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Offline ShAivI

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THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

OM SAI RAM ॥



Discourse 1

KING PARIKSHIT’S QUESTION TO SUKA MAHARISHI


In ancient times, Raja Parikshit raised a question in great detail
that amounted to asking whether we are living in this world alone,
or whether it is possible that we may be citizens of some other
worlds also. This question of King Parikshit was connected with the
background of his own life, which has the antecedent of the great
story of the Mahabharata. When Asvatthama, the son of Acharya Drona,
discharged the invincible missile known as the Narayanastra with the
hope of ending the Pandavas in a single instant, he felt that his aim of
life was complete. Since this was an astra which could not be faced by
all the forces of the Earth put together, he was under the impression
that the Pandavas had been reduced to ashes. As the Pandavas were
at a distance, Asvatthama climbed to the top of a tree in order to see
the heap of ashes that were their remains, but to his surprise he found
the Pandava forces were as jubilant as ever, and it did not seem to
have occurred to their minds that anything had happened at all. Asvatthama
obtained his astra, which is known as the Narayanastra, as a special gift from
his father Drona when he insisted that he should be given something which
Arjuna did not know—because, naturally, it should be accepted that a disciple
is not as great as one’s own son. Due to this persistence, Drona bestowed
an indomitable power known as the Narayanastra upon Asvatthama, knowing
well that the boy was mischievous and was likely to use it unwarrantedly.

Drona warned him that it should not be used recklessly, yet he knew that
he would not listen to his advice. So, as a safeguard, he did not teach him
the art of using it a second time or the art of withdrawing it. It could be discharged
once only, and then it would extinguish itself. When, to Asvatthama’s consternation,
the attempt to destroy the Pandavas with this missile failed, he ran away from
the field cursing everybody and yelling out that even fathers are not to be trusted
these days because his father duped him, as it were, by saying that he had initiated
him into an invincible astra, which actually amounted to nothing. When Asvatthama
was shouting like this while running away, he met the great Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa,
who asked him what the matter was. Asvatthama said, “My father did not tell me the
truth. I was initiated into the invincible force called Narayanastra, being told that
no one on Earth can 7 stand before it; but when I used it, nothing actually happened.”
The great Vyasa replied, “My dear boy, your father has not made any mistake. He gave
you that strength which no one else in the world could wield. But you used this astra
of Narayana against Narayana Himself. Therefore, it would not work.” Disgusted, and
with the persistent desire to end the Pandavas, Asvatthama took resort to another
astra, called the Brahmastra, and let it off with such ferocity that he thought it would
end the Pandavas’ progeny so that they would have no descendants and their family
would finally be extinguished. What did he do? He directed this Brahmastra to the
 womb of Uttara, the queen of Arjuna’s son Abhimanyu, thinking that her womb
would be destroyed. But God’s power has no end. It is limitless, and it can act in the
required manner at any moment of time. The great master Sri Krishna, with his
power of yoga, entered the womb of Uttara and withdrew this invincible Brahmastra
into himself. Here, again, the efforts of Asvatthama failed. This boy, the child in
Uttara’s womb who Asvatthama attempted to destroy, was Parikshit, the only
descendent of the Pandava brothers. Due to a tragic historical event that took place,
which is told in the beginning of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, Parikshit was
to die by a snake bite. Frightened by this possibility, Parikshit wound up his reign
of the  kingdom and sat in prayopavesa on the bank of the river Ganga, wishing to
end his life, which was to come upon him within seven days, according to the
curse of the son of a great rishi.

It was at that time the great Suka Maharishi happened to pass that way, and he was
received with great respect by the audience seated around King Parikshit. When everybody
paid obeisance, Suka asked them the reason why they were all gathered on the bank
of the Ganga. Parikshit put a question: “What is good for man, especially at this hour
when my life is about to end?” How are we to answer this question? What is good for
any person? In the freezing heights of the Himalayas, it is good to have a blanket over
oneself. But a blanket is not good in the hot deserts of Africa; we would like to have
cold water there. When we are hungry, it is good to have delicious food; when we are
 vomiting due to illness, it is good not to eat at all. Anyone who desires his or her
own good cannot answer this question of what is actually good for oneself, because
whatever answer we give, we will find it is connected to some cause thereof, and it is
not the final good. Riches will end, the body will wither, and life is uncertain. None of
these things connected with life in this world can be regarded as really good in their
ultimate sense. Then, what is really good for the human individual? The difficulty in
answering this  question arises because we think that we are living only in this world
of sensory perception. To this great question, Sri Suka answers in a majestic manner.
The ascent through the levels of creation through which one has to pass, and in which
one is involved even at the present moment, is not merely a future event; it is only
an unfolding of the involvement that is already there even at this present moment.
Suka’s answer was that we belong to all the worlds at the same time. We are citizens
of every level of existence. You must have heard that the levels of our own individual
psychic being, known as the chakras, represent the levels of cosmic existence.
Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka and Satyaloka are
the names given to these possible levels of total creation. These levels are correspondingly
represented by the circular fields—or semicircular, as the case may be—of what are called
the chakras in one’s own body so that at one moment, at a single stroke of time, a person
is in all the levels of creation.

to be contd......


May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
  :D

Offline ShAivI

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THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2016, 11:33:22 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 1

    KING PARIKSHIT’S QUESTION TO SUKA MAHARISHI


    At the very beginning of the Second Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana
    this question is answered briefly, and reference to this is also made in the beginning
    of the Eighth Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavadgita when Bhagavan Sri Krishna says:
    akṣaraṁ brahma paramaṁ svabh ā vodhy ā tmam ucyatebh ū tabh ā vodbhavakaro
    visargaḥ karmasaṁjñitaḥ; adhibh ū taṁ kṣaro bh ā vaḥ puruṣa ś c ā dhidaivatam
    adhiyajñoham ev ā tra dehe dehabhṛt ā ṁ vara
    (B.G. 8.34). Our involvements in
    this life are explained in this beautiful contextual answer of Bhagavan Sri Krishna
    to Arjuna when He says, “That which is the ultimate good is the Supreme Brahman.”

    A similar question was raised by Yudhishthira at the end of the Mahabharata war
    when he went to Bhishma, who was lying on a bed of arrows, and Bhishma’s answer
    was that it is better to remember Vishnu and recite his one thousand names, not only
    at the end of time, but at all times, because the end of time is at any time. Even this
    very moment can be the end of time. So, when we ask the question, “What is good
    for me at the end of time?” it is implied that it is that which is good for us at all times
    because, knowing the brittleness of things in the world, all times are the end of time. 

    The supreme good, therefore, is the Supreme Brahman, the Ultimate Reality—
    akṣaraṁ brahma paramaṁ—which is intimately, vitally, inextricably connected with
    svabhavah, which is called the Atman. The internal, essential nature of the human
    individual, known as the Atman or the Self, is the true nature of a person. That is why
    it is called svabhava, the true disposition of an individual. Our selfhood is what
    we are; and how we behave, how we act, and how we thinkand feel depend upon the
    true nature, which is our own self, displayed through the various categories constituting
    this psychophysical individuality. This is svabhava.

    Bh ū tabh ā vodbhavakaro visargaḥ karmasaṁjñitaḥ: Action, in the real sense of
    the term, is the force that ejects this cosmos right from the topmost level of creation—
    the atomic bindu of creation, prior to the bursting of this total potentiality into the
    two halves of positive and negative forces. Everything, all action— any impulse whatsoever,
    down to the movement of an ant—is controlled by this great event that took place at the
    beginning of creation. The origin of action is there in the action of the cosmos.

    This concept of total action is again portrayed in the Purusha Sukta of the Veda,
    which compares the whole creation to a cosmic sacrifice performed by God Himself,
    as it were. The self-alienation of the Supreme Being, the Mahapurusha, into this visible
    cosmos is a surrender of His own true nature of universality into the externality of creation,
    in which act He has sacrificed Himself, as it were. The greatest yajna is the Purusha Yajna,
    which is not to be translated as human sacrifice, as Western scholars sometimes translate
    this great hymn of the Rigveda

    Thus, the origin of action—everybody’s action, up to the action of the atom—is impelled by
    this great action of the Purusha—bh ū tabh ā vodbhavakaro   visargaḥ karma-saṁjñitaḥ.
    Really speaking, there are not many actions taking place in the world in terms of various
    individualities. One action is taking place, as the rumbling of thousands of waves in the ocean
    is actually the one action of the ocean itself. Many actions are not taking place in the ocean;
     it is one impulse of the root and the heart of the bowels of the ocean that rises up as the
    waves. Just as one action is taking place in the ocean, one action is taking place in this
    cosmos also.

    Adhibh ū taṁ kṣaro bh ā vaḥ. The perishable nature of all things is called adhibhuta
    prapancha
    , the externalised projected form of physical nature. The very fact of being
    external is a tendency to evolution and destruction. Everything in this world evolves from
    the lower level to the higher level. What is called evolution is nothing but the destruction
    of the earlier process for the birth of a new process. This takes place in one’s own body
    in the form of growth and decay, and it also happens in the world outside in a cosmic
    evolutionary process. No one can live without dying in their earlier condition, and we could
    not have grown into the adults that we are if the earlier babyhood had not been transcended
    by the decomposition of those constituents of baby individuality into the adulthood in
    which we are placed now.

    Action is cosmic action, and the characteristic of all visible physical things is perishability—
    bh ū ta bh ā vodbhavakaro visargaḥ karmasaṁjñitaḥ; adhibh ū taṁ kṣaro bh ā vaḥ
    puruṣa ś c ā dhidaivatam.


    The Purusha, who is the principle of cosmic sacrifice as we have it described in the
    Purusha Sukta, is also the indwelling presence in all our hearts. He is the source of
    individual sacrifices and right action, virtuous action, etc. He is the impeller from the recesses
    of our own heart. This is the source of individual impulses. Adhiyajñoham ev ā tra: The field of
    activity is also God Himself. God is the director of the drama of creation, and also the actor.
    He does not employ people to act in the theatre. He himself appears as all the actors in all forms
    of manifestation, and He also directs it from another point of view. He is the performer as well as
    the witness of all performances.

    The Purusha, who is the principle of cosmic sacrifice as we have it described in the
    Purusha Sukta, is also the indwelling presence in all our hearts. He is the source of individual
    sacrifices and right action, virtuous action, etc. He is the impeller from the recesses of our own
    heart. This is the source of individual impulses. Adhiyajñoham ev ā tra: The field of activity is
    also God Himself. God is the director of the drama of creation, and also the actor. He does not
    employ people to act in the theatre. He himself appears as all the actors in all forms of
    manifestation, and He also directs it from another point of view. He is the performer as well as
    the witness of all performances.

    These descriptions in the beginning of the Eighth Chapter of the Bhagavadgita point out
    that we belong to all levels of existence. It is, therefore, not to be considered as something
    unwarranted that a time comes when we have to shed this body, because every day we are
    shedding the earlier components of our body in the process of rising into a more healthy
    condition. Cells of the body decompose every moment of time, and it is believed that every
    seven years all the cells are changed; we become new persons altogether. But we do not feel
    that there is a jump after seven years into the next seven years. The jump does not get the
    attention of consciousness because the link that happens to be there between the first seven
    years and the subsequent seven years is also inundated by consciousness—so rapidly, that
    we do not feel that we are growing at all. Otherwise, if this linkage of development is not filled
    in by consciousness, we would feel jerks every time we jump from one level to another level.
    Such jerks are not experienced on account of a rapid action of consciousness, just as the rapid
    flashing of many pictures on a screen makes us feel that it is a continuous movement although
    they are all small pictures, one independent of the other. The rapidity of the action of
    consciousness makes us feel that we are continuously one whole human being. 

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    Re: THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #2 on: September 09, 2016, 11:56:21 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 1

    KING PARIKSHIT’S QUESTION TO SUKA MAHARISHI


    But, at death, the consciousness withdraws itself. That is why we feel such a fear:
    some tremendous upheaval takes place when we leave this body. The fear of death
    that was hovering in the mind of Parikshit had to be removed by this great admonition
    of Sukadeva Maharishi, which is the highlighting feature of the beginning of the Second
    Chapter of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. It is believed that this great scripture,
    the Srimad Bhagavata, is like a delicious nectar. It is as sweet as kheer because,
    as Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa Deva used to say, it is a combination of the sugar
    of devotion, the energy of the ghee of vairagya, and the milk of knowledge. Jnana,
    vairagya, and bhakti—all the three are combined in a wonderful manner in the narration
    of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. Sri Krishna himself is supposed to be indwelling
    this wonderful scripture. We do not physically see the personality of Bhagavan Sri Krishna
    now, but we see him as the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. Whoever studies the
    Bhagavata is supposed to be reading the life of Bhagavan Sri Krishna himself in all its
    cosmic forms. Whoever gives dana, or charity, of one copy of the Srimad Bhagavata
    Mahapurana is actually giving Lord Krishna himself to the devotees.  It is an incomparable
    scripture. Its eighteen Skandhas represent the eighteen processes of the evolution of the
    cosmos. In Indian culture, the number ‘eighteen’ has been regarded as very sacred. The
    Bhagavata contains eighteen Skandhas, the Mahabharata contains eighteen Parvas, the
    war took place for eighteen days, and the Bhagavadgita has eighteen chapters. It is a
    great mystery. According to the traditional belief in the computational meaning of numbers,
    eighteen represents victory. According to a traditional calculation in India especially, the
    number ‘eight’ is represented by the word ‘ja’, and the word ‘ya’ is represented by the
    number ‘one’. The old system used to read the letters from right to left, and not from
    left to right. So ‘ja’ and ‘ya’ mean ‘jaya’, or victory. The Mahabharata book is also called
    Jaya by Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa. 

