May I?

O my lord, O best of the givers of benediction, if you will kindly grant me the benediction I desire, please let me not meet death from any of the living entities created by you. Grant me that I not die within any residence or outside any residence, during the daytime or at night, nor on the ground or in the sky. Grant me that my death not be brought by any being other than those created by you, nor by any weapon, nor by any human being or animal. Grant me that I not meet death from any entity, living or non-living. Grant me, further, that I not be killed by any demigod or demon or by any great snake from the lower planets. Since no one can kill you in the battlefield, you have no competitor. Therefore, grant me the benediction that I too may have no rival. Give me sole lordship over all the living entities and presiding deities, and give me all the glories obtained by that position. Furthermore, give me all the mystic powers attained by long austerities and the practice of yoga, for these cannot be lost at any time.” – Srimad Bhagavatham 7.3.35-38

If we don’t want to realise the purpose of life as a human being and indulge in everything else other this, we are inferior to even demons whose only purpose in their life is sense gratification. The above verse is from Srimad Bhagavatham where Hiranyakasipu, the king of the demons, on performing long austerities to Lord Brahma asks for the above benedictions thinking himself over-smart only to be put to dust later by Lord Narasimhadeva, the magnificent incarnation of The Supreme Personality of Godhead – Lord Shri Krishna/Lord Vishnu.

This prayer/poem “May I” is an inspiration based on the above benedictions by Hiranyakasipu in order to understand what is our actual position and what should be our real aspiration. “May I” is dedicated to Lord Narasimhadeva, the man-lion incarnation.

May I!

May I beg Lord Shri Krishna that I forever be under His protection and fully surrendered to him!

May these transgressions from spiritual pursuits to be realised only for the time being till I am absolved of my family responsibilities and obligations!

May I able to quit family life then and forever be under Your mercy and protection O Shri Krishna!

May I always live with minimalistic needs while all the time involve myself in chanting your Holy names, reading, writing and listening about You and Your pastimes!

May I quit this body at Your will, while being forever remain surrendered to You life after life!

May this soul always be at Your mercy, so there is no reason to ask for any benediction from You!

May whatever be the condition You put to this soul Please let me always remember You because without your remembrance this soul just cannot exist!

 May I beg You to make me remain as a dust under Your lotus feet since I don’t know to perform any austerities properly nor I know to interpret you properly. All I know is You only!

May I forever be under the shelter of your pure devotees and by fully surrendered to them to solicit their company to continuously chant Your names and Your Holy pastimes!

May I not want any palatable food that kindles the taste buds that drag me into the mode of passion and ignorance. I also don’t want anything else that will make me forget You!

May I not sleep at all because it will make me forget You and to chant Your Holy names all the time – Hare Krishna Mahamantra, Vishnu Sahasranamam and all glorious prayers written for You by Your devotees – prayers that are worthy to be sung!

May I always sing Your prayers describing Your insignia – Sudarshan chakra conch club sword bow etc which are non-different from You!

May I always sing prayers about your glorious incarnations matsya kurma varaha Narasimha Vamana Parasurama Rama Balarama Krishna Kalki which are non-different from you!

May I always sing prayers about your consorts who are your internal potencies – Goddess Maha Lakshmi,  Srimati Radharani and so on!

May I forget hunger, thirst, family relationships and whatever material assets you have given me that will anyway leave me at the time of quitting this body which is only a bag that is constantly emitting foul substances but still wants to enjoy these impermanent things called material nature!

May I always remember You because You only are the object and objective worth remembering!

May I always remember you because You are the only one who is eternal – existing before the creation, during the creation, during the sustenance, during the annihilation and also after the annihilation You only remain!

May I always be surrendered to You without any inhibitions or any expectations!

May I always remain surrendered to You and be under Your protection seeking absolutely nothing from anyone or anything else!

May I always continue to remain in this mindset of being fully surrendered to You under any situation that may be imposed because of karma!

May this commitment of being fully surrendered to you never ever waver no matter what, irrespective of whatever tribulations that I may be put in!

May this act of surrendering to you unconditionally be the only permanent thing in my mind!

May I beg you to accept my Surrender to you – this insignificant soul – and resolve me of all the sins and harms that I have committed to myself and to any living being either willingly or unwillingly!

May I sincerely seek Your forgiveness and beg You to accept my surrender and that I face all the eventualities that will arise out of my foolishness wholeheartedly and make sure I do not commit the same foolishness again!

Finally, please accept my surrender and make me do everything for You without expectation of any reward and make me do everything ONLY for the satisfaction to you!

And by surrendering to You unconditionally Please let your unsurmountable illusory energy Maya not act on me for without wholehearted surrender to Your Lotus feet, this is just not possible!

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare!

Om Namo Naaraayanaaya!

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya!

Conversation 065 – Detachment, Surrender and Liberation

This conversation is between a middle-aged person and his mother discussing about detachment, surrender and on achieving liberation from this material existence.

