Monthly Archives: January 2019

Narada Muni and Krishna

Narada was curious. He had heard that Krishna had married 16100 princesses rescued from Bhaumasura’s captivity. In addition he already had Eight wives. How could he manage and maintain 16108 wives was the curiousity of Narada. So to have a firsthand account he travelled to Dwaraka.

Dwaraka was beautiful. The garden and parks were full of different kinds of flowers. The trees were over laden with fruits, the ponds had swans and cranes and the whole of Dwaraka had a sweet smell. And everywhere he looked there were beautiful palaces.  Some had magnificent fountains, some had gardens in front. Rubies, pearls and other precious stones were ingrained on the sidewalks. All in all it was a splendid city.

Narada muni moved to a palace near him. He went to a window and peeped inside. He didn’t want to be seen, If Krishna would see him, he would have a grand welcome. Narada didn’t want that. He wanted to see his Lord on the sly. He wanted to see what Krishna does when He is alone with his queens.

When he peeped inside that was the palace of Rukmini Devi. He saw Krishna reclining and Rukmini Devi gently massaging His feet.

Narada smiled to himself. Now he was curious as to what the other queens do when Krishna is away. So he moved to another palace. But behold, what was this….Krishna was having a hearty meal with His queen there. Narada moved to another palace there he saw Krishna playing dice with his queen and everywhere that Narada went, he saw Krishna enjoying day to day life with his queens.

And then Narada bowed down and cried, “who am I to doubt you, My Lord, you are the creator and the maintainer of this whole creation and I was doubting as to how you manage your 16108 wives .”

Another time Narada went to meet Krishna in Dwaraka and saw him writhing in stomach ache. All the physicians were unable to detect the cause of the malady.

Narada suggested a ‘siddhi aushadhi’. If the dust of someone’s feet were applied to the Lord’s forehead, his malady could be cured. Narada asked for the Paada-dhuli (dust of the feet) of the queens. Though thery were worried none of the queen agreed to give the dust of their feet to their Lord. How could they incur bad karma by giving their paada dhuli?

Narada asked many devotees but none agreed tp give their paada dhuli. Then Narada thought of going to Vrindavan. When the gopis of Vrindavan saw Narada, they were overjoyed and came running to ask him about their Lord. And immediately fell silent on knowing that their Lord was sick. When Narada told about the siddhi aushadi, immediately the gopis bent down and gathered their paada dhuli in whatever spare cloth they could find and gave bundles and bundles of it to Narada,

Immediately Narada transported himself to Dwaraka took one of the bundles of dhuli and kept it on the Lords forehead. Lo and behold Krishna’s stomach ache disappeared and he sat up, hale and hearty. While the queens wept in happiness and also in shame. It so happened that some days back Krishna had been calling out the gopis names in His sleep. That had made the queens very jealous. To make the queens understand the greatness of the gopis the Lord had enacted this small drama with the cooperation of Narada. Now the queens understood how selfless the gopis were. The gopis were not worried about their fate; all they cared for was the happiness and well being of their Lord.

Lessons from these stories:

The Lord though opulent and has all resources at his disposal, still what He wants is only our undiluted Love for Him. Nothing more, nothing less. He says

man-mana bhava mad-bhakto
mad-yaji mam namaskuru
mam evaisyasi yuktvaivam
atmanam mat-parayanah
Engage your mind always in thinking of Me, offer obeisances and worship Me. Being completely absorbed in Me, surely you will come to Me (BG 9.34)

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Be the process

In the endeavour to better oneself it is important to keep on analysing one. And the standard by which one which one has to measure oneself is the Bhagavad Gita. Because in the Gita the Lord has clearly mentioned all those qualities which makes a person better and makes her or him beloved of Him.

Shri Caitanya Mahhaprabhu has left just 8 verses called as the Siksastakam or His 8 fold instructions.

You can read the entire text here but one verse is my absolute favourite:

trinad api sunichena
taror api sahishnuna
amanina manadena
kirtaniyah sada harih

One should chant the holy name of the Lord in a humble state of mind, thinking oneself lower than the straw in the street; one should be more tolerant than a tree, devoid of all sense of false prestige, and should be ready to offer all respect to others. In such a state of mind one can chant the holy name of the Lord constantly.

If you read the words clearly ‘lower than a straw in the street and tolerant than a tree’….It is good to read isn’t it? But is it so easy? I mean so humble that anyone can step on you and so tolerant that you stand tall in rain or shine, cold or heat is not easy at all. Maintaining your cool even if someone insults you or takes you for granted is not easy at all.

You may think where is she heading? Let me elaborate. Growing up in Bhilai I was an outsider because I was the so called ‘Madrasi’. Everyone belonging south was a Madrasi. Then when I came down South I was the person who had lived in hte North, so again an outsider. When I was in Bahrain I was an outsider. So technically I have never belonged but that doesn’t matter either because the only thing that matters is that I belong to Krishna. But what irks me is when people show their superiority.  This place doesn’t have good vegetables as my place. This place doesn’t really have any seasons. People from North re aggressive. People from South are shallow. And then it becomes personal too sometimes. How can you be so quiet? Your son is quiet too just like a girl. Why is he wearing pink? Isn’t pink for girls? My son heard the last quote and was quite candid, ‘Krishna made all the colours, he didn’t label any colour as for boys or girls’. End of argument.

