief in a Mahatma or jeevan muktha. This rule applies for avataras like Krishna as well. Once Indra withdrew the clouds, the gopas and gopis got their belief strengthened that Krishna was none other than the ultimate reality of Lord.

Thus we find the master of Krishna serving multiple purposes by this miracle of holding Govardhana Parvatha in his small finger. The main purpose of this miracle demonstration was to destroy the ego of Indra but this also served in strengthening the belief of the gopas.

The biggest hurdle in the spiritual path is getting over the doubts and confusions in the mind. Once the doubts in the mind are expelled, it is easy for a seeker to contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord thereby realizing his very nature of non-dual Lord. Though we might think that it is easy to gain belief over a particular person, it isn’t that easy as we think it to be. Most of the worldly problems like divorce, friendship-break etc. are due to doubts in the mind. If we were able to gain full faith in our friends or partners, our life will always be without any obstacle. This also applies to a spiritual sadhaka gaining faith in the ultimate reality of Lord. As long as we don’t gain faith in a particular person or a God, we will not be able to contemplate on the person as the ultimate reality of Lord.

If the mind plays such a big role in gaining faith on a particular person, it definitely will pose an obstacle in apprehending the ultimate reality of Lord as the substratum of the illusion of world. It is very tough for the mind to go against what is perceived by the sense organs. As the world is seen by sense organs as real, therefore it is really tough for the mind to apprehend the illusory nature of the world. The moment a person gains faith in a Mahatma, the Mahatma will then slowly guide him towards the reality of Lord. Even as a small child is unable to see the moon and is guided by the mother through a nearby branch to the moon, similarly the Mahatma will guide the seeker from the illusory world to the ultimate reality of Lord.

But for the Mahatma to be able to guide the seeker, the seeker should have faith in him. And faith is strengthened when the mind of the seeker is convinced that the Mahatma is a knower of the ultimate reality of Lord. This is possible only when the Mahatma displays power similar or equal to that of the Lord. And since Krishna here is none other than the ultimate reality of Lord, then displaying powers in his own illusory creation is nothing for him. Though the Mahatma might never want to display powers yet in order to strengthen the devotees/disciple’s faith he might do so. We as ardent seekers shouldn’t go behind miracles but understand that the main purpose of demonstration of the miracles is to strengthen our faith in the Mahatma.

We will next see as to how Indra surrenders completely to Krishna in the next day.

Let us all try to understand the importance of Mahatmas but be focused on the reality of Lord so that we may be drawn away from the illusory world to the blissful Lord.

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