    The same question that was raised by Parikshit was also raised by Narada Maharishi
    to Brahma, the supreme Creator—to which, in the form of a reply, Brahma, the Creator,
    narrates the whole process of creation. The Bhagavata’s description is that Narayana
    sleeps on the cosmic waters at the end of creation. In the philosophical circles of Vedanta
    and Sankhya, these cosmic waters are actually, philosophically speaking, the potential
    prakriti, and the consciousness that is immanently present in this potential condition is
    Narayana, even as our Atman is alive even in the state of deep sleep. The evolution from
    sleep to waking is like the creation that is taking place. The whole system of creation
    described in the Bhagavata Mahapurana is comparable to the precise description of the
    involvement in creation as we have it in the beginning of the Eighth Chapter of the
    Bhagavadgita.  Thus, as we are ready to bestow thought on what is really good for us,
    that alone can be considered as good which will be valid when we enter the different levels
    of creation. That which is good is a single visa that is given to us for entry into all the levels
    of creation. Since what is good in this world may not be good in other worlds, if we regard
    whatever goodness we manifest in our life in this world as the total reality, it may not carry
    us further to the other worlds, as they may require another qualification from us. Unless
    we belong to the other world in some way or the other, we cannot be received in that world.
    If we are citizens located only in one world, how would we enter into other worlds? That is
    why there is a visa system, which is the permission to enter given by one country to an
    individual from another country. That is to say, when we enter from one world to another,
    one country to another, we have to acclimatise ourselves to the laws prevailing in the
    new country. So is the case with the permission that is required to go to another world.
    We cannot go freely. We have been sticking only to this world, with no idea that we belong
    to another world also.  Though the rise from one level to another level is usually gradual,
    as is described to us in the Srimad Bhagavata and the Puranas, it is also said that a
    sudden rise is possible. It is something like this. If one thousand rose petals are kept
    one over the other, and a needle is passed through them, we may say that the needle
    pierced all these petals at one stroke, whereas, in fact, the needle passed sequentially
    through one petal to the next in spite of the impression that it was an instantaneous action.
    Similarly, by the force of the power of yoga and meditation, we may compress the total
    process of the ascent through all the levels of creation into a so-called instantaneous action,
     though we cannot escape the law of any level of creation.  We may travel quickly by airplane,
    trudge on foot, or sit in a bullock cart. If we travel by airplane it takes almost no time at all to
    reach our destination, but we have covered the same distance. Hence, we may accede that
    both answers to this question are valid. Instantaneous evolution is possible, as reaching
    a place quickly is possible by airplane; yet, we have to remember that we have passed
    through all the stages abruptly due to the speed with which we have moved.  Progressing
    quickly is possible only if our yoga is intense. T ī vrasaṁveg ā n ā m ā sannaḥ (Y.S. 1.21):
    Nearness to Reality is provided by one’s intensity of feeling for it. The feeling is the
    touchstone of our ability to reach the levels of creation. If we can feel all things at the
    same time, all things will come to us at the same time.  But the individual, mortal
    as he is, is unable to deepen the feeling to such an extent, and he is unable to pass
    through these levels of creation as a needle passes through the thousand rose petals,
    because the intensity of his feeling is not sufficient. That is to say, our longing for freedom
    is not adequately accentuated. There is a temptation in this world which tells us that there
     is something here which is good enough, and we need not seek another good in some
    other realm of creation. This interpretation of there being something permanently good
    in this world is provided to us by the wrong activity of the sense organs. We are caught
    in the web of sensory activity, which tells us that this world is all.

    But the senses also tell us that this world is not all because of the dissatisfaction that
    follows from every kind of so-called satisfaction provided to us by the sense organs. Because
    the contact of the senses with objects gives satisfaction, it may bring us to the conclusion
    that this world is wonderful and it is good in itself, but the bitter consequence that follows from
    this so-called goodness of the satisfaction gained through these sense organs is also indicative
     of the fact that this is not really good. So the senses are our teachers in a way, apart from
    their being what people generally call deceivers. They are pointers to two levels of reality
    at the same time. If we want to dub them as evil because they do not give us permanent
    satisfaction, well, we are free to do that. But they also tell us through their subtle dual action
    that this world is not a total satisfaction, though when the senses contact the objects there
    seems to be a temporary sensation which looks like joy. That no joy in the world can be
    complete, that everything has an ending—one day we will die, with all our joys—is also an
    indication by the senses that this world is not all.  So, what is good for us is a question that
    arose in the beginning itself. The good is not merely the good of this world, which is only
    a relative good because that which appears to be good now may not be good tomorrow.
    Also, even now, the idea that something is good is not complete because the relativity of the
    character of the apparent goodness of a thing is due to the cause that is behind the appearance
    of this goodness, and that cause is completely out of our vision. The reason why we feel
    satisfaction through the contact of the senses with objects is not known to us. We know only
    the result, but the cause of it is not known. Some mysterious action takes place, like the
    operation of a person controlling puppets in a puppet show. We see only puppets moving,
    and we enjoy the play, not knowing that somebody is manipulating strings to control their
    activity. Likewise, we are not aware of what takes place when we contact things in the world
    which give us joy, because these are puppet shows. Maybe they look beautiful and we can go
    on enjoying them every day, but we do not know why they are moving. They are moving due
    to the action of somebody else. In a similar manner, the apparent goodness and joy of the
    contact of the senses with objects is due to the operation of a cause, of which we are totally
    oblivious.  Thus, ignorance is at the back of the so-called joys of life. If we know the cause,
    we will be disappointed in one second. There is a thief behind this joy that we appear to have
    in this world. That thief is trying to rob us of whatever energy we have. Sankaracharya, in
    one of his verses, tells us that there are many thieves in this world, and they are ready to
    rob us of all the treasures that we have got in the form of energy. Our energy becomes
    depleted through every form of sense contact, and we become old and withered and weak,
    and then perish due to a total exhaustion of the energy quantum of our personality. We may
    say in this sense that the senses are deceivers, but philosophically there is another aspect
    which makes us give them some credit also, when they tell us that all things are not well.
    That all things that glitter are not gold is seen by the dissatisfaction that follows. Whatever
    be the position that we hold in this world, whatever be our wealth and property, we will feel
    the sting of the fear of losing it one day or the other, so even when we possess it we are
    aggrieved by the possibility of being robbed of it by the time process. Therefore, sorrow is
    the beginning, sorrow is the middle, and sorrow is the end, say the sense organs, together
    with the so-called poisoned nectar that they feed us in the form of sense contacts. So goes
    the great lecture of Suka Maharishi to the varied questions of Raja Parikshit, which is the
    introduction to the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, a wondrous scripture which every
    one of us should read.

    End of Discourse - 1


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #3 on: September 10, 2016, 12:52:04 PM »
  • Publish
  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 2

    THE  PROCESS  OF  CREATION


     If any scripture of the Hindus can be compared with the Bible, it is the
    Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. It consists of twelve books, the first nine
    of which are something like the Old Testament, and the Tenth, Eleventh, and
    Twelfth can be compared to the New Testament. In the earlier sections—the first
    nine books—we have a cosmology of the whole of creation, and practically the
    history of mankind as conceived from the point of view of a religious interpretation
    of the process of creation. Suka Maharishi placed before Raja Parikshit a picture of
    the Cosmic Being, through whose Being, through whose Person run all the levels of
    existence—seven realms above and seven realms below, from Patala to Brahmaloka.
    Having described this wondrous structure of creation through every level which
    one has to pass in the process of spiritual evolution, Sri Suka now turns his attention
    to the possibility of self-purification through the worship of the lesser gods, who
    operate through every level of creation as the fingers of the Almighty working everywhere. 

    The gods in heaven cannot be counted, even as the fingers of God cannot be counted.
    They are like infinite triangles that can be drawn on the canvas of space, all which
    have a base and an apex, the apex connecting the relationship between the two points
    at the base, representing the perceiver and the perceived, the subject and the object,
    in a transcendent presence called the adhidaiva. The process goes on rising, one above
     the other, until the Supreme Person is reached. Thus, the gods in heaven represent
    the different layers of superintending authority in the levels of creation, and one may
    take them all together at one stroke for a total meditation on creation in its entirety,
    or each one of them can be taken separately for the purpose of concentration.

    For instance, Suka Maharishi says: brahma-varcasakāmas tu yajeta brahmaṇaḥ patim
    (S.B. 2.3.2). A human being has various desires, aspirations and longings. Every longing
    can be fulfilled by adoration of a particular divinity. If you aspire for radiance in your face,
    energy in your personality, and lustre in the whole of your being, then meditate on
    Brahmanaspati, who is the abode of all lustre; if you long for knowledge, enlightenment,
    wisdom, meditate on a person like Lord Siva; if you want health, vigour of personality and
    long life, offer your prostrations and adorations to Surya, the resplendent lord of the skies;
    if you want mental peace, balance of feeling, concentrate your mind on the moon as identical
    with yourself; if you want a warlike energy and strength in your person, meditate on Skanda,
    the generalissimo of the gods; and if you want to be free from every kind of obstacle along
    your successful approach in life, pray, offer your adoration to Ganapathi, or Ganesha Bhagavan,
    who is the remover of all obstacles.

    But having said all these things, Suka concludes by giving his final opinion: akāmaḥ
    sarva-kāmo vā mokṣakāma udāra-dhīḥ, tīvreṇa bhakti-yogena yajeta puruṣaṁ param

    (S.B. 2.3.10). Infinite desires can be fulfilled by infinite adorations of different varieties,
    summoning the angels in heaven in different ways, which are the upasanas as mentioned; but
    if you want nothing or want all things at the same time, then your heart should be devoted to
    the Supreme Narayana who is the mokshadata—the giver of liberation.

    The condition to attain Narayana is that we want nothing or we want everything at the
    same time, because wanting everything is equal to wanting nothing. The trouble is that
    we want only certain things, and not all things. No one can humanly long for all things in the
    world at the same time. But why does the mind make this discrimination in asking for things?
    Why does it ask only for little things? Here is the trouble with human nature: it wants, but it
    does not want everything. But in the condition of moksha, liberation, we have to either want
    everything or not want anything. Akamah means one who has no desires of any kind;
    sarva-kamo va means one who has desires for all things at the same time.
    Moksha-kama udaradhih—whose intent is on liberation alone; such a person
    has to worship the Supreme Purusha. That is the Great Person who superintends the whole
    creation—the Father in heaven, if we want to call Him so.

    This way of instruction by Suka Maharishi continues through the Second Skandha, or the
    Second Book, of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, and the same subject is continued in
    the Third Skandha where an elaborate description of the creational process through Brahma
    is described. This description of the coming of things from the supreme Creator as we have it
    in the Srimad Bhagavata practically tallies with modern findings of the process of evolution.
    The Bhagavata does not say that God created man in the beginning. There was an evolutionary
    process, as conceived in scientific circles—namely, God created the Earth and the heavens, as
    it is said in the Bible, for instance, but He did not create man immediately.

    Here is a little departure in the story of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. There is the vast
    ocean, the vast Earth, the entire physical universe before us—sun, moon, stars, all things. God
    created vegetation first. The plant kingdom manifested itself in the process of evolution. In this
    context, a question arises: Did God create all things at one stoke with a fiat of His will, or did He
    allow things to grow gradually from lower to higher species in a systematic manner? Both seem
    to be a valid answer in this connection. It is something like what goes on in the dream world. Do
    we suddenly dream mountains, rivers and things in our perception of dream, or is there a gradual
    perception of things from one stage to another? We can say both are equally valid. We fall into
    sleep and suddenly begin to dream, and the entire picture of the dream world is before us as if
    it has been created at one stroke. In that manner, we may say that the universe was created by
    a fiat of God by His will which He announced: “Let there be light”—and there was light. That is all.
    One word of God is enough, and the whole thing is manifested.

    But after having created this total with the fiat of His will, there is no objection to the idea that
    the process of evolution took place gradually, because the theory is that creation is a cyclic process.
    It is not a sudden emerging of things that did not exist earlier. It is not that God created the world
    from nothing. We may say that, in some way, God does not create things Himself, as the sun does
    not create the problems of life, though without it no movement can take place here. God is responsible
    for the evolution of the potentials that existed during the conclusion of the previous cycle—
    called mahapralaya, the dissolution of the cosmos after one hundred lives of Brahma, the creative
    principle. 

    The one hundred lives of Brahma is something difficult to imagine in one’s mind. There are four
    cycles of time, called Krita Yuga, Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. Kali Yuga, which is the
    time through which we are passing now, is considered to be the worst of times because there is
    conflict everywhere, which is why it is called Kali, which means quarrel. There is quarrel everywhere
    in this particular time of our life in this world. This period of Kali is supposed to range for about four
    lakhs twenty thousand years (420,000). Double that time is the duration of Dvapara Yuga. Treble
    that time is the duration of Treta Yuga. Four times the duration of Kali Yuga is the duration of
    Krita Yuga. When these fourfold cycles of such long duration revolve one thousand times, it is
    one day of Brahma; and that length of one thousand cycles of similar duration is the night of
    Brahma. These cycles constituting the day and night of Brahma make one full day of Brahma,
    and Brahma lives for one hundred years. Calculating Brahma’s lifespan is like calculating the
    distance of the stars—so many light years, and much more than that.

    This creation lasts as long as the life of Brahma continues. When the hundred years of Brahma
    are over, there is cosmic dissolution. All the world will become liquid, as it were; there will be
    cosmic waters. But the question will arise, what happens to the individuals, people like us,
    when everything in creation is dissolved during dissolution? Do we attain liberation? No, we do
    not attain liberation even if the whole world is dissolved, because liberation is freedom from
    desires of every kind. A mere physical dissolution of things does not mean the dissolution of
    mental desires. Just as sleep is not the end of the day and is only a commencement of the
    next day, in a similar manner, this cosmic sleep at the time of dissolution is a universal cessation
    of all activity but not a liberation of the forces of individualities. They will all be dissolved into a
    seed form of subtle potentiality when the universe dissolves after such a lengthy period of
    time— namely, one hundred years of Brahma, the Creator. And then there is creation once again.

    The process starts in a similar pattern as it was in the earlier creation. The pattern is the same,
    but the details are different. The mould is cast forever, but the souls inhabiting these moulds vary
    according to the various stages of evolution in which they find themselves. That is to say, everyone
    has to pass through every species of creation. One has to be a mosquito, a frog, a snake, a boar,
    a lion, an elephant, a cow, a bull, and every blessed thing. They are moulds, or patterns of
    individualities, into which the mental construct—or the souls, we may say—are cast, so that the
    moulds permanently stay as they are, but the contents inside, the rulers there, differ at different
    stages of evolution, just as a particular house can be occupied by different people. The house is
    the same; it does not change, but today someone occupies it, and tomorrow another person
    occupies it. In the same way is the yatha purvam akalpayat (R.V. 10.190.3), says the Veda:
    As before, so creation starts once again. 

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
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    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #4 on: September 11, 2016, 11:42:12 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 2

    THE  PROCESS  OF  CREATION


    The reason why there is such a degree in the process of evolution is that every
    species is given a chance to assert itself. No one can be considered as superior
    or inferior in this process; everybody is good enough. A tree is as good as a lion
     for its own purpose. We cannot say that a lion is superior to a tree; that comparison
    is not allowed anywhere in the scheme of creation. Even an insect has its own soul,
    and the ant’s insistence on the right to survive is as important as the elephant’s
    insistence on the right to survive. We cannot say an elephant is better than an ant.
    No such comparison can be made.

