"Self-realization is meant to ensure fulfilment for one’s own self. It is not reaching somewhere or getting at something external, like going to the peak of a mountain. The attainment is in dissolving the mind and intelligence, and getting into the very core of oneself. In other words, it is like multiplying everything with zero."

The Guiding force of Narayanashrama Tapovanam & Center for Inner Resources Development

Swami Bhoomananda Tirtha

swamiji
swamiji-header-mo
Menu
Short Description

In Ramayana which you must have read, it was written in Tretā yuga, in Ramayana sweet brotherhood is displayed, portrayed. But here you will find bitter brotherhood, the larger team intolerant of the smaller team but the smaller team persisting on their own righteousness, compassion, goodness and dharma. They were not prepared to leave their virtues and the other team was not prepared to leave their vices. Can you imagine the conflict? So it is possible that humanity always remains assorted and divergent. In the divergence quite possibly in the divergence, the wicked people, the undesirable people may be very large in number. That does not mean the desirable people and the virtuous people can resign their stand or abandon it. There is something innate in us by virtue of which our nature cannot be bartered like this. If I am true I would like to be true. If I am good I would like to be good. It is true that I am suffering from so many challenges and persecutions. But I am not prepared to barter my stand. And the wicked people are larger in number. Theirs is mostly a gross attitude. The virtuous people have got a subtle and an inner attitude. So the conflict arises.

Audio
 Listen to Prabhaata-rashmih Audio 

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru. Jai Guru.

I told you that in the Vedas and the Upanishads we only have a religio-divine background and foreground in whatever thought process and evolution took place. Now in the ithihāsa you will find there is a clear transition. The transition is relating matters to the actual human life, human history, the challenges, persecutions and so many other consequences which the individual, the family and the society as a whole including administration would face. Humanity is not like a granite block or a mountain. It is very vibrant just like the biological body is constantly in a change of biosis the psycho intellectual personality also is in a constant process of psychosis. It is constantly changing. You will find our mind never keeps quiet. It is always thinking, thinking, feeling, feeling, raising emotions, memory and what not. The intelligence equally when properly activated and made healthy will also be ratiocinating, it will always be enquiring, assessing, evaluating etc. These are constant process like circulation of blood, the circulation of wind air and may be other things also in the body.

So we have the Ramayana period where you will find the beautiful ‘sāhodarya’ brotherhood prevail and Kaikeyi first was victimized to threaten that brotherhood but it was stopped. The whole yuga passed. Whatever Valmiki penned in the form of the Ramayana, an epic, the first kāvya of our land, the first poetry of our land, you will find the prime reason was his own personal experience, his own transition in the hands of what he received from the saptamaharishis. So it was a personal experience as the anchor of the whole thing plus he happened to see in the hunter hunting one of the krauncha couple he found cruelty on the one hand resulting in severe pathos. On the one hand he had pathos and on the other hand he had the sense of cruelty he felt towards the hunter. So the mind was being torn by pathos and sympathy on the one hand and the hatred towards cruelty, intolerance towards it on the other.

When the mind is put to this kind of a strife, there are many people who crumble and perhaps who gets lost. But some people who feel that as the mind is victimized by circumstances and events and episodes the mind also has a deeper level in itself from which we can invoke and also evoke whatever timely redress we want. It is not that the mind is unstable. It also has the capacity and potential to become stable. And this stability generally reveals itself only when you take to asceticism and austerity. Because sage Valmiki, Rathnākara underwent a long period of austerity, the austere benefits in his mind were quite pronounced. So though he was torn between pathos on the one hand, sympathy on the one hand and hatred and intolerance towards the cruelty of the hunter there was a deeper sense in him. Why is it that the mind gets victimized by these emotions? As it is victimized by sympathy so also it is victimized by cruelty in the hunter. From the same source both emotions or both urges proceed. So this requires a probe. And finally he decided that I must give the society a beautiful character whose remembrance, narrations about whose life, exploits, excellences, sacrifices and what not will always act as a panacea to the human mind to get rid of its undesirable tendencies and to fill it with the desirable ones. Now this passed away.  And as I told you Valmiki became a part of the entire narrative ever since Sri Rama abandoned the pregnant Sita. So started as a biography it became an autobiography.

Now let us go to Dwāpara yuga. In Dwāpara yuga the scene is entirely different. The society had further declined and degenerated. Personal and family values had reached almost an abysmal level. Now the writer is Vyāsadeva, his contemporary is Bheeshma and his father also he had an occasion to see. The entire Hastinapura story as we have before us starts from Pratipa, the father of Shantanu. Pratipa ruled the kingdom and finally decided to lay off everything and go to the forest and do austerity. When he was doing his austerity one day suddenly a young damsel, a beautiful girl, youthful girl, she came with a view to excite him and seduce him. And she came with her peculiar gestures and sat on his right thigh. This is a story nobody says in the form of a legend. But somehow ever since I happened to read, it became a great, better life for me. And I am blaming our society, why are they not citing very good and noble, beautiful illustrations and instances? They always will say Vishwamitra saw Menaka, Menaka danced before him and he was seduced and he had a child. This is the story that all people narrate. But see what is happening here with Pratipa. When Ganga in the form of a damsel came and sat on his right thigh and she said, “You should marry me. I want a companion.” Pratipa says, “No it is not possible. I have already abandoned my throne as well as my three wives and I have come here to do austerity. So there is no question of my husbanding you at all. And not only that you have come and sat on my right thigh. This is the place for daughters. The left thigh is meant for the life’s partner. Because you have sat there I can only think of you as a daughter. Because you are not my daughter the maximum concession and sympathy I can show you is, I will go back and live with my wife, do austerity and I will have a son which son will marry you. So I can maximum make you a daughter-in-law.” And this is what happened. Shantanu was born and Ganga got married to him, they started living etc etc..

