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Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba Answers For   

Scriptures And Baba

MAHABHARATA

Q244)  Swami! Today's atmosphere is, indeed, nightmarish. There seems to be no end to injustice, disorder, unrighteousness, and falsehood. Forgive me, Swami, if my question is not proper. Kindly clarify my doubt. How much justice did prevail in the Age of the Mahabharata? Besides serving poisoned food to the Pandavas, setting fire to the house of lac, and attempting to murder them in other ways, the Kauravas denied them their rightful share of the kingdom, not even five villages, not so much space as the point of a needle. How much of the moral code or the law of the time had the Kauravas followed? How little peace was ever there in that Yuga?

Bhagawan: The distinctive dharma of the Dvaparayuga is not fully found in that Yuga. The beginnings of Kali, its mode and behavioral style, are already noticeable. For the wicked conduct of the Kauravas; Sakuni is largely responsible. Heeding his advice and egged on by him, they behaved in the way they did. Undoubtedly, launching themselves on unrighteous paths is the fault of the Kauravas. Remember, all this took place in the kingdom of Dritharashtra , the blind king. Blindness is but the failure to recognise Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, and Prema. Walking along the main streets one day, Dharmaraja saw a farmer transporting bags of paddy in carts. He asked the farmer, "Sir! Why are you carrying paddy in bags? You can as well leave it in the fields, can't you?" The farmer replied, "O King! A few days ago, our paddy was stolen from the fields. That is why we are pouring it into bags and moving it into our homes." Dharmaraja noticed there the signs of the approaching Kaliyuga. On another occasion, he noticed a woman walking brazenly in the main street and conversing with a man uninhibitedly, without in the least feeling shy. He thought, "Oh! The Kaliyuga is at hand." Another day he observed the citizens hanging iron lumps at the entrance to their homes. He asked them, "What is this?" The people replied, “O King! Now that so many thefts are taking place, there is no security for our belongings, our ornaments, and our food grains. That is why we are using these lumps called locks." Thus, even in the Dvapara Yuga, the symptoms of Kali were in evidence.

Q245)  Swami! We lack adequate knowledge of many important things. We have only a partial view of divinity. Hence, we tend to ignore the reality and are prone to doubt divinity. It is our misfortune that we find fault with God too, and attribute human fallibility to him. In the Mahabharata, it appears that Krishna was very partial to the Pandavas and so he did many things unbecoming of God incarnate in order to defend them. We may cite such instances as the killing of Dronacharya, Bhishmacharya, Saindhava and a few others. We pray for your comments on these misconceptions of ours and enlighten us.

Bhagawan: God is faultless. He is pure and unsullied. It will be the worst of sins to attribute any kind of mistake to God. Every inch of God, if it can be put that way, is selfless and whatever He says and does is for the welfare of humanity. He gives and forgives. He doesn't want anything from anybody in return, nor does He keep anything in this world that doesn't belong to Him? May be due to the effects of Kali, you see people with narrow, selfish ideals that are responsible for physical and mental agitations, and disturbances everywhere. Man today has no trace of gratitude left in him. He has gone even to the extent of ignoring his parents. He has grown demonic in his behavior. So, it is difficult for him to recognise God.

The Kauravas were wicked and spent their lives in injustice, untruth and unrighteousness. They were full of hatred and jealousy. Out of greed and envy, they did many cruel things like poisoning the Pandavas, setting their house on fire, making them play dice where they cheated, only to end their own lives. So, they had to be checked and controlled. You know, a diamond cuts a diamond. You can remove a thorn only with the help of another thorn. A simple example here will make this point clearer to you. When thieves run away with valuables through the back door, to catch them you also should go through the back door. You just can't say in such a moment, "What! I am the owner of the house. I can only go out of it through the main door and not the back door." So, the back door is the only way for you to catch the thieves. Is it not so? Similarly, to catch the Kauravas, who trod the wrong path, you had to go by the same route. Krishna did exactly the same thing in order to protect the Pandavas and bring about their ultimate victory. There was little trace of selfishness in Krishna .