    There are supposedly eighty-four lakhs (8,400,000) of species through which every
    soul has to pass; and we may say, as human beings, we have passed through these
    and become human beings, which is a great achievement. Manushyatvam durlabham
    is the adage of the ancient masters: It is difficult to be born as a human being because
    we have to cross these stages of all the lower species in order to be endowed with the
    prerogative of being born a human. If we read the Jataka stories of Buddha’s previous
    lives, we will find this interesting account of what Buddha was in his earlier times. He was
    everything—every kind of animal, a cannibal, a thief, a lecherous man. Buddha was
    everything at one time or the other, and there was nothing that he was not. He passed
    through all these stages of human nature until he assumed a position of human attainment,
    of Buddhahood. Likewise is the case with all individuals who are going to be Buddhas—
    who are on the way to the achievement of it, in some degree or the other.

    There is no double promotion in the process of evolution; every stage has to be passed
    through. Everyone has to work hard, and everyone has to work in the same way as
    everyone else, and achieve it by effort. This is the rigidity of the law of the universe, where
    justice is meted out to every person without any kind of partiality. A tree has to be a tree,
    a snake has to be a snake, a frog has to be a frog, and an elephant has to be an elephant.
    Whatever one is, one has a right to exist. The right to exist is the prerogative given by
    God’s ordinance that no one can destroy another living being, because each one has a right
    to exist. That is the important point in the evolutionary process. In every stage, we find
    that all stages are equally important. Every stage is a level of reality—a kingdom, we may
    say, a kind of principality or empire which is inhabited by citizens of that particular stage,
    and all those citizens are as valid as citizens of any other realm.

    We consider human beings as everything. We think of peace in the world—world peace.
    Generally, as human beings, we only think of peace for humanity, and not for lions and snakes.
    We do not think of their peace, as it is not our intention. We do not want peace for any animal
    or insect in the world; our attitude is that they can take care of themselves. We have roundtable
    conferences only for the peace of mankind because man can think only as man, and he cannot
    think as any other species.

    We are to give justice to everybody, but that is not possible because of the insistence of the
    personality of each individual. A snake cares only for itself, and it can strike anyone who comes
    near it. It does not think that all are equal. It is not possible for even a human being to think
    that all are equal, because the insistence of the body and the survival instinct of the particular
    personality—the shape into which one is born—is so strong. But justice is meted out by the
    judiciary of the cosmos, and that judiciary has an eye everywhere and knows all things that are
    taking place. A snake is respected in the same way that a saint is respected; there is no difference.

    But for us it is horrible to hear all these things. Is God as affectionate towards a snake as
    He is towards a saint or sage? The point is, there is no comparison of  one level with another
    level. We have passed through that level, and we were snakes once upon a time. Would
    we have liked to be killed when we were snakes? We loved ourselves so much that we would
    have liked to continue as cobras because it is ‘me’, it is ‘myself’, it is ‘I’. The snake does not say
    that it is a snake; it says that it is ‘me’. Similarly, the human being does not say, “I am a human being.”
    The human being says, “I am ‘me’, and you cannot interfere with me.” The insect also says,
    “You cannot interfere with me.”

    But no particular species can consider this vast concept. It is not possible because together
    with the justice that requires a vaster vision of all things in the world, there is an indomitable
    pressure from inside us to mind our own business and not care what happens to others. But justice
    is not like that. God’s vision is allpervading and sees all things equally, in every way— with one eye
    only. God does not have many eyes. The many eyes that we speak of in the Visvarupa are actually
    only one eye, like the many rays of the sun constituting one energy.

    So is the process of creation which is described in the Third Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata
    Mahapurana, which Brahma himself narrates to Narada on his particular request as to how things
    came to be at all—again the same question as to what is good for mankind, or what is good for
    anybody. To this question, Sukadeva answers by these analogies given through various stories
    in the Skandhas of the Bhagavata.

    Incidentally, we have to say how the Bhagavata came into being at all. It was written by
    Krishna Dvaipayana Vyasa, the great sage, after he completed writing the Mahabharata and the
    seventeen Puranas. It is said in the beginning of the Srimad Bhagavata that after having
    completed the Mahabharata, the great epic into which every knowledge has been pressed
    into service by the wise Vyasa, he felt that something had been left out and he had not completed
    his work, and he was disturbed by this ‘something’ which he could not properly comprehend.

    At that time Narada came and asked, “What is the problem? Why are you looking despondent?”

    Vyasa replied, “I have written everything conceivable on dharma, artha and kama in the
    Mahabharata, yet I feel that something has been left out. I have to complete my mission,
    but I cannot properly picture what it is that I am expected to do.”

    Then Narada said: yath ā dharm ā daya ś c ā rth ā muni- vary ā nuk ī rtit ā ḥ, na tath ā v
    ā sudevasya mahim ā anuvarṇitah
    (S.B. 1.5.9). “You have not sufficiently glorified God
    in the Mahabharata. This is the defect of your work. You were busy with the narration of the
    epic—heroes, characters, and their vigorous opposition among themselves. You described
    the war in a mighty manner, but you have missed one thing. You have not adequately paid
    your honour, your homage, your tribute to the Almighty Creator of all this. In the Mahabharata
    epic, you have not expressed your love for God sufficiently. You have placed before people
    all the rules and regulations, but man cannot live only with rule, law and regulation. He also
    wants love. God is not merely a judge; He is also a parent, a father and mother. You have
    always considered God as a judge, as a terrifying person sitting at the top of creation and
    dispensing what is due to people. Maybe God is that, but He has a very kind and affectionate
    heart, which point you have missed in the Mahabharata.”

    The glory of God is the subject of the Srimad Bhagavata. How can the glory of God be described?
    Is it possible for any mind to think what greatness God is? Whatever we say about Him is like
    a shadow in comparison to the radiance of the sun of the Supreme Being. Whatever we lack in
    our personality and find inadequate in this world, we seem to place it in God. We consider the
    opposite of all the defects of this world as the qualities of God. Everything is dying in this world,
    so we say God is deathless; everything is finite in this world, so we say God is infinite; everything
    is found only in one place in this world, so we say God is everywhere; everybody knows only
    certain things in this world, so we say God knows everything; everybody has a little strength,
    so we say God is all-powerful. That is to say, we are unable to positively describe what God
    Himself is, so we describe God as a counterpart of the defects and inadequacies that we see
    in creation. What other things can we say about God? Nobody has seen Him. We have only a
     feeling about Him, which we arrive at as a conclusion, as an inference from the circumstances
    of life and the difficulties we are passing through.

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!
    « Last Edit: September 11, 2016, 12:00:23 PM by ShAivI »

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
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    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #5 on: September 12, 2016, 12:47:36 PM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 2

    THE  PROCESS  OF  CREATION


    Thus originated the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. It is the outcome of the
    samadhi consciousness of Vyasa. The Bhagavata is called the Samadhi Bhasha.
    Vyasa’s language of samadhi is the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. He has given
    us the final word, and there is nothing more to say. It is said that after Shakespeare
    wrote King Lear, he had nothing more to say; or some say that after Shakespeare
    wrote The Tempest, he threw his magic wand into the ocean as there was nothing
    more to write. Some such thing is also told about the Srimad Bhagavata. When
    Vyasa wrote the Srimad Bhagavata, there was nothing more for him to tell humanity.
    All knowledge is comprehended within this scripture. Vyasochhishtam jagat sarvam
    is an old saying: Whatever has been spoken from the mouth of Vyasa is all the knowledge
    about the world. Whatever we find in the world, we will find here; and whatever we cannot
    find here, we will not find anywhere else. That is the vastness and the depth of Vyasa’s
    writing. 

    The Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana is written in a very intricate style of Sanskrit. It is not
    like the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Mahabharata or the seventeen Puranas, which are
    written in simple Sanskrit. Anyone who knows some Sanskrit will understand what these
    are about, but even a Sanskrit scholar cannot understand the language of the Srimad Bhagavata.
    It is highly intricate, very involved, and is scholarship raised to the height of perfection. It is said,
    therefore, that the Bhagavata is the test of the scholarship of a person. If we want to test
    the depth of a person’s scholarship, we have to test his knowledge of the Bhagavata. The verses
    are so intricate, so deep and pregnant with meaning, one thing meaning many other things—
    particularly certain sections like the Veda-stuti in the Tenth Skandha, which is a very intricate
    prayer that the Vedas offer to the Almighty, the meaning of which cannot be known on a
    casual or a grammatical reading of the verses. There is wisdom thrust into every verse
    of the Srimad Bhagavata. Mere Sanskrit knowledge will not do to understand it. It requires
    a commentary and an exposition in order to know what each section says.

    Vyasa wrote the Srimad Bhagavata in this manner, and Suka is the mouthpiece of this
    great gospel. Vyasa taught the Bhagavata to his son Suka, which he reiterated to Parikshit
    on that particular occasion mentioned already. 

    The whole of sadhana practice, in all its varieties, is described in the Srimad Bhagavata.
    The difficulty in the practice of sadhana is that it is an attempt on our part to reach God.
    That is sadhana. The way in which we have to conduct ourselves inwardly and outwardly
     in order to attune ourselves to the requirement of God’s presence is our sadhana. True sadhana
    is really difficult because it is an adjustment of our personality to the requirements of God’s
    justice, and nothing can be more difficult than this prospect before us. As I mentioned, God’s
    justice is incomprehensible. It involves the varieties that He has created in the world, all of
    which are taken into consideration at the same time. When God thinks, He thinks all things at
    the same time. It is not like a human being thinking, with one thought after the other. Hence,
    the adjustment of personality in the practice of sadhana to the requirement of God would mean
    an adjustment to the totality of the structure of creation and the rising of the spirit of our total
    personality in this adventure. It is not merely thinking, feeling or understanding that is going on
    in sadhana; it is the rising up of everything that we are into a focus of direct action.

    I was reading a book that was presented to me, entitled Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
    I went through that book and found it is so interesting, and it gives us the whole technique of
    sadhana. ‘Zen’ is a Japanese word for meditation, which is dhyana in Sanskrit and chan in Chinese.
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—you will be wondering what kind of subject this is.
    The complicated structure of the motorcycle consists of various parts, but usually we are not aware
    of their existence. We only want to push a button, sit on it, and then ride. But how this button
    works, how the motorcycle is running, how many parts are involved in it and their cooperative,
    harmonious activity, with so much affection—can we imagine the total action taking place through
    the multifarious parts that constitute the motorcycle? The maintenance of it involves, equally,
    a great attention paid to each and every part—cleaning every nut and bolt, and so on, to perfection,
    in the maintenance of a motorcycle. Our body may be compared to that motorcycle. Every little
    thing that we think, feel, act, understand, and are, is important for us. We cannot ignore any part
    of our personality. Everything is beautiful.

    Zen considers everything as beautiful. When we sweep the floor, we are not doing a dirty act.
    It is a great art of perfection, neatness; and the broom is an object of attention, not simply a
    thing about which we can be callous. If we wash a vessel, it is a great art of attention in which
    we are engaging. So is the case with every action, whether it is cooking, preparing tea or offering
    anything to a guest that comes—a great art, great perfection, great beauty, and great totality.
    Everything is wonderful; this is Zen’s conception of all things in the world. Even a leaf on a tree,
    even a twig that is moving, all are beautiful. The twig is moving in the breeze, how beautiful! The
    leaf is moving, how beautiful! The sun is shining, how beautiful! The river is flowing, how beautiful!
    The mountain is standing, how beautiful! Why not say it is all beautiful, instead of saying it is all
    stupid? Zen does not accept that things are stupid.

    Likewise, in the practice of sadhana there is no stupid thing in this world. Even our thoughts are not
    stupid; they have to be taken care of as our own children. We may have naughty children, but it
    does not matter, because they are our children. All children, even of the same parents, are different—
    one can totally differ from another in many respects—yet, they are to be taken care of as a single
    total in the family unit. In a similar manner are the ways in which we have to conduct ourselves
    in relation to the world. A little attention is to be paid to every thought that comes to the mind.
    Manana is only this much. If a thought comes, adore it, worship it. “My dear child, what do you
    want?” Why has this thought come to you? Give it what it wants; it will stop crying, and will go.
    But if you tell the thought, “Go, you idiot! I don’t want you,” it will come back yelling with greater
    force. Therefore, no thought should be brushed aside as unwanted, because it is our child. It has
    come through our brain, and we are throwing it away. It arises because of a necessity. It will not
    come unnecessarily. We should understand that necessity by paying careful psychoanalytical
    attention to it. All thoughts are our thoughts, not somebody else’s, so we cannot reject them
    unless we reject a part of ourselves, which cannot be done. Yoga is not a rejection of any particular,
    but an inclusion of all things in a total whole, with a beautiful vision of all their existences, just
    as in Zen. That is sadhana. 

    The Bhagavata Mahapurana is a total beauty, and not an admixture of tiny pieces thrown together
    higgledy-piggledy. The Srimad Bhagavata says that it is the complete structure of the body of
    Bhagavan Sri Krishna. We cannot say that the body of Sri Krishna is made up of useless little parts.
    It is all living radiance amalgamated into a total whole of perfection and wondrous light that was
    Sri Krishna’s body, and that is embedded into the Srimad Bhagavata by the thought of the
    samadhi of Vyasa Bhagavan.

    So, the sadhana of the Srimad Bhagavata is a divinity operating within us in terms of the divinity
    that is pervading everywhere. We may say that sadhana is God within us seeking God without,
    or we may say that it is God within us seeking God Who is everywhere. For that, we must be
    conscious of everything that is happening anywhere as being part and parcel of our relationship
    with the fraternity of humankind—not only humankind, but of all species and all levels of creation:
    Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka. At one stroke
    we assert our citizenship of all the levels of creation, and the gods become our friends. The
    denizens are ruled by divinities, and these divinities who are protecting the very quarters of
    creation will protect us, says the great scripture. We are not friendless and helpless in this world.
    The quarters of heaven, the very horizon dominated by a god, is ready to help us.

    So goes the variety in this description of the story of creation. It is not merely a tale that is told
    to us for our cajolement, but a great meaning introduced into our practical life. We shall see this
    in the lives of some of the great saints depicted in the Srimad Bhagavata, such as the stories of
    Jada Bharata, Dhruva, Prahlada and others—and, finally, the life of Bhagavan Sri Krishna himself,
    with which the Srimad Bhagavata consummates.

