Friday, August 23, 2019

Happy Janmasthami.......

 Krishna Stories - Leela - The Path of the Playful
When we say Krishna, the essence of who he is, he is :
  • an irrepressible child, 
  • a terrible prankster, 
  • an enchanting flute player, 
  • a graceful dancer, 
  • an irresistible lover, 
  • a truly valiant warrior, 
  • a ruthless vanquisher of his foes, 
  • a man who left a broken heart in every home, 
  • an astute statesman and 
  • a kingmaker, 
  • a thorough gentleman, 
  • a yogi of the highest order, and 
  • the most colorful incarnation.
Krishna has been seen, perceived, understood and experienced in many different ways by different people. 

For example, in Duryodhana’s words, Krishna is a “smiling rogue if there ever was one. He can eat, he can drink, he can sing, he can dance. He can make love, he can fight, he can gossip with old women, and play with little children. Who says he’s God?” That was Duryodhana’s perception.
Krishna’s childhood lover Radhe, who became so big that you cannot talk of Krishna without Radhe – we don’t say “Krishna Radhe,” we say, “Radhe Krishna” – she said, “Krishna is with me. He is always with me wherever he is. Whoever he is with, he is still with me.” That was her perception.

Shikandin, who because of a certain situation within himself was an absolutely tortured soul right from his childhood said, “Krishna never gave me any hope. But when he is there, the breeze of hope touches everybody.”

Different people saw different facets of who he is. For some, he is God. For some, he is a crook. For some, he is a lover. For some, he is a fighter. He is so many things. If we want to taste an essence of what it means when we say Krishna, if we want to be touched by the consciousness that we refer to as Krishna, we need Leela. Leela means, it is the path of the playful – we explore the most profound and the most serious aspects of life, but playfully. Otherwise Krishna won’t be there. The reason why the most profound dimensions of life have been missed by a vast population of the world is because they do not know how to be playful.

To explore this path playfully, you need a heart full of love, a joyful mind, and a vibrant body. Only then there is Leela. To explore the most profound dimensions of life in a playful way, you must be willing to play with your awareness, with your imagination, with your memory, with your life, with your death. If you are willing to play with everything, only then there is Leela. Leela does not mean just dancing with somebody. It means you are willing to dance with life. You are willing to dance with your enemy, you are willing to dance with the one whom you love, you are willing to dance at the moment of your death. Only then there is Leela.

Krishna the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu is not just a divine entity but a whole consciousness.” Krishna is the only person in the history of human consciousness who is tremendously in love with life, with the poetry of life, with the music of life, with  dance of life. He is not at all life-negative, he is very affirmative. And he accepts life as it is; he does not put god and the world as opposites.” When I read Bhagvad Gita or The song Divine  it transformed  my way of life. We , who do not see Krishna just as a God , see his as a yogi, a philosopher and a teacher. He is the greatest scientist and engineer .

Mahabharat Stories: 7 Important Tales From the Epic

When Arjuna asked, ‘Who is considered more perfect – those devotees who worship you and are thus always united with you in love, or those who worship the eternal and indestructible and unmanifest?’ 

The Lord said, ‘Those who surrender themselves to me and fix their total devotion on me and worship me eternally with their minds absorbed in me, I consider them to be the most devoted to me. However, those who are devoted to the unmanifest, that which is beyond all senses, all pervading, they also attain me. But those who are absorbed in the unmanifest face excessive tribulation, as for the embodied being the path of that course is difficult to tread. But, O Arjuna, those whose minds are absorbed in me in total faith and who are engaged in devotional service unto me, for them I give deliverance from the cycle of birth and death.’”

Emotion can take different forms. It can take very sweet and wonderful forms, it can take absolutely nasty and horrendous forms. The thing is to train it to take a sweet and beautiful form. Devotion is a way of transforming your emotions from negativity to pleasantness.

Devotion is a multiplied and enhanced version of a love affair. A devotee is in an unfailing kind of love affair because if you fall in love with a man or a woman, they do not go the way you expect them to, and it eventually gets into some trouble. That is why people choose God. It is simply a love affair, and you are not expecting any response. Your life becomes utterly beautiful because your emotion has become so sweet. Through that sweetness, one grows. That is devotion.

Devotion does not mean you have to be a temple-going, pooja-doing, coconut-breaking person. A devotee has understood what his place in the existence is. If you have understood this and are conscious of it, you will walk as a devout person. There is no other way to be. It is a very intelligent way to exist.