Q246)  Swami! Krishna made Dharmaja utter the lie "asvatthama hatah," Asvatthama is killed, adding in a low tone, "kunjarah," the elephant. This led to the death of Dronacharya. Was it proper on the part of Krishna to make Dharmaja tell a lie like that?

Bhagawan: This is a foolish question. As the facts are not known to you correctly, you think like that. Here, there was no mistake on the part of Krishna and there was no mistake in Dharmaja too. It was entirely the fault of Drona that was responsible for his death. Dharmaja said loudly "asvatthama hatah,"

Asvatthama died and also said softly "kunjarah," an elephant by name Asvatthama died. Dronacharya did not listen completely to what Dharmaja had said. He heard only the first part "asvatthama hatah,"

Aswatthama died. Out of his attachment to his son, Dronacharya died immediately on hearing the first part of Dharmaja's statement. He died of the shock. His attachment was the only cause of his death. So the fault finally lies with Dronacharya, not hearing patiently and completely what Dharmaja said. How do you accept that Dronacharya, who loved Arjuna more than his own son, could be prepared to fight and kill Arjuna? Being a teacher and a Brahmana for that matter, should he fight like that? So, the mistake was Drona's only.

Q247)  Swami! In the Mahabharata, it is a pity to notice the killing of youngsters like Abhimanyu and Ghatotkacha for no fault of their own. It is justifiable if bad people are killed or punished. But, how can we account for the death of these youngsters?

Bhagawan: The answer is very easy and simple. A small example I give you here to,, make you clearly understand the answer to the question. When there are a large number of mosquitoes in your house, what do you do generally? You spray some kind of insecticide like Flit all over the house or use DDT, to kill the mosquitoes, don't you? You have to notice one point here. Due to spraying poisonous insecticide, all the mosquitoes die. After all only one or two mosquitoes must have bitten you, not all of them. But, all those mosquitoes that have not bitten you also die in your operation. Similarly, in a war some innocents also die. This is natural.

Q248)  Swami! We hear that Arjuna was the only one capable of breaking open and emerging victorious from the Padmavyuha, the lotus‑like military formation or manoeuvre, set up as a death trap. But, Abhimanyu knew only how to get in and not how to get out of it; a fact that resulted in his death. There are some stories heard about this episode from the Mahabharata. It appears that when Narada was describing the whole manoeuvre to Abhimanyu who was still in the mother's womb, Krishna prevented him from teaching the unborn baby the way out of the Padmavyuha! What are your comments on this story, Swami!

Bhagawan: The ancient literature of Bharat has many secrets to be unravelled and grasped. So, many subtle points are not known to everybody. They show the goal and the way of life. They remind you of the duties, responsibilities, and obligations you owe to the society you live in. They point out your mistakes as well so that you may correct and rectify yourself and thus experience the divinity within. Every episode or anecdote in the epics or in the religious texts in story form has a message for you.

Arjuna had, to his credit, many titles like Savyasachi, Phalguna, Partha, Vijaya, etc that are much higher than our modern Padmasri, Padmavibhushan and other honours. Arjuna's surrender to Krishna was total. This was the reason for his acquiring the skill to manage to come out of the impenetrable Padmavyuha. The word 'Arjuna' means whiteness or purity and it was the purity of his mind and heart that gave him the needed capacities.

But things were different in respect of Abhimanyu. He was challenged to fight and proceed to the battleground at a time when his wife, Uttara was pregnant, His father Arjuna was not at home and his uncle Krishna was away. Abhimanyu had much abhimana, attachment to his wife and his father. This attachment trapped him in the Padmavyuha and as such, he couldn't come out of it and ultimately died.

Similarly, the whole world is a Padmavyuha. Our life is a Padmavyuha. Man is caught in this Padmavyuha and his sense of attachment and possessive instincts will not release him out of it. Since he had abhimana, he bore the name Abhimanyu.

Q249)  Swami! It is said that Draupadi laughed at Duryodhana in the Mayasabha, which made him revengeful and highly furious and which ultimately led to the Kurukshetra war. Will you kindly bless us with your special interpretation?

