Sunday, June 17, 2012

Mode of Soul Liberation


“My dear mother, in a restaurant or place for drinking cold water, many travellers are brought together, and after drinking water they continue to their respective destinations. Similarly, living entities join together in a family, and later, as a result of their own actions, they are led apart to their destinations. The spirit soul, the living entity, has no death, for he is eternal and inexhaustible. Being free from material contamination, he can go anywhere in the material or spiritual worlds. He is fully aware and completely different from the material body, but because of being misled by misuse of his slight independence, he is obliged to accept subtle and gross bodies created by the material energy and thus be subjected to so-called material happiness and distress. Therefore, no one should lament for the passing of the spirit soul from the body.” ………SB 7.2.21-22

Hirayakaśipu, brother of Hirayāka, consoles his mother after Lord Viṣṇu in the avatar of Varāha, the boar, had killed him in a thousand year battle, in the words that we read above. 
This is taken from Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, Canto 7, chapter 2 and verses 21and 22.

Why I chose this verse for reflection is because of the nature of treatment of human existence.
I just completed reading the book “The Seat of the Soul” by Gary Zukav. It is a classical treatment of the distinction between the 'personality' and the 'soul' in human existence. The personality is the result of perceptions resulting from a five-sensory consciousness while the soul nature can only be intuited through a multi-sensory approach.
Gary states: "The purpose of our journey on this precious Earth is now to align our personalities with our souls. It is to create harmony, cooperation, sharing, and reverence for Life. It is to grow spiritually. This is our new evolutionary pathway. The old pathway - pursuing the ability to manipulate and control - no longer works. It now produces only violence and destruction.”
The violence and destruction is the personality of Hirayāka, our lower nature of consciousness.

Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam puts it neatly in the very first example which Hirayakaśipu gives. Earthly life is a watering hole. This place of nourishment is not for nourishing the physical nature of manifestation but the underlying soul nature. This nourishment is a process of making whole that which is splintered in our karmic journey through many manifestations. The spirit soul has no death and is immortal but as long as it is associated with the material mode it is misled, in its associative nature, to attachment, suffering and pain.

In describing the killing of Hirayāka in SB 3.19.28, Lord Brahma says:

“He was struck by a forefoot of the Lord, whom yogīs, seeking freedom from their unreal material bodies, meditate upon in seclusion in mystic trance. While gazing on His countenance, this crest jewel of Diti’s (Diti is the mother of Hirayāka) sons has cast off his mortal coil.”

Liberation is the freeing of the mortal existence and it is the same Divine will which engineers the process irrespective of whether one is in a spiritually advanced sage or a demon who is steeped in the mire of material existence.

Varāha avatar was for the purpose saving the earth, representing entire human consciousness, which was usurped by the demon of material nature to the bottom of the ocean. Ocean in spiritual mythology symbolizes created consciousness. To be hijacked to the bottom of the ocean means that human nature has been submerged in the lowest level of spiritual consciousness. It is by eliminating the material nature of our consciousness that one has to be elevated to a higher level.
Hiraṇyakaśipu, brother of Hirayāka, understands the process and explains it succinctly to his mother. Hence whether it be the killing of Hirayāka or Ravana, the deeper meaning that one should understand is that it is a process of liberation that is at work in the cosmic order. In this avatar, Lord Viṣṇu marrying Bhudevi (Prithvi) signifies the restoration of the Divine within the human.

Love to you all.

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