    End of Discourse - 2


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!
    « Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 12:01:51 PM by ShAivI »

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #6 on: September 13, 2016, 11:59:29 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 3

    KAPILA’S  INSTRUCTIONS  TO  DEVAHUTI


    In the Third Book of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana we have an elaborate
    presentation of the instructions given by Maharishi Kapila to mother Devahuti.
    Everyone should read this wondrous conversation between Sage Kapila and
    Devahuti for the variety of themes dealt with in this connection. Among many
    other things which are very important from the point of view of a sadhaka,
    the emphasis that Rishi Kapila lays here is concentration on God as the Supreme
    Person. The concept of God as a Person is pre-eminent in all religions. We cannot
    but conceive God as a Great Person, Whose limbs have to be the objects of our
    concentration. The minute details of this process are described by Kapila in these
    chapters.

    In every religion, we will find that God is conceived as a Person—whether it is the
    Father in heaven, Allah, Ahura Mazda, or Narayana, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva. Whatever
    be the nomenclature of this Great Divinity, the idea behind it is the Personality of God.
    The structure of human individuality is such that it cannot but feel the necessity to
    encounter the Ultimate Beingas a Person, because the devotee expects a response from God.
    The heart of the devotee does not feel comfortable with the imagination that God is a
    transparent, ubiquitous pervasiveness which includes the devotee also, so that the possibility
    of response between the devotee and God is not well defined.

    For instance, we hear in the Old Testament that the Jews had a covenant with God. They
     would deal with God as if He was their caretaker, their well-wisher, and He would fulfil all
    their requirements. The very feeling that such a covenant with God is possible arises due to
    the conviction that God is such a Person with Whom we can have concourse. 

    The principle of devotion to God emphasises this aspect of a Person, but not like a human
    person, which is mortal in its nature. This is a metaphysical Person, inconceivable to the
    ordinary mind, the deathless Personality of God—the Mahapurusha, as we have it described
    in the Purusha Sukta of the Vedas. The very name Purusha suggests the idea of the Great
    Person.

    Also, we should be satisfied and happy during the time of meditation. It is one of the conditions
    of successful contact with God. We cannot satisfactorily place ourselves before God Almighty
     with a sense of fear of Him, as if He is a terror in front of us and we do not know what He will
    do to us. The conviction of the devotee is that God will always do good, and His response is
    not always so uncertain that it causes insecurity in the heart of the devotee. We reach out to
    God and approach Him for succour because we feel certain that He will help us, and He will
    not harm us. We cannot conceive Him like a universal magnetic field, by touching which
    we do not know what reaction will follow. There is a confirmation in the heart of the devotee
    that only a good thing will follow.

    That is the reason why God as a Supreme Person is considered as magnificently beautiful.
    It is a great art presented before us, an attraction which satisfies not only the mind, the
    feeling and the heart, but even the sense organs which seek the perception of beautiful form.
    That is how Maharishi Kapila describes God as the Marvel of marvels. We also have this type
    of description in the vision of Narayana that was granted to Brahma, partly in the Second Book
    and in the early part of the Third Book of the Bhagavata. God is always considered as a
    divine protector, a parent—a father and mother. The feelings of satisfaction, affection, and
    aesthetic completion go together in our worship of God. This is the reason why in every religion
    God is considered as a Supreme Person.

    We also have in our scriptures the description of the Mahapurusha, Purushottama. Ato’smi
    loke vede ca prathitaḥ puruṣottamaḥ
    (B.G. 15.17), says Bhagavan Sri Krishna in the
    Bhagavadgita. We cannot describe Him in any other manner except as Purushottama, the best
    of all purushas. Here the word ‘purusha’ does not connote a male being, but means an
    inclusiveness of all particulars, bereft of the distinction of male and female. We cannot say
    whether God is male or female, because that majesty is so complete that we cannot describe
    God section-wise or partially in terms of social connotations.

    How does Maharishi Kapila describe the majesty of God, so that we may contemplate on Him?
    Yesterday I mentioned the Zen technique of attention paid to minute particulars of anything
    which becomes the object of concentration. Here is a similar description of meditation on every
    minute part of the body. The visualisation of God rises gradually from His feet to the cosmic
    apex of His head, which is all-pervasive. There are Sanskrit stotras which are called Vishnu
    Padadikeshantavarnanam—or, in a reverse way, Vishnu Keshadipadantavarnanam. From the
    conceived hair of the Supreme Person down to the feet, and in the other order, from the feet
    to the Supreme head with His hair, is a kind of vipasana meditation of a mysterious type,
    taking the mind from top to bottom and from bottom to top. We are looking at God from head
    to foot in all His finery, completeness, beauty, ability and omnipotence.

    Because of the magnificence and the might of God, the mind may not be in a position to
    conceive the whole of Him in one stroke. Even when we look at an ordinary individual, we cannot
    visualise the entire person at one stroke. We see only some part of the person for the purpose
    of our practical activity, and concentration on every limb is not done, generally speaking. But in
    order to attract the attention of the mind to the beauty and perfection in every part of the body
    of God, it is said that everything is madhuram. Adharam-madhuram—everything is sweetness,
    like sugar candy, where we cannot say that any part is not sweet.

    In the case of an ordinary mortal, there is a distinction made between the functions of the head,
    heart, lungs, feet, hands, and so on, but in the case of the Mighty Person, such distinction is not
    made. Any part is as good as any other part. We cannot say that His feet are inferior to His head,
    as no such comparison is possible in the case of God’s Personality. His limbs are described for
    the purpose of meditation. Every part is capable of doing the function of any other part. This is
    how we have it in the Bhagavadgita and in the Veda. Sarvataḥ p ā ni-p ā dam tat sarvato’kṣiś
    iromukham, sarvataḥ ś rutimal loke sarvam ā vṛtya tiṣṭhati
    (B.G. 13.13): Every part of His
    body is eyes and ears, every part is mouth, every part is feet, every part is hands. He can work
    with His feet, not merely with His hands; He can see with His toes and speak with His nose,
    because every function is an attribute of every part of God. It is not a limitation of concept as
    in our own personality where one organ cannot know the function of another organ. There, every
    organ is all organs because God is All-in-all.

    Vishnu Padadikeshantavarnana is the subject of this description for the purpose of meditation:
    Beautiful are Your feet—resplendent, radiant. Rays of sunlight emanate from His toes—not merely
    a dazzling light before which we have to close our eyes, but a mellowed honey-like flow which is
    at the same time sweet and satisfying. Anything that proceeds from God is beautiful and sweet.
    If He speaks, it is beautiful, sweet words; if He thinks, it is beautiful, sweet thoughts; if He acts,
    it is beautiful, sweet action; if He blesses us, it is sweet blessing. There is nothing but sweetness
    in His case. And this sweetness is not a quality like the quality of sweet objects. It is the essence
    of God Himself. 

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!
    « Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 12:01:31 PM by ShAivI »

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    Re: THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #7 on: September 14, 2016, 12:06:16 PM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 3

    KAPILA’S  INSTRUCTIONS  TO  DEVAHUTI


    One of the specialties of the Srimad Bhagavata is that it highlights the sweetness
    of God rather than His majesty and omnipotence. In the Mahabharata, for instance,
    there is special emphasis on the greatness, the power, the potency, and the ability
    of God as the incarnation Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Here, in the Bhagavata, that is not
    taken into consideration preeminently, as in the case of the Mahabharata where Vyasa
    always presents Lord Krishna as a fearsome personality before whom everybody has
    to bow, and no one can take advantage of him. Even kings come down from their
    thrones at the very sight of him, as he is a fear to everyone and nobody can stand
    before him. This is how the figure of Bhagavan Sri Krishna is presented in the Mahabharata.
    But here in the Bhagavata, God is not to be feared. He is a source of joy, madhura.
    In the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana the loving character of God is emphasised
    everywhere, in all the Skandhas, right from the beginning to the end. 

    The reason is that in our meditations we require a total absorption of ourselves in
    God. It is not enough if only our intellect is illumined by the clarity of perception of
    the omnipotence of God; it is also necessary that other faculties in us, such as
    feeling and aesthetic sense, should also be satisfied. Usually, the mind of man cannot
    conceive such a completeness of God. Can God give us everything? It is said that
    He can. But our frailty does not feel itself competent to accept this possibility of everything
    being possible for God at all times, because we do not believe that He is a mother. We
    always believe that He is a judge whose dispensation can be for or against. But a mother’s
    judgment is not against, it is always for. In a similar manner, in the Bhagavadgita and also
    in the Srimad Bhagavata, Bhagavan says, “Whoever loves Me, I shall love him abundantly.”
     Many characteristics of God are involved in this concept.

    Now, coming to the point of meditation on God as the Supreme Person, we have to see
    how we can visualise Him in our presence as a mighty inclusiveness—a Person standing
    before us in all glory and perfection. We require a little bit of imagination and the power
    of will to concentrate like this. 

    We say that God created the world. The Bhagavata does not deny this fact that God created
    the world because the mind of the human individual cannot but accept that God created the
     world. We cannot violate our own sense of feeling. The Bhagavata does not expect us to
    violate our own feelings and acceptances, and takes them as they are. And like a good
    schoolmaster taking the student from the level of his own standard, the Bhagavata gradually
    takes us from our own standard of incompleteness and finitude, and the needs incumbent
    upon this finitude, to another level. 

    All the parts of this personality are equally distributed systematically, beautifully, like an
    artistic presentation. We have no occasion in the world to see beautiful things in such a
    complete manner. We have a sentimental perception of beauty which is valid for some time,
    but it does not persist for all time. Nothing that engulfs us in its beauty for all time, under
    any circumstance, is available in this world. That is available only in God, who is Supreme
    Beauty. Inasmuch as we are not accustomed to perceive such beauty in the world, we find
    it hard to conceive God in that perfection. This is why there is struggle in the
    beginning of the attempt at meditation. The mind gets revolted by the concept of perfection. 

    The beauty should be perfect, as incomplete, imperfect beauty cannot attract. But we have
    not seen perfect beauty anywhere in the world. Every beauty is imperfect; it has a flaw behind
     it, which we always ignore for the time being, for practical purposes; and that which is ignored
    will come up one day or the other and tell us that our concept of the beautiful object is not complete.
     But here, it is not like that. Nothing is hidden; it is open beauty.

    Thus, Maharishi Kapila takes us gradually from the various parts of the Supreme Person to every
    other part. We can look at His head, His eyes, His nose, His hands, His chest, His whole person.
    What do we see there? We see the whole cosmos embedded in Him. We are not looking at an
    extra-cosmic Person standing on the top of the world, with His feet on the Earth as if the Earth
    has no connection with Him. This Mighty Person, called the Visvarupa, includes all the creation
    that He is supposed to have made. In the Visvarupadarsana we find all the worlds rolled up in
    one mass. Ihaikasthaṁ jagat kṛtsnaṁ pasy ā dya sacar ā caram (B.G. 11.7): “You can see the
    whole universe here,” says Bhagavan in his Visvarupa.

    Hence, the mind cannot feel the necessity to get distracted or to go in some other direction.
    We may not feel at that time, “I am contemplating an extra cosmic Supreme Person seated
    in heaven, and I have left the Earth which also seems to have some value for me.” These values
    which are supposed to be in this world are included in this Supreme Magnificence, because
    God is not merely a transcendent creator, He is also an immanent material out of which the
    whole universe is created. Abhinna-nimitta-upadanakaranatva is the nature of God—that is,
    the unity of Being is the material cause as well the instrumental cause of creation. A potter is
    only the instrumental cause, and not the material cause, of the pot because the material is
    the earth, the clay, out of which it is made. But here, the material cannot be outside God. The
    timber, the beams and the support of this world are made up of God’s Person Himself. In the
    great Skambha Sukta in the Atharva Veda, we have a question: What is the timber out of which
    the house of God is built? What are its beams; what are its pillars; what is the structure? The
    answer is that the pillar, the beams and the timber that are used are made of God only. That is
    the answer of this great Skambha Sukta: the structural pattern of God is the substance of the
    world also.   

    So, in this great Person you find the world of your dear delight. All your delights are embedded
    there. All the honey that you can think of in every flower of the world, you will find there in that
    Universal flower of completeness. You will also find all your relatives there, if you want to see them.
    Your friends will be there; your treasure will be there; your property will be there; you yourself
    will be there. Can you imagine God in this fashion? “Difficult it is,” says Maharishi Kapila, because
    the mind’s attachment to lesser things is so poignant it does not easily release itself from their
    clutches. 

    In one place, Maharishi Kapila says, “Who is there in all creation free from total attachment to
    the finite objects of the world except Narayana, the great rishi who is supposed to be abiding in
    Badrikashrama? Except Him, who can resist the temptations of life?” In all the creations of
    Brahma, who is free from attachment except Narayana Himself? He is Tapomurti, whose
    incarnation is incidentally described in the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana, and there is
    also a reference to Nara-Narayana in the Mahabharata.

    In Brahma’s court, when all the divinities were seated, two persons rushed across without
    even paying attention to Brahma and the audience. How would you feel if two people suddenly,
    unceremoniously, crossed through the audience when you were holding a conference and large
    number of people were seated? Would you feel it is all right? People were surprised, and
    wondered who these two persons were. Brahma alone knew, and to the query of the gods
    seated there in audience, he said, “These two are Nara and Narayana. They do not have any
    concern for me or for any one of you. They have risen above common perception. The power
    that they wield is more than the power of the wind, the sun and the moon.”

    This dual force of Nara-Narayana is in Badrinath. In the Mahabharata there is a story about
    them. There was a king called Dambhodbhava, who wanted to conquer the whole world. He did
    not want to leave anything unconquered. He extended his kingdom to the shores of the ocean,
    and there was no king whom he had not vanquished. But his egoism did not feel satisfied, and
     he wanted to conquer more.

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
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    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #8 on: September 15, 2016, 12:24:56 PM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 3

    KAPILA’S  INSTRUCTIONS  TO  DEVAHUTI


    He went to Brahma and said, “I have conquered everybody, but still I have the
    desire to conquer more. Is there anyone whom I have not conquered? Tell me,
    so that I can conquer him also.”

    Brahma wanted to tease this egoistic king, and said, “There are two persons
    whom you have not yet conquered, and you may go there and see if you can do
    anything to them.”

    “Oh! Is it so? Let me know who they are,” said Dambhodbhava.

    “They are Nara-Narayana. They are in Badrikashrama. You can show your strength
    to them,” replied Brahma. “I will conquer them,” the king said. He went to Badrikashrama
    with a huge army, and told Nara-Narayana, “I have come to seek battle.” 

