Monday, October 16, 2006

Lessons in Life – 01

Hare Krishna,

The following parable has been drawn from the book “Sparks from a Divine Anvil”. The Divine Anvil of the book being Sri Chandrashekara Bharathi Mahasvami. The narration is by Sri Jnanananda Bharathi, the author of the book.

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On another occasion when His Holiness was telling us about the Avataras, he made these very significant remarks;

“In the beginning of the Kalpa, the Devas and the Asuras, though they were the children of the same father (Kashyapa) but by different mothers (Aditi and Diti), realized that they were so opposed to each other in temperament and inclinations that they thought it proper and prudent to reside in distinct regions of experience far removed from each other, the Devas in the Deva Lokas and the Asuras in the Asura Lokas. All conflict was rendered ordinarily impossible unless the avarice of any particular Asura set him up to invade the Deva Lokas and claim sovereignty even there. Ordinarily, however, they kept apart in distinct regions of their own.

Later on, however, in the Treta Yuga when Sri Ramachandra had to come down for maintaining Dharma, the Devas inhabited Ayodhya or Kishkindha and the Asuras the Dandakarnya or Lanka. That is, instead of occupying distinct Lokas, they chose to reside in the same Loka, the earth, but in different portions of the same. Even then the conflict was ordinarily rare except when the Asuras in a spirit of bravado chose to start on a world-wide tour of conquest or when the Devas in defiance of the powers of the Asuras chose to enter the Dandakarnya for doing their penances.

At the time of the Lord incarnating as Sri Krishna in the Dvapara Yuga, even this was found insufficient; and so the Devas and the Asuras made their appearance in the same family. Sri Krishna’s own uncle Kamsa and aunt’s son Sisupala were Asuras. His cousins the Kauravas were Asuras. The opportunities for conflict were therefore very many and in fact the fight between them began from the moment of their appearance on earth and, in spite of occasional periods of quietude and reconciliation, their in-born tendencies landed them in almost incessant contest which reached a climax in the Great War which practically wiped out the entire family.

In the days of Kali, even the being born as members of the same family knitted together by the bonds of relationship is being found insufficient. Consequently the Devas and Asuras are no longer content to occupy different portions of the same Loka, are no longer content even to be members of the same family. They prefer now to inhabit the same body so much so that in these days it is impossible to say of any particular individual that he has the Daivi Sampat in him or that he has in him the Asuri Sampat. He seems to be a Deva this moment; the next moment he is veritable Asura. We may consider a man bad in some particulars but in others he seems to be quite divine in his conduct. The Daiva and Asura elements are so mixed up in the composition of the modern man that incessant and eternal conflict is going on in him at every moment of his life. Even his seemingly good actions are not without some mischievous elements; and the worst of his actions has in it an element of good.

When the Devas and Asuras lived in separate regions, the Lord with a view to protect the former fought the latter mostly single-handed on his own responsibility. When they were in different portions of the earth, he fought the Asuras in their own stronghold, in the Janasthana and Lanka and fought them with the co-operation of the Daivi elements of Kishkinda. When they took form in the same family, they both sought his help, whereupon at their own request he sent his physical army to fight on the side of the Kauravas and he himself stayed as the silent spectator but potent adviser of the Pandavas. Now in the modern warfare which is raging between the Devas and Asuras in the hearts of men, nobody has any though of him and he therefore prefers to be entirely indifferent to the struggle but seated in those very hearts as an unrecognized spectator seemingly taking no part or interest in the conflict, all the same remaining in truth, as he ever is, the all perceiving Witness and the sole Arbiter of the ultimate result of the conflict.”

Salutations to All.



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