Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Reclaiming our History | Decoding the Ramayana: The *real* Shri Ram: Whether he was a "bad husband" and what is 'Ram-Rajya'? (Part-XXIV)

Author's Note: Please visit - The 'Real' Ramayana/ Ram-Rajya - to read the other parts of this series, so as to be able to fully understand or grasp the contents of this one.

*Discussing* the "Universal Cosmic Spirit", the "Vishwaroop" (Universal Form) and the Opulence of the Absolute. Thoughts on: the Ultimate Truth and the Purushottam Satya. Notes on: Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram; *why* Sanaatan Dharma is the 'eternal way of life'; the Śrīvatsa mark and the "Kaustubha" jewel; what the Siddha/Siddhesh/Siddheshvar/Ardhanarishvar/Transcendental Being (the concept of "self-realization") actually means; Sri Bhagavan's verses from the Srimad Bhagvad Geeta. *Why* the Krishna of the Mahabharat + the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta and the Krishna of the Radha-Krishna stories are NOT same? Three of our finest karmyogis: Samraat Chandragupta Maurya, Samraat Ashok and Samraat Chandragupta Vikramaditya.

In Part-XXII and Part-XXIII we have talked about what the colours Red - Lohith/Lohitah/Rohitah; Blue - Shyam; Green - Hari-Hara/Prakriti; Golden-Yellow - Peet and Dark - Ghanshyam represent.

These colours (i.e. various shades of these colours) - together - make up the cosmos. They represent the colours of the cosmos.

Do have a look:

1. Colourful Chaos: The palette of pandemonium colors an interstellar cloud red, blue, and black as stars form within.

This image, captured by a telescope at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory at the fringe of Chile's Atacama Desert, shows a cloud of mostly hydrogen gas glowing red as electrons, freed by blasts of intense energy, recombine with the atoms. The blue area at right is reflected starlight bouncing off particles of dust. The dark splotches are regions where the dust is too thick for light to penetrate.

2. Flaming Nebula: Radiation from newborn stars heats up the Flame Nebula in the constellation Orion, some 1,300 light-years from Earth.

The star illuminating the Flame Nebula would appear as another dot on Orion's belt but for the huge cloud of dust obscuring it from view and making it appear four billion times dimmer.

3. Picture of the Horsehead Nebula.

[One of the avatars - an extension of the more famous "Dasavatara" - is the Hayagreeva (a figure with a human body and a horse's head).

The Hayagreeva is believed to have 'rescued the Vedas... which was taken to rasatala'. [Part-XIX.]

Rasatala = utter decay, destruction, waste. Veda comes from the root "vid" - to know, Veda means: knowledge. This word has in turn given rise to "Vidya", which also means: knowledge.] 

4. Supernova Puff: A thin shell of red gas is all that remains after a supernova explosion that occurred about six centuries ago. This wispy red veil was emitted by a former white dwarf, an older star that burned up all of its hydrogen and collapsed into itself.

This ball of gas appears in the constellation Dorado, which also contains the Large Magellanic Cloud, a neighboring galaxy that orbits the Milky Way.

5. The sun rising over the South Pacific Ocean between 4 and 5 a.m. on May 5, taken from the Earth-orbiting spacecraft, the International Space Station, hovering a few hundred miles east of Easter Island. 

6. Solar Burst: Solar material dances on the sun.

The splendour of the Absolute is indeed limitless, isn't it?

7. Disappearing Sun: Fleeting darkness blankets the Australian outback, as the sun appears blotted out by a total solar eclipse above Pormpuraaw, Queensland, Australia, last November. 

8. A tree beneath a starry sky: a lone tree appears to stand guard next to Canyon Lake, Arizona, under a canopy of stars.

9. A picture of Milky Way (Akash Ganga) above the Indian Ocean (Bharat-Mahasagar).

sri bhagavaan uvaacha:

    pashya me paartha roopaani shatasho'tha  sahasrashah
    naanaavidhaani divyaani  naanaavarnaakriteeni cha // 11.5 //

Translated: Sri Bhagavan says, "Behold, O Paartha [O Son of Pritha], by hundreds and thousands, My different forms: celestial, varied in colours and shapes."

The opulence of the Absolute is indeed infinite.

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 40) says:

|| nanto 'sti mama divyanam
vibhutinam parantapa
esa tuddesatah prokto
vibhuter vistaro maya ||

Translation: "O mighty conqueror of enemies (addressing Arjun), there is no end to My divine manifestations. What I have spoken to you is but a mere indication of My infinite opulence."

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 41) says:

|| yad yad vibhutimat sattvam
srimad urjitam eva va
tat tad evavagaccha tvam
mama tejo-'msa-sambhavam ||

Translation: "Know that all opulent, beautiful and glorious creations spring from but a spark of My splendor." [mama tejo-'msa-sambhavam]

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 42) says:

|| atha va bahunaitena
kim jnatena tavarjuna
vistabhyaham idam krtsnam
ekamsena sthito jagat ||

Translation: "But what need is there, O Arjun, for all this detailed knowledge? With a single fragment of Myself I pervade and support this entire cosmos."

So, can we ever hope to grasp the opulence of the "Absolute"? Can we ever fathom the magnificence of the "Universal Cosmic Spirit"? Can we ever understand the magnanimity of the "Purushottam Satya"? Can we ever understand... what/who is the "Universal Cosmic Spirit"?

Well, let's make a humble attempt.

But before we do that, we must know: Robi Thakur, India's literary giant from Kolkata, said: "Ananda-dhara bohichhe bhubone..." [His blissful splendourous glow flows throughout the universe...]:

Joy and bliss flow in all creation.
Day and night so much ambrosia surges in endless skies.
Sun and moon drink in worshipfully, it
Keeps them burning, alight constantly
Earth is replete with life and light.
Why are you sitting all on your own?
Selfishly preoccupied for what reason?
Look all around with an open heart.
See how small is your sad little part.
Fill your empty life with love.

[A wise person will find beauty in ugliness, and an ugly-minded person will find ugliness in beautiful things.]

Here is "Ananda-dhara bohichhe bhubone..." by Sraboni Sen: 

Robi Thakur also said: "mohabishwe mohakashe, mohakal-majhe, aami manab ekaki bhrami bismaye, bhrami bismaye..."

That he/humanity "roam in wonderment alone in this universe, in endless space and equally endless time."

That: "Tumi aacho morey chahi, aami chahi tomaar paane..."

'Coz the "Vishwaroop" refers to the "Universal Cosmic Spirit" - the Cosmic "Purush-Prakriti" + the Purushottam Satya/the Lord of the Cosmos - appearing in a form that encompasses/incorporates the whole of creation/universe/cosmos in it.

Therefore, there is no one form that signifies the "Universal Cosmic Spirit".

[The word "Vishwaroop" is formed by joining two Sanskrit words: "vishwa" meaning the universe/cosmos and "roop" meaning form.]

And so, no matter in which direction we look or what we set our eyes upon, it is as if the "Universal Cosmic Spirit" is looking right back at us. [And we too are a part of the "Universal Cosmic Spirit".]

It is as if: the Created and the Uncreated see each other... at all times.

Here is "Mohabishwe Mohakashe..." rendered by the peerless Debabrata Biswas (Georgeda):

Robi Thakur, the veritable genius that he was, fully understood the workings of the cosmos.

Hence he said: "Tumi aachho Bishwanatho oshimo rohoshyo majhe... nirobe, ekaki" - O Lord of the Universe, You reside amidst endless cosmic mysteries... in absolute quietude.

"Apono mohima biloye" - Amidst the ocean of your own grandeur, You Muse.

[Bishwanath = Lord of the Cosmos. Bishwa = Universe, Cosmos; Nath = Lord, Master.]

And he completely understood just Who the Satya-Sundaro/Satya-Sundar is.

Hence he said:

"Anando-loke Mangal-aloke birajo Satya-Sundaro
Mohima Tobo udbhashito moha-gogono-majhe
Bishwa-jagoto monibhushono-beshtito-chorone..."

"In Ananda-lok, amidst auspicious glow (Mangal-aloke) resides the Satya-Sundar. Your majesty is manifest in the firmament complete. Creation's jewels are strewn at your feet."