    Nara and Narayana replied, “This is not the place for battle. We are rishis. We are calm
    and quiet people. We don’t require any disturbance here, and you should not come and
    speak to us in this manner.” 

    “But I have been told by Brahma that you are capable of meeting me, and I want to
    have a battle with you,” said the king. 

    Again Nara and Narayana said, “This is not a proper place for battle. We do not fight
    with anybody.”

    The king again persisted. Then Nara and Narayana took a little piece of grass and let it
    off, and it shot like a piercing arrow through the eyes, the chest, and every limb of the
    king and of every soldier, who were thousands in number. They cried in agony. They did
    not know whether they were alive or dead. 

    The king prostrated before Narayana and said, “Please withdraw this curse upon us.
    I made a mistake, and I accept that I am defeated by you.” 

    Then Nara withdrew the astra, and the king and the army left.

    The very thought of these Maharishis is a purifying tapas for us, an uncontaminated
    perfection of tapas force. “Except for them, who is free from any kind of desires?”
    says Maharishi Kapila. This is incidental to the main subject. 

    The main theme is concentration on the Mahapurusha, for which, first of all, we have
    to equip ourselves with the characteristic of feeling that we have had enough with
    everything in this world. If we feel that we have not had enough of this world, this Person
    cannot be an object of our meditation. A sense of ennui and a feeling that we do not require
    anything else should take possession of us. We had a surfeit of all things in the world.
    A person who is defeated by the world cannot go to God. We have to conquer the world first;
    it is a snare placed before us. We have to pass through that net that is placed before us,
    and overcome it. This is the battlefield, actually speaking, in which we are not to be defeated.
    We have to win victory in this field of battle of the Mahabharata, which is taking place in the
    form of this very Earth itself in front of us. So, unless we have conquered the temptations of
    life, we will not be able to have an attraction for God. This is also very marvellously described
    by Maharishi Kapila. I am not going through all the details of it, due to shortage of time.

    There are obstacles which we cannot imagine in our life. I mentioned that there are levels
    of creation— Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, Svarloka, Maharloka, Janaloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka—
    and while we pass through all these levels of creation, we have also to encounter the citizens
    of these various levels. We have to make friendship with them. The higher we go, the greater
     is the beauty that we see. The Earth has only crude beauty and a crude capacity to satisfy,
    whereas in the other levels there is subtle power everywhere; and as we move higher and higher,
    we will find the capacity to satisfy ourselves becomes more and more. The sense organs,
    which glut in the beauties of the world, will be engulfed by another beauty which they cannot
    contain, and the eyes may not be able to fully comprehend the grandeur of satisfaction that
     is available in the higher worlds. 

    These are described to us in great detail in an allegorical fashion as the Amrita Manthana, in
    another Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata. Amrita Manthana is the churning of the ocean by
    the gods and the demons in order to acquire nectar. Both good people and bad people want
    to be immortal; they do not want to die. So is the case with the Devas and the Asuras who,
    in order to become immortal, wanted to drink the nectar which would rise when the ocean was
    churned. When they churned the ocean, at the very outset they found it brought forth the opposite
    of what they expected. What they expected was one thing, and what came was something else
    altogether. The expectation was for nectar, but poison came first.

    At the beginning of the attempt of spiritual practice, the sense organs feel a deficiency and an
    incapacity of an incomparable nature. There is a dark cloud hanging in front of us, and light will
    not be there in the earlier stages. The reason for the darkness in front of us—the opposition of
    ugliness and terror at the very outset—is due to a reaction set up by the dissatisfied senses
    which have not been given their fill by the objects of sense. The poison, therefore, is created
    by a circumstance of repulsion between the sense organs and the actual things which exist
    in the world. That repulsion has to gradually cease by facing it completely.
    We have to face that condition.

    Our attempt at spiritual practice is not a smooth movement as if on a paved road. There is
    opposition from the world. In the beginning, it will be opposition from human beings only.
    Afterwards, nature itself will oppose. That is the second stage of opposition, and it is much
    greater than the problems created by people in this world. When nature itself has a feeling
    that we are trying to overcome it, it will present a phenomenon which is difficult to describe.
    First it will be an arena of tremendous temptation, and then an arena of war, threat and terror,
    in various forms.

    This dual feeling which the gods and the demons had when they churned the ocean is actually
    the churning of life itself; that itself the ocean. Our whole life is like a sea before us whose essence
    has to be extracted by the churning rod of our own mind in concentration. Within us are the gods
    as well as the demons—the Jekyll and Hyde, as they are called. They join together and want to
    have the best of things in the world; they churn life. The opposition from nature is the reason
    why there is a feeling of discomfiture in the beginning. A poisonous gas comes, as it were,
    which is all opposition from every source. There is body ache, mental ache, dissatisfaction,
    a feeling of distress in everything, and finally collapsing because of the power nature has, with
    which we have not properly acclimatised ourselves during our life in the world.

    We have not only to be friendly with human beings, but we also have to be friendly with nature.
    We cannot oppose it under the impression that everything is well with us. There are laws of
    nature which are to be obeyed so that they become harmonised with the structure of our own
    being. If that has not been done, there is opposition one day or the other. Nature keeps quiet
    because our opposition to it is not very strong, but when we are bent upon it, it takes up its cudgels—
    and then we have poison before us.

    However, briefly speaking, by this churning of the ocean both by the Devas and the Asuras—the
    divine forces and the evil forces in us, both the positive and negative—they find not the nectar.
    At least fourteen gems come up one after the other, each greater than the previous, so that in
    the attraction for these wonderful gems we may completely forget the very purpose of our churning.
    As I mentioned, the higher forces are more beautiful, more attractive than the lower ones, and
    these are actually the gems coming up. Fourteen obstacles from the fourteen levels of creation
    will come. Both forces want to drink the nectar that finally emerges, and so there is a war going
    on between the positive and negative forces in our own selves.

    Until the end of time, we will find there is opposition between cosmic positivity and cosmic
    negativity. The grace of God is described here in the form of the descent of Mahavishnu in a
    form which fed the aspirations of the divine forces, and dispersed the evil forces. Nectar was
    drunk by the gods, who are the aspirations for the greatness of God in us. This is the allegorical
    story of the Amrita Manthana in the form of an epic poem described in the Srimad Bhagavata.

    This is, of course, connected with our experience in meditation on the Supreme Mahapurusha,
    in which we have to persist day in and day out. We have to keep the picture of this Mahapurusha
    before us always. If the mind cannot visualise this picture, we should at least have a painted picture
    of the Virat Purusha in front of us. If we go on looking at it every day and concentrate our mind,
    we will be able to energise our mind to the capacity of concentrating even without a support such
    as a picture or a framework, and visualise the Cosmic Being Himself as the Great Person ready to
    bless us with all His glory at any moment of time. Such meditation is the theme of this wondrous
    description of Maharishi Kapila to Devahuti, who was his own mother. 

    End of Discourse - 3


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
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    Offline ShAivI

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    Re: THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #9 on: September 17, 2016, 04:50:21 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 4

    THE  STORIES  OF  SIVA  AND  SATI,  AND  OF  RISHABHADEVA  AND  BHARATA


    The Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana is filled with glorious stories of all the gods
    and divinities. That is why the Bhagavata is considered as a god by itself. It is a divinity
     in its own scope. To have the Srimad Bhagavata in one’s house is to plant God Himself
    on the altar of one’s residence.   

    In the Fourth Skandha we have the glorious katha of Siva and Sati, which will strike us
    with wonder and consternation.

     When Brahma was about to create the world, from him the four Kumaras—Sanaka,
    Sanandana, Sanatana, Sanatkumara—were manifested for the first time.

    The moment they were born, Brahma told them to assist him in creation.  The Kumaras
    said, “We would rather concentrate our minds on the Supreme Being than engage ourselves
    in creation.”  Brahma was in a state of discomfiture at the total disregard that they
    paid to his request.

    He was annoyed, and anger burst through his forehead. But as these Kumaras were
    equally powerful due to their centralisation in God Almighty, this anger could not be directed
    towards them; and since Brahma could not swallow the anger, he released it. At that moment,
    a fiercely roaring being arose from his forehead, demanding an immediate abode for itself.
    It cried out. Then Brahma said, “Oh, Rudra!” Because it cried the moment it was born,
    it is designated as Rudra—one who makes roaring sounds, and yells and shouts.

    Brahma said, “Help me in creation.”

    Immediately this being created an endless variety of demoniacal creatures which were
    frightening even to Brahma’s eye.
     
     
    Brahma said, “Please stop your creation!” 

    “Then what shall I do?” asked Rudra.

     “I shall give you an abode. Go there, and keep quiet. Don’t do anything at all,” replied Brahma.

    Then Brahma named him Siva, Rudra, Bhava, and many other names, and also gave him
    the Shaktis; and Rudra, who is Siva, retired to Kailasa. He did not interfere with anybody. 

    One day, Brahma was holding his audience, and all the gods, including Siva, were seated
    there. At that time Daksha, who was also a progeny of Brahma, entered the hall. In honour
    of his great entrance into the hall, all the gods stood up in obeisance. But Siva did not get up.
    He remained seated, minding not the coming of Daksha. Incidentally, Sati, the daughter of
    Daksha, was married to Siva, so Siva was Daksha’s sonin-law. But Siva showed utter disregard
    for his fatherin-law and did not rise from his seat when all others stood up offering obeisance. 

    This enraged Daksha, who stood with uplifted arms and said, “Oh, you gods! Please listen
    to what I am saying.

    Here is an idiotic fellow seated in the audience of the gods. Shameless is he. He has no respect
    for anybody. He wanders about half-naked and lives like a beggar. To him I gave my daughter;
    what a mistake I have committed!

    Shame to all for having him in this audience!” 

    Daksha went on shouting like this for a long time, and all the gods shut their ears because they
    could not bear to hear it. Siva also heard all the abuses poured upon him by Daksha, but he did
    not utter even one word.

    He just walked out of the palace and returned to his abode in Kailasa, where he lived with Sati. 

    One day, Sati observed celestials travelling in their aerial cars.

    She looked up and asked them, “Where are you going?” 

    “You don’t know?” asked one of the gods, “How is it that you do not know?

    Your own father is performing a glorious yajna, to which he has invited all the celestials, and
    we are all going there. How is it that you, his daughter, do not know?”

    Sati was in great chagrin that an invitation had not been extended to Siva.

    She was disturbed that her father had ignored both her and Siva, but as he was her father,
    she told Siva, “I want to go to my father’s yajna.” 

    Lord Siva said, “It is not proper for you to go there.”

     “Why?” Sati asked. “Daksha does not like me.

    He has no regard for me, and therefore, you going there is not proper,” replied Siva.

    But Sati said, “No, he is my father.” “He may be your father, but he hates me, so you should
    not go if I am not going.

     I am not responsible for the consequences,” said Siva

     “What consequences? I shall take care of myself,” Sati told him.

     “I am telling you again, it is not good for you to go there. You will not gain anything by it,
    and this adventure will not end in anyone’s happiness. I advise you not to go,” warned Siva. 

    “No, I must go,” Sati insisted.

    “I don’t think I should send my attendants to take you there. It would be highly improper of
    me,” said Siva.

     “I shall go with my own attendants!” said Sati.  Sati collected all her attendants and marched,
    under the impression that she, being the divine daughter of this great Daksha, will be highly
    honoured in the midst of all the gods.

    With great expectations of glory before her, she went to the yajna and stood at the gate. She
    expected someone to come and receive her, but nobody looked at her. Daksha gave scarce regard
    for her, and for fear of Daksha, no other god would utter a word. Of course, her mother and
    associates came and hugged her, but she rejected their greeting, perhaps because her father
    was not concerned with her. She looked here and there.

    “What is happening? How is it that no one is receiving me?” Sati thought. Then she remembered
    the words of Siva. “I disregarded him, and came here. Now neither can I stand here, nor can
    I go back to him shamefacedly.” She expected somebody to come. Nobody came. Time passed
    like this, and the yajna was going on. The gods turned their backs to her. It was a very serious
    situation.

    Sati stood up, and loudly proclaimed in a ferocious language, “Due to the impropriety of this yajna
    where the great master Siva is not invited, it cannot be called a divine sacrifice when the chief
    divinity is not present. Fie upon all you gods! Shamelessly you have attended the yajna of this
    irresponsible Daksha, whom I no longer regard as my father. Siva is being disrespected.
    The two words ‘si’ and ‘va’ are sufficient to give salvation to people, and such a divinity is being   
    disregarded here. Is this a divine sacrifice? Are you gods? Have you any sense? Daksha did not
    invite Lord Siva, and you come and sit here at the feet of this terrible person whom I shamelessly
    called father. I am very sorry that I was born to him.”

    Sati sat down, with great sorrow burning her body. She sat in a state of yoga, invoked agni from
    within herself, and the yoga within burnt her. Flames came up and consumed her. All were shocked.
    What is this that has happened? They had nothing to say either this way or that way. All were
    wondering what to do. There was nothing that they could do, nothing that they could say. They
    were shocked, nothing but shocked.

    News reached Lord Siva. He could have opened his third eye and burnt everybody if he wanted,
    but he had something else in his mind. He pulled a hair from his head and struck it on the ground.
    A fierce giant rose up.

    “Order, master!” said the giant.

    “Go and destroy the yajna of Daksha,” said Siva.

    With the fierce retinue of Rudra, this giant called Virabhadra rushed to the sacrificial area of
    Daksha where all were seated, and when this fierce onrush of militant demoniacal forces entered
    the yajna, the ritviks, the priests performing the yajna, were frightened. They immediately invoked
    a counter force from the fire, which rose up by the millions and attacked Rudra’s retinue.

    There was a tussle between the two forces, but suddenly Virabhadra overcame all the opposition
    and severed the head of Daksha.  Rudra came to know all this. He was mad with rage. He ran,
    hugging the body of Sati, and rolled all over like a crazy person, as if he was dancing the final
    tandava of destruction before him. The whole world was terrified because nobody knew what
    he was going to do. He would not stand in one place. He ran from place to place—over the whole
    creation, as it were— holding Sati’s body, looking as if he was inebriated and had lost his senses.
    He was conscious only of the dead body of his Sati, and was moving fiercely like a whirlwind,
    like a tornado, like a tempest. 

    All the gods were frightened. They went to Lord Vishnu and said, “Please do something.
    Everything is in danger. He is not going to leave her body; and what he will do finally, nobody knows.”

