prahlAda’s path of bhakti – part 1

Sage vasishTha starts narrating the journey of prahlAda towards realization. janaka attained realization by listening to celestial discussion – this means the realization can fall from the sky in some cases. pAvana got realization by the teaching of his brother puNya – this shows an example of circumstances bringing the teaching to fruition. bali attained the realization through own contemplation supported by his father’s childhood teaching along with teaching from his guru SukrAcharya.  Another technique to attain realization is worship of god i.e. iswara ArAdhana. Let me explain this with the narration of prahlAda.

bhagavAn vaSishTha said: O rAma! You know, earlier there is a daemon called hiraNyakaSipa. He hated lord vishnu. His son prahlAda is a great devotee of lord vishnu. Due to this conflict father caused a lot of trouble to the son and subjected prahlAda to torture. Finally lord vishnu took up the form of narasimha and ended the daemonic regime of hiraNyakaSipa. Then prahlAda became the king of daemons. But, the race of daemons became weak and the devas exploited the weakness of daemons. prahlAda could not help in protecting his race.

Having thought about the situation, king prahlAda decided to worship vishnu with the maha mantra “namO nArAyaNAya” . He thought one who is not vishnu can’t derive any benefit by worshiping vishnu. I should be vishnu to worship vishnu. Hence, I am vishnu.

The individual known as prahlada is vishnu. All the splendor of vishnu is now mine. I am now carried by garuDa who is vishnu’s vAhana. All of vishnu’s marks are adorned on my limbs. Lakshmi is standing next to me. All his weapons are with me now. The lotus which is the basis for creator is coming out of my naval. The entire universe is appearing and disappearing in my womb. I am in the dark complexion like vishnu. I am wearing the yellow silk wear. I am vishnu. There is no duality. Rising above all duality being vishnu I salute myself.

Then he thought, As I wish to worship vishnu and I became vishnu, let my exhalation become a vishnu. Let me worship mentally as per the tradition. Having thought thus, he worshiped lord vishnu with all the traditional material used for worship mentally. He was rejoiced. Taking their king prahlAda as an example all the daemons started worshiping lord vishnu and they rejoiced in worship.

Seeing this development, devas got worried. They approached lord vishnu and said: how the naturally daemonic tendencies have become devotees of you? O lord? What is this contradiction? How can such a thing happen?

Lord Vishnu replied: O devas, prahlAda is my true devotee. It is his last life with the body of prahlAda. He will gain liberation. His devotion towards me will not cause any trouble to you. Do not worry and go to your own abodes and continue to perform your own duties happily. Having assured thus, all devas returned. They became friendly with prahlAda.

prahlAda continued his worship in mind, word and deed to lord Vishnu regularly. Even though the worldly desires of prahlAda are gone, he was unable to reach the eternal peaceful state. Seeing the devotee in this stage, lord Vishnu appeared in front of prahlAda.

Having seen lord prahlAda became very happy. He prayed:

tribhuvana nalinI sitAravindam
timira samAna vimOha dIpamagryam
sphuTataramajaDam cidAtmatattvam
jagadakhilArti haram harim prapadyE

for the lotus of three worlds – sun,
for the darkness of delusion – bright light
prominently visible, non-material, of conscious reality
remover of all miseries from all the words; Hari, I bow down!

Pleased by the devotion and prayer, lord hari asked prahlAda to ask for a boon. prahlAda said, O lord, you bring auspiciousness to all the beings of these multiple worlds. You bestow me the best boon as you feel suitable for me.

Lord said:

sarva sambhrama samsAntyai paramAya phalAya ca
brahma viSAnti paryantO vicArO’stu tavAnagha (Sarga 34, verse 3)

For removal of all the delusion, for attaining of supreme goal
until attaining supreme peace – continue your enquiry (into self)

My notes:

  1. on the pApamOcanI EkAdaSi we covered sargas 29 till 33 of upaSama prakaraNa
  2. A great way to worship Narayana is shown by the great devotee prahlAda in these sargas.

