The flute player and the divine teacher Dec 3, 2014 6:37:01 GMT 5.5
Post by Amritha Varshini on Dec 3, 2014 6:37:01 GMT 5.5
The flute player and the divine teacher
Sri Krishna set his foot outside Vrindavan. Akrura had come to fetch Him. Suyamuna, the one who was surrounded by the best on the banks of river Yamuna, remembered that the time had come for Him to become vinayita or the leader in the Right Path. Time had come for world and humanity to hear the gospel of Action, from the Gurutama the master of masters. Time had come to prove that the Divine consciousness in human being could be brought out with the guidance of a master carrying the blazing lamp of knowledge. It is with this purpose that the Anantatma , the Unending Absolute in Time, Space and Matter has taken birth in Time and space as Devaki nandana as an avatara.
Now what is an Avatara? Bharatha Desha has strongly believed in the concept of Avatara, meaning—the descent of Godhead in the midst of humanity in order to fulfil a specific purpose. The twenty two Avataras as mentioned in Srimad Bhagavatam – the less important and the more prominent ones (as opined by mortal men. However, for big or small an avatar is an avatar) speak for themselves. Moreover, the sequences of these avatars have more or less been such that they stand witness to the evolutionary process of not only the mankind but whole of the cosmos.
Many centuries before Darwin discovered the theory of evolution and the subsequent acceptance by the western half of the world, our Vedas and Upanishads have echoed the same evolutionary theory in the vast ocean of Time. We all know that it is the Leela of Vasudeva that created this universe or Prapancha through Sankalpa and set the motion of Creation through Lord Brahma. With the inception of Time and Space in the Golden Womb or the Hiranya Garbha a mind boggling varieties of species have culminated in the species of homosepians. In each of these major species in Mother Nature, Srimad Bhagavatam enumerates an Avatara by the omnipotent and omnipresent Sri Vishnu , the only real occupant of the universe. It is as if the Lila of Vasudeva imprints itself in these avataras while also accomplishing the purpose for which it had taken the respective godhead. As told by Himself in the Bhagavad Gita, in the words of Sri Aurobindo “Though I am the unborn and imperishable in my self-existence, yet I stand upon my own Nature and I come into birth by my self- Maya. For whensoever there is fading of the Dharma and the uprising of unrighteousness then I loose myself forth into birth. For the deliverance of the good, for the destruction of the evil-doers, for the enthroning of the Right I am born from age to age.”(Essays on Gita- by Sri Aurobindo)
Sri Aurobindo, the greatest thinker of the modern times appropriates another reason for the various incarnations of the Lord. It is not only for the divya karma that he incarnates but it is also for the transformation of human being into a divya janma. It is from this point of view that the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu in the form of Krishna becomes very important.
Since His birth, Krishna, the jitakrodha the one who had contained anger habitually -had to encounter innumerable asuric spirits right from Putana to Shishupala, from shakatasura to the wicked kamsa. He is vira bhahu, one who has strong shoulders to conquer the enemies of Devas. He is vitaarana: destroyer of aasuric forces with his divine weapons. This is the divya karma for which he descended on this earth. But he was not satisfied with the elimination of evil alone. If Dharma was not re-established a vacuum would be created in the society. The ordinary people had to be taught the importance of the path of spirituality and the attainment of divinity. He taught Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna in order to sow the seeds of divya janma in the humanity.
In other words, Sri Krishna descended on this earth for these twin purposes of protection of Dharma, through annihilation of the evil spirits and the more important one of teaching humanity a righteous path through the Celestial Divine Song called Sri Bhagavad Gita, the repository of entire gamut of yoga of works, knowledge and devotion for the whole of humanity. In his “Essays on Gita”, Sri Aurobindo writes, “ the avatar comes as the manifestation of divine nature in the human nature and makes through Himself the path men shall follow.”
Each incarnation holds before humanity its/his own example and declares a path to follow for the ordinary human being for spiritual transformation. Puranjanopaakhyanam, Jatabharatha charitam, Kapilopakhyanam, Uddhava gita are all examples of the Lord’s messages to humanity for leading a pious life devoid of the six avagunas which create mental blocks in human minds.
Of all these Srimad Bhagavad Gita stands apart in its uniqueness not only because each and every word has come out of the Divine mouth but also because it is told to someone who is in the midst of battlefield not knowing which way to move ahead. Devahuti , Lord Kapila’s mother had completed all her worldly duties and wanted salvation and then the later showed her the path of liberation through his discourse. Uddhava also was about to leave the world (because Kali yuga was approaching) and the parting of Krishna was too much for him to bear when the later preached significance of oneness with God. On the other hand, Arjuna was about to commence the most important action of his life, an action for which he was readying for all these years and an action of life and death-literarily if we may say so- when he suddenly lost his mental balance and became an embodiment of inaction. It was at this juncture that the Divine Teacher, through His Divine Voice initiated Arjuna, his closest friend, now turned into a disciple, into the Yoga of Action.
