Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If God is in everything, why should we try to reach Him?



In His vishwaroopam in the course of preaching Gita to Arjuna,

Krishna says and reveals that everything resides in Him.

A question arises here,

if everything resides in Him
why then should we try to attain him?



He is anyway in everything,

has pervaded everything including our body and soul.

But we are told by scriptures that we have to strive towards Him and attain Him.

Is this not contradictory to what Krishna says in His vishwaroopam?



This post attempts an answer to this question at two levels, namely,

at the level of our limited perception of things around
us, which will invariably be imperfect
and secondly from the point of view of texts, the
texts which I want to quote in this issue being
Bhagavd Gita (BG) and Mumukshuppadi (MP).


At the ordinary level of perception, it can be like
this.
The lord says that he is in all things.
He pervades all things.
Is He that cosmic ray which science says is
all-pervasive in nature?


Let us assume that He is the cosmic ray, the very
omni-present ray that pervades all materials, both
animate and inanimate in this Universe and the
so-called empty space too.
Now as per what He says or rather expects or rather
what we are told by the scriptures,
we, filled with this cosmic ray, must go back to It,
i.e., to the Absolute Cosmic ray at its source.
Does this not make sense?
Is it not normal for anything that has sprung from
something to go back to its source?


Like the planets going back to merge with the sun?

(Remember, whatever was part of the sun earlier
are now found in the planets,
like God being present in all things!)


Like the stars of the galaxy going back to merge with
the core of the galaxy?
Like all galaxies merging with the galactic centre?


Like the physical body which springs from a pair of
gametes, that have sprung from the pancha bhootha,
growing to become a live physical body and finally
becoming one with the pancha Bhootha at death.

Relating this to what the Lord says,
the pancha bhoothas have pervaded the body and the
body at the end goes back the pancha bhootha!


All these seem to take place in perfect precision as
though they have been programmed so.
But this does not seem to happen with the jivas!!!
It is here the problem lurks.
The jiva is part of the whole,
(the whole is equated to the cosmic ray or the pancha bhoothas
in the above instances)


but it forgets or fails to go back to the source.
I think I must stop with this example here because the
purpose of bringing out some logic in why the jiva
must go back may have been understood,
albeit partially here.


At another level
think of our body as an example.
The body as a Whole and in parts,
say, the hand as a part.
Just as how you can characterize the Lord, as being
present in all things in the universe,
the whole body is controlled and permeated
by some life force.


This is present in all parts of the body, and no part
of the body can work without this all pervading force
directing it or making it to function.
But if the hand thinks that it does things on its own
volition, can that be right?
And if it thinks that it is powerful because it is
able to do so many things by itself and
that it is independent in its discretionary powers
of functioning?


And what happens at the end, when the final day comes
for the life force to leave the body?


Will the force in the hand remain where it is
or has been all these days?
Should it not merge with the central force that has
actually been making things happen?


The Whole permeating the parts and the Part coming to
merge with the Whole makes a perfect circle and
it is the logical finale of this process of spreading
out and merging back in unison.
The problem with the jivas once again is that either
it forgets that it has to go back to become
ONE WITH WHOLE
( one is free to interpret this phenomenon
anyway according to Shankara or Ramanuja school,
but the idea is that,
that which sprang out must pull back.
That alone ensures PERFECT EQUILIBRIUM.)
or does not know how to go back.


There are repeated reminders through BG
and through different texts and through great
purushas, that the jivas to do
their parts well in order to uphold /clinch /establish
this equilibrium.


It might be appropriate to bring in here the BG verse
(7-19)
"VASUDEVA SARVAM ETHI SA MAHAATHMA SU-DHURLABAH"


This denotes that VASUDEVA is all in all and he is at
the root of all.

But the lord seems to lament that HE
cannot get a gyani who has understood
that Vasudevan is Sarvam Ethi,
it is Dhurlabham (rare) to get such a person.


The point in reference is why of all the names
of the lord, the name Vasudeva is used.

This name
stands for 'the one who has permeated all beings'
Vasu deva is present in all beings.

If the beings do not realise this,
it is a defeat for the lord.

Nevertheless God seems to strike a
lamenting note in this verse.


The knowledge that vasudeva is in all things, and more
importantly in the jivas, if understood by the jiva is
sure to make him TRANSCEND,
enabling him to realise
Vasudeva within himself and
this is akin to or a way of attaining him.


Like an ornament made of gold is an ornament as long
as it is left as such in that state (of the ornament).
Whereas the original value is to the gold of which it
is made! As long as the ornament thinks that it is
great owing to decorating a neck or a hand or due to
the artistry, its knowledge of its own worth is
limited. If it comes to know that its real worth lies
in its being gold, is the ultimate knowledge that it
is expected to be endowed with.


Same is true of the jiva.

Unless it understands that
its real worth lies in seeing itself in the image of
the Lord in His Effervescence,
every other pursuit
and accomplishment will certainly be falling short of
what can happen to it,
at the maximum possible
extent.(The lord says this very often in BG)

That is why the lord seems to say,

'I am in you, no matter.

But what about you?

Do you know that you are in me

and you can attain me?'


The Narayana shabdam also is indicative of this relationship with God.

The term 'narayana' consists of two parts,
nara and ayana.
MP, Thirumanthra prakaranam 96 says
'naarangaLavana nithya vasthukkaLinuDaiya thiral'
Nara’ means the groups of all- the chetanas and
achetanas.


What about ayana?
Verses 98, 99, 100 and 101 bring out
3 interpretations.
simply put, ayana means,


1. resting place or support or abode.
2. upaaya or means
3. phalam or fruit or objective.