 

 

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Narration of bali – Conclusion

 

Continued from https://yogavaasistha.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/narration-of-bali-part-2/ 

As SukrAcharya appeared near the window where bali is sitting and contemplating, it appeared as if Sun is rising with the light that emitted from the guru. King bali performed due reverence with offering water for arghya and pAdya and asked: “O bhagavan, in your presence, my intellect is getting enlightened and making me ask this question. O divine sage, I have now developed aversion to this materialistic pleasures. Please instruct me on how to realize the supreme which can remove this delusion of the world appearance. O great sage, what is the limit for these pleasures and worlds? what is the nature of supreme? Who am I? Who are you? please explain me the essence!”

Sukra said: O king of dAnavAs! I am in a hurry going on an important thing. I have no much time. I will tell you precisely and quickly. This world is of consciousness i.e., cit. As it is governed by consciousness all that what is experienced is consciousness alone. As it appears in consciousness it is consciousness itself. You are also the consciousness. I am also that consciousness alone. This is the essential truth. If you are attentive and having faith, you will understand everything with this teaching alone. If you are not interested even if I teach you for long duration you will not be able to realize the supreme truth. Let me reiterate: Projecting limitations, concepts and actions on this consciousness is the bondage. The pure consciousness beyond the concepts of projected limitations is ever full i.e, pUrNam. If you can see that pure-consciousness by giving up all the limitations projected on it as “things” and “concepts” you will attain eternal freedom i.e, mukti.

As I mentioned earlier, the seven sages are waiting for me on a divine mission and I am leaving now. Even the realized people, as long as animating a body are bound by the duties. One should not demean his own duty! Having said this Sukracharya disappeared from the bali’s palace.

bhagavAn vaSishTha continued: Having heard the brief teaching of Sukracharya, bali started thinking like this: “All that the great sage Sukracharya said is correct. I am cit; this world is cit; all these actions are cit; if the Sun is not made to shine by the cit what would be the difference between the Sun and the darkness? If the earth is not made solid by the cit how will it be different from the water which is liquid. All these mountains, worlds, space, bodies all are conscious i.e., cit only. All these are experienced by the cit in me – never this body which is lifeless matter. What use is there for the wood like bones and mud like flesh around them?

I am the same cit that is illuminating everything else here cutting across all the distinctions. Even if this body identified as bali is cut into pieces the illuminating consciousness is not destroyed. All the concepts of like and hate are also governed within the consciousness alone and they are also the forms of cit only. My deep search for something not cit is failing without finding anything!

dRSya darSana nirmukta kEvalAmala rUpavAn; nityOditO nirAbhAsO drasTAsmi paramESvaraH. 

(27 sarga – 2o sloka of upaSama prakaraNa) I am seeing my SELF which is freed from the concepts of seen and seer, independent, pure form; which is ever shining (without rising and setting) blemish-less witness supreme lord!

Nothing can touch such true self of me and I bow down to my SELF.

As bali is immersed in such fullness and attained supreme silence and peace in deep samadhi rising above the three matras of OmkAra and established in the fourth artha-mAtra i.e., turIya. 

bhagavAn vaSishTha continued: There the followers of bali, ministers, commanders, army chiefs, subordinates finding bali completely motionless, sitting in the window, started worrying and prayed for their guru SukrAcharya. Hearing the prayers, guru of dAnavaAs, sage SukrAcharya appeared in front of them. Having appeared in front of them, he said: “O dAnavAs, your leader bali is established in highest samAdhi of infinite bliss. All his world view delusion has been removed. Let him be in that position. As time progresses, at some point on his own, he will come back to this world. You continue to carry-out the activities of the kingdom.”