Seeker 2: Even if people knows about their problems very well, they do not make an attempt to fix it but do something else to get diverted away from it temporarily, will the problem go away by itself?

Seeker 2: I was just lying in a sofa without doing anything for two hours pondering about my issues and now only getting a bit fresh and you came to meet me.

Seeker 2: I understand that Krishna is doing everything for a reason and hence I have no regrets. Only the external mind is undergoing everything and affecting the soul that is foolishly attached to the mind.

Seeker 1: Hmm. I am thinking of how I was at the age of 35 to 45.

Seeker 2: I say don’t think about it because it will only give you pain considering the facilities for learning available now and available then and still people not making use of it!

Seeker 2: No use talking and praising about self-achievements. Does that change the present situation? Only by understanding the reality and endeavour to come out of these situations every time and learning from the experiences to face new situations can one survive in this present hostile world.

Seeker 2: You always say this situation will change and yes it will and it does. It may change for the better or for the worse but one should be equipoised in both the situations because we should understand that certain things are beyond our control.

Seeker 1: Yes!

Seeker 2: Krishna says to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita: wise people do not lament either for the living or for the dead. Arjuna (Nara) is a human incarnation of Lord Vishnu / Lord Krishna (Naaraayanaa) but still has to undergo these kinds of situations, what are we compared to him?

Seeker 2: Srimad Bhagavatham mentions how Vidura was overtaken by grief because of his brother and his sons who acted without virtue throughout their life and how Uddhava was unable to handle the separation of Krishna but both Vidura and Uddhava were equipoised despite their difficult situations because both of them knew the science of God.

Seeker 1: Yes, the wheel of time is always spinning. It is not always at the bottom; it has to come to the top.

Seeker 2: If you do not find people with like disposition, for few moments negative thoughts always come up but only Krishna can give the intelligence to come out of these situations. There is no use worrying about anyone or anything. Everyone is destined to face their situations and they have to ultimately come out of it by their own endeavours.

Seeker 2: Knowing this if you still get depressed then what do we learn from our past experiences? Trying to get out of these relationships and live impartially is the only means to attain liberation. Realising birth and death process is a biggest pain and getting away from it is the biggest knowledge, everything else is useless!

Seeker 1: What to do, I am an ordinary human being?

Seeker 2: Everybody is ordinary only. Going beyond and realising these facts is what makes humans different from animals!

Seeker 1: Yes, that is too hard. Blood is thicker than water.

Seeker 2: Tell me how did your mother live? Have you seen her getting attached to anyone or anything? Tell me this and your answer will tell if she is a good candidate for liberation.

Seeker 1: How shall I tell this? She was hard of hearing and that was somewhat advantageous to her, but she was very intelligent.

Seeker 2: Yes. Still she was also a human being like us with emotions, relationships, eyes that can see all the nonsense happening around and understand what is going on. Right?  Tell me based on this!

Seeker 1: She always use to say I have to leave this world when everyone of you is in a good position. That was her prayer all the time.

Seeker 2: There is nothing special in this. Everyone wishes that only. Being in a good position is only a relative concept. If people around you are greedy and envious, every situation is bad and unfortunate. Most people are not contented with how much ever they have got or how much ever they have achieved in their life.

Seeker 1: Yes. She has never gotten angry with anyone or anything anytime, never acting with emotions, always treating everyone equally, revering her husband for whatever he may have done. Always getting up very early and doing her duties wholeheartedly and without any grudge, not getting envy or jealous of anyone, not lazy any time, always very good and works really hard to full satisfaction of everyone – all these characteristics were there.

Seeker 2: All these are certainly divine characteristics of godly people. All our characteristics are certainly determined and tested at the time of death for sure, only based on that one gets a next birth or not in this material universe. If one has leftover desires even subtle, still there is no escape from next birth!

Seeker 2: One should not desire next birth at any cost. This is the biggest blunder because what one gets as the next birth is determined by what one did so far and is not according to one’s own whims and fancies. So somehow one has got to get detached from this material world, though extremely difficult but not impossible.

Seeker 2: That is why maam ekam saranam vraja is the biggest secret, often mentioned by learned authorities as secret of all secrets!

Seeker 1: Yes, I will try my level best.

Seeker 2: Yes, all of us should yearn and strive for that. Performing fruitive activities, going to temple yearning for material rewards or accomplishments etc are useless activities aimed at degradation of the soul. They are all to be considered as mere rituals and hence only leads to bondage. Unless one renounce everything from the bottom of the heart, liberation cannot be attained.

Seeker 1: mam ekam saranam vraja.

Seeker 2: Hare Krishna!

Trying to be a preceptor in a mundane world!

