Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 15 Aug 2006



[Krishnashtami day] Krishna is not counted in the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu as per the verse “Pari Purna Tamah Sakshat….” The Ashtapadi of Jayadeva also reveals the same. Vishnu represents the quality of Sattvam. However, if you see Krishna, He exhibited all the three qualities i.e. Sattvam, Rajas and Tamas equally. Brahma stands for Rajas and Shiva stands for Tamas. Vishnu stands for maintenance and administration of creation. Brahma is the author of the constitution of creation (Veda). Shiva is the force that punishes evil. An administrator needs the knowledge of the constitution and also the potentiality of punishment and only then will the administration be effective. Therefore in Vishnu, Brahma and Shiva are hidden. The Veda says that Vishnu is Brahma and Shiva (Brahmacha…, Shivashcha…), which means that the administrator must be a Scholar of the constitution (Brahma) and also the Controller of the disturbing forces (Shiva). Thus each one of the three divine forms (Trimurtis) possesses all the three qualities equally. The expressed quality is the predominating one. The other two qualities are hidden and are expressed whenever the proper context comes. Anger and killing are Rajas and Tamas. The incarnations of Vishnu as Matsya, Varaha, Narasimha, Parashurama and Kalki are involved in destruction of evil forces. The main aim of even Rama and Krishna was the same. Only Buddha stands for Satvam. Therefore, the devotees of Vishnu should not neglect Brahma and Shiva.

In the divine energetic form, Lord Datta has all the three faces expressed, which means that all the three qualities are equally expressed. The three faces only represent this concept for the human beings. The human incarnation of God is Datta because Datta means God ‘given’ [to the souls] through some convenient medium. In human incarnations, the three faces [shown in pictorial representations of Lord Datta] do not exist. The three faces only indicate that all the three qualities are equally expressed. Krishna expressed all the three qualities equally in His life so that all types of people approached Him and became close to Him. After becoming close, due to the similar proportion of the three qualities, the Lord tried to uplift such people. If you want to stop a running bull, you have to catch it and run along with it for a few steps and only then can you control it. To transform a soul, you have to become close with it and show a similar ratio of the three qualities as possessed by the soul. Only then can you preach to the soul and divert it to the right path. Krishna was approached by sages as a great scholar of philosophy since He preached the Gita (Sattvam). He was approached closely by kings associated with wars (Rajas). He attracted the illiterate Gopikas through dancing, singing by flute and stealing butter etc. (Tamas). Thus He attracted the souls from all corners of creation. Therefore He is a perfect example of the three-faced Datta. Hence He is called as the most fullest incarnation (Pari Purna Tama). ‘Pari’ and ‘Tama’ are double superlative degrees.

The word Krishna means attraction. This means that He has attracted all types of people to the fullest extent in order to uplift them. This shows the climax of divine love. Therefore, the human form and the similar qualities in the human form are the two convenient factors for the human beings to approach the Lord intensely.

Father, Mother, Son and Daughters

Jesus claimed Himself as the Son of God. In fact any human incarnation is a Son of God. If the human incarnations are Sons of God, what about the other human beings in this creation? They are the daughters of God. What is the difference and similarity between a son and a daughter? The similarity is that both the son and the daughter are the issues of the father and mother. Similarly the human incarnation and the human being have the same parents and similar birth. The difference between the Son and the Daughter is that the Son is a male like the Father and the daughter is a female like the mother. Here God is the Divine Father. The power of God which is in the form of creation (Prakriti) is the Divine Mother. Thus both the human incarnation and the human being, are created by the will of God and by the body given by the Divine Mother. Therefore the human incarnation and the human being have the same human bodies with the same five elements. The will of God is the sperm of the Father that entered the womb of the Mother secretly. The Gita says the same (Tasmin Garbham Dadhamyaham). It appears as if only the mother has delivered the child because the union of the father with the mother is a secret. Similarly, it appears as if children [all souls] are produced from [human] parents, who constitute only the Divine Mother (Prakriti; nature or energy). Without the will of God, a child cannot be born and the will of God is secret.

Now the human being is a replica of the mother. This means that the human being consists only of the structure of the mother in toto. The structure of the father is not seen in the daughter. The awareness (soul) is only a part of creation (Prakriti) and is called as Para Prakriti [higher nature] (Prakritim Viddhi Me Param—Gita). The external body and the subtle body (Gunas or Antahkaranams) constitute another part of creation called as Apara Prakriti [lower nature]. In fact the awareness itself is another Antahkaranam [internal or mental faculty] called as Chittam that stores knowledge. Under the Apara Prakriti, only three Antahkaranams are told in the Gita. Therefore Chittam, the awareness which stores knowledge must be Para Prakriti. Therefore the human being is just a photograph or a duplicate of Prakriti or Mother.