Bhagawan: These are words of those who do not know the reality. Draupadi was not an ordinary person. She was a queen, known for her chastity. She was the wife of the great Pandavas. It is ridiculous to say that she laughed at Duryodhana in the Mayasabha. You are mistaken if you think so. She was not of the type to laugh at people. Those who don't know what had actually happened think like this.

On that day after taking a head bath, Draupadi was drying her hair and was about to come out of the palace through the main door. It was at that time that Duryodhana fell down mistaking the place for open ground when there was water. Watching, this, the maidservants started laughing at the ludicrous, sight. As Draupadi was coming out just then, Duryodhana saw her and mistook that she was laughing at him. In fact, she did not laugh at all. So, it was the fault of Duryodhana to think so.

There was no flaw in Draupadi. She never raised her voice at any time. Contented with whatever she had, she was never tired of serving the Pandavas under any circumstances. She was the noblest of them all. It is your foolishness to think that she laughed at Duryodhana or at any other person.

Q250)  Swami! Krishna was surrounded, by eight consorts and is stated to have been associated with 16,000 Gopis, cowherdesses. It is very disturbing and embarrassing to hear of Lord Krishna's many wives. Kindly enlighten us on this matter.

Bhagawan: This is what you have learnt from movies, isn't it? Krishna of the Bhagavata was totally different from what you know about Him. It is because of such perverted and distorted versions that the number of atheists has been on the rise day by day and devotion is declining. The eternal, nondual and divine truth is viewed from the ephemeral, worldly norm and perspective. This is the unfortunate situation of the modern times. The scriptures want you to consider the world as a divine manifestation, but to take God too in a worldly way. God is free Himself, and it is only He who liberates you from bondage to the world.

Tell me, who were the eight consorts of Krishna ? Every human heart is a lotus flower with eight petals. These eight petals are the eight consorts. In the human body are the six mystic chakras. The one at the bottom of the backbone is muladhara and the sixth on the top of the head is called sahasrara. Kundalini ascends from muladhara to sahasrara, in the state of Samadhi. Now, the sahasrara chakra is compared to a thousand‑petalled lotus. Each of the petals has 16 shades or faces. Thus, they add up to 16000 representing the Gopis whom Krishna is said to have been associated with.

Actually, Krishna was a young boy while he was in Brindavan. All those Gopis were elderly married women. They played with Krishna , as they would with their own children of the same age group. To those Gopis everything looked filled with Krishna . The kumkum they put on their forehead was blue. They wore blue bangles and blue saris. Every article they used was blue. Why? The reason is, Krishna was blue in complexion. In their devotion to Krishna , they excelled Narada and all the other celestial singers. The Gopis had more intense love for Krishna than for their husbands. They remained in ,a state of joy and ecstasy singing His glory all the time. They grew immensely restless when they had even a momentary separation from Krishna . When Krishna left for Mathura , the bodies of the Gopis appeared as though they were burning and writhing in unendurable pain, due to separation from their beloved Krishna . They blamed and accused Akrura of taking him away from them. Theirs was the bliss of atma or sprit. Your feelings are worldly, physical, and narrow. Therefore, you view the sublime from the standpoint of your own sense perception. Truly speaking, none can estimate the standard, the depth, and the level of devotion of the Gopis. Their devotion to Krishna ever remains immeasurable and unfathomable to the ordinary mortal.

Q251)    Swami! Radha was an ardent, intimate and ideal devotee of Krishna . She represents ananyabhakti, infinite devotion, matchless and unconditional, and as we hear you speak on Radha Bhakti we get lost in the ecstasy of devotion. Would you please tell us more about Radha's Bhakti?

Bhagawan: Textual knowledge can't confer devotion. You can't get it from any Guru. No friend can make a gift of devotion. It should be born in one's own Heart. It can't be stuffed into your heart. The devotion of the Gopis was pure and selfless. It was steady, unshakeable and unwavering. Radha was the most prominent among them. She felt herself one with Krishna , tadatmya, total identification. Radha had only Krishna trsna, thirst or desire for God, and not lokatrsna, worldly desire.

