Bhagavad Saptaha (XXI)

Monday, 17 September 2012

­ Four kinds of Mukti (Liberation)
            Parikhit Maharaj asks Sukdevji, gurubar I am not arguing, because it is prohibited to argue about shastras, so I am just asking – Paramatama should always have an equal view, demons-demigods, saintly-wicked all are His sons, than why does God always kills the demons and saves the demigods. If He acts like that than how can He be without discrimination and be impartial, alongwith Indra why did his killed the daityas (demons)?
            Acharya Sukdevji says Paramatma never annihilates anybody neither He saves, all these are being done by our ownselves. To kill and to save is not the activity of the Lord; His view is in fact equal and impartial. Those who always think of Govinda, Govinda does not let them flow in the current and gives them shelter in His lotus feet. Although the way of thinking may be different but thoughts of Parmatma assures liberation.
            Acharya Sukdev says rajan I remember one thing. Once, your grandfather Yudhisthira Maharaj was performing a yajna, Rajsuya yajna. In that yajna the question of who is to be worshiped arises and your youngest grandfather Sahadeb nominates Sri Krishna. Sishupal who was present in that assembly protests and says, worship of a milkman whose father and mother is not certain, whose ancestors does not have any acquaintance, a few days before He use to graze cows and now since he had become the king of Dwarka so His worship is to be done first, in this way he starts abusing the Lord.
            Lord is everything for the Pandvas so somebody insulting Him is intolerable. Arjuna grasps his bow but Krishna stops him and says, nobody can kill him, when he complete his 101 offences, the sudarashan charka (discuss of Vishnu) will separate his head from his body. The Lord killing Sishupal is not only a matter of wonder, but the scene became beautiful when it is seen that from Sishupal’s body his life in a form of luster comes out, circumbulates Sri Krishna seven times and get dissolved in His body. In our shastra it is called shajujya mukti (liberation in the form of unification with the Lord). There are four kinds of liberation, sajujya, sarupya (identification with the Lord), samipya (proximity with the Lord) and salokya (one can live with the Lord). Among these four there is nothing better that sajujya mukti. When your grandfather Yudhisthira Maharaj witnesses this he asks Narada muni who was sitting besides him. He says, a person like Sishupal who use to count and abuse the Lord regularly and than only takes his food, how can he become entitled to attain this greatest liberation. In reply to this Narada muni says, a person although abuses the Lord but while abusing he remembers Him. So either in anger, aversion, fear, affection, or devotion in anyway you remember Sri Krishna you will definitely attain liberation. Sishupal in the mood of aversion, Kamsha in fear and the gopis in the form of lover, all of them are claimant of salvation. The sadhus and the sants worships in devotional mood and attain liberation. But it is very hard to worship the Lord as an enemy and it is not possible for all.
            Sishupal, Dantabakra, Kamsa, Ravana, Kumbhakarana all maintained enmity with the Parmamatma and in this way they always remembered and thought of Him. Sishupal thus achieves sajujya mukti which even a devotee could not easily achieve. Sishupal has animosity with the Lord since his three births. In his first birth he became Hiranyakashipu and became hostile to Vishnu keeping Prahlad in front, in his next birth became Ravana and kidnaps Mother Sita and maintains enmity with Sri Ramachandra and in this birth becomes Sishupal and gets killed in the hands of Lord Krishna and attains liberation.

Tales of Lord Nrishimadev and Prahlad Maharaj
            Parikhit Maharaj says, gurubar I wish to hear about the topic of Hiranyakashipu and Prahlad, kindly describe it.
            Sukdevji says, the Lord took the form of Baraha and kills Hiranakshya and Hiranyakashipu is brother of Hiranakshya. As his brother got killed by the Lord Hiranyakashipu becomes malicious against the Lord and determines to take revenge of his brother’s killing. Hiranyakashipu’s wife is Kayadhu. Kayadhu has three sons and the fourth one didn’t take birth at that time. Hiranyakashipu departs to forest to meditate and tells his wife that after his meditation he will return back. After satisfying Brahma and attaining boon from Him as Hiranyakashipu returns back he receives the news that Indra had carried away his pregnant wife to destroy her pregnancy. As a result of this a terrible enviousness is created in the mind of Hiranyakashipu against Vishnu and all other demigods.
