Sunday, 24 June 2012

Narayana - My All Pervading Lord

||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||

Aum Namo Narayanaya

My salutations and humble Pranaams to that divinity that you all are. An exquisite thought emanated from the depths of the caves and forests of India, which in a non-complex way cognisized the inconceivable and abstract thoughts of God. The great seers said:

Aum Poornamadah Poornamidam
Poornaath Poornam Udachyate
Poornasya Poornamaadaaya
Poornameva Vasishyathe

This means: God is perfect (infinite). This Universe is also perfect (infinite). If perfection (infinity) is taken from anything perfect (infinite) what remains is still perfect (infinite). The Upanishads state that this universe is truly the Divine Person only. Therefore it subsists on Him:  the self-effulgent Divine Being – who has many heads and many eyes, who is the producer of joy for the universe, who exists in the form of the universe, who is the master and the cause of humanity, whose forms are the various Gods, who is imperishable, who is the all-surpassing ruler and saviour, who is superior to the world, who is endless, who is the goal of humanity, who is the destroyer of sin and ignorance, who is the protector of the universe and the ruler of individual souls, who is permanent, supremely auspicious and unchanging, who has embodied Himself in man as his support (being the indwelling Spirit), who is supremely worthy of being known by the creatures, who is embodied in the universe and who is the supreme goal.

Narayana is the Supreme Reality designated as Brahman. Narayana is the highest (Self). Narayana is the supreme light. Narayana is the infinite Self.  Whatsoever there is in this world known through perception (because of their proximity) or known through report (because of their distance)- all that is pervaded by Narayana within and without.

One may get bored by looking at the same scenery, one may tire at hearing the same stories, or even show dissent at eating the same meal; however in contrast, one can only revel in the glory of the Lord. Such is His brilliance that seers, poets and devotees have poured out millions of words in His praise that have yet to fatigue anybody.

Yesterday I was indeed blessed through an invite by Revered Swami Vimokshananda to attend the 5th Vishnu Sahasranama Hawan which was hosted by the Shree Gopalal Temple in Verulam. It was encouraging to see families and young devotees participate in what Swamiji termed as a very auspicious pooja; that in India at one stage almost every household used to chant the Sahasranama and the benefits of it were exhaustible.

The question that may start to irrigate your curiosity at some point, is if we have come out of the perfect being, why do we have so many defects. This enquiry can be immediately extinguished by the potent words of Swami Vivekananda. Swamiji proclaimed:

Each soul is potentially divine. All is the Self or Brahman. The saint, the sinner, the lamb, the tiger, even the murderer - as far as they have any reality, can be nothing else, because there is nothing else. All knowledge that the world has ever received comes from the mind; the infinite library of the universe is in our own mind.

All power is within you. You can do anything and everything. Believe in that. Do not believe that you are weak; do not believe that you are half-crazy lunatics, as most of us do nowadays. Stand up and express the divinity within you.

What we need to understand is that each one of us is perfect in our own way. Lord Narayana took 10 Avatars, which are most widely recognised and documented, for the benefit of mankind. Each one of them in its unique way has exposed a lesson to help mankind find his way. We refer now to the second incarnation known as 'Kurma Avatar" (tortoise). Here is an excerpt taken off the internet:
Kurma Avatar

It is an interesting story involving both the Gods (Devtas) and asuras (demons). In the ongoing saga of battle between them - on one occasion the Gods suddenly lost all their strength due to a curse by the short-tempered sage Durvasa. The sage had once presented a garland of flowers to Indra, King of Gods, who carelessly gave it away to his elephant which trampled it.

The Devtas approached Vishnu for help. Vishnu then asked them to churn the ocean of milk after adding medicines into the ocean. Mt. Mandara could be used as the churning stick, he said. He requested them to ask help of the Asuras in lifting the mountain in exchange for offer of the share of nectar of immortality that would ensue from the churning. Both the Devtas and the asuras churned the ocean using the serpent Vasuki as the rope. But as churning was proceeding, the mountain was sinking and then Lord Vishnu took the form of the tortoise KURMA and kept the mountain afloat.

Like how we can never expect the tortoise to beat the cheetah, or draw a chariot, its hard shell and ability to float became useful in salvaging the churning of the ocean from failure… like that, each and every person has a unique contribution to make in this perfect creation.

We should never look down upon anybody, as the very same Lord Narayana who we worship in the shrine is pervading this entire cosmos. Every form He has taken has an intrinsic role to play in our survival and spiritual evolution. Can you ever imagine a world without the butcher, baker and candle sticker maker?

As soon as you know the voice and understand what it is, the whole scene changes. The same world which was the ghastly battlefield of maya is now changed into something good and beautiful. These were the profound words of Swami Vivekananda.

May we see Narayana in all of this creation, and unearth the divinity within us so we also can play our role and part in this perfect creation, is my sincere prayer.

May Narayana bless us all.

With love and prayers always

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