One day Krishna went to a nearby place in his vehicle along with Rukmini. All the inhabitants of the place gathered there and gave them a tumultuous welcome exceedingly jubilant

Rukmini noticed Krishna gazing intently at a person to her side. That person too was casting looks on Krishna . Krishna slowly and softly said, "Rukmini! Do you know Radha? She is an ardent devotee of mine". Hearing this, Rukmini got down from the vehicle and rushed close to Radha and after exchanging pleasantries, invited her to spend some time with her in the palace in Dwarka. Accordingly, on the following day, Radha went to Dwarka. Rukmini received Radha at the main entrance and escorted her into the palace. Radha stayed with Rukmini in the palace for some time talking about Krishna and singing the glories of Krishna . They began sharing the joys of their experiences with Lord Krishna. Rukmini served hot milk to Radha so that she could be with her for some more time and talk a little longer about Krishna , as she would sip the milk slowly. But, Radha gulped the whop cup of hot milk at once. All the same, the conversation went on for some time and then Radha left the palace for her village.

Krishna returned in the evening, very much tired. He said to Rukmini "Rukmini! Look! I am very tired and exhausted; I have a burning sensation in my feet, it is unbearable". Rukmini noticed some blisters on His feet and wondered how and why such a thing happened to Him. Krishna then said, "Rukmini! You served very hot milk to Radha this afternoon when she came to visit you in response to your invitation, didn't you? Radha drank the whole lot at one gulp. As my feet are located in her heart, the hot milk spilt on my feet and so you now find blisters there where I feel the burning sensation". This was the level of Radha's devotion.

One day to test Radha's devotion, a Gopi gave her a pot with holes to fetch water from the river Yamuna. Radha didn't notice that. She was constantly repeating the sacred name of Krishna as she was dipping the pot in the river. With her every utterance of Krishna 's precious name one hole after another got cemented. The pot never leaked and Radha brought home a pot full of water. That was the height of her devotion!

In the very name ` Radha ', `R' , signifies 'Radha ', `A' is ` Adhar or foundation, `D' signifies ` Dhara ' or continuous, uninterrupted flow and the next `A' means ` Aradhana ' or worship. Her devotion was unflinching like a dhara, continuous flow like oil.

As Radha repeated the name of Krishna , Krishna also thought of Radha repeatedly. This is the link and the intimacy between a devotee and his or her personal God or Deva.

Q252)  Swami! We have now understood from your divine message that the Pandavas could face problems and withstand troubles and tensions because of the infinite grace of Lord Krishna. It is most gratifying to note God's concern and love for His devotees. Kindly give us a notable instance.

Bhagawan: Yes, Yes, and Yes. This is the truth of truths. It is not wholly correct to say that God loves. No.

God is Love,

Love is God,

Live in Love.

How? You may at the most love one or two. But, if you become love, if you are love itself, it becomes infinite and you love all. So, don't become a lover but be love itself. You can realise God only through love, as He is the embodiment of love. You can see the moon only through moonlight. Similarly, through love, you experience God who is love and thus enjoy bliss.

The Pandavas could face all difficulties because of the blessings of Lord Krishna. It was their unconditional love for and surrender to Krishna that made them accept every dangerous situation or every challenging moment as His will and blessing. Krishna was ready to do anything to save them from all kinds of disastrous situations.

The Pandava brothers along with Draupadi and Kunti were in exile. One evening, Dharmaja and Draupadi were taking a stroll in the forest and saw a big fruit lying on the ground. They thought that its size was so big that it could be divided among all of them for their dinner. Draupadi went close to that big fruit and tried to pick it up, but in vain. Then Dharmaja assisted her in lifting the fruit, but met with the same result. Both of them were exhausted. In the meantime, finding that Dharmaja and Draupadi had not yet returned, Bhima and Arjuna, one after the other, went in search of them and located them. They too extended their helping hand in lifting the fruit and failed. Finally, after some time, Nakula and Sahadeva joined them and all of them together could not move the fruit. Then, they noticed something moving just under their feet. It was all black hair spread wide on the ground like a carpet. They lifted their heads, looked around and noticed that these long hair were those of a sage seated in penance at a distance. The sage was none other than Romarshi. (`Roma' means hair, and `Rishi' means sage).

