Sunday, 23 June 2013

Murali Mayam!!!

|| Aum Sri Ramakrishna Sharanam||

|| Aum Namo Narayanaya||

Bhagawan Sri Krishna
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I am yet to see anyone or anything disprove the timeless knowledge of our ancient religion and way of life which has over millennia turned many Jivas into Shivas. "Athithi Devo Bhava" - treat all guests invited or uninvited as God Himself... that is one of the instructions that came from the ancient seers. I had two such guests over the last two days. The drastic change in weather conditions saw me play host to a virus of flu which left me resigned to my bed, saturated with hefty doses of medication. Concerns on how to displace the boredom that may set in were removed when I received my second visitor in the form of a book from my very dear friend - "God lived with them". Being an avid collector of books from the Vedanta Bookshop, it surprised me how even at the behest of Swami Vimokshananda who read wonderful accounts from this book during sathsangs, it did not form part of my collection. The book delves into the life stories of the sixteen monastic disciples of Sri Ramakrishna. Although feeling a bit embarrassed about not making a concerted effort in reading their lives on account of  placing much emphasis on Master and Swamiji, I took to the book 'like a little child to candy'.


Here again, I skipped the introductory chapters of Sri Ramakrishna and Swami Vivekananda and approached the Life of Swami Brahmananada or Raja Maharaj with uncertainty as to how would it compare with Master and Swamiji.... but enroute, was left dumbstruck at the greatness of these disciples... who were regarded as "Ihswar Kothis" (inner circle with an avatar). The life of Raja Maharaj came as a tonic to my convulsing mind that failed to cognise the reality of life. The very questions that  taunted my peace were dealt with by Maharaj in various accounts of His life.

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Once, Maharaj wrote in a letter to a devotee of Sri Ramakrishna: Who can understand the divine play of God? Man experiences happiness and misery according to his karma. This is true of every man whether he is learned or ignorant, good or wicked. Rare indeed is a person in this world who enjoys uninterrupted peace or bliss! Blessed is he who is free from desires, for he lives in the kingdom of peace. There is more misery than happiness in the world, and most people live in misery. If God is all mericiful then why do His children suffer so much? Only God knows the answer to this mystery, and not ordinary human beings. Man suffers because of his ignorance which manifests as 'I' and the 'mine'. The really happy and fortunate man is he who has given up his ego and has surrendered his life, mind and intellect to God... and ultimately, has nothing to call his own. The nature of the mind is to dwell on worldly objects, because it is created out of three gunas which also constitutes the outer world. It is only through divine grace that a man can withdraw his mind completely from external objects and fix it on God.


In reading this letter, it comes to light that the question as to why is there so much of suffering and pain would have been entertained by one, at some time or another. Taking note that the letter was written by Maharaj whilst He was on pilgrimage in the holy city of Vrindavan -where Bhagawan Krishna grew up-  I paused for a while in contemplation on the beautiful Lord and came across a divine idea which I would like to share with respect to the above conundrum.

Deep in the woods of Vrindavan which were lined with rows of flowering trees and lakes... streams and hills were buzzing with bees maddened with flower nectar and chirping with many kinds of birds. The Lord, whilst tendering His cattle began to play His flute (murali). The woman hearing the notes from the flute -some engaged in milking- put down the milking pail and ran; some kept the milk on the hearth for warming , but forgot to take it down; and others forgot to remove the pot of porridge from the stove... all stopped whatever they did and hurried towards the sound of the flute.

Just as Sri Rama is adorned with His bow and Mahadev His trident... Krishna Bhagawan is never seen without His flute. The flute is a symbolic representation of this creation. Life can be described as the momentary moment when our attention deviates from being absorbed in the Lord towards the 'Murali Maya' or the enchanting sound of the flute. The little session that the Lord plays His flute is creation, and when He stops, creation ceases. It is all a period of illusion or maya which I like to call 'Murali Mayam'.

Ignorant of joy, peace and the Lord who is right with us always - we run after this in the enchanting world like a donkey carrying hay on its back to feed the cows. Inebriated by the stimuli of the senses and the sojourn of pleasure it returns we find ourselves on our knees banging our heads on the temple floors asking God: “But why have you abandoned me? Why do you let me suffer this way?” To this question, He never answers but simply smiles, because He was always there offering His unconditional love and attention. It was us who ran away from Him enchanted by 'Murali Mayam'.

As a tree deepens its roots lest it be uprooted in a gale... cling to the Lord lest you be found suffering apart from Him. We see even Swami Brahmananda felt a great depression and agony after Sri Ramakrishna’s passing... for it is only in union with God and in His company that we really are in peace.

May we all find that peace, is my sincere prayer.

With love and prayers always


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