    Then Sri Vishnu—Narayana—released his sudarshana chakra, which sliced Sati’s body into little
    pieces; and because of the ravaging movement of Siva, the pieces were scattered and fell in seven
    different places. It is believed that all the spots where parts of Sati’s body fell are shakti sthalas,
    and even today they are worshipped in various parts of India. 

    Then the gods, including Brahma and Vishnu, went to Siva. Vishnu greeted Siva and said,
    “Calm down. Please pardon this man Daksha. His behaviour was due to ignorance, and
    you should not punish an ignorant   person. Calm down. Bless him. Let him be allowed to continue
    his yajna. After all, he is a foolish person, and are you going to be so enraged at the foolishness
    of this man?” Then Lord Siva calmed down. But how could the yajna continue when Daksha’s head
    had gone? So a goat’s head was brought and fixed on Daksha, and he was enlivened to the person
    that he was. He immediately realised his mistake and prostrated— sashtanga namaskaram—before
    Lord Siva, and chanted the Rudra mantra, Namakam and Chamakam. Some people humorously say
    the mantra was made by uttering the sounds cha me, cha me, because goats make that sound.
    The yajna was completed. Brahma, Vishnu and Siva blessed the yajna, and everything went on well.

    Here, in the tradition of the pantheon of the gods according to the epics and the Puranas, Lord Siva
    stands pre-eminent. He is not an ordinary god. It is impossible to describe what kind of person he is.
    He is a person who wants nothing for himself.

    Lord Siva’s name also occurs in the Mahabharata.

    One day, when Arjuna was seated with Bhagavan Sri Krishna at the close of the day’s battle, Arjuna
    queried Krishna, “Master, may I ask you a question?”

    “Yes, ask,” replied Krishna.

     “When I was engaged in battle with Drona and Karna, I saw some vague being moving about, not
    touching the ground. It was sometimes visible, sometimes not visible. It had ashes on its body,
    a serpent around its neck, and a trident in its hand. I could not make out what it was. It was an illusion
    before me. At the time I could not speak about this because I was engaged in war, but I remember this
    incident now and want to ask you what it was that I was seeing there,” said Arjuna Sri Krishna said,
    “You are a blessed man to have that vision. It was Bhagavan Sankara himself, invisibly moving in the
    battlefield to help you. Otherwise, even with all your archery, with all your might and mane, with all your
    knowledge and power, do you believe that you can face people like Bhishma, Drona and Karna? They are
    all a hundred times stronger than you. Siva, in his compassion, came uninvited to bless you because of
    your goodness. He did not engage in battle, and did not come to wage war with the Kurus, but his very
    presence was enough to paralyse the strength of all the Kurus. The odour emanating from his body was
    enough to cow down everybody and make them lose all their strength. Such is the glory of Siva, the
    great Sankara Bhagavan; and you had his darshan. Blessed you are, Arjuna! He is Ashutosh—immediately
    pleased. Ask, and it is given immediately. You did not call him, but he knew that you required help.
    Unsolicited, the great master, the great god, came to you. This is Tripurari, Mahadeva, Sankara, Rudra,
    Siva. He was in the air, moving about without touching the ground. His blessing is upon you.”  Here
    we have the central issue, practically, of the Fourth Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata—among many
    other things, into which we will not enter here due to paucity of time.

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    Re: THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #10 on: September 17, 2016, 12:09:00 PM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 4

    THE  STORIES  OF  SIVA  AND  SATI,  AND  OF  RISHABHADEVA  AND  BHARATA


    We turn to the Fifth Skandha, which engages itself in the description of cosmic geography,
    and describes the denizens of the various planes and existences. It is not the geography that
    we read in schools and colleges, but the cosmic geography of the planes of existence, all which
    is given in majestic Sanskrit prose. The whole of the Srimad Bhagavata is in poetry; but here
    the author, Bhagavan Vyasa, turns his attention to majestic Sanskrit prose, which is a beauty
    in itself. A hard nut to crack is that style of Sanskrit prose found in the Fifth Skandha of the
    Srimad Bhagavata.

    The highlighting katha in this Skandha is the stories of Rishabhadeva and Bharata. Rishabhadeva
    was a king who abdicated his throne and became an ascetic in the forest. The Jainas consider
    Rishabhadeva as their first Tirthankara because he lived like an utter renunciate who would not
    even wear clothes, which is the description of a Tirthankara in Jain literature. Digambara was
    the behaviour of this Rishabhadeva. Such was his austerity, such was the tejas that emanated
    from his person, such was the energy that was in his personality, that it is said that wherever he
    eased himself, that part of the earth would become gold. Wherever he went, people would run
    after him to find gold, and so he would hide himself. The fragrance of jasmine would emanate from
    his body, extending to distances of several miles, and wherever people smelled jasmine, they felt
    that Rishabhadeva was somewhere nearby. Such was his austerity, his yoga, his concentration on
    God Almighty, his meditation on the Supreme Bhagavan.   

    He had many sons. One of them was Bharata. Due to Bharata’s lethargic attitude, people used to
    call him Jada Bharata. Bharata was also a king and, like his father, decided to abdicate his throne
    and go to the forest for meditation. He did years of tapas alone in the jungle, meditating on the
    Mahapurusha, Purushottama, Narayana. 

    One day an incident occurred. There was the roar of a lion, and all the deer in the forest ran
    helter-skelter in fear. A pregnant deer jumped across a stream, and due to that frightened jump,
    she dropped her baby in the water. Bharata saw this, as he had come to take a bath in the stream.
    It was a little fawn. Anybody who saw it would take pity on it. He took it, tenderly caressed it, and
    loved it because it was such a tiny, simple, innocent living being. But it so happened that his attention
    grew more and more towards this little deer. Whenever it was absent or not visible nearby, Bharata
    would worry about what had happened to it, that some animal may devour it. So often and so intensely
    did the thought of this little deer occupy him day in and day out that, unfortunately, when he departed
    from the body, his last thought was of the deer. Due to this concentration on the deer at the time of
    his death, Bharata was born as a deer. 

    Yaṁ yaṁ v ā pi smaran bh ā vaṁ tyajaty ante kalevaram, taṁ tam evaiti kaunteya sad ā tadbh
     ā vabh ā vitaḥ
    (B.G. 8.6): Whatever thought one remembers or entertains in the mind at
    the time of passing, that is the state you will attain in the next birth, says the Bhagavadgita.
    The body is a concentrated form of the mind itself. It is a condensation of thought. The mind
    manufactures this body for the purpose of the fulfilment of its desires. The body is necessary
    for the mind in order that it may contact physical objects through the sense organs. Otherwise,
    the mind by itself cannot contact physicality. So, as if its only duty is to come in contact with
    pleasurable objects of sense, it manifests certain avenues of contact, called the sense organs.
    The desire of the mind in five different ways is the reason for the manifestation of the five different
    senses. When we look at an object, we want to see it again and again because of its deliciousness
    and its apparent capacity to fulfil our desires. We want to hear the sound that it makes, we want
    to smell its odour, we want to touch it, we want to taste it, and for this purpose several sense
    organs are necessary. This is how the drama of creation goes.

    This law operated even on the great ascetic Bharata. As a 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. The power of the mind, which is
    filled with desire, 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 fulfilling his wish. Hence, because of this
    law of compensation according to the intensity of thought, Bharata, due to his attachment to the
    baby deer, was born as a deer. 

    But due to the tapasya that he performed, in his deer life he remembered what had happened.
    He was not born ignorant of the past, as in the case of all people. The deer knew that it had
    become a deer due to some mistake in the operation of its thought. So, the deer was of a peculiar
    character, and not like other deer. For fear of attachment, the deer would not touch even a leaf
    of a tree. It carefully moved in the forest, touching not a twig, a leaf or a bush due to fear of
    becoming attached, as happened in its previous birth. In this detached condition, the prarabdha
    of the deer form ended one day. The deer died, and Bharata was once again born in the family
    of certain Brahmins. So he took three births in order to finally have his achievement.

    Because of the fear of attachment due to the lesson that he had learned, he would not utter a
    word in this birth. His parents sent him to school, but he would not learn anything, not even the
    letters of the alphabet. Whatever was told to him fell on deaf ears. They thought that he was an
    idiot who was shamefully born into a Brahmin family, as Brahmins are very learned in Vedic lore.
    They tried to teach him again and again, but he was so idle, and never responded to anyone,
    and would not say anything. They thought he was an idiotic creature, and wondered what to
    do with him.

    They said, “Go! Do some work,” but he would not do any work either.  “Okay, at least tend the
    cattle.

    Go! Graze the cows,” they said. He took the cattle to graze, and allowed them to go into other
    people’s fields and eat up all their crops.

    People were annoyed, and wondered what was wrong with him. 

    Then they said, “Don’t do anything. Go and sit there. Idiot! Don’t do anything.”

    But though Bharata would not utter a word, he looked very robust.

    He was filled with energy, but he did not want to use that energy because of fear of attachment.

    He had learned his lesson. So he did not want to say anything to anybody, and just kept quiet.

    Some dacoits who worshipped Kali—Bhadrakali— were looking for a human being to offer in sacrifice.

    They searched for a hefty, strong person, and they somehow found Bharata sitting quietly
    without saying anything.

     “Come on,” they said.

    He did not utter one word, and allowed them to drag him to the temple.

    They anointed him with chandanam, sandalwood paste, and garlanded him, and he still did not
    utter one word. Then the priest took the sword to behead him. Immediately, thunder struck.
    A bursting noise arose from the murti of Kali that they were worshipping, and a fierce-looking
    Devi rushed forward, grabbed the priest’s sword, and cut him down, and smashed everything.
    All the dacoits ran helterskelter.

    Even all this noise did not disturb Jada Bharata’s peace. He kept quiet. Let Kali come, let dacoits
    come, let anything happen, he did not mind anything. People ran away from that place, and
    he sat alone there. One day Rahugana, the king of the country, was passing that way on a palanquin
    carried by attendants.

    They wanted one more man to carry it and, seeing Bharata sitting there, said, “Come on.
    Will you help us?”  Bharata did not say anything.
     
    They got angry and said, “Carry the palanquin!” 

    Bharata did not utter one word. He had not uttered one word in his entire life, and would
    not say anything. Whatever happens, let it happen. 

    They put the palanquin on his shoulder and said, “Carry! Go!”

    He carried it, but he was not interested. He walked slowly, while the others were moving fast. 

    The king asked the palanquin bearers, “Why are you walking like this? Have you no strength? Move!” 

    The others replied, “We are not doing anything wrong.

    We are walking properly. But this new fellow is unable to walk. He is lethargic, and is moving like an ant.” 

    The king said, “Oh, Jada! Have you no sense? I am the king. I will hit you now. Go!” 

    This is the first time Bharata opened his mouth. Throughout his life he did not say anything,
    but when the king taunted him and said, “Jada, go! I’ll thrash you!” he opened his mouth and
    said, “What are you saying, King? You uttered the word ‘Jada’. Whom are you addressing?

    Are you addressing the five elements—earth, water, fire, air and ether? Are you scolding them
    that constitute the body of all individuals, mine as well as yours? When you say ‘Jada, go!’
    whom are you referring to? Is it the five elements? Or you are addressing the prana which is
     in all people and is all-pervading, and incidentally happens to be animating this individual body
    also? Or, are you calling the mind Jada?

    It is a part of the cosmic mind. Your appellation does not apply to anyone. Are you calling the
    intellect Jada? It is a part of the cosmic intellect. Are you calling the Atman within Jada? It is a
    part of the universal Atman. What is the language that you are using? Why did you utter these
    words? Whatever you said is empty words. Under the impression that you are scolding me, you
    have done nothing except blabber something in nonsensical words. Do you understand what you
    have said?”  When the king heard these words he was surprised, and understood that this was not
    an ordinary person. He came down from the palanquin, prostrated himself, and said, “O great sadhu!
    Bless me. I did not know who you are. If I have committed any mistake, please pardon me.
    Instruct me. Tell me who you are, masquerading as a human being. Perhaps you are some divinity,
    a god. I do not know who you are. Please tell me. I have made a mistake. Pardon me, again and
    again, O sadhu! Tell me who you are.”  Then the great discourse of Bharata is narrated in the beautiful
    language of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana. The whole world is compared to a forest, where
    animals like human beings are moving in search of their grub. This is a wild jungle. This entire
    world is compared to a forest where we can find anything anywhere, and also nothing anywhere.
    Ignorant, animal-like individuals lose their sense of propriety and do not want to know what the
    purpose of their existence actually is. They move in this forest like prowling tigers, like predators.
    This is to be properly understood. Do we think that the world is a pleasure garden? It is no such
    thing. It is full of thorns, a jungle which is to be feared. It is better that we get free of this jungle
    as early as possible.

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #11 on: September 18, 2016, 11:36:06 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse - 4

    THE  STORIES  OF  SIVA  AND  SATI,  AND  OF  RISHABHADEVA  AND  BHARATA


    Then the Skandha continues with the description of the whole process of
    creation—how the body of individuals is formed. The whole creation process is,
    in some ways, similar to the one we studied in the Second and Third Skandhas
    of the Srimad Bhagavata. The great wisdom of the structure of the universe
    and the power of the Supreme Being are described in this discourse called the
    Rahugana-Bharata Samvada in the Fifth Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata.

    There is also a beautiful story, called Puranjana Upakhyana. Puranjana was a
    king who was attached to the glamours of sense. He was caught up in the lure
    of maya and everything was beautiful for him, until it was time for him to depart
    from this world. I am not going into the details of this story now.

    Puranjana represents the caught-up individual who is deluded by the Disneyland,
    as it were, of this world, where we do not know what we are seeing. Everything is
    shining everywhere. We do not know what we are actually seeing. One thing is here,
    and the same thing is also somewhere else—like a magic show. There are certain
    shows where mirrors are positioned in such a way that everything is reflected everywhere.
    One thing is here, and the same thing is there. Wherever we look, we see only that.
    And we may hit our head against the mirror, thinking it is a passage.

    This world is also like that, where we hit our head against something under the impression
    that it is another thing altogether. We hug a snake, thinking it is a rose; we drink poison,
    thinking it is nectar; and we live in this body, thinking it is beautiful—whereas it is the
    ugliest thing that has been created by the admixture of the five elements. If the skin
    is removed, we will see the beauty of this body. Everyone will run away from a person
    who has no skin, and crows will eat the flesh. So, there is a point in saying that beauty is
    skin deep. Where is the beauty of a person who has no skin? Therefore, beauty is in the
    skin only. Is it not so? All is chaos.

