Question – Jai Jagannath, Har Har Mahadev, Jai Jai Sitaram Ji ki. Namo Raghavaya.
Can we attain bhagwan or love for Bhagwan in this birth? What is means to attain the same?
Puri Shankaracharya ji – Please sit!
In Bhagwat Gita bhashya, Shri Ramanujacharya Mahabhaag has expressed an exceptional fact.
Please listen carefully. Surrender to Bhagwan is not a duty, it is self-evident.
Then what is the duty?
To practice and investigate that surrender.
A wave is surrendered to water. Ghatakash (space in the pot) is surrendered to Mahakash (space in the cosmos).
From this standpoint, Shri Ramanujacharya Mahabhaag has told in Gita Bhashya that Surrender to Bhagwan is not our duty, we are surrendered to Bhagwan.
How can a wave stay away from water?
The place of origin, existence and end of a wave is proven to be water only.
“Prabha jaaye kahan bhaanu bihaai. Kahan Chandrika Chandra taji jaai”. (The sunlight can never exist apart from the sun nor can the radiance of the moon leave the moon).
Like this you mentioned – attaining Bhagwan. Each part (ansh) is pervaded by the whole (anshi).
A part of Prithvi is this gross movable body. All the flora and fauna is gross, they are aggregation in different proportions from gross matter.
The Prithvi (earth element) is the cause of them. Cause is always pervaded in the effect. Without the cause, the effect has no existence and utility.
So what is the essence?
Bhagwan is already attained. Only “tatah padam tat parimargitavyam” (thereafter, that goal is to be sought for.)
To develop the capability in our life for seeking and investigating Bhagwaan, the means are mentioned by Gita.
In other scriptures using the same means by taking the AALAMBAN (means) of the names of Bhagwan, the form of Bhagwaan, the abode of Bhagwaan.
This secret that Bhagwan is always attained, Bhagwat Tatva is already attained, has to be understood.
Attainment of Bhagwan is not a duty, it is self-evident. Surrender is also not a duty, it is also self-evident. An investigation is required.
The Bhagwan has Sagun (virtuous) Saakaar (visible) form, Sagun (virtuous) Nirakaar (all pervading) form and Nirguna (attribute-less) and Nirakaar (infinite) form.
In reality Bhagwan is one but depending on the conditioning (upadhi) he appears as Sagun Sakaar or Sagun Nirakaar.
“vadanti tat tattva-vidas tattvaṁ yaj jñānam advayam, brahmeti paramātmeti bhagavān iti śabdyate” Shrimad Bhagwat First Canto, Chapter 2, Eleventh verse – yat advayam gyanam tat tattvam.
The knowledge in the middle of the triputi (three), the knower (gyata) the knowledge (gyaan) and the object to be known (gyeya) are the triputi, the knowledge among these requires a knower as its substratum.
The object is needed to be known.
But the knowledge that is beyond the triputi, without which there is no knower, known or object to be known, is attribute-less infinite that consciousness principle is known as the ultimate reality (tattva).
So what did I indicate?
That nirgun nirakaar (attribute-less infinite) reality (tattva) conditioned by his power becomes sagun (virtuous) nirakaar (all pervading) and antaryaami (inner-controller).
The Antaryami (inner controller brahman) is explained in detail in Brihdaranyak Upanishad.
In 18th chapter of Bhagwad Gita, ईश्वरः सर्वभूतानां हृद्देशेऽर्जुन तिष्ठति । भ्रामयन्सर्वभूतानि यन्त्रारूढानि मायया ॥ || 18-61|| īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ hṛddeśe'rjuna tiṣṭhati, bhrāmayansarvabhūtāni yantrārūḍhāni māyayā. He causes all beings to revolve.
“Uma daaru joshit ki naai, sabahi nachavat raam gosai.” (O Uma, like wooden puppets Bhagwan Ram makes everyone dance) Saying this the sugan (virtuous) Nirakaar (all-pervading) Paramatma is described.
