Sunday, May 18, 2008

Story 49 – Story of Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam - 14


Kamsa because of fear used to think about Krishna while drinking, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing etc. Therefore after leaving his body, he attained the form of Vishnu. Vishnu’s form is Brahman or ultimate reality of Lord. Hence Kamsa attained the Lord – this is because at the time of death, Kamsa’s mind was filled with the Lord alone (everything was ishwara mayam – filled with Ishwara). However the mind is, so will be life as well – this is the rule. It is not that easy to get the mind filled with Ishwara – Kamsa was able to achieve it even if it was through fear.

After killing Kamsa, Krishna stayed with his parents Devaki-Vasudeva and started living in Mathura itself. He consoled Nanda gopa and others thereby letting them go back.

Krishna who hadn’t completed his youth days displayed to everyone VISHWAROOPAM (that everything is one Lord alone) depending on the perspective vision of people – till killing of Kamsa. There is only the ultimate reality of Lord present here – but depending on our sankalpa (thoughts), we will view it differently – this is the law for the vasthu (reality) of Lord.


We finally come to the end of this story of vishwaroopa pradarshanam in Srimad Bhagavatham.

We find two beautiful concepts mentioned here. One is about Kamsa’s devotion to Ishwara though it was out of anger and two is the truth about vishwaroopa & reality depending on the perspective vision of the seeker. Let’s try to see these two concepts in brief today.

We have seen many times before that devotion necessarily doesn’t need to be based on love or respect alone. Devotion just means that we are always thinking about Ishwara. Constant thought of Ishwara at all times is what characterizes devotion. This means irrespective of whether we are eating or drinking or walking or sleeping, we remember the Lord.

This has been explained by the Lord thus beautifully as:

Yat karoshi yad ashnaasi yad juhoshi dadaasi yat
Yat tapasyasi kaunteya tat kurushva madarpanam

Whatever you do; whatever you eat; whatever you offer; whatever you give; whatever austerities you do, O Arjuna do it as an offering to me.

Kamsa was able to pervade the Lord in all of his actions even though it was through anger. Therefore what we should really strive to achieve is constant remembrance of the Lord – depending on our nature and temperament we should utilize the easiest way to achieve this “constant remembrance” of the Lord.

A person who constantly remembers the Lord is a real devotee of the Lord. A real devotee of Lord never perishes and is always protected by the Lord. The Lord himself takes care of such a devotee ensuring that the devotee realizes his own nature of all-pervasive non-dual Lord in this very birth itself. This has been emphasized by the scriptures through the stories about various asuras like Kamsa and others getting realized by constant remembrance of the Lord through anger & by considering the Lord as their janma-shathru (birth-enemy).

The second concept that Bhagavatham is mentioning here is about perception of the reality. This is also based on the age-old saying that “what we think, that we become” and “what we want to see, we see it”. When ten friends go to a museum, each of them sees things that they want to see – all of them don’t see the same things. Also the external world is in fact a projection of our mind. Though the entire world is seen as blissful by saints like Ramana Maharshi (and our own Lord Krishna), we see it as a place of sorrow and suffering. This shows that the world in itself is not sorrowful but it is our perception of the world (our mental projection of the world) which causes sorrow to the world. The world is in fact the ultimate reality of Lord. But instead of seeing the world as an illusion of names-forms in the Lord, we see the world as names-forms. It is for this reason that the Lord qualifies the world as “anityam asukham” (temporary and sorrowful) – this is the nature of names-forms that we perceive. But the moment we realize through scriptural statements and logic that the world is filled with the ultimate reality of Lord even as gold pervades all ornaments made of gold, we will be viewing the world in its true nature of the ultimate reality of Lord. It is this vision that can give us bliss.

So depending on how we perceive or how we think about the Lord, we will reap the fruit of living in the world. This is the law of reality – though reality is one alone, still people see it in different ways depending on their mind. Through this explanation, Bhagavatham is telling us to view the entire world in its real form of Lord so that we will be able to live in the world all the while blissfully immersed in contemplation of the Lord in our mind.

Such a person is one who is really following the Lord’s view of the world rather than his own view of the world. Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam can also be interpreted as manifestation of the Lord as per the world (or people of the world) – which shows as to how different people see the one Lord. There is nothing wrong in having such visions except that if we don’t see the world as the Lord, then we will be suffering though bliss pervades the world. A wise person will understand this and thereby always contemplate on the ultimate reality of Lord – such a person will be ever blissful irrespective of the conditions, situations, environments etc. he is in.

We will see a summary of this story of Bhagavatham in the next day before starting the next story.

Let us all try to remember to have the vision of the world as the ultimate reality of Lord so that such a vision of reality will give us bliss – that bliss which is being sought by us each and every moment of our life.


Let us see today a summary of this story of Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam in Bhagavatham.

We generally know Vishwaroopa as the Lord displaying a huge form almost covering earth and space. But we now know that Vishwaroopa is much more than that. Vishwaroopa is a Lord’s way of telling that different people perceive the reality in different ways yet in reality the Lord pervades everything in and out even as space pervades all objects of the world. We learnt the beautiful concept of “as is the mind, so will the vision; as is vision, so will be the fruit of the vision as well”.

