- Religion and Philosophy»
Ignorance prevents us from viewing the underlying SELF!
We need spiritual acts as long as we live in duality!
What is human effort and what is Divine grace? To those who do not exert, even god won’t help. We have been blessed with physical and mental strength! If we do not do anything and expect god to come to our rescue, it is the most foolish decision. I heard a short story. One man was travelling in a bullock cart to the town. On the way, the wheel of the cart got loosened due to the falling of the iron rod from the center. As soon as the cart tilted, the traveler simply sat crying for help. God came in the guise of a stranger and chided the traveler for not making any effort to fix the wheel. Only when you start repairing the wheel, god too will help you incognito. Certain people are very clever in quoting the scriptures and assert that the world is unreal and it is a great illusion. They won’t lift their hand to help anyone. This is theory. Unless they feel one with god, they have no right to assert that the world is an illusion. They are paper tigers. Until one reaches the state of oneness, he has to perforce perform the legitimate duties pertaining to the family and society!
How Arjuna was chosen over Dharmaraja for viewing the cosmic form?
As long as we live in dual mentality, we need to follow spiritual path by various means. These are ‘hearing of God’s qualities, repeating the names of god, keeping in mind the glories of god, ritual worship, to remain as a servant to god and holding the feet of Lord. These are all possible only in the mental level since God cannot be perceived by us with our imperfect senses. If we want to behold the limitless form of the Supreme, we must possess the vision to look at the Divine, glorious form. This is how the warrior Arjuna beheld the most enchanting as well as the most furious aspect of the Lord who was devouring the various beings constantly through his ferocious mouth. Even Arjuna could not stop shivering at such a gory scene! He prayed to Krishna to adopt his previous lovely form which is full of love and grace! The special power to view the all-embracing form was granted by Krishna to Arjuna on the battle field! This is known as “Viswarupa Dharsan” in Sanskrit language! There are many who argue, “why Arjuna was bestowed with Divine vision? His elder brother Dharmaraja was always following righteousness throughout his life. He never differentiated anyone as his own and others as different! In fact, Dharmaraja is the most qualified one! This question baffled many intellectuals. The main difference between Arjuna and his elder brother Dharmaraja is the following! While Dharmaraja always committed some acts without foresight, Arjuna always deliberated the results priorhands. Hence Arjuna had the foresight while Dharmaraja had hindsight. Dharmaraja played the dice game and pledged his wealth and properties in the game. While Duryodhana has nominated his maternal uncle to play on his behalf, Dharmaraja could have nominated someone who is shrewd! Secondly after losing his entire wealth and properties, Dharmaraja foolishly pledged his own brothers without any forethought!
Arjuna had foresight while Dharmaraja had only hindsight!
But Arjuna was quiet different character! When he saw his own grandfather, preceptor, uncles and cousins on the opposite side ready to wage battle, he questioned Krishna, “what is the use of Kingdom when all our kith and kin perish in the war! It would be wiser to beg and earn our food instead of killing lakhs of people in the war! Moreover due to the death of many warriors, their wives will be widowed and there will be unrighteousness and immorality due to the mass killing. Instead of entering the war, I will become a mendicant! Though the arguments of Arjuna were not correct, yet he had the foresight! Hence Krishna clarified him about the duties of warrior clan and commanded him to enter the war without worrying about the merit or sin! When Arjuna surrendered to the will of Lord Krishna, he was vouchsafed with the seeing of cosmic form of all comprising Lord! Arjuna loved Krishna as his brother in law, as his close friend and guide. But he was not aware that Krishna was the Lord of the Universe and he readily undertook the menial work of charioteer to Arjuna! Had Arjuna realized the greatness of Krishna, he would have desisted from accepting the Lord as the charioteer! But Krishna had become the Divine charioteer, since he counselled the ignorant Arjuna on the duties of householder, the secrets of performing works and finally gaining wisdom! Krishna told him, ‘you are thinking that you are going to kill the venerable grandfather and preceptor! Know that they are already slain by me! The war is just a reason for their getting killed. You are only slaying their bodies but the Atma inside each of this warrior is IMMORTAL and it has no birth or death! The Atma is eternal, pure Wisdom and Bliss. Only bodies take birth and ultimately die but the Atma lasts forever! Even before the creation Atma, as a formless entity existed and even after the annihilation of the Universe, the Atma will continue to exist in a formless mode! None can see the Atma through the imperfect senses. Atma could be felt only intuitively! As we cannot hold the sky in the palm, the Atma, being the subtlest of all, it cannot be perceived by our finite mind and intellect!
The Self is the basis for all the phenomenal world!
The Self or Atma is the basis for the entire creation and cosmos as the pure white screen is the basis for the cinema! The self needs none for its support while the creation needs the Self as the basis! The non-dual philosophers do not recognize the world as such. They are aware that the creation is like the ‘snake’ seen while actually there is only ‘coir coiled in the shape of a snake”. Because of poor visibility, people stop at the place where the coir was lying. They imagine that there is a poisonous snake lying on the path! They want to check what kind of snake is lying there? Someone brought lantern light and the light was focused on the road! Everybody had a hearty laugh to realize that it is only coir, which frightened all due to poor visibility! Which is the cause of fear? It is ignorance of real facts. Similarly we view the world and get exited while there is only Brahman or Self. This is the core of non-dual philosophy!