Sunday, May 18, 2008

Story 49 – Story of Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam - 13

Krishna who reached the stage where Malla yudha was going on was perceived in different ways by different people: a sword to the Mallas, a king to humans, kaama deva for women, relative for gopaas, punisher for the wicked kings, dear child to father-mother, death for kamsa, vishwaroopa for those who haven’t known him in reality completely and Brahman alone for yogis.


Here we find a very beautiful exposition of the fundamental concept of Vedanta that the objects and fruits that a person gets out of those objects is based on our perception. It is for this reason that Chinmaya beautifully says that VEDANTA IS SUBJECTIVE.

Ramana Maharshi used to say that there are two distinct visions possible. One is the vision of ignorance wherein the entire world is seen as different-different entities each of them leading us to sorrow (due to the dual vision). The second is the vision of knowledge wherein the entire world of names and forms is seen as nothing but the ultimate reality of Lord (termed as Brahman).

The vision of ignorance causes us to suffer in the ocean of samsaara though our very nature is that of bliss whereas the vision of knowledge will make us rejoice every moment in bliss.

In short, vision of ignorance is bandham or bondage whereas vision of knowledge is mukthi or liberation. A seeker who seeks eternal bliss should always try to have vision of knowledge. It is in order to drive forth this truth that Bhagavatham speaks about all different visions and ending with the vision of yogis.

We may think that yogi is a person who does astha anga yoga (eight fold yoga or Raja yoga) but Vedantic interpretation of a yogi is quite different from this. Krishna himself defines a Yogi as “samatvam yoga uchyathe” (oneness or equanimity of mind is called yoga). While explaining the state of a yogi, Krishna says that a yogi is one who has samadarshanam (vision of oneness) wherein he sees the Self in all and all in the Self (meaning that he sees everything as nothing but the ultimate reality of Lord). It is this vision which is the vision of knowledge wherein everything is seen as the ultimate reality of Lord and it is this vision that makes a person rejoice his life though he may be suffering as per the external world.

What does it matter whether we have vision of knowledge or vision of ignorance as both are visions?
The reason why vision of knowledge gives us bliss is because it is the real vision. Vision of ignorance is when we see a thing as something else – this is like seeing water in desert. This vision of water in desert will only lead us to sorrow as we will start running towards the water while not finding it and then crying. Instead the vision of knowledge is when we know the water to be nothing but desert – even though in this case we might run behind the water yet we are always aware that there is no water & hence will not get affected when we don’t find water.

Is perceiving everything as the ultimate reality of Lord vision of reality?
Yes it is. Even as the dream world is but an illusion of names and forms in the dreamer, similarly this entire world is an illusion in the non-dual reality of Lord.

Thus through giving different perceptions of the reality of Lord, Bhagavatham is telling us that if we need eternal bliss we need to have the vision of knowledge always by seeing the ultimate reality of Lord everywhere.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us all try to avoid vision of ignorance wherein we see differences and have vision of knowledge wherein we see everything as mere names and forms in the ultimate reality of Lord so that we may be able to rejoice in bliss.

When Rama and Krishna entered into the malla yudha stage, Chanura and Mushtika encountered them. Krishna started fighting with Chanura whereas Rama took over Mushtika. After doing malla yudha for sometime, both Chanura and Mushtika fell down dead. Then Krishna jumped right onto the throne where Kamsa was sitting. Kamsa took his sword and encountered Krishna. But Krishna caught Kamsa’s hair and send him to paraloka by putting him down on the floor even as Garuda kills a snake.


When the apt time comes for us to get away from this world, nothing can really help. The only thing which can help us in facing death (not overcoming) is the knowledge that the ultimate reality of Lord alone exists here. This is not overcoming death as birth-death is only for the body – the Self or the pulsating Consciousness which pulsates each moment that “I-exist, I-exist” and is one with the ultimate reality of Lord can never take birth or die as it is eternal.

Facing death is shedding this body like we daily shed our clothes and like an actor sheds his role once the shooting for the film gets over. This is possible only if we always remember that we are beyond the body – the body is only an illusion of names-forms in the reality of Lord who is the underlying Consciousness in each one of us. The more and more we remember this, the more and more we will overcome death. And finally when the time comes for us to wake up from this long dream world (death), we will be able to happily embrace Yama (Lord of death).

Prof. Balakrishnan Nair beautifully says that if Yama comes, we should be able to say to Yama “come in and have a cup of tea before we leave”J. This is the state to be achieved through remembering that everything that we perceive is but an illusion in the reality of Lord even as various gold ornaments are mere names-forms in gold.

Since we never know when death is going to pounce upon us, we should not wait for the future to get rid of all our attachments. We should proceed in the spiritual path like we don’t have even one moment to live. This is what is termed as teevra mumukshutva or strong desire for liberation – this means we want moksha this very moment itself (moksha is nothing but always remembering the truth that Ishwara alone exists and everything else is only an illusion in Ishwara).

Once a person asks Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa as to when will he get liberated. Ramakrishna Paramahamsa immediately pushed him into the nearby pond and kept him immersed. The person couldn’t breathe and started shouting as much as he can. Finally when the state was that the person couldn’t survive without one breath of air, Ramakrishna Paramahamsa let him go. Then Ramakrishna Paramahamsa told him that when you call out for the Lord (yearn for the Lord) like you yearned for one breath of air inside the water, then you will instantly be liberated out of the bondages of samsaara.

Since death can pounce upon us at any time, we should strive for liberation this very moment. Mahatmas like AMMA and Prof. Balakrishnan Nair are so compassionate that they give us time till the end of this life. Most of us have many more years before death in order to completely seek moksha alone. But this doesn’t mean that we need not start on the spiritual path now and can start after the age of 60 years etc. A person who doesn’t start now will never start at all.

Kabir says

Kaal kare so aaj kar, aaj kare so ab
Pal mein parlai hoyegi, bahuri karoge kab

Whatever you have to do tomorrow, do it today; whatever you have to do today, do it now; because later something else will come up and you will not be finish the activity.

We will see the conclusion of this story in the next day

Let us all try to remember Krishna killing Kamsa so that we now that death is always ready to pounce upon us and therefore we need to start now itself on the path to realization of the ultimate reality of Lord being the only truth and everything else being an illusion of names-forms in the Lord.

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