Which made me think that though Krishna said,

amanitvam adambhitvam
ahimsa ksantir arjavam
acaryopasanam saucam
sthairyam atma-vinigrahah

Humility, pridelessness, nonviolence, tolerance, simplicity, approaching a bona fide spiritual master, cleanliness, steadiness and self-control are some of the constituents of the path of knowledge.(BG 13.8)

And all these qualities are so difficult to adapt. Arent we prone to boasting or to flaunt ourselves. Humility is really a very difficult virtue. I mean how do you or what do you do when you are attacked or insulted. How can you be aloof?

We often tend to forget that every individual, society or nation has its own plus points and minus but who are we to judge. Why is it so difficult to accept the other just as they are. The answer is ignorance. We like to gloat to show our importance because we don’t know how good the other person is.

But does that mean we accept others insults, their taunts because we are humble. To a limit maybe yes but not always. Humility and tolerance should be to a limit that your confidence is not shaken. I will repeat a story often told before:

Narad muni met a snake who was very aggressive. He explained to the snake the virtues of non violence. The good teacher that he is, Naradmuni converted the snake to the path of non violence and went his way. After sometime when he returned he thought of meeting the snake again to see how he was doing. He finds the snake in a battered condition. Though the snake had turned non violent, the people didn’t know about it and thinking him to be dangerous had beat him black and blue. Narad muni smiled and said, ‘Child, yes you are non violent now but when people were attacking you, you could have shown your fangs, they would have run away.’

And that is what we have to do. Be humble, respectful and nonviolent but when attacked show your fangs politely.

It is a long way when all the people respect each other and not show superiority, it will be a long time before the North South divide is crossed. ( to tell the truth we show solidarity and unity only when we are abroad). But World peace begins with individual transformation; let the others be; let’s start our transformation now.

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My Quest

A Happy New year to all those who are reading this post. This is a special year as I complete a decade of a quest for inner peace. 2009 had been quite an eventful year. In my restlessness I had started blogging ‘Searching Self was born as a quest of a person at crossroads. With a brief health scare and an earnest begging for a way out, by the end of that year I was slowly edging towards my destiny.

Material comforts didn’t comfort me and yet disappointments baffled me. I knew I was in search of a higher truth but how could I unravel it? As I yearned for these truths; a sudden calmness came over me as if the truth was just around the corner. The blog helped me to put across my fears, my anxieties, my thoughts and memories out at the world and maybe made my mind a lot empty to contemplate.

Too much junk impedes the normal functioning ot the mind.

yada samharate cayam kurmo ‘nganiva sarvasah
indriyanindriyarthebhyas tasya prajna pratisthita

TRANSLATION

One who is able to withdraw his senses from sense objects, as the tortoise draws his limbs within the shell, is to be understood as truly situated in knowledge. (Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 2 Text 58)

When we aim for something we have to concentrate just like a wrestler who needs a fixed amount of nutrition to maintain his weight and single minded focuses on training. A spiritual quest is similar. We need to shut out all worthless thoughts and activities and concentrate on the self. The above shloka gives the example of a tortoise. When a tortoise feels danger it withdraws within. And thats what one in the spiritual journey has to do.

onasti buddhir ayuktasya na cayuktasya bhavana
na cabhavayatah santir asantasya kutah sukham

TRANSLATION

One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?(Bhagavad Gita Chapter2 Text 66)

So once I got to a path, I began in earnest, there were classes to attend, discoveries to be made and lessons to ne applied but was it easy? There were inner turmoils and external as well. Misunderstandings in personal life, inner demons and numerous other attractions. And that meant there was no peace.

I asked a senior, why is this happening, I know this is my path but why am I in this turmoil. And he asked me, ‘have you ever churned Yoghurt?’ I said Yes. ‘When you churn the entire liquid is in turmoil, it changes its density, it changes its nature and then only you get butter’ and as a parting shot he added,’ When the milk ocean was churned, poison came first and much later nectar.’ It took me a couple of days to exactly understand the full implications but I understood this much that I was not failing, what was needed was patience.

vihaya kaman yah sarvan pumams carati nihsprhah
nirmamo nirahankarah sa santim adhigacchati

TRANSLATION

A person who has given up all desires for sense gratification, who lives free from desires, who has given up all sense of proprietorship and is devoid of false ego—he alone can attain real peace. ( Bhagavad Gita – Chapter 2 text 71)

It is not easy to control senses especially in today’s age but then as my seniors told me the trick was not to control them but to engage them elsewhere and to be precise in higher consciousness. Read Bhagvad Gita or Bhagavatam, cook for the Lord, take his darshan etc. When the senses got a higher taste they lost their appetite for the mundane.

I am still in the process. It is not easy to throw away the garb covered from so many births but I am patient.

2018 was not a good year. Health of dear ones, relationships on which I had invested a lot of time went sour  and lot many more troubles but the important part is I kept my head high and did not succumb.

And then my mother said, ‘because you were in this quest you kept us all afloat’, I felt that peace which I had been longing for long within me.

I tell you mothers can say the deepest thought in the easiest way.

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