Thursday, January 03, 2008

Story 48 - Story of Raasa leela – 05

Understanding the pure love and ananya bhaava of the gopikas, Krishna continued playing raasa leela with them.


Here we find the result of pure love of gopikas wherein they didn’t want to leave the world and hence weren’t deluded by the things or people of the world.

In order to get something valuable we will have to get rid of all other distractions and luring for worldly objects. If this is the case with worldly objects, what to speak about the Self which is beyond words & thoughts? Thus in the spiritual path, this is more than true that a person has to get rid of all delusions and always stick to the goal whether he might feel that he isn’t progressing at all.

If a person always sticks to the goal whatever happens, he will then attain the state of immortality and bliss. It is this state that the gopikas attained through raasa leela with the Lord. If they had left the Lord by heeding to his words of going back to their parents, husbands etc. they wouldn’t have rejoiced in bliss. It is bliss that we all are seeking in one or the other form in the world. But we forget that the objects of the Lord are temporary and ever-changing. That which is changing is subject to birth and death. That which dies cannot give us eternal bliss as the object itself is temporary. But amidst the changing world, there needs to be a changeless substratum even as the ever changing variable has a constant as its substratum at any point of time. This changeless substratum is the ultimate reality of Lord of the nature of Consciousness. It is based on changeless Consciousness or the real “I” that all other things in the world change. The ultimate reality is that everything that is present in the illusory world is but an illusion of names and forms in Consciousness.

If we want to rejoice bliss (which is the ultimate goal of all beings in the world), then we need to seek the ultimate reality of Lord. In order to realize one’s own nature of Lord, we have to continuously seek the Lord though we might encounter obstacles. We can categorize obstacles as those which are very easy to conquer and which are very tough to conquer. The tough obstacles are those to which we are too attached. Attachment makes it tough to conquer these obstacles. These include one’s kith and kin which might have one’s Guru as well as part of it.

We should remember that even the Guru might try to persuade us to enter into worldly activities thereby taking us away from the ultimate reality of Lord in order to test our earnest desire for liberation. During those times, whatever happens we shouldn’t stray from our path towards the goal of Lord. Even if our own Guru says we shouldn’t forget the ultimate reality of Lord. This has been illustrated through experience by Mahabali wherein he didn’t heed the words of his Guru Shukracharya but stuck to the path thereby giving him the position of always having the Lord ready to do service for him.

Even though the Lord suggested the gopikas to leave him and go their kith-kin yet they didn’t succumb to his words. They still stuck to the Lord saying that they will not be able to live without the Lord. This attitude thereby made the Lord give them bliss as they had conquered all desires and obstacles. Sri Ramakrishna used to give a very beautiful analogy as to when a person will realize the Lord. One of his devotees once asked him the question. Without answering the question, Sri Ramakrishna immersed him into water not allowing him to come out of the water. The devotee gasping for breath and thereby shouting aloud as much as he can. Finally Sri Ramakrishna gave up his hold thereby allowing the devotee to come out of the water and get some breath. Then Sri Ramakrishna said to the devotee “when you have the earnest and strong desire to attain the Lord even like the desire you had to get one breath of air when you were submerged in water, then you will realize the Lord”. It is this strong desire and love that gopikas demonstrated here. This desire alone can take us through all obstacles, delusions and distractions. Vedanta terms this strong desire for liberation as mumukshutva.

This strong desire for liberation alone will take us through various steps in the spiritual path and until the ultimate reality of Lord is realized as one’s own nature of Consciousness.

When the Lord was playing raasa leela with the gopis, each of the gopis thought that the Lord loved them alone more than anybody else. Seeing ego springing up in the gopis the Lord decided to destroy the ego. He thereby vanished from in front of the gopis.


Though a seeker might progress in the spiritual path he might encounter the toughest obstacle to conquer which is the EGO of “I” and “Mine”. Ramana Maharshi beautifully thus says that Ego is the toughest to conquer as it will pose itself as a friend to ourself. As we generally believe our friends and seldom doubt them, we fall a prey to the delusions of the Ego. It is also for this reason that Sankara says in Upadesa Sahasri that a person who doesn’t have the sense of I and MINE becomes a knower of the Self that very moment.

The Lord proclaims thus in the 18th chapter of Gita:

Yasya na ahamkritho bhaavo buddhir yasya na lipyathe
Hatvaapi sa imaan lokaan naayam hanthi na hanyathe

He who doesn’t have the sense of Ego and whose intellect doesn’t stick to objects of the world, though he might kill the entire world yet he doesn’t kill and isn’t killed by anybody else.

Once a seeker surrenders to the Guru, it is the Guru’s responsibility to ensure that the Ego of the seeker is completely vanquished. But this is possible only when there is total surrender from the seeker. There are many people who complain after coming to AMMA that AMMA doesn’t get rid of their Ego. AMMA says that a Guru would want his disciple to know and be aware when the Ego is vanquished. This is compared to a doctor performing an operation on the patient without any anesthesia. But this is possible only if we completely surrender to the Guru.

We find the Sadguru of Krishna here helping the gopis to destroy their Ego the moment he sights it. Though the gopis had completely surrendered to the Lord and were so devoted to the Lord seeing the Lord in all activities yet Ego overpowered them. This goes on to show that a seeker should always be aware of the thoughts in his mind and keep the Ego in check. If the gopis themselves fell a prey to Ego then what to speak about seekers like us who aren’t so devoted to the ultimate reality of Lord?

We don’t need to worry that we aren’t as devoted like the gopis and thereby will not realize the Lord in this birth. We just need to know that the Ego has to be kept in check and surrender completely to the Lord. A devotee doesn’t need to even try to conquer his Ego – he just needs to completely surrender to the Lord and the Lord takes care of the Ego when it rises.

We will see in the next day as to how the activity of vanishing from the gopis helps in elimination of Ego.

Let us all try to surrender completely to the Lord and be totally devoted to the Lord so that when the Ego rises in us the Lord takes care of eliminating the Ego and making us ever immersed in bliss of the Lord.

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