||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
Aum Namo Narayanaya
It filled my heart with unspeakable joy to immerse myself into the bhav of our most revered Swamiji over the past two weeks. Thinking and speaking about Him nourishes the intellect and mind with undiluted inspiration to the point where any activity becomes mere child’s play. This week, we shall bring to a close our 3 part series dedicated to the glorious life of the giant amongst men, that was Vivekananda.
If one had to distil that fundamental instruction or teaching from Swamiji that stands out as the Gita of His works, that would be nothing else but to manifest the potential divinity within us. In identifying with the limitations of this body and the worldly conditioned mind, man projects meekness, fear, mediocrity and inadequacies. Like Arjuna, we surrender or contemplate defeat before the war even commences. In the same way as Shri Krishna warned Arjuna, that sort of behaviour is unbecoming of a warrior. Swamiji warned us that weakness, fear etc. are unbecoming of the divinity we are.
I would easily say it has been over two months since I visited the ocean - definitely an intrepid journey with the knowledge that the tourists have handed back these recreation spaces to the natives of the coastline. The heat and humidity had no chance of capturing my attention as the mere sight of the mighty ocean reconfigured my mood instantly to serenity and coolness.
As I gazed into this vast vista of infinity, my thoughts gravitated to drawing a similarity between the ocean and ourselves based on the profound message of Swamiji mentioned above. I was deeply intrigued as to how the mighty ocean was ignorant of its potential and was simply satisfied with fulfilling the desire of the shore with recurring small waves. Yet in an instant that very ocean had the capability of flooding the entire earth right up to the Himalayas.
Likewise, ignorant of our divinity we are all preoccupied with insatiable desires and have enslaved ourselves with body and senses just like the ocean is enslaved by the shoreline.
During this month, thousands of pilgrims would have descended on Sabri Malai in India to receive dharshan of Lord Ayyappa, said to be the creation of Shri Hari and Shiva. The demon Mahishi, sister of Mahishasura who was vanquished by Mother Durga during Navarathri started to wreck havoc in the heavens, in revenge of her brother.
Having received the boon from Brahma that one born of a man and man may vanquish her; she paraded the kingdom of the Gods callously with the incorrect perception of her invincibility. However her boon turned into a fallacy when she met death through the hands of Lord Ayyappa.
Yes indeed this may sound bazaar, but Swami Vimokshananda has always cautioned us against taking mythology literally. These mythologies are highly pregnant with profound philosophies that assist us in our journey to God realisation. It is therefore imperative that a detailed study and analysis of the mythology be done so that we may unpack the underlying philosophy.
The death of Mahishasura and the revenge by his sister Mahishi represent desires. It proves repeatedly that it is impossible to satisfy desires. The moment we get rid of one another is waiting to take revenge upon us.
Lord Vishnu is representative of preservation and Lord Shiva of dissolution. The convergence of these two powers results in constructive destruction. Sri Ramakrishna said in the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna that the only desire that one is allowed to have is the desire for God. All other desires are detrimental to our wellbeing.
Therefore, in taking the constructive destruction approach one should start to dismantle all other desires one by one and reconstruct them to a yearning for God. In that way, no void is created for more desires to disrupt your mind. All desires must be for God alone. The Master then declares confidently that for him, who has a burning desire and yearning for God alone, the vision and realisation of God is certain.
The removal of desires from the mind is explained by Shree Tulsidas in the Hanuman Chalisa “Shri Guru charan saroja raja nija mana mukur suda” - Cleaning the mirror of our mind with the dust of the Guru’s feet, allows the ocean of divinity that was enslaved within to rise to the Kailas (the abode of Shiva in the Himalayas). The rising of this divinity is representative of the spiritual progress of the aspirant; the point where the divine ocean and Ganga become one. This Jiva Athma becomes one with Paramathma, is representative of one being immersed in Satchidananda or Brahman (eternal peace).
And that was Swamiji’s mission: to work until every atman journeys back to that state of eternal peace. He has made so many sacrifices, one of which was His own liberation for the sake of the millions of atmans. The least we can do is dedicate a fraction of our lives to His work. Free the trapped atmans from the bondage by spreading Swamiji’s teachings magnanimously; share His message far and wide; let all be inspired by His words. He came not just for Hindus but for the freedom of all creation. Swami Vivekananda’s books are ideal gifts to youth on birthdays and even to adults.
Let us all become conduits and amplifiers of His voice and message in this age of Kaliyuga is my sincere prayer. “Arise and awake the sleeping millions, as it’s time to go home”.
Jai Swamiji Maharaj Ki Jai!!!
You Tube videos and audio clips:
Chicago Speech: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxUzKoIt5aM
Swamiji’s Life In Pictures: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JntwFFlzecA
Swamiji’s Quotes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gryu_7zVIhg
Yesudas Bengali Nahi Surjo Nahi Jyoti-Vivekananda Bengali Song by Dr KJ Yesudas and Salil: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URVbGOfXDOM
Complete works of Swami Vivekananda
Selections from the complete works
Talks with Swami Vivekananda
With love and prayers always