The sage was just about to open his eyes. He was doing penance for a long time for this fruit which would make him free from thirst and appetite: The Pandavas happened to be there near the fruit and were trying to take it home. They felt guilty and were afraid that the sage might curse them. Draupadi immediately prayed to Krishna wholeheartedly seeking His divine intervention to save them 

Krishna appeared in front of her, enquired about the problem, and said, "Look Draupadi! It is true that I come to the rescue of my devotees, but am also a rshimanasasancari, dweller in the hearts of devotees. What you have done is wrong. Romarshi did great penance for this fruit which you wanted to take away. In a fit of wrath, if the Rishi curses you, how can I help you?" Then Draupadi fell at Krishna 's feet and said, "Oh Lord! We are left with none. But for you, we wouldn't have survived like this. We admit our mistake. Please pardon us and save us from the danger of the sage's curse". Then Krishna said, "Alright! But, note one thing. Act strictly according to my instructions. Now, I will go and be with Romarshi and begin conversing with him. You come there exactly ten minutes later."

Krishna went to Romarshi, who received Him with all devotion and sincerity saying, "O Lord! It is we who should come to you. All our penance and austerities are meant only to reach you. How shall I estimate my good fortune now? The Lord himself has come to see me!" Krishna started talking to him and spent ten minutes, when the Pandavas arrived there. Then Krishna prostrated in front of every one of them including Draupadi: Watching this, Romarshi concluded that these Pandavas before whom even Krishna prostrated must be Rishis of the noblest and highest order. Then Romarshi too prostrated and did Namaskar to the Pandavas as Krishna did. Thus, his anger was pacified. He cooled down. He couldn't curse those whom he had reverentially greeted.

This anecdote speaks volumes of the unfathomable love of God for His devotees and of the extent to which He would go in order to protect them. But, it is needless to say that the devotee should also be worthy of his compassion.

The Mahabharata War was going on. Bhishma took an oath that he would kill the Pandavas the next day. Draupadi was grief-stricken on coming to know of this oath of Bhishma. She prayed to Lord Krishna in anguish and the Lord took pity on her. Out of compassion, He visited her that night itself. It was almost late in the night. On the battlefield, in a tent lay the aged Bhishma, greatly disturbed. He was restless and couldn't sleep. He was feeling repentant over his vow because the Pandavas were on the side of justice and righteousness. He began pacing up and down outside the tent, engrossed in deep thoughts of regret.

Krishna walked towards the tent where Bhishma was staying. He signaled to Draupadi to fall at the feet of Bhishma. She exactly did so. Noticing that it was a woman who touched his feet, Bhishma blessed her with the words, 'dirghasumangali bhava, May you have a long happy married life.' As he bent down to see who had touched his feet, he found Draupadi there. He was taken aback. A big question arose in his mind. How could he kill the Pandavas having just now blessed Draupadi with a long happy married life?

Bhishma saw Krishna standing there on one side, and said, "Lord! This is your master plan. Things happen according to your divine will. You can do and undo things. We are only instruments in Thy Hands. Lord! What is the bundle you are carrying? You have wrapped something in cloth and are carrying it. May I know, my God, what it is you are carrying?" Krishna said, "Bhishma! This is a late hour of the night. You are an aged warrior. You must have been very tired and trying to rest. I didn't want your sleep to be disturbed by the sound of the footwear of Draupadi. Therefore, I wrapped her sandals in a piece of cloth and carried them and that is what you have seen".

This is what bhaktaraksana, safeguarding and protecting devotees is. God will go to any extent to fulfill His promise. There is no doubt about it.

Q253)    Swami! The incarnation of Krishna is called the perfect incarnation. Then, how is the incarnation of Rama to be viewed? What is the difference between the Lord's two incarnations? In offering them worship, is there a difference of rank or status? Kindly oblige us with a clarification.

