Sunday, December 23, 2007

Story 48 - Story of Raasa leela - 03

Hearing Shuka speaking about the gopis, Parikshit interrupted with a question: Didn’t the gopis see Krishna as a dearly loved lover? And they didn’t see Krishna as Brahman (the ultimate reality of Lord). Then how did they experience Brahmananda (blissful state of Brahman) associated with lack of body-feeling?

Shuka replied thus:
O King! If we are able to see a person as Ishwara along with the notions of lust, anger etc. thereby forgetting everything and gaining oneness with the person, then bliss of Brahman will be experienced. Though the Lord is beyond experiences and nirguna (without any qualities), yet he took various avataaras or forms in order to make the intellect of people focus on Ishwara.


Though Ishwara by nature is formless and quality-less yet we can experience him in a particular form. Rather all the forms that we perceive in the world are mere illusions in the reality of Lord. Therefore whatever forms we see are nothing but the Lord alone. It maybe tough for a seeker to contemplate beyond the various forms of the world on an Ishwara who is formless but it is very easy to contemplate on a particular form as Ishwara.

When we have lust and anger towards a particular form in the world, it will lead us to the dual notions of sorrow and happiness (finally to sorrow and suffering alone). But when we are attached or averted to the person considering him as the ultimate reality of Lord thereby totally merging unto him, then it becomes a pooja thereby leading to purification of the mind and finally to realization.

When we consider one form as the ultimate reality of Lord and are merged unto it, this means we are ever focused on the form. We will then be doing all actions as an offering to the form, we will be seeing that form alone everywhere, we will be hearing about the form alone etc. Unless we have tanmayee bhava or being merged into that particular form, we will end up in sorrow only though we may believe in the form of Vishnu or Siva or Devi. Thus more than the form, it is the attitude behind the worship that really matters in the spiritual path for a sadhaka. When we see one form as pervading everywhere and all our attention even if we listen, see duality is focused on that form, then there is no scope of dual notions as we are devoid of like and dislike. Thus focusing our likes and dislikes unto one person assuming him as the ultimate reality of Lord will take us beyond likes and dislikes. Once a person is beyond likes and dislikes, he doesn’t get affected by the activities of the mind and the world. Thus such a person is ever immersed in contemplation of the person as the Lord. Finally thereby such a sadhaka ends up realizing his very nature of Lord – realizing bliss beyond the body-mind-intellect complex.

It is very important to consider the particular form as Ishwara (that Ishwara who alone is the source and substratum of the world). Unless we consider the form as Ishwara, we will not be rid of likes and dislikes.

Thus Bhagavatham here beautifully gives the way out of all likes and dislikes through the easy way of contemplating on a particular form than formless God. There may be people who might debate over form and formless God claiming one to be easier than the other. Such arguments are futile and will only lead the seeker to more troubles. For a person who is able to directly contemplate on the formless God, it is the best possible sadhana. But since majority of us are still associated with the body, hence it is very tough to contemplate on formless God. Thereby the scriptures give us the easy way (easy for people who cannot contemplate on formless God – this shouldn’t be interpreted as easy for everyone) of merging unto a particular form by considering it as the ultimate reality of Lord. It all depends on the seeker and his level as to which is easy for him. Even as we cannot say that Tyagaraja is a better sangeetha vidvaan than Shyaama shastri nor that Muthusamy Dikshitar is better than both Tyagaraja and Shyaama shastri, similarly we cannot claim one path to be better or easier than the other. The ultimate goal through form worship and formless worship is experience of bliss in the essentially formless non-dual Lord. And it is that bliss that gopis attained through worshipping of the form of Krishna as the ultimate reality of Lord whereas Janaka attained it through contemplating on the formless God through the path of knowledge from Yajnavalkya.

Instead of trying to argue over which is better, we should find out that path which is easier and suitable for us. Since majority of us have association with the body (as explained earlier) therefore majority of us will find form worship easier to do.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us all try to worship a particular form remembering it to stand for the ultimate reality of non-dual Lord so that it may lead us to eternal bliss – that which we have been seeking each and every moment of our life.

