Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 06 May 2019

     

GOD-LIKE ENJOYMENT AND CANCELLATION OF SINS

Shri Durga Prasad (Mumbai) asked: Will a soul who has been transformed by spiritual knowledge (Jnanagnih sarva karmani—Gita) be able to enjoy both misery and happiness equally (Samatvam yoga uchyate —Gita)? Can these two statements from the Gita really be reconciled?

Swami replied: O Learned and Devoted Servants of God! Anything is possible by the grace of God, even when it is not possible by the mere effort of the soul. God becomes the soul in the Human Incarnation and enjoys both happy and tragic incidents equally just as one enjoys both sweet and hot dishes in a meal. This is yoga (Samatvam yoga uchyate—Gita). While eating the hot and spicy dish, your tongue vibrates, your throat makes weeping sounds and tears flow down your cheeks. All these external indications associtated with eating a very spicy dish are the same as weeping. But it does not mean that the person is weeping internally. Internally, the person is enjoying the spicy dish. But if you look only at the external indications while the person is eating, you might think that the person is weeping internally too. You will be astonished when the person says after eating that he enjoyed the dish! While he was enjoying the dish, he appeared to weep externally and you were thinking that he was weeping internally too. So, whenever we see a person who is weeping externally, it is possible that he is also be weeping internally. But it is also possible that he is enjoying internally like the person eating a spicy dish. When Vasudeva, the father of Krishna died, Krishna wept a lot. Sage Narada took Krishna aside and asked Him why He was weeping so much even though He was the Lord, who is above all worldly attachments. Krishna replied that He was weeping for the sake of His relatives, who would misunderstand Him if He did not weep at the death of His father! Hence, we must differentiate between the external weeping and the internal enjoyment.

In the case of souls, generally, external weeping also indicates internal weeping, unless the soul is blessed by God. Yoga is the state of equal entertainment in both happiness and misery. God always remains in this state and is the possessor of this state of yoga. God blesses the soul who tries for yoga; not the soul who does not try at all. Note that the soul can only try to attain the state of yoga. The soul, by its own effort, can never become God, who is the possessor of yoga. A soul can become identical with God only when the soul becomes a Human Incarnation of God. But that happens only when God, by His own wish, enters a particular devotee and merges completely into the body and soul of that devotee. God enters only that devotee, who does not even have a trace of desire to become God. It means that the soul trying to become God, can never become God! Thus, a soul can try to attain yoga but must give up the desire to become God.

God has said in the Gita that His devotees will cross the worldly illusion called Maayaa by His grace (Maayaametaam taranti te). He has also said that for all ordinary souls, it is impossible to cross the illusion (Mama maayaa duratyayaa). Crossing Maayaa means attaining the state of yoga, which is the God-like state of equal enjoyment in happiness and misery. It can only be attained by the grace of God; either directly as in the case of Human Incarnation or indirectly as in the case of a climax devotee. Only with God’s grace is it possible for the soul to equally enjoy both comedy and tragedy in the world. Without the grace of God, it is impossible for any soul to cross Maayaa and attain the state of yoga. Of course, the soul can enjoy both comedy and tragedy equally in a movie because it knows fully well that the movie is not true. God can similarly enjoy the world since the world is not true for Him just as the movie is not true for us. But the soul is a tiny part of the world and it cannot feel that the world is unreal or non-existent. Yet, such a feeling can come to the soul only by the grace of the omnipotent God.

God created the world for His entertainment as we go to watch a movie for entertainment. The world is non-existent for God and hence, God creates, rules and destroys the world. An absolutely existent truth cannot be created, controlled or destroyed by another equally existent absolute truth. Miracles would be impossible if both God and the world were equally existent absolute truths. A miracle means that God makes some change in the world that overrules the natural laws. This would not be possible if both were absolute truths. A Human Incarnation of God or a climax devotee can perform a miracle. These selected souls are able to perform the miracle by the will of God. The will of God is the only factor which makes a soul become God (Human Incarnation). It is the same will of God due to which the Incarnation or the devotee performs a miracle.

Advaita philosophers say that every soul is already God. They feel that the soul can realize that it is God by repeatedly thinking that it is God. We oppose this concept. No soul can perform any miracle merely by thinking that it is God since, in reality, the soul is not God. In fact, the soul’s aspiration to become God is a disqualification by itself. It is important to note that every soul is neither God already nor does it become God by its own effort. Every soul indeed has the possibility of becoming God as an Incarnation, but only if God wishes so. Perfect monism between God and soul can only be achieved in the form of a Human Incarnation of God. Trying to enjoy both comedy and tragedy in the world equally (Samatvam yoga uchyate) in a God-like manner is not a sin. But thinking that the soul is already God is the climax of ambition. A servant is eating meals sitting by the side of his master. There is no sin if the servant wishes to enjoy the meals just as the master enjoys the meals. The whole problem comes only when the servant thinks that he is equal to the master. The soul can wish to enjoy this world just like God. In fact, God also wishes that the servant-soul enjoys the world like Him. But the servant-soul is not God, who is the Creator, Controller and Destroyer of this world as said in the Brahma Sutras (Jagatvyaapaaravarjyam...). This verse on yoga from the Gita is purely confined to the state of God enjoying this world. It is a state that the soul can attain by the grace of God.

This verse on yoga has nothing to do with the second verse that describes the burning of all pending sins upon realization of the fire-like true spiritual knowledge. The verse “ Jnaanaagnih sarva karmaani...” speaks about the cancellation of pending sins in the case of a reformed soul. The first step in reformation is realization through spiritual knowledge. Once this realization through spiritual knowledge is attained, the subsequent two steps of repentance and non-repetition of sin are spontaneous and the soul is then said to be reformed. For such a reformed soul, God cancels the pending punishments of the soul’s sins. So, once true spiritual knowledge is attained, the cancellation of pending sins follows spontaneously. Since spiritual spiritual knowledge is directly responsible for the cancellation of the pending punishments for a person’s sins, it is said to be the knowledge-fire (Jnaanaagni) that burns all sins to ashes. But the spiritual knowledge must be true without any doubt. Only then can that spiritual knowledge be claimed to be fire. This second verse has nothing to do with the internal enjoyment of both comedy and tragedy by God or a blessed soul, as mentioned above.