There are lot of predicaments for a person aspiring to be a sincere preceptor in this mundane world at the present moment because of the highly unfavourable circumstances and the rampous opposition by unscrupulous elements who do not want to change the status quo, just to hold their sway for their own selfish ends.

This post attempts to reflect on the challenges and solutions for a sincere preceptor in this modern world, attempting to uplift the thought process of the youth in particular at this moment or any thinking person in general for their betterment.

The purpose is to not to get carried over to the 99% majority and living in that state for the rest of the life.

The influence of the malaise’s introduced due to this present iron age of Kali that has infiltrated and ingrained into every system, that makes human beings entangled in all sorts of vices, causing deterioration and threatening their very own existence.

Surely no one is to be blamed for this, because all of us have been inheriting these qualities gradually over the 5000+ years through disciplic succession for generations through our parentage (LOL).

This has started to happen as soon as the disappearance of Lord Shri Krishna from this world after performing his pastimes.

Though Lord Shri Krishna has given us lots of transcendental literatures like Bhagavad Gita, Uddhava Gita through Srimad Bhagavatham etc. and also several others through His realised devotees and also through his very incarnation(s) itself as He lived His way of life to teach us how to actually live and not just exist just like living beings that lacks developed intelligence and consciousness.

But we are not realising the importance of these transcendental literatures and continue to live a life of zero purpose!

So many preceptors have come and gone since then and hardly an infinitesimal has picked up and grasped a miniscule of these thoughts – the less than 1% of the aspirers apply these teachings to their very life and also influence the people around them.

It is a clear fact that we have to change ourselves through our own efforts and none whatsoever can have any influence on this.

That is why this is called science of self-development, understanding of the self, science of self-realisation etc., because external influences can play only that much part

  • as to kindle an introspection within ourselves to look out for the reasons of our sufferings,
  • to seek that knowledge, that enable us to realise the reality of the actual situation,
  • to strongly believe that we are living in an illusion,
  • to understand that we are living in just a world of sugar coated bitter pills with adverse side effects,
  • to observe and learn from the solutions that are already offered by this very material nature, though the same material nature acts as a deluding effect for those with poor fund of knowledge.

It’s like extracting out the thorn through another thorn though both are of the same nature, by understanding the discriminating nature of the same substance at different situations.

The following examples are worth to look and ponder for our own self-development:

  • The blooming lotus surviving in filth, whose leaves never get tainted or touched by even a single drop of water though being in a muddy pool, illustrating how to live detached in this world of multiple distractions that inhibit the process of self-realisation.
  • The swan that separates the water from the milk, illustrating the necessity to discriminate between knowledge and ignorance/nescience/illusion to attain a higher purpose.
  • The tortoise that hides and withdraws into its shell immediately and completely under threatening situations and waits for a favourable situation, illustrating the aspect of proactiveness, control of senses, when to act/when not to act, when to react/when not to react and how to apply the knowledge to make any situation favourable.
  • The deer that gets lured to the sweet sounds of the hunter and gets caught in the net / a frog that croaks only to be easily detected by the snake to become its prey, illustrating how the sense of sound (hear/produce) can lead to one’s own downfall if one does not have the knowledge to discriminate between its good and bad effects.
  • The python that waits for its prey for days without any movement and gets satisfied with whatever that comes its way, illustrating full faith in nature/God for satisfying our basic needs and as human beings use the provided intelligence to work towards a higher purpose.
  • The snake that gets into the residence of others residences like caves and ant hills without the necessity to construct one for its own, illustrating the aspect of living in a simple uncomplicated residence and lead a simple life to utilise time and energy for other productive purposes.
  • The Koel bird that lays its eggs on the crow’s nest, illustrating the full faith in nature/God that even to protect its own progeny we need not actually endure that much undue pain because we are helpless in the laws of nature/God for its unpredictable nature and that the nature itself protects its helpless children.
  • The chameleon that changes its colour to adapt to the surroundings, illustrating the importance of adapting to any adverse situation using one’s own intelligence and foresight.
  • The male elephant that gets lured to the sight of the she-elephant to get into a trap set by the hunter, illustrating how getting attracted too much to the sense of sight and how too much attraction towards the opposite sex can lead to one’s own devastation.
  • The camel that relishes the taste of its own blood when eating its food in the midst of thorns, illustrating our very self that undergoes unsurmountable pain, just for a little sense pleasures “gained” by being acted upon and getting associated with the three modes of material nature – goodness, passion and ignorance.
  • The jack-ass that struggles through the day carrying huge burden for its master only to get beaten all the time, all for a small bunch of grass, that it could very well get on his own, grazing the pasturing grounds, illustrating the lack of inclination towards spiritual knowledge which is real knowledge and acting in utter foolishness similar to the ones who gets lured by the imperfect material knowledge that only causes to get entangled into material existence because this knowledge is meant only for gratifying the senses and not for any other higher purpose!
  • The jack-ass gets repeatedly kicked by a she-ass when it requests for courtship, illustrating the tendency for males to get excessively attracted to females and getting dominated by them, just for getting little sensual pleasures, enduring ridicule, chastisement and being hen-pecked and finally getting gratified after being mortified (the puranjana saga in Srimad Bhagavatham is a great example of this). The concept of being hen-pecked and its impact on the process of self-realisation will be detailed in a later post.
  • The ants and the bees cooperating in their activities with a marked sense of division of labour and self-sufficiency, illustrating living beings with insignificant brain size and insignificant brain mass can explain us a lot as to how to create and live in a organised society of perfect harmony – how the concept of Varnashrama System – the intellectual class, the military class, the mercantile class and the labour class working in unison through division of labour can be self-sufficient to achieve their intended purpose through Karma Yoga or acting selflessly without any expectation of reward to achieve a higher purpose.

