Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spiritual Replication

"Those who worship the demigods will take birth among the demigods; those who worship the ancestors go to the ancestors; those who worship ghosts and spirits will take birth among such beings; and those who worship Me will live with Me."……………..Bhagavad-Gita 9.25

The following story is told to bring out the power of the above verse in Bhagavad-Gita.
In the town of Kurukshetra, which is capable of giving liberation, there once lived a king of the name Chandrasharma, who was in the dynasty of the Sun-god. Once, at the time of the solar-eclipse, the king wished to give charity to one Brahmin, included in that charity was a Sudra, whose body was completely black. After going with his priest and taking bath in the sacred lake, putting on clean cloth and applying sandalwood, he returned to his place. With devotion, he gave charity to a qualified Brahmin. After he had presented the charity, all of a sudden from that black Sudras’s heart, one very sinful chandala (dog-eater) appeared and after a little while, a female chandala appeared from that black Sudras’s body, and together they went close to the Brahmin.

All of a sudden, they entered in to the body of the Brahmin. That Brahmin remained undisturbed and started to chant the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, while remembering Lord Govinda. The king witnessing all these activities was stunned, unable to say anything. As soon as the words of the Ninth Chapter of Srimad Bhagavad-Gita came on the lips of that Brahmin, the Vishnudutas appeared there and chased away those two Chandalas. At that time the king inquired from the Brahmin, “Oh learned one, who were those two persons and which mantra did you chant? Which deity did you remember?” The Brahmin replied, “Taking the form of a chandala, sin personified appeared, along with offence personified in the form of that female chandala.”

The creation of chandalas and their removal from our consciousness is our own karmic chore. The creation of chandalas come from our lower level of consciousness while their removal is through alignment with the supreme Divine plenum.

Though many masters have given a literal interpretation of this verse, the above story brings to focus the true intention of the verse. The spiritual progress of individual atman is determined by the level to which the individual consciousness has been cleansed and elevated from the state in which the individual manifestation had taken place. In Vedic cosmology, the various planets as abodes of Gods and demons does not mean that there is a physical or temporal presence. It signifies consciousness attributes which can act as empowering external agents in the practice of sadhana and our daily living in this creation. This is the reason why planetary alignments and positions are important in the science of Astrology.

Spiritual replication is the theme of this saying in Gita. The great wisdom of the ancients “As above, so below. As without, So within.” is reflected in this saying.

If we are rooted in the consciousness of a collection of deities in the Hindu pantheon of gods, which is not Saguna Brahman as popularly misconstrued (see Adi Sankara’s commentary on this subject), then we remain in a lower level of consciousness. This is due to the fact that we become enmeshed in their Puranic imagery and attributes and our spiritual progress is limited to only the level this specific attribute to which we devote ourselves.

Similarly if we are rooted in the good deeds and actions of our ancestors, then we can progress only thus far.

If we are inert to spiritual impulses and are devoted to the materialistic world and worldly wisdom, which are signified by ghosts and spirits due to their degrading, illusory nature , then we are trapped in that incarnation.

True liberation can only take place through full identity (worship) with the Saguna Brahman who is the supreme reality.

Love to you all

Note: (Saguna Brahman of the various schools of Vaishnavism means Brahman with infinite attributes, including form. Saguna Brahman is immortal, imperishable, eternal, and thus the basis of the impersonal Nirguna Brahman, as clearly stated in the Bhagavad Gita. The personal form indicated is generally Narayana, or Krishna, or Vishnu. Practically all schools of Vaishnavism adhere to this viewpoint.)

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