Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Story 52 – Story of Baana Yudha - 11

A fierce war took place with Krishna and Siva taking opposite sides. Body torn by the arrows of Pradhyumna and blood dripping from his body, deva senapathi Subrahmanya escaped from the place in his peacock. Unable to withstand the attack from enemy, Baana’s army became disintegrated and thereby they ran away.


All the puranic stories are about the fight between good and bad. This fight shown in the puranas is not something that is happening but external but it is a fight that is always happening inside a person. Good and bad are relative terms – hence we have to here understand them as the fight between Ishwara and everything that is not Ishwara. Here Ishwara means thought of Ishwara. Often while a person is traversing in the spiritual path, he or she can feel that the thought of Ishwara is losing power and thoughts of duality (world and passions about the world) are overpowering the thought of Ishwara.

Thus this fight is the fight between real and unreal. Ishwara alone is real – everything else that we collectively term as “world” is just an illusion of names and forms in Ishwara even as various gold ornaments are illusions in gold and the dream world is an illusion in the dreamer. Whenever we stand for the unreal we are bound to experience sorrow. The water seen in desert is unreal as there is only desert there. If we stand for the water, then though we might experience happiness in the beginning ultimately we will end up in sorrow when we realize that there is no water at all. Similarly if a persons stands for unreal, then he is bound to get only sorrow. On the other hand if a person stands for the real, though initially he might have to struggle to stick on to the real he will finally get eternal bliss – it is eternal bliss that is ultimate goal of life. Seeking eternal bliss only each and every person in the world does all actions irrespective of good or bad. Eternal bliss can be achieved only from that which is eternal – the ultimate reality of Lord alone is eternal. Hence worldly objects which are mere illusions cannot give us eternal bliss. They will only give us more and more sorrow.

Baahyasparsheshu asakthaatma vindathi aatmani yat sukham
Sah brahmayoga yukthaatma sukham akshayam ashnuthe

That person who gets detached from external sensual pleasures (by knowing that they will only lead him to sorrow) is one who will be ever focused on the ultimate reality of Brahman (or Lord) and such a person will attain non-decaying bliss (eternal bliss).

Krishna thus speaks about worldly pleasures as temporary and hence leading to sorrows:

Ye hi samsparshajaah bhogaah dukhayonaya eva te
Aadhyanthavantha kaunteya na teshu ramathe budhah

Whatever pleasures are obtained from sense objects are seeds of sorrow as they have a beginning and end; therefore wise people will not take resort to sensual pleasures.

The Lord also in half a sloka summarizes as to what is to be done with the fight between good and bad:

Anityam asukham lokam imam praapya bhajasva maam

Having attained this temporary and sorrowful world, seek refuge in Me.

We are always involved in the fight between good (real) and bad (unreal) in our mind. We should always remember that bad or unreal (thinking that the world is real and forgetting the Lord) will only lead us to sorrow and hence seek the reality of Lord at all times. This doesn’t mean external actions or sensual pleasures are to be renounced. It just means that we have to remember that sensual pleasures are not eternal and thereby internally remember the Lord at all times even while enjoying sensual pleasures.

Let us all try to remember to stand up for the good by constant remembrance of the ultimate reality of Lord as the non-dual reality behind the dual world so that we are ever bliss and untainted by sorrow.

Seeing his army fleeing, Baana himself started facing Krishna in the war. Seeing that Baana is approaching death in the war, Baana’s mother Kotara appeared in front of Krishna without wearing any clothes. Looking at this, Krishna changed his gaze. Seizing the opportunity tired Baana entered into his house for resting. Siva’s bhoothaganas also fled from the place.


A seeker always has two options readily available in front of him at all times – one is choosing the ultimate reality of Lord whereas the second is choosing the external world. The first one is termed as shreyo marga (the path that leads to eternal bliss) whereas the second is termed as preyo marga (the path that is very attractive yet sorrowful) as per Yama in Katha Upanishad.

While choosing either the external world or the ultimate reality of Lord, we have to always remember as to what is going to be the fruit in the long-run even as we choose with respect to jobs and partners in life. The external world might give a person happiness in the beginning but in the long-run it will only make a person more and more sad – add to it that as a person ages, he will no longer be capable of enjoying the pleasures of the world though he will have access to them. On the other hand, the ultimate reality of Lord will give a person eternal bliss in the long-run though it might seem to be tough in the beginning. Any thing is tough in the beginning – whether it is walking or talking or some other activity, everything is tough in the beginning but as time passes by, through constant practice things become very natural. Similarly sticking on to the ultimate reality of Lord amidst all the passions of the attracting world requires some effort in the beginning but later a person will be benefitted with eternal bliss – that which is the ultimate goal of each persona and seeking which a person goes behind worldly pleasures.

This knowledge about the world leading a person to sorrow and the ultimate reality of Lord leading to bliss should always be remembered by a seeker as a person can get deluded at any point of time.

Going behind worldly pleasures means we are forgetting the ultimate reality of Lord whereas when a person seeks the ultimate reality of Lord, he doesn’t forsake anything externally. A seeker who remembers the ultimate reality of Lord as the all-pervasive, non-dual substratum of the illusory world does worldly actions, possesses worldly objects and enjoys worldly pleasures like a normal person but in the mind such a seeker is always remembering that everything is temporary and an illusion in the reality of Lord. This knowledge is enough to give a person eternal bliss in the long-run.

Here we find Baana trying to escape from the ultimate reality of Lord by seeking worldly pleasures and resorts. The worldly pleasures and resorts will not save a person nor will it give a person eternal bliss – instead a person will become sad over and over again by seeking worldly pleasures. We will see in the next day as to how everything other than seeking and surrendering unto the ultimate reality of Lord will let a person down (lead him to sorrows and sufferings).

Let us try to always choose the ultimate reality of Lord as the shreyo marga by merely remembering in our mind that “the ultimate reality of Lord alone exists” so that instead of facing sorrows we will live life blissfully.

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