In fact, no other scripture, either religious or philosophic, attributes such significance to the gospel of works (the Karma yoga) as Gita emphasises.
Today we need a philosophy, a modus operandi, to guide our footsteps, in order to meet the challenges of blossoming into a complete manhood and womanhood and that is provided by our Divine Teacher. Swami Vivekaananda terms Gita as “practical Vedanta”, for it explains the day-today application of the science of ‘human possibilities’ as expounded by the Upanishads. Bhagavad Gita is meant for an ordinary man battling in his ordinary way of life and encountering manifold difficult situations. Remember, it was amidst the hue and cry of a battlefield that the Divine Teacher, full of compassion towards his friend, imparted the philosophy of mankind and a way of life. He was the greatest psycho therapist in action at the given time. Swami Ranganathanada, an extra-ordinary exponent of Bhagavad Gita, says, “Its universality makes it applicable to any human being anywhere in the world, to make him or her realise one’s fullest human possibilities.”
Human possibilities here refer to the range of capabilities of human mind as reflected in his actions, emotions and knowledge. The more he expands such capabilities, the greater is the progress set to be made by the human being. Taken collectively, the whole society progresses if each human being contributes his bit in these fields of human endeavour.
Krishna, the Divine Teacher imparts to his human disciple the significance of work, devotion and knowledge for the fullest development for human possibilities, namely, the karma, bhakti and jnana yoga. It is with this relevance that the mention of divya janma was made in the preceding paragraphs. The Lord of Universe hints that the three paths are not meant only for individual salvation or individual liberation or Mukti. If that were so, he would have finished in three appropriate chapters and asked Arjuna to choose any one path and liberate himself from the drudges of human life. But His intention was not so. The other thirteen chapters (leave the first one which is introductory in nature), bring out the relationship between the Universal Self and the Individual Self in many aspects and Krishna culminates all His teachings towards the path of surrender. Hence it could be safely said that Sri Krishna was looking at the yoga of perfection or the yoga of divya janma in human life; the union of human being with the divine being, the union of Atma and Paramatma.
The core teaching of Bhagavad Gita, therefore revolves round three steps of human possibilities. The first is the yoga of Action-the Karma yoga reflecting in selfless performance of works, appropriating fruits of such works to the Divine. The second one is that of Jnana yoga, or the yoga of self realisation in which one realises that his will is not ultimate, that it is driven by the Universal Will and that he need not abjure the world for realising One’s self. The last step is that of Bhakti, seeking the Lordship through supreme adoration as if life is nothing but the love for the God. When all these three are done simultaneously with total surrender to the Divine, Divya janma in human form takes birth and the purpose for which the Lord of Lords took the Avatara is said to be fulfilled. He is the omnicognizant or the one who recognises everything and one who is recognisable in everything.
It is truly amazing to note that this Great teacher of par excellence was once a cowboy in the muddy streets of Brindavan stealing not only butter and curds in each and every home but also the hearts of the inmates of these homes. In Vishnavism It is only the Purushoththama who is the Purusha of the universe and all others are his female consorts. True to this notion, Little Krishna had already captured the hearts and minds of all the gopis of Brindavan. They were neither scholars nor preachers of The Great Truth towards self realisation. But their surrender to their little Lord was so complete that, Krishna decided to initiate them into the path of self realisation and the Union of Atma and paramatma. He orchestrated the raasa lila.
With fullmoon as witness, the flute player brought out his flute and started playing the divine raga. The divine music attracted all towards the Divine Piper as it were. Not one soul which did not yearn for the union with the Lord was left behind. Even animals were not exception. Sri Aurobindo writes in his poem ‘Krishna’
Nearer and nearer the music draws,
Life shudders with a strange felicity
Hoping her lord to touch, to clasp, to be
All Nature is a wide enamoured pause
Raasa krida was performed and the residual ego was removed from the worshippers of the Almighty. With His divine musical raga, he could remove the raga (passion) and dvesha (haterd) from his beloved ones. He is Ananda, the Bliss Incarnate; he is Nandana - the cultivator of bliss in his devotees’ hearts; He is pramodana one who gives the nectar of joy in the hearts and minds of those who worship him; He is Krishna one who attracts one and all towards Him.
The young flute player had bound all of them in His boundless fold. Having Him in their hearts forever, the Brindavanvaasis could part with Him physically when Krishna had to go to Mathura. It was easier for the flute player to give Divya janma to these simple people whose surrender was total and unequivocal. The task lying ahead was more difficult, complicated and intricate even for an Avatara, namely, Krishna. To live an exemplified life like the one of Rama, was easier for an Avtara than to guide and preach the mortals but that was to be accomplished by Sri Krishna. The flute player left back his flute with Radhaa and set His foot out of Brindavan with the one and only celestial divine song - Srimad Bhagaavad Gita in his lips and full of compassion for the mankind in his heart.
(Now read from the beginning once again.)
Article by Smt Shantha Rajan (firstname.lastname@example.org)