Posted at 18:51:21 IST on Mar 25, 2010
This morning’s Bhagvatha Katha started with Maharaji describing our most unique good fortune. Here we are sitting listening to Bhagwatham – the nectarine story of the Lord – where? In Vaikuntha itself? We must realize that the listeners are embodiments of Swami, the Vyas Peetha is swami, the narrator is Swami and the Story itself is Swami. When we shout out jai kar to swami we are in a sense conveying our gratitude to Him for all that we have received from him. We are not worthy enough to even thank the Lord and hence the jai kar. It must be loud and heartfelt.
Maharaj gave a beautiful allusion comparing the body to the govt. Hands are the defense minister, legs are the transport minister, ears are the information minister, tongue is the broadcasting and communications minister and stomach in the finance minister, and most importantly heart or life force or prana is the prime minister. Now, if anyone of the others namely hands, legs etc., resign, the government continues, but when the prime minister resigns the entire government falls. Hence the prime minister has to have majority and he compared the majority to chanting the Lord’s name. The chanting must be like ajapa – continuous – inhaling with Sai and exhaling with Ram. Sai Ram Sai Ram!
Continuing the Divine Story, he described the grand wedding of Rukmini with Lord Krishna. Rukmini signifed the jivatma while Krishna signified the paramatma. Their wedding epitomized the mergence of the jivatma with the paramatma. King Bishmaka, the father of Rukmini was present for the wedding however, Rukmi, the consort’s brother was not present. He was deeply irate that Krishna had taken away Rukmini as he wanted Rukmini to be wedded to Shishupala. That is what bad company could cause. Shishupala signified the mundane, the worldly. Keeping company with the mundane would only keep you away from God. As Swami says, ABC of life – Avoid bad company. On the contrary we must become bishmaka who prays that this Rukmini which is the jivatma weds ultimately to Krishna who is paramatma.
The people of Vidharbha were ecstatic that their daughter had found her soul-mate. They lovingly teased the Lord who has become their beloved son-in-law. So strange are you dear son-in-law, you have received the love of two mothers and two fathers; you have been a king and yet stolen butter from the pots of gopis….
The story moved along to Satrajit who was one of the kinsmen of Krishna. King Satrajit possessed a very rare gem called the Syamantakamani (jewel). The gem was given to him by Lord Surya and produced 12 mounds of gold everyday to the owner. Once it so happened that Satrajit showed the same to The Lord. The Lord was fascinated by it and requested Satrajit to offer this to King Ugrasena so that it would be beneficial to rest of the Kingdom. Satrajit preferred to keep it with him. It so happened that Satrajit’s brother, Prasenjit once wore the jewel and went gaming. In the forest he was attacked and killed by a lion, the lion was killed by Jambhavan and the Syamantaka jewel was taken away by him. However, Satrajit blamed Krishna as the stealer of the jewel. The Lord wanted Himself to be relieved off the accusation and hence set out in search of the jewel.
However whatever The Lord does has multiple purposes. He also had to fulfill the wish of Jambavan. As Lord Rama, Jambavan had prayed that he be given a chance to wrestle with the Lord. Lord Rama had promised him that in the Krishna Avatara he would grant him that opportunity. And coming back to the Syamantaka story, the Lord battled with Jambavan for 28 days and nights. At the end of it Jambavan realized that this was no ordinary person. He fell at the Lord’s Feet and the Lord granted him His previous Avatar’s Darshan. Jambavan was blissful with this shower of Divine Grace. He offered his daughter, Jambavati to the Lord in marriage. The Lord accepted this offering and brought her and the syamantaka jewel back to Dwaraka and returned it to Satrajit.
Maharaj went on to briefly narrate the stories of Kalindini, Lakshmana, Bhadra – all the consorts of Bhagawan Krishna.
The next interesting story was that of Bhaumasura’s or Narakasura’s. He had captured 16000 maids and held them under captive. The Lord heard their prayer and He vanquished the asura to release the maids. However, who was going to accept them. The Lord took upon Himself the responsibility of looking after them.
Once narada got a doubt. How was the Lord looking after all these 16008 ‘wives’? So he decided visit their palaces. There he witnessed a wonderful miracle… the Lord was present in each and every palace – He had taken 16008 forms! Somewhere He was performing sandhyavandan, somewhere he was resting, somewhere else he was having his meals so on so forth… the inner significance being that we too must experience The Lord’s presence with us all the time.
The next story narrated was the sublime story of Sri Krishna Tulabharam. Once it so happened that Satyabhama, lost Krishna in a bet with Narada. Actually she felt possessive of Krishna and wanted Him all for herself and The Lord wanted to teach her a profound lesson. In a bid to win Krishna back, Narada said that if she would part with gold equivalent to the weight of Krishna – she could have Him all for herself. Now a massive balance was brought and Krishna was made to sit in one side while tons and tons of gold were piled on the other side. The balance did not budge at all. Satyabhama was very anxious because, Narada was making the Lord to do all sorts of work – cooking for him, cleaning, sweeping, fanning and she was desperate to get Him back. All the gold in all of Dwaraka was brought and piled up, but of no avail. In that desperate situation, they approached Maharani Rukmini who knew that the weight of the Lord was not to be measured in terms of quantity of gold but quality of the soul. Gold was removed and chanting the name of the Lord, from the depths of her heart – she placed a single Tulsi Leaf in the balance and the balance had been achieved. Through this beautiful episode, the Lord taught us that He is bhavapriya and not bahyapriya.
Paundraka’s story too has some interesting lessons to be learnt. A king by the name of Paundraka was made to believe that he was the avatar and in his sheer stupidity, he had even made two extra wooden hands attached to him carrying the chakra and shanka. In the childish arrogance he challenged the Lord saying, ‘I am the real avatar, I am the real Vaasudeva.’ Abandon your name as Vaasudeva or else fight with me.’ The Lord was amused, at first dismissed him. However, Paundraka persisted and got into battle with Krishna. Krishna first cut off his artificial hands and showed him who He really was. Then the Lord with His chakra beheaded and sent him to yama loka.
This story also has a great inner significance. When we are intoxicated with ahamkara, it gives us horns – just like his hands… they are artificial and actually harm us into believing something we are not. In such times the Lord operates on us and takes away these artificial limbs showing us our true selves.
Maharaj went to narrate the story of Hanuman and his incessant chanting of the Lord’s name. The divine name had become a part of every cell of his body. When the rings and chains were being distributed, Hanuman wanted none of it. When questioned, he simply said that he did not want anything which did not contain the name of the Lord. He simply tore open to show the form of Lord seated in his heart. Hanuman symbolizes “man mein ram aur haath mein kaam”, Lord in the mind and His work in your hands.
Closing the morning session the Maharaj expounded on the monumental humanitarian projects of Bhagawan. Each of Swami’s projects has only one undercurrent and that is love – for He doesn’t see anybody as separate from Him. Their sorrow is His and their happiness is His happiness.
For those who feel sorrow, for those who feel there is no tomorrow
Don’t feel alone – for there is always Swami’s home!