            One who is fortunate to achieve the auspicious time of uniting with Govinda, to him samsara cannot do anything. The extreme eagerness to unite with Krishna is called bhakti. Hiranyakashipu wanted to make Prahlad famous and lustrous like him and so he sends him to gurukul where the acharyas are Shanda and Amarka, both sons of Sukracharya. In the mind of Prahlad there was no anxiety, he just sits down and remembers Lord Hari. Sometimes he uses to cry and sometimes laugh loudly. Parikhit Maharaj ask, gurubar why is it like that?
            Sukdevji says, Prahlad use to cry for uniting with Govinda, whether life will end like that, whether there will be unification with the Lord or not and laughs because due to Lord’s mercy he had received a nice body by which he can now remember and think of Him.
            Alongwith his gurus, today Prahlad have come to the royal court, Hiranyakashipu is very pleased to see his son and taking him in his lap asks, my dear son tell me uptill now which is the best thing that you have learnt so far.
            Prahlad says, my dear father everyone in this samsara desires happiness, but happiness is nowhere except in remembering Krishna. A person, who desires welfare of his self, should abandon his house which is considered as a blind hole and go to forest and worship Govinda. Without the remembrance of Govinda it is very difficult to achieve peace and happiness. Hearing all this Hiranyakashipu becomes very angry, calls Sandha and Amarka and cautions them, my son is taking the names of Narayan-Vishnu, what is the matter, what kind of education did his receive, who had given him such advice, further I don’t want to listen all these names of Krishna, Vishnu, Govinda etc. from his lips. But the heart of Prahlad had united with Krishna, he had already been colored by the color of Krishna how could a different color be painted upon him.
            After some days the same thing happens again. Prahlad was called in the royal assembly and his father affectionately asks him, my dear son, tell me what you have studied. My dear father, the nine types of bhakti in the lotus feet of Narayana is the best knowledge and best learning.
            Hearing about the glorification of his enemy by his son Prahlad, Hiranyakashipu becomes mad out of anger, immediately awards death sentence to Prahlad and hands him over to the executioners. Now begins various kinds of oppression upon child Prahlad, fire, water, thrown from the top of the mountain, thrown amidst poisonous snakes etc. but in no way they could not do any harm to him, dauntless Prahlad at all times goes on chanting Harinaam.
            The demonic children, who were companion of Prahlad calls him, consoles him and says, Prahlad we feel very much when the king awards you punishment and inflicts various kinds of oppression. The king tries to burn you and we feel the heat, keep you starving, although nothing happens to you, but we undergo the suffering of hunger. Prahlad with tears in his eyes says, my dear friends I respect your sympathy, but one who from his childhood does not sings Krishna kirtana (songs glorifying the Lord), who does not remember Him, worships and cries for Him, he can never do that at his old age. From the childhood one should practice Bhagavad dharma and moreover nobody knows when death will arrive and steal away our life. As we have received this body we should not let it go in vain. But, the demonic children says, mother gives us milk to drink, father protects us, the wife in our house serves us, friends praises us, amidst all these where is Narayana? Prahlad says, only Vishnu will go alongwith you, neither wealth, neither well wishers, nor fame nothing, only dharma will follow. The children further enquires, Prahlad what the two gurus have taught us, you are also taught the same thing, but then how did you become so learned and virtuous. Prahlad says, my dear friends my guru is not Shanda and Amark, my guru is best of the devotees, Devarshi Narada. When my father went away to Mandar Mountain to do deep meditation, at that time Devaraj Indra kills my three brothers and abducts my pregnant mother. At that time I was inside my mother’s womb and so remained unhurt. As Indra was taking away my mother he meets Narada and Naradji advices him and says, Devaraj when the husband is not present, to abduct his wife is a serious offence and moreover she is pregnant, if the reason of your fear, is the child which is inside the womb of this lady then please hear Indradev, the son inside the womb of Kayadhu is not your enemy, he is a great friend