Do listen to this amazing song... that overflows the earth with the Adi-Purush/the Supreme Eternal Being's light of joy and feel of purity. It is rendered by Indranil Sen:

"This world of blissful happiness
This world of well-being
Grace it with your presence
You who are the ultimate truth
You who are the ever beauteous

Your majesty manifests
Across the vast firmament
Like an anklet studded with
Precious stones and prized jewels
Lies the cosmos at Your feet

The sun, moon, stars and planets
With eagerly anxious haste
Bask in Your iridescence
Soak Your boundless radiance

Cascades of your soft sweet grace
Gush forth and deluge the earth
In a kaleidoscope of
Flowers and leaves, songs and sonnets

Life flows on ever anew
Your compassion caressing
Our lives from cradle to grave

Love, affection and mercy
Piety, hope, faith untold
Mellow and soften our souls
A downpour of sweet solace
You rain to pacify pain

What festivities and joy
Reign forever in Your realm
The world sings Your glory great
In fearless refuge at Your feet
You who are our treasure and wealth
You who enclose all of this earth"

This prayerful song is on truth and beauty, on the bounties of nature and the splendour that this universe is. Most of what he wrote is sublime and none, I repeat: none... can even begin to try to translate what he so effortlessly expressed through this highly lyrical poem.

Found in the Puja (prayer) section of the Gitabitan, this song was published by Robi Thakur in 1892. He was only 31 then. Robi Thakur would often experiment with a fusion of Indian traditional melodies set to European tempo and beats. He had heard this bhajan (prayerful song) while on a trip to Mysore... and upon his return to Calcutta, immediately composed this amazing song set to an English waltz beat (1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3). The lyric of this song is a classic example of Robi Thakur's passion for merging Bangla words. The first two words are interesting: two similar sounding contracted words, but with entirely different meanings. Lok, meaning 'abode', has been joined with ananda while alok, meaning 'beam of light', has been coupled with mangal (auspicious).

Ananda: divine bliss/ Sat-cit-ānanda.

Sat-cit-ānanda: 'one who derives happiness through one's consciousness'. In other words: one who has achieved eternal bliss of self-realization, Sat-cit-ānanda (pronounced as: sach-chid-ānanda).

Sat describes an essence that is pure and timeless; cit is consciousness; ānanda is absolute bliss.

Now, which are the ananda-maya, cin-maya/eternal lokas (planets)?

Answer: the eternal planets - the Vaikunth-loka or the Vaikunth planets.

So Who personifies/embodies/manifests Sat-cit-ānanda?

The answer is: The Purushottam Satya, the Satya-Sundar.


At the end of the life-span of (each) Brahma [do refer: Part-XXIII], all the worlds (excluding Vaikunth, but including Brahmaloka/Satyaloka and the other Shiv-Loka/Kailash + the Devi-dham) are completely dissolved (maha-pralaya) - resulting in the balancing/preserving Cosmic Energy (also) known as Vishnu to go into the (metaphoric) 'big sleep' (ghum/maha-nidra). This (cosmic energy) Vishnu 'awakens' only after a NEW Shri/Lord Brahma appears/is created (after a day and a night of Brahma has elapsed or in other words: after 2 kalpas) - in order to take over the task of creation all over again. That is to say: to begin the cycle of creation all over again. This is the Ultimate Truth/Satya. Hence the first yug (of each maha-yuga or a four-yug cycle) is also known as Sat/Satya Yug.

... And the One who presides over this Ultimate Truth/Satya - this cycle of creation over and over again - is the Jagadeeshvar Ishvar, the tribhUvaneshvar, the Purushottam Satya, the Satya-Sundar: Virupaksh-Krishna - the oblique-eyed (Virupaksh) Lord of the Cosmos Himself.

[Jagadeeshvar = Lord of the Cosmos. Jagad comes from 'Jagat' (which is a common term for: world/universe/cosmos). Eesh = Lord, Master.

Jagadeeshvar = Lord of the world/universe/cosmos. ('Coz in Sanskrit: Jagat means all three).

Jagadeeshvar also means: The Lord of the three Loka (Trilok). tribhUvaneshvar = the Lord of the three worlds (tri-bhUvan).

The Three Worlds (tri-bhUvan) or the Three Loka [Trilok] are: 1. The Urdhva Loka (the Higher Planets). 2. The Madhya-Loka (the Middle Planets) and 3. The Adho-Loka (the Lower Planets).

We - the earthlings... are part of the Madhya-Loka (the Middle Planets).

Ishvar = the Almighty.]

Virupaksh means: the One with oblique-eyes. It also means: the One who sees everything.

[Oblique-eyes is not to be confused for squint.

In fact, in Bangla, (someone with) oblique-eyes is called 'Lokkhi-tyara'.

Lokkhi is Bangla for Lakshmi. And Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi is the consort of the Shri Vishnu who resides in Vaikunth - the other Vishnu-Loka. Please refer: Part-XXIII.]

Therefore, this Shri Vishnu is also known as Lakshmipati - the consort (pati) of Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi.

This Shri Vishnu is Virupaksh - the One with oblique-eyes. He is also the all-knowing, all-seeing One. He does not have four arms though, that is imagery to indicate that He holds up the cosmos (in a manner of speaking, that is)... and keeps it running.

We will discuss the cosmic troika: Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram - soon. And then, we (hopefully) can (to the best of our abilities) understand just who they are.

Then, hopefully, we will also understand (to the best of our abilities, that is) just who the Satya-Sundar - Virupaksh-Krishna is.

[Please note: I am using is, 'coz they mirror each other.]

However: despite the cosmic troika, the Satya-Sundar is also the Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram.

Robi Thakur, the amazing genius that he was, understood this completely. Hence he addressed his "Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya Heye..." - now our National Anthem - to the "Bharata Bhagya-vidhata" - the "Universal Cosmic Spirit". He effortlessly merged the cosmic Advaita and the cosmic Dvaita.  

[To our ancients: the cosmic Advaita was the cosmic "Purusha-Prakriti" (the cosmic shankh/conch). While the cosmic Dvaita was the one 'holding' that shankh. The cosmos is shaped like a shankh, hence the shankha-dhvani - OM - is the primal sound, the sound of the cosmos/universe itself. It requires no external stimuli. 

Therefore: the cosmic "Purusha-Prakriti" + the "Purushottam Satya" together make up the "Universal Cosmic Spirit". 

The cosmic shankh, however, cannot be seen with mortal eyes.

Advaita and Dvaita have many strands [and this (probably) has given rise to the many confusions and disputes - within Sanaatan Dharma.] We will discuss them over the next few posts. Then (hopefully) we will understand the structure of the cosmos... to the best of our ability, that is.]

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10 Verse 33) says: 

|| aksharanam a-karo 'smi
dvandvah samasikasya ca
aham evakshayah kalo
dhataham vishvato-mukhah  ||

Translated: "Of letters I am the letter A (aksharanam a-karo 'smi), and among compound words I am the dual compound. I am also inexhaustible time (evakshayah kalo), and of creators I am Brahma."

This clearly explains why the Satya-Sundar is also the Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram.

He presides over the Ultimate Truth/Satya. He is the Brahman. He is also the Supreme/Original Creator - the Original Brahma. [Hence: Satyam.]

He is mangalmay (auspiciousness personified). He resides amidst auspicious glow and is also an auspicious force. [Shiva means: auspicious, kind.]

He is also inexhaustible time (evakshayah kalo). He is Kalah personified [kalah kalayatam aham - among subduers I am time (Kalah). He is Kala, Mahakaal.

He is: || mrityuh sarva-haras caham || 

"I am all-devouring death" - Srimad Bhagavad Geeta, 10.34. 

[Hence: Shivam.] 

[All-devouring death is not to be interpreted literally. 'Coz it is also paired with auspiciousness. Shri Krishna is describing himself as a force that cleanses imbalance-causing unwanted aspects (from the universe/cosmos) as well as a force that cleanses unwanted aspects that seep into Sanaatan Dharma (thereby changing its very ethos). In his human avatar(s) He is a nation-builder, in His purn avatar He is the manas (brain), the chakshu (vision) and the backbone... in short, the moving/guiding spirit behind the cosmos.] 

He is Svayambhu: "self-manifested", the Eternal-Uncreated Lord of the three Worlds (tribhUvaneshvar) - the Satya-Sundar.

[Hence: Sundaram.]

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 2) says: 

|| na me viduh sura-ganah
prabhavam na maharsayah
aham adir hi devanam
maharsinam ca sarvasah ||

Translated: "Neither the humans (populating the Higher Planets - Devaloka/Svargaloka) nor the great sages (Sapta-Rishi) know My origin or opulence, for, in every respect, I am the source of all humans and sages."

While the Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 3) says: 

|| yo mam ajam anadim ca
vetti loka-maheshvaram
asammudhah sa martyesu
sarva-papaih pramucyate ||

Translated: "Those who know Me as the unborn, as the beginningless, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds (loka-maheshvaram) are alone free from illusion. Thus, they alone are Siddha (pure/perfected beings).

