Bhagavad Puran – Jadabharat and King Rahugan

Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 5 – Chapter 12 – King Rahugan’s question and Jadabharat’s answer.

When King Rahugan scolds Jadabharat who was carrying sedan of king without care. After silently listening king’s words, Jadabharat who use to be always silent speaks to impart knowledge with the purpose to open his eyes and guide him to salvation.
Jadabharat’s knowledge touched soul of king and king who use to pretend to be scholar, bows to Jadabharat and requests him to explain his knowledge imparted in symbolic words.

The said chapter is really interesting in context of
The answer of Jadabharat defines
1. body
2. mind or brain
3. Ego
4. Earth
5. Maya
6. God
7. How to reach near to God

My main interest for the purpose of this post is the definition of God.

The definition of God as per Jadabharat: Truely pure, spiritual knowledge, unique and the complete knowledge free from the difference of inside-outside is only truth. This truth is ‘The inner ruler of everything’ (Sarvantaryami) and completely free from all worldly vices (nirvikar). Such truth is known as ‘God’ and is referred by scholars as ‘Vasudeva’.

Such words can only come from the person who have learned the lessons of truth and thereby achieved knowledge of ‘God’ referred in his answer.

While trying to understand the definition of God given by Jadabharat then the first realization I get is: ‘Soul’. Soul of any creation is Truely pure, filled with spiritual knowledge, free from the difference of inside-outside, worldly vices. Refer this in the light of Gita, Krishna clearly says that your soul is not affected by worldly vices, is free from pain, sorrow, happiness, ego… So God is there in the form of Soul in every creation. It is we who have to bring in ourselves the consciousness to learn and acknowledge this form of ourselves (Soul).

I am still not so capable to explain all the terms of the definition but with the knowledge and sense I have I will try to explain them in the following posts.

Bhagavad Puran – Adhyatma yoga

Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 2 – Chapter 25 – Kapil muni’s answers to Devbhuti’s questions.

Devbhuti mother of Kapil muni asks questions about salvation and liberation from the worldly pleasures. Kapil muni is incarnation of God Vishnu who took birth in Devbhuti’s house to preach the lessons of Sankhya yoga, Adhyatma yoga.

Devbhuti have spent years in upbringing of her 9 daughters and a son Kapil muni. Her life was like a normal woman, spent in kitchen, upbringing children and house keeping. She was far from the knowledge of Soul. What she can do to free her mind from the clutches of worldly pleasures, worries of life and family? With this question in her mind once she asks Kapil muni to preach her the lessons through which she can free her self from the clutches of worldly pleasures, worries of life and family (moha, maya, mamta) and attain salvation (moksha).

Kapil being pleased with her question narrates her the ‘Adhyatma yoga’. This form of yoga is the only way to liberate mind from the clutches of worldly pleasures, worries of life and family. This yoga helps one free themselves from the bonds of happiness and sadness. Mind/ heart is the only reason for forming clutches/ bonds and giving freedom/ salvation/ liberty. When Mind/ heart is surrounded by worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family only forms clutches/ bonds with worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family, and there by forms bonds of karma. This bonds of karma is a viscous circle which never ends until it is broken by the knowledge. The knowledge that we are in clutches/ bonds of worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family. When Mind/ heart is surrounded by the knowledge of God, the knowledge of soul, the knowledge/ realization of oneself being a soul and not the body becomes reason for salvation/ liberty.

In Gita, Krishan says the same thing to Arjuna. Mind is very powerful. It can drive you in bonds of worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family and it can also make you free from such bonds. But the condition is you have to be in the driver seat. Don’t let your mind/ heart to be in the driver seat. Don’t forget your real purpose of life. Don’t fall trap of ‘this is me and that is mine’. ‘Nothing in this world from earth to sky belongs to oneself. Nothing from the earth to sky is creation of oneself. The people whom one terms are family are just bonds created during a journey. These people either were there in the journey or they joined the journey for a while and may not be there in the journey.’

The feelings of happiness and sadness is just a face of situation. It depends on how one takes a situation. It is same as the theory of perception. You can be happy with half filled glass or you can cry for the half filled glass.

Step 1 of Adhyatma yoga – Free your mind/ heart from the bonds of worldly pleasures/ entities/ subjects/ life/ family. Free yourself from the trap of ‘this is me and that is mine’.

