Sunday, June 22, 2008

Story 50 – Story of Dwaraka Nirmaanam - 03

Ashamed of his defeat, Jarasandha went back to his kingdom. But he didn’t give up. In total he fought with the yadus for 17 times with the result being defeat each time.


We find in Magadha King Jarasandha a very good quality if it is directed towards the right goal – this quality is DETERMINATION which is the WILL to seek the goal whatever happens. We have heard about this quality many times in the form of “try until you succeed”.

There is a beautiful incident in the life of Ramanujacharya which illustrates this quality of determination. Ramanuja wanted to get the sacred narayana mantra – but it should be got from an ideal person and only then will it be powerful. Ramanuja therefore sort Nambi for the mantra. Nambi refused. Ramanuja didn’t give up and asked again. Nambi refused again. This continued for sometime that even the Lord started asking Nambi as to why he is not giving the mantra to which Nambi replied that he should get convinced whether the seeker is really worthy. Ramanuja had to ask 18 times in order to get the mantra. Finally he got the mantra. If Ramanuja would have given up the 2nd or 3rd time, he would not have been able to serve the world by spreading the powerful narayana mantra.

We need to have strong will and faith in order to proceed in the spiritual path. The goal of Brahman or Lord of the nature of bliss isn’t something that easy to achieve. Though it is our very nature of Self, still it isn’t to achieve as we have been accumulating desires, vasanas, ego over many births. It therefore requires quite a lot of time and effort to remove all these. Moreover unlike external hurdles, we also will have to face the internal demons like kama, krodha etc. As if this wasn’t enough, the Ego (as Ramana Maharshi beautifully points out) comes to us in the guise of a friend when in fact it is leading us away from our nature of bliss and deluding us into sorrows. It is very easy to stay away from an enemy but it is very tough to stay away from a friend since we are not used to saying NO and we are so dependent – and cause we fear of being left alone in the world.

Though we are like drowning in the ocean of samsara, we strive to help others in the hope of saving other drowning people. There might be times when everything would go against us – during those hard times, we might falter and get away from the Lord. If this shouldn’t happen, then we need to have the strong conviction about the goal we seek – that this goal alone is eternal and blissful; everything else is only an illusion of names and forms thereby will lead us only to sorrow and sorrow alone. If we are able to remember this at all times, then we will develop the determination to proceed in the spiritual path whatever happens. Only this determination will finally grant us the fruit of bliss.

But instead of focusing on the Lord, if we focus on the wrong object with determination it will only lead to our destruction which is shown here through Jarasandha’s continuous defeat at the hands of Krishna.

Let us try to always be determined to attain the goal of eternal bliss by always focusing on the ultimate reality of Lord remembering that everything is but an illusion of names and forms in the Lord.

18th time Jarasandha decided to fight with Rama-Krishna again. At that time by due to Narada’s instigation a yavana surrounded Mithila with many mlecchaas. Seeing this the Lord started to think and worry.


There are times when even the Lord starts to think and worry. How is this possible? Is this really possible as the Lord is ever realized?

It is for making us remember and understand that the spiritual path is not an easy one that Bhagavatham is here telling about the Lord entering into thoughts. This shows that even a person who is well advanced in the spiritual path might enter into worries. As long as a person is not realized, he can anytime fall down from the spiritual path. One wrong step and such a person will fall down till the lowest step. Nochur Venkatraman beautifully compares this with “kandukam iva pathathi” or falling down like a ball. We are standing on the 100th step with a ball in our hand. We put the ball down into the 99th step. We might think that this is just a small fall but with each and every fall, the ball gains more momentum. Gaining more and more momentum the ball comes and stops only at the 0th or 1st step. This is how tough the spiritual path – one small mistake can take a person right down to the very first step. In spiritual path, the first step denotes a state of total ignorance and living life like an animal (just doing eating, drinking, mating, sleeping); without using our intellect to discriminate real and unreal.

Thus any mistake however small or big is not be taken lightly. This also doesn’t mean that a seeker should always brood over his mistake. AMMA says that past is a cancelled check – we shouldn’t brood over it; we should just learn the mistake so that we don’t commit the same mistake again in the future.

Krishna while explaining to Arjuna as to how to control the mind says:

Yatho yatho nischarathi manah chanchalam asthiram
Tathastatho niyamya etat atmani eva vasham nayet

Whenever the unstable and unsteady mind runs here and there, bring it forcefully back again to the Self.

Instead of brooding over the past mistakes, we should learn from the mistake while leading it again to the truth so that we are always in the spiritual path. As long as we are in the spiritual path it doesn’t matter whether we are ahead in the path or just beginners. This is like two people who went away from the house – then forgetting their house; then they started walking towards the house; one person walked just few miles away from the house and hence he is closer to the house than the other person who walked many thousands of miles. Both of them are walking towards the house – which is what is important.

Thus Bhagavatham here is warning us that we should never be egoistic about our progress; we should always be humble and be devoted to the Lord so that we don’t enter into worries thereby making us fall down till the 1st step.

The Lord is not really worried here but Bhagavatham wants to show us as to how tough the spiritual path. The Lord is just playing his part very well – the part/role requires him to worry and which is what the Lord is doing. We will also see the next day as to why the Lord entered into thoughts.

Let us try to always be focused on the Lord with devotion and knowledge (that everything is the Lord alone) so that we are aware of the tough spiritual path yet don’t fall down from the path due to various obstacles and hurdles in the path.

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