[Here: all the worlds = Tri-loka, the three worlds (discussed above).

Maheshvaram = Maha-Ishvar. The Supreme Lord, the Param-eshwar.

A Siddha: pure/perfected being - possessor of immense spiritual powers.

A Siddha is someone who has achieved self-realization: the complete realization that everything is part of the "Universal Cosmic Spirit". Therefore, he/she is free from 'illusion' (moh-maya) of material attachment, etc. 'Coz he/she knows that everything in this cosmos/universe/world is transient - as part of His 'leela' (transient cosmic sport/past-time).

And that the only constant is the "Purushottam Satya".]

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 8) says: 

|| aham sarvasya prabhavo
mattah sarvam pravartate
iti matva bhajante mam
budha bhava-samanvitah ||

Translated: "I am the source of all spiritual and material worlds. Everything emanates from Me. The wise (budha) who perfectly know this think of Me with all their hearts." [That is: perform their duties to the best of  their abilities/karmyog.]

... Hope we are now (reasonably) clear as to why the Satya-Sundar is also the Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram.

Robi Thakur truly was and remains the Universal Bard - the Bishwakobi

One of his most famous poems is Bharat-Tirtha ("India - the Pilgrim Center").

And this is not surprising. 'Coz ancient India (Bharatvarsha/Aryavarta/the land of the Aryas - much larger than what we know of today) mirrored the cosmos. ["Mirrored" does not mean literally. 'Coz the cosmos cannot be replicated in one planet or within parts of a single planet. "Mirrored" 'coz there were Svargalok/Devalok, Gandharva-loka, Brahmalok, Vishnulok, Shivlok/Kailash et al here too... and there were entities named Vishnu, Brahma, Shiv, Indra here as well. But none of them can be compared to their cosmic counterparts. The cosmos works very differently. All these entities on earth were independent entities. But in the cosmos... Vishnu is the one that creates the others (cyclically). So, "mirrored" has to be understood in that sense.] This great land is also the cradle of civilization. The Lord of the Cosmos Himself has arrived here several times... as part of His stated "...sambhavami yuge yuge". He has traveled all over ancient India.

In Dvapar... He arrived in His most magnificent human avatar (form/roop) - as the Dvarkadheesh Krishna - the Shyamsundar, the Ghanshyam.

[Do read: Part-XXIII - to know what Shyamsundar and Ghanshyam mean.

Dvarkadheesh = the Lord of Dvarka, the Pride of Dvarka.]

Shri Krishna is inextricably linked with the sacred River Ganga as well as to the Sindhu-Sarasvati (the holy and mighty rivers - certainly, but also the Sindhu-Sarasvati Sabhyata - the civilization that flourished on the banks of these two rivers). Sindhu is part of our National Anthem as well, 'coz the whole of ancient India is Sindhu-Sarasvati Sabhyata.

In the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta (Chapter 10, Verse 31) Sri Bhagavan says:

|| srotasam asmi jahnavi ||

Translated: "... of flowing rivers I am the Ganga." [Jahnavi is another name for Maa Ganga.]

He is part of the Himalayas too.

The Srimad Bhagavad Geeta (Chapter 10, Verse 25) says:

|| maharsinam bhrgur aham
giram asmy ekam aksharam
yajnanam japa-yajno 'smi
sthavaranam himalayah ||

Translation: "Of the great sages (maharsinam) I am Bhrgu; of vibrations I am the transcendental OM (the Pranava Naad - the sound of primal energy, the sound of the universe itself). Of fire-rituals I am the chanting of the auspicious verses [japa], and of immovable things (sthavaranam) I am the Himalayas."

... And as we all know, the mighty Himalayan ranges "embrace" this great land.

Hence: Bharatvarsha is punya-bhoomi - worshippable motherland. [Do read: Part-XIII - to know the meaning of "Bharatavarsha".]

[However: what has become of this great land, her rivers, mountains et al... is entirely courtesy our mahima though. For this, we cannot blame the Jagadeeshvar Ishvar, the Purushottam Satya. Whatever has happened... has happened due to our karm. What? :)]

As for Shri Krishna and the Sindhu-Sarasvati Sabhyata... we will discuss that over the next few posts.

Frankly: the knowledge resting within the pages of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita is very nuanced, many-layered; we have to deliberate deeply, carefully peel away the many layers - to drink deep from this fountain of wisdom and knowledge.

It is, after all... the jewel of India's spiritual heritage.

And why not?

'Coz the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta emanates from the mouth of the Lord of the Cosmos Himself, the one who embodies/manifests the "Universal Cosmic Spirit".

[Emanates: 'coz "...sambhavami yuge yuge".]

The Srimad Bhagavad Geeta is the "Song of the Blessed One", the "Song of the Fortunate One".

It is the Song (geeta, geet) of the One who is Eternal: who is both Mritunjay and Chiranjeevi. And Uncreated.

It is the Song of:

The One who is keertiman and a karmyogi par excellence. The One who personifies karm (Nishkam Karm - selfless action) - whether in His purn avatar (actual form/roop) or in His many human manifestations (avatar/roop).

The One without whom this cosmos will cease to operate or exist. The One without whom the Cosmic "Purusha-Prakriti" [the cosmic shankh] cannot "act" beyond a point. The One without whom everything will stagnate. The One without whom there will be utter chaos.

The One who responds to the call of dharma (sacred duty). The One who is the defender of dharma: of Sanaatan Dharma/Arya-Dharma (the noble and eternal way of life). The One who is the protector of the defenseless; the One who upholds Kshatriya Dharma. The One who is Kshatriya-Shresht (meaning: 'the best amongst the Kshatriyas'). [Note: kshatriya is an amalgamation of two words: Ksat means injury, and tra means deliver. Hence a 'kshatriya' means: someone who protects others from harm, from adharm, and from aasuric or negative influences or entities - anywhere, and not just in the battlefield).

The One who is Dharma (justice) personified. [Hence the symbolism of the mace. He is Dharma personified, 'coz He is just.] The One who is Compassion personified.

The One who is truly Magnificent. The One who is immensely Bountiful. The One who is infinitely Magnanimous.

The One who is the protector and preserver of the noble principles of Sanaatan Dharma (the eternal way of life). The One who has (time and again) helped Sanaatan Dharma to regenerate [dharma-samsthapanarthaya...]

The One who is Kalah personified. [kalah kalayatam aham - among subduers I am time (Kalah).]

The One who runs the  universe.

The One who tells Arjun (and through him to all of us) that: His will is Supreme. [His will: Loka Sangraha or Loka Kalyana, welfare of all or welfare of the world/universe/cosmos. Hence, He is the Ultimate Balancer, the Supreme Preserver.]

The One who is Achintya - unfathomable, beyond understanding, incomprehensible.

The One who is Trikalagya: the Master of all things past, future and present (a bhuta-bhavya-bhavat-prabhu).

The One who possesses the Tritiya-Nayan: the Third-Eye. The One who is the three-eyed-one.

The One who knows what must be destroyed/subdued... for the cosmos to run and humanity (in all the loka) to progress well.

The One who explains to Arjun that He is Kalah personified - the subduer of adharm (negativities). [yada yada hi dharmasya glanir bhavati bharata abhyutthanam adharmasya tadatmanam srjamy aham... Whenever and wherever there is an alarming decline or discrepancy in the noble principles and ideals of the Sanaatan Dharma (the eternal way of life or 'the right path'/'way of life' as it should be for the greater good of mankind and for society/civilization to flourish well); or when such an alarming decline is perceived or becomes a bane; O descendant of Bharata, only then, I, manifest Myself. Here Krishna is addressing Arjun... but through Arjun He is also addressing us. And if one were to truly understand the essence of the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta one will completely understand as to why Sanaatan Dharma (not to be confused for "ism") is the eternal way of life. It is rooted in "Loka-sangraha" or "Loka Kalyana" - welfare of all or welfare of the world. It is no different from "Ram-Rajya" - a just and inclusive society.]  

The One who requests Arjun to become His instrument.

The One who did not let utter destruction to engulf humanity.

The One who did not let the destruction of Bhu-loka/Go-loka/Prithvi-loka/Martya-loka to materialize - despite the best intentions of malevolent forces/entities.

The One who is the saviour and protector of humanity (Narayan). 

And this is not limited to the humanity on earth... but to all the living beings populating the various planets (loka).

