Episode # 180 – Music enables us to attain “Moksha” – Three great examples!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed an extension of an important point on how music brings Bhagawan closer to all of us. We’ve seen this in the context of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna playing the flute and the sweet music emulating from it is attracting all his friends including the cows and other animals towards Him. Thus, we can witness clearly here that music is one best method through which the “Jeevatma” can come closer to the “Paramatma”. It gives a divine opportunity for this union to happen. In these lines, we’ve witnessed the significance of music and how it binds us with Bhagawan. As we sing with our hearts and minds open towards Bhagawan (Also referred to as “Naama-Sankeertana”), Bhagawan’s heart melts with joy and with that, He automatically brings us closer to Him. 

This, obviously requires certain parameters of music to be in their correct places – There are two important parameters when we talk of music. One is the “Sruthi” (Pitch and the scale upon which we’re singing) and the other one is “Laya” (The rhythm aspect of music). More than these two, there is something called “Bhava” in music, wherein this takes care of the message that every composition tries to present. Thus, it is not enough if we sing in the correct “Sruthi” and the “Laya”. It is the “Bhava” that is of most prominence. The meaning, emotions and the message that is packed into the song needs to be exhibited, and this is what attracts Bhagawan more. Thus, the combination of these three important elements in music together, makes it very special for Bhagawan. 

As we’ve concluded in yesterday’s episode, we shall now witness a few examples as to how people have attained the highest “Moksha” through music. The moment we think of this context, three prominent personalities would strike our mind immediately – Saint Thiyagaraja Swami, Purandaradasa and Meerabai. Many of us might know that Saint Thiyagaraja is also referred to as “Thiyaga-Brahmam” is a renowned, prolific and the most celebrated composer in Carnatic Music. His compositions are packed with “Bhakti” and every composition of his, conveys a unique message to the audience and to Bhagawan as well. Thiyagaraja Swami’s “Ishta Deivata” (Favourite deity) is Bhagawan Rama and thus, most of his compositions are on Bhagawan Rama. In his compositions, Thiyagaraja Swami brings out different “Rasas” of “Bhakti”. For instance, some of his compositions bring out his happy mood, some bring out a very emotional and sad mood, etc. As Thiyagaraja Swami was longing for Bhagawan Rama profusely through his various compositions every passing day, how can Bhagawan Rama be silent and not respond? During the last days of Thiyagaraja Swami’s divine incarnation, Bhagawan Rama made sure that He appear in front of Thiyagaraja Swami, along with Lakshmana and Mother Sita. This happened in this very Kali Yuga only, around 300 years ago. As Thiyagaraja Swami was enjoying this blissful experience of having Bhagawan Rama’s divine “Darshan” as a token of all what he has done so far, he slowly attained the highest “Moksha” with this great vision. Thus, we can see how music takes one towards “Moksha”, if performed with a noble heart and mind. 

Another big example is Purandaradasa. Purandaradasa is often referred to as the father of Carnatic Music, with his “Ishta Deivata” being Bhagawan Krishna. (He refers to Bhagawan Krishna as Bhagawan Vittala in many of his compositions). He clearly explains in one of his compositions as to how one can attain “Moksha” through music. The composition reads as follows: 

“Tamburi meeti dava – Bhavabdhi dhaati dava!

Taalamu tatti dava – Surarulu seri dava!

Gechayaketti dava – Khalaradaya metti dava!

Gaanamu paadi dava – Hari muruthi noti dava!

Vittalana nodi dava – Vaikuntake odi dava!”

Here, Purandaradasa lays down a clear roadmap as to how one can attain “Moksha” through music – He says that if we sing with the “Tanpura” (An instrument that ensures that we sing to the correct “Sruthi”) and with the correct “Tala” (“Laya” or Rhythm), Bhagawan Hari (Vishnu) runs towards us with bliss and joy. Also, the one who sings with absolute devotion towards Bhagawan Vittala, melts His heart and in turn, Bhagawan Vittala catches the devotee’s hands and takes him voluntarily to “Vaikunta”! Such is the significance of music in driving us through to the “Bhakti Maarga”. 

The third example that we would be discussing today is Meerabai. Many of us might know that Meerabai was a prolific composer of “bhajans” and “Abhangs” in Hindi. Her “Ishta Deivata” was Bhagawan Krishna Himself. Many of us might be knowing that Meerabai was experiencing innumerable amounts of tortures from her family members and they were constantly discouraging her from singing for Bhagawan Krishna. However, Meerabai was firm in her resolution and she knew nothing in the outside world other than her Bhagawan Krishna. Thus as days, months and years progressed, Bhagawan Krishna’s heart melted and He appeared in front of Meerabai, who was constantly singing her bhajans, without even knowing that Bhagawan had come near her. Thus, we might have read that Meerabai merged with Bhagawan Krishna once and forever as she was singing! 

Thus, for today, let us understand how music plays an important role in us attaining “Moksha” and let us realize that if we sing with our open hearts and minds, Bhagawan is definitely going to respond. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with Sage Paraashara’s description of the “Krishna-Leelas” further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 179 – “MUSIC” – A very important path to attain Bhagawan’s proximity in Kali Yuga!!!