Result of Step1 – Your mind/ heart will be free from the feelings of happiness and sadness. Mind/ heart will be in neutral state. That is it start taking all situations neutrally. This will help mind/ heart to be filled with Knowledge, Detachment, Dispassion,  Devotion (Gyana, Vairagya, Bhakti) and see soul above nature (prakriti) and see this soul as a small light (jyoti).

Step 2 of Adhyatma yoga – Be in touch with people who have passed through Step 1.

Result of Step 2 – Such people will help you to maintain the state achieved in Step 1 and in long run one will realize that God is only in their soul.

Bhagavad Puran – Meditation process

Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 2 – Chapter 1 – answers King Parikshit’s question.

Parikshit asks a brilliant question – ‘what a person who is about to die should do to free himself from all sins? Also what a person whose death is not near should do through out their life to free themselves from sins or get salvation?’

Parikshit, who was cursed by Brahmin Son, while waiting for his death which is to come up in 7th day asks above question Shukdeva.

If I keep religious book aside and think for a while what a human does. A human is given a brilliant gift of speech and thoughts. We have brain which other species don’t have. We have well developed speech which other species don’t have. But when we see people around us and ourselves what we see, we just all our 24 hours in running behind work, tasks, bread, butter, money, lifestyle, family, social life. Work never ends even if we work for 24 hours. Needs of family, individual cannot be satisfied. Family, relatives, friends, dear ones never stay with an individual forever. A son stays with a person till he starts his family. A wife stays with a person till he dies. Emotionally and mentally none of these relatives, family, friends, dear ones are with an individual.

Then who is with an individual? Still keeping aside the religious books, the answer that comes to my mind is Individual’s soul, Consciousness. Now in the light of Gita and Bhagavad Puran, Soul and Consciousness is God.

To prove my above written words I would like to take base of Bhagavad Puran – Skanda 2 – Chapter 1.

In order to learn or understand the true form of soul and consciousness or God, one need to meditate.

What is meditation? We will learn about it later.

If one cannot do meditation then how to knowledge of soul or consciousness or  God? Answer to this question is, such individual is not required to leave social life, family, friends, society but spend atleast 1 minute or 1 hour or days in the knowledge, bhakti (which is not only worshiping idols or religious preachers) or stick to their dharma (honest work) and remember God.

This is most important line of this chapter. I understand this line as, any good or bad events of the life, the brightness of sun, darkness of night, green gardens, cold and warm water, types of food is all creation of God. No doubt good or ba events are part of individual’s karma. But karma is also God. Which is clearly written in the above mentioned chapter. So an individual is not creator but a performer. When an individual is performer then how can an individual take responsibility of anything they do. I think one cannot say that ‘I made this.’ or ‘I have saved life of …’ or ‘without me they wont be…’ The knowledge of the fact you are just a ‘performer’ and not director is important knowledge one must carry every day, every minute throughout their life.

The term bhakti used in the above paragraph is not working idols or religious preachers but to devote all activities performed every day, every hour to the one who is the director. A perform is to obey with faith, whole heart to the director. No matter how good or bad the situations are, one should face it with courage, accept all situations and take the responsibility of performer. If any performer can meet director only by praying a type of prayer 1000 times or offering flowers, milk, water, etc to idols then many would have met director by now. There would be piles of books on such people claiming their achievement. Narsinh Mehta, Meerabai, Tulsidas, Surdas and many like them have followed the path of bhakti where they were conscious that they are performer, their deeds were in the wellbeing of others, they lived their social life with this knowledge and recited glory of God.

 

We can do one thing definitely, start giving ourselves the knowledge – ‘You are a performer’. This is the first step towards the meditation.

Now, I would like to answer the question about meditation here. Meditation is not sitting under a tree or some place for hours with closed eyes. One cannot meditate until their mind is not stable. A mind is powerful to take an individual to any place without any physical movement.

After one have practiced the knowledge ‘You are a performer’ and when this knowledge becomes consciousness then one should focus on ‘ohm’ ohmThen focus on the breathing. Slowly breathing and ‘ohm’ will get in sync. When breathing and ‘ohm’ is in sync, learn to detach mind, thoughts from celestial pleasures, bonds of family, friends, relatives, dear ones and bring focus on the form of God.

Gopi and Krishna

Gopi is a prime pillar of Bhagavad Gita rather Bhagavad Puran. Without Gopis I believe Krishna would not have been able to teach us the lesson of devotion, love, oneness with God, salvation (भक्ति सायुज्य प्रेम मोक्ष).