The Srimad Bhagavad Geeta (Chapter 10, Verse 6) says:

|| maharsayah sapta purve
catvaro manavas tatha
mad-bhava manasa jata
yesham loka imah prajah ||

Translation: "The seven great sages (the Sapta-Rishi) and before them the four other great sages (Sanaka, Sanandan, Sanatana and Sanat, collectively known as the four Kumaras) and the Manus [entities that arrive in all loka... during times of great calamity, distress and turbulence - pralay - in order to guide and resettle mankind, so that creation continues and the universe is kept running] come from Me, born from My mind (manasa, manasa-jata/brain-child), and all the living beings populating the various planets (loka) descend from them."

So you see: The Srimad Bhagavad Geeta is the Song of the Narayan Himself.

It is the Song of the One who embodies/manifests/personifies the Cosmic "Purush-Prakriti".

It is the Song of the One who embodies/manifests/personifies the "Universal Cosmic Spirit" - the Brahmajyoti.

Thus: the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta is the Song of Virupaksh-Krishna, the Purushottam Satya, the eternal Satya-Sundar: the Lord of the Cosmos Himself.

... You get it, don't you?

His splendour is indeed limitless; He is Infinite; He is the Ultimate Piper... [Sheemar majhe oshim Tumi bajao apon sur]

Here is "Sheemar majhe oshim Tumi bajao apon sur" - rendered by the peerless Debabrata Biswas (Georgeda):

Robi Thakur rightly said: "amare tumi oshesh korechho, amon-i leela tabo" (tr. Thou hast made me endless).

Hence he paid his humble obeisance to the Muses through his innumerable songs: Geetanjali - "song offerings".

As he himself said: "gaaner bheetor diye jokhon dekhi bhubon-khani, tokhan tarey chini".

He acknowledged (as only he could) that he has realized Him through his songs. That he has understood the endless cosmic mysteries... through music.

... Robi Thakur was a "Sadhaka" par excellence. His songs were his "Sadhana". He truly understood the "Universal Cosmic Spirit" - the Brahmajyoti - the seamless blending of the Cosmic "Purush-Prakriti" [the cosmic shankh] and the Purushottam Satya [the Satya-Sundar... the Shankha-dhar.]

To understand the three most important notions in philosophy (darshan-sastra): of harmony, balance, and integrity - Robi Thakur delved into the bottomless treasure-trove of the Upanishads, and these he imbibed. He let these ideas define him, not in the sense of limiting him, but lifting him up to meet the great Universal Cosmic Spirit... that he believed lay behind everything in the world/universe/cosmos, visible and invisible.

[To know the meaning of Upanishad, do read: Part-XI.]

Robi Thakur, the Universal Bard, a veritable colossus: multifaceted, sage personality of epic proportions, a genuine science enthusiast, a public figure of peerless eminence, a leader of thought, and an outstanding Upanishadic protagonist of India's lofty spiritual heritage... was/is the right person to share his thoughts and pay his obeisance to the Universal Cosmic Spirit.

On his 152nd birth anniversary, all we can say is: aamar matha noto korey dao heye tomaar choron-dular porey.

Heye Bishwakobi, heye Gurudeb, heye Moharothi, loho pronam. Shhoto-koti pronam.

However, besides Robi Thakur, Rojanikanto Sen too understood the workings of the cosmos.

Hence, this great poet and composer too paid his obeisance to the Purushottam Satya, the Satya-Sundar, thus: "Prabhu, Bishwa-bipado-honta, Tumi danrao rudhiya pontha..."

Translated: O My Lord, You are the benefactor of humanity; You are the dispeller of great calamity; You stand between...  

[And this is not limited to the humanity on earth... but to all the living beings populating the various planets (loka).]

He also said:

|| Tobo, chorono nimne, utshobomoyi shyamo-dhorini shorosa,
urdhe chaho ogonito-moni-ronjito novo neelanchola 
shoumyo-modhur-dibyangona shanto-kushalo-darosha ||


Beneath your feet lies the prosperous and bountiful earth 
Behold the blue sky engraved with countless gems above
She is like a sweet and graceful angel

Note the brilliant manner in which this great poet has unified the Cosmic "Purusha-Prakriti" and the Purushottam Satya, the Satya-Sundar. 

The shankh and the shankh-dhar.

"Beneath your feet lies the prosperous and bountiful earth" - now, where do you think the Vaikunth planets lie and where are we - the earthlings? [For Vaikunth, please refer: Part-XXIII.]

The sacred Ganga is said to emanate from the lotus-feet of the Purushottam Satya - the Lord of the Cosmos. [Here, Ganga is a reference to both - the Akash-Ganga (the Milky Way), as well as the sacred River Ganga. And if we can understand the position of Vaikunth, we can easily figure out why the sacred Ganga (metaphorically) emanates from the lotus-feet of the Purushottam Satya. For lotus-feet, please refer: Part-XXIII.]

As Sri Bhagavan says (the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 10, Verse 31):

|| srotasam asmi jahnavi ||

Translated: "... of flowing rivers I am the Ganga." [Jahnavi is another name for Ganga.]

... You get it, don't you?

Here is Tobo Chorono Nimne by Srikanto Acharjo: 

Sri Bhagavan's verses have numerous layers. It is for us to delve deep into this treasure-trove of spiritual wisdom... and imbibe a mere speck of His Brahmajyoti (auspicious glow/mangal-alok).

Therefore: the "Universal Cosmic Spirit" variously referred to as the Supreme Soul - the Paramaatma/the Supreme Being - the Parameshwar/the Brahman/ the Cosmic Energy/ the Ultimate Truth/the Ultimate Reality/ the Ultimate Knowledge or the Absolute... is simply the seamless blending together of the Cosmic "Purush-Prakriti" (the cosmic Shankh) and the "Purushottam Satya" (the cosmic Shankh-dhar: the Supreme Godhead, the Adi-Purush, the Jagadeeshvar - the Lord of the Cosmos, the Satya-Sundar).

In short: Virupaksh-Krishna.

... The Lord of Infinite Mercy. [Koruna Tobo obisramo jonome-morone... Your compassion caresses our lives from cradle to grave...]

However: the Purushottam Satya (the Satya-Sundar) can also be regarded as the Param-aatma (the Supreme Soul/Spirit) as well as the Param-eshwar (Maha-Ishvar/the Supreme Lord, the Supreme Being, the Almighty).

Why so... we will discuss in our next post - in detail. [There... we will also discuss what exactly Advaita and Dvaita signify.]

Robi Thakur's oeuvre is for all. For humanity.

On his 79th birthday, he proclaimed on the eve of his departure... he was leaving his abiding love and affection for everybody. His immortal words (translated into English) are as follows:

"This touch of Universal Reality - in land, in water, at all levels or spheres, the joy of not-so-obvious life - I would imbibe in my innermost being, in my entire body, in my blood stream, in my glances, in my voice, in all stages of my awakening and slumber, and in my meditation, on the beaches of the sea of ultimate rest, on my life's ultimate dusk."

His essentially creative mind craved freedom from all kinds of shackles: "Ei akashe aamar mukti aloye aloye..."

... And he found this freedom amidst the limitless sky, amongst the infinite cosmic wonders.

Do listen to "Aamar mukti aloye aloye..." [The Salvation] - rendered by Indrani Sen. (This song is a part of Swarobitan/Geetobitan):

Frankly, if we are to read the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta, we can very clearly understand the cosmos: the mysteries of the cosmos, the Cosmic "Purush-Prakriti"... and the merging of the Cosmic "Purusha-Prakriti" [the cosmic Shankh] with the "Purushottam Satya" [the cosmic Shankha-dhar - the Satya-Sundar - Virupaksh-Krishna; the Purushottam Satya/the Lord of the Cosmos.]

And then, we can fully understand the "Vishwaroop"... and why Sri Bhagavan says I (aham).

[However, some clearing of 'cobweb' may be necessary, to clear away 'contemporisation' et al.]

The great Rajanikanto Sen also said: "Tumi nirmolo koro mangalo kore, molino mormo muchhaaye, Tobo punnyo-kiron diye jaak mor moho-kalima ghuchaye."


|| Purify me with your virtues, wiping off the vices of our hearts
Let your brightness take away the darkness and greed of our souls ||

Here is the prayer-song (Shyama-sangeet, addressed to Maa Chamundi/Kaali - by Rajonikanto Sen) rendered by the great Pannalal Bhattacharya: "Tumi Nirmolo Koro Mongolo Kore Molino Mormo Muchhaaye" - 'Cleanse My Soul':

In case you are wondering why this song has been addressed to Maa Chamundi/Kaali, here's why:

Krishna means: all attractive. It also means "dark" - Ghanshyam (the all absorbing one. Why so? Do read: Part-XXIII). Kaali too means "dark" - Ghanshyam.