The examples are just numerous to be mentioned and a lot of lessons could be learnt from them for our betterment by taking them as our preceptors or spiritual masters.

Our standard of living would not have been this pathetic now had we taken a leaf out of their book just by taking even one or two examples and apply it in our lives!

Still the attempts needs to be carried out for those 1% aspirers and by those 1% aspirers, it’s just because of them the world still exists despite its huge discrepancies and deficiencies.

It is a strong belief in our scriptures that even a single person has the potential to transform the future of this entire world for good.

In scriptures, the incarnations of Lord Maha Vishnu/Lord Shri Krishna are mentioned as Tri-Yuga.

In other words, the Lord incarnates as His personal form only in the first three yugas viz., Satya, Treta and Dwapara.

In Kali Yuga, He does not appear in His personal form because of its contaminated nature and appears only as a covered incarnation in the form of a devotee like Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu etc. and the propagation of devotional service through Sankirtana yoga or chanting of the holy name of the Lord because modes to realise the absolute truth suitable in other Yugas are just not suitable for the age of Kali because of its inherent nature.

Thus, sincere devotional service, applied with the knowledge of transcendental scriptures to teach the love of God is the only means to awaken the people in slumber in material existence in this age of darkness.

Thank you very much and best wishes for reading this entire post to the full…

Special acknowledgments with gratitude and references to the beautiful description of The Puranjana Saga by Hints to the Ancient Wisdom:

  1. Myth or a Symbol? – Story of Puranjana – Part 1
  2. Myth or a Symbol? – Story of Puranjana – Part 2

Mundane!

Inspired by the grand old lady of Tamil poetry Avvaiyaar (Tamil: ஔவையார்; literally means ‘Respectable Woman’) and her classic   treatise Moodhurai (மூதுரை) , where the opposite characteristics are beautifully poetically expressed in two consecutive stanzas, I am writing this post on similar lines to my earlier post titled Unknown and this post is titled Mundane!

The intention to depict opposites is because everything is relative and hence opposites are inevitable in this world and may be taken relative to one’s position based on the observer and the observed, perceiver and the perceived.

For example, a person fallen on the ground will not have to fall down further because he is already fallen! but a person standing on the ground or a person sitting at an elevated position can experience a fall 😊.

The purpose of this post is to depict the dual states of being in knowledge and being in ignorance.

Ignorance is not bliss in all circumstances!

Fire causes a burn to a little child irrespective of whether the child knows the characteristics of the fire or not.

Water drowns a person irrespective of whether the person is aware of this fact or not because that has got to do with the chemical composition and physical properties of the person and the water and it will act according to it.

Poison acts on the person irrespective of whether the person knows its side effects or not and whether he has consumed it voluntarily or not.

Medicine acts on the person irrespective of whether the person has the knowledge of its potency or not and whether it is has the propensity or cure or whether it causes adverse side effects.

It is the nature of substances to act according to its composition and properties.

Humans are no exception in this regard, having constituted of five gross material elements in various proportions, each having its own properties and the three subtle elements mind, intelligence and false ego governed by the combination of three modes of material nature – goodness, passion and ignorance.

Thus we (mind) are helplessly acting because of the functions of these gross and subtle elements in material creation.

It is to understand this fact that we mundane, needs to transcend beyond the modes of material nature. We are not mundane in the real sense because we have a mind and an intelligence that can discriminate but since everything is governed by the modes of material nature in this material universe and we are also part and parcel of it, we are in the cycle.

Akrura during his mission to Hastinapura emphasises this fact to King Dhritharashtra through this beautiful advice:

In this world no one has any permanent relationship with anyone else, O King. We cannot stay forever even with our own body, what to speak of our wife, children and the rest. Every creature is born alone and dies alone, and alone one experiences the just rewards of his good and evil deeds.” – Srimad Bhagavatham – 10.49.2021.

