Sunday, July 13, 2008

Story 50 – Story of Dwaraka Nirmaanam - 07

Seeing the Lord enter the cave, Yavana also entered the cave. Yavana didn’t see anybody in the cave except a person who was sleeping. Thinking that it is the Lord trying to delude him, Yavana kicked the person. The person who was sleeping woke up immediately. When the person woke up, fire from his eyes burnt Yavana into ashes. The sleeping person was the son of Mandaatha (who was born in Ishvaaku kula) named Muchukunda.


We saw yesterday as to how tough it is to conquer the Lord in our heart though it is very easy. As Tapovan Maharaj used to say, Vedanta is easy to learn; preaching Vedanta is still easier; but it is very tough to practice/implement Vedanta. Similarly though it is very easy to speak about conquering the Lord, it is very tough indeed to implement in life.

We find in this part as to why it is very tough indeed to implement Vedanta by conquering the Lord in our hearts – it is because we are continuously being deluded by the divine illusory power of the Lord termed as Maya. Maya deludes people continuously so much into believing whatever is unreal to be real and veiling whatever is real.

Discrimination between real and unreal is very essential for a spiritual seeker as he should know as to what to seek and what not to seek; he should know as to what to go behind and what not to go behind. Now the question comes as to what is real and what is unreal? The Lord defines real as that which exists in the three times (of past, present and future) and unreal as that which never exists at all (in Bhagavad Gita).

To put it quite simple – real is that which is ever present and anything that is temporary can be considered as unreal. The ultimate reality of Lord alone is real as the Lord alone existed before creation, during creation and will exist after creation as Consciousness in nature. Everything else that we see is temporary and ever changing. That which is changing is subject to birth and death; that which takes birth and dies is not eternal; therefore that which is changing is not real.

Thus a seeker should always seek that which is unchanging and renounce all attachment/aversion to that which is constantly changing. The objects of the world (the world in itself) is constantly changing, therefore it is sorrowful as well (as that which will vanish in the future will give us sorrow when it vanishes). Any changing entity needs a changeless substratum for its existence even as a changing variable requires a changeless constant for its existence. The changeless substratum for the changing world is the ultimate reality of Lord of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute. Thus instead of seeking the changing world, we should seek the changeless substratum of Lord. The world is of the nature of names and forms whereas the Lord is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss. Even as various gold ornaments are mere names-forms in gold, similarly the entire world is an illusion of names and forms in the reality of Lord.

This is what the Lord beautifully summarizes in Gita as:

Anityam asukham lokam imam praapya bhajasva maam
Having attained this temporary-sorrowful world, take refuge in me.

This is nothing but renouncing the names and forms of the world by perceiving the substratum of Lord in everything. This is quite simple to say and very tough indeed to implement. This is because the world is so deluding and attractive that we often get distracted. Thus merely knowing the real and the unreal isn’t enough – we need to get away from the unreal and get passionate about the real. Until this happens, we will not benefit out of the discrimination between real and unreal.

This becomes more tough to implement due to the delusive power of Maya which constantly deludes a person into the unreal world making it appear as if real and veiling the reality of Lord thereby making it appear as non-existing. The one and only way to conquer Maya is to get pure devotion (along with the knowledge that the Lord alone exists here) towards the ultimate reality of Lord by completely surrendering to the Lord at all times and beyond all conditions. We see today as to how Yavana was deluded into thinking the sleeping person to be the Lord thereby getting completely destroyed rather than getting realized. Bhagavatham is thereby telling us that a person who forgets the Lord by getting deluded into the illusory world will end up only in destruction (which means a state of sorrow and suffering).

We will continue with the story in the next day as to the history of Muchukunda.

Let us all try to conquer the Lord through pure devotion along with knowledge about the reality of non-dual Lord behind the illusory world so that we may be able to get out of the delusion of Maya and ever rejoice in bliss.