All the various visions of the Lord depending on the nature of people can be categorized into just two – vision of knowledge and vision of ignorance. Vision of ignorance is when we fail to see the non-dual Lord and rather see the names-forms alone. This vision will only lead us to sorrow (it is this vision that the Lord qualifies as anityam asukham lokam or “temporary and sorrowful world”). Even though we may perceive the form of Vishnu or the form of Vishwaroopa (a huge form pervading the world), as long as we don’t realize that this Vishwaroopa is only an illusion in the form-less reality which pervades all forms we will only end up in sorrow. It is this form vision (of duality) that causes people following various form-Gods to fight amongst themselves as to which form is superior. Contrary to this vision of ignorance is the vision of knowledge wherein everything is seen in its true form of the ultimate reality of Lord. Even as a gold-smith sees all gold ornaments as gold, a person who knows everything to be the Lord sees the entire world as the Lord – this is vision of knowledge. Vision of ignorance is like the vision of normal people who see gold ornaments as different from one another. Any vision which is not the vision of knowledge is vision of ignorance and will lead us to sorrow alone even if that vision means meeting with Mahatmas like AMMA etc. or saints like Sankaracharya etc.

It is this concept that we have to remember always in order to get bliss. This remembrance is not for anything but for bliss (which is what we are constantly seeking in this world). A person who has the vision of knowledge and sees everything as an illusion of names-forms of Lord alone perceives Vishwaroopa in reality. Such a person is a jnaani and will very soon realize the state of eternal bliss.

It doesn’t matter if we are learned in scriptures, are devoted to Ishwara etc. in order for us to have Vishwaroopa darshanam (viewing vishwaroopa). The only condition for this is to view everything as the ultimate reality of Lord and have this vision at all times irrespective of where, when etc. Through Kamsa, Bhagavatham tells us that even if we have this vision through anger towards Ishwara, still we will realize the state of bliss. It is not how we gain this vision that matters, but what matters is whether we have this vision of knowledge. The attitude or mental state is what matters rather than how we gain the mental state through external actions. If we are able to get this attitude of remembering Ishwara at all times, then like Kamsa we will also be liberated from the ocean of samsaara never again to fall into it – this means that we will always be rejoicing in bliss.

After having learnt Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam (display of Vishwaroopa) by the Lord, let us try to view the world as the Lord so that we may be able to realize the reality of Lord in this very birth itself thereby ever rejoicing in bliss.

The ultimate reality – an analysis

Before we start with the next story of Srimad Bhagavatham, it is essential that we bring our focus back to the ultimate reality of Lord. It is the Lord who is the import behind all the stories of Srimad Bhagavatham.

Anything apart from the ultimate reality of Lord will only lead us to sorrow in the long run as everything apart from the Lord is not real. The scriptures proclaim that the Lord alone existed before creation – this means that the Lord alone is present always. That which is present only for a limited period of time is not real as it is only temporary. That which is temporary can only give us temporary happiness. That which is eternal alone can give us eternal bliss – this can be achieved only through the Lord as the Lord alone is eternal.

It is for this reason that we have always focus on the ultimate reality of Lord irrespective of whether we are doing a worldly activity or spiritual activity. The constant remembrance of the Lord (with the knowledge that everything is only an illusion in the Lord) alone can lead us to eternal bliss (that which is the goal that we have been seeking each and every moment of our life).

Remembering the Lord becomes more important while learning Bhagavatham because it is very easy to get deluded into the stories and miracles. When we go and hear a discourse about how the Lord killed Kamsa, we immediately get deluded and attracted to the miracle. This attraction will only lead us to trouble as we will be expecting the Lord to do some miracle in our life as well. All miracles are mere illusions like any normal activity. The waking world itself is a long dream world which only appears to be real but isn’t real at all. A person who gets deluded into miracles is in fact asserting his ignorance-view that the world is real. This will then lead the person to seek happiness from the world (miracles and even the various avataras of the Lord are part of the world). The Lord himself qualifies the world as “anityam, asukham” (temporary and sorrowful) – thus it can only lead us to sorrow and suffering.

If the avataras are also unreal, then what is the nature of the Lord?
The nature of the Lord is SAT CHIT ANANDA (Existence, Consciousness and Bliss). All existence that we perceive in the world is in fact existence of the Lord (but with a name and form). The moment we remove the names and forms, we will end up with the Lord. Names and forms are illusion and hence will lead us to sorrow whereas the moment we end up with the Lord everywhere there will be bliss alone everywhere. This is the state of moksha or realization wherein we see everything as the Lord (though externally they may appear to be different, we know them to be different names and forms in the reality of Lord even as various gold ornaments are mere illusions of names and forms in gold).

Thus remembering that the Lord alone is real and names-forms are illusions, we should pierce through any name-form asserting them to the Lord. This alone will take us from the state of suffering to the state of bliss. Let us try to always remember this thereby not getting deluded into the miraculous stories. Taking a pledge to always remember this, we will start with the next story of Bhagavatham from the next day.

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