In Chapter 10, Verse 30 (of the Srimad Bhagavad Gita) Sri Bhagavan says:

|| prahladas casmi daityanam
kalah kalayatam aham
mrganam ca mrgendro 'ham
vainateyas ca paksinam ||

Translation: "Among the Daityas (the Daitya clan - an offshoot of the Asura clan) I am Prahlad, among subduers I am time (Kalah), among animals (mrganam) I am the lion (mrgendro), and among birds (paksinam) I am Garuda."

[Here "Garuda" refers to eagle, not Shri Garuda. 

Shri Garuda was the leader of the Suparna clan. Garuda (very likely) was a hereditary title/name bestowed upon the leader of the Suparna clan. The Suparna was an eagle or falcon-worshiping clan, i.e. a clan with an eagle or falcon-totem. Do read Part-XIX - to more about Shri Garuda.]

Shri Krishna says He is Kalah (Supreme Time, the subduer). Meaning: He personifies Kalah.  He is Mahakaal.

But who do you think is Kaali/Mahakaali?

Though Devi Chamunda is known as Maa Kaali, she is considered as a 'roop' or form of Devi Parvati/Durga.

Therefore, while Shri Krishna personifies Kalah or Bhairav, Devi Durga/Parvati personifies Kaali or Bhairavi.

As for the lion (mrgendro):

The fourth 'avatar' of the "Dasavatar" depicts the Lion-Man - the Narasimha or Nrsingh. [Do read: Part-XIX.]

But who is the Nrsinghi - the Lion-Woman?

Here you are:

Nrsimha-Ruupenno[a-U]grenna Hantum Daityaan Krto[a-U]dyame |

Trailokya-Traanna-Sahite Naaraayanni Namo[ah-A]stu Te ||16||

[To know the meaning of this Stotra from the "Devi Mahatmyam" - the "Sri Sri Caṇḍī Pāṭha", do read: Part-XIX.]

However, do also notice: "Trailokya-Traanna-Sahite" - the protector of Trilok (the three worlds or loka). Or in other words: the one who arrived to protect Trilok (the three worlds or loka).

Ancient Bharatvarsha mirrored the cosmos. Hence, there were three loka here as well - in every maha-yug.

However: the cosmic three loka or Trilok are: 1. The Urdhva Loka (the Higher Planets). 2. The Madhya-Loka (the Middle Planets). 3. The Adho-Loka (the Lower Planets).

Now, think of the story about Shri Vishnu assuming the Mohini-avatar, so as to prevent the negative (aasuric) entities from laying their hands on the metaphoric amrit (celestial ambrosia).

But then, there is no such thing as 'amrit' - celestial or otherwise. Amaratva (eternal life) can be achieved through karm alone, 'coz one's keerti lives forever. Plus: except for Virupaksh-Krishna there is no other eternal being with eternal life.

Therefore: amrit here (possibly) is a metaphor for influence/power/resources et al. Or (maybe) all of them. And more. Vishnu (as Mohini-avatar) acquires the (metaphoric) pot of amrit from the thieving Asuras (by tricking them), and gives it back to the Devas, thus helping them regain their preeminence (euphemistically referred to as: immortality).  

That the machinations of negative entities too came to a naught... can be inferred from 'Mohini's Sudarshan Chakra cutting off  Rahu's head'. Also: looks like the Mohini-avatar was responsible for Prithvi-loka getting a satellite of her own... as can be inferred from the 'Rahu-Ketu' stories. [Rahu's head remained while the body was destroyed - thanks to Mohini's Sudarshan Chakra.] Here: 'Sudarshan Chakra' is a metaphor for a real weapon or instrument. Vishnu as Mohini-avatar would have destroyed the 'body' (possibly: a giant asteroid) while keeping the 'head' (possibly: a small moon... accompanying the 'body'/giant asteroid) intact. Result: a global catastrophe (if it had struck Prithvi-loka) was averted, while the newly acquired satellite began circumnavigating Prithvi-loka. [Rahu: probably is a reference for an asteroid-moon duo: a giant-sized asteroid with own small satellite in tow; i.e. a giant-sized asteroid dragging its moon along. Such a huge flying object is known as a binary asteroid, and is circled by a satellite, or moon. Giant-sized, hence the word 'Asura' has been used. Asura also means giant-sized. Here: 'Asura' is not a reference for people or clan or even the inhabitants of Adho-Loka/Lower Planets.] Pieces of the destroyed asteroid may have fallen on the moon. Ketu probably is a reference for Prithvi-loka. Hence it is mentioned: The body also turned into Ketu due to a boon, and it in turn swallows the moon on timely basis to cause a lunar eclipse. [And a lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's shadow falls on the Moon!] No wonder this story is part of samudra-manthan - the story of the churning of the Akash Ganga (Milky Way) and/or the Andromeda (i.e. how our solar system came about). In short: the story of creation. Since samudra-manthan has many dimensions, later translators have got confused... and therefore fused the narratives.]

[Frankly: the extent of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of (the camouflaged language used in) our ancient texts boggles the mind (some of it we have already seen during the course of this series + we can also see from the accompanying picture of the Mohini-avatar).]

Virupaksh-Krishna is also known as Mohan, and from this we can easily figure out the etymology of the word sammohan (the science of mind-control).

The aasuric (malevolent) entities (residing in the Adho-Loka/the Lower Planets) indulged in negative activities/adharm (after attacking and occupying the higher Planets/the Urdhva-Loka, also known as Svarga-loka, Deva-loka). They also forcibly gained control over certain resources (euphemistically referred to as amrit)... that did not belong to them.

And: all of this helped them to increase their influence/power tremendously.

Result: huge imbalance - in the cosmos. 

Now, why Mohini-avatar? 

Well, since these aasuric (malevolent) entities (residing in the Adho-Loka/the Lower Planets) knew about Virupaksh-Krishna, they would have (in all likelihood) been on their guard.

Hence: He assumed the Mohini-avatar. (Mohan-Mohini, you see?)

It simply means Virupaksh-Krishna assumed a female form (opposite of Mohan) - as part of vinasaya ca duskrtam.

[... It was just an outer coil - to be discarded once the task was accomplished. He can take up any form at will - by transforming himself, not to be mistaken for cross-dressing. 'Coz He can remain in His subtle body - sukshma sharira + can create highly advanced holograms of himself in various shapes and forms. E.g: He also arrived as a vamana (a small-sized human/dwarf). Now whether it was Him or his holographic image, we cannot say with certainty though. Possibly Him. Shri Vishnu can take any form or shape at will. He is nothing like us - mortal humans. He appeared or rather took on the form of a vamana or dwarf... for a specific purpose. It does not mean he is dwarf (vamana) per se. Hope we are clear on this.]

He is a Master strategist, Soldier-Statesman par excellence [Part-XXII], Trikalagya, possessor of the Third-Eye/Tritiya-Nayan and a diplomat par excellence - at all times (as can be inferred from: 'Sudarshan Chakra' remaining in Virupaksh-Krishna, Mohini as well as Parvati/Durga's forefinger). His brilliance - referred to as the Sudarshan Chakra remains intact - irrespective of whatever outer coil He assumes.

[He rarely uses physical weaponry though. 'Coz He is the Ultimate/Supreme karmyogi; a karmyogi par excellence. He achieves various tasks through karm. He does not use His extraordinary powers... while in His human avatar(s). This, so as to reestablish the principles of karm and dharma... as per His stated dharma-samsthapanarthaya...]

He creates 'illusion' in the minds of others (through his words and actions, remember? That's sammohan. He does it for Loka Sangraha or Loka Kalyana - the welfare of all or the welfare of the world/universe/cosmos.)

He is the Ultimate/Supreme Controller of minds. [Though that does not mean He controls everyone's mind and/or action at all times. His doctrine of karm is Supreme. That is the doctrine of the universe, the cosmos. In short: Sanaatan Dharma/Arya Dharma (the right/noble path, the eternal way of life; not to be confused for "ism"). And that alone decides who gains entry into which Loka - to continue the cycle of birth (all over again). And it also decides who gains entry into the Vaikunth-Loka (as He himself says in the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta).]

Virupaksh-Krishna incarnates (to help mankind/humanity - in all the loka) face the challenges posed... whenever negative forces become too dominant in the Universe. Thus, despite not being in His purn avatar, His Sudarshan Chakra ensures that balance is restored in the cosmos. ['Hurling of the Sudarshan Chakra' = His brilliance + that He pre-empted or negated the designs/machinations of the malevolent entities. However, does that mean that He does everything by Himself? No. He does what none can do, (He also guides, He shows the way; He is the Supreme Saarathi, remember?) and then He wants/lets others (instruments) perform their karmyog. Otherwise, how will the cosmos run? Hopefully, we are now reasonably clear about the true essence of the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta + what Sanaatan Dharma is all about.]