Listening to this instruction from the guru, dAnavAs felt the relief and continued with their own duties as usual. After a thousand divine years, after hearing a loud drum noise, bali regained his worldly consciousness. Having gained the world consciousness he started thinking like this: “Oh! how great is the supreme reality, just being in there for a second gave me immense peace! So, let me get back to samAdhi.” As bali thinking like this, all his people came to know that bali has regained the consciousness and surrounded him.

Having seen all of them bali thought as follows: “What is bondage for me who is eternal changeless cit? Have I ever been bonded? Why do I seek liberation when I am never bound in first place? All my ignorance is completely removed. What ever may come may come. whatever may go may go. There is nothing to grow or loose. Nothing is gained nor lost either with contemplation or by no contemplation. I have no problem; I seek no solution. I am not dead nor alive. I am neither truth nor falsehood. As I do not have any trace of doership or agency in me, why can’t I engage myself in my activities?

Having decided thus, King bali smiled at his followers and took up his position as their leader. He performed several yajnas, he made all the beings came in contact with him contended with pleasing attitude.

O rAma! Even today, king bali continues being jeevanmukta i.e, liberated while alive in pAtAla as he is supposed to take up the role of Indra in future. I have narrated this “bali vijnAna prApti” to you so that just like bali, you also can determine your self as eternal changeless consciousness truth and get established is supreme non-dual reality!

Thus we reach the end of 29th sarga of upaSama prakaraNa on this auspicious Narasimha dvAdaSi day of SrI durmukhi year paraNa day of amalaki EkAdaSi

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Narration of bali – part 2

Continued from: https://yogavaasistha.wordpress.com/2017/02/09/narration-of-bali-part-1/

bali asked: O great soul, what is the technique to conquer this powerful minister? Please enlighten me.

virOchana answerd: O son! even though the minister is very powerful, with a technique you can conquer him. Like a small boy, you should first pet this minister. Turn him as your friend. Then you visit the King. Once you have access to the King, the minister will be under your control. Once the minister is in your control, you have access to the King.

As long as the King is not seen by you, the minister can’t be conquered. As long as the minister is not conquered, the King can’t be accessed.

So, the practice should focus simultaneously on both meeting the King and at the same time to conquer the minister. By remembering this you should gradually develop control over the field. This field is the basis of all forms just like the mud is the basis of all pots and pans.

bali asked again: What is the technique to gain control over this field and its basis memory?

virOchana answered: Removing attraction towards material pleasures is the only technique that can give control over this field O Son! This is the best technique in my opinion. If you practice this is easy, if you don’t practice this is most difficult technique.

Even a mighty man, who is not walking will not reach anywhere. Might alone is not sufficient, walking is necessary to reach the destination. In the same way, without practice, no mighty technique yields results. Practice to detach from pleasures and be dispassionate.

bali asked again: How can I gain dispassion?

virOchana replied: By introspection. introspect into your own actions. Do not leave things to the fate and assume responsibility of your own actions. Willingly give up attachment to materialistic pleasures. Look at the opposite aspects of pleasures at first. After some practice, you will develop a real detachment from them.

Engage yourself in righteous activities and earn money. With that money you go and associate with the people who are well versed with the scriptures and serve them. Association with wise people will naturally bring dispassion about the worldly pleasures.

Once your dispassion is real, you will rise step by step to control your mind and gain access to self.

I am sure you will attain complete dispassion in future and attain the ultimate position of sadASiva. To that, I salute.

Remembering the above discussion between him and his father, bali started thinking: Now I have got real dispassion from the material pleasures. I have no interest in any pleasures of any of the worlds. So let me call my guru SukrAcharya and discuss with him on the philosophical matters! Thinking thus, bali started meditating on his guru.

to be continued….

(This brings us to the end of 25th Sarga of upaSama prakaraNa on the eve of vijaya EkAdaSi of srI durmukhi year!)

 

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Narration of bali – part 1

upaSama prakaraNa – sarga 22 – sarga 29 covers an interesting narration of king bali’s realization. Sharing this on the occasion of mahA mAghi i.e., of the full moon in the magha nakshatra. 

