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.

 

Define Happiness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have written earlier a post on Happiness, this post is in continuation with the previous post.

During whole day we come across many people, with some of them we have relationship to talk and share our thoughts while with some of them we hardly talk but listen or watch their behavior. If we watch all of them closely we will see they are looking for Happiness. So what is the definition of Happiness for each of them?

Let me put their definition of Happiness here….

1. Mr. A, I will be happy/ delighted if I will get a Government contract worth NNN lacs

2. Miss B, I will be happy if he propose me

3. Miss C, I will be happy if he marry me

4. Mrs D, I will be happy if my husband buy me a diamond necklace worth NNN

5. Mrs E, I will be happy if my daughter-in-law obey me

6. Mrs. F, I will be happy if my husband earns NNN lacs per month

7. Mr. G, I will be happy if I get N% in exam

…………. This list is endless, where Happiness is starts with If and Else condition

Seems Happiness is a chocolate wrapped in IF and ELSE wrapper. So are they Happy after this so-called wrapper opened?

1. Mr. A, after a month bags the Government contract worth NNN lacs.

He should be happy now. But when asked why your face is not glowing with happiness? he said, I am happy but I will be happy when I will earn that NNN lacs from contract.

2. Miss B is proposed but her face is not glowing with happiness as it should be. When asked she said… “Yes, he proposed me but I will be happy only if he marry me”

…… all of the above when opened a layer of their IF and ELSE wrapper around Happiness were not Happy as they found one more layer of IF and ELSE wrapper around Happiness. This situation is endless. A new wrapper is found when one wrapper of IF and ELSE is removed.

Years after years pass opening these layers of IF and ELSE wrapper but yet Happiness is not unlocked. So a question comes was the definition of Happiness correct? If not then what is the definition of Happiness.

Happiness is in …..

1. knowing oneself (Aatma – inner soul)

2. satisfaction

3. gratitude

4. love

5. giving to other (don’t think you donated some money or food and you will get happiness)

Happiness cannot be wrapped between IF and ELSE

Happiness cannot be measured by different criteria.

Happiness is soul’s identity. It can be obtained when it is free from all conditions.

Lotus – a symbol of divine beauty unaffected by sin

Lotus holds a special position in Hinduisum and couple of cultures. Lotus is said to be the flower loved by Vishu and Lakshmi. A bloomed lotus is said to be uncovering the creator God Bhrama. It is also symbolized as expansion of the soul.

As a child I use to wonder what makes a Lotus flower, a flower loved by God when there are lots of spieces of flowers on earth. Is it merely beauty that would make lotus a loved flower? I use to ask my elders all such questions.
Now, I can relate why Lotus is a special flower. With this post I would like to share my reason for Lotus being a special flower.

Lotus grow in a mudy area, which will not be a solid land, nor it will be complete water. It would be a mixture of both. So a lotus will have roots in earth and grow through water, which are two essential elements of nature (referred as 5 mahabhuta in literature) and body.
It have a long stem coming out of water. This is the stem where the lotus would bloom. The flower bloom outside the water, in air. If a drop of water falls on the leaf or petal of lotus,it will easily slide off. The perfect example of detachment. The combination of elements earth (mud), air, fire (sun light) and water. It seems to teach us to learn about our spiritual base and grow ourselves in the path of salvation.

Keeping the preaching of salvation or purpose of life aside, we can still implement the preaching of lotus in our day to day activities. We can perform all our duties without getting attached to it. We are asked to perform our duties and not to think about the result. Logically, if you would have performed all our duties with heart without attachment, you will get the best result. All such duties performed without attachment becomes automatically free from all sin and is immediately rewarded by God.

The lesson of purity learnt from lotus can also be implemented on speech, body and mind. Never speak anything bad or against the wellfare of others. Keep your thoughts clean for others. I could say this now, even if the person has done worst to you, honestly they would have only done good to you. A person doing bad to you is chosen by God. They have the courage to be bad with you to teach you some lesson, to bring you near to your spiritual goal. The more you will clean your heart, mind and speech the more you will feel happy and some day for sure you will be blessed by God.

 

Lotus holds a special position in Hinduisum and couple of cultures. Lotus is said to be the flower loved by Vishu and Lakshmi. A bloomed lotus is said to be uncovering the creator God Bhrama. It is also symbolized as expansion of the soul.

As a child I use to wonder what makes a Lotus flower, a flower loved by God when there are lots of spieces of flowers on earth. Is it merely beauty that would make lotus a loved flower? I use to ask my elders all such questions.
Now, I can relate why Lotus is a special flower. With this post I would like to share my reason for Lotus being a special flower.

Lotus grow in a mudy area, which will not be a solid land, nor it will be complete water. It would be a mixture of both. So a lotus will have roots in earth and grow through water, which are two essential elements of nature (referred as 5 mahabhuta in literature) and body.
It have a long stem coming out of water. This is the stem where the lotus would bloom.

Living life is loving life

Always while reading Gita and Bhagavad Purana I wonder how extensive is the character of Krishna if it is a song or an epic. After reading each every time I find a new horizon of his character.