The relationship of Gopi and Krishna is interesting. The more I study it, the more I read it I realize that through the example of Gopis, Krishna wanted to show us, being busy in cores of day-to-day life you can attain nearness of Krishna…if your efforts are strong and you have confidence you can get oneness with Krishna.

Some scripts says Gopis were saints performing meditations since ages to attain nearness with Krishna. These saints took birth as Gopis to live with Krishna.

They taught us a good way to be near with Krishna.

1. Chanting – While working in home, doing day-to-day activities like cooking, cleaning, etc they chant the name of Krishna and sign his glory.

2. Work offered to Krishna – Though they use to cook for their family and work for their family members the center of all their work were Krishna. While cooking they use to think what Krishna would like to eat. Krishna is center of their attention.

3. Longing for Krishna – While Krishna was away in forest with cows they use to be eagerly waiting for him to return. When he would return they stand out in the entrance of their house with smile on their face welcoming Krishna.

4. Forgoing every barrier – For Krishna they forgo barrier of their family and went to meet Krishna, they forgo barrier and came out of river to take clothes.

 

Ramayan and Mahabharat

This post is not a comparison between Ramayan and Mahabharat.

While reading Ramayan, some how I mentally co-related certain incidents of Ramayan with Mahabharat, which I would like to list here…

  • The condition of women in Ramayan and Mahabharat – A woman use to suffer a lot for her husband use to have more than one wife. Never mind from which house (house of king or a common man) a woman belongs to, her self-respect was never considered important. A man in short of wealth can keep his wife as object in game. If he loose game, he will loose his wife. A woman is required to be pious from body, heart and thoughts. She is required to give proof of her piousness but man was never asked to give such proof. Sita had to give tough exams to prove her piousness. Draupadi had to undergo the humiliation of being used as an object in game.
  • Ramayan observed a fight and so Mahabharat – The main purpose of fight between Ram and Ravan was not for kingdom but for a woman. There are many reasons behind the fight of Mahabharat. The most prominent and known is the possession of kingdom but there is one more reason, Draupadi wished to take revenge of humiliation she had to face when Pandavas lost her in the game. Every fight in this world have been either for woman, money and land.
  • Life of Ram and Krishna – Both were born as sons of king. Ram had a beautiful childhood in palace while Krishna had his childhood in Gokul, outside his palace. Ram had to stay away from parents for 14 years, so Krishna spent his childhood away from parents. Being a common man when we face such situations, we find hard to stabilize ourselves. While neither Ram, nor Krishna has been referred to struggle to stabilize themselves. Ram had no pain in leaving kingdom. Krishna had no pain in managing flocks of cows.
  • Both had a poor friend – Ram had a friend who belonged to a tribal caste, living in forests. Krishna had Sudama, who was a poor Brahmin. Their friendship was idle. Ram always gave respect to his friend and so Krishna. Their friendship was not based on money, caste or creed.
  • The lesson of detachment – Ram while leaving kingdom, gives the lesson of detachment. He accepts whatever he receives in life as a fruit of his karma with smile on his face. Krishna in the middle of battlefield, preaches Arjuna the lesson of detachment. We spend whole life say, “My Wealth”, “My wife”, “My husband”, “My kids”; neither of them remain with us forever. We spend time in earning medals, name and fame but it also does not remain with us. Both taught the lesson of performing activities with detachment.

One can say that incidents of Ramayan are old and needs changes but the lessons to be learnt from Ramayan are not at all old. We still need to learn the lesson to give respect to women, we still need to learn the lesson of love (Ram and Bharat love, Ram and Sita love, Ram and Lakshman love), to live life happily and help others to live happily. All this and many more lessons, which we are yet to learn.

Who am I – in the light of Gita

In previous posts you will find a post related to “who am I?” question.
This post is an attempt to answer this question in the light of Gita.

A man would answer this question as, “human being”. Yet the answer is not complete or correct.
Are you “human”?, a yogi or philosopher would answer as, “soul”. Yet the answer is not complete or correct.
None of the living being either walking on two legs or four legs are body or soul.

Let me take reference of Bhagawad Puran to define body. A body is a bag of skin which is filled with some flesh and bones to give it a shape. This body will remain in this materialistic world one day. Either it will then become food of insects or will get mixed with soil as ash.
We leave body behind when we leave this world, so it cannot represent a living being. It is just a symbolic presentation of a living being.