After narrating the history of puNya and pAvana,  https://yogavaasistha.wordpress.com/2017/01/08/on-relations/ bhagavAn vaSishtha commented. “If not, O rAma! you may gain realization in a sudden manner like the dAnava king Bali.”

Lord rAma asked: O great sage, please explain me the way king bali attained realization for the purpose of enlightening me. I am interested to listen to you more and more as you teach this great subject. Please!

bhagavAn vaSishTha said: O rAma, below the earthly layer of existence there is pAtAla lOka. It has several wonderful regions filled with multiple types of beings and it is predominated by dAnavas. King bali, protected by lord vishnu ruling over that world. He has been ruling the kingdom for over 10 crore years by that time. Having seen several yuga cycles and enjoying all the pleasures of all the worlds while being as king, in bali arose dispassion. Sitting in a window built and decorated with best of jewels, bali started to think like this:- “How long shall I rule this world? How much more shall I enjoy these things? How many more great achievements should be there? What is the use of this large and vast kingdom of mine? What is the use with all these pleasures? Again comes a day, again comes a night, again and again the daily activities like bath, rituals. What ever has passed into past are coming back again and again. Again embracing beautiful women. Again having the same pleasures, again the same game, it appears like a foolish play than anything to take pride in! Why am I enjoying all these activities which have no real essence? This game of doing the same thing again and again appears to be madness. When all this will come to an end? Why the people are not looking for such a thing which is eternal? Let me find out such an eternal purpose, having attained that will not diminish.

Thinking like this king bali went into deep contemplative samadhi. When his awareness came back to the sensory world, he remembered a discussion with his father during his childhood. Once I had asked a question to my wise father, who has realized the ultimate essence of life.

Bali Asked: “Is there a ultimate place beyond all the miseries of life? Where will one get eternal peace? Is there a place which is naturally blissful independent of all the things? O dear father of great mind, please tell me”

virOchana replied: O son, yes, there is a wide place which can easily fit multiple thousands of worlds. There are no oceans, mountains, forests, holy places, land, sky, space, air, moon, sun, lords, trinity, daemons, or gods, beings, fire, desire, up and down, distinctions… none of these! A great effulgent, bright, all pervading, omnipotent king is there. There is a minister formed of the resolve of this king. This minister is always engaged in creating strategies and acting. This minister can’t experience anything on his own. He always performs actions. He alone performs all the actions of the king. The king is always remains in the peace without doing anything.

Bali Asked: O great mind, How to attain this place which is beyond the misery of body or mind? Who is this king? Who is the minister? How to win this king and attain that kingdom?

virOchana said: O son, even if you take millions of gods and daemons as your army, you can win this minister. No one including the king of gods, nor the treasurer, no one can conquer this minister. He has won over all the daemons even though he is not lord Vishnu.

Only one who can conquer this minister is the king alone. When the virtue becomes fruitful, viveka arises. In due course of time the king desires to conquer the minister. Just by this desire, king conquers the minister.

O son, by giving up the vyAmOha i.e, going around in the orbits, by single pointed concentration, if you win over this mighty minister, you are considered victorious. If you win him you will become the conqueror of all the worlds. So, with all your efforts, try to win over this minister.

to be continued… .

My Notes: The king is the self and the minister is the mind, the great world is the individual’s internal world.

 

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On relations

We said everyone is connected at the end of the last post https://yogavaasistha.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/behaviour-of-living-enlightened-people/

Long back, on the mountain of mahEndra, on the banks of vyoma ganga river, there lived a sage named dIrghatapa with his wife and two sons. The elder son is called puNya and the younger one pAvana. Both the sons are also performing austerity. In due course of time the elder puNya attained the realization. While the younger one still seeking realization the father, sage dIrghatapa, who had freed from all attachments, left the body. His wife, using the method of yoga, gave up her body as well followed her husband.