We’re currently amidst one of the most blissful moments of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna wherein He’s learning to play the musical instrument called “flute”. As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna starts playing the flute, all the cows and other animals that are around, start flocking towards Him and are getting immersed into the blissful music that is emulating from the instrument. Not only the animals, even human beings around Him are getting immersed into Bhagawan Bala-Krishna. Thus, as part of how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna managed the cows every day, the flute was also one of the most important ways through which He managed the cows. As the cows were grazing, they were in a state of bliss and were enjoying every moment with their beloved Bhagawan Bala-Krishna. 

As we experience this, we should also understand a few underlying important points as to why Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is giving Gokula this blissful experience. Of course, we’ve commenced this discussion in the previous episode itself, and let us continue this important discussion in today’s episode as well. We’ve discussed an important point yesterday as to how Bhagawan attracts ardent devotees towards Him through blissful music. O

Thus, extending this point further, what we’re indirectly witnessing here is the significance of music in “Bhakti-Maarga”. Music, as all of us know, is something that easily captures our heart and puts us on the path of experiencing Bhagawan. There are obviously many ways to experience Bhagawan – For instance, Bhagwan can be experienced through constant chanting of the “Mantra” or Bhagawan’s divine names. We’ve witnessed detailed explanations regarding this point in our earlier episodes and readers can refer to it at any point in time. Secondly, we can experience Bhagawan through listening to His “Charitra” or reading through His divine “Leelas” and blissful experiences that He had performed. The latter is what we’re doing precisely here as part of this blog series – We’re every day trying to read glimpses of Bhagawan’s divine “Leelas” as part of our “Shri Vishnu Puraana” project currently. We’ve done so earlier through our “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” and Shrimad Ramayana projects earlier. Of course, the former method – Listening to Bhagawan’s divine “Leelas” (Also referred to as “Shravanam”) through the form of “Upanyaasas” is also a very popular methodology that is in practice. Apart from this, we have other methods like “Paada-Sevanam” wherein we render our selfless service to Bhagawan in the form of some “Seva” activities. We often say this – “Service to living beings is service to Bhagawan”, isn’t it? Hence, this is one methodology wherein we serve the needy and thereby immerse ourselves into the “Bhakti Maarga”. 

However all said and done, there is this most important methodology that is in practice, which is called “Music”. This music encompasses all the above-mentioned methodologies to attain Bhagawan, because when we sing or when we listen to blissful music, our hearts and minds get opened up very easily. This is why we have this traditional practice called “Naama-Sankeertanam” in our “Sanaatana Dharma”. Especially in this Kali Yuga, this practice of “Naama-Sankeertanam” is perhaps the easiest way to attain Bhagawan. If we sing with our open hearts and with all our emotions packed within, Bhagawan’s heart is definitely going to melt. As we’re witnessing in this case, how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is melting the hearts of all the cows and other living beings around Him with the flute, we can also melt Bhagawan’s heart with our sincere singing of Bhagawan’s divine names. 

We might have a doubt here – We might not be professional musicians who had been trained for years in Carnatic music. Because of this limitation, how will Bhagawan enjoy our singing, if it becomes awry and haphazard in nature? All what is important here is our devotion towards Bhagawan. If we’re singing openly with tears in our eyes and with full focus, Bhagawan’s heart would definitely melt. He is not someone who looks for perfection all the time. All what is important for Bhagawan is the level of devotion (“Bhakti”) with which we sing. He’s not going to give us “Moksha” only if we’re professionally trained in music. We should remember this point very clearly and shouldn’t feel shy to sing for Bhagawan. Afterall we’re singing to our divine father, isn’t it? Won’t a father enjoy his little son’s singing, even if it is a bit off track? We should have this mindset while we sing unconditionally to Bhagawan. 

Hence, from this important discussion, we’re witnessing how “music” is a very important way to attain Bhagawan. In the next episode, we shall continue this discussion further and witness how music puts us firmly into the “Bhakti Maarga” and few examples of great people who had attained “Moksha” through music! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 178 – Bhagawan Venu-Gopala plays the flute (“Venu-Gana”) – An important message to all of us!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed two important points and their substantiations – Firstly, we had established the fact that our “Sanaatana Dharma” is the only religion in the world that gives equal respect and importance to all living beings, inclusive of plants, animals, human beings, etc. We had witnessed how animals too exhibit their share of “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan and how they had attained “Moksha” with Bhagawan’s divine grace. In similar lines, if we look at our traditional “Sanaatana Dharma” practices, every animal is assigned its own significance and we worship them. For instance, we worship the serpent (Snake) as Bhagawan Aadisesha, who serves as the divine bed for Bhagawan Vishnu. Similarly, we worship Bhagawan Garuda, who is an eagle by nature. Bhagawan Garuda serves as Bhagawan Vishnu’s vehicle. In similar lines, we worship Bhagawan Vishnu as an incarnation of a fish in the Matsya Avatara, as a pig in the Koorma Avatara, as a lion in the Narasimha Avatara, etc., isn’t it? Similarly, we witness the rat being the vehicle of Bhagawan Ganesha, the peacock being the vehicle of Bhagawan Muruga, Bhagawan Shiva in the form of a dog, worshipped as Bhagawan Kala-Bhairava, and the likes. 

