Monday, March 17, 2008

Story 48 - Story of Raasa leela – 11

The gopis thus touched, embraced, showered love to Krishna. The Lord as well was enjoying the gopis presence. How? Even as a child plays with his own shadow, Krishna played with the gopis.

Due to the bliss emanating from the touch of Krishna, the gopis weren’t even able to tighten their hairs, cover their breasts with cloth and properly wear ornaments (which they were wearing initially).


Bhagavatham mentions in depth as to how the Lord played with the gopis. It might appear that this playing is very similar to lustful activities that we often view and experience in life. But the blissful experience due to contemplation of the Lord and due to Samadhi is very much different from lustful activities. Though external symptoms might seem as if both are same yet the gopis weren’t able to come out of the ecstasy to properly take care of their body whereas in lust we will not be able to come out of the activity as a result of desire.

The blissful experience with the Lord is when all desires vanish and the devotee merges unto the Lord whereas lustful experiences are when desire for lust is so strong to overpower everything in the world. Blissful experience with the Lord will get rid of all cravings whereas lustful experiences will make us crave for more and more. Blissful experience with the Lord is something from which the devotee who once merges cannot ever return but lustful experiences are those from which we return yet want to go again.

It is in order to make it clear that when the devotee merges unto the Lord there is no difference whatsoever that Bhagavatham mentions that gopis weren’t able to look after their own body as they had already gone beyond such a differentiated state.

Bhagavatham also gives a very beautiful analogy of the blissful play between Krishna and the gopis. It is like a child playing with his own shadow. This shows that though empirically the gopis are different from the Lord, they don’t have any separate existence apart from the Lord thus ultimately they are one with the Lord. This is a perfect example that clearly mentions that the Lord is one with his devotees – thereby that the reality is that the entire world is but an illusion in the Lord whether we accept it or not.

The moment we accept it, we merge unto the Lord. We merge internally unto the Lord whereas empirically the individual might exist different from the Lord. But the individual’s existence isn’t totally apart from the Lord as his existence is a mere illusion and completely depending on the Lord. Even as the shadow enjoys the bliss emanating from the Lord, similarly if we become devotees of the Lord we will also be able to enjoy the bliss emanating from the Lord (yet being different from the Lord empirically).

In short the scriptures say that the Lord is the essence of all beings and is situated in the spiritual heart of all beings. This means that in essence we are all the Lord but empirically different due to the limitations of body-mind-intellect (which are ultimately unreal). Even as the shadow is not really different from the Lord, we are also not really different from the Lord.

When we realize this truth that our individual existence is just a shadow of the Lord, we will be able to rejoice in bliss internally all the while doing activities externally. Then externally activities will not be able to taint us and get us away from bliss into sorrows and sufferings. It is this blissful state untainted by sorrow that we all are seeking. Bhagavatham through the raasa leela story is thus pointing out to each one of us that we will be able to get bliss only when we become real devotees of the Lord through total surrender & seeing the Lord everywhere.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us all try to realize that we are in fact not different from the ultimate reality of Lord thereby seeing the Lord everywhere and surrendering completely unto him so that we may rejoice in bliss like the gopis.

When the gopis became tired, they alone with Krishna took bath in the Kalindi river. After this they came back to the shore and started resting even as a male elephant rests with a group of female elephant after enjoying for a period of time.

At this point Parikshit questioned Shuka thus:

O Maharshi! What is this I am hearing? The Lord took birth in order to protect dharma and destroy adharma. Thus the Lord who instructs and follows dharma is doing activities completely against dharma here. He went against dharma by behaving in such a way with other ladies. Why did he do so? Why did the Lord who is an apthakama (all desires have been fulfilled as no desire is left) do such bad activities? What is the meaning of this? Please clear my doubts.


Parikshit is echoing a doubt that we all would normally had while reading and learning the raasa leela portion of Bhagavatham. Bhagavatham would be answering this beautifully through Shuka – which we will see in the next day.

Today we will try to get back to the ultimate goal rather than getting deluded into worldly entities. Dharma and Adharma is a concept which is very deep indeed to understand and thereby many people get deluded into it.

Dharma and Adharma is always different for different people. We cannot generalize this in any way. The dharma of asuras is to attack devas – whereas attacking is the adharma for devas. It is the dharma of a King to rule whereas it is adharma for a sanyaasi to rule. It is the dharma of a sanyaasi to take bhiksha whereas it is adharma for the king to take bhiksha (as that would make him a beggar).

Thus we cannot really generalize dharma and adharma. If we do want to generalize it, we have to get away from the definitions of these based on actions. Ultimately as per the scriptures anything that a person does remembering the reality of Lord is dharma. Any activity that takes us closer to the goal of realizing the Lord is dharma. Any activity which doesn’t involve contemplation of the Lord (alone with the knowledge that everything is but the Lord) and which takes us away from the goal of realizing the Lord is adharma.

Thus majority of us do adharma though we consider it as dharma. We go to the temple and curse the person standing in front of us as he obstructs our vision of the deity. The very activity of going to temple is dharma but here for the person it becomes adharma. Thus it is not the activity that really determines as to whether it is dharma or adharma. It is the attitude behind the activity which determines it. The right attitude of remembering the ultimate reality of Lord while doing any activity makes the activity a dharma.

Thus Mahabali was doing dharma and thereby the Lord sent him to Sutala with the blessing and promise that he will always be there for Mahabali (at any point of time).

If we understand this deep essence and definition of dharma & adharma, most of our doubts and confusions will vanish. Not only this but then following dharma will lead us to the goal of eternal bliss. Else when we end up our life we will start wondering as to what has dharmic activities like sandhya vandhanam, sahasranamam, going to temples etc. has helped us achieve. And that will take away our belief in the spiritual path thereby making us an atheist (or at least reduce our faith in the Lord) in the next birth.

But if a person is really doing dharma by remembering the Lord while doing any activities, he will be able to end his life smiling and happily as he knows that the thought of the Lord will always be there with him (even in next birth if there is such a birth).

Remembering this dharma and adharma definition basing itself on the ultimate reality of Lord, we will Shuka’s beautiful explanation about the activities of the Lord in the next day.

Let us all try to understand that dharma is nothing but constant remembrance of the Lord with the knowledge that he alone is present here in the illusory world and thereby live each moment of our life in dharma – which in turn will make us blissful every moment of our life.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?