By the sudden departure of parents, pAvana sunk into the deep shock and grief. But puNya performed the ritual of sraddha for his father and mother remaining unmoved by the events. Approaching grieving brother puNya said: “why do you bring this dreadful sorrow on to yourself my brother? Ignorance alone is the cause of all the flow of tears. Our father and mother have left the bodies which is a natural process and they have attained liberation. They attained infinite, nondual state of moksha by giving up the bodies. You,  by ignorant notions of father and mother grieving for those who are beyond all notions.”

“let me ask you one thing: Are you the only son to them? Are they the only parents to you? Just like a tree flowers and fruits in each season and the new plants are born from those seeds in every season, in each season the group of leaves are surrounding these fruits, you are taking birth and all the relations are built around that body in each birth. How many seasons passed in the past? In each of them you have parents in that way a large number of parents are passed. If grieving for passed parents is the right thing, then why are you not grieving for all those passed away in the past?”

“dear brother, you studied the scripture well, you know it all well, this appearing world is neither termed as true, nor it can be termed as false. In ultimate reality, there is neither birth, nor death. Then who is father and who is mother? By attaching to a frame of bones covered with flesh and blood and covered by a layer of skin, we build up the notion of ‘I am’. There are two ‘i’s here one is termed as pAvana and the other puNya. But, the bodies are not those ‘i’s. Is it not?”

pAvana said: “dear brother, these bodies are not the ‘I’, but the inward subtle body is the ‘I’ and it is still related to the others around here. Is it not? all these identifications of puNya, pAvana, father and mother are related to that subtle body.”

puNya asked: “Then do you think the subtle body is same across multiple bodies or it is different?” pAvana replied: “It is same, it won’t change with the body” Then puNya said:

“So, for that subtle body there are fathers and mothers in all the past lives. By my subtle vision I see that you are born as different animals, trees, lions, fish, monkey, and as prince, as a crow, as an elephant, as a worm, as a mosquito, as an ant and as my brother… not now, in a past life, then you became a beetle, then again my brother, then as a tribal and again as my brother now. Not only you; I had been through infinite lives, most recent as a parrot, a frog, a hawk, a crocodile, and many others. Last one is as a son of a teacher in Srisailam and now as your brother. Having known all this, for whom I should grieve? which set of brothers? which sequence of parents?”

“Dear brother, to conclude this remember this. you refer to “my relatives” is it not? first figure our the “my or I” component. Once you know the true nature of this I all the misconceptions will go away. With the removal of misconception, all the grief will go away. So, look inwards into your heart and realize the self”

Having instructed thus, the younger pAvana was able to compose his mind and perform the tapas and thereby attained realization. Having given up all notions, both the brothers lived as enlightened beings for a long time with wisdom and direct realization.

So, O rAma! just like the sages, gives up all notions, take the middle path equidistant from both extremes of notions of my friends and my foes and by giving up all the notions of desires and be liberated while living!

My Notes:

  1. Sharing this on the auspicious pushya putradA EkAdaSi of SrI durmukhi year. This ekadaSi is well known as “vaikunTha EkAdaSi” or mukkOTi EkAdaSi
  2. In infinitely orbiting time, we have all gone through multiple lives and all of us are related to all of us here in all possible ways at one point or the other. So, no one is really a friend or enemy if we remove the small body consciousness as ‘I’. This is a method of attaining universal consciousness of the self.

 

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Behaviour of living enlightened people

On this saphalaikAdaSi we arrived at the beginning of 12th day discussion between bhagavan vaSishTha and lord rAma.

bhagavAn vaSishTha said: O rAma! let me tell you about the living enlightened people as they look at the world appearance in amusement without regarding the distinction of past, present and future. They always take the righteous stand in the middle of two extremes of opposing views and enjoy performing the actions as they occur to them. Having given up all forms of conditioning due to latent impressions, they enjoy infinitely overflowing bliss not touched by any event of this world whatever may be the intensity of hostility in them.

