Thursday, December 18, 2008

Story 53 – Story of Baana Yudha - 08

Knowing that Usha’s lover is Krishna’s grandson Aniruddha, Chitralekha who was a yogi reached Dwaraka by traveling through space. There she got Aniruddha who was sleeping on the couch on her control (through her powers) and came back to Shonithapuri very fast. She then took Aniruddha to Usha’s bedroom.


Yogic powers or miraculous powers are something that we don’t see in everyone. Hence these days people run after many of these powers. One such magical power is aakaasha gamanam or movement through space. All these magical powers have been explained in the third chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras (the chapter is titled vibhoothi yoga). Since this is a shastra many people want to get these siddhis and run hither and thither seeking these siddhis.

Why waste many years trying to master traveling in space when that can be achieved through a flight? Ok but what about parakaaya praveshanam (entering another person’s body) – can this be achieved other than through a siddhi?

Why would a seeker want to enter another person’s body? It is as if the problems with one body isn’t enough – as Sankara says in Bhaja Govindam, body is made of flesh, fat etc. The look of the body might be different but it is all panchabhoothas (five elements). A wise person knows that the body will perish one day or the other and hence not seek pleasure out of the body.

Thus parakaaya praveshanam is not required – if only we can go beyond the problems of one body then we don’t even need the siddhi of getting into another person’s bodies. Though these various siddhis might appear appealing, it requires a lot of continuous and dedicated effort – all for some worldly power. The siddhis are as illusory as the world and thereby cannot give us eternal bliss.

Paramahamsa Yogananda in his book “Autobiography of a Yogi” speaks about a yogi who had the power of producing any smell. Yogananda asks him as to how long he practiced to master this power to which the yogi replied “around 20 years or more”. Yogananda proclaims “if only you had used this time to realize the Self”.

Patanjali himself says that siddhis are obstacles to samaadhi thus in Yoga Sutras “te samaadhau upasargaah vyuthaane siddhayah” – these siddhis which arise out of thoughts are obstacles to Samadhi. This means that a wise person will not fall for these siddhis instead will go on and not stop until the supreme goal of eternal bliss is achieved. These siddhis might appear alluring but they are also as sorrowful as any worldly pleasure – it is only realization of the ultimate reality of Lord by always remembering that the entire world is just an illusion of names and forms in the Lord that can give us eternal bliss thereby fulfilling our lives.

Let us try not to get deluded into siddhis by remembering that siddhis cannot give us eternal bliss so that we are ever contemplating on the ultimate reality of Lord as the non-dual reality of ever-changing and sorrowful world.

Usha seeing Aniruddha, got very happy and enjoyed with him as she had desired. Enjoying sensual plesures with Usha, Aniruddha didn’t know many days pass by.


Sankara says in Bhaja Govindam thus:

Kaalah kreedathi gacchathi aayuh
Tadapi na munchath aasha vaayuh

Time passes by and aging happens, but still desires are not completely eliminated.

This is because as Manu says trying to eliminate desires by fulfilling them is like trying to put out fire by pouring ghee – the fire will not be extinguished; instead it will burn more vigorously. Similarly the more desires we fulfill, the more new desires will be created. The only way to get out of this endless desire is by remembering the ultimate reality of Lord, offering all actions unto the Lord and enjoying desires as an anugraha (blessing) of the Lord. When a person maintains this attitude of offering and remembering the Lord, number of desires will slowly get reduced. If a person doesn’t maintain this attitude, the number of desires will never get reduced.

Such a person who doesn’t maintain the right attitude of remembering the ultimate reality of Lord as pervading the illusory world of names and forms will spend days like an animal doing activities of eating, drinking, sleeping, mating etc. Such a person wastes the precious human life wherein the intellect can be used to go beyond the temporary world and achieve the ultimate goal of life (eternal bliss).

Here we find Aniruddha enjoying sensual pleasures with Usha and thereby days just pass by without him knowing about it. Many times this is what happens with our life – within the blink of an eye we are middle aged and within the next blink we are old. When we are about to give up our life, since we have spent most of our time enjoying sensual pleasures we think about those pleasures and seek more pleasures. Thus throughout the life a person is not satisfied and then he gives up his life still not satisfied. While living life, life is sorrowful and incomplete; while dying as well life is incomplete. Then the person takes another birth and continues this cycle of birth and death infinitely.

As Sankara says “punarapi jananam punarapi maranam punarapi janani jatare shayam; iha samsaare bahudustaare kripayaa pare paahi murare” – again birth, again death, again getting into the womb of the mother; this ocean of samsaara is very tough to overcome and a person who surrenders unto the ultimate reality of Lord alone is saved from this sorrowful ocean of samsaara.

Thus rather than being swept by time, a seeker should start his quest of eternal bliss by seeking and remembering the ultimate reality of Lord all the while doing worldly activities and enjoying sensual pleasures like any other person. Vedanta is not against sensual pleasures but sensual pleasures should be associated with the thought of the non-dual reality of Lord. If the thought of the ultimate reality of Lord is not there, then a person will not get eternal bliss and instead will be again and again twirled in the ocean of samsaara (birth-death).

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us try to not waste time by merely enjoying sensual pleasures but keeping the ultimate reality of Lord in our mind through constant contemplation of the knowledge that the Lord alone exists here as the substratum of the illusory world so that we don’t end this precious human birth the same way we have been doing for many births.

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