Feb 4: Purushartas in Bhagavatam – 4 : Moksha

4 Feb

The Lord’s incarnations though infinite, are defined to be ten in number – ranging from fish to a human, and each incarnation establishes the Dharma unique to that form.  A fish devoid of water dies immediately and shows its immense love for water.  One’s devotion should be such.  The Lord then incarnated as a wild boar [Varaha] to get back Mother Earth and Vedas from the demons and also slayed the Hirayaksha and established the path of performing austerities [Yagna] and the avatar is also known “Yagna Varaha Moorthy”. The Lord came down as Varaha to show that none of the Lord’ incarnations had to be detested and hated. The boar is one of the wretched animals. In Varaha Avatar the path of sacrifices and ablutions is preached by the Lord. The Yoga Marga is advocated in the Koorma Avatar.  In one avatar, he came down as a small boy and in another avatar he took the disguised as Parasurama, a Rishi who destroyed the entire Kshatriya clan. The Lord in his next avatar came down as Lord Rama, as a Kshatriya, reinstating the clan and re-establishing the Rajya Dharma.  AsKrishna, He was born in a cowherd’s family.  In the incarnation of the Lord as Rama andKrishna, apart from upholding all the various Dharmas, these two avatars also embrace the beautiful path of Bhagavatha Dharma – the path of Sharanagathi.

He advocated the beautiful precept to continue doing ones’ Karma and Yoga and offer the fruits of Kharma to the Lord and surrender oneself to the Lord. In Bhagavad Gita, the Lord says- “Mamekam sharanam vraja”- ‘surrender unto me’. The intellect to surrender oneself to the Lord does not dawn in one due to one’s intellect but only by the grace of a Sadguru.

After the round of introductions, Aravindji fromOrlandocontinued his lecture on the four Purusharthas.

Moksha –  commonly understood as ‘liberation’ – actually denotes ‘relief’.  Lord Indra was relieved when Vrithrasura was defeated and Bhagavatam calls it as ‘Mahendra Moksham’.   Moksha is the last Purushartha because the remaining three Purushartha give only temporary relief and pave the way for the ultimate relief.

Let us assume that a  person has a bad dream where a ten headed lion was chasing him and finally he woke up to see that it was a mere dream. Waking up and knowing that his experience was a dream  was his ‘Moksha’ or relief.  When we continue to follow the path of Bhagavtha Dharma, we will wake up one day to realize the permanent relief and understand that life is a just an illusion. The beauty of Srimad Bhagavatham is that it takes us step by step to the path of liberation. It holds our hands and makes us understand the precepts of Dharma. Merely following the path of Artha and Kama without Dharma causes lots of trouble and is only a futile effort.

Srimad Bhagavatam is a Moksha Grantha since it takes everyone to that elevated state by elucidating the life-histories of different Mahans who had attained that quintessential state and by merely listening [Shravan] to their life-histories one will attain that epitome state. Prahalada places the path of Shravanam as the first means to perform bhakti to the Lord and it is verily because, listening to something ushers new desires in one. Listening to all the life-histories of Mahans will sprout a new desire in all the listeners and eventually that desire will fructify as Moksha. Srimad Bhagavatham is very beautiful wherein it takes about the “Pravruthi Marga” where it expounds on the life-histories of Uttanapada, Dhruva, King Prithu, Prachina Barhi and Priyavratha where all of them attained lofty goals in the world. The young boy Dhruva finally was crowned as the king. King Prithu chased Mother Earth to bestow the needed vegetation for crop cultivation. Once the worldly aspirations are satiated, then Srimad Bhagavatham bestows with the ultimate relief through Nivruthi Magra as depicted in the life-histories of RishabaYogishwara, Jadabharatha etc.

Srimad Bhagavatham elucidates the precept of “Moksha” through an allegorical story called the parable of Puranjana. Puranjana was a king of wide renown. He and Avijnata were close friends. Out of delusion, Puranjana wanted to go around the world to find a suitable abode and after roaming for many days, he came to a city called Navadwaarapuri. He met a damsel who had five companions. Enamored by her beauty, Puranjana married her and they lived happily for many years. While he was ruling Navadwaarapuri, all of a sudden he was besieged and attacked by an army comprised of Chandravega, Durbaga, Prajwara and Baya. They started to onslaught thekingdomofPuranjanaand completely devoured the city.  Puranjana succumbed to the attack and during his last moments, his mind was filled with thoughts about his wife. He took another birth as a woman as he was thinking about a woman when he shed his mortal coil. She was born as the daughter of King Vidharbha and was named as Vaidharbhi. As years passed by, she was married to a Pandya king called Malayadwaja. He was a pious devotee of Lord Hari. After some years he renounced his kingdom and proceeded to forest to perform penance. He soon got emancipated from his body and reached the holy feet of the Lord through Samadhi. Vaidharbi was unable to bear the separation of her husband and was about to fall in her husband’s pyre and she was stopped by a Sadhu from doing so. He was none other than Avijnata who was disguised in the form of a Sadhu. He enlightened her of her past birth as Puranjana. The moment the words came out of the Sadhu, Vaidharbi recollected her birth as Puranjana and how he left Avijnata in search of an abode since he was addicted to worldly pleasures. She realized her folly of the thought of jumping into her husband’s pyre and was immensely grateful to the Sadhu since she escaped another birth by not jumping in the pyre. Thanking the Sadhu for enlightening her on her true self, Avijnata and Vaidharbi went to their source and lead a happy life.