Obviously, all of us know how the holy cow is worshipped in our Sanaatana Dharma. The cow is supposed to be the residing place of Goddess Mahalakshmi and is often referred to as the “Go-Maata”. Here, “Go” means cow in Sanskrit. As this is the significance of the cow, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna too wants to bring it out to the world and spread the message that the cow is one of the holiest animals in this world. This is precisely the reason why Bhagawan Bala-Krishna spends so much time with the cows at Gokula and in turn, He is also worshipped as “Bhagawan Gopala”. We’ve thus witnessed in the past 2-3 episodes as to how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is having fun with the cows, and we’re continuing with the same today too. 

Now as Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is growing up a little further, He somehow gets an interest to learn how to play the flute. Many of us might know the musical instrument called “flute”. This flute has its separate and unique significance because Bhagawan Bala-Krishna Himself has played it with His own little divine hands to attract the cows towards Him. The music that emulates from the flute is often referred to as the “Venu-Gaanam” and this is the reason Bhagawan Bala-Krishna has another divine name called “Bhagawan Venu-Gopala”. Here, “Venu” means flute. We would often be able to see lot of portraits of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna holding the flute in His hands and the cows flocking all around Him, isn’t it? This is what we’re going to witness and experience now.  

As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna learns to play the flute, He starts playing it so beautifully that all His little companions and friends sit around Him and listen. All of them get immersed in the divine “Venu-Gaana” of the flute and this is one of the most blissful moments that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna gives to His ardent devotees around. Not only the companions of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna are attracted towards Him, but also the cows, dogs, pigeons, and all sorts of animals too get attracted towards the “Venu-Gaana” from Bhagawan Bala-Krishna. Thus, the entire Gokula village is slowly mesmerised by the divine music emulating from Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s flute! 

We might wonder why is Bhagawan doing this here – It is a clear message to all of us that if we’re ardently devoted to Bhagawan, He pulls us like a magnet towards Him and immerses us into unending divine bliss. Being besides Bhagawan is perhaps the best gift that He can give us, isn’t it? Thus, we should realize that this is one way that Bhagawan pulls all of us towards Him. Some “Atmans” get pulled through divine music, some “Atmans” get pulled through some “Leelas” that Bhagawan performs, some other “Atmans” need the stick in hand to be pulled towards Bhagawan, and some other “Atmans” would prefer high spiritual practices to attain Bhagawan. Thus, we can see here that different Bhaktas follow different paths to attain Bhagawan, and this path of getting attracted towards Him (via the “Venu-Gaana”) is now highlighted here by Bhagawan Krishna. 

So for today, let us enjoy Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s divine “Venu-Gaana” and let us imagine that we’re amidst Him, enjoying the mesmerizing music. Of course, this is one of the greatest and the most divine experiences that we can experience during this Krishna-Avatara description. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this further! Stay tuned! 🙂  

Episode # 177 – Our “Sanatana Dharma” is the ONLY ONE that gives equal respect to all living beings!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another important message from Sage Paraashara through the “Shri Vishnu Puraana”, as to how animals too are devoted to Bhagawan, thereby getting an opportunity to attain “Moksha”. We’ve witnessed this message as part of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s “Leelas” with the cows at Gokula. In similar lines, to illustrate this point, we’ve witnessed in yesterday’s episode, some other important instances, wherein animals too exhibit the highest levels of “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan. We’ve witnessed how “Jatayu” attained “Moksha”, with his ardent devotion towards Bhagawan Rama. Similarly, we’ve witnessed Elephant Gajendra attaining “Moksha” too. All of us know about Hanuman, who is a “Vaanara” (Monkey). Hanuman’s devotion towards Bhagawan Rama is an epitome for all of us to understand what “Bhakti” really means. Thus, at several instances we can witness across the scriptural texts of our “Sanaatana Dharma” literature as to how animals too have the devotion in them. 

This is why we always emphasize in our “Sanaatana Dharma” that we should respect animals equally as we do towards human beings. There is no room for any sort of ill-treatment of animals. Sadly in today’s scenario, lot of myths circulate amongst various societies that killing and torturing of animals shouldn’t be looked at deeply. Our “Sanaatana Dharma” is perhaps the only religion in the entire world which gives equal respect to all living beings in this world. Of course, there are some other “so-called” religions that exist, which thrive on animal disrespect and try earning some brownie points in the society. This, obviously, is well known to all of us, and it is up to us not to fall prey for such misdeeds. We should clearly understand that our “Sanaatana Dharma” calls for equal respect towards all living beings, inclusive of all animals and this is why we have the sacred “Mantra” called “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”. This literally translates into “May all living beings in this world live happily and peacefully”. This is exactly the message that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna too is propagating through this particular “Leela” that He’s performing with the cows every day. 

Moving on thus, we shall now see how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna spends His day with the cows. As mentioned earlier, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would take all the cows from the shed for grazing. The usual routine would be that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would be accompanied by few of His friends. Of all His friends, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was the “gang-leader”! Thus, all the friends used to have fun with each other, as the cows kept grazing all through the day. In the meanwhile, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would play some petty pranks with the cows. He sometimes goes behind the cow and starts drinking the milk directly from it. The calf of the cow would be eagerly waiting for the milk from its mother cow. However, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would play pranks with that little calf by denying its share of milk. However, as the calf gets irritated a bit, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would allow the calf to drink its mother’s milk. 