Seeking nothing, hating nothing, speaking softly, doing what is apt and good to everyone, saying what is good to all, keeping calm in his own heart, looks at the world with amusement.

Such is the state of realized sages living in this world. But we are unable to give this philosophy to the foolish ones who have not conquered their own senses and immersed in sense pleasures. Such people are only interested in material pleasures and gaining material wealth.

O! wise rAmA! live in this world with unlimited vision rejecting all the limitations. Be free from all desires and hopes, do what is to be done. Examine everything and do not seek anything that is limited or finite. Always contemplate on the infinite! Give up all the notions of “I am the doer” in the heart and be free from any trace of ego-sense while performing actions even though appearing to be full of hopes in your actions.

As there is no trace of ego, there is no bondage and hence there is no need of liberation as well. The omnipresent, infinite self can never be bound. The confusion arises only due to ignorance of this fact. When the truth is known the confusion vanishes just like the imaginary snake in the rope!

O rAmA, you are wise. When ego is not there, how the concepts like “he is my friend” or “he is not my friend”, this is pleasure, this is pain, this is good and this is evil. All these notions are based on limited ego and not entertained in the unpolluted infinite self.

Who is the good friend to whom? who is the enemy?
By the wish of supreme being, all are all to all here at all times!

All these concepts of finite are always changing. Knowing this firmly, giving up notions of friend, foe, relative, enemy, I, you as words without the substance in reality, rise above all these distinctions.

All are your relatives O rAmA! as there is nothing absolutely unconnected in this universe. So, the wise know “I am everywhere and everything is mine”

In this connection, let me narrate one ancient incident to you. (Continued in next post!)

 

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Mind, Memory, Craving and its treatment

This post aims to cover few points from sarga 13-16 of upaSama prakaraNa. These sargas are called manO vinivAraNam, svacitta nirUpaNam, trSNA varNanam and trSNA cikitsa.

What is mind? it is only a contraction of infinite consciousness into an imaginary container. This imaginary container is the thought that superimposed “this body I am”. By just giving up the limitation the infinite consciousness shines brightly in the heart. The notions of this is agreeable and this is not are all relative to this contracted container. There is nothing which is either profitable or painful without this limitation. All these notions give rise to appearance of thoughts. A container filled with such bundles of thoughts is mind which is causing all the confusion.

In reality the mind itself is non-existent. But could causes death just like a person dies with the shock when someone says: “you have just consumed poison”. Just like a concept of a ghost causes fear in the boy, this mind causes all the confusion in an ignorant person.

Is it difficult to overcome mind? No. what is the difficulty in overcoming a non-existent thing? It is just the memory and repeated assertion of existence of the mind which strengthens the concept of mind. It is stupidity to believe the mind without questioning it. Only due to this stupidity and ignorance all the misery is generated in this world.

These teachings are not for those who have a strong faith in the mind and memory. The bundle of experiences based on the notions & thoughts, stored in the container is the memory. By mutual reinforcement of notions/thoughts and experiences/memories both get strengthened and attain some virtual reality!

A modification of the combination of notions and memories is craving. Craving causes all the movement of action in the world appearance. Only by this tRshNa wind moves, water flows, mountains stand, earth rotate and hold all the environment and why to enumerate? Everything happens only due to this craving i.e, tRshNa!

So, give up craving, give up notions! How to do this? There are two kinds of practices. One based on the direct experience of rising beyond these notions (jnEyam) the other is through the contemplation (dhEyam) Give up the acceptance and rejection of things. Conduct yourself in doing the duties as they are aught to be done. See the actions as temporary and the results are also temporary and there by do not get attached to them.

Contemplate on the source “self” of everything. Include everything in the self as dhEyam and exclude everything from self as jnEyam. This will surely make you rise beyond the duality of acceptance and rejection.

On the eve of utpatti EkAdaSi, we reach the end of 16th sarga of upasama prakaraNa and this marks the end of day 11 of this great discussion between Sage vaSishTha and Lord Sri RAma.

 

 

 

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