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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Transformation - and Leela

It is amazing what triggers that pure transformation, the realization. It is definitely the leela at play here. Who are we to question the reasoning behind stuff? It is a white water rafting experience, enjoy the ride, knowing that we are never in control. And with a different turn, a different path, a new experience and new learning. It is never a lost cause - it is really upto me to seize the moment and hop onto to the next roller-coaster, the finally nirvana-giving roller-coaster. It may come calling any minute now ..."All aboard....."

STORY OF A SERVANT'S TRANSFORMATION
Narendra Singh Bahadur, the Raja of Indrapur, had a servant named Hira Singh. Hira Singh resolved to break open the treasury of the Raja and steal away the ornaments and gold. Accordingly one day at the dead of night, he entered the bed-room of Narendra Singh on his way to the treasury, when he overheard a conversation between the Raja Sahib and the Rani. Lalitakumari, the Rani, asked the king: "When are you going to get our daughter Suratkumari married? She is quite a grown-up girl now. We cannot postpone the marriage any longer." The king replied : "I am trying my level best during the last two years, but I am not able to get a suitable match." The Rani would not accept such an answer, but again and again pressed the Raja to yield to her wish. At last the Raja said : "Lalita, I shall offer Surat in marriage to the first Yogi I would come across in the neighbouring forest along with half of my estate tomorrow morning." Hira Singh who was all the while keenly over-hearing this conversation thought within himself: "Why this hazardous attempt then? If I am caught, I will be severely punished. Let me go to the forest and sit like a Yogi. I will get the girl and half the estate also quite easily."

Immediately he dressed himself as a Yogi, repaired to the forest and sat in Samadhi on Padmasana with closed eyes. He did not shake the body even a bit. The Raja went to the forest the next morning and at last came to the place where this Yogi was sitting. He waited for a long time. The Yogi did not open his eyes. He gave one the impression that he was immersed in Samadhi. After full one hour he opened his eyes. The Raja fell prostrate at his feet and
sincerely begged him to visit palace. The Yogi finally condescended to do so. The Raja took the Yogi to the Durbar hall, seated him on the gaddi, and washed his feet. The Raja was fanning him. Then the Raja with folded hands addressed the Yogi thus : "O mighty Yogi blessed Soul, we have a beautiful girl. Kindly accept her in marriage together with half of my estate."

Now real discrimination dawned upon the Hari Singh. Hira Singh who was wearing the false garb of a saint began to think very seriously and feelingly : "I am now honoured by this Raja and Rani simply because I am wearing the garb of a Yogi. If I were a Yogi and saint with divine virtues and God-Consciousness, how much more should I be held in esteem and honour by not merely this one petty chief but by countless kings, emperors and queens, and how many such princesses and kingdoms should I acquire?" At once he left the gaddi and the palace with a changed heart. God's grace descended upon him now. His heart was burnin
g with intense Vairagya born of discrimination. Tears of joy flooded his eyes. Hair on the body stood
on ends. No sensual object of the world could tempt him now. He went back to the dense forests with a heart filled with righteous disgust for the world, did intense and constant meditation and attained Self-Realization.

Valmiki - the author of Ramayana.

Although Valmiki was originally a brahmana, he had previously become a very ferocious dacoit due to bad association, and he thus murdered many sages and saintly kings. Valmiki also wanted to kill the sage Narada Muni, but as he approached him to do so, Narada held up his hand and said, "Stop." Valmiki was surprised that just by Narada's saying, "Stop," he was forced to stop against his will. Valmiki thus became submissive, and Narada was able to explain to him about the bad reactions that would come to him as a result of his heinous sins. He revealed those reactions to Valmiki, who then took shelter of him and inquired how to become free. Narada told him, "You should sit down here and chant 'Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama.' Do only this." Valmiki was trying to obey, but due to his past sinful reactions he could not chant that divine name. Narada then told him, "If you cannot chant Rama, then you should chant, ' mara.'" Mara and Rama are both Sanskrit words, and mara has the same syllables as Rama, said backwards. Rama means God and mara means death, and therefore "Mara mara" could easily be chanted by Valmiki. Narada thus told him, "You should chant 'Mara'," and Valmiki began to chant, "Mara mara." Then, automatically, "mara mara" chanted repeatedly became "Rama Rama."

Valmiki continued chanting as he sat waiting for his Guru's return. His austerity was superior to that of Dhruva Maharaja, another saint of ancient times, and he became as good as Sri Vyasadeva, the compiler of the Vedic scriptures. As the years passed, Valmiki's body became like earth, in the sense that so many insects ate his flesh and blood and other bodily substances, and they made an ant-hill around him. The original Guru, Brahma then came and sprinkled water from his sacred water pot while uttering mantras, and Valmiki's body became like that of a beautiful young person. Brahma then told Valmiki, "Now you are perfect."

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This blog is an offshoot of a website that I had conceived as a result of the spiritual grace and resultant inspiration during Shivaratri Y2K (http://www.jyotirlinga.com) on the joy of Shiva Bhakti and my quest for spiritual progress. Not finding the time (yep, bad excuse!), this blog suits me fine in quickly adding content... my spiritual forays and thoughts - helps log them too. My spiritual journey started with Hinduism and it's simple stories/ teachings as far back as when I was a 2nd grader, with Lord Shiva and has now found convergence with Advaitism / Duality. The Advaitism gurus like Bhagwan Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj; they have provided that spiritual boost of energy in many lagging moments and have tremendously influenced me ... little baby steps at a time... that will hopefully all lead upto a final crescendo. The merits of satsangh are many!

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