Sunday, July 13, 2008

Story 50 – Story of Dwaraka Nirmaanam - 08

When Yavana was burnt into ashes, the Lord appeared in front of Muchukunda. Muchukunda thus asked to Krishna who stood in front of him in the form of Vishnu and with a smile: “who are you? Why have you come here in this forest filled with stones and thorns – that too with your lotus-feet? You are devadeva (light of lights) as you have removed the darkness in this cave with your presence. O Prabho! I am Ishvaku-vamsa muchukunda. I was resting after the war with asuras. One who woke me up got burnt into ashes by his own sins”.


Here we find a person who has purified his mind through good deeds able to identify the Lord (not completely but to an extent). Though Muchukunda was not able to identify the Lord in his true nature (of nirguna para Brahman – the ultimate reality behind the illusory world) he was at least able to identify the Lord as shining like a light. We will try to analyze this characteristic of the Lord as light of all lights.

The Lord says in Gita:

Yadaadityagatham tejo jagat bhaasayathe akhilam
Yat chandramasi yat cha agnau tattejo viddhi maamakam

The light that is there in the Sun as a result of which the Sun shines the entire world; the light that is in the moon and fire, know that light to be my light.

The above sloka means that the Lord is the essence of all lights. In a way this also means that the Lord is the light of all lights – the light that gives existence to all lights. This becomes quite clear when we see it from the perspective of the Lord’s nature of Consciousness. If Consciousness is there, everything including the Sun exists. The Sun gives light to objects of the world but without the light of Consciousness even Sun doesn’t exist. We all experience this clearly in the state of deep sleep wherein we don’t experience the light of Sun yet Consciousness exists. It is also quite simple to imagine a state where Consciousness is not there – in such a state, the Sun or the moon all don’t shine. This is because Consciousness is that light which gives existence and the power of lighting to all other lights. This is made clear by the Lord in another sloka of Gita thus:

Na tad bhaasayathe sooryah na shashaanko na paavakah
Yat gatva na nivarthanthe taddhaamah paramam mama

There (in the state of the Lord wherein Lord alone exists) the Sun doesn’t shine; nor the moon nor fire; it is that state achieving which there is no return and that is my eternal state.

Thus Consciousness which is the very nature of Lord is the light of all lights as it is the light which is the basis of all lights – without which all other lights cease to exist. This is a concept which also leads us to the conclusion that everything that we see depends on the light of all lights – without the Lord everything just vanishes. This means that everything is dependent on the Lord whereas the Lord is independent and ever exists. If we apprehend this concept of Lord being independent and the light of all lights, we will stop seeking worldly pleasures and seek the Lord as the Lord alone can give us eternal bliss. Muchukunda due to his good deeds was able to identify these characteristics in the Lord – it is this identification (apprehension) which will make the seeker seeks the Lord with all fervor thereby realizing the Lord in this very birth itself.

We will continue with the story in the next day with the Lord’s reply to Muchukunda’s questions.

Let us always try to remember the Lord as the light of all lights so that we may seek the Lord and stop seeking worldly pleasures thereby realizing our very nature of blissful Conscious Lord in this very birth itself.

The Lord answered Muchukunda with a smile and clear voice thus:

Births, actions, names etc. are thousands for me. O King! Since they are many, even I don’t think I can count all of them. Various births, actions, names etc. continuously happen in the three time of past, present and future. How much ever we count, they will never end. Anyway I will let you know my current state.


The Lord is starting to answer the question of Muchukunda as to “who are you” here. The Lord’s answer here is that the question cannot really be answered as there are infinite names for the Lord – since it is infinite, even the Lord cannot count it.

We know of the dasha avataras of the Lord and the 24 avataras explained in Bhagavatham, but why is the Lord telling that his names are infinite?

The names, births etc. of the Lord are infinite as everything that existed, everything that exists and everything that will exist in the future, all that are the Lord alone. It is for this reason that the Lord says in Gita that Purusha (himself) has thousand hands, thousand legs, thousand heads etc. wherein thousand is just a figurative way of telling that everything is the Lord alone. Even with technological advancements, it is impossible for science to count the number of galaxies in the entire universe. This is because universe is infinite and therefore there are infinite galaxies. We just know about our own galaxy of Milky Way and some nearby galaxies.

This statement of the Lord that everything is the Lord alone is a fundamental truth of Vedanta. All concepts of Vedanta are based on this concept. This is the foundational concept of Vedanta and is that concept remembrance of which alone can lead us to eternal bliss (known in Vedanta as moksha).

The Lord also gives this kind of explanation in many places of Bhagavad Gita wherein he says that he is the light in all, he is arjuna among pandavas etc. It is more than enough to say that “I alone am present as the illusory infinite names and forms of the world” but many of us cannot understand it as this statement seems to contradict our daily experience (of seeing duality in the waking world). If only we could compare this waking world with the dream world, we would easily apprehend this truth as the entire dream world is one dreamer alone. But most of us are unable to apprehend it and hence the Lord makes this truth explicit in his statements. There cannot be any better way to explain this than saying that “I am top, I am left, I am bottom etc.” (mentioned in the Mundaka Upanishad).

The Lord knows this clearly as even after explicitly saying that “everything is me” by enumerating a number of items in the world, still many of us cannot understand or apprehend this truth.

The Lord is here following the same explicit way of explaining by telling that “my names are infinite” which means that everything is “I” alone. If we as seekers are able to understand this, then the dual notions of our mind will vanish through seeing oneness everywhere (in the mind and not necessary in our actions or externally).

As it is enough to apprehend this explicitly mentioned truth that “everything is the Lord”, still our intellect might temporarily need an answer regarding the nature of the Lord now. Being compassionate, the Lord thereby tries to pacify our intellect by explaining the purpose of his current name, birth, actions etc. (though all names, all births, all actions are the Lord).

But Bhagavatham is telling us through the Lord that all names, all forms, all actions, all births etc. or in short “everything” is the non-dual Lord of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss – it is this Lord that pulsates in us as “I-exist, I-exist” and is devoid of names and forms as it is everything. This seeing oneness everywhere and remembering that the one Lord is our very nature of Consciousness will get rid of likes-dislikes, attachments-aversions and make us rejoice in bliss at all times (which is the ultimate goal of life).

We will continue with the Lord’s reply in the next day.

Let us always try to remember that everything is the Lord alone and names, forms, births, actions etc. are mere illusions in the Lord even as the dream world is an illusion in the dreamer; and that reality of Lord is our very nature of pure Consciousness untainted by names, forms, attachments etc.

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