Saturday, April 19, 2008

Story 49 – Story of Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam - 07

This world which is seen with the difference between man, animal, trees etc. is nothing but flow of gunas which are the effect of Avidya (that is only an illusion – doesn’t really exist). Your mouth is agni; your feet is earth; your eyes are the Sun; Aakasham is your path; the various diks (directions) are your ears; heaven is your head; devas are your hands; samudras are your stomach; air is prana; trees and plants are the hair in your body; the clouds are the hair in your head; mountains are your bones; nails are lightning; Prajapathi is the organ of procreation and rain is the seed; all the various worlds, caretakers of the world and people of the world are all imaginary creations in you who are without any decay/death; this is like the various creatures in water, mosquitoes in fruits – whatever objects and things are seen in the world they are all mere forms in you. All the avataras are your natya vesham (drama roles). Only fools consider all these as different things and thereby get deluded even as water in desert is considered to be real.


Bhagavatham is here speaking about one Lord alone pervading the entire world. Bhagavatham is also emphasizing here the truth that the non-dual reality pervades the duality – the duality is only an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord.

We can find in the scriptures the praise of the Lord as one Purusha in whom the entire world is situated. The entire world is but that one entity alone. This way of seeing everything in the Lord is what is generally termed as vishwaroopa darshanam or virupa bhajanam.

There is no need to mention each and every entity in the world as parts of the ultimate reality of Lord – it is enough to say that everything is an illusion in the Lord who alone exists here. But the scriptures use explicit way of explaining so that people who have doubts even after everything is mentioned to be the Lord will get convinced about this. Many people get doubts as to how the world filled with differences of all sorts can be the non-dual reality of Lord. It is for such people to be convinced and to slowly make them realize that everything that we see is in fact one reality of Lord alone that the scriptures take resort to vishwaroopa. If everything that we see is one Lord, then the duality will completely merge into one Lord. It is duality and differences that cause sorrow in the world. As long as we have likes and dislikes, we will get attached and averted to things and people. It is this attachment and aversion that leads to happiness and sorrow depending on the situation. A person who doesn’t have any attachment or aversion will always be peaceful and beyond the dual notions of the mind (like happiness-sorrow etc.). Thus a person who is devoid of likes and dislikes will always be peaceful – it is this peaceful state of mind that is known as moksha. Bliss, contentment, satisfaction etc. are just synonyms for the peaceful state of the mind.

If the truth is that everything is one or the other part of the Lord, then how can we call the Lord the non-dual and eternal entity?
Any entity that is composed of parts is subject to changes – a tree has various parts of branch, leave etc. and hence it undergoes the six modifications of birth, existence, growth, decay, disease and death. Such a changing entity cannot therefore be eternal as eternal is that which always exists. Similarly since the Lord has parts (which are the various things of the world), therefore he cannot be non-dual.

It is in order to answer this objection/doubt that Bhagavatham further says through Akrura that everything is an illusion in the Lord. Even as the objects coming in dream are related to the dreamer and can also be considered as the parts of the dreamer, similarly the entire world is an illusion in the Lord. Thus the Lord is non-dual and eternal as the parts are only illusions in the Lord.

If the parts of the Lord are illusions, then why speak about the world are parts of the Lord?
This is in order to get rid of the dual notions in our mind. If we are very well able to overcome likes and dislikes by contemplating on everything to be an illusion in the Lord, well and good. But for majority of us, it is impossible to conquer likes and dislikes all the while perceiving differences in the world. Hence in order to take us slowly from the likes and dislikes thereby leading us to the non-dual reality of Lord Bhagavatham and the scriptures proclaim everything to be present in the Lord. Everything is present in the Lord as the parts of the Lord – but here the parts are like the dream world seen in the dreamer, they are not real but mere illusions. Thus even while we are able to get rid of likes and dislikes by seeing everything as one Lord, we will also not get deluded into the parts of the Lord (as we know them to be illusions in the Lord and not real).

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

My prostrations to that eternal and changeless entity of Brahman who is endowed with unlimited power (of Maya), is of the nature of Consciousness absolute, is the cause of all knowledge (and Consciousness) and is present in the world as jeeva, ishwara and prakrithi.


We see Bhagavatham explaining all perspectives of the reality in this one sloka praise of Akrura. Let’s see that in detail today.

There is only one entity in the entire world which is real – it is this entity which is termed as Brahman, Ishwara, Paramatman, Bhagavan etc. variously by saints and masters. The very nature of this Brahman is Consciousness. There is nothing that taints this entity of Consciousness as it is part-less and the cause of the part-less space. Only that which has parts can be tainted as it alone can have association with other entities. Since Brahman is part-less, therefore Brahman is always pure. That which is pure and part-less therefore is changeless and eternal (a tree has parts and hence has changes – similar is the case with a body).

If Brahman as Consciousness is eternal, what about the Consciousness in each one of us which pulsates as “I exist, I exist”?
All knowledge or light that we have in the entire world is nothing but the light of Consciousness alone. The scriptures mention clearly that everything shines because of the light of Consciousness. Krishna himself says in Gita that the light in the Sun, moon etc. are his light. Thus all Consciousness is but one with Brahman or Lord.

Why can’t we have multiple Consciousness? Why does Consciousness need to be one?
Consciousness cannot be many because such a necessity is not required. Moreover if we assume many Consciousness, then we will have to account for both Consciousness interacting with each other. It is the nature of Consciousness to illumine everything and itself remaining un-illumined. Consciousness is the only entity in the entire world which isn’t objectified by anything as it is the light of all lights. Even as all our lights cannot illumine the Sun (which is the source of all lights), Consciousness cannot be illumined by any light. This will become wrong if we assume many CHITS (Consciousness). Thus Consciousness is one alone.

If Consciousness is one alone, then how do we experience the “I” in me illumining the “I” in another person?
The “I” in another person which is illumined by “I” in me is not Consciousness. It is the limited jeeva (reflection of Consciousness in the intellect). Similarly the “I” which we are speaking here in me is not Consciousness but jeeva associated with the body-mind-intellect. Consciousness as we learned is without any association. Hence the “I” here is not Consciousness as it is associated with the body-mind-intellect complex.

Even as a dreamer in his dream world experiences himself illumining others and others illumining him but all of the experiences are in fact illuminations of one dreamer alone, similarly the entire world is illumined by one Consciousness alone. But we tend to forget our real nature of Consciousness thereby getting identified with the jeeva (which is unreal). The moment we surrender to the ultimate reality of Lord remembering that everything is an illusion in Consciousness, that very moment we will be able to experience the bliss of the one Consciousness.

Though our experiences currently are an illusion, yet all illusions are in reality the one Consciousness even as the entire dream world is in reality the dreamer. Thus Bhagavatham here says that it is the Lord who is present as the jeeva (limited being), ishwara (all-pervasive controller) and prakrithi (maya power which gets transformed into the world).

It is when we realize this truth and always are able to remember this that everything is one Lord alone that we conquer the sorrows and sufferings arising out of the illusion. Once we conquer the illusion by knowing it to be the reality of Lord, we will be able to rejoice in bliss which is our very nature of one Consciousness (the nature of Lord).

Thus Bhagavatham here has beautifully summarized Vedanta and the various aspects/doubts regarding the same through Akrura.

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

Let us all try to always remember that everything that we see and experience is in fact the non-dual reality of Lord who alone exists as the illusion of dual world so that we will overcome the sorrows of the illusory world and ever rejoice in bliss.

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