Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 30 Nov 2004

     

CHARACTERISTIC SIGNS

A person took some food to give it to a cow. A cow, a donkey, a dog and a cat were present there. He asked, “Which is the cow?” The cow replied “I am the cow”. The person thought that that animal claimed to be the cow due to its ambition to get the food. Therefore, even if you speak the truth you have to see the psychology of the person who is hearing you. The cow said “Recognize the cow by its special characteristic which is the loose skin that hangs below the neck. No other animal will have it.” The person thought that the animal is very intelligent and cunning to give such an identifying sign. The cow should tell him about this identifying sign by referring to the scriptures like this, “The Shastras say that the cow alone has the special loose skin hanging below its neck (Sasnavateegouh)”. The person was then satisfied because the special sign to identify the cow is mentioned in the Shastra (scriptures). Using it he recognized the cow and gave the food to it.

Therefore when the Lord comes in human form, He will not say directly that He is the Lord. If He were to say so, immediately human beings would suspect and doubt Him thinking that He is being is egoistic. But if the Lord in human form says that He is not the Lord, people will immediately believe it. People never believe a fellow human being to be the Lord. They will never agree to recognize a particular person as the Lord. Moreover several people claim to be the Lord. Then who is really the Lord? One must use the identifying signs mentioned in the Veda in order to recognize the Lord. If one is not the Lord and tells the truth, it is good.

Man does not have any standard. His faith changes from one minute to another. He is a mixture of the qualities of several animals, because he was created after the animals. A fox will remain a fox forever; similarly a tiger or a goat. But man becomes a tiger in one minute and a fox in the next minute and a combination of a tiger and a fox in the next minute. The proportion of the nature of fox and tiger varies from time to time. Therefore the animals can be believed but not man. A demon remains as a demon throughout his life. An angel always remains as an angel. But a man is a mixture of good and bad qualities. The Gita says the same (Anishtamistam misramcha). Arjuna fell at the feet of Lord Krishna and begged Him to preach the truth. Lord Krishna preached that He was the Lord. The Lord was very kind and revealed the truth. He did not want to give any further trouble to Arjuna by making him search and identify the human incarnation by following the Vedic identifying signs. If He had let Arjuna search on His own, Arjuna might have been misled. Therefore the Lord avoided putting Arjuna through this trouble and told him that He (Krishna) Himself was the Lord. But Arjuna doubted His words and asked Lord Krishna to show Him the Vishwarupam to prove that He was indeed the Lord. The Lord showed the Vishwarupam but Arjuna did not believe completely because he knew that even devils could show miracles.

Arjuna participated as a servant of the Lord in the war to destroy evil people. But when Abhimanyu died, he withdrew himself from the war. This shows that Arjuna fought (selfishly) to get back his own kingdom so that he could pass it on to his son. On the eighteenth day of the war, Krishna asked him to get down from the chariot. But Arjuna asked Krishna to get down first because Krishna was the driver of the chariot and the driver of the chariot should get down before the master of the chariot. This shows that Arjuna did not completely realize Krishna as the Lord. Neither Arjuna nor the Pandavas sacrificed their kingdom (fruit of the war) to the Lord. Therefore their sons were killed and only then did they realize the truth.

Lord Krishna preached the Gita to Arjuna and finally told Arjuna “You analyze what I have told you and do whatever you like”. He gave the freedom to Arjuna. Still Arjuna did not realize because Krishna told him again and again that He was the Lord. Krishna should have told the Vedic statements, which are useful to identify the Lord. Thus the Gita shows the possibility of such a misunderstanding, if the Lord in the human form says that He is the Lord. Recognizing the Lord in human form is Jnana Yoga (knowledge). Sacrifice of the fruit of your work to the Lord is Bhakti Yoga. Sacrifice of work to the Lord is karma yoga. The Gopikas, who sacrificed butter to the Lord, without even giving it to their children, are the best examples of Bhakti Yoga. Hanuman is the best example of karma yoga, who avoided family life and getting children by remaining a celibate monk, for the sake of the Lord. Recognition of the Lord in human form was done by both Hanuman and the Gopikas and that is Jnana Yoga. They never worshipped any statue instead of the Lord in human form; this is clearly seen from the Valmiki Ramayana and Vyasa’s Bhagavatam.