So, as we can see, He is not called the Maha-Eshvar, the Param-eshvar - the Supreme Lord - for nothing. [In His human avatar/form/roop He knows how to find solutions... irrespective of the magnitude of challenges or era (yug). A closer study of all His human avatars will substantiate this.]

He truly is the Eka-shringa. The rarest of the rarest... not to be found anywhere else. 

He personifies it.

[Eka-shringa is not an animal. We will discuss the various symbolism associated with the Eka-shringa in our next post.

However, it is unlikely that He would have gone around proclaiming who He is; He does not come across as boastful, He comes across as wise, discerning, firm and decisive [E.g., Saalva (armed with extremely destructive weaponry) tried his best to destroy Prithvi-loka, Krishna decided otherwise. And as He said: His will (Loka Sangraha or Loka Kalyana) is Supreme. Hence, He is the Supreme Balancer, the Supreme Preserver. He also knows how to overcome obstacles.] The current version of the Mahabharat (and even the Ramayan) is a much-copied-and-infinitely-embellished version (with various misinterpretations + tweaking + 'contemporisation'). He would have revealed himself only towards the end, while talking to Arjun, etc. 

Misunderstanding, misinterpretation et al has resulted in this story being clubbed with samudra-manthan/the churning of the kshir-sagar (on Prithvi-Loka). But then, kshir-sagar and samudra-manthan has many layers.] 

Interplanetary fights between entities residing in the Urdhva-Loka (the Higher Planets) and the Adho-Loka (the Lower Planets) have happened. [These have also been referred to as fights between the Devas and the Asuras - in our ancient texts. Here: Asura means malevolent entities (possibly gigantic/large-sized); it does not refer to the Asura clan.]

These Sura/Devas are far advanced beings residing in the Urdhva-Loka (the Higher Planets). While these Asuras (malevolent beings) reside in the Adho-Loka (the Lower Planets).

Not that Prithvi-loka has remained immune from the machinations of these malevolent entities.

An external entity - Saalva - had attacked Prithvi-Loka... over 8,000 years ago. [Rather: some 10 or 12 millennium ago.]

Even then: Shri Krishna was there... to protect Prithvi-Loka (and humanity).

[The Mahabharata clearly talks about this war, though due to various misinterpretations... narratives have entangled.]

Thus: Both (Shri Krishna and Devi Parvati) are referred to as the protectors of the Cosmic Trilok).

We can say Virupaksh-Krishna is the Original 'Ardhanarishvar'. 'Coz He is the Ultimate/Supreme/Original Siddha - Siddhesh or Siddheshvar - a pure/perfected being or a self-realized being; one who has achieved "self-realization". 'Coz as the Creator... he completely understands that everything that makes up (is part of) the cosmos, whether seen or unseen, animate or inanimate, is a part of His "Vishwaroop". Hence: He personifies the "Universal Cosmic Spirit". [Even Shiv became 'Ardhanarishvar' once he became a Siddha.] 

Hopefully, we are now reasonably clear... as to *what* the Siddha/Siddhesh/Siddheshvar/Ardhanarishvar (concept of self-realization) actually means. Virupaksh-Krishna is also above all sorts of boundaries, even that of gender, 'coz He is the Param-aatma - the Supreme Spirit. Spirit or Soul is energy. It has no form or gender. Also: He can take any form or can replicate Himself at will (possibly: highly advanced holographic image). Hope we are clear on this.]

Even the Himalayas are associated with both.

Virupaksh-Krishna is also referred to as "Narayan", while Parvati/Durga is constantly referred to as "Narayani".

Narayan is also a reference to Shri Vishnu - the unseen balancing force of the cosmos - from within which our universe - the Brhmaand (that we inhabit) has emerged. [We have already discussed this (Vishnu) force during the course of this series, so please do look it up... in case you need to refresh your memory.]

However, "Narayan" is also a reference to the Shri Vishnu of Vaikunth - the other Vishnu-Loka. [Please refer: Part-XXIII.]

Narayan means the benefactor of humanity. And this is not limited to the humanity on earth... but to all the living beings populating the various planets (loka).

So, you see?

Narayan-Narayani. Krishna-Parvati.

Both acted as balancers and preservers of the cosmos and of humanity.

Virupaksh-Krishna is the Adi-Purush. Devi Durga/Parvati is the Adi-Parashakti.

Virupaksh-Krishna is called the Jagadeeshvar - the Lord of the Cosmos as well as the Jagat-Pita (the Universal Father).

While Devi Durga/Parvati is revered as the Jagadeeshvari - the Lord of the Cosmos as well as the Jyotirmayee Jagan-Mata/Jagat-dhatri (the Cosmic/Universal Mother).

Vishnu is the Maheshvaram/Maha-Ishvar: the Supreme Lord, the Param-eshwar. While Parvati/Durga is the Maaheshvarii/Maha-Ishvari/Param-eshvari.

[Virupaksh-Krishna is addressed as 'He' - due to the limitations of the English language. 'Coz in Sanskrit there is no gender-related or gender-specific reference.]

So: were Devi Parvati/Durga and Shri Krishna one and the same? As part of the Lord of the Cosmos' periodic appearance/arrival (albeit in human form/incarnation/avatar) as per: "...sambhavami yuge yuge"?

'Coz their physical as well as karmic similarities are simply too great to ignore. [Do refer: Part-XXII and Part-XXIII.]

Let's consider the Varaha.

We have been discussing the "Dasavatar" as part of this series, and it clearly points towards the evolution of this planet + the evolution of life on this planet. 

However, the first three "avatars" have a clear Vaikunth connection, though this has been (somewhat) misinterpreted as Shri Vishnu assuming different forms. [We will discuss this in our later posts.]

For now, we will stick to Virupaksh-Krishna. And to Parvati/Durga.

The first four "avatars" of the "Dasavatar" are: the Matsya (fish) Avatar, the Kurma (tortoise) Avatar, the Varaha (great boar) Avatar and the Narasimha (lion-man) Avatar.

Vishnu-Krishna is the Varaha or the Great Boar - the rescuer of Prithvi-Loka and Sanaatan Dharma from rasatal (from unwanted aspects that seep in from time to time - thus altering the very ethos of this eternal way of life). But who is Varahi? [For Devi Varahi, do read: Part-XX. Incidentally: this is the Shvetavaraha Kalpa, as we have discussed in Part-XXIII. Svheta or Shveta = White.]

Though Devi Varahi is a different entity, she is considered as a roop or form/manifestation of Devi Durga/Parvati.

Which makes: Durga/Parvati... the Varahi - the female boar.

Hence: were Devi Parvati/Durga and Shri Krishna one and the same?

What do you think?

'Coz in Sanskrit there is no gender-related or gender-specific reference. And: as we all know, the soul has no gender.

[We will, of course, discuss the symbolism of the bull (vrishabha, vrisha uttamam - the Vrishni connection is very clear, isn't it? However, the amount of misinterpretation + tweaking of the narrative leaves one speechless), the boar (varaha) and the unicorn (eka-shringa) in greater detail - in our next post. Besides: the symbolism of the conch (shankh) and the Sudarshan Chakra (in some more detail).

And we will also discuss just what the Cosmic "Purush-Prakriti" is all about.]

The Srimad Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 10, Verse 26) says:

|| siddhanam kapilo munih ||

Translation: "Of all Siddhas (pure/perfected beings, possessor of immense spiritual powers) I am the sage Kapila (kapilo munih)."

Thus: Krishna is Siddhesh/Siddheshvar. [The Ultimate/ Supreme Perfected Being.]

But Devi Parvati is Devi Siddheshwari. 

She is also Siddhidatri (the bestower of all Siddhis); she is depicted holding the Shankh (Conch-shell), Chakra, Mace (Gada) and Lotus (Padma) in her four hands. She is seated on a lotus flower with the lion as her mount (vaahan).

[Maa Adi-Parashakti is formless. Devi Siddhidatri is also considered as Adi-Parashakti, and was worshipped by Lord Rudra.] 

Devi Siddhidatri is the Goddess/devi/diety who possesses and bestows all type of Siddhis on her devotees. Lord Shiva received all Siddhis by the grace of Devi Siddhidatri.

Devi Parvati is Devi Siddhidatri.