Similarly though soul travels from one plane to another and take new body or form is not alone presentation of living being. Soul is the true form of living being but we are not in the form of soul. Soul carries lessons learned through experiences within the time it is in the form of body.
We all learn from our experiences, all the good and bad experiences, happy and sad moments are recorded in our soul.

We have taken number of births and would have learned from all these births. A soul always remembers all these lesson but do we remember? Is our behavior affected by these lessons?
We hardly remember the lesson as we come into this world and start growing.
When we come into this world we start learning the lessons. The first lesson that we learn is the feeling we get through touch. As an infant, mother would always keep you near her, this is the first lesson or experience we start developing. The lesson of touch. We start learning the lesson of feeling warmth through touch. So this is the first “gyanaindiya” that starts developing from the day we take birth. As we grow we learn to develop taste for food, we learn to see objects and recognize. Slowly all 5 “gyanaindiya” start developing and functioning. With their functioning we start developing “moh” (attachment). Based on the intensity of attachment we start to stick to feelings, likings and disliking. These make a boundary of our thoughts. All this results in building ‘I’ or ‘you’ or ‘myself’.

In order to make others happy we change our dressing, we change how we look and wait for others to appreciate. Appreciations of others boost our ego. Same way we wants others to make us happy. We want others to dress like the way we want. We wants others to wish us on occasions, gift us on occasions and be caring about us. If others behave the way we want them to behave we love them, we like them, we appreciate them. This frames us in the boundaries of feelings.

 

We are not a bundle of feelings. If we believe we have taken number of births to take the form of human being or by grace of God we are given this birth of human being then we should try to understand the difference between physical body and soul. We should understand that soul don’t get attached with the feelings of “gyanaindiya”. We should understand we are taking birth to reach to God. The merciful gives us chance after chance so that we reach to him but we get trapped in all cosmic pleasures and feelings.

To Forgive

We often advice people to forgive others. We knowingly or unknowingly hurt others by our words, act and attitude.

Casually we say “sorry”, “pardon me” and at times of festival we meet every friend and relative with a request to forgive us for knowingly or unknowingly being hurt. IS IT ENOUGH!!!!!

Can “Sorry” be enough? Does “Sorry” give us the license to do another mistake?

Or “sorry” teach us something….

It is not easy to forgive someone. If you have never given forgiveness, it would be difficult for you to forgive. Forgiving someone is not easy.

At first you will have to realize that you are equally responsible for the mistake though not in all cases but in few cases both are equally responsible.  How you could be responsible? You react with anger when someone hurt you and thus you become responsible of hurting the other. You reflect the act done by others to you and share the responsibility.

When you decide to forgive, you will first of all have to stop reacting. When you stop reacting over others actions, you will start remembering their wrong deeds. I would say, you will start revisiting those deeds again and again. In this act of revisiting you will again be trapped in anger and would like to react, would not like to forgive others. But be firm on the decision to forgive. You will keep on revisiting wrong deeds of others for some time, but every time you revisit those deeds, you would realize that those who did wrong to you were ignorant of what they are doing, you will find their behavior childish and your heat will be filled with pity on them. If not with pity you would realize that you can forgive them.

Slowly when you realize that you can forgive them you may even feel like you are good or better than them… a form of ego…

But while putting efforts in forgiving you will soon realize you are not better… neither you are best nor they… neither you are doing good to yourself or to them… you are working to free yourself from the fire of anger and the feeling to punish them.

Yes, when someone does something wrong to you, you will be filled with anger and you would find all the possible way to punish them. Unknowingly you keep on burning yourself in anger and the desire to punish.

We can say, to forgive someone is the best punishment.

I would say, when you forgive someone from heart, you will be in a state where the wrong deeds done by others will no more be painful to you, those deeds would not be important to you and later you would feel you find those people as creation of god, a creation like you, and would pray for their well-being and goodness.

I could say all this as I have reached to the state of forgiveness where I am able to pray for well-being and goodness of those who did wrong to me, who do wrong to me.

Anger a type of violence

Violence is not only killing or beating others but it is hurting others with words and action.

One must not forget, if anger is fire it not only burns the one who is angry it burns the one who is victim of anger.