Muchukunda (born of Ishvaku-kula Maandaatha) was a Mahayogi who was sought by the Devas to fight the asuras. Muchukunda went to heaven, fought and defeated the asuras. In return for his help, the Devas asked Muchukunda to request for any boon other than kaivalya (realization). Muchukunda who was tired after fighting asked for “long-time sleeping”. He also added that whoever wakes him up should be burnt into ashes. The Devas gave the boon. From that day, Muchukunda was sleeping in the cave. And it is thus that Yavana kicked Muchukunda and was burnt to ashes.


There are two points that Bhagavatham is making here through the life-history of Muchukunda. First is about the state of yoga (wherein a person is ever established in equanimity and unaffected by the situation) in which Muchukunda was established and second is the devas not granting kaivalya or moksha to muchukunda.

We generally have quite a different meaning for the word Yoga as well as Yogi (Yogi is one who is established in Yoga). Patanjali defintes Yoga as “yogah chitta vritti nirodah” or “yoga is negating the thoughts of the mind”. In general we only know about hatha yoga (physical exercises) which is only one of the asta-anga yoga (eight-limbed yoga) defined by Patanjali. Yoga in Vedanta has quite a different meaning from Patanjali’s definition of Yoga.

The Lord defines yoga thus in Gita:

Siddhyasidhyoh samo bhootvaa samatvam yoga uchyathe
Maintaining equanimity during good and bad times; thus equanimity (samatvam) is termed as Yoga.

This Yoga means seeing oneness everywhere – seeing One Ishwara everywhere knowing that everything is but an illusion of names and forms in Ishwara. Seeing oneness gets rid of likes-dislikes. Likes-dislikes will lead to attachment-aversion which in turn will lead to happiness-sorrow. Thus a person who is in the Yoga of equanimity will always be without the dual notions of happiness-sorrow – it is this state that is termed as moksha wherein a person is always happy irrespective of situations, surroundings, environment etc. A spiritual seeker should always strive to achieve this state of being unaffected and always happy through seeing oneness and equanimity in the mind.

The Lord gives this beautiful sloka in Gita for seeing oneness:

Vidhyaa vinaya sampanne brahmane gavi hasthini
Shuni chaiva svapaake cha panditaah samadarshinah

In a Brahman endowed with knowledge and humility, in a cow, in an elephant, in a dog and in a dog-eater; a wise person (with knowledge) will see oneness.

This moksha of ever rejoicing in bliss and being unaffected by the empirical state cannot be achieved externally as it is our very nature of Lord (Self). But we have somehow forgotten our nature of ever-liberated (nitya-muktha) state. Thus we have to strive to achieve this moksha through yoga. For this external factors like environment, surrounding, Guru etc. will help but ultimately it is the seeker who has to take the step of realizing his very nature of Lord through yoga. Yoga cannot be achieved externally as it is a state of the mind wherein the mind is calm and ever blissful. Thus Bhagavatham through the devas granting any boon other than moksha is telling us that moksha is something that we have seek and nobody can really give it to us. The grace of Sadgurus and Ishwara will always help us in getting moksha but our effort is more important than anything else in the world (AMMA says that the sadguru’s or Ishwara’s grace is ever present like the rays of the Sun; but we sit inside our house closing all doors and windows claiming that the Sun rays are not there; what we have to do is open our hearts and we will apprehend the ever-present grace of the Sadguru/Ishwara). The famous saying “We can take a horse to the pond but we cannot make it drink water” is applicable here.

The Lord says thus about this in Gita:

Uddharet atmanaa aatmaanam na aatmaanam avasaadhayet
Atmaiva hi atmano bandhuh atmaiva ripuh aatmanah

A person should help himself and shouldn’t let himself down in the spiritual path; a person is his own relative and his own enemy (depending on the state of the mind and his activities).

Thus the one thing which is mainly required for realization is the strong desire for liberation (mumukshutvam) which alone is enough to get us everything that we need starting from purity of mind to the Guru in order for realization.

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us always try to be in the state of yoga through our efforts and always have the strong desire for realization as this alone will help open our hearts thereby making us realize through the ever-present grace of Ishwara.

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