Maa Siddhidatri is the ninth form of Devi Durga (Parvati) worshipped on the ninth or final day of Navratri. 'Siddhi' is a Sanskrit term which means 'perfection'. Devi Siddhidatri is depicted with four arms. She holds a Chakra in her right lower hand and a mace in the upper. In the left lower hand there is a conch-shell (shankh) and in her upper left hand a lotus flower. She is seated on a lotus flower with the lion as her mount (vaahan).

[Do observe: the conch (shankh) and the chakra - are associated with both - Virupaksh-Krishna as well as Durga/Parvati.]

Lord Shiva received all the 26 'siddhis' by worshiping Maha Shakti (manifested by Devi Parvati, who also represents Maa Adi-Parashakti and Maa Siddhidatri). By Her grace, Shiva became a 'Siddha', and thereafter came to be known as 'Ardhanarishvar'.

The Siddhi that She bestows helps in self-realization: i.e. the complete realization that everything is part of the "Universal Cosmic Spirit".

Apart from all this: we also know that She responded to the call of Dharma. [Part-XXII.] While (the mortal) Shiv and Vishnu (despite being tremendous warriors) hesitated and did not.

Also: Shri Krishna's words and deeds are titled: Srimad Bhagavad Geeta and the Bhagavad Puran. While Devi Durga/Parvati's deeds are titled Devi Bhagavatam and Devi Mahatmyam (the Magnanimity of the Devi). 

Here's more:

Red - (Lohith/Lohitah/Rohitah/the first 'avatar' was the matsya or fish avatar/Rohu, hence Shri Vishnu is also known as Rohit/Rohitah, meaning: red), Blue - Shyam, Green - Hari, Golden-Yellow - Peet and Dark - Ghanshyam... represent Vishnu-Krishna or Virupaksh-Krishna.

Red - (Lohith/Lohitah/Rohitah - it also represents the power of Devi Durga/Parvati), Green - Prakriti (remember 'Ardhanarishvar'? Shiv (humanity) cannot survive without Prakriti (represented by Devi Durga), Golden-Yellow - Peet/Gauri, Blue - Shyam and Dark - Ghanshyam... represent Durga/Parvati-Kaali/Chamundi. 

So, what can we infer from all this?

Kapil Muni's students built the city of Kapilavastu. Kapilavastu means: the substance of Kapila. Much later, in the current yug (Kaliyug), Bhagavan Shri Gautam Buddh lived and grew up in Kapilavastu for the first 29 years of his life.

[Incidentally: even Pataliputra owes its origin to Shri Krishna. Though the city (even then a premier city of the land - at that time) was inundated by flood later on.

Megasthenes, the Greek Ambassador in the court of Chandragupta Maurya, states that: the city of Polibrotha (Pataliputra) was founded by Herakles, 138 generations before the reign of Sandrocottas (the Greek name for Samraat Chandragupta Maurya). Herakles or Hercules is none other than Shri Krishna.

When Alexander confronted Parvateshvar (Paurav/Puru/Porus) on the banks of the River Sindhu, Puru's soldiers were carrying an image of Herakles in their vanguard.

Now: despite all the window-dressing by phoren historians, Alexander's career more or less came to a halt after his brief encounter with this king of the Indus region, Raja Parvateshvar (Porus). The Greeks however, had some success ruling as kings in northwestern cities such as the one in Takshasheela [the decline of which marked the destruction, persecution and decline in Indian education, thought and structure.]

They exchanged ambassadors with Indian kings and one such ambassador was Heliodorus who was sent from Taxila to the court of King Bhagabhadra at Vidisha (Besnagar, central India).

On his visit to Vidisha, Heliodorus erected a Garuda-pillar in the honour of his 'God of Gods' Krishna.

This Garuda-column of Vasudev (Krishna),
The God of gods,
Was erected here by Heliodorus,
A worshipper of Vishnu,
The son of Dion, and Inhabitant of Taxila,
Who came as the Greek Ambassador,
From the Great King Antialkidas,
To King Kashiputra Bhagabhadra, the Savior, 
Then reigning prosperously in the fourteenth year of his kingship.]

However, as the Bhagavat Puran says:

"My appearance in this world is especially to explain the philosophy of Sankhya, which is highly esteemed for self-realization by those desiring freedom from the entanglement of unnecessary material desires. This path of self-realization, which is difficult to understand, has now been lost in the course of time. Please know that I have assumed this body of Kapila to introduce and explain this philosophy to human society again." (3.24.36-37)

So, there you have it!

"... sambhavami yuge yuge."

Yet again. 

In fact, the manner in which Shri Vishnu is depicted is (probably) to bolster the "Pati-Parameshvar" stuff: to stratify society along gender lines so as to bring down the position of women. [It is also filled with symbolism involving the namesake cosmic energy (Garbhodakasayi Vishnu) through which our Brhmaand has emerged. Should not be taken at face value. As for the attire, clear signs of 'contemporisation'.] The Parameshvar has no role in this. [He is the Supreme Balancer, remember? He can also be called as the Ultimate/Supreme Siddheshvar/Ardhanarishvar. 'Coz He is the Ultimate Siddha or Siddhesh/Siddheshvar/Transcendental Being - a pure/perfected being; one who has achieved "self-realization". As the Creator... he completely understands that everything that is part of the cosmos, whether seen or unseen, animate or inanimate, is part of His "Vishwaroop". And that He personifies the "Universal Cosmic Spirit". [Even Shiv became 'Ardhanarishvar' once he became a Siddha.] Vishnu is also above all sorts of boundaries, even that of gender, 'coz He is the Param-aatma - the Supreme Spirit. Spirit or Soul is energy. It has no form or gender. He can take any form or can replicate Himself at will (possibly: highly advanced holographic image). Also: if we observe closely, He has His parameters. Women and the disadvantaged figure prominently. His aim/endeavour (in all His human avatars) has been the establishment of a just/inclusive society (euphemistically known as: "Ram-Rajya"). Loka Sangraha or Loka Kalyana is an integral part of his philosophy, His will.]

The Śrīvatsa mark is on His chest, symbolising His consort Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi. Vishnu is thus Srivatsankita, the one who bears the sign of Srivatsa. [Srivatsa (the beloved of Sri) is an ancient auspicious symbol in India. It is a mark on the chest of Vishnu where His consort Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi resides. It is also a mark of His immortality.] It is said that the 10th (and final) avatar of Shri Vishnu (in the current maha yug or four-yug cycle), Kalki, will be the bearer of the Srivatsa mark as well. [SrivatsavakshaaH is another name of Shri Vishnu. The Śrīvatsa mark also adorns the images of the Jain Thirthankaras and of the Buddha as well.] Shri Vishnu also wears the auspicious "Kaustubha" jewel around his neck. Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi dwells in this jewel, on Vishnu's chest. The "Kaustubha" jewel also represents consciousness, which manifests itself in all that shines: the sun, the moon, the fire and the speech. Thus it represents consciousness, the consciousness of all living things. Shri Vishnu also wears a garland of five rows of forest flowers of different hues (vanamaalaa). Vaijayanthi (garland of victory) is a garland of five rows of jewels or five elements (bhuthas) that also adorns Shri Vishnu.

There is no Sri Devi and Bhu Devi either. These are just different names for Sri Sri Lakshmi Devi. Devi Lakshmi is the symbol/deity/goddess/devi of wisdom, wealth and prosperity in the Indian pantheon. "Sri" and "Bhu" indicate wealth, wisdom, happiness and prosperity.

[Among all the Samraat-s and Raja-s, only two: Shri Ram and Shri Krishna have been ek-patni. The Krishna of the Mahabharata + the Srimad Bhagavad Geeta and the one that arrived when Saalva attacked Prithvi-loka... are one and the same.

However: the Krishna of the 'Raas-Reela' is a product of the Bhakti Movement and of Jayadev's "Geet Gobind". This Krishna is a different person... and is worshiped just as Sri Chaitanyadev is worshipped. This Krishna is regarded as 'avatar' of the Shri Krishna of the Mahabharat/Srimad Bhagavad Geeta just as how Sri Chaitanyadev too is regarded as 'avatar' of the Shri Krishna of the Mahabharat/Srimad Bhagavad Geeta.

... A la how Tulsidas is regarded as 'avatar' of Maharshi Valmiki.

You get it, right?

But is that literal??

A cursory look at His life (in His Krishna-avatar) is enough to confirm this.