    Such kind of confusion and ignorance pervades the whole world of creation, right from
    Brahma onwards. Wherever we go, we will find bondage. We will be caught either by this
    policeman or that policeman. We have no freedom anywhere. This is the kind of world
    we live in. Either we will be caught by dazzling things or we will be caught by dreadful
    things—but either way, we will be caught. It does not matter who catches us. “Such is
    the world. Beware of it,” said Bharata to King Rahugana. “It is a jungle, not a palace or
    an empire that you are ruling. You are a fool if you think that you are ruling an empire.
    You will perish one day, and everything will be lost. Nobody is going to continue to live for
    a long time in this world. Everything is passing, everything is passing, everything is passing.
    All is going to perish. Nothing will stay alive for a moment. This is the world in which you are
    reigning supreme as an emperor. Rahugana, understand what I am saying to you.” 

    Rahugana was enlightened. He again prostrated himself before this mighty master. And
    Bharata engaged himself in meditation on the Supreme Person, Purushottama, who is the
    saviour of all, who is the Moksha-data. Disregarding His presence, we move after the
    sense objects. We see the ensnaring, entangling presentations before our senses, and
    we get caught in them and have no time to think of the Mahapurusha, the Purushottama.
    It is His presence which gives light to all these presentations in this world. Minus Him,
    the world will not exist. He is the Satchidananda Svarupa behind the nama and rupa prapancha,
    and all this world. We pursue the shadows, which cannot be cast unless there is a screen behind
    them. We forget the screen, and we pursue the shadows. That is why we are going to attain
    nothing worthwhile in this world by the pursuit of external objects. All externality is a shadow
    cast by Universality. Universality is the True Being which is Satchidananda. When it is cast into
    the mould of the space-time process, it looks like objects of sense. They are only appearances.
    The objects do not really exist, just as the various figures that we see in a magic show do not
    really exist. It is a magical performance. Mahamaya is pervading everywhere, and the magician
    is Ishvara Himself, wielding His magic wand in His great art of creating worlds and worlds.
    We should not get caught. Like Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatana and Sanatkumara, we should be
    cautious of the existence of the great Purushottama everywhere. He is the Master of all creation,
    and knowing Him is our true salvation.

    Yad ā carmavad ā k āś am veṣṭayiṣyanti m ā nav āḥ , tad ā devam avijñaya duḥkhasy ā nto
    bhaviṣyati
    (S.U. 6.20): If you can roll up the whole space like a sheet of leather, then you can
    have peace of mind without knowledge of God.

    Tameva viditva’timṛtyumeti nānyaḥ panthā vidyate’ yanāya: The Purusha Sukta concludes by
    saying there is no way of crossing over this sea of samsara except by knowing Him who is the
    Purushottama. One crosses the domain of death by knowing Him. Knowing Him is being Him.
    They are not two different things. The knowledge of God is also the being of God, and therefore,
    when we know God, we be God, as it were.

    Such is the glorious story that we have here in the Rahugana-Bharata Samvada in the Fifth
    Skandha, and there are incidental stories of this type in the Sixth and the Seventh Skandhas
    also.

    End of Discourse - 4


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #12 on: September 19, 2016, 11:50:22 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 5

    NARADA  INSTRUCTS  YUDHISHTHIRA  ON  ASHRAMA  DHARMA 


    The Sixth and Seventh Skandhas of the Srimad Bhagavata are devoted entirely to the great battle that was waged between Indra and Vritra, and in this context we also have the story of Chitraketu. It is in the Seventh Skandha that we have a more detailed analysis of Ashrama dharma, which Narada recounts to Yudhishthira in the context of his question concerning the birth of Prahlada, ending with Narasimha avatara due the activities of Hiranyaksha and Hiranyakashipu, two children born to Kashyapa and Diti under queer circumstances. Narada’s instruction to Yudhishthira is especially on the dharmas to be followed in the Ashrama system of life. 

    From the birth of a child into this world onwards, there is a graduated building up
    of personality through conservation of energy at different levels of being. Taking for
    granted that a person will live for one hundred years, the first twenty-five years are
    supposed to be devoted totally to an ascetic conservation of the energy of the system,
    which prepares the person for future life. It is very important to know that the way
    in which we are brought up in early childhood, and the circumstances under which
    we lived in the family when we were very young, will affect us in old age. The treasure
    that we gathered up by the conservation of energy at an early age may keep us in good
    stead throughout our life; but if, as it happens in modern times, right from the beginning
    of a person’s life there is a tendency to dissipate energy through various channels of
    sensory agitation such as television, movies, nightclubs, drinking, smoking, and other
    things, there is a sacrifice of oneself for these so-called enjoyments. It is emphasised
    in the Manusmriti that life is not meant for enjoyment, it is meant for working vigorously
    for the attainment of freedom. The freedom that we expect in our life is, again,
    an achievement through a graduated process.

    If we do not believe that our life will continue for one hundred years and think that
    it may be less, we have to proportionately arrange the pattern of our life accordingly
    for the fulfilment which life intends. Study and intellectual training, building up of acumen
    through the gathering of knowledge in a Gurukula under a competent master, and purifying
    oneself in every way through prayer, meditation, japa, surya namaskara, and the service
    of the Guru under whom the student lives during these preparatory years, pave the way
    for the necessary apparatus required to live life later on.

    Many fortunate ones are born in favourable circumstances—in a family of good parents
    who are examples of good behaviour, good conduct, and who themselves are religiously
    oriented. We cannot find such parents everywhere. The conditions of life today have
    changed so much that one has to work hard to wean oneself from the distractions which
    come to us like an oceanic flood from all sides, in endless waves, through various media of
    expression. In a way, we may say that we are now living in a very dissipated atmosphere
    of the whole world. There is an externalised impulsion of energy for various types of contact
    which the senses seek in their attempt at enjoyment. It is not that one should not enjoy
    life or only suffer in life, but there is a period for it, there is a time for it, there is an occasion
     for it, and there is a way for it. Irrespective of consideration of these factors, if we think
    that we are born to enjoy from childhood itself, then we will pay the penalty for it by
    experiencing tragedies in later life. 

    Good company—the tutelage of good parents, good teachers, good guides, good Gurus—and
    a thorough study of good scriptures and textbooks that are contributory to increasing one’s
    mental, intellectual and physical energy, are what is required during one’s youth. It is called
    Brahmacharya Ashrama. These days, Brahmacharya Ashrama does not exist at all, due to
    the trouble into which one is cast right from the beginning itself through the web of problems
    of life arising from the very inception of one’s existence. 

    But anyone who is interested in the welfare of their own being, and knows what is good
    for them, has to remember that the pleasant is not always the good. We always like
    pleasant things, sweet things, and they attract our senses perpetually, so that the senses
    gather our energies and pour them outwards on the conditions of life outside; and if this is
    the habit that we form right from the beginning of life, we will have to reap the fruit of this
    misbehaviour towards the end of our life. It is not necessary that we must be bedridden in
    old age. That condition is imposed on us by the circumstances into which we are born and
    which we have introduced into our own selves by the desire for dissipation.

    We feel a great joy when we pour ourselves externally in love for power, in love for money,
    in love for enjoyments of various kinds, not knowing that this is not real pleasure because
    when the tension that is created in us—when the quantum of energy already existing in
    us—wells up like an elephant’s energy, it does not know what to do. Either it will go vertically
    or it will go horizontally. Like a river in flood, it can move in any direction.

    It is necessary that we should prepare a program of our life by which our energy quantum
    rises vertically, and does not move horizontally. Otherwise, it will be like a dissipated river
    flooding everywhere and destroying villages and persons. The vertical ascent of energy is
    the art of the Brahmacharya system. The energy rises gradually through the lower parts of
    the body to the upper part until the brain becomes brilliant, sharp, and able to catch everything
    very quickly.  These days, nothing enters students’ heads. Even if they are told something a
    hundred times, they do not remember it. But in earlier days it was not like that. Even fifty or
    sixty years ago things were much better, and students were very sharp, eager to study, and
    even though they always wished to stand first in the examination, they would not adopt
    dishonest means to get a certificate. Cheating was unknown in those days, but that attitude
     is now diluted. 

    If we, as students of spiritual life, are to ignore these externalities of dissipation and attraction,
    we have to somehow prepare ourselves to wade through this ocean of distraction. We cannot
    complain that this world is very bad, because we have been born into it and we have to pass
    through it. For whatever reason, we have been born into this world of certain conditions—good
    or bad, necessary or otherwise— through which we have to wade. This is why, from an early
    age through adolescence, there should be no external contact whatsoever, only an aspiration
    to grow higher and higher. 

    As I mentioned, the system of dharma does not deny the necessary enjoyments of life. There
    is a fourfold picture placed before us of the way in which we have to live, which is called dharma,
    artha, kama, ending in moksha. Artha and kama are not denied; they are part of life. It is not
     that we deny ourselves everything in life. It is a denial for the purpose of accumulation. The
    more is the renunciation, the greater is the acquisition. 

    In the next stage, which is generally called Grihastha, a kind of life is prescribed which is
    markedly different from the purely ascetic life of Brahmacharya through conservation of energy.
    Grihastha is the system provided for the utilisation of this energy. During the early years of
    Brahmacharya, the energy should not be utilised. It has been kept intact, totally conserved
    so that it keeps one brilliant not only in the brain, but also in the face, and that itself is a satisfaction.
    In the stage of Grihastha, permission is given for certain types of enjoyment and experience,
    coupled with duty. There is no duty for a Brahmacharin. The only duty is to study, conserve energy,
    and offer prayers. But the Grihastha has a double responsibility of the performance of duty, and
    also the acquisition of values that are permissible under those circumstances. 
     
    Now, a Grihastha does not necessarily mean a person with a wife. Even a person without a
    wife can be a Grihastha, because the peculiar connotation of Grihastha is the expression of an
    inner need through an external symbol. A wife is only a symbol of a pressure of internal need felt
    by oneself. As long as the need continues, the presence or absence of a wife does not matter. It is
    up to each one to understand what this means. The need for a kind of externalised living felt under
    given conditions of life leads to what we call the life of marriage, having a husband or wife, though
    that is not a contract that we have to undertake for the purpose of purely selfish individual
    expectations, but a joint action taken for the purpose of a parallel movement towards the
    ultimate freedom of life.

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #13 on: September 20, 2016, 12:06:28 PM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 5

    NARADA  INSTRUCTS  YUDHISHTHIRA  ON  ASHRAMA  DHARMA 


    It is immaterial whether we marry or not. It depends upon the need that is felt inside.
    Even in the Himalayas we may feel that we are a Grihastha because of the pressure
    that we feel inside. The external things, appurtenances, husband, wife, etc., are only
    symbols of forms of an inner connotation, a need that is felt inside us. What binds us
    or liberates us is the need that is felt inside. We are the makers of our destiny; we create
    our bondage, and we are also responsible for our freedom. No external aid can help us in
    this matter. But external aids are sometimes necessary, just as we require a pen to write
    a book, a plate on which to eat our meal, a glass for drinking water, a seat to sit on,
    and a bed to lie on. These are external forms of requirement necessitated by the needs
    felt inside, which otherwise cannot be expressed properly. If the need can be sublimated,
    the external appurtenances are not necessary.

    There are duties imposed upon a householder, apart from this justification for enjoyment
    in a controlled manner. The duty is to be of service to people. Social welfare, which is very
    much emphasised these days, is part and parcel of the requirement of a Grihastha life.
    A Grihastha is not a libertine who can do whatever he likes. It is, again, a life of austerity.
    Inasmuch as the duties control the enjoyments of life, all the experiences in that condition
    become spiritualised. Wherever duty controls experience, that particular experience gets
    spiritualised. Where we have no duty but only rights, there is an adverse effect produced
    by our experiences. This is a purely psychological secret into which we have to delve for
    our own welfare. 

    But it is not that we have to live this kind of life of social work and family existence forever.
    There is a time in everyone’s life when one feels that the world cannot give more than what
    it has already given. The wisdom of life acquired during the Grihastha period consummates
    in a maturity of experience which tells us that we have had enough of this world. The sense
    of having enough cannot arise unless we have passed through this world and experienced
    all the layers of provision that the Earth can give us, because a rejection of the world cannot
    give us an idea of the world. The world has to be conquered and made our own. It has to be
    befriended, and this can be done only by the experience of passing through the conditions of life.

    What the world is made of has to be understood; and we have to pass through all these structural
    essences of the world. Every experience of the world has to be passed through. There are gifts
    that the world can give, and it can also give sorrows. It is not that everyone is born only to have
    a cosy life without any kind of difficulty, as the problems, sufferings, sorrows, and the joys of life
    are the obverse and reverse of the same coin. No one can have only one side. It is not that
    we have to be always sorrowing throughout our life, nor also that we have to be enjoying throughout
    our life. One cannot be without the other; they exist as two sides of a single experience.

    A time comes when we feel that it is not necessary for us to expect anything from the world.
    It is not that the world cannot give anything to us, nor that we cannot take; but it is not necessary
    to take. We can become so mature that we are contented within ourselves. The contentment has
    matured into the ripe fruit of permanent experience, and then we live a life of what is generally
    called retirement. The life of retirement is not an idle life of sleeping; it is a further advanced
    state above the Grihastha, where the energy conserved and the potency that is inside is totally
    oriented towards a higher aspiration. The Grihastha does not have time to always sit in meditation,
    though he has to do that also for a certain prescribed time. But now, in a period where we retire
    from active life of social existence—contact with people of a social or political nature—we do not
    just lie down and say we are retired and have no work to do. The retirement is only from the
    distractions of life, not from the duties of life. That is to say, there is a higher duty than the duty
    of a Brahmacharin or a Grihastha, and this is traditionally designated as the Vanaprastha stage.

    In earlier days, people in the Vanaprastha stage would go to live in the forest, but that is not to
    be taken literally as a necessity. We have to be completely free from the entanglements of a
    household life. Here, the preparation starts for the utilisation of the conserved energy for the
    purpose of direct meditation. There was some kind of activity in the Brahmacharya stage, and
    more activity in the Grihastha stage, and now the activity that was earlier externally motivated
    in many ways becomes directed internally, and it becomes a mental energising process only.
    The Vanaprastha lives in his mind, in his thought, and not in his actions. In earlier stages, actions
    contributed a lot to the conservation of energy and the fulfilment of the duties of life, but now
    thought itself is enough; and one contemplates by gathering up all one’s energies on the great
    aim of life.

    Though the final aim of life is kept in mind even in the earlier stages, it is not brought into action
    directly on account of other circumstances through which one had to pass. But here, it is a direct
    entry into the consciousness of the higher values of life, where we befriend not merely human society,
    but we befriend the quarters of heaven—the gods ruling the horizon, the denizens of heaven.