Bhagawan: Rama referred to Himself as Dasarathatmaja, son of Dasaratha, and declared Himself to be a human being. The very purpose of the Lord's descent as Rama was to present the Ideal Man, and to demonstrate the sacredness of humanity. Even so, there were not lacking many who knew the divinity of Rama. All the great sages understood this great drama being enacted then. Vasishtha confided to Dasaratha: "O King! I have not come to your court merely to be your priest. The Lord is soon to take birth in your family. I have joined the court to enjoy to my heart's content. His pranks, His amusements, and His sweet speech. As for Visvamitra, he taught Rama and Lakshmana the powerful charms of bala and atibala, gave them an inexhaustible quiver, and as a benefactor of humanity initiated them into the Gayatri mantra. He knew full well the nature of the incarnation of Rama. Other great sages like Agastya, Bharadvaja, Matanga, and Sarabhanga were fully aware of Rama's divine identity. It was Sarabhanga who directed Rama and Lakshmana to Sugriva then residing in Kishkindha, adding that he would help them in the search for Sita. Accordingly, Rama and Lakshmana proceeded to Kishkindha. Sugriva and his retinue noticed them from a distance. Sugriva who had earlier run a way unable to bear Vali's blows suspected that Vali might have sent someone to attack him again, and was terrified. He sent for Hanuman and ordered him to discover the truth. Following Sugriva's command, Hanuman approached Rama and Lakshmana in the guise of an old Brahmin. With due respect and decorum and apt choice of words; Hanuman indicated his true nature and background. In return, he came to know how and why Rama and Lakshmana arrived in Kishkindha. You may ask me why Hanuman had disguised himself as a Brahmin. If he appeared, he thought, as the monkey he was, they might not heed his words. However, he had given them the facts, hadn't he? There is no hidden evil design in this. Rama often referred to himself saying Again and again, "I am a man," "I am the son of Dasaratha", and so on, pointing out thereby the new ideal for man.

But with Krishna , it is altogether a different story. Saying, mamanusmara yudhya ca, Thinking of me, fight; manmana bhava madbhakto madyaji mam namaskuru, Keeping me in your mind, become my devotee, offer sacrifices to me, bow down to me; yogaksemam vahamyaham, I look after their welfare; Krishna unmistakably affirmed in the Gita His divinity in a variety of contexts. These are the specific differences between the two incarnations. Men should conduct themselves in the path of Rama and lead their lives as Krishna had instructed. All names belong to the Lord as do all forms. There is no place or thing in this universe that is not divine. Therefore, you may worship in any way you wish, when you do so wholeheartedly, with a broad outlook and wide sympathy. Whatever the course of the river may be, its destination is only the sea. In this way you should understand that all forms of worship and spiritual exercise reach the one God.

Q254)    Swami! All your discourses are value-oriented and nectarine. We notice today `gratitude' a noble value, totally missing. How do our ancient epics depict this value?

Bhagawan: The Ramayana depicts this noblest value, gratitude, in an excellent manner. Samudrudu (Ocean God) owes his existence to Sagara, a King of the Surya dynasty. Rama was also of the same dynasty. So, Samudrudu was very eager to express his sense of gratitude to Rama by participating in the mission of rescuing Sita.. The opportunity to serve Rama came his way when Hanuman was proceeding to Lanka in search of Sita across the sky and over the mighty ocean.

Samudrudu approached Mainaka and said, "Look, Mainaka! You are a mountain hiding yourself in the sea. I am sure you haven't forgotten the old days when all the mountains had wings and could fly anywhere and everywhere till Indra had clipped their wings in response to the prayerful calls of people for help. Do you remember that you alone were saved from this disgrace because of the intervention of Vayudeva, wind-god to help you out? Well, his son, Hanuman, is now passing this way to Lanka over the ocean where you are lying. Now is your opportune moment to express your gratitude to his father. Please pass on to him the secret of killing Lankini. Lankini is the female demon guarding the entrance of Lanka. The secret is that if anybody slaps her on the cheek, she will have an instantaneous death. She knows that she will die in this way when a monkey finds its entry into Lanka which will soon be followed by the fall of Lanka and the death of Ravana."