If you analyze the son, the body of the son has also come from the womb of the same mother but it contains an extra item that is the male structure of the father. Similarly in the human incarnation, all the items of the human being (which are categorized as Para and Apara) exist with an additional item which is God (The Divine Father). The son has a human body like the daughter from the womb of the mother but has an extra structure of the Father. Similarly the human incarnation is a human being and God joined together. This extra structure of God does not exist in all the human beings. This is the meaning of the ‘Son of God’ as told by Jesus. Similarly Krishna was a human incarnation having the contribution from both the Mother and the Father. He refers to the aspect of God (Ajopisan…) and also to the aspect of Mother (Prakritim svam…). Thus the human incarnation is a two in one system. Generally, He acts like His sisters in respecting the Mother by following all the rules of nature. Only on rare occasions does He behave like the Father and controls the Mother for which the Mother will not misunderstand Him.

The creation is compared to a female and the Creator is compared to a male. The creation is controlled by the Creator. Generally, the female is controlled by the male. Following this convention, the concept is represented accordingly. Goddess Lakshmi is shown pressing the feet of the Lord Narayana as a servant. Here some people misunderstand this as male domination. Actually since male domination existed in nature, the concept was represented like that. This does not mean that the concept supports male domination. Even in the ancient tradition, there used to be some cases of female domination over males. According to that tradition God is represented by the female or Parashakti whose throne is carried by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva on their shoulders. Shankara praises God in female form in Soundarya Lahari in which it is stated that Brahma creates the universe from the dust of Her lotus feet; Vishnu carries it on His head and Shiva powders it and applies it on His body as ash. (Taniyamsam Pamsum…). Here God is in the female-medium and the souls are in the mediums of males. Here Vishnu represents the soul and Adi Parashakti represents God. Therefore the domination of male or female is not the point here, which may vary from case to case. But the domination of God over souls is the reality that is to be represented. Rama is God and Sita is the soul. Suppose two females or two males act as Rama and Sita on the stage, the domination of Rama over Sita on the stage should not be disturbed [it should follow the script]. The domination of anyone over the other behind the screen is not at all considered on the stage. Even if the dominating male acts as Sita and the submissive female acts as Rama, the domination of Rama over Sita on the stage is inevitable. Therefore the human incarnation, whether male or female is the master and the human beings whether males or females are the servants. When the human incarnation of Durga appeared to kill Mahishasura, Durga was female and Mahishasura was male. You cannot give victory to Mahishasura since he is male and defeat to Durga since She is female. Let the dominations and suppressions of males and females be restricted only to the human beings as social problems and let them not enter and pollute spiritual concepts.

Similar is the case of the caste system. Krishna, the human incarnation was a non-Brahmin. The sages who were Brahmins prostrated to Krishna. Even today Brahmin priests are washing the feet of the statue of Krishna and drinking the washings as holy water (Teertham). Rama was a non-Brahmin but Ravana was a Brahmin. Rama was the hero who was God. Ravana was the villain who was a demon. Because of their caste, the hero and villain cannot be interchanged. Some human incarnations such as Datta, Vamana, Parashurama and Kalki are Brahmins. Some others such as Rama, Krishna and Buddha are non-Brahmins. Therefore the important thing is that the human incarnation is the master, other human beings are His servants. The caste system has no relevance in the spiritual field. Ravana was a male and a Brahmin. The Gopikas were women and belonged to the backward caste. Yet the Gopikas were given Goloka which is the top most heaven while Ravana was thrown into hell. Even if you consider Jaya as the real actor in the role of Ravana, he became only the gatekeeper of the Lord. Therefore even among devotees the concept of male or female or the concept of caste system does not exist; all that exists is their devotion proved by sacrifice.

The Gopikas proved their devotion by sacrificing butter (wealth), their Dharma, their children and finally they even sacrificed their lives by jumping into fire when Krishna left the human body, even though their husbands were alive! See the quality of devotion of the Gopikas who were women of backward caste! See the state of Ravana who was male and a Brahmin! He desired for the wife of the Lord! He could not recognize Rama who was the human incarnation at that time and neglected Him as an ordinary human being. Ravana was a great scholar of the Vedas and the Shastras. The four Vedas and the six Shastras represent the ten heads of Ravana. He did unimaginable penance. He believed only in the energetic forms of God in the upper worlds. He never gave importance to the human race. He thought that he was God due to the super powers attained by Him.

Sudama was a male and a Brahmin but he had stolen the part of the parched rice meant to be given to Lord Krishna while both were students. Sudama was punished with severe poverty for that sin. Therefore Lord Krishna proved that there is no caste or gender for Him except the proved devotion which is sacrifice. The Veda says that all the souls are only females (daughters) and God is the only male or Purusha (Atha Purusho ha vai Narayanah, Striyah Satih Taume Pumsa ahuh—Veda). However if you call the soul as Purusha based on the root meaning [of the word Purusha] as the soul or awareness lying in the body (Puri sete iti), then God is called as Purushottama meaning that He is the best soul due to the extra presence of God. In fact the word Purushottama means the human incarnation. The best soul is also a soul. The human incarnation is also a human being. The best soul is also different from all the souls by some extraordinary point i.e. the extra existence of God in Him. In the human incarnation, God exists beyond the perishable external gross body and also beyond the internal permanent Jeevatma (causal body with the subtle body which means the awareness with its waves). This is clearly stated in the Gita while explaining the word Purushottama (Prathitah Purushottamah).