In anger many a times we would have used bad language for others. Many a times if others would not have accepted our sway (prabhuta) we would have used bad words. It is violence, it burns the speaker’s good thoughts and even burns the happiness of the listener.

Many a times we would have been angry for people driving vaguely and we would have cursed them or we shout on them. It is violence. Similarly cursing chef for food, is a violence.

If we are in meeting and someone comes to us with a request for help in job and if we use ill words, we are doing violence. Knowingly and unknowingly we do such violence every day.

One should try and avoid such violence. The effect of such violence could not be seen on body but could be felt on thoughts. This violence burns the harmony and peace in the atmosphere and a natural goodness of soul.

Gyana Parampara

evam parampara-praptam
imam rajarsayo viduh
sa kaleneha mahata
yogo nastah parantapa

Years back, in Nalanda and even before, Guru – Shishya parampara was followed. The best part of this parampara was knowledge was handed down in regular succession from generation to generation. If I refer “Bhagavad Purana” or “Garuda Purana” or “Agni Purana” then the first apparent teacher was “tridev” (Vishnu, Bhrama and Mahesh). These three teachers are the sources of knowledge. Not getting into more details here about “tridev”, I would like to elobrate this shloka of Gita.

Krishna, addressing Arjuna, says, “This knowledge was handed down in regular succession from generation to generation. The royal sages knew this yoga. But by long lapse of time it has been lost here.”

Krishna, in this shloka refers to a type of rishi, “Rajarishi”.

A Rishi is said to have thorough knowledge of Vedic scriptures and culture. They are ideal for others to follow the path of spiritual development. They have conquered the mind and senses, practices the art of “Nishkama karma and karma Phala tyaga”. They have attained a vision of the “supreme”.

Rishi can be classified as Maharshi, Rajarshi, Brahmarshi and Devarshi.

Rishis following the parampara of imparting knowledge to successors use to first choose a disciple. The motive of such parampara was to preserve the true essense of knowledge. With this shloka, Krishna says, the parampara of imparting knowledge has been lost. People in the name of knowledge impart their interpretations, which is like half cooked food. To grasp the eternal knowledge, true knowledge and the essense of vedic scriptures, one must have spiritual eyes and ears. Cosmic body is not capable of handling such beautiful knowledge.

In Bhagavad Purana, Shukdev muni, narrates the importance of the eternal knowledge with the following incident.

“With the intension to have benefits of divine knowledge Indra and others come to see Sutaji. Knowing the intenstions of Indra and others, Sutaji, laughs on them and says, you cant get the true eternal knowledge in return of ‘amrita’.” So was the valuable the eternal knowledge and essense of Gita. That one day, Bhrama decided to weigh it, he placed all the divinity like Kalpavriksha, Amrita on one side of the weighing scale and the Bhagavata Gita on the other side of the weighing scale. To the surprise of all, the Bhagavata Gita weigh more than all the divinity.

In the name of knowledge and spirituality people have learnt to earn money and fame. On the name of Krishna and Vishnu and the Supreme, they impart their feelings, understanding (which is half cooked food), dreams (to be hero, powerful) and aspiration.

Again, taking reference of Shukdev muni’s words from Bhagavad Purana, “This knowledge is sweeter than mangoo, yet it doesnt have elements like skin which other fruits have. One can only enjoy and relish its sweetness when he devotes himself wholeheartedly.”

Life – A Journey

The penned post is my thoughts and view on life. This visualization and understanding came up after reading ‘Bhagavad Purana’ and ‘Garuda Purana’.

Life and Death are two major junctions of a journey. The soul travels towards the ultimate destination. This journey of soul is a cosmic journey, which when viewed in context of materialistic destinations (life and death), is a journey of a physical body. Physical body is formed of five elements of nature, along with wish, desire and aspirations.

life

In the journey towards the ultimate destination the soul passes through various lessons. One can term these lessons as purification process. A purified soul can only get place in the ultimate destination.

The soul travels alone on this journey but physical body builds bonds. In one journey from life to death the physical body builds such bonds. On reaching the destination of death the physical body casts out physical bonds but the cosmic body remembers the karmic bonds. Even we can say with cosmic body karmic bonds follow the soul in the journey. Physical body is unaware of such karmic bonds. From time to time cosmic body passes messages of karmic bonds to the physical body.

If I say the cosmic body is your intuition or sub conscious self then shouldn’t I be overstating.