Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Story 52 – Story of Baana Yudha - 12

Seeing Baana taking rest and his gana’s running away, Siva sent Sivajvara (his greatest weapon) to face the army of Krishna. Seeing this, Krishna sent Vishnujvara to face Sivajvara. Both Sivajvara and Vishnujvara came to face to face.

The Sivajvara tired and defeated by Vishnujvara couldn’t find any place of refuge and hence it fell at the feet of Krishna; and started singing praises of Krishna.


We find here Sivajvara facing failure and not knowing what to do. Many times we face such situations in our life where we don’t know as to what to do. If we haven’t faced such a situation till now, everyone will have to face such a situation at the end of their life – in the form of death.

Though we may successfully deal all problems, death is one thing that we cannot conquer. There is no way to conquer death – but we can eradicate death once we know that we are not the body that takes birth and death; that we are the eternal, always-present blissful Self.

A seeker who is ever contemplating on the truth that the Lord alone is present will know that the “I” which pulsates each and every minute as “I-exist, I-exist” is the Lord who is beyond birth and death. Such a seeker will boldly face death with a smiling face. All the spiritual sadhana and learning is so that when death stands in front of us, we are able to greet and welcome death with a smiling face. As Patanjali says, death or non-existence is the greatest fear which is there not just for ignorant people but for learned scholars as well.

Here in this part of the story we find the way out of all sorrows. When we face sorrow, generally we try to get rid of the sorrow in whatever way is known and accessible to us – but ultimately we will have to realize that all the solutions that we have tried and may try in the future cannot eradicate sorrow once and for all. The only way out of sorrow is by seeking the ultimate reality of Lord and always contemplating on the Lord with the knowledge that “the Lord alone exists as the non-dual substratum behind the illusory world”.

But unless a seeker has known intellectually that “there is an entity called Lord who alone is real and who can get rid of all sorrows”, he will not seek the Lord even while facing grave dangers. Thus it is essential to know about the Lord – in ancient times young children used to learn the scriptures either through gurukula or through puranic stories but this has been lost today as most parents (who should be teaching the children puranic stories) themselves don’t know those stories or are in interested in watching soap operas on TV. This doesn’t mean that we have to stop watching soap operas but it just means that we have to cultivate the good habit of knowing about the Lord whenever possible else when the time comes to give up this body, we will not be able to think about the Lord (as we have many other things to think about – those things only will fill the mind as we have always been thinking about them).

Thus Bhagavatham through the fight between sivajvara and vishnujvara here is telling all seekers to not waste time but start cultivating the good habit of filling the mind with thoughts about Ishwara. Parents should start telling about the Lord to their children through puranic stories. Unless a seeker is able to remember the Lord as much as possible during the lifetime, he will not be able to remember the Lord during death. Such a person who is unable to remember the Lord during death will face sorrows not just in this life but in many lives to come.

Let us try to always fill our mind with thoughts about the ultimate reality of Lord so that when sorrow in the form of death is standing in front of us, we can face it with a smiling face (through the knowledge that everything is the blissful Lord alone – there is no sorrow at all, whatever sorrow is being faced is just an illusion like the sorrow faced by a person in the dream world).

Sivajvara started praising the Lord thus:

One with infinite power, the ultimate cause of the world, one who is seen as the entire world, one who is the cause of sristhi (creation) – sthithi (protection) and laya (destruction) of the world, one who is made known through the Vedas, one who is of the nature of nischala (immovable) Consciousness and one who is known as Brahman, I prostrate unto you.


Here we find a brief summary of the Upanishads given by Bhagavatham through Sivajvara. Let us try to analyze the characteristics and nature of the Lord as praised by Sivajvara today.

The Lord has infinite power and capabilities. Power or capability is with respect to the world. One who is the ultimate cause of the world, in whom the world undergoes birth, protection and destruction and one who pervades the entire world of names and forms, such an Ishwara has to have infinite power (as he pervades the entire world).

The world of names and forms is just an illusion in the Lord. The scriptures clearly say that the Lord is one from whom the world has come, the world resides and the world merges at the time of destruction. If this is the case, then the world definitely has to be an illusion in the Lord. The pot which is created out of mud, which resides in mud and merges unto mud after destruction cannot be different from mud but has to be one with mud. Then what is that differentiates the pot from mud? The name of “pot” and a particular form. Depending on the name and form, many objects will arise in mud but all those are mud and mud alone. A kulaala or potter will not differentiate between various objects made of mud – he knows them to be nothing but mud. Similar is the case with a goldsmith – for him all ornaments are just illusions of name and form in gold. He sees them as gold and gold alone. Thus he is able to accept one name-form and convert it into another name-form. This vision of the goldsmith and potter are vision of truth with respect to gold ornaments and objects made of mud. If this is extended to the world, then such a person who has vision of the world as names and forms in the ultimate reality of Lord is called a jeevan muktha – one who has gone beyond names-forms, duality and hence sorrow as well.

When duality or difference is perceived, it leads to likes and dislikes. Likes and dislikes in turn lead to attachment and aversion. Attachment and aversion in turn leads to happiness and sorrow. Thus viewing the world as duality instead of seeing it as the non-dual Lord causes a person to be whirled between happiness and sorrow. Instead a seeker should always see the entire world as the Lord alone – this is knowledge of the scriptures. The Vedas speak about the Lord as pervading the entire world of names and forms. The Lord is termed in the Vedas as Brahman – brihattvat brimhanatvaat vaa brahma – Brahman is something which is very huge and which is seen as the entire world.

We don’t need to get afraid about knowing some Brahman, it is the same Consciousness that pulsates inside us as “I-exist, I-exist” at all times which is termed as Brahman, Ishwara, Paramaatman etc. The Lord is of the nature of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss absolute.

Having known briefly about the Lord, a seeker has to always pervade his mind with the thought of the Lord as the substratum of the illusory world of names and forms. This will in turn take a seeker beyond names and forms, duality and thereby sorrow – such a seeker who goes beyond duality will ever be blissful (rejoicing in contemplation of the ultimate reality of Lord).

We will continue with the story in the next day.

Let us try to always remember the ultimate reality of Lord as the substratum of the illusory world, one who pervades the entire world and one who pulsates inside us as “I-exist, I-exist” so that we go beyond sorrow and ever rejoicing in bliss.

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