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.

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.

To achieve something everything has to be destroyed.

In a friendly discussion with well wishers came this dialog, “To achieve something everything has to be destroyed.”

A seed destroys itself completely to become a tree. Tree burns itself carelessly to give shadow. Achievement asks sacrifice, blind sacrifice. Those who want to achieve something never think of assets they hold, they are always on heal to give up themselves and their assets.

This remembers me Gita and Bhagavad Purana which widely explains the importance of sacrifice. The more you wish to achieve the more you need to sacrifice. Mother sacrifice sleep, peace and herself for the sleep, wellbeing and happiness of her children. It is not mandatory yet she sacrifices everything required.  Sacrifice should be done with heart and feeling. Such sacrifice becomes worship of the all-mighty. Divine energy is earned through such sacrifice. Such sacrifice makes man better than all creatures and divine bodies. Those who offer such sacrifice are special to all-mighty. He himself takes care of those offers such sacrifices. Though the goal of man offering such sacrifices is to achieve the highest seat amongst divine bodies, attain the highest seat and respect from the divine bodies.

So work as if it is the last task with the devotion and readiness to sacrifice everything.

Sankhya Sutra

A small event reminded me about “Sankhya Sutra” and the story of Bharata narrated in Bhagavada Purana. I was asked to offer milk to mother dog and her puppies, no one was offering milk or food to them. It was second day when I was offering them milk, my heart was filled with the feeling of love and care. An ocean of love and care was flowing inside me, which reminded me about “Sankhya Sutra”. It reminded me about the story of Bharata.

Bharata forgot the lesson of “Sankhya Sutra” and fell in ‘Maya’ of a deer, an infant deer which he found in the stream, who was born when the frightened mother deer jumped across the stream. Bharata took care of the infant deer and day by day he was getting attached with the deer with heart, thoughts and then with soul such that if the deer goes out of his site for a minute he would be worried and tensed. Till the end of his life Bharata was worried about the wellbeing of the deer, and the deer was enjoying the care and love of Bharata. With the last thought of the wellbeing of the deer, Bharata passes away and takes birth as deer. Before meeting deer Bharata was free from bonds of ‘Maya’ and in his meditations focused on the creator of the world. But later the situations changed, his focus was on deer. When he was born as deer, he had frail memories of his life as Bharata and with the lesson he had learned, he kept away from grass, each and every elements of forest. After leaving life of deer he took birth as a Bhramin with the memories of past life and lesson he learned, he remained silent and away from all worldly elements. He delivers his knowledge of “Sankhya Sutra” and other divine knowledge to a king.

“Sankhya Sutra” warns us, thinking of anything which is not contributory to spiritual practice, or sadhana, results in bondage, as in the case of Bharata. Attachment sneaks into our mind without our knowledge, like a serpent entering into a hole without our knowing that it has entered it. The power of the mind, which is filled with desires, finds all sorts of excuses to see that its longings are fulfilled, one way or the other. It is like a thief or a dacoit who knows every way of entering a house.

While offering milk to mother dog and her puppies, I realized how strong is ‘Maya’, ‘Maya’ is present everywhere waiting for a situation where you show your liking towards worldly elements. On getting a small hint of such a liking, ‘Maya’ starts finding each and every way to trap you in worldly elements. With that incident I learned that in order to protect your house from thief you have to be vigilant and cut all efforts of thief, block all ways through with the thief can enter in the house with knowledge.

Bhagvada Purana 18th Chapter – King Parikshit is cursed by Shringi rishi.

While reading this chapter following things came to note
1) Saint = one who remains calm and cool in all situations.
2) Hunger and Thirst can take away your knowledge. (Gyanendriya and Karmendriya can help you to liberate while the same can make you prey of Maya)
3) Face all your Karma bravely.
4) Before reacting think consequences and importance of reaction.