Secondly, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna had a liking towards small crackers. I’m sure many of us might know what crackers are, isn’t it? It’s the same firecrackers that we use to celebrate Diwali in India. Bhagawan Bala-Krishna always possesses a few small firecrackers with Him always. Whenever a cow tries to act “smart”, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would tie a small firecracker to its tail, light it with fire and run away! As the firecracker would burst with a loud sound, the cow would start running amok here and there with fear. Upon seeing this, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna would clap His hands and laugh over it. 

Thus, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was having fun with the cows, at the same time while allowing them to graze along the grasslands outside of Gokula. As days progressed, the cows were enjoying Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s company very much. Every day morning at the stipulated time, the cows would wait for Bhagawan Bala-Krishna to come and take them for grazing. Thus, the cows and Bhagawan Bala-Krishna became best friends. So for today, let us enjoy this divine experience of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna with the cows, and we shall wait till the next episode to continue this further. In the meanwhile, there was someone who was becoming jealous of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s “growing popularity” in Gokula and amongst the cows. Who was that? Stay tuned for an absorbing episode tomorrow! 🙂 

Episode # 176 – Are animals more devoted to Bhagawan than human beings? An important message!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna spends maximum of His time during the day with the cows of Gokula village. Every morning, it was Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s routine to take the cows from the shed to the grazing area and every evening before sunset, He would bring them back to the cowshed. During the day, He used to play pranks with the cows, ensuring that they’re well fed and happy. We might wonder why Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is more interested in cows than human beings like us! We’ve witnessed in yesterday’s episode, how animals are selfless in nature, whereas we as human beings are epitomes of selfishness. Even if Bhagawan wants to come along with us, we would make sure that He has to obtain an “appointment” from us to come. In other words, we would not allow Bhagawan to completely come near us for anything, forget “Moksha”. Whereas, this is not the case with animals. Atleast, if they couldn’t say to Bhagawan to stay away from them, they wouldn’t ask Him to go away when He comes near them, isn’t it? This is the unique quality that we should learn from animals – Their profound and unconditional “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan is something that we should imbibe in ourselves as we move forward with our spiritual growth. 

This is the case not only with the cows of Gokula, but we can see such instances at many places. We’ve witnessed in the past during the “Gajendra-Moksha” episode in the “Shrimad Bhaagawatha Puraana” wherein, Elephant Gajendra’s foot was stuck inside a crocodile’s mouth. We’ve seen how Bhagawan Vishnu rushed all the way from Vaikunta to save the poor elephant, when it screamed for help from Bhagawan. Similarly, in our previous project of “Shrimad Ramayana”, we’ve witnessed how eagle Jatayu obtained “Moksha” from Bhagawan Rama straightaway. As Ravana was abducting Mother Sita in his “Pushpaka Vimaana”, when nobody was daring to fight Ravana and save Mother Sita, it was Jatayu who came forward for the fight. As Mother Sita pleaded to Jatayu with folded hands, Jatayu took it upon himself, put up a brave front and made Ravana fight hard to save himself. Ultimately of course, Jatayu wasn’t able to save himself due to his old age and lack of power to attack Ravana beyond a point. He was hit by Ravana’s “Chandrahasa” sword and fell on the ground. The most important attribute of Jataayu was that, he was holding his breath until Bhagawan Rama arrived close to him. He somehow wanted to convey to Bhagawan Rama that Mother Sita is being abducted by Ravana. In order to just convey this important information, Jataayu was bearing immense pain and was holding his breath until Bhagawan Rama arrived. Moved by the unconditional help rendered by Jatayu, Bhagawan Rama immediately granted the highest “Moksha” to Jatayu! This is another instance wherein we can witness how animals exhibit unconditional surrender, thereby making themselves eligible for Bhagawan to grant them “Moksha”. 

In similar lines, we can witness in the same Ramayana text as to how a tiny little squirrel helped building the “Ram-Sethu” bridge across Rameshwaram to cross over into Lanka. We’ve also witnessed this in our Ramayana project as to how the squirrel helped Sugriva and Co. to paste all the rocks together using the mud and stone powder. Moved by the dedication of the squirrel, Bhagawan Rama showered all His compassion and blessings on it. Similar is the case with the “Vaanaras” Hanuman, Sugriva, Angadha, etc. All of us know the extent of Hanuman’s devotion towards Bhagawan Rama and this needs no explanation. So we can witness here in all these instances as to how animals exhibit their love and ardent “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan and how Bhagawan responds to them timely. 

Similarly here too, Bhagawan Krishna responds to the ardent devotion exhibited by the cows of Gokula and thus, He makes sure that He spends maximum time with them. So for today, let us understand this point very clearly on how we must learn from animals with regards to exhibiting unconditional “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan. We shall wait till the next episode to continue further with this point. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 175 – Why does Bhagawan Bala-Krishna go behind cows every day? An important message!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna teaches us the important aspect of “detachment” through the fruit-vendor episode. As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna granted “Moksha” to that poor fruit-vendor, she was so detached from her worldly life, which enabled her to quickly accept Bhagawan’s offer. This is where we’ve to test ourselves. In the past two episodes, we’ve been talking about this, wherein if Bhagawan grants us “Moksha” at this very moment, will we be ready to accept it? This is one question that we should constantly keep asking ourselves time and again. If our answer to this question is a resounding “Yes”, it means that we’re practicing detachment as per Bhagawan’s advice. If on the contrary, it simply means that our “Shraddha” (Perfection) needs a lot to be desired, in terms of our “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan. 