We will take up the first meaning of the word ayana.
according to sanskrit grammar, Nara-ayana means two
things,
1. One who is the resting place of Naras (all
chetanas and achetanas)
2. one whose resting place is Naras, i.e., chetanas
and achetanas.
if you take the first meaning, it means all things
reside in Narayana
If you take the second meaning, Narayana exists in all
things.


Now corroborating the meaning of ayana
first as resting place, it is resting place for whom?
One for the other - the vice versa relationship is
indicated.
now the second meaning.
In interpreting the 99th verse Sri Manvala maamunigal
says
Ishvara permeates the things and He can not do it in
his Nirguna.


He permeates as per whatever the things
come to possess / exhibit.

He further goes to say that
this becomes a upaaya as he is now exhibiting
Soulabhyam.


HE becomes the means by being ayana.
In the former expanation the lord exhibits 'parattvam'
In the second explanation, HE exhibits 'upaayattvam',
the means.
and it goes on that He becomes the 'UpEyattvam 'in the
third interpretation of ayana



That is, the very idea behind the thirumanthram

(Om Namo Narayanaya namaha)

is that
-the lord is Antharyami (resides in all things)
not only that
- HE is the means to reach HIM and
- HE is the object of the means!!


It is very much ingrained in Creation, in
Thirumanthram and in all essentialities that
"HE resides in all things and the things must use HIM
as a means to reach HIM back"


Further justification for the reasons to reach HIM
back are found in BG.
That HE resides in all beings is acknowledged by the
lord in so many places in BG and in particular in the
verse 18-61.
"ESHWARA SARVA BHOOTHAANAAM HRUDHESE ARJUNA
THRUSHTATHI
BHRAAMAYAN SARVA BHOOTHAANI YANTHRAROODAANI
MAAYAYAA//
(Making all beings function in the way as ordained by
their karman, the lord resides inside all these beings.)


But these beings must go back to HIM.
Why?

1 . Because they have to shed their 'sarva dhukkaaNi'
(all sufferings)(18-58)
if they don't, they will become 'vinangshyasi'- lose
or fail get the pEru (Bliss of Liberation from bond of birth and death cycle)

2. Because they have to get 'parama shaanthim'(18-62)
(get peace).

This is possible by means of

'tat prasaadhaat' (by the grace of the lord)-
(second meaning of ayana, namely upaaya)


3. Because they have to get

'shaashvatham sthaanam'(18-62)

(a permanent abode), meaning
paramapadam from where they need not be disturbed.


4. And finally because they have to be released from
'paapam'(18-66) 'sarva dharman ....'


Having seen these explanations let's get back to the
first part of this post.
-like the talks on Equilibrium and

going back to the source from where it sprang.]


The lord resides in all things . Perfect.
But does the jiva come to appreciate or enjoy the
status quo?
Obviously not.
It takes up all the burden en route, the burden of
karma, of samsara.
This makes it think or delve more and more on the
burden that has now started pressing him to the abyss
of rebirths and he forgets his beginnings.


The jiva forgets that HE owns it-

and that He is the owner.

Does it know that it is the owned and

that it has its beginnings in HIM?

No.

That is why it takes birth as

plants, as animals and then as human beings

as though in a cycle of evolution of Thought

to know finally that God is the Ultimate owner to whom it must go.


Take the case of a piece of land -the Kshetram.
The seeds are sown in the land.

They rightfully belong
to the owner of the land, the land lord.
The land lord (equated to God) comes to
take possession of them.

But that is not the point we have to prove here.
What we are concerned here is

-Does the plant grown in the land know that it
belong to him?

The answer is – no.



Take the case of an animal, say, the calf.

It knows where it belongs to- but partly only.
It does not go after the father,
but goes after the mother.
The calf, a better being than the crop,
still is notin its best, owing to the inability to follow its
kartha in whom it has its beginnings.


Coming to human beings, we know our lineage.

That we have come from our parents
But human race as such - does it know its lineage?
Does it know that has sprung from the lord?
If it is has known, then it follows naturally that
it leans on him,
or goes back to him,
or reaches him as its final destination
as how the crop reaches the land-lord, albeit without
the knowledge that they rightfully belong to him!


Reaching HIM back is a natural corollary of this
circuit connecting Bhagwan and the jiva.

In the case of humans, the knowledge is special.

The knowledge about where he has come from and
to whom he has to go back,
and also the means of going back!


God as the all-pervading Force knows that the jiva is in Him.

But the jiva is not aware of this.

That is why it is said it has to attain Him.

When the jiva gets the knowledge of Him,

knowledge of its relationship with Him and

the knowledge that its own abode in Him,

it comes to know that He is already attained.

Until that knowledge comes to it, it has to be reminded that it has to attain Him!


This is the ultimate finale that the lord HIMSELF is
yearning for.
That is HIS LEELA-

A game of seeking Him when He is already there

Such Leela is separate / distinct for each jiva.

It is a kind of one-to-one play of hide and seek-

Only that God is not hiding and is right in front of the jiva

but the jiva is not sensing his presence.

When it senses His presence and realizes that he is part of Him,

the game is over.


The game will come to an end with
the union of Himself with the jiva.

In other words,
union within HIMSELF
..





'THANNULE PIRANDHIRANDU NIRPAVUM THIRIBAHVUM,
THANNULE ADANGU GINDRA NEERMAI NIN KAN NINDRADHE'
(Thiruchanda viruththam 10)




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