The accumulation of our good and evil deeds since time immemorial and also the deeds in our present life determines the ever-transforming combination of the three mode of material nature that is responsible for the unique mental composition of each one of us and that drives our way of life in the present and the next destination after death! It’s only by the endeavour to being in the mode of goodness and by finally transcending even this material mode of goodness to a transcendental mode of goodness or Suddha-Sattva, there is an escape from this material existence.

Before going to the aspects of mundane, first, due respects to the grand old lady of Tamil poetry Avvaiyaar as to how she brings in the pair of opposite nature of people in this world:

 “நல்லாரைக் காண்பதுவும் நன்றே; நலம் மிக்க

நல்லார் சொல் கேட்பதுவும் நன்றே – நல்லார்

குணங்கள் உரைப்பதுவும் நன்றே

அவரோடு இணங்கி இருப்பதுவும் நன்று– Stanza 8 – Moodhurai

This translates to:

“It is beneficial to see people of good character,

It is beneficial to listen to their words,

It is beneficial to talk about their lives and

It is beneficial to have them as friends.”

The opposite has been written with such a minimalistic effort and choice of words and can be noticed just by visually observing the arrangements of alphabets between the two stanzas, even without knowing the language! This is reflected even in the translation!

தீயாரைக் காண்பதுவும் தீதே; திரு அற்ற

தீயார் சொல் கேட்பதுவும் தீதே – தீயார்

குணங்கள் உரைப்பதுவும் தீதே;

அவரோடு இணங்கி இருப்பதுவும் தீது.”Stanza 9

This translates to:

“It is harmful to see the wicked,

It is harmful to listen to their words,

It is harmful to talk about their character and

It is harmful to have them as friends.”

https://wiki2.org/en/Moothurai

Coming to the mundane:

Mundane are the ways of the mundane

Mundane is being in bondage

Mundane is the incomplete

Mundane is the one that is easily known

Mundane is the Jivatma (due to its externally looking nature and perceiving through imperfect senses)

Mundane is the activated (by the Paramaathma, Antaryaama, Indwelling or Supersoul)

Mundane is the eternal servant (either to senses (during material existence) or to the supreme lord (after liberation))

Mundane cannot realise that unknown

Mundane speculates using the imperfect knowledge of material sciences

Mundane cannot attain the unknown

Mundane drives itself using the material senses

Mundane identifies with the body

Mundane identifies with the senses

Mundane identifies with the mind

Mundane identifies with the intellect

Mundane identifies with the intelligence

Mundane identifies with the ego

Mundane is being in a state of forgetting the original identity

Mundane is being bound by feelings and actions

Mundane is being materialistic

Mundane is being in a tendency to dominate material nature

Mundane is being in a state of inequilibrium

Mundane is being bound by the modes of material nature

Mundane is being superficial

Mundane is being predictable to circumstances and situations

Mundane is being known

Mundane is being slave of the senses

Mundane is being in the concept of “I” and “Mine”

Mundane is being conditioned

Mundane is being in a bodily state of existence

Mundane is being in a state of lamentation due to failed desires

Mundane is being afraid of death

Mundane is being considering oneself as a “doer”

Mundane is being in a sense of proprietorship

Mundane is being in a state of sense gratification

Mundane is being in a state of forgetfulness

Mundane is being in illusion

But…

Mundane is to be overcome

Mundane is to become self-realized

Mundane is to realise the pangs of four-fold misery – birth, death, old age and disease

Mundane is to attain the Unknown

Mundane is to realise it is only spiritual knowledge that is factual and eternal, all else is temporary and nescience

Mundane is to realise the tricks of speculators, jugglers and pseudo-mystics and not to fall into their trap

Mundane is to listen to the inner voice by shutting out the external noises

Mundane is to engage in solitary pursuits to purify body mind and intellect

Mundane is to thoroughly understand the transient nature of material existence

Mundane is to slowly get detested detached from this transient world through knowledge of revealed spiritual literatures from a spiritual master (alive or not alive taking the master by heart)

Mundane is to learn to tolerate bodily and mental pain inflicted through the three sources 1. Adhyatmik 2. Adhibhautik 3. Adhidaivik. (miseries inflicted by the body and mind itself, those inflicted by other living entities, and natural disturbances)

Mundane is to realise the futility of senseless exploitation of mother nature and learn to live in harmony with all the living entities

Mundane is to reject man-Gods or man-made Gods and understand that there is a supreme controller who is the source of everything

Mundane is to learn to surrender to that supreme

Mundane is to totally understand the helplessness in the hands of material nature and the illusory energy of the Lord

Mundane is to learn to activate the intellect to our pursuits towards the absolute truth through devotional service

Mundane is to acknowledge the indwelling that is doing its designated duty and functions in a subtle manner

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that activates the consciousness to awaken ourselves from sleep

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that activates our vital organs to perform its functions

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that controls the fire of digestion that digests four types of food stuff – Bhagavad Gita 15.14

Mundane is to acknowledge that it is the indwelling that activates the five prana

Mundane is to acknowledge the indwelling is unknown…no one knows how it does these activities for our survival in the material world

Mundane needs to understand that the process of self-realization can only start from inward to outward.