Now, what is happening here? VedaVyāsa is born of Shantanu, Shantanu’s father was Pratipa so he must have heard about this story of Pratipa, then his father he himself saw. Thereafter he has many generations to witness. What are the generations? Pandu was his own son. Pandu’s son was Arjuna. Arjuna’s son was Abhimanyu. Abhimanyu’s son was Pareekshit and Pareekshit’s son was Janamejaya. This Janamejaya started narrating this Mahabharatam to a crowd while they were performing a huge sacrifice. So how many generational experience he (Vyāsadeva) has? Seven generations. One or two above, if you take Pratipa also it becomes eight (generations). He had the knowledge of Shantanu, then Pratipa, then himself, Pandu etc., so eight generation’s direct personal experience he had in his life.

And then what was happening? Pandu was born to him. Dhritarashtra was blind. Pandu was absolutely sick suffering from ill health, Dhritarashtra was blind. These were the two royal sons he had. Then Vidura was there. He was a dāsīputra. Now as a contemporary you find Bheeshma also was there. When the children grew up under Bheeshma’s tutelage, tuition, they started growing and growing but the tendencies were very, very divergent. The larger number stood for cruelty and destruction, intolerance, impatience, rising and descending to any level, you cannot imagine. And Duryodhana persisted in not being changed at all. ‘I will stand by my nature. I am not going to change my dear grandfather however you may try.’ Now this story obviously must have been known to Vyāsadeva. Now whom Bheeshma was trying to train? Vyāsadeva’s children and grandchildren. Pandu was gone, Dhritarashtra was alive. Under Dhritarashtra’s parentage the Duryodhana team persisted, prevailed upon their cruelty. Bheeshma was unable to do anything. Dhritarashtra was there, Vidura was there, Vyāsadeva also was there, Dronacharya also was there. In spite of Dronacharya, Bheeshma, Vidura, all of them being there Dhritarashtra and Duryodana team connived between themselves and they started working havoc, the country was partitioned. Just Imagine! Now Vedavyāsa had to look into the facts of life, the persecutions of life.

In Ramayana which you must have read, it was written in Tretā yuga, in Ramayana sweet brotherhood is displayed, portrayed. But here you will find bitter brotherhood, the larger team intolerant of the smaller team but the smaller team persisting on their own righteousness, compassion, goodness and dharma. They were not prepared to leave their virtues and the other team was not prepared to leave their vices. Can you imagine the conflict? So it is possible that humanity always remains assorted and divergent. In the divergence quite possibly in the divergence, the wicked people, the undesirable people may be very large in number. That does not mean the desirable people and the virtuous people can resign their stand or abandon it. There is something innate in us by virtue of which our nature cannot be bartered like this. If I am true I would like to be true. If I am good I would like to be good. It is true that I am suffering from so many challenges and persecutions. But I am not prepared to barter my stand. And the wicked people are larger in number. Theirs is mostly a gross attitude. The virtuous people have got a subtle and an inner attitude. So the conflict arises.

The conflict can drive a person to any extent. When cruelty is outside your family you have one attitude. Suppose members of the same family become divergent and some of them are cruel what will you do? This is a very, very grave question, people are not able to think about it in this manner. Suppose you have got a family and your brother is wicked either elder brother or younger brother is wicked maybe your sister is wrong, such instances are there, we cannot abandon life. We cannot commit suicide and depart from this world. Now what are we to do? Now this was the question of Vyāsadeva. So he found his own grandchildren descending and behaving in a very strange manner, he could not help, Bheeshma could not help, Drona could not help, Dhritarashtra was mostly siding with them and Vidura also was helpless. In such a situation what are we to do? Can Bheeshma run away? Did he, could he? He decided, “No I will not run away.” Drona also did not run away. They were already in the dynasty. They were already in the Kuru Dynasty and palace having been bred by the Kuru dynasty it is not right at all to leave the palace so they decided to stay with Duryodhana, but totally disagreeing and disapproving of his ways, and knowing very clearly that Duryodhna’s ways completely are going to be leading to ruin and destruction. Now this is the story Vedavyāsa himself saw.

The war resulted, Bheeshma and Drona were the commanders in chief. Many efforts were made to avoid the war but no, it has to be fought, said Duryodhana. Now this is the life situation Vyāsadeva was undergoing. It was his own personal story, personal life, personal experience in his own family. Now whatever he saw and heard he wanted to put in the form of an epic. The relevance of Mahabharata cannot be questioned because, as the society was beautiful, nice etc. during Dasaratha’s time, in his own time Kaikeyi drifted and it was stopped; now here Bheeshma and the others could not arrest the trend. And what all followed Vedavyāsa speaks about it and writes about it and it is an autobiography that the world will always need. So understand Ramayana tells us of beautiful things with sacrifices, Mahabharata tells us of the greatest of conflicts and contradictions and how to remain firm and unshakable in all of them. And what will the world and the humanity do in spite of all these challenges, divisions and diversities, that is also portrayed. I think the itihāsās both have their continued relevance in our life and it records the history of the human mind, the behavior of individuals and families and even monarchs and what all the society will be put to as a consequence.

Harih Om Tat Sat. Jai Guru.

FacebookMySpaceTwitterStumbleuponLinkedin
Pin It