Everything revolves around Krishna and Krishna is in everything. He is like butter hidden in milk. But this post is not all about him or his form.

While reading Gita, I came across a question, “why Krishna had pain or complain about his life as a child?” He was son of a King, yet he was living his childhood as a shepherd. Instead of servants taking his care, he used to take care of cows.  If we would be in his place, I am sure we would have some regret or complain about such a situation.

The way he took his life, his childhood. No matter where you are born and brought up or you live, it is you who make yourself. As a child any act of Krishna was very clear and full of confidence. He knew what he was doing. Even if it was killing devils or teasing “Gopis” he was very clear in his thoughts. He was not focused on pleasures of Palace. He was not focused on knowing whose son he is. He just knew everyone is a part of his family. He was related to everyone. Rather he is related to everyone.

It also makes me realize, he was living his life and thus loving his life. When you are happy with what you have; what you chose and what you do; then you live life in that moment. As a child we are always happy being enjoying sleep, food and games. But as we grow put this happiness in fences. Before going to sleep either we think of upcoming tasks, events, money, and our fights with others or others behavior towards us. We hardly take a note of good things we had done in the whole day. So we end-up with sadness. A pile of such days, months and years make us away from our life. We forget to live. We forget when last time we enjoyed ice-cream, a nap or a ride.

Instead of having plate full of sweet and delicious dishes, if you have bread with some vegetable and if you eat with “Thanks” to God for giving you that food; definitely you will enjoy that food. It will give you happiness same way as Krishna was happy having meals in forest with fellow shepherds and cows. There were no coolers; no A.C., no fans and the plates were filled with some bread that they would have taken with them before leaving home. Oh!!! I forgot, there was no oven to warm up bread. He was still enjoying his food.

Take the example of his poor friend “Sudama” who came to meet his friend Krishna, who was then a king. Sudama had brought with him some rice which was the only food left in his house when he left home to meet Krishna. Krishna was happy to eat that rice. He saw love of his friend not the food.

So it is all about how you see the life and events. If you fail in exam and start crying for failure, you will never find out a way to success, because your eyes are filled with water. If you complain about your past, you will never be able to find best things in your past and this will not let you live in your present. When you are not living in your present, you are not living your life. Thank you, Krishna for teaching, living life is loving life.

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.”

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.

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga – the simple yoga which yields the  fruits that no other yoga can give.

 

Krishna while giving knowledge on the war-front referred Karma Yoga as the best yoga of all to Arjuna. In his preaching to Arjuna, Krishna says, an individual can achieve liberation or the Supreme Being (God) just by performing karam defined for him in scriptures. An individual based on his caste is expected to perform karma. In ancient time, there were discrimination of karma for Bhramin, Shudra and Vaishya. There is no such discrimination today as one can see Bhramin indulged in act of corruption and vaishya imparting knowledge of scriptures. Though people are not having complete knowledge on the topic they preach others. If we take base of Gita, I believe instead of preaching one can present views if his knowledge is sufficient otherwise refrain from making any speech.

 

According to Krishna, karma done whole-heartedly with selflessness and any expectation of reward is the best of all can be done by an individual. One should not be attached with the act done by him. Any feelings like pain, happiness, pride… can take away the fruits of karma.

Some people count the number of deeds done with selflessness, devotion…Supreme Being never counts such deeds.  Knowledge of karma is good to have, but the best learned is the performer, who does all act as if he is doing act for the wellbeing of other lives with the thought, he is performer not the creator.

I hear people commenting on number of hours they spend on Yoga and Meditation. And all the time I wonder how can we measure Yoga and Meditation? I know such people will not be able to give justification on this question as they hardly understand the importance of Yoga and Meditation.

Keeping all this aside, the truth of the universe is, “Karma done hole-heartedly, with selflessness, dedication and as a performer, that is without any attachment”.

Note: Reference of this post is my understanding over Chapter 3 of Gita.

karma bandhan

While reading Bhagavad Purana a question came in mind, Krishna and Ram were incarnation of Sri Vishnu then why Ram had to live in forest for 14 years?, why Ram had to stay away from Sita?, why Krishna lived away from parents?, why an injury was the cause of death of Krishna?

“All is bond by Karma, this bond leads to another bond if we become servant of the bond.”

As per ram katha, a sage’s wife gave shelter to devils during war of God and devils, angry with this, Vishnu took life of her. Sage got angry and cursed Vishnu that he will take birth as man on earth and will suffer the pain of separation. Same way Krishna’s death was result of curse.

All was pre-determined, all was the result of Karma. All is having bond of Karma.

There comes a question, how can Vishnu be bond by Karma?

Followed by the answer which have words of Krishna, “No one including me can stay away from the bond of karma“. Maya, Karma are creations of vishnu. Vishnu in the form of incarnation accepts them and acts but without affection.

This was a big lesson, which is guiding me all the time to perform my duties without affection, with the feeling that i am not the “Karta”.