In the previous episode, we had witnessed yet another important dimension to the teachings of Sage Kapilaachaarya and Rishabha Deva combined together. We witnessed a small story to drive home the point too. From the story thus, we can infer how important is it for all of us to control our mind. Whenever we try doing it, the ego comes in between and thrashes our attempt. However, with the guidance and grace from the Spiritual Master, the mind can be channelized by thrashing the ego into pieces. This is exactly what Rishabha Deva says too! If we’ve to control our mind by ourselves, it is not an easy task to do in this lifetime! It is only with the help of a Mahatma, would we be able to achieve this task and to attain Moksha henceforth.
So with this point firmly in our mind, we shall move on with the subsequent discussion. As Rishabha Deva says thus, his disciples have a doubt that arise in their minds. They ask him, “Oh Rishabha Deva! You’re saying that we can attain Moksha by doing service to a “Mahatma” (Spiritual Master). If that is the case, why can’t I directly do service to Bhagawan? Won’t I attain Moksha directly if I do service to Bhaagwan directly? Why should we have a “middleman” in the form of a “Mahatma” to decide and direct me to Moksha? Ultimately it is Bhagawan who grants it isn’t it? Hence, why don’t we directly please Bhagawan by offering our services to Him, instead of the Mahatma?”
This seems a valid question! Hearing thus, Rishabha Deva counters the question with a beautiful and a thought-provoking answer thus: “Oh disciples! You’ve asked a very important question here! My answer to your question goes like this: We can of course perform service to Bhagawan, and there’s no problem with that. However, if we’re becoming directly employed to Bhagawan to do service, we would start getting the ego in our mind and thus, eventually we would start losing focus. Our minds are not that mature enough to understand and realize such a great significance! Only if we offer our services to a “Mahatma” or the “Spiritual Master”, who dwells along with us with the same physical body, who also experiences happiness and sorrow like how we do, and who are at our same level of human beings, we would be able to shed our ego to the extent that we would become eligible to reach Moksha. Ultimately, it is the mind that we’re trying to control and add maturity too!”
This is an extremely important point and needs a bit of an elaboration in detail. Now why is Rishabha Deva saying this? Can’t we still attain Moksha by offering services directly to Bhagawan? The problem here is that, our ego would easily take over. For instance, if I’m directly reporting to the Prime Minister or President of India, won’t I get an undue “power” in my hand? In Organizational Behavioral science, this power that we derive from such a source is called “Information Power”. Since I have close proximity to the Prime Minister of India, which nobody else has in this entire country, I would gain lot of ego and status isn’t it? This would enhance my power and influence tactics in the system, and I would get prepared to go to any extent to satisfy my needs and wants! Similarly, if we get the undue advantage of close proximity to Bhagawan, what would we do? We would start going to Him for anything and everything that we want, use our influence in a way that would demean others, and ultimately enjoy a “superior” role as compared to others! However, for Bhagawan, all living beings are equal under His eyes. He doesn’t differentiate between the big, small, more powerful or less powerful. It is only for this reason of obtaining undue power, does Bhagawan not encourage us to come directly to Him to offer services. Of course, we shall still offer our worship and other things to Him, but when it comes to attaining Moksha, the best way to do so is through a Mahatma or the Spiritual Master.
Moreover, if we look at this point from a different angle, we can see that almost all people in this world would pray to Bhagawan for something or the other! Good people with good intentions pray to Bhagawan for World peace and harmony. Whereas, terrorists also destroy people in the name of Bhagawan only! Similarly, people who do illegal businesses, trade, etc. to make money also invoke Bhagawan’s name to achieve their agenda! So, we can see here that all sections of people go to Bhagwan for something or the other. If Bhagawan starts paying heed to all of these people, what would happen to his stature? This is why there is a framework in our “Sanaathana Dharma” that, to attain Moksha, one should always follow the Spiritual Master. This is because, not everybody can go freely to a Spiritual Master. If one has to get the closeness to a Spiritual Master, he/she is going to test this person left, right and center before accepting this person as his / her disciple. Thus, only those people who are really eligible to attain Moksha can stick in the vicinity of a Spiritual Master. Whereas, all sorts of people go to Bhagawan directly!
This is the difference here. This is the reason why Bhagawan has created this system of going through the guidance and support of a Spiritual Master. In fact, when Bhagawan appeared in front of Saint Ramanuja, what did He say to him? Bhagawan gives the power of granting Moksha to Saint Ramanuja and says thus, “Oh Ramanuja! From today, I give you the full authority to choose whom you want to grant Moksha to! I shall grant the Moksha to all those people whom you recommend!” Here, Ramanuja is considered to be the Spiritual Master and Bhagawan gives him all the rights to “recommend” for the highest goal. We can witness here that, Bhagawan Himself has created such a system to attain Moksha and this is exactly what Rishabha Deva is also explaining here.
Hence, for today, let us realize this point in a bit more depth and let us appreciate the significance of a realized Spiritual Master. If we have the aim of attaining the highest Moksha at the end of our lives, we should make the ardent effort to get associated with the right Spiritual Master for the same. We shall wait till the next episode to continue with Rishabha Deva’s next piece of advice! Stay tuned! 😊