Saturday, April 19, 2008

Story 49 – Story of Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam - 06

O Lord, this world has been created by Brahma who has come from the lotus in your navel. Panchabhothas (five primal elements), prana, brahma, mind, sense organs etc. all of these don’t know the reality of Lord though they are your parts (as they are an illusion seen in you).


In the previous day we saw Akrura starting his praise by giving a concise definition of the ultimate reality of Lord. The very next question that comes to our mind once the reality of Lord is being propounded is regarding the world that we perceive. If the reality of Lord alone is present, then what about the world that we see? How are we to understand the words of the scriptures which propagates creation theory and categorization of things around us? This is being explained in brief in this part of Akrura’s praise.

Everything that we see has come from the Lord because the Lord alone is real. Even as the dream world has come from the dreamer, similarly the entire world has come from the Lord. But unlike the real pot that is created by the potter, the world that we see is only an illusion in the Lord. This is the reason why the objects and people that are part of the world cannot know the Lord – even as the objects in the dream world cannot know the dreamer.

Thus the world that we see is only an illusion in the reality of Lord even as the dream world is an illusion in the dreamer. The dream world seems to be real when we are dreaming but after waking up we realize that there was neither a dream world nor will there ever be a dream world; similarly once a seeker realizes the substratum of the illusory world as the ultimate reality of Lord then he will realize that there was and will never be a world – it is just an illusion and the world is such that it appears to be as if real. The very fact that the world is constantly changing shows that the world will one day vanish completely. That which is subject to vanishing cannot be real as real is that which always exists.

Remembering that the entire world is nothing but the ultimate reality of Lord even as the dream world is the dreamer alone, we have to proceed in the spiritual path by seeing the Lord everywhere. The moment we see the Lord as pervading the entire world, we will not be able to get attached or averted to things and people. When there is neither attachment nor aversion, we will not get affected by the state of the illusory things of the world. Most of the problems in life is due to getting affected by the world and the objects/people of the world.

Thus knowledge about the reality of the Lord and the illusory nature of the world along with implementation of seeing the Lord everywhere will take us from the state of sorrow to the state of eternal bliss in this very life itself.

We will continue with the praise of Akrura in the next day.

Let us all try to remember the world to be an illusion in the ultimate reality of Lord so that we are not deluded anymore by the sorrows caused by the world and will be able to rejoice in bliss which is our very nature of Lord.

The entire world doesn’t know you – because though you pervade all of this, you are beyond the gunas (which is the basis of the world). Yogis worship you as the Ishwara present as adhyatmam, adhibhootham and adhidaivam. Few others worship you through the yajnas present in the karma khanda of the Vedas. But jnaanis worship you as Consciousness in nature through jnaana yajna after negating the thoughts of the mind. Saivas worship you in the form of Siva. All these people worship you alone who are the essence of all these forms. Even as the water which flows from the ocean and becomes various rivers merges back unto the ocean, similarly all these worship comes to you alone.


In this part of Akrura’s praise, Bhagavatham is giving a very beautiful concept which we all are aware of through this simple age-old sloka:

Aakaashaat pathitham toyam yathaa gacchathi saagaram
Sarvadeva namaskaaram keshavam prathi gacchathi

Even as the water that comes from the sky (in the form of rain) flows back to the ocean, similarly worship/prostration to any God finally goes to Keshava (Keshava is the merging of the trinities – and is termed as Brahman in Vedanta).

It is the very same concept that Krishna mentions in the 9th chapter of Gita thus:

Yepi anya devathaah bhakthaah yajanthe sraddhayaanvithaah
Tepi maameva kaunteya yajanthi avidhipurvakam

Those who worship other Gods but with faith and devotion, they worship me only; but not directly knowing this.

All this means that it doesn’t matter which form we choose for worship. There have been prescribed around 33 crore forms in the scriptures. Even as the seekers are of different kinds and have different nature, similarly there are different forms prescribed for each of these kinds of people. An individual can depending on his nature, taste and attraction, choose the form that appeals the most to him. Worship is wherein we constantly contemplate on the form and offer everything unto the form. This is possible only if the form is appealing to us and we are devoted to the form or have pure love towards the form. Once we choose the form, then we need to worship the form remembering that all forms are in fact the formless reality of Lord alone.

Thus any worship with the right attitude of remembering the form to be the ultimate reality of Lord will take us from the state of sorrow to the state of bliss. This part of Bhagavatham thereby clarifies the doubts in many of us as to whether one form is better than the other, whether one way of worship is better than the other etc. Ultimately it doesn’t matter which form we worship or how we worship but what really matters is as to the knowledge about the Lord being the only reality in the entire world and having complete surrender/devotion/love towards the Lord. This alone is enough for the Lord to take care of us and lead us to the goal of eternal bliss. This is again mentioned by the Lord himself in the 9th chapter thus:

Ananyaaschintayantho maam ye janaah paryupasathe
Teshaam nitya abhiyukthaanaam yogakshemam vahaami aham

Those who worship me everywhere and always remembering me, I take care of such people whose mind is always focused on me.

Thus rather than trying to figure as to which form is better or which path is better, we need to focus on gaining constant contemplation of the Lord at all times along with the knowledge that the Lord alone is present here as the illusory world.

We will continue with the praise of Akrura in the next day.

Let us all choose a form that is appealing to our mind and which can help us focus on the reality of Lord along with the knowledge that everything is but one Lord alone so that we will be protected always by the Lord until we realize our very nature of Lord

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