Wednesday, July 3, 2013
After Several Lifetimes
(Below is a continuation of the post Removing Fear)
Lord Krishna says, ‘Tesham jnani nitya-yukta eka-bhaktir vishishyate. Priyo hi jnanino 'tyartham aham sa cha mama priyah. Udarah sarva evaite jnani tv-atmaiva me matam’. (7.17)
Lord Krishna says, ‘There are four types of people who are devoted to Me. The miserable; the one who seeks material fulfilment; the inquisitive (jigyasu) and the wise (jnani). Of these, the wise (jnani) one is most dear to Me because his devotion is one-pointed towards Me’.
Similar are the people who come to the Divine for fulfilment of some material desires. At that time they show great devotion.
During examination time, all the students keep going to the temple daily (to pray for good results). Once the exams are over, they forget where the temple is. Then all that they can see are the cinema halls! (Laughter). Such people are self-centred and come for a purpose. Even the inquisitive one turns to the Divine for the purpose of satisfying his own inquiry (into knowledge). The inquisitive one is also centred on himself which is why there is something lacking even in his devotion towards the Divine.
But this is not the case with the wise (jnani) one. The one who is wise is contented, and the devotion of a person who is always contented remains constant, unique and one-pointed. Whether he has some desires to be fulfilled or not, his devotion does not change, it remains the same. Whether there is joy or sorrow, his devotion towards the Divine remains the same. Whether he gains something, or does not gain something, his devotion remains unaffected.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘Such a wise one is always connected to Me, and I am always connected to him. One who is always connected to Me is truly wise, and the devotion of such a wise person is always constant and one-pointed. Such a wise person is very dear to Me, and I am most dear to him. He is not interested in anything other than Me. For him, I am everything. And when I am so dear to someone, they too become most dear to Me.’
‘Udarah sarva evaite jnani tv-atmaiva me matam. Asthitah sa hi yuktatma mam-evanuttamam gatim’. (7.18)
He says, ‘This does not mean that the other people are not good. No, all of them are good, and they are the best among mortals. Whether one comes to Me out of misery, or for fulfilment of material desires, or even out of inquisitiveness, they all are the best and most virtuous. Do not think that they are worthless’.
Usually, when we consider someone as the best, we consider everyone else to be worthless.
This gradually turns into a habit for us. If someone is good, then the others have got to be bad. Which is why Lord Krishna immediately adds, ‘All these four types of people are the best. So do not criticize any of them. Do not think of any one of them as less than the other.No matter how a devotee may be, whether he is devoted due to misery, or for fulfilment of his material comforts, or out of inquisitiveness for knowledge, all are best. But there is no difference between Me and the wise one (jnani). He and I are one and the same. Such a wise person receives the highest deliverance, that of uniting with Me’.
This is no difference between God, Guru and the Atman (Self). So there is no difference between Vasudeva (another name for Lord Krishna) and a wise person. Lord Krishna says, ‘A wise (jnani) person is like a mirror. You can clearly see the reflection of your own mind in a wise person. You can see your true Self reflected in a wise person. So remember to see Me in a wise person and know him to be Me’.
‘Bahunam janmanam ante jnanavan mam prapadyate. Vasudevah sarvam iti sa mahatma su-durlabhah’. (7.19)
After passing through many lifetimes, one becomes a jnani (wise one). Such wise souls who believe in Me, they come to Me after several lifetimes (meaning after passing numerous times through the cycle of birth and death). Such great souls, who know and believe everything to be a manifestation of Me alone and nothing else, are indeed very rare’.
Many of you must be thinking, ‘I wonder how many times more I will have to take birth to realize this (truth).’
I tell you, to have even come here to listen to this knowledge you have already crossed through many lifetimes. Just know that you have already gone through many lifetimes, and you are here at the right time. Do not think the opposite, ‘Who knows how many more births I would have to take to receive this knowledge?’
Change your perception about this right now.
We can change our perception about anything at any time. Even to realize God, this is all that we need to do, simply change the way we see things. You do not need to do anything else.
You cannot realize the Divine through effort. The Atma Tattva (the soul or self) cannot be realized through efforts. For that, you should simply relax and know how to let go.
Now how are you going to let go when your mind is attracted to so many beautiful things. Many times, you want to let go of your bad habits but you are not able to let go. When you are not able to let go of bad things that bring you pain and misery, then how will you let go of the good things that attract you?
When you are unable to let go of those that bring misery as well as pleasurable things, your mind remains unsteady. This is why Lord Krishna says, ‘Balam balavatam ch-aham kama-raga-vivarjitam‘. (7.11)
‘Wherever you see strength, know that to be Me. I am the strength of the strong. Wherever you see radiance, know that radiance to be Me. If you find someone beautiful, know that the beauty is also Me. If you see an intelligent person, know that intelligence to be Me’.
Beauty is that which you cannot renounce and neither can you possess it. If you try to possess it, you will not be able to. It is impossible. In fact when we try to possess beauty, then that gives rise to many problems.
So Lord Krishna says, ‘After several lifetimes, the wise ones come to me and seek My refuge’.
There are many levels of jnanis (wise ones). And many times, some wise people develop an ego which becomes the cause of their downfall. They think, ‘I am the most knowledgeable person. I know more than anyone else’. Such people appear to be wise for a short time, but soon they sink into ignorance.
This very thought, ‘I am so wise’, gives rise to ego. This is called Dur-ahamkaar (bad or misleading ego). And when one becomes egoistic about being very knowledgeable, then to come out of that is very difficult.
Such a mind-set is commonly seen among scientists and knowledgeable experts. When such people reach a certain level of knowledge, they think they know it all and do not listen to anyone else.
Lord Krishna says, ‘A wise person (jnani) who is also a devotee, who believes in Me totally, and who sees Me in everything in this creation is a Mahatma (a great soul)’. This is the difference between a Jnani (a wise person) and aMahatma.
One who is beyond the Mahat Tattva (a principle said to be subtler than the ego) is aMahatma. Just like the eight types of Prakruti – Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space, Mind, Intellect and Ego (referring to the eight material manifestations of the Lord’s Divine energies), the Mahat Tattva is even beyond the ego and it is very subtle.
One who has transcended the ego and has experienced the Mahat Tattva is called aMahatma. This is the difference between the intellect and knowledge. Knowledge is born from the intellect, but when it gets mixed with ego it turns into ignorance.Such a person begins to fall.
It is the ego about knowledge that is most damaging and which brings a wise person down (into ignorance).
Now who can go beyond such an ego? Only a devotee can go beyond. Being a devotee means being humble, simple and natural.
A devotee who is willing to learn even from a fool, who is willing to learn from a child, or woman, or a man, who is willing to receive knowledge from any source because he sees God in everything, is very rare to find. A Mahatma who sees the Divine in everything, is hard to find.
One who sees Vasudeva (Divinity) in the one who curses, and also in the one who praises, such a wise person who is capable of recognizing the inner self (rather than being misled by outer appearances and expression) is very rare to find.
This does not mean you fall at the feet of children and call them, ‘Vasudeva! Vasudeva!’ You will scare them away. You should behave very normally, but from inside you should have this deep understanding that everything has come from the One Divinity.
Both the hero and the villain of a movie are the same (meaning they come from one Consciousness). It is just one light that displays everything throughout the entire movie that you see on the screen. So your focus should be on the light that is projecting all these characters of the movie, and not be lost in the movie and its characters.
That (Divine) light is Vasudeva, that one pure Consciousness from which everything has come, and through which everything works. Everything is just a play of this one Consciousness, and that is what you are.
So just like how you participate in a play, where each one has their role to play, you also play the role that has been given to you.