Mundane needs to understand the futility of material existence and want to give it up.

Mundane needs to understand whether to transcend from this mundane existence to a transcendental state is self-discretion…

To summarise, a mundane should realise that human life is a misery at every step, confronted with dangers due to the propensity of the soul to lord it over material nature through the deluding power of false ego, injecting the concepts of I and mine, having lured by the unsurmountable illusory potential of Maya (at least in theory) to get entangled perpetually through the attractions of opposite sex, progeny and wealth remaining in the trap of material existence, the way out of this trap is self-realization through knowledge and surrender through devotional service to the Supreme Lord.

Related Post:

  1. Unknown

Vaishnava Sampradayas (Contd.)

This post may be taken as a side note to the Conversation 039 – Vaishnava Sampradayas (Tradition/Spiritual Lineage)

The subtle variations of intrepretations by great acharyas of various sampradayas/schools and the many liberated souls, combined with our own understandings of their philosophies that give rise to brainstorming with meaningful interesting discussions thus clearing our doubts and ignorance and broadens our insights.

🙂

You would be knowing the four bonafide/primary Vaishnava Sampradayas:
1. Sri/Maha Lakshmi – the consort of Lord Naarayana/Maha Vishnu (Sri Ramanujacharya – an expansion of Lakshmana/Sankharshana/Aadishesha – http://sriramanujar.tripod.com/ramanuja.html),
2. Brahma (Sri Madhvacharya – the (self-proclaimed?) third avatar or incarnation of Vayu, wind god, the son of Vishnu – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhvacharya / http://globalpress.hinduismnow.org/global-press-originals/god/madhvacharya-third-incarnation-vayu/),
3. Rudra/’Lord Shiva (Sri Vishnuswami (https://gaudiyahistory.iskcondesiretree.com/vishnu-swami/) + Sri Vallabhacharya (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vallabha) ) and
4. Gaudiya (Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu – a devotee incarnation of Lord Shri Krishna – http://www.krishna.com/info/chaitanya-mahaprabhu).

All of them are identified by subtle variations and even have sub sects in them having further subtle differences in their main tenets.

For example, Sri Sampradaya is branched into two subsects – the Northeners (Vadagalai – the sect i belong to by birth 🙂  ) – the progressive, and the Southerners (Thengalai) – the more orthodox…

This article by my favourite Stephen Knapp that briefly explains various aspects of this and is worth reading. – https://www.sanskritimagazine.com/indian-religions/hinduism/sampradayas-four-main-chains-discipline-successions-hinduism/

You may excuse my limited knowledge of variations between various manifestation of Lord Krishna/Lord Maha Vishnu/Lord Naaraayanaa and the interchange in terms of name/usage – Lila-incarnations, incarnations, expansions, primary expansions, secondary expansions, expansions of an expansion, portions, plenary portions, portions of plenary portions etc.

But the ultimate thing to note is that they are all specially empowered beings designated with a specific purpose during the course of their descent into the material plane and subsequent ascent into the spiritual plane once their mission/purpose is accomplished.

They are Nitya (https://www.yogapedia.com/definition/5717/nitya), determined to bless us jiva souls to also to transcend/ascent to their plane and it is up to us to utilize the teachings and follow their path (in whatever ideology that one may find comfortable to follow because of their modes of material nature -apart from the above four , not to ignore / forget the Advaita school of thought propounded by Aadi Shankaracharya, an empowered expansion of Lord Shiva/Rudra as mentioned in the Padma Purana and Shiva Purana, refutations of this school of thought is the primary factor behind the tenets of the vaishnava sampradayas that came into existence/prominence after the ascent and descent of Aadi Shankara).

It’s only the spiritual evolution and the realisation of the impermenance, ever-changing and ever-transforming attributes of the material universe and the need to transcend beyond it that is of primary importance.

This concludes my 150th blog post!

Note: Regarding transcendence, one may refer to this amazing, mind-blowing book – Transcendence – My Spiritual experiences with Pramukh Swamiji and be blown over by it! – A dialogue between The People’s President, The Missile Man, above all a great human being to have walked on this earth, Dr.A.P.J Abdul Kalam(1931-2015) and Pramukh Swamiji(1921-2016) – the acharya from the lineage of Bhagwan Swami Narayan school of Vaishnava Sampradaya – the treatise Vachanamruta being the bible of the teachings of this Sampradaya, and the establishment of Akshardham temples all over the world under his leadership, particularly the amazing Akshardham temple at Noida, New Delhi, India.

These are the books that has the capability to alter the course of our thought process for good!

Conversation 054 – The Sisumara Planetary Systems

This conversation is inspired from my post titled Magnificence of Srimad Bhagavatham with an amazing seeker that I have ever come across in my infinitesimal spiritual journey so far.