“Sambhavaami aatma maayaya, tadaatmanam srijaamyaham” I (appear to) take birth by means of my own Maya Shakti, then I manifest myself.)
Based on these words, he gets embodied in the form of Shri Rama and Shri Krishna etc.
Therefore Bhagwan is Sagun Sakaar, or Sagun Nirakaar or Nirgun Nirakaar. Nirgun Nirakaar is always available, Sagun Nirakaar inner-controller (Antaryaami) is always available,
because “īśvaraḥ sarvabhūtānāṁ hṛddeśe'rjuna tiṣṭhati” (Gita 18:61)
Now for sagun sakaar, if we take refuge in Bhagwan’s name, his Leela and his abode then he also gets expressed.
“prem te prakat hohi main jaana” (I know, Bhagwan is revealed by love)
And, an interesting thing is there.
Ask Goswami Tulsidas ji - "byapaku eku brahma abinaasi, sat chetan ghan anand raasi." (Brahman is one, all-pervading and imperishable, he is all truth, consciousness and ocean of bliss.)
Nirguna (attribute-less) and nirakaar (all-pervading) Paramatma is described and that Paramatma is not far away - " asa prabhu achat hriday abikaari” (Even though such immutable Ishwara is present in every heart)
absolutely changeless, he stays in our heart as inner-dweller inner-being but what is the problem? “sakal jeeva jag deen dukhari” (all beings in this world are nonetheless miserable and unhappy).
What a bizarre thing? The ultimate truth Paramatma is in our heart and we are have fear of death.
(The washerman is dying of thirts amidst the water. Standing in water, the foolish one is not drinking it, there is plenty of water)
O Lily why are you withering away, the lake water is at your stem)
Latter one by Nanak ji and earlier one from Kabir ji. The washerman is not condemned but here it is used to indicate the Jiva “dhobiya jal vich marat piyasa”
Tulsidas has included both Kabir ji and Nanak ji. "anand sindhu Madhya tav vaasa binu jaane kas marat piyasa" (You are amidst ocean of bliss but dying with ignorance).
It also means the same thing as “Dhobiya jal vich marat piyasa, paani me thaad pive nahi murakh acchhaa jal hai khaasaa”
It is drinkable, pure sweet and cool. Then it is said “kaahe ri Nalini tu murjhani ari” O Lily why did you withered?
“tere hi naal sarovar paani” Pond water is at your stem.
Tulsidas ji thought this is Dravid Pranayaam. People might not understand. “anand sindhu Madhya tav baasa” – From: Vinay Patrika.
Now calculate the area. Staying in the middle of ocean of bliss then what is the area of ocean of bliss?
Nice thing, if someone figures out in what percentage area of space is earth and calculates the multiplicative factor,
then using geography calculates the area of earth. Now by using the multiplicative factor one will be able to calculate the area of the whole space.
Can anyone calculate the area of Paramatma?
It is difficult to calculate the area entire space.
By knowing the portion of earth in whole space and by multiplying one can know the area of whole space.
but Tulsidas Ji said “anand sindhu madhya tav baasa”. What will be the dimensions of “middle” here?
He himself is ocean of bliss, right? “anand sindhu Madhya tav baasa, binu jaane kas marasi piyaasa”. Not knowing this secret he dies due to thirst.
One more interesting thing. “vyaiak ek brahma avinashi, sat chetan ghan anand rashi.
As prabhu hriday acchat avikaari, sakal jeeva jag deen dukhari” ( Brahman is one, all-pervading and imperishable; he is all truth, consciousness and a compact mass of joy.)
Even though such immutable lord is present in every heart, all beings in this world are miserable and unhappy).
Paramatma who is true existence, Paramatma who is conqueror of death, Paramatma who is ocean of nectar, is in the form is inner-dweller in our heart but we are fearing from death. What would be more bizarre than this?
The Paramatma who is pure consciousness is in our hearth but we are foolish and ignorant. What would be more bizarre than this?