Moving on thus with Sage Paraashara’s narrative about Bhagawan Bala-Krishna, as He gets older a bit more, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna has a special interest towards the cows of Gokula. This is why we often refer to Bhagawan Bala-Krishna as Bhagawan “Gopala”. Here, “Go” means cows, and “Gopala” means Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is the manager of the cows. Thus, as a child, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna spent a lot of time with the cows. Every morning, He takes the cows for grazing, all over the vacant grounds on the outskirts of Gokula. All through the day He spends time with them, and when it is time for sunset, He brings all the cows back to their respective sheds. This was His primary routine every passing day. As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was doing this, Mother Yashoda too was happy in a way because His notorious behavior started to get lesser. In turn, her headache of managing this notorious child was getting lesser. 

We might wonder, why Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was spending so much time with the cows, and why not with other human beings. There is a hidden spiritual meaning behind this as well. When Bhagawan comes closer to us, do we readily accept Him to come closer, or do we not? This is another spiritual question that each one of us should ask within ourselves. Of course, calling Bhagawan towards us in itself is not an easy task for all of us. But, even if Bhagawan consents to come closer, are we ready to accept His closeness? Many a time, the answer is “No”! We might be good devotees of Bhagawan, but we might still have the feeling thus, “Ok! We’re close to Bhagawan.. Let Him be in one corner. But this doesn’t mean that we should experience all worldly pleasures. Let us enjoy the “Maya”, as well as Bhagawan together!” Bhagawan Krishna doesn’t like this sort of an attitude from us. If we’re surrendering to Him, we should do so completely and not with a “half-baked attitude”. This is the problem with us, as human beings. However, this is never the case with animals, isn’t it? Here, when Bhagawan Bala-Krishna goes behind the cows every day, it might be the case that the cows couldn’t have welcomed Him every morning. However, the cows never said to Bhagawan Bala-Krishna not to come behind them, isn’t it? This itself is “Bhakti”. This is what Bhagawan is expecting out of us too as human beings – He doesn’t care whether we’re welcoming Him or not. But when He voluntarily comes behind us, searching for us, atleast let us not stop Him from doing so! This is the least that Bhagawan expects from us. This is the spiritual lesson that we should learn from the “Leela” of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna when He goes behind the cows every day at Gokula. 

In lieu of this, we should understand that this is not the case only with the cows. Every animal exhibits this divine quality towards Bhagawan, and in fact, animals too have attained “Moksha” in the hands of Bhagawan. What are some more examples of animals attaining “Moksha” through their unconditional “Bhakti” towards Bhagawan? Let us wait till the next episode to witness! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 174 – Bhagawan Bala-Krishna illustrates “DETACHMENT” through the fruit-vendor episode!!!

In the previous episode, we were at an important juncture wherein we were discussing a few important points pertaining to Bhagawan Bala-Krishna granting the highest “Moksha” to an ordinary fruit vendor who was selling fruits on the streets of Gokula. We’ve witnessed how all of us, living beings are equal under the divine eyes of Bhagawan, and how all of us have equal opportunities to attain “Moksha”. There is absolutely no difference between any one of us as living beings on this earth. All those differences that we figure out amongst each other with respect to being rich, poor, differences in caste, gender, creed, race, etc. are all pertaining to the “Deham” only, and not the “Atman”. Bhagawan Krishna too stresses upon this important point many a times in His Bhagawad Gita that all living beings are the same with regards to the “Atman”, and the “Atman” is one pure invisible form which stimulates the “Deham” to perform its “Karma”. We need to understand this point very clearly. 

Secondly, we’ve also witnessed an important question as to how ready are we to attain “Moksha”, if Bhagawan is ready to grant it to us this very minute. We’ve witnessed how this fruit vendor had exemplary amount of spiritual maturity to accept the offer immediately, as against us, who often boast ourselves to be “spiritually knowledgeable” with the Vedas and other scriptures and even then, would be “attached” to the worldly pleasures into which Bhagawan is pushing us into! The point is very clear here – If we’re ready to accept the “Moksha” offer immediately as and when Bhagawan is giving us, it simply means that we’re of the highest level of spiritual growth and maturity. On the other hand, if we’re trying to delay Bhagawan’s offer by simply giving lame excuses that we’ve to take care of our family, etc. it simply means that we’re not ready and upto the expected level yet. We should understand firstly as to who is taking care of whom in this world. Really is it we who are taking care of our family or is it Bhagawan who is doing so? 

For instance, in today’s scenario, we’re seeing the sad state of affairs of many people suffering from the global CoVID-19 pandemic across the world, including India. We’re seeing so many people crying in pain and due to lack of oxygen and other essential items. There is news circulating around that many people are not able to get themselves vaccinated, as there is a huge shortage of vaccines across the country. If such is the case, if we have the power and authority with us, we should be able to take care of our own family members if they are affected by the pandemic, isn’t it? But on the contrary, we’re unable to do so! If we’re having that power to protect our family, why are we seeing so many people suffering and dying of the deadly disease? Hence, this makes us understand that there’s a supreme power that grips us and makes us dance to its tunes, isn’t it? Today, the situation is such that a terrorist is standing right in front of our house, and if we open the door, he’s going to gun us down! We can say and pinpoint this entire problem towards one country, but what is the use of doing so? This has become a global problem and every country is grappling with it. There is no place for blame-games here at the moment. Every life that can be saved at this point is very important. 