You cannot experience that which is unmanifest – you can only believe in it. Even if you believe in the unmanifest, it is going to be very difficult for you to develop and keep up intense love and devotion towards that which is not. It is so much easier for you to hold your focus of devotion towards that which is. At the same time, he says, “If someone is capable of holding their devotion to the unmanifest, they will also attain me.” When he says “me,” he is not talking about himself as an individual, he is talking about that dimension which includes both the manifest and the unmanifest. “If someone takes that route, they will also come to me, but it involves much tribulation,” because directing your emotions towards something that is not here is difficult for you. You need a form, a shape, a name – something that you can relate to in order to steadily keep up your devotion.

“As for the embodied being, the path of that course is difficult to tread.” This means, if you, as a being who has a body and an intellectual discretion, dedicate yourself to an unmanifest dimension of existence, every day, your intellect will question whether you are really going somewhere or wasting your time. For beings who are not embodied, it is more of a possibility, because they do not have to struggle with their intellect – they go by their tendencies. If they are spiritually oriented, they generally orient themselves towards the unmanifest – not out of conscious choice but out of their tendencies. Therefore, for a disembodied being, a being who is beyond the limitations of the five elements, who is beyond the limitations and the discretion of the intellect, that is a more suitable path. But for an embodied being, it is better to direct your emotions towards something that you can relate to. That is why he says, being focused on him as a live person, it is much easier to attain. Looking for the unmanifest can become a philosophical drama within yourself, without you making an inch of progress.

Whether it is the individual human body or the larger cosmic body, essentially, they are made of five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. In this, the first four elements are the active participants – space is the catalytic force. It is in the lap of this boundless space that these four elements play the game. So, the pancha bhutas are the five elements of nature.

What you call “myself” is just a mischief of these five elements. If you want to realize the full potential of this mechanism that you call a human being or if you want to transcend this one and become one with the larger, cosmic mechanism, you need their cooperation. Unless you have a certain amount of mastery over these five elements you can neither know the pleasure of the individual self nor the blissfulness of the cosmic being.

“But, O Arjuna, those whose minds are absorbed in me in total faith and who are engaged in devotional service unto me, for them I give deliverance from the cycle of birth and death.” This not only Krishna said – any being who is fully realized always says this in one way or another. When people ask me questions like, “Will I get mukti in this janma [birth]?” I tell them, “Just get onto my bus. You don’t have to drive – you just sit in the bus.” But your ego is such that you want to do the driving too. There are many people who sit in the backseat and keep driving – usually, they only apply brakes.

What you call as death also is life. That final moment when you transcend the limitations of your physical body happens only once in your lifetime. Almost everything in your life may happen many times over. But this one thing happens only once in your lifetime and it’s the last thing that you do. Just understand death as life, not something else. This is the last act of your life. And hence it is very important that one should choose to make it happen gracefully and wonderfully.  If you are fearful of it, if you are ignorant of the ways of life and you create resistance towards it, naturally you will miss that possibility.

Leaving this body consciously without damaging this body, like you take off your clothes and walk away, you take off your body and walk away, if you can do that, that is the ultimate possibility in your life.

If you are in a certain presence, your attainment at the last moment is not an issue. The question is how beautifully you live the remaining part of your life. Even if you have lived a stupid life, still ultimate release will not be an issue once you are in a certain presence, unless you really screw it up in the final moments of your life. If even at the last moment, you do not have the necessary sense and you get into a huge sense of anger, hatred, or desire, life may perpetuate itself. Otherwise, once you made the mistake of sitting with me, when you die, you will be dead for good. That is what he says here too. What he actually says is, “If at least for one moment, you are truly absorbed in me, you will attain.”

He tells Arjuna, “Don’t bother about the result of the war. You are here. You have to fight. Whether you win or not is a question of capabilities and other factors. Just fight, and do it well. If you win, enjoy the kingdom. If you die, anyway I ensure your ultimate wellbeing.” Again he is making clear that when it comes to external situations, he cannot ensure everything. With the internal, there is absolute guarantee. But he says, “I will make sure there will be no more birth for you.” This is true with me too. I can ensure that you will not have another birth, but I cannot ensure that you will have a breakfast tomorrow. That may look ridiculous to a logical mind, “If you can ensure such a big thing, why can’t you ensure the breakfast?” That is the reality of life. I cannot ensure tomorrow’s breakfast for you, but I can ensure your ultimate wellbeing. When it comes to inner dimensions, I can completely take charge. When it comes to outside situations, there is no guarantee – everyone has to strive.