The Paramatma who is ocean of bliss, “yo vai bhūmā tatsukhaṁ” (the infinite is bliss), “sukham asyatmano rupam” (happiness is the form of this Atma) is present in our heart and we are suffering from the three afflictions (trividh taap).
What does it mean, this is the glory of knowledge, what does it mean? It needs to be revealed.
If we roam around with the matchbox in our pocket, will it help us to get rid of cold or darkness? We will be required to burn the matchstick.
The basic consciousness will do basic work. It will illumine the ignorance also.
The light from the sun will illumine the cotton as well.
It will not be in opposition to the burning power in the light. But when we will concentrate the light of the sun by means of mirror or crystal,
then it will be burning light whereas earlier it was only the illumining light.
By means of its light the sun was the illuminator and the cotton was illumined.
How does it change to the burning and burnt relationship?
Same light when concentrated or manifested in burning power through a mirror or a crystal then apart from illuminator-illumined relationship it will be burner-burnt relationship as well.
Therefore, from where Tulsidas ji has taken the method of revealing? From Brihadarnyak Upanishad
– “Ãtmã vã are drashtavyaha shrotavyo mantavyo nididhyãsitavyaha.” (Verily the self should be seen (realised), heard, reflected on and meditated upon.).
Now from this verse in Ramayana it is difficult to realize that it has its sources in Brihadaranyak Upanishad.
Those who have not studied the scriptures systematically cannot make sense of even one philosophical portion of Ramcharitmanas.
That is why “nana puran nigamagam sammatam yat” (in accordance with various puranas, vedas, aagamas).
Even though it is in common language it is difficult to expound the story of Ramayana. One can narrate the stories but it is difficult to explain the hidden secrets.
“Naam nirupan naam jatan te” (through the practice of the Name preceded by its true appraisement).
What is the meaning of “Nirupan”, when listening and reflection are expressed at one point in time then it is known as “nirupan”.
The listening and reflection together are known as “Nirupan”.
Then it is translated as contemplation (nididhyasana). “naam jatan askrit abhyasat” (practice of naam jap through continuous practice).
Listen the glory of name from Guru, Rama, “hetu krisaanu bhaanu himkar ko” (composed of the seed letters of fire, sun and moon) with this method know the meaning. Then what will happen?
“naam nirupan naam jatan te, sou prakatat” then that paramatma which is in the form of basic consciousness will be revealed. After revelation what will happen?
What is the example taken by Tulsidas ji? Chapter 8 of Chandogya Shruti “ jimi mol rattan te” (as the value of jewel is revealed by its true knowledge).
This example is mentioned in Chhandogya Upanishad – there are riches, diamonds, jewels etc are there inside the land where one is sleeping.
Only there is the separation of land, but one does not know this? then his poverty will not go away.
That is why, “sou prakatat jimi mol rattan te” (Bhagwaan reveals himself just as the value of a jewel is revealed by its correct knowledge).
We have the jewel in our hand but we don’t know that it is a special jewel then the poverty will not go away.
Therefore “sou prakat jimi mol ratan te”, What happens through knowledge?
The glory or value of a thing is revealed. The method to reveal Bhagwan is "Shravan" (listening), "Manana" (reflection) and "Nididhyasana" (contemplation).
“Naam nirupan naam jatan te. Sou prakatat jimi mol ratan te.” And when Bhagwan gets revealed?
Then “yah hriday bhavan prabhu tora” (this heart is your abode O Bhagwan!) – From: Vinay Patrika.
“yahaan aaye base bahu chora, manai nahi mor nihora, atisay karen bar joora” (lots of thieves are staying here, they don’t listen to my requests and stay forcibly here).
Tulsidas ji cried here.
What does it mean?
Pujya Gurudev (Swami Karpatri Maharaj) used to say beautifully –
Bhagwan puts innocence or simplicity in his devotees.
“mo sam kaun kutil khal kaami” (No one is as devious, wicked and lustful as me) Was Surdas ji lustful?
“kavit vivek ek nahi more” (I don’t have any poetry knowledge) Did Tulsidas ji not know poetry?
Devotees don’t have ego because they have innocence.
