Essence Of Maha Bhagavatha Purana

Bhagvat Purana

Detachment: Varasrama Dharma, Vidhis and Niyamas- Above all Satsanga

Continuing His preachings to Uddhava, Lord Krishna defined the Practice of Detachment by way of Nivrutti or Pravrutti routes. Nivrutthi Marg would call for total abstinence and alignment of Self and the Supreme and Pravrutti Marg is by way of existence in the midst of material attractions controlled however by Regulative Principles, ie.’Varnasrama Dharma’  depending on a fourfold classification of Society -the Division being based on Profession, Vocation and their practice or aptitude.

[The Veda Base referring to the aspect of ‘practice or aptitude concepts’of the Varnasrama Dharma is:

Yasya yallakshanam proktum
/ pumso Varnabhivyanjakam /
yad anyaprapti drusyata /
tat teniva vinirdisat. ( Srimad Bhagavata Canto7, Chapter 11, Stanza: 35),
 meaning there by:If one reveals symptoms of being a Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya or Sudra even if he has appeared in a different class, he should be accepted according to those symptoms of classification, regardless of birth.] Besides Varnasrama Dharma, the Regulative Principles prescribe ‘Vidhis’ or Moral Injunctions like refrain from meat eating ( Ahimsa or non-violence and compassion for co-living beings), consumption of intoxicants ( Purity consciousness), illicit sex (faithfulness/ loyalty), and gambling ( acquisition/austerity and sobriety). The Regulating Principles  also prescribe certain optional ‘Niyamas’ or restraining / preventive measures viz. Internal and external cleanliness ( Bahyantara Suchi), Doing the Rosary ( ‘Japam’), penance (meditation), austerity, sacrifice, dependability, hospitality, worship to Almighty; Visits to Temples; and contentment. ( Sage Patanjali’s Sutras or Eight fold Observances are : ‘Saucham’   ( Purity), Tapas ( Penance), ‘Swadhyaya’ or Study, ‘Santosha’ ( Contentment), ‘Danam’ Charity) and ‘Eswara Pranadanam’ ( Dedication to Almighty). Akin and ancilliary to Vidhis and Niyamas, Lord Krishna highlighted certain Moral and Spiritual Values viz. humility, false prestige, laziness, possesiveness, indulgence, narrow mindedness, immaturity and ignorance arising out of lack of knowledge. To enable one’s  leading to the path of righteouseness, Lord Krishna underlined the guidance of a trustworthy Teacher or Guide. But despite all the efforts and access to appropriate Spiritual knowledge, the hard fact still would remain that factors beyond human control like Time, Situations, placements in one’s own life, societal compulsions, locational contexts and the apparent sensitivities of disease, old age, birth and death chain  and the like and as such one  should atleast control the manageable factors as per the Regulative Principles prescribed. The main reason for this Minimum Programme would be that a very valuable human birth available with difficulty now might not be surefire or guarateed after the termination of the current one. Any postponement of the Exercise from one stage of existence to another would simply be hazardous since already the process commenced from Stage One of Life and would hardly suffice one’s complete life span; hence the stress on the obvious before the end as death is certain while life expectancy is not. Lord Krishna gave the example of two parrots on the same tree, one on a spree of plundering  the fruits  and another denying the experience to itself.The intelligent one not getting tempted was like the person strong in restraint and caution. A discreet person never assumed ownership of an action as in the case of first person pronoun, ‘I’, but as a result of the sense objects arising out of modes of Nature.Like the Sky, Sun or Wind, the person with self-realisation never confused Illusion for Reality. He is never angry or provoked, never negligent of worship and ‘Satsanga’ (Company of the virtuous and devoted), soft natured, equal minded, non possessive, respectful of others, compassionate and a conquerer of ‘Shat Guna’( hunger, thirst, pain, illusion, old age and death). Krishna thus identified the detached person.At the same time, an ideal human being worships Sun through  ‘Surya Namaskaras’, Fire (Agni) through Sacrifices, Water for purification, ‘Vayu’ ( Air) for breath control by ‘puraka’ ( inhaling), Rechaka (Exhaling) and ‘Kumbhaka’( retaining) and ‘Gayatri’ Mantra  and finally attain heights of nearness to ‘Paramatma’.
Having elaborated the Concept of detachment thus, Lord Krishna laid immense stress ‘Satsanga’ (Union of Devotee and Krishna)  as the most effective conduit to  Himself. He stated that the way that Satsanga would lead to Himself, no other means like mysticism or ‘AshtangaYoga’, reading Scriptures, penances, Sacrifices, pilgrimages, Charity and such pious acts. Not only Demi-Gods and superior Class Celestial Beings, Sages and Godmen but even Demons, Low Category Humans, and even the wild species have all used the means of Satsang and achieved ‘Mukti’ (Salvation) from Me. Uddhava was therefore given the considered preaching that moral and spiritual warnings and rituals would all be replaced by intense effort to forge the oneness of the self and the Supreme. Krishna compared life with a tree emerging from two seeds,  (Sin and Purity), hundreds of roots ( living entities), three patterns of ‘Gunas ( behavior)-Satva, Rajas and Tamas (Goodness, Passion and Ignorance), five upper trunks (Elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Sky); five lower trunks or sense organs (sound, touch, taste, smell and vision) and eleven ‘Karmendrias’(Hands, legs,eyes,ears, mouth,nose, Genitals) and mind. There are two birds, viz. Jiva (human) and Paramatma ( Krishna) and two fruits of misery and happiness, one opts for materialism and  another like a Swan endeavours for eternal bliss.When Brahma’s sons asked Almighty in the form of  Hamsa (Swan) :‘Who are you’?; Hamsa’s reply was ‘We are five-the FiveElements!’.When Kumaras asked asked the Swan once again, the reply was ‘We are two ; And That Is One Only’ ! This indeed is the Eternal Truth and that again is the Essence of ‘Satsang’or the Company of One, not of Two!

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