If a person is able to associate the Lord along with desire, anger etc. then he will attain tanmayee bhava (being merged in the Lord) thereby will be liberated from the ocean of samsaara.


The reply that Shuka gives to Parikshit that if we divert our emotions or associate it with the ultimate reality of Lord then it will lead us to moksha or bliss might seem to be doubtful. But if we really analyze this, we will find it to be perfectly true. Today we will try to analyze this aspect through examples in the scriptures as well as through the words of the Lord himself in Gita.

The moment we refer scriptures we will find almost the same number or more of people realizing the ultimate reality of Lord through desire, anger etc. than devotion and knowledge. When the scripture speaks about Uddhava getting liberated through knowledge from Krishna, we also find Kamsa getting liberated through anger diverted towards the Lord. When Mahabharatha speaks about Arjuna being guided by the Lord through the positive notion of Guru and friend, we find Shakuni being guided by the Lord through anger and hatred.

The puranas speak more about asuras and beings having hatred towards the Lord being liberated by the Lord than devotees getting liberated through devotion and knowledge. This only goes on to show that it doesn’t matter as to what attitude we maintain towards the Lord; it only matters whether we are able to always remember the Lord. Remembrance of the Lord at all times whether it is through knowing him to the non-dual reality behind the illusory world or through anger against him is what is required for a person to get liberated from the ocean of samsaara. When a person is always fixed unto the Lord even if it is through anger, he will forget the duality as the non-dual Lord is imposed on all that is seen, heard, thought and felt. When duality is forgotten, there will be no likes and dislikes. When there are no likes and dislikes, there is no scope for happiness and sorrow. Thus such a person will be ever maintaining equanimity in his mind. Since he is contemplating on the blissful Lord, therefore he will be experiencing bliss at all times. It is this blissful state that the gopis enjoyed through contemplation of the Lord as their lover.

If we are able to contemplate on the Lord either through lust or love or anger or desire or devotion or knowledge, then we will very soon merge unto the Lord thereby getting liberated from the dual world. It is not that easy to have devotion towards the ultimate reality of Lord as that requires knowledge about the Lord and thinking about the Lord as the supreme goal to be achieved all the while not getting deluded by the worldly objects. Instead it is very easy to get anger or hatred towards the Lord as the mind is always used to negative emotions than positive emotions. It is easy for us to hate our neighbors than love them! Thus a seeker should find out whether he is able to get attracted to the formless Lord with devotion and knowledge. If he is not, he should assume a particular form and get either attached or averted to it so that it is always affixed in his mind. We can get attached to Krishna because of his beautiful and attractive form if we are a female. Else we could get averted to Krishna because he attracts all women, has so many wives and is ever blissful. Both ways we will end up getting merged unto the Lord. Therefore we should always try to fix our mind unto the Lord associating him with all actions in our life whether they are good or bad.

It is this aspect that the Lord gives in the Gita thus:

Api chet suduracharo bhajathe maam ananyabhaak
Saadhureva sah mantavyah samyak vyavasitho hi sah

Even if a person does the worse action possible yet thinking of me always, he is to be considered a sadhu as he is ever contemplating on me.

Then how does he get liberated from the attachment/aversion?

Kshipram bhavathi dharmaatma shashvat shaanthim nigacchathi
Kaunteya prathijaaneehi na me bhakthah pranashyathi

Soon he will become a righteous man (righteousness or dharma is always contemplating on the Lord) and attain eternal peace. O Arjuna! Know for sure that my devotee never perishes.

In the above sloka a devotee is one who is ever contemplating on the Lord irrespective of whether the contemplation is with the notion of love, devotion, lust, anger or hatred.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us all try to always contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord so that we may get liberated from the ocean of samsaara characterized by sorrows and sufferings.

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