Thus, the point here is that, we might be thinking that we’re taking care of our family, our son, daughter, parents, etc. but at the end of the day, it is Bhagawan who is doing so. We do not have even an iota of power to alter the course of life of any living being, without Bhagawan’s will and wish. If such is the case, why should we bother about it if Bhagawan is there to take care? Of course, readers shouldn’t mistake me at this point that we should all become Sannyasins, abandoning our families then and there. Of course, we’ve to perform our duties towards our family. That is very important. However, we need to learn and strike a balance here – There is a difference between the phrases “taking care of the family” and “living just to take care of the family”. Bhagawan expects us to do the first phrase and not the second. If we’re slipping into the second phrase, it means that our attachment towards worldly objects are on the rise. This implies that we’re not going to be ready to accept Bhagawan’s “Moksha” offer. 

Hence, it is up to us to understand and strike a balance between Bhagawan, our family and our spiritual progress to attain “Moksha”. As spiritual progressers, we should have the clear thought process that Bhagawan has given us this “Deham” (Physical body) to serve the world in whatever way possible in a detached way. Even though we do our bit for society, we shouldn’t develop that worldly attachment towards the world. We should develop that highest state of maturity, which is of course difficult at the onset, but nevertheless, we should keep on trying. In that case, again, it doesn’t imply that we abandon our families once and for all. We should perform our duties towards our parents, perform our “Shraadha Karma” for them once they depart from this earth, etc. properly without fail. Similarly, we should make sure that our children and family are taken care of and are self-sufficient in all ways. Beyond this, if we’ve to exhibit excess love and affection towards our family and children (Putravaatsalya), like how King Dasharata did towards his son Bhagawan Rama and how King Dhirdiraashtra did towards his son Duryodhana, we should understand that we’re deviating from Bhagawan and “Moksha” is going to be a distant dream for all of us. Also, all our efforts that we’re taking now for our spiritual growth would go in vain if we’re unable to cultivate this detachment. 

Hence, for today, let us once again ponder over this important point and let us start doing the needful. Our attachment should only be towards Bhagawan and nothing else. Let us try and implement this in our daily lives and we shall wait till the next episode to continue further! Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 173 – How ready are we to attain “Moksha” today itself, if Bhagawan offers it to us?

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna granted the highest “Moksha” to an ordinary fruit vendor who had come knocking at His door for selling fruits. In exchange of the fruits, we had witnessed how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna brought some food grains in HIs tiny hands, to give the old woman. However, upon looking at Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s little palms, the old woman quickly realized whom she was talking with. She knew that this child standing in front of her was none other than Bhagawan Vishnu in the form of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna, and hence she wasn’t interested anymore in these food grains or the fruits. She saw this opportunity and negotiated with Bhagawan whether He’s ready to grant her the highest “Moksha” in exchange with the fruits that she had in her basket! Impressed with her unconditional surrender and spiritual maturity, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna too granted her wish and straightaway, this old women fled off to Vaikunta! Thus, we had witnessed how an ordinary woman who doesn’t have any knowledge of our scriptures and spiritual austerities is also able to attain “Moksha” with ease. 

So what is that we can learn from this particular segment of the “Krishna-Leela”? In fact, there are two important points that we need to discuss here, and let us carry forward this in today’s episode. Firstly, we should understand that for Bhagawan, all of us are equal. There is no difference between a highly learned scholar and an illiterate in Bhagawan’s eyes. All these differences are for the “Shareera” (Physical body) and not of the “Atman”. We’ve witnessed this point earlier as well, when we were discussing the narratives of Sage Jada-Bharata. This same point is now illustrated and shown to us by Bhagawan Krishna Himself. Thus, we should realize that there’s no point in comparing amongst ourselves – In terms of education, knowledge, richness, poorness, caste, color, creed, race, gender, etc. Also, there’s no point in complaining about others as well. If we’ve to attain Moksha, no matter who we are, we’ve to put our individual effort, as per our capacity. If we do so, Bhagawan is surely going to respond. How can a father stay quiet if His child is crying his heart out? We should have this faith firmly in our mind as we progress spiritually. Thus, the point here is that, irrespective of whoever we are, Bhagawan is going to grant us the highest “Moksha”, if our efforts and devotion are in the right direction. 