The topic of discussion is primarily on Canto 5: Chapter 23 – The Śiśumāra Planetary Systems of Srimad Bhagavatham.

This has opened both of us to reveal our latent understandings of this magnificent scripture.

Here it is:

Seeker 1: Bhagavatham is one of the grand keys to open the Pandora of Puranas. Have you really read/gone through the scripture? Just curious. Because, the chapters on. Sisumara chakra (tortoise back), Kapila and Devahuti discussions, Vidura and Maitreya discussions, etc are filled with many interesting points. In fact, the metamorphosis of Life from Mineral, Plant and human kingdoms is very secretively given in this Purana. The Darwin’s theory of material evolution forms a subset of our grand theory of evolution of soul. Also, can you give me the sources of your knowledge that will give me a hint as to what line of thought influenced your writings? It helps me to tailor my comments in best way possible, if I am aware of that source of course! Anyway, I will be reading other articles of yours.

Seeker 2: Thank you very much for this valuable insight. Bhagavatham is the key to my life since 2011 🙂 it continues to inspire for lifetimes of learning. Sisumara chakra is dolphin. The symmetrical arrangements of 27 stars on both sides, the arrangement of various other planets and luminaries…

Tortoise or kurma avatar comes in the 8th canto during churning of ocean by demigods and demons for nectar…

There are so many topics in Bhagavatham that are so subtle…

for example Hiranyakashipu’s sermon to his mother Diti and Hiranyaksha’s wife Kayadhu on the nature of the soul when they were lamenting for Hiranyaksha’s death at the hands of Lord Varaha,

the story of the king of Ushinara kingdom and Lord Yama in the form of small boy instructing on the illusions about death and material relationships,

the Hamsa Guhya prayers by Prajapathi Daksha for creating progeny through the womb of his wife Pāñcajanī,

the story of King Chitraketu and his small son teaching the philosophy of the soul through the dhristi of sage narada and angira after re-entering the dead body,

the story of King Anga and King Vena,

the most important story told to prachinabaari on puranjana by sage narada on transmigration of soul,

song sung by lord shiva to the prachetas,

the narayana kavacha for killing vritrasura,

the story of jada bharath,

the enigmatic comparisons meted out to son of Daksha – Haryaśvas and Savalāśvas by narada for their renunciation from material life,

the bhumi gita, the uddhava gita, the aila gita (part of Uddhava Gita),

the gopi gita on the prayers of their separation with lord krishna,

the story of various incarnations,

the teachings of the sages at kurukshetra,

the chatur sloki bhagavatham on the absolute truth,

the concept of absolute time,

the dimensions of universe,

the concepts of creation, annihilation and dissolutions,

the three modes of material nature,

the various types of Mayas of the supreme lord,

the prayers by vidura, akrura, chitaketu and the demigods at several times and several situations,

instructions by nine yogendras to king nimi,

the lilas of krishna in 10th canto. etc.

I just mention whatever that comes straight out of my mind. there is much much more direct as well as subtler aspects. I mean Bhagavatham is more than everything to me…and it is the driving force in my life 🙂

Seeker 1: Sisumara is Tortoise and kurma is turtle (both have a difference), just a humble correction. I can see your immersive joy in Bhagavatam. This is the intended purpose of outcome of Bhagavatam by Vyasa. You are blessed. A continuous effort on knowing and being with something is called Dharanaa and this reveals many secrets that cannot be understood by normal read. Since 2011 implies your deep constant connection with it and so the unfoldment of wisdom like a lotus flower.

Seeker 2: Thank you so much…I would do more exhaustive study on Srimad Bhagavatham than anything else for the rest of my life if given a chance 🙂

https://vedabase.io/en/library/sb/5/23/4/  – The Sisumara Planetary Systems – “This great machine, consisting of the stars and planets, resembles the form of a śiśumāra [dolphin] in the water. It is sometimes considered an incarnation of Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. Great yogīs meditate upon Vāsudeva in this form because it is actually visible.”

The form could also be interpreted as a tortoise as you have been mentioning.as mentioned in this link:

https://dictionary.babylon-software.com/sisumara/  – “a group of stars and constellations said to resemble a dolphin, porpoise, or tortoise; held to be a form of Vishnu, and often considered as a representation of the great circle of time. As an imaginary belt, a symbolic representation of the celestial sphere, or a theoretical revolving zone or belt within which move the celestial bodies — which are the bodies of spiritual entities.

More information here: http://www.decodinghinduism.com/search/label/sisumara%20planetary%20system

This is another link – http://www.kamakoti.org/kamakoti/details/bhagvatpurana24.html  – (not related to ISKCON 🙂 ) – Sisumara Planetary System.