of all demigods, demons, humans, everyone, he is a great devotee of Lord Vishnu and so you please release her. After hearing this from the auspicious lips of Narada muni, Indra circumbulates my mother and goes away. My mother goes to the asrama of Narada muni and starts living there. There Devarshi Narada use to regularly recite Srimad Bhagavattam to my mother and from inside the womb of my mother I learnt the nectarous advices of Bhagavattam and today I am asking you to follow that dharma only. Only relate yourself with Sri Krishna, Govinda and thus all your activities shall fulfill, do chant His holy name and when the Lord hears it, He will come and appear in your heart. After that Prahlad gives mridanga (type of percussion) and kartal (cymbal) to the demonic children and starts singing “Sirman Narayan, Narayan Hari Hari”. Hearing this his gurudev quickly sends five guards to stop it, the guards comes and sees that Prahlad alongwith thousands of children are singing kirtana and dancing joyfully, they were not at all worried neither they are afraid of anything. The guards thought lets first confine Prahlad and while they touch him, they also begin to dance and sing. Shanda and Amarka noticing that the kirtana didn’t stop, themselves arrive there and seeing this strange situation gets astonished. They also thought to arrest Prahlad but at soon as they touches him they immediately gets converted into Vishnu bhakta and starts singing the glories of Vishnu, Krishna. A wonderful sight, the city of asura, the gurukul asrama chanting the names of Narayana, becomes like a tirtha (holy place), like a temple. Hearing this furious kirtan Hiranyakashipu arrives there. He visualize the weird sight, all the demonic children, the guards along with the two gurus Shanda and Amark everyone absorbed in ecstasy, without any fear, dancing and singing submerged in the ocean of love. Hiranyakaship fisticuffs in the ground, the kirtan stuns, what’s going on, he yells angrily, the guruji says rajan we tell you the truth that when we touched Prahlad to stop him, we got overwhelmed and helplessly begin to dance and sing and while doing so we enjoyed great pleasure, such pleasure which we never ever enjoyed in our entire life. Listen impolite Prahlad, shouts Hiranyakashipu you didn’t understand neither you obeyed my instructions, today I will send you to the abode of Yama (death) and nobody can stop this, but let me first have an understanding with your Narayana and then I will make necessary arrangements for you all. So tell me, reply me, where is your Narayana. Prahlad says He is everywhere, all pervading, not only mine, but your strength, energy everything is bestowed by Him, by His strength Brahma etc. all the demigods are powerful. Prahlad further replies that even in this pillar, He is there, He is everywhere. Hearing this, Hiranyakashipu immediately hits the pillar with his fist, the pillar breaks and from inside the pillar appears Lord Narasimha. Roaring thunderously, the sky, the whole universe begin to tremble, gigantic arms, gigantic teeth, blazing tongue, hands with large nails, and eyes like a glowing sun – “Sri Nrishimha Bhagavan ki Jay”. Large moustache, covered with hair, half human, half animal my prominent Nrishimha Bhagavan with his gigantic hands slays Hiranyakashipu.
            To cause protection of the words of His dearest child Prahlad the Lord reveals Himself from the pillar and in such a form which is neither human nor animal or else both human and animal. Now the problem for the Lord is, He cannot kill Hiranyakashipu during day time, so while fighting when its evening, He took Hiranyakashipu to the doors of the palace (because He cannot kill him neither inside nor outside) keeps him in His knees and with His nails tears his chest. Before that Hiranyakashipu made a roaring laughter and said, nobody can kill me, I had a boon from Brahma, that I will neither be killed during daytime nor night, neither inside nor outside, neither human or demigods nor any animal can kill me and within the twelve months I will not die; but this the trayadash (thirteenth) month, mal mash (intercalary and inauspicious month), month of Purushottam (Vishnu) and to slay you this month has been ascertained. Brahma’s creation, nobody can kill, but I create Brahma, Brahma does not create Me, understood. I am Narayana, whose best devotee is your son Prahlad. Then Lord Narashimha, by His nails, in the thirteenth month, evening time, in the main gate, upon His knees kills Hiranyakashipu and takes out the entrails of his stomach and wears it like a garland upon His neck.