Secondly, even if we’re channelizing our efforts to attain “Moksha”, how ready are we to take that “offer” from Bhagawan? We’ve witnessed in the fruit-vendor case that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna had granted her the “Moksha” immediately and she too was ready to accept it. We should imagine ourselves in the place of the fruit vendor for a moment and ask within ourselves thus, “Oh! If Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is going to appear in front of us at this very moment and is ready to grant us the “Moksha”, will we be ready to accept it at this moment itself and go off?” This is the real test here – If at all such a situation comes, what would our normal reaction be? We would immediately start negotiating with Bhagawan Bala-Krishna thus, “Oh Bhagawan! I still have various commitments to fulfill in this lifetime – I’ve to have kids, educate them, marry them off, set them in life, and maybe, at the end of this birth, please come in front of me again, and I shall take up your offer!” 🙂 

This might be funny at the onset, but there’s definitely a deeper meaning to this – If we’re showing our readiness and willingness to immediately accept Bhagawan’s offer, it shows that we’re of the highest order of Bhakti! Whereas, if we’re trying to “beat around the bush” with Bhagawan, giving all sorts of reasons for not accepting His offer, it simply means that we’re getting carried away by the “Maya” (Worldly pleasures). So this is a check-point for all of us here. We should ask this question individually within each one of us to check how ready we are today, to attain “Moksha”, if Bhagawan is willing to offer it at this moment itself. The more we’re getting ready with an answer “Yes”, it means that we’re more and more getting detached towards worldly objects and pleasures. However, if our “No” answer is weighing more, it simply means that we’re engrossed into worldly attachments! 

So for today, let us understand this important point and let us conduct a check for ourselves. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion forward! Stay tuned! 🙂

Episode # 172 – Bhagawan Bala-Krishna grants “Moksha” to a poor fruit vendor!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was crying as He was being punished by His mother for stealing butter. We had witnessed that He was “folding His hands” while crying, thus signifying to the outside world as if He’s “seeking forgiveness” for His mistake. However, we’ve seen various in-depth meanings to this gesture of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna as explained to us by various Alwars and Aachaaryas. The crux of this explanation is that, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s time was saved by Mother Yashoda, as she succeeded in bringing together all of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s ardent devotees under one roof, rather than, Him going around meeting each of them one by one. As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was crying aloud, all His “friends” came running towards Him to see what happened! Eventually He had the opportunity to grace all His ardent devotees at a stretch, and this is how Bhagawan uses every opportunity that He gets, irrespective of whether it is a punishment or not, to bless His devotees. This is where Bhagawan Bala-Krishna stands as an embodiment of compassion and love towards all His devotees. No matter whatever situation He’s in, He never misses an opportunity to see His devotees, isn’t it? 

Moving on thus, Sage Paraashara explains how Nandagopa frees Bhagawan Bala-Krishna and lets him off Yashoda’s punishment. As we witnessed yesterday too, upon seeing the child crying, Father Nandagopa couldn’t resist himself. He immediately unties the rope and lets Bhagawan Bala-Krishna free. He wipes the child’s tears off His beautiful eyes, and tells Him thus, “Oh Krishna! Now go the backside of our house, take the sack of grains and give it to the fruit vendor who has come out on the road. In return, you can ask for whatever fruits she has, and you can eat them as per your wish!” Upon hearing thus from His father, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was overjoyed! He immediately runs to the backyard, picks up the grain sack and runs back to the entrance. By this time, the fruit-vendor had reached Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s house, and was waiting to see Him. 

Now here’s another example as to how this fruit-vendor gets an opportunity to be part of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s “divine league”. Afterall, this woman was uneducated and she didn’t even know “ABC” of our Sanaatana Dharma’s “Shaastras”. Even then, how did she become a part of Bhagawan Krishna’s divine league? Let’s witness! As the woman comes near Bhagawan Bala-Krishna, He gives off the grains that He had in His hands. Child as He was, His hands were tiny and we can imagine how much grains could actually fit into those tiny beautiful hands. Now an important conversation starts between the fruit vendor and Bhagawan Bala-Krishna thus. The fruit vendor says to Bhagawan Bala-Krishna thus, “Oh Krishna! Please give me what I ask for, and in turn, you can take whatever fruits you want from my basket!” Bhagawan Bala-Krishna gives her a handful of grains and replies thus, “Oh grandmother! Please give me the fruits!” However, the fruit-vendor woman wasn’t really seeming to be convinced with what Bhagawan Krishna had given her. She asks Him back thus, “Oh Krishna! I swear that you hadn’t given me what I wanted!” Upon hearing this, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was surprised. He asks her back, “Oh grandma! Normally this is what I give everyday isn’t it? Do you want more of it? Or, do you want a cow or milk or butter? Please ask me anything. I shall give you!” 

This last sentence uttered by Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is what the old woman captures. She asks Him back thus, “Oh Krishna! You would give me whatever I ask, isn’t it? Now show me your hands!” As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna extends His tiny hands towards her, she sees the unthinkable! She sees the “Shanka” on one palm and a “Chakra” on the other! She immediately understood who this child was. She continues thus, “Oh Bala-Krishna! Upon seeing your hands, I understood who you are! You are the sole person who can grant the highest “Moksha” to everyone in this world! I’ve understood this fact now, and till date, I was longing for this for so many years and births! Now I feel that the purpose of this long wait has come to an end upon seeing you! Hence, what I want to ask you is that, please give me the highest “Moksha” in exchange of these fruits that I have in my basket! You know how poor I am. I cannot give you anything “hi-fi” like how other devotees might give you. All I have with me is this. So I’m offering my heart and tears of joy, along with this bunch of fruits! So please accept them and grant me what I had asked for!” 