    The meditational process that commences in the Vanaprastha stage begins with what is known as
    upasana, which is placing oneself in the juxtaposed context of what is called ‘nearness to Reality’.
    Nearness to Reality is possible not through any physical means, but through the mind only. The mind,
    when it is charged with the consciousness of the Atman, adjusts itself to the need to keep itself in
    harmony with not merely the physical Earth or human society, but even with the five elements—earth,
    water, fire, air and ether. The Vanaprastha contemplates not merely the world of people but the very
    elements that control all life. It is a higher meditation which is upasana on the whole of creation—God
    manifest as this world.

    It is called upasana because there is a devout pouring in of oneself to the objective, which is all
    creation itself. Various techniques of contemplation on this creational process are described in the
    Aranyaka portion of the Vedas, and the assiduous practice of upasana in this manner has to continue
    for a long time until the mind is able to concentrate on something still higher.

    What is that something that is higher? It will come gradually. In the beginning, we expose ourselves
    to coming in contact with the whole creation. The Grihastha has no time to do that because he has
    other duties. The Brahmachari is not concerned with it at all, as he is concerned only with the
    accumulation of energy and the study of the Veda, etc. Here is the time when we become a friend
    of all—sarvabhūtahite ratāḥ (B.G. 12.4). We are not merely a friend of people, but even the very
    elements will bend before us.  Upasana   

    Upasana in this form is very difficult because the mind has to expand into the arena of the
    performance of the five elements. We have to place ourselves in the context of all things in the
    world, so that we are not only sitting and meditating in one place; the five elements are meditating
    with us. It is mentioned in the Chhandogya Upanishad that the Earth itself is meditating. The position
    in the equilibrium and the precision that the elements maintain is itself considered as a meditation.
    The elements are not acting chaotically; a method is maintained. Whether it is sunrise, moonrise or
    sunset, or whether it is the ocean, the wind or anything else, everything is maintaining a maryada,
    or a norm of behaviour, so that they maintain the required harmony among themselves—into which
    the upasaka enters because the five elements are also the constituents of one’s own body and
    personality. There is a great cosmic meditation taking place, as described in the Aranyakas. The
    world itself is the object of our contemplation. 

    There is no chance of distraction of mind here if we have properly prepared ourselves from an
    early age, but if we have lived a very dissipated life until fifty or sixty years of age and then attempt
    this meditation, we will find that our mind will not concentrate at all because we have not given it
    time to prepare itself through the earlier conditions required during the previous parts of our life. It is
    necessary to remember that one’s whole life is a period of austerity, conservation, duty, and meditation. 
    Here, in these Aranyakas, the various upasanas are prescribed: how the cosmic prana can be meditated
    upon, how the cosmic mind can be conceived, how Brahma—the Mahat, or the cosmic intellect—can be
    brought into the focus of our attention, how we can intensely feel the unity of the parts of our physical
    body with the parts of the physical universe. This is the highest form of upasana that we can think of.

    to be contd......


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!


    You can make the world a better place by simply making yourself a happier person.
    If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours. Here's one to get you started
      :D

    Offline ShAivI

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    THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA
    « Reply #14 on: September 21, 2016, 11:54:13 AM »
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  • THE GLORY OF GOD: A SUMMARY OF THE SRIMAD BHAGAVATA MAHAPURANA

    Sri Vakratunda Mahakaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
    Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva-Kaaryeshu Sarvada॥

    Shaantaakaaram Bhujagashayanam
    Padmanaabham Suresham Vishwaadhaaram
    Gaganasadrasham Meghavarnam Shubhaangam
    Lakshmikaantam Kamalanayanam
    Yogibhirdhyaanagamyam Vande Vishnum
    Bhavabhayaharam Sarvalokaikanaatham

    OM SAI RAM ॥



    Discourse 5

    NARADA  INSTRUCTS  YUDHISHTHIRA  ON  ASHRAMA  DHARMA 


    There are also various other ways. This is a transcendental technique of the Aranyaka
    portion of the Vedas, but we have other devotional paths which can also be called
    upasana—such as contemplation/meditation on a form of God, or an ishta devata,
    as it is called, that we think is suitable for us. The ishta devata is a chosen deity. It may
    be the name that we give to our concept of God as a person pervading the whole world,
    or as a person seated near us as an image on our altar or a murti in a temple, as the case
    may be. In the earlier stages, we may require a physical form of the object of our meditation,
    and that could be a yantra, mantra, murti, image, idol, saligrama, painted picture or whatever
    it is, for the purpose of concentration. 

    There are also various other ways. This is a transcendental technique of the Aranyaka portion
    of the Vedas, but we have other devotional paths which can also be called upasana—such as
    contemplation/meditation on a form of God, or an ishta devata, as it is called, that we think
    is suitable for us. The ishta devata is a chosen deity. It may be the name that we give to our
    concept of God as a person pervading the whole world, or as a person seated near us as an
    image on our altar or a murti in a temple, as the case may be. In the earlier stages, we may
    require a physical form of the object of our meditation, and that could be a yantra, mantra, murti,
    image, idol, saligrama, painted picture or whatever it is, for the purpose of concentration. 

    The reason is, we have to divert our affection for life to the life of the Total. We love ourselves,
    we love our own life, but it is good that we love the Total Life which has bequeathed to us this
    personal life. If the Total Life is ignored, the personal life cannot be guarded. It is the security of
    the Total Life that gives us security here individually, because the Total controls individual existence,
    as the whole is inclusive of all the parts. We should not imagine that we can have everything that
    we want individually, irrespective of our concern for the world that is outside us. The world is not
    outside us, really speaking; it is ingrained into the very vitals of our energy. It is actually the warp
    and woof of our existence. The five elements, including the sun, moon and stars, all superintend
    our sense organs, mind, intellect, etc. Such meditation is called for through a gradual process. 

    In order to go on with this meditation, we have to take our ishta devata for our contemplation.
    Our ishta devata can be Rama, Krishna, Devi, Bhagavati, Narayana, Siva, Ganesha or whatever the
    case may be, or if we belong to another religious faith it may be the concept of Allah, Jesus Christ,
    Father in heaven, etc. Whatever it be, that concept has to be internalised for the purpose of upasana.
    We should think only that and nothing else, and believe in the protection that it can grant us. The i
    shta devata protects us, guides us, and enlightens us. It gives us security, and we feel happy with it.
    Some devotees hug the image of their ishta devata, wear it around their necks, kiss it, and feel that
    it is their beloved. It is truly that, because it symbolises the divinity that is pervading everywhere.
    Such kind of upasanas, to mention briefly, are the duties of a Vanaprastha. 

    But there is a still higher stage, called Sannyasa. It does not mean shaving the head, wearing a robe,
    and saying “I am a Sannyasin”. God is not afraid of all these rituals. It is a gradual rise from maturity
    to maturity. It is not that the Sannyasin is an old man, the Grihastha is youthful, and the Brahmachari
    is a little boy; these ideas must be cast aside. These stages are all forms of operation of the mind in
    various degrees of perfection. We rise from perfection to perfection. Every stage is a stage of
    perfection—only, one is a miniature form of it, another is a wider form of it, and it goes on enlarging
    its circle until it becomes total perfection.

    The Sannyasin is the apex of energy conservation and meditation, and it has nothing to do with shaving
    one’s head or wearing a particular cloth, which are only social requirements that have been imposed
    upon individuals for keeping abreast with the circumstances of present living. It is to be remembered
    that we cannot take our Sannyasa cloth to God when we enter Him; we go bare, as a centre of
    consciousness, without any cloth, without hair, without head, without anything. We know what will
    go when one emerges from this body, and that is what is important.

    The detachment that is associated with the life of Sannyasa is not a keeping oneself away from the
    things of the world, but a union with them. The union with everything looks like a detachment from
    them. This is something very curious to understand. When we are one with an object, we have
    detached ourselves from it at the same time—because we do not want it any more. The detachment,
    so-called, is nothing but not wanting it; and not wanting it is a condition which arises automatically
    when we are one with it. Just as we do not feel a desire to possess our finger, we do not want anything
    else at that time. 

    So, the life of Sannyasa is a wondrous concept of the perfection of the values of life, which is what
    Narada tells Yudhishthira in the Seventh Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata, wherein the upasana
    culminates into actual absorption. In the condition of Sannyasa, the meditation is not an upasana
    in the sense of being near an object of meditation, but becoming the object of meditation itself.
    That is the point that distinguishes Sannyasa from the Vanaprastha stage. The Sannyasin does not
    contemplate on something as if it is outside; he himself is that. The universe has entered him,
    and he himself is contemplating as the universe: I am what I am. In some Vedanta texts this is
    called ahamgraha upasana. The catching of the true ‘I’ is called ahamgraha. We have not been able
    to find this ‘aham’ because we do not know where this ‘I’ is really. We are under the impression
    that the ‘I’ is in the family, the ‘I’ is in the money, the ‘I’ is in the work that we do, the ‘I’ is in the
    body, etc.; but it is nowhere. It is in itself only. And that ‘I’ which, as philosophers call it, is the
    transcendental unity of apperception, has to be caught. It is the true light—atma jyoti. Jyotiṣ
    ā m api taj jyotis tamasaḥ param ucyate, jñ ā naṁ jñeyaṁ jñ ā nagamyaṁ hṛdi sarvasya viṣṭhitam
    (B.G. 13.17): That majesty that you are aspiring for is seated in your own heart, like the twinkling
    of a star. That star has to become a conflagration.

    So, the meditation of a Sannyasin is direct unified experience of consciousness with Reality. This is,
    finally, the catching of the Universal ‘I’ by the so-called individual ‘I’, in its attempt at unification of
    its ‘I’-ness with the Universal ‘I’. There are many ‘I’s in this world. You have an ‘I’-ness, I have an
    ‘I’-ness, and everybody is ‘I’. But these are empirical ‘I’s—physical ‘I’s, as it were, conditioned by
    physical bodies—and so it appears to us that there are many ‘I’s everywhere. But these ‘I’s are drops
    in the ocean of one single ‘I’, which is the ‘I’ of God, of the Universal Being. Catch it! Catch that
    Supreme ‘I’ which is inclusive of every ‘I’, as drops are included in the ocean. This Total ‘I’ is very
    difficult to attain or even conceive. Where is this Total ‘I’? It is the pure Universal Subjectivity, and
    is bereft of even a touch of externality. That is the Supreme ahamgraha upasana, meditation on
    the great ‘I’ of the universe— the Supreme Self, the Supreme Total, the supreme unified consciousness
    identified with the Supreme Being.

    Continuous meditation on That, and living for That, is called brahmabhyasa in the scriptures.
    Tat chintanaṁ tat kathanaṁ anyonyaṁ tat prabodhanam, eta deka paratvaṁ ca brahmābhyāsaṁ
    vidur budhāḥ
    (Pan. 7.106) is a verse from the Panchadasi, and also from the Yoga Vasishtha.
    Tat chintanaṁ: Think only That. Whatever be the circumstance of your life, wherever you are placed
    and whatever you may be doing, do not forget this. Think only That, think only That, think only That. 

    Tat kathanaṁ: If you meet people, speak about That. This is called satsanga. Do not talk nonsense,
    such as “How are you?” “How is the climate?” Or, “It is raining.” Instead say, “How are you
    progressing in spiritual life? What is your meditation technique? Please tell me your method, and
    what obstacles you have faced. I will also tell my difficulties.” This kind of concourse among students
    of meditation is satsanga, truly speaking. Tat kathanaṁ: Speaking only about that. Anyonyaṁ tat
    prabodhanam
    : We enlighten each other. You enlighten me, I enlighten you. We are brothers on
    the journey, having the same goal, so we ask each other how we are progressing. I will tell you my
    difficulties, my problems, and you tell me your problems, so that we can find a method to solve them.
    This kind of anyo’nya prabodhana is also a part of great spiritual practice. Eta deka paratvaṁ
    ca brahmābhyāsaṁ vidur budhāḥ
    : Depending only on That, and depending on nobody else.
    “You are everything.” “Thou art all.” Or, as in the ahamgraha meditation process, we may say,
    “I am the all.” 

    This is the duty of a Sannyasin. And a Sannyasin is the benefactor of all people at the same time.
    The Grihastha is also a benefactor of people; he serves people, gives food to them, does the pancha
    tapas in various forms, feeds guests, and the pancha mahayajnas are his duty. But the Sannyasin,
    the true meditator, is a spiritual hero who does service to people by the thought arising from his mind.
    Whatever such a powerful hero thinks, it will materialise. If he thinks, “May there be peace,” it shall be
    there. Why not? Such is the power of the conserved energy that whatever we need will come automatically.
    We need not say, “Bring it to me.” It will come because the mind is identified with that which it requires.
    Truth triumphs always, and the truth being our identity with this total ‘I’, it shall triumph always.
    In the beginning, we may feel we are defeated, that nothing is coming. Like the poison that arose in
    the beginning of the Amrita Manthana though nectar was expected, we may also have to face this
    Amrita Manthana experience and swallow the poison, which cannot be avoided. But we should persist
    and see that the treasures of life are slowly opened up through our own personality.

    Aneka-janma saṁsiddhas tato y ā ti par ā ṁ gatim (B.G. 6.45): Sometimes many births have to be
    taken to achieve this goal, or to even have this idea in the mind. Even having an idea of it is to be
    considered a blessing, as this idea itself cannot arise in a buffalo, a donkey, or a corrupt individual.
    But you are devotees of Swami Sivananda and are here, hearing these things. These ideas are in
    your mind; you are accepting them and making them your own, which is itself a great blessing for
    you. You must have taken many births to come here and listen to these things, and to be devoted to
    the great ideals of Gurudev Swami Sivanandaji Maharaj. 

    Though you have taken many births, and it is possible that many of you will take more births, always
    expect the best. When you take an exam, do not have the attitude that you will come in second.
    Aspire for first place, and if you do not attain it, well and good; it is left to the mercy of God. But ask
    for first place only. “I want the best and the highest, and I want only that and nothing else.” Perhaps
    your determination will mature and bear fruit. You are the maker of your destiny. You are what you
    are always, and nobody external will help you. 

    This is the Ashrama dharma of the totally detached universal being of Sannyasa dharma, all of which
    is beautifully described with various details and analogies by Narada to Yudhishthira in the Seventh
    Skandha of the Srimad Bhagavata Mahapurana.   

    End of Discourse - 5


    May BABA BLESS us and our family abundantly !


    OM SAI RAM, SRI SAI RAM, JAY JAY SAI RAM !!!

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