            Why did Lord do like that, asks Maharaj Parikhit. Sukdevji says, the Lord thought, although he is a demon but still father of a great devotee like Prahlad. After death of Hiranyakashipu the anger of Lord still does not decreases and when the anger of Paramatma does not calm down annihilation is certain. The devataas starts singing hymns from a distance, because seeing His terrible form nobody is daring to come near. Even Lakshmi Devi was afraid to see this dreadful form of the Lord and could not find courage to approach Him. Then Narad muni suggests, only bhakta Prahlad will be able to calm down the anger of the Lord and nobody else can.
            Nrishimhadev seeing Prahlad Maharaj, takes him in His lap and with the tears of love and affection drenches Prahlad’s head, brings out His tongue and begins to lick him. Prahlad at that time praises the Lord very nicely. He says, great demigods, ascetics and great rishis sang hymns but could not appease You, my dear Lord Hari, my dear Lord Nrishimhadev everyone is dying out of fear seeing Your such violent form, I don’t posses any knowledge, neither deeds, nor bhakti, no support, but still today I had visualized the direct manifestation of how You, with great devotedness, fulfill the wishes of your devotee. Prahlad says, a brahmana has twelve qualities, like sama (peace of mind), dama (sense control), tapa (austerity), sayadhya (attainability), adhayan (studies), tyag (renunciation), santosh (satisfaction), titikha (forbearance), prasanta (calm), bidya (learned), atmagyan (knowledge of the self) and anasuya (auspiciousness). Possessing these twelve qualities, still if a brahmana does not have affection in Your lotus feet than he is inadequate to be glorified. Sometimes I feel why You are so merciful upon me, whereas I am produced from rajaguna (second of the three natural qualities characterized by activeness and spiritedness) and my family engaged in tamaguna (lowest primary quality of human nature marked by ignorance and vice), a dynasty of demons, race, birth everything tamashik (deep darkness, ignorance), still I have received such a mercy of Yours which even Brahma could not attain, Shankar, even supreme Lakshmi Devi also did not receive, that blessing You always bestowed upon my head. You give me so much pleasure that I could not find words to express it. O Lord, the condition of mine is very strange, as a person is dragged by his many wives similarly all the senses of mine pulls me towards material enjoyments and the most dangerous sense organ is the tongue. The scriptures says that a person who wishes to conquer over his senses, he should at first conquer his tongue and to win over tongue is to restrain his eating as well as control his speech. Prabhu please bless me so that I can enjoin my senses in Your service, whatever the eye sees, it should visualize only Govinda and nothing else, let it envision Paramatma everywhere.
            Lord Nrishimhadev says, my dear son, you wish for a benediction, I want to give you something.
            Prahlad says, Prabhu don’t make me greedy, I do not require any boon. Persons in this samsara are indeed fool who asks for several things from You, some seeks wealth, some fame, some asks for followers etc. but a person who does not asks anything You give Yourself to that person.
            But as the Lord orders again Prahlad asks, Prabhu give me such a boon so that I don’t have to ask anything from You accept Your lotus feet, and if You be merciful than please deliver my father Hiranyakashipu, he had committed several offences in Your lotus feet. Let him not suffer any distress and attain salvation, dear Prabhu. The Lord smiles and says, in a family where a child like you takes birth; 21 generations of that family will be delivered. Seven generations from mother side, seven father and seven generation from father-in-law’s side. So in this way Prahlad after getting such mercy from Nrisimhadev ascends the throne and rules it for many years and at last leaves for the forest. There he meets Dattatreya muni a great ascetic and one of the incarnation of the Lord. He described Prahladji about detachment, sacrifice, duties of a sanyasi, duties of an ascetic etc.
            Acharya Sukdev says, rajan the topic which I have described to you about Prahlad Maharaj, that topic was described by Naradji to your grandfather Maharaj Yudhisthira.
            What is the root intention behind all these topics? By being impartial and unbiased, always chanting the Name of the Lord, having fair mindedness, without any discrimination if anybody dispassionately stays at his home, he is said to be a great sanyasi a great Bhagavad bhakta. A grihastha (householder) is a great sanyasi because he is a supporter, maintainer and cordial receptor of all asramas (four stages of human life). Sukdevji says rajan a householder life is the best and ideal of all the four asramas.to be continued
(A part of the Summary of Srimad Bhagavattam translated from the diary of Sri Gurudeb)

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