Upon hearing this from the poor woman, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was moved! How can He ever deny an ardent devotee’s request? Bhagawan is extremely compassionate, isn’t it? Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s heart melted upon the woman’s selfless tears and complete surrender. He thus has a glance at her for a moment, and off she goes directly to Vaikunta! The poor woman has been granted “Moksha” then and there by Bhagawan Bala-Krishna! What an opportunity! What bliss! What a moment is this for the poor woman! So for today, let us get immersed into this experience of the fruit-vendor with tears in our eyes, and let us also wait for our turn from Bhagawan Bala-Krishna! We shall continue this experience in the next episode as well, and witness what are the important lessons that we can learn from this. Stay tuned! 🙂 

Episode # 171 – Why did Bhagawan Bala-Krishna fold His hands & cry as Mother Yashoda tied Him? An important message!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another significant message for our spiritual growth and progress, that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is conveying through His divine “Krishna-Leelas”. We’ve in due course of yesterday’s episode how Bhagawan Bala-Krishna escaped from the punishment meted out to Him by Mother Yashoda. As His father, Nandagopa arrived at the house, he was shocked to see His darling child crying loud and being tied to the “Ural”. He immediately unties Bhagawan Krishna from the “Ural”, and with this, He gets the desired butter too, straight into His hands from His father! Upon seeing this, Mother Yashoda fumes with anger and frustration and this episode comes to an end. With this, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is free and what is His next move going to be? Is He going to keep quiet, or, is He going to play His pranks again? Let’s continue witnessing! 

As Bhagawan Bala-Krishna is freed, He immediately sets out to meet His “girlfriends” in and around Gokula. As I had mentioned earlier as well, when we mean “girlfriends”, these people were ardent “Bhaktas” of Bhagawan Krishna. They were longing for His presence, not for fulfilling their physical needs, but for the divine spiritual experience of being with the “Paramatma” or the Supreme Bhagawan. In fact, we’ve also witnessed that the Devas (Celestial Beings) headed by Indra, had requested to spend time in unison with Bhagawan Vishnu, and when He incarnated as Bhagawan Krishna, He’s going to fulfill the request made by the Devas. This is the reason why the Devas incarnated in this world as the divine “Gopikas”, wherein they had obtained that divine opportunity to spend time with Bhagawan all alone. 

Thus, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna sets out of His house again and the “Operation-butter” continues. While this happens on one side, He also goes house after house in Gokula to spend time with the young unmarried women there, who were yearning for His presence. As He visits each and every house, all the girls were angry with Him for the delay. Normally, it was a routine practice that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna spends around an hour with each girl every day. But because of today’s punishment, He’s a bit late and all His friends were sad. Bhagawan Bala-Krishna tries to convince them individually, explaining to all of them as to how Mother Yashoda had punished Him and that He wasn’t able to rush towards them. However, as it was already delayed, He wasn’t able to visit all the friends of His! 

In fact, even when Bhagawan Bala-Krishna was tied up, He folded His hands as He was crying, isn’t it? The “Alwars” give a beautiful description to this act of Bhagawan Bala-Krishna. In fact, there are three descriptions here – Firstly, of course, it was a mistake of stealing butter on His part, and hence, He had to anyway ask for forgiveness. Secondly, it was a token of respect to His mother, that Bhagawan Bala-Krishna folded His hands and cried. It is because, Bhagawan Vishnu Himself was having a long-pending wish – Since He is a “Paramatma”, He doesn’t have a start or an end to His life. He’s a permanent entity. Since He’s permanent, He doesn’t have a mother or a father from whom He took birth. Thus, Bhagawan Vishnu was thinking within Himself for a long time – “Oh! How fortunate are the people in this world! They have their parents, to whom they can pay their obsteinence. However, I’m not that fortunate to have parents to do so!” Thus, when He got an opportunity to be born as a son to Mother Yashoda and Nandagopa, Bhagawan thus used this opportunity to fold hands and salute His parents! 🙂 

These two descriptions aren’t that important anyways! The third description which the “Alwars” are giving here is of prominent significance – By tying Him to the “Ural”, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna wasn’t able to go to each of His friend’s places isn’t it? We’ve to also understand that the number of young women in and around Gokula were crossing five-hundred thousand (Five lakhs). Where is the time for Bhagwan Bala-Krishna to visit each of the five lakh people and give His divine darshan? Thus, by crying aloud and creating an alibi, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna made sure that all the five lakh people assembled in front of His house to enquire why their darling child was crying like this! With this, His work is minimised, isn’t it? 🙂 Rather than going individually to five lakh homes, if all the five lakh people come at a stretch to see Him, it becomes easy for Bhagawan to give His divine darshan to all the people at the same time, isn’t it? Hence, by folding His hands and crying, Bhagawan Bala-Krishna thanked Mother Yashoda for giving Him an opportunity to see all His five lakh ardent devotees of Gokula “under one roof”, so that He doesn’t need to keep going everywhere! 🙂 

So for today, let us understand this important point and let us keep enjoying Bhagawan Bala-Krishna’s divine “Leelas” in a continuous manner. The reason why we’re spending so much time in each “Leela” is that, more than just the storyline, we’ve to understand the inner spiritual significance as to why Bhagawan Bala-Krishna performs them. Every act of Bhagawan is extremely significant, irrespective of any incarnation, isn’t it? Hence, let us spend our time today enjoying this segment of the divine “Krishna-Leela”! Stay tuned for the next episode for the continuation! 🙂