This parable shows that Puranjana is a Jeevatma. The term ‘Pura’ connotes body and ‘Jana’ means to live and hence the word ‘Puranjana’ means to live in this body. Navadwaarapuri is one’s own body that has nine openings. Puranjini, the beautiful damsel is verily the mind which has five attributes.  The couple Puranjana and Puranjani was leading a very happy life in the worldly plane and suddenly Chadravega, the time comes along with Durbhaga, the old age, Baya, the fear and Prajwara the fever and beleaguered the monarchy and it is very evident that one will never be able to escape these forces. At this juncture in one’s lives the Lord showers his grace by directing this soul unto a Sadguru. By being in the divine association with the Sadhu, one will realize the real purpose of the life and that will usher one to the supreme state.

Arjuna, in Bhagavad Gita questioned the Lord about “Stita Pragnya” to Lord Krishna. A Stita Pragnyan is one who is verily a Jeeva Mukta and whose mind will never falter in times of distress.

When Uddava asked the Lord to expound on Moksha, the Lord replied that there is nothing called as Moksha.

“Baddo muktaihi iti vyakya guna tho mae nanu vasthuthaha”
Gunasya maayam mulathvam namae moksho na bandhanam”

The Lord beautifully describes Moksha in the above sloka. Only when one is bound can he be unbound. If one is not fettered on the first place then there is no need to unshackle him.

There once lived a king who wanted his learned minister to bestow him with Moksha. The scholar was worried as he knew that he was not the one to give liberation. He confided his worry to his astute son who came up with a plan. The next day, both the son and scholar went to the court. The son tied both his father and the king. He then asked his father to untie the king. That’s when the king realized that his misconception that he cannot be liberated by the scholar who himself is not unbound yet.

Our Guru Maharaj tells his devotees that only a person who is awake can wake up a person in sleep state and it is only a liberated soul who can liberate all the people reveling in this mundane world. That liberated soul comes down to the earth by incarnating and gives us a Divine Name to chant. That Divine Name also known as “Shabda” will take one to the highest states. A person in his dream state dreams about a jar of water crashing on the floor. This will not be enough to wake him up from his sleep state. On the other hand, a real jar breaking on the floor is sure to wake up the man. That sound should be from a different world to wake one up and that divine sound is the Nama – “Chidakasanthanil Milirdhidum Namamaam…”

In the life-history of King Parikshit it is evident that when he approached the banks of the river, his eyes caught sight of numerous Mahatmas being seated there and he was bestowed with a satsang amidst these Sadhus. Once he was engaged in a divine communion, he was led to a Sadguru, King Sukha and he reached the highest state of liberation through his Sadguru. The serpent “Thakshaka” was none other than ‘Samsara’ and by divine communion, he was alleviated from Samsara. It is also said that the incarnation of Bhagawan and Sadguru is verily our Atma.

The Lord can bless us with Dharma, Artha and even satiate our desires but it is verily a Sadguru who can bestow liberation [Moksha] and one needs to perceive the Sadguru verily as the Lord.
“Yasya Shakshath Bhagavathi Jnana Deepae Prathigunou” says Bhagavatam. If one does not perceive the Sadguru as verily as the Lord, it is akin to “Sarvam Kunjara Souchavath”. An elephant likes to play in sand. The mahout scrubs the elephant and gives him a good bath. After the bath, he dries him and lets him wander while the Mahoop takes a quick shower. The elephant wanders it quickly puts sand all over its body. The same thing happens in our case too. Akin to this, one need to realize that the SadGuru is verily the Atma and once this realization dawns in that individual, he is sure to be bestowed with liberation.

It is verily our Sadguru who is verily the Lord himself and incarnated in this Earth, and takes one on the beautiful path of Bhagavatha Dharma and finally when he bestows one with the supreme relief – Moksha.

The satsang concluded with Prayers and NamaSankirtan.

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