How Strange It Is

Was reading Chapter 11 and I started laughing. Krishna being him was able to put up with Arjuna.

Every now and then, Arjuna behaved just like us. His devotion was unwavering however, he was still a man of his beliefs.

In one such instance:

In previous chapters, Krishna emphasized and glorified his formless impersonal infinite nature. He also stressed on the relationship between the individual self and the Brahman, himself.

After all that,

Arjuna: I agree you are all that you declare yourself to be. But…..
Arjuna: I wish to see your imperishable cosmic form.
Krishna: Okay, but you cannot see with your physical eyes. So, I will grant you divine vision.
Krishna: Behold, Arjuna. Observe the entire universe within me. This form of mine was never revealed before.

So, Krishna revealed his infinite form without a beginning, middle or end. Arjuna wasn’t expecting that. He was terrified.

Arjuna: You are so fierce yet I wish to know you. But I do not understand your nature.
Arjuna: Having seen your original form; I feel joy and fear at the same time.
Arjuna: I want to see your four-armed form with mace and disc and you wearing the crown.(46)
Krishna: Why are you afraid? No mortal has ever witnessed my cosmic form. This is me. No sacrifice, charity, studying Vedas, rituals or severe penance can make any mortal eligible for this. You are witnessing my divine form.

Do you see what I am referring to?

He asked for the imperishable cosmic form. What was he expecting to see?

We are so blind. We want to believe our own nonsense.

Even if God decides in giving audience in his real form. We would request him to take the form of Ravi Varma’s painting of him.  Something like the one below with four hands.

430px-Raja_Ravi_Varma,_Seshanarayana_(Oleographic_print).jpg

We would outrightly tell him. And the conversation may go something like this

We: This is what we know of you and we wish to see you like this.
God: This is not ME. The painting is beautiful and so is his imagination. But what you are witnessing right now is me.
We: No, No. Sorry. I will stick to what I know.
God: It’s okay. You didn’t know then. Now you know Me. Worship the real Me.
We: All my life I have known you the Raja Ravi Varma way. It is difficult for me to change and learn. Why don’t you change according to me?
God: Now you know all the Gods are nothing but my form. At least stick to one and eventually, you will realize the truth.

It’s both funny and ironic how laziness and ignorance can stop us from knowing the very Self. If we say it is out of love that I wished to see God my way then the same love should allow us to see him the way he is, isn’t it?

Nothing interests us. Life itself is so complex and fierce as his cosmic form yet it doesn’t get our attention. Strange it is.

Image: Internet.

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Discovering Through Reflection

During our conversation last night, my husband said “what if we could remember all our previous births? How would our lives be then?”

Ahh, that thought was interesting. Yeah, so what if everyone could decode those vasanas/impressions stored in their subconscious part of the mind? And as an ordinary being, what if we couldn’t peruse it the right way? Can you anticipate the horror and emotional distress that invariably accompanies those memories?  If we are unable to deal with our past in this life. Imagine having to live with numerous such memories.

Sri-Bhagavan uvaca
Bahuni me vyatitani, janmani tava carjuna
Tany aham veda sarvani, na tvam vettha parantapa
                                                                                Bhagavad Gita:4,5

In the Gita,  Krishna says to Arjuna ‘Many a birth have I passed through, O Arjuna, and so have you. I know them all, but you know them not.

But what if we could remember, would we let go of things?
Maybe not. Upon coming back, we would try hard to regain our worldly possessions gained in our previous births. But, how many would we run after?
or
The guilt-ridden mind would obsess over the past and the higher spiritual planes or growth for that matter would then just remain a dream.

Well, then, we are blessed that we are unable to access those deep-seated memories and are given another chance to start afresh.

Now that I understand that if born again, this very life would be nothing more than a dream. So I ask myself:

Is it still important to make myself heard?

Do I still work under pressure when I know even here stress can’t deliver my best?

Can I simply enjoy the efforts?

Who am I trying to perfect(my Self or Sumi)?

Do I keep trading peace for ignorance?

Questions such as these always help me to keep coming back to my practice. The ultimate purpose of reflections is to keep reminding that we are a part of a whole and to bring us closer to our being.

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfread/5884714699