Sunday, March 13, 2016

Illusionary Nature of Manifestation

In  "The Hindu" yesterday, there appeared an article on one of the key aspect of the Krishna consciousness, which is his role as "The architect of Maya". Throughout Bhagavad Purana, we are a given events in the Lord's life , from childhood to his role as ultimate adviser to Arjuna where he transcends his limited manifestation and shows his devotee his universal form in the 11th chapter of Bhagavad Gita.
In this context yesterday's article was thought provoking and elicited an immediate desire in me to write my thoughts. The content of yesterday's article is briefly quoted below

"............. Brahma wonders at the idyllic and happy life Krishna leads as a simple cowherd mingling with the calves and other gopas in Brindavan. On one occasion, when Krishna and others share their lunch with one another, Brahma, bent on testing Krishna’s powers, hides away all the calves. The cowherd boys are worried that the calves have disappeared. Krishna then goes in search of them. though he is intuitively aware of Brahma’s plan and wishes it to be carried out. Brahma uses this opportunity to hide the cowherd boys as well. By virtue of His illusionary powers, Krishna then assumes the form of the lost calves, the cowherd boys and also their equipment such as slings, flute, blow-horns, and sports in the woods as usual and then returns to Vraja in the evening. The cows find the calves special and the Vraja women find the cowherd boys exceptional since it is the very Lord who is now present in these forms.

One year later, which according to Brahma’s calculation of time is one moment, Brahma comes back to the scene and finds Krishna as usual playing with his retinue of boys and calves. Brahma is confused and is unable to guess which of the two sets of boys and calves is genuine. Brahma is shown the truth and in great humility he sings in praise of the superiority of the Lord’s Maya by which the entire creation is manifested."

The significance of this episode is that even the creator in the trinity of Saguna Brahma is confused over the manifestation dimension. This confusion is imprinted in all creation as creation is an inseparable entity of the creator. This is the reason for the manifestation of duality in our perception.

Sanskrit is a beautiful language to convey deeper meanings. As I had in my  earlier articles explained Gau has an alternate meaning in ancient Sanskrit. As Lakshmi Thathachar says; "Words in Sanskrit are instances of pre-defined classes, a concept that drives object oriented programming [OOP] today. For example, in English 'cow' is a just a sound assigned to mean a particular animal. But if you drill down the word 'gau' — Sanskrit for 'cow' — you will arrive at a broad class 'gam' which means 'to move'. From these derive 'gamanam', 'gatih' etc which are variations of 'movement'. All words have this OOP approach, except that defined classes in Sanskrit are so exhaustive that they cover the material and abstract — indeed cosmic — experiences known to man. So in Sanskrit the connection is more than etymological.
"Vraj" is derived from the verb "Vraj" the word "Vraj" is used in the following two senses; A stable where the cowherds stay and a stable where cattle are kept. It also can mean a path or a road.
The universal nature of the cows, calf, cowherds, their place of stay, the path they take are all contained with the basic meanings of gau and Vraja, which also merge in a the cosmic context as explained in the contextual origins and roots of these two words.

The episode also brings out the truth that though the creator has the power to annihilate  through himself that which was the vehicle of manifestation, the underlying nature of creation which is Divine consciousness cannot be annihilated. this is brought out in this story that  Krishna himself who is the preserver of this consciousness is ever present as an indelible manifestation of creation.

The nature of time perception, which was the topic of some of my earlier articles is also touched upon in this episode. Time dilation in the manifested realm is explained in Brahma's time of 'one moment' being equated to 'one year' in the manifested world of limited perception.

This episode demonstrates that the nature of space-time is highly relative and subject to distortion in our objective perception.

Let me conclude with a quote more contemporary thinker. Joseph Campbell in his recent book "Mythic Worlds, Modern Words", writes:

"Any object can open back to the mystery of the universe. You can take any object whatsoever—a stick or stone, a dog or a child—draw a ring around it so that it is seen as separate from everything else, and thus contemplate it in its mystery aspect—the aspect of the mystery of its being, which is the mystery of all being—and it will have there and then become a proper object of worshipful regard. So, any object can become an adequate base for meditation, since the whole mystery of man and of nature and of everything else is in any object that you want to regard."

Think deeply on this wonderful episode and the spiritual meaning it conveys.

Love to you all

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