He was born in unusual circumstances (inside a prison), was whisked away to Gokul by Vasudev (aided by Vasuki - the chief of one of the Nag clans). He grew up... away from his parental home; was sent to study at Maharshi Sandeepani and Garga Muni's ashram at the age of 5 or 7. Here he was put through a rigorous training regimen, spending his time reading science, math, literature, history, economics, political science, warfare tactics, martial arts, the ancient texts et al. On completion of his studies, he returned. [He would have been in his early-to-mid 20's then.] However... he was instantly drawn into a whirlpool of intrigue (unleashed by the machinations of the tyrannical Jarasandha and Kansh). [Rest we have already discussed in Part-XXI.]

So, tell me... when did He get the time to dally with Gopis and indulge in 'Raas-Leela' (and that too at the age of 14)?? :) 

As for his supposed 16,108 'wives', well... this too is courtesy the Bhakti Movement. [We have already discussed this during the course of this series, so please do look it up in case you need to refresh your memory.]

He is called Gopesh or Gopala - simply because He is the Supreme Shepherd, the One who runs the cosmos/universe and 'shepherds' everything/all beings/His 'flock' within it. [Gopesh = Lord of the flock. Go-pala = Cow-herd, shepherd. Here: Go or cow = all living beings.]

He plays the flute, but does not dance (at least not how we think). When He 'dances', He is on top of it; it's child's play for Him.

Also: it is said that He married Jambavani. Now Jambavan was a part of Treta Yug, Krishna was part of Dvapar.

So... this is what? Time travel?? :) 

As we can see, the Krishna of the Mahabharat/Srimad Bhagavad Geeta did not have anything to do with the Gopis or Radha... whatsoever. His consort is Rukmini. Satyabhama probably is the consort of the Krishna of the 'Raas Leela' and of Jayadev's "Geet Gobind". Due to the similarity in name... there has been a confluence of narratives. The real complexion of the Krishna of the Mahabharat/Srimad Bhagavad Geeta: grayish to dusky blue (meaning: similar to the colour of a newborn's skin immediately after birth). Though He is depicted as blue-hued [Part-XIII.]

He is known as Ghanshyam due to his nature, since Black (Ghanshyam) is all-absorbing. Likewise, this Krishna was the "all absorbing one". 'Coz during his lifetime, (it is said) he was the target of malicious attacks. Accusations, abuse and insults were hurled at him; several small-minded people orchestrated these. But this Krishna never stooped low nor responded back in kind. He simply absorbed them all - with his characteristic grace, and hence is also known as Ghanshyam - the all-absorbing one. [Part-XXIII.]

His "dark-complexion" is thus metaphoric, not literal. Hope we are reasonably clear on this.

[The Krishna that is paired with Radha and the Gopis... is the one we find in the pages of Jayadev's Geet Gobind... and a product/part of the Bhakti Movement.]

The amount of tweaking, misinterpretation and misunderstanding... coupled with multiple narratives fusing together... boggles the mind and renders one speechless. :) But then if the proverbial 'trial by fire' (agni-pariksha) that Siya-Ram underwent... could be 'interpreted' literally, what can one say? Also: one finds pictures of Devi Durga/Parvati bowing to Shri Vishnu. But then, both are one and the same! So you see?

Frankly, Shri Vishnu is nothing like us... mere mortals/humans (of Martya-loka/Prithvi-loka). He is an extremely luminous eternal being, an entity that has created the cosmos and everything within it. He is also the One that runs it.

He cannot be seen with mortal eyes, His actual form that is. [Possibly: only the ones @ Vaikunth know what He really looks like. His human avatars should not be confused for His actual form. And Trilok is not three planets only. We'll discuss it in greater detail in our next post.]

He has numerous forms. He can also remain in his subtle body (sukshma sharira) and can create innumerable (possibly: highly advanced holographic) images of Himself... as and when required. [Taking on a form (whether by Himself or through his highly advanced holographic images) is child's play for Him. 'Coz he has also arrived in His dwarf or vamana-avatar, but that does not mean He is dwarf/vamana per se. It simply is a part of His illusion-inducing abilities/leela.]

The technology, knowledge, vision, wisdom, power et al at His disposal (and He is the Creator of all of these) are astonishing indeed. Yet, in his human avatar(s) He rarely uses them... preferring to achieve the tasks through karm instead.

He is a karmyogi par excellence; He uses His power for the greater good - for Loka Kalyana or Loka Sangraha. That is: for the welfare of the world/universe/cosmos.

Virupaksh-Krishna's ability to assume different mortal coils (based on the situation) is amazing indeed. This also contributes towards making Him a transcendental being.

Greats such as Samraat Chandragupta Maurya and Samraat Chandragupta Vikramaditya truly understood Vishnu-Krishna's "Vishwaroop" as well as His human avatars. They imbibed a speck of His Brahmajyoti. They were true karmyogis. Result: this great land was at her pinnacle, resplendent and prosperous... and there flourished a just/inclusive society (euphemistically known as: "Ram-Rajya"). Later entities (sadly) did not understand Vishnu-Krishna at all. Hence they reduced Him to stage-plays with tweaked narratives, exaggerated body language and bombastic dialogues. In short: Nautanki. Or they went overboard with excessive 'Bhakti' and misinterpretations. Result? 

Vikram means: one who is wise, diligent, brave and strong as well as victorious. The Sanskrit word -kram is a root word meaning 'step or stride', so the name Vikram can be understood to mean Vishnu's stride in itself, or as a name which reflects the qualities of Vishnu's stride. In Vedic scripture, Vishnu's stride is said to be over the Earth, the Sky, and the all-pervading omnipresent essence of the Universe/Cosmos. Hence Shri Vishnu is also known as Trivikram. [Vikramaditya means: the radiance of Vikram.]

A person's karma consists of the action they take relative to their duties, called dharma. Samraat Chandragupta Vikramaditya upheld Raaj Dharma. No wonder his rule is often referred to as the Golden Age of India.

The Iron Pillar put up by Vikramaditya bears an inscription, which states that it was erected as a flagstaff in honour of Shri Vishnu, and in the memory of Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya). The pillar also highlights ancient India's achievements in metallurgy. This iron pillar is similar to the pillars of Samraat Ashoka.

The pillar, with an idol of Garuda at the top, was originally located at a place called Vishnupadagiri (meaning "Vishnu-footprint-hill"), identified as modern Udayagiri, situated in the close vicinity of Besnagar, Vidisha and Sanchi, towns located about 50 km east of Bhopal, in central India. Vishnupadagiri is located on the Tropic of Cancer and, therefore, was a centre of astronomical studies during the Gupta period. The Iron Pillar served an important astronomical function, in its original site; its early morning shadow fell in the direction of the foot of Anantasayain Vishnu (in one of the panels at Udayagiri) only in the time around summer solstice (June 21). The creation and development of the Udayagiri site appears to have been clearly guided by a highly developed astronomical knowledge. Therefore, the Udayagiri site, in general, and the Iron Pillar location in particular, provide firm evidence for the astronomical knowledge in India around 400 CE.

Here is the great Bidrohi Kobi (the Rebel Poet) Kaji Nojrul Islam's tribute (Nojrul-geeti) to the Universal Cosmic Spirit, the Eternal (Birat) Evergreen Child (Shishu) lost in His own thoughts (anmone), playing in His Play-home (Bishwa-loye)/amongst His cosmic toys: 

Ontorer Manush [The Eternal Being/the Param-aatma - the Cosmic "Purush" + the "Purushottam Satya"]: "Khelicho E Bishwa-Loye..." - by Anup Jalota:

Let's end this post with Robi Thakur's "Tumi kemon kore Gaan karo heye Guni" - a Rabindra-sangeet by Srikanto Acharjo (Pujo: Geetanjali - song #22):

[Though it has been translated into English, Robi Thakur's oeuvre is impossible to translate. That is the nature of Bangla and that is the nature of the English language.]

[We will continue our discussions in the next post...]

(Do stay tuned…)

Pictures: 1-9: The opulence of the Absolute. 10-11: illustrating Robi Thakur's words; Illustrations of: Purushottam Satya - the Satya-Sundar; Lakshmipati; the Himalayas; Shri Krishna; the "Vishwaroop"; Durga-Chamundi; the Nrsingh-avatar; Mohini-avatar; Krishna-Arjun; the Varaha-avatar; bull-boar-unicorn seal; Maa Adi-Parashakti; Maa Siddhidatri, Garuda-pillar; how Vishnu-force/energy is depicted; Vishnu-Lakshmi; Jarasandha; Vishnu-Krishna; Chandragupta Maurya from an Indian postage stamp; the Lion Capital of Emperor Ashoka - the second stamp produced in independent India and the first stamp meant for domestic use. The Government of India issued this stamp (on 15 December 1947); The iron pillar of Delhi, erected by Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya) the Great.