– “Some 13,00,000 yojanas ( 10,400,000 miles) above the ‘Great Bear’ shines high the Pole Star and the‘Sisumara System’ or the Great Machine, comprising the Stars and Planets, resembling a Dolphin in water.

Anyways it’s an aquatic with the arrangement of the various celestial bodies at various places and varied interpretations through various sources always results in ambiguity  😦 but what we require is the right conclusion and the form doesn’t matter 🙂

I hope this provides some clarification.

Seeker 1: There is a difference between exoteric and esoteric approach of Scriptures. A symbol is unique and very special association of spiritual and mundane aspects. I respect the links and info you sent. But, the truth of it lies in “Why” of the reasoning. The form is important, for it encompasses the subtle aspects that cannot be grasped on first sight. A dolphin is no symbol for Sisumara because, it’s back is smooth. The Tortoise back has divisions and a symmetry of arrangement of scales. This symmetry is mapped to the upper dome of visible skies (mahaakaasa) and inner dome of psychic skies (chittaakaasa). Also, the reference point from where all the measurements given in Bhagavatam are made, is not our solar system or our galaxy, but a far of star, in which is one of the 7 evolved solar systems (out of 12 – hint: Dvaadasa Aadityas).

But one should ask, why speak of these magnitudes in a scripture whose sole goal was divine romance? One of reasons is the internal mapping of external Universe – called “Yay Pinde Tat Brahmaande – As above so below”. Without this, one is left with mere glamour of vastness of scripture without applicability. And for this reason, turtle is used to suggest the role of Vishnu in preserving the secrets of Visible and invisible cosmos.

Another point is, the exoteric astrologists and astronomers think that the zodiac we are given the names of Ram, Bull, etc., for the shapes they resemble. This is absurd. The same reasoning I saw in above links when they said “resemble dolphin”. No group of stars or constellation resemble any living being. It is the effects produced that resulted in their esoteric symbolical name. For example, if you refer to T.Subbarow’s essay on Zodiac, you will know how the constellation Leo or Simha got its name. Simha does not mean lion, bit in one of its derivative forms implies lion, in Sanskrit. Same with Aswa. So, unless the effects are perceived, it’s futile to understand visible arrangement as particular being. I hope you understand the roots off the approach. Exoteric helps you up to certain extent. But true esoteric intuition from within tales you and helps you cross the ocean of mysticism.

Seeker 2: I can clearly observe your analytical brain to put forth logical arguments at the drop of a hat. Tortoise is used to a great effect in Bhagavad Gita’s second chapter as well as to how to withdraw our senses and keep it under control. Vishnu or Rishikesha is master of senses and sense control and so it is for a big reason to specify tortoise and give so much importance to it.

Bhagavatham says there are millions and millions of universes floating in the causal ocean and virata rupa is associated with each one of them…Lord Brahma is associated with each one of them…the arrangement of 14 planetary systems is associated with each of them…and so on…

Likewise each living organism itself is a universe with a microcosmic arrangement with the equivalent arrangement of planetary systems. the part from the waist is considered asoucha or impure and it is where the lower 7 planetary systems starting from atala to patala are situated…and then similarly we move upwards from bhur loka towards the top of the head which is satyaloka where the supreme consciousness and the control system or brain centre is located.

This body is a temple and the heart is the altar where the deity of supreme God resides. When we abuse the body mind and soul with impure food impure thoughts and impure actions the entire universe (our body) is polluted and similarly the entire physical universe is polluted in that way as we try to dominate the material nature rampantly! Material Universe has its own process to circulate itself in the form of eternal time through yuga cycles but this material body decays and the soul just keep transmigrating from body to body having failed to realise the ultimate purpose of life.

Seeker 1🙂 Let’s reserve this for our later topic – conversation: “The mysteries of multiverse and monoverse in scripture”. The comment section will be bloated with incoherent comments (when we look back in future).

Seeker 2: To conclude for now :), my last comment is in connection with the virata rupa or the universal form of the Supreme Lord floating in the waters causal ocean – the concept of Nara – Naarayaana – in a particular shape equating In the form of an aquatic organism like dolphin or tortoise or porpoise (or whale (dolphin is an evolved sub-species of whale) etc.) existing in the real world for us to perceive the universal form of the Lord and the various entities in the universe situated at various points in the body to initiate us in our spiritual realisation/meditation process to conclude that there is nothing beyond this in the material world. This is just to summarise the entire universal process. It is the first stage of God realisations as we look at things externally. Then we start to look at the Paramaatma or the Super soul residing internally in our own heart as the first intuitive spiritual guru. The final stage is the realization of the Absolute Truth as the Bhagawan or The Supreme Personality of Godhead, Lord Shri Krishna as a reservoir of the 64 transcendental qualities in full opulence. (https://mykrishnaourkrishna.blogspot.com/2016/11/krishnas-transcendental-qualities.html). This transcedental realisation enables us to be in full communion or in union with the Supreme!

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