Mainaka accordingly took the opportunity and rose from the sea and prayed to Hanuman, "Oh! Lord! Your father Vayudeva helped me, or else I would have lost my wings. Hanuman! Please take rest here. Have some fruits and then proceed. Let me also tell you how to kill Lankini, the demon guarding the gate of Lanka. Slap her on the cheek. Only then according to a curse, she will die" Hanuman said, "Mainaka! I won't eat, drink, or take rest even for a moment until the task assigned to me by Rama is completed. However, I appreciate your gesture of gratitude." Thus, both Mainaka and Samudrudu expressed their gratitude. They are the ideals for everyone to emulate.

There is also another episode in the Ramayana. Vali abducted Sugriva's wife, Ruma. Rama killed Vali and restored to Sugriva his wife and kingdom. In order to express his gratitude to Rama for all this, Sugriva offered to provide an army of vanaras, monkeys, to Rama on his march to kill Ravana and other raksasas and rescue Sita. But as ill-luck would have it, he was delayed in his mission. Rama sent Lakshmana to remind Sugriva of his promise.

Full of fury Lakshmana went to Sugriva. Watching the seriousness of the situation, Sugriva sent Tara to speak to Lakshmana. She said, "Swami! This is the rainy season, and, it is coming to a close very soon. By the time you go back, you will find three crores of monkeys ready to assist you to fight the rakshasas in Lanka. My husband, Sugriva, has not forgotten the promise given to Rama. He is not ungrateful to Him. Swami Lakshmana! Don't you know how a couple feel sad because of separation from each other! You have been seeing your brother Rama feeling sad due to separation from his consort Sita; our position was also like that till recently. We felt miserable because of separation from each other. Only now, by the grace of Rama we are spending our time together happily. This does not mean that we have forgotten the promise made to Him. Sugriva is not of that type." These words of Tara pacified the anger of Lakshmana.

Sugriva stands for gratitude. It is the worst of sins to forget the good done to you. A dog is a good example of gratitude. If you give a morsel of food to a dog, it will never forget you. Should you not be grateful to Swami, who is taking care of you, as we say like the eye your eye-lid every moment of your life? Swami never wants or expects anything from you. These values I have spoken of are for your own good.

Q255)    Swami! Pardon us for misunderstanding the scriptures. We feel that certain statements are contradictory to each other, and we are at a loss to know what is to be accepted and what is to be rejected. One scripture says 'brahma satyam jaganmithya,' ‘God is truth while the world is illusion'. You said, "There is no maya." How are we to understand the scriptural statement in the light of what you have told us about maya? Moreover, the same scripture says; `sarvarn visnumayam jagat,’  ‘The whole Universe is Divine.' Then, what and where is delusion or Maya! Of the two statements, contradictory to each other, which one is true?

Bhagawan: Both the statements are equally true though they seem opposed to each other. The whole mistake lies in your understanding or rather your misunderstanding. They apply to your own mental state; your experience determines your own level of understanding the truth.

Here is an example for you. Suppose I ask you "When did you come?" your reply would be, `Just now. Swami!' Isn't it? Analyse your answer. When you said, "I have come just now", what is it that has come here? Your "I", does it refers, to yourself or to your body? You have identified yourself with your body. You think, you are the body. So, the one that has come now is your body (you are the body-feeling). Later, you start complaining, "My leg is paining", "My head reels" and "My hand shakes". Examine these statements clearly. You say "my leg", "my hand" "my head" and so on. Now, put a question to yourself, "who is this my?" When you say, "This is my hand", it means you are different from your hand. You are different from the limbs, senses, etc. You are the owner or master and all the rest are instruments. In these statements, you indirectly or unconsciously convey that you are .not the body. Earlier, when you said, "I have come now" you meant the body and now when you say "my leg", "my head", you mean you are different from your body.

Similarly in Sadhana when you view from body identification from the dualistic standpoint, the first statement, brahma satyam jaganmithya, is true (body identification I have come now). But, when you speak from the atmic view, spirit, or non-dualistic approach, your second statement that you are different from your body (my leg, my hand, my head. etc) is true.

So, the truth conveyed in `sarvam visnumayam jagat' holds good. You have to understand the statement in this sense. You should never consider the statements of our scriptures as contradictory to each other. They are stated to meet the needs of people of different mental levels.

Source: SATYOPANISAD VOL - II [Part-III, Mahabharata] by Anil Kumar Kamaraja

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