Plot: Parikshit when reach the ashram (hermitage) he was dying with hunger and thirst. Rishi (saint) was in samadhi (meditation), he was unaware of the presence of Parikshit. Parikshit felt insulted as no one was there to attend him, welcome him, offer him water and place to rest. Frustrated with hunger, thirst and the feeling of ignorance he leaves the ashram (hermitage). While returning he found a dead snake. He picked that with a bow and placed it around the neck of Rishi (saint). The son of Rishi (saint) playing nearby the ashram (hermitage) came to know about the incident and cursed Parikshit in anger. He returns to ashram (hermitage) and starts crying aloud. Hearing his voice the Rishi (saint) opens his eyes, finds a dead snake around his neck. Throwing the snake aside he asks the reason of crying to his son. After hearing about the whole incident from son, the Rishi (saint) replies; “Dear son, you should have not cursed King Parikshit, he is not like other kings, he cares for people living in his kingdom. You have not done well.” According to the curse the “Takshak” snake will bite king on 7th day from that incident resulting into his death.
Reply of Rishi (Saint) make me think how many times in day we being slave of our mood, nature, surroundings and incidents behave in the way we should not.
Also to reach to the mental calmness the Rishi (saint) had, we need to be surrounded with such situations.
“A lotus’s roots are in dirty water”.
Praikshit when came to know about the curse he was not sad. He gave his kingdom to his son and went to the bank of river, invited learned people to preach “Bhagavad Puran” and lessons of “Gita”. Parikshit was child when he was dying with hunger and thirst. The mental state rather gyana of both Parikshit and the Son of Rishi (saint) was same. One forgot gyana and another was learning to get gyana.

Bhagavad Puran – Chapter 2, 3

Bhakti requested Naradji to find some solution for her situation. Naradji thought and discussed Bhakti’s concern with many learned but none had concrete solution. One learned suggested Naradji to perform “Saptah parayan” of “Bhagavad Puran’ on the bank of Ganga in Haridwar.

Naradji followed suggestion and went to suggested “Anand Ghat” in Haridwar. Folks from all forms of society, religions and gender came to listen the words of Naradji. As Naradji started “Bhagavad Katha”, Bhakti came with her two sons. Bhakti and her sons (gyana, Vairagya) became young. As Katha proceeded their conditions improved.

By the end of the Katha “Shutji” arrived and narrated the importance of Bhagavad Puran. But only listening or reading is not important, one should apply brain and implement lessons in life. Bhakti will in its youth will come from the meaning of Katha and will reside in its youth form in the heart of Bhagavad lovers and Vaishnava.

Bhagavad Puran- Chapter 1

Bhagavad Puran divides 18000 shloka (verses) into 12 adhyaya each adhyaya contains chapters.

Its first chapter of first dhyaya where Naradji meets Bhakti and answers her question “why she is young and her two son is aged and daisy?”

This chapter gives the picture of current situation, people sell moral, knowledge for money and women body to earn money or for enjoyment. He was not getting eternal happiness even though he visited “Puskar”, “Haridwar” etc. He meets Bhakti who introduces herself as

Bhakti: “Gayan and Vayragya are her son, Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri are serving her. She took birth in “Dravid desh”, brought-up in “Karnataka”, got some respect in “Maharastra” but in “Gujarat” she became aged and her sons lost their shine, glory and strength. She comes to “Vrindavana” where she becomes again a “teenager” but her sons are still in the same position. She wants to leave “Vrindavana” with her sons. But her sons are aged and the biggest pain for a mother is to see her sons “aged” while she is “young”. She asks Naradji “why is this situation?””

Naradji replies: “This is Kalyuga, devils will become happy and rich while evils will become poor and unhappy. Evils will face lot of pain. Patience is the only solution to this situation. In this place you became “teenager” as people here are giving respect to “bhakti” but no one is giving importance to your sons so they are still “aged” but they feel soothing here in “Vrindavana” and so they are daisy. When Krishna left earth, “Truth” like values left earth and went with him and so everything have just become meaningless. People have lost the meaning and essence of “Kata”, “Gyana”. People are just involved in re-production. People have lost the meaning and essence of “Moksha”.

Bhagavad Puran

Finally After a month I am back here to write.

It is a month long time I was away from all my activities of writing and reading newspapers, articles. My focus was only Bhagavad Puran. I always wanted to read old literature and books. I am curious about Puran. I got few Puran names and then came a question from them whom to read first. The affection for Krishna made me read Bhagavad Puran.

While reading the first chapter I fell in love with the Puran. My temptation to read increased. I wished to keep all the things aside and read it. In some chapters I feel like skipping it and in some chapters I feel like how is it possible that narrate events which was going to happen. The most interesting part was the first part and the conversation of Krishna with Odhav before Krishna was going to leave earth. The total 18000 shloka (verses) caste a bond on mind and thoughts.

I will try my level best to stay away commenting on verses as I believe I am not such a knowledgeable person who can comment on what is written in those verses.

While reading Puran I thought to implement whatever I can from that puran in day to day life. So in all the upcoming posts I would narrate my experience with Puran.

With this note one interesting thing that I would like to share here is, I use to think Puran tells stories about incarnation of God and various forms but when I read Bhagavad Puran I realized it is not just the story of incarnation of God but each chapter and each verse teach a lesson. A lesson to be a human being, not to be cunning, a lesson to view world, events, happiness and sorrow.