I will give an example, an ant is so small and even smaller are its eyes. When it looks at a big sugar crystal it thinks it is so small.
Elephant is so big and bigger are its eyes. To him the person in front of him appears bigger and powerful.
If it would not have been like this then it would have killed 10-20 persons everyday.
Bhagwan has given such capability in an elephant that the person in front of it appears like a big mountain so that it doesn’t kill 50 people everyday!
And an ant is given the capacity such that even some as big as 25 times its own size, appears to it as very small.
So the devotees has innocence, they perceive there heart like a hot desert even though it is full of knowledge.
So I indicated that Bhagwan gets revealed in this way.
You said “love” it is a wonderful thing, “na va are sarvasya kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati; atmanas tu kamaya sarvam priyam bhavati” (it is not for the sake of everything that everything is dear, but for the sake of self that everything is dear),
Is it not that our Atma is our most beloved?
Then very good, what is the use of knowledge then? Devotees should not stay away from this knowledge.
If Bhagwan will only be “one’s own” (Atmiya), “tvameva maata cha pita tvameva, tvameva bandhushcha sakhaa tvameva” (you only are our mother and father, you only are our brother and friend)
“one’s own” (Atmiya). If Bhagwan will also be “one’s own”, if we made him only “our own” then we will have more affection towards ourselves than towards him.
Therefore, without the realization of ultimate truth even the devotion will not be complete.
Alas, we consider someone as beloved and we love him less than we love ourselves. “dehau shrap ki marihau jaai” (I will curse him or else I will commit suicide),
this will be the storey then “jagat mohi uphaas karai” (made a mockery of me in front of everyone).
Here is the valley of Knowledge,
Here also- Sou Prakatat.
Bhagwan is able to take the curse. Otherwise worst will happen that I will die.
Bhagwan accepted the curse as a Leela (Play) and used it in Rama Avatar.
There is a valley of knowledge to be crossed here in this context. So who doesn’t knows how to love?
Bhagwan has given the two means, namely knowledge and love, of attaining Bhagwan to everyone.
But one should choose the subject of knowledge and devotion.
Shankar ji has three eyes.
“gyaan viraag nayan urgari” (O Garud, knowledge and dispassion are the two eyes).
Knowledge and Vairagya (dispassion) are the eyes. We also have 3 eyes. What happens is that
we look at Bhagwan from the eye of vairagya (dispassion). What happens is vairagya (dispassion) and by the eye of vairagya (dispassion) we look at Bhagwan.
Take knowledge, vairagya and bhakti (devotion)
We look at money from the eyes of bhakti (devotion) and knowledge. We look at Bhagwan from the eye of vairagya (dispassion),
We should look at money from the eye of vairagya (dispassion) and look Bhagwan from the eye of knowledge and bhakti (devotion).
Helpless crow Jayant, he took the form of a crow, then what happened?
He did not surrender, by inspiration of Narad Ji tail was towards Bhagwan and face was the other way.
Then Bhagwan Rama did nothing.
“sanmukh hoyihi” (When Jiva turns towards me, the Paap incurred by him in million births are washed away) Bhagwati Sita, Mother of this universe,
against whom he as at fault, thought if Rama ji will not give refuge to him. So she turned him towards Rama ji and tail on the opposite direction and said Bhagwan he has turned towards you please bless him.
What did I say?
I said, Bhagwan has given the ability to love to everyone.
Pick a beloved, who will be object of love?
one who is not with defects and not unequal.
Nirdosho hi Samam Brahma. (Brahman is free from defects and same in all.
No person is without love.
Every person wants to love.
But because of the lack of knowledge about how to choose the beloved, the person perishes.
Therefore, there is no one else apart from Bhagwan.
After loving whom we don’t want something in reciprocation meaning if we love someone then that love will fade away.
There can’t be any one more beloved than Bhagwan. Any other question? [ Dhanyavādaḥ to volunteers — English translation: Gaurav Tewari ji; Hindi transcription: Taruna Verma ji ]