||Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||
Aum Namo Narayanaya
The incipient “birth” of Krishna found solidity on Thursday when after an intense longing to hear Swami Vimokshananda read from the Bhagavatam bore fruit. In my recollection of last year’s Gita Week in the last blog, I was much desirous to receive once again through his mellifluous tongue, the leelas of our beloved Kanhaiya. Like a venus fly trap, its words so adorably strung on a thread of intense bhakti, that on contact it encloses your being - so much so, that I actually feel the Bhagavatam should be the prescribed text preceding the Lord's appearance day. Within the spiritually charged ambiance of the ashram adequately lit, and seated at the feet of Maharaj, it is a sojourn you want never to end.
Exchanging thoughts with people as they emerge from such celebrations and satsangs always extracts very positive and inspiring words. The mood and energy around them is nothing short of divine. A few days later, speaking to the same person paints an altogether different picture. In total contrast to the post satsang, the person has liquefied into volatility reactive to all sorts of external stimuli. Even they would agree that the challenge would be to maintain the amped feeling post satsang.
At this time, we query the agent that dissipates our accumulated positive and divine feelings. Sri Ramakrishna said that the winds of God’s grace are incessantly flowing and we must unfurl our sails to catch it. Within the campus of the ashram or temple seated within this laboratory of divinity with our sails fully extended, we trap excessive amounts of grace and sail vast tracts on the ocean of ananda (bliss). Outside the confines of this controlled environment however, we seem to fall prey to the pirates of desire who cognitively make holes in our sails inhibiting us from sailing the high seas of ananda.
In this light, we ask the relevance of scriptures like Bhagavat Gita and Bhagavatam in providing solutions to our helpless slavery of the world, on us. The common themes that run through them, penned by the same author, written well after the incidents depicted in them, notifies our earthy minds that deep within these words lies a treasure of Vedanta that can help us wage battle with the pirates of worldliness. Stitched with this quest to derive some answers, I bowed before Swami Vivekananda palms together, and with humility I asked: "O teacher amongst teachers, have mercy upon me and reveal to me your ignorant child, the secrets of these ancient wisdoms."
Through Swamiji's infinite grace and compassion, some ideas came to mind which I would like to share with you all. Why did Sri Krishna have to born in the dark fortnight? And why especially the 8th child of Vasudev and Devaki will slay Kamsa? Vasudeva is the embodiment of truth. And Swami Vimokshananda mentioned that Devaki is the embodiment of the enlightened heart. Kamsa - derived from the root of kama symbolises desire. When desires imprison truth and an illumined heart; it heralds the reign of darkness, ignorance and adharma. Hence, as promised by the Lord in the Gita:
Yada yada hi dharmasya; Glanir bhavati bharata; Abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham. -Whenever and wherever there is a decline in religious practice, O descendant of Bharata, and a predominant rise of irreligion - at that time, I descend Myself.
In his inspiring discourse on Thursday, Maharaj described how the kundalini shakti lays coiled like a serpent at the base chakra. It needs to rise to the 7th stage known as sahasrara (the thousand petaled lotus). After reaching this, Master says the aspirants enter into samadhi (the 8th phase) which is the eternal union with God, In the Gospel, He refers to this as the "black waters of the ocean”. Interestingly, Krishna means the “dark one”.
The first step in this battle that we wage against the pirates would be to have intense love for God, thus gearing ourselves into an armour of spiritual life. This will invoke the divine kundalini shakti to awaken and rise. In the Gospel, Master says that the kundalini, when awakened, passes through the lower centres and comes to the anāhata, which is at the heart and stays there. At that time, the mind of the aspirant is withdrawn from the three lower centres. He feels the awakening of divine consciousness and sees light. In mute wonder, he sees that radiance and cries out: 'What is this? What is this?' This is the readiness of the heart to be the seat of the Lord (Devaki).
It is then after surpassing the 7th stage and entering samadhi (8th stage) that Krishna (8th child) is born, freeing truth and enlightenment from the fetters of desire. The supreme union with God where all the fetters of the manifest world and desires fall away, floating free in the ocean of satchidananda in absolute freedom.
The route to achieving this state is for man to become efficient by plugging the holes of desires. This can only be achieved by concentration. As in the corporate world, efficiency is derived through a process of outsourcing; this technique was given by Bhagwan more than 5000 years ago, when He said: "Surrender all actions unto me with your thoughts centred on self; cured of mental fever, engage in battle" (BG 2,30); asking Arjuna to surrender all actions to God alone and concentrate on the goal. Leave and outsource all your troubles and needs at the lotus feet of God and undertake the task of self realisation - that's our goal.
Swami Vivekananda said: "Concentration is the essence of all knowledge; nothing can be done without it". Ninety percent of thought force is wasted by ordinary human beings, and therefore he is constantly committing blunders; as the trained mind never makes mistakes.
In concluding, I want to leave you with this beautiful song sung by Sri Ramakrishna, about Sri Krishna:
Behold the waves of Gora's ecstatic love;
Under them all, the universe lies submerged!
And in His love, I too, long to be drowned.
O friend, Gaurānga's love has swallowed me;
Who else feels for our misery like Gaurānga,
Dragging us from the mire of worldliness?
Dive deep, O mind, dive deep in the Ocean of God's beauty;
If you descend to the uttermost depths
There you will find the gem of Love. . .
May Sri Krishna take birth in all our hearts and remove us from the fetters of desire, and help us to that ocean of ananda is my sincere prayer.
With love and prayers always