नामुत्र हि सहायार्थं पिता माता च तिष्ठतः । न पुत्रदारं न ज्ञातिर्धर्मस्तिष्ठति केवलः ॥ २३९ ॥
nāmutra hi sahāyārthaṃ pitā mātā ca tiṣṭhataḥ | na putradāraṃ na jñātirdharmastiṣṭhati kevalaḥ || 239 ||
The Manu Smriti tells us: namutra hi sahayartham pita mata ca tisthatah. na putradarah na jnatih dharmas tisthati kevalah. “When you depart from this world, your father will not come with you, your mother will not come with you, your brother will not come, your sister will not come, your husband will not come, your wife will not come, your children will not come, your money will not come, and even your body will not come with you.”
Then what will come with you? The verse mentions that your spiritual merit alone accompanies you.
Everything else remains here – life goes on, the assets that we accumulate pass on to the next generation, or wither away. How many of us can recall (or even know) the names of our great-great grandparents, and their parents? Even our names will be forgotten within 2-3 generations, and that is the truth.
How we live everyday counts – not towards any credit that we can cash out on when we depart, but towards our growth now.
Life is all about choices. From the food we eat, to the clothes we wear, to bigger decisions such as the career we choose, to where we live, even our life partners. It is said that we humans are the only beings on the planet who can make a conscious choice – who can think, evaluate a situation and then arrive at a decision. But how many of us truly make conscious choices?
You are browsing Zomato to look for options for dinner tonight. As you scroll through, images of succulent burgers and cheese-filled ‘delicious’ pizzas waltz by. An occasional healthy bowl of salad drops in, but you quickly pass it, since today is a ‘cheat-day’. A burger it is!
These seemingly innocent options may just give you an introduction to Preya and Shreya.
The Kaṭhopaniṣad (Katha Upanishad) says that the human body is like a chariot drawn by five horses, which represent the five senses of sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch. We run behind what appeals to these senses, for short-term gratification. This is preya. Attractive, delicious, much like that juicy burger that you got tempted to order. Shreya, on the other hand, is not as appealing, but is good for you – gives you long-term benefits (like the salad you passed by).
Eknath Easwaran describes preya as ‘the passing pleasure that seems pleasing to the senses but soon fades into it’s opposite, is what we choose when we indulge in injurious physical habits or retaliate against others. Shreya, the good that leads to lasting welfare for the whole, is what we choose by cultivating healthy habits…by putting the happiness of those around us first.’
Group Sadhana for 11 days – Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, 108 times – for the country, for humanity.
From home, but not alone. We all can – collectively, harmoniously, pray to nature, recognising our true place in the scheme of things. We are just a fleeting glimpse in the unending vista of images – let us be part of nature and not against it.
JANMASHTMI celebrating Lord Krishna’s birth day each year assures us of the grand manifestation of the Supreme in the form of Krishna for protection of the virtuous and destruction of the wicked at the appropriate time.
Puranic Theology associates the avatars with the four Yugas —— Sat, Treta, Dvapara and Kali. In today’s Kali Yuga Krishna could appear in our midst at any given moment. The Bhagavatam say that Krishna is the full-fledged avatar complete in al aspects.
Krishna denotes unmeasured, incomprehensible and absolutely great personae stimulating astonishment, rapture and admiration. Krishna is known as the Foremost Yogi. With the amalgamation of the theistic doctrine of devotion, Krishna evolved as a personal God of love and grace in the form of Kanha Krishna at Gokul and Vrindavan apart from representing Vasudeva Krishna at Mathura and Dvaraka.
Krishna is also looked upon as having two bodies. One which is eternal, supracosmic and spiritual and the other which is material and temporary. As an object of Bhakti, Krishna appears as an embodiment of Nine Emotions or Rasas and fulfils the nine-fold required enforcements of devotees as God in the form of a child, a youth, counsellor, friend and beloved.
NISHKAMA KARMA (State of No – Action) becomes possible only for a yogi at heart. Meditating on what is unimaginable is considered to be the ultimate sadhana. It is supposed to be beyond any conceptualisation. If we imagine light, that is also a kind of form. If the mind keeps thinking about the term ‘unthinkable’ to focus on, that is also limited in sphere. So it is a challenge, one has to overcome and the secret is that it can be attained by not pursuing anything with an intention to pursue, by becoming absolutely blank.
That is the state of ‘no – action’ in every sense (the state of Godhood) that supplies the energy for all action. Why do we need sadhana of the unthinkable ? We need the strength to pursue the most fruitful action. Ramakrishna talks about three thieves, representing three gunas : RAJAS (can make you exhausted), TAMAS (can completely destroy you ) and SATTVA (the thief that has a lot of compassion) SATTVA also guides you to the road that takes you safely home, the STATE OF NO – ACTION.
Kabir Das called this SAHAJA YOGA. If we can become completely blank even for a moment, that is the real state of GOD – REALISATION. In deep sleep, we may attain this stage. But from a spiritual point of view, this state has to be experienced when we are awake.
It is very difficult to become completely thoughtless. After remaining blank for a while, w may feel sleepy, but even then it is worth practising. The effort to make ourselves thoughtless is also an action. So, that action has to be discarded. But as a beginner, we may take some form or light and remain blank, which may ultimately lead to the state of nothingness and thoughtlessness .
A sage suggested, you may think of God’s feet to begin with, but do not try to perform anything on the feet. Just remain stable. A state will come when the feet will disappear ——- what would remain is ‘nothingness’. As one attains the state of ‘nothingness’ spontaneously, permanent peace prevails.
That is why it is said that BRAHMN is ‘unspeakable’. Even one who realises cannot utter a word about it. Buddha simply smiled and said nothing as He was asked to comment on NIRVANA. It is for individuals to experience it. Those who follow the path of sadhana and human welfare are able to perform this selflessly. Thus, NISHKAMA KARMA becomes possible for a yogi at heart.