Arjuna only acted as if he did karma samnyasa. Arjuna was also called ‘Nara’ meaning the human being. The present people also do the same thing. They hide their blind love for their families in their heart and act as if they love God. They take the help of the Lord as Arjuna took the help of the Lord in the war. As Arjuna got the kingdom, people get benefits in this world. As Arjuna wanted to give the kingdom only to his children and not to the Lord, present day people also try to give all those benefits to their children only and not to the Lord. The Lord is Omniscient and knows what is behind every outward action of the devotee. There is no use of making a show of applying sacred ash on the forehead. Instead, the white light of knowledge from the ‘third eye’ (eye of knowledge) should spread on the forehead. The third eye of the knowledge-fire should glow instead of the red mark of kumkum applied by devotees on the forehead. One should leave ignorance and should be surrounded by divine knowledge. There is no use of leaving ordinary clothes and wearing saffron silk clothes. You can please the Lord only by the sacrifice of work and by the sacrifice of the fruit of work. The Lord is recognized by His special knowledge, which creates love and bliss in our hearts. He will not show miracles for cheap exhibition. This is the Jnana Yoga explained in the Vedas.

Unmanifest Becomes Manifest

The Lord is not modified into the human body like milk changing into curd. The Lord only enters the human body like the electric current entering a wire. The Lord is beyond even your imagination and is called ‘avyakta’ (unmanifest). He cannot be achieved by any human effort. But the kind Lord enters the human body and comes down as a human incarnation. The Gita says the same (Manusheem tanumasritam, Avyaktam vyaktim apannam). This incarnate Lord can be seen and touched. You can talk with Him and live with Him. The Lord is only in two states:

  1. Avyakta (unmanifest): He cannot be touched even by imagination.
  2. Vyakti (manifest): He enters a human body and pervades all over the human body.

In between these two states there is no state in which the Lord is available. All this creation is only a modification of His power called ‘Maya’. By touching the Maya you cannot touch Him. The base of Maya is the Lord; like the person in the shirt. By touching the shirt you cannot touch Him. The sacred thread worn by priests consists of three strings, which means that you must catch the human form of the Lord, which is made of the three qualities. Maya is His mind and the world is the modification of His mind. Neither the world nor Maya, which is the power pervading all over the universe, can give you the touch of the Lord. The threads of the shirt are like the Maya. The wrinkles of the shirt are the various items of this world.

You cannot say that the Lord as avyakta (unmanifest) is formless. He is beyond your imagination and you cannot say whether He has form or not. The formless power is Maya, which is modified into various forms of the world. People who meditate upon the all-pervading power are only touching the Maya and not the Lord who is the base of Maya.

Secret of Miracles

The whole universe itself is a miracle, which is the modification of His mind called Maya. The mind is His energy or power. This power is the substance that pervades all over the world. This Maya (mind) is the water and all the objects of the world are only waves in this Maya. Since the Maya is inseparable from the Lord, you can say that the Lord (Brahman) is modified into the world. When you are day-dreaming and you imagine a dream-city, you are not modified into the city. Only your mind is modified. As your mind changes, so does the dream-city. Therefore according to Maya, anything can take place in this world. The Maya is under the full control of the Lord. The wish of the Lord itself is Maya. All the miracles are only the wishes of the Lord. The Lord may wish to follow certain rules, in such case, there is no miracle. But when the Lord wishes to break some rules, a miracle happens. Therefore miracles are not the real characteristic signs of the Lord and the power to do them is transferable from the Lord to anybody. The miracles are only associated characteristics of the Lord like ornaments or jewels. The Lord may exhibit His jewels or may remove and hide them. Lord Krishna exhibited miracles and Lord Rama did not exhibit. A cow should be recognized only by the characteristic loose skin hanging below its neck, which is not present in the case of any other animal. Similarly the Lord must be recognized only by His characteristic signs like Jnana, Prema and Ananda (knowledge, love and bliss). If you recognize the cow by a cow-bell hung in its neck, it is not the correct sign. The cow-bell could be put around the neck of even a donkey. The donkey cannot be the cow. The donkey can never have the loose skin hanging below its neck which is the characteristic of the cow. Therefore the Lord in human form can be recognized only by the special knowledge (Prajnanam) given by Him as said in the Veda. Such Prajnanam alone can generate love and bliss in your hearts. But the miracles are useful to distinguish the Lord from an ordinary scholar. A scholar may also generate a trace of love and bliss and may be sometimes misunderstood to be the Lord. Sometimes the scholar may also perform some miracles. Ravana was a scholar and also performed the miracles. But his knowledge could never generate infinite love and infinite bliss in the heart of anybody. Therefore the true and infinite knowledge that generates infinite love and infinite bliss in your heart is the only characteristic sign of the Lord. You can also decide the Lord by the miracles, which are performed only whenever there is a real necessity. Ravana performed miracles for cheap exhibition. Lord Rama changed the stone into ‘Ahalya’ and also broke the bow of Lord Shiva. He also removed the pride of Parashurama. All these are miracles performed by Rama were done with dignity and only when they were absolutely necessary.