The human incarnation is a replica of the Divine Father. God is the Divine Father and controls the creation (Mother). The creation is represented by female and God as male, based on the ancient Indian tradition in which the female is always under the control of the male. Manusmruti says that the the female is controlled by the father in her childhood, by the husband in her youth and by the son in her old age. Brahma, who created this creation, controls it like the Father. Vishnu, who maintains creation, controls it like a husband. When the creation comes to its end (old age), Shiva controls it like a Son. But what about the Son who is a replica of God i.e., the human incarnation? The Son having the aspect of God is also the controller of the Mother. But the Son also has the other aspect of the human body that is delivered by the Mother. Therefore He always respects the Mother and when a rare occasion comes, He shows His male character and controls the Mother. But such an occasion is very rare and therefore the mother will not misunderstand Her Son. The same God having the male character controls creation representing the female character at all times as the Father, as the Husband and as a Son. Therefore the human incarnation always behaves as an obedient Son of the Mother following all the rules of nature.

Krishna never showed any super power throughout the eighteen days of the Mahabharata war. He was following the rules of Prakriti like an obedient Son. When a rare and inevitable occasion came to protect Arjuna, He hid the Sun by His Maya and created a false sunset. This is violation of nature but the Mother will not misunderstand Him. She knows that Her Son is in need of that violation since it is inevitable. She co-operates with Her Son. Thus the human incarnation is liked by both the Father and Mother. Whenever the human incarnation exhibits super powers, the nature also co-operates like a Mother with Her Son. Thus it is not treated as a violation of nature. Nature is not insulted here. Whenever there is a necessity of a miracle, it occurs spontaneously because nature also co-operates with the Son in the divine program.

Even God does not like to violate the rules of creation. Therefore the power of violation of the natural rules (Maya) is kept with the God alone (Mayinam tu Maheshwaram—Gita). God as the Father or as the Husband or as the Son does not like to disturb the independent status of nature. The world is separated from God as an object of entertainment with its own individuality. God gives equal status to nature (Prakritim Purushamchaiva—Gita). Same is the case with the Son of God. He has the power of Maya limited to Himself and does not like to exhibit it for name and fame. No Son will insult His Mother for His own name and fame; similarly, the Father or Husband towards the daughter or wife respectively. When a situation of emergent requirement comes, [and He violates the rules of nature] even the Mother, Daughter, or Wife will not misunderstand Him for the violation and in will fact co-operate with Him. This is the difference between the human incarnation and the human being with regard to exhibiting super powers. The demon always exhibits super powers and insults the Mother for his fame and supremacy. The Mother will finally insult him in such a way that he is completely destroyed. Here also, the attitude is not revenge but only the transformation of the soul. In Lord Krishna’s childhood, He exhibited a series of miracles continuously because they were cases of absolute pressing emergency. His own life was under threat. If He had not saved His own life, He could not have implemented the divine program for which He had come down.

Atma and Paramatma Yoga

Even if the human incarnation is not recognized and not served, God will feel happy if the souls are happy. The father feels happy if the children are settled and peacefully living with happiness, even if they are not recognizing and serving Him when He comes to their house. Therefore God will not misunderstand you if you do not recognize and serve Him when He comes to your world in human form. He will feel happy if you are living with happiness. Therefore, He thinks about the ways by which you will be settled and live with happiness. He will not mention about your duty to serve Him when you are disturbed in this world. Arjuna was greatly disturbed on the battlefield and therefore the Lord started teaching him only with self-attainment (Atma Yoga), which is the way to attain happiness and peace. He did not start teaching him about sacrifice or service to God (Paramatma Yoga). When the child is disturbed, it needs help from the parents in the form of sacrifice of work or sacrifice of wealth. Initially the parents help the child by doing both these but it cannot be done forever. As the child grows, he or she has to stand on his or her own feet and settle down in life. Only after the child has settled down in life do the parents expect the child to serve them. Similarly the soul has to attain peace and happiness by standing on its own feet and this is the subject matter of the second chapter of the Gita in which self-sufficiency is to be achieved without any dependence.

In the Atma Yoga, of the second chapter of the Gita, the Lord taught about self-realization which is the attainment of peace and happiness with the self-effort. When the issues are well-settled in life they are expected to serve the parents by sacrificing work (karma samnyasa) and by sacrificing the fruit of work (karma phala tyaga). The parents are not in need of any wealth. Still they are the owners of the property. They are happy only if your love towards them is proved through the above-mentioned practical sacrifice. Similarly the Lord is not in need of your service. The Lord desires to taste your love for Him and feels happy through such sacrifice. In fact you are earning today only due to the sacrifice of parents. Similarly all your wealth belongs to the Lord alone. But the dualism is maintained [dualism that your wealth is your own and is different from the Lord’s] because the taste of love exists only in the ignorance which is dualism. You have earned some money. The flesh of your body that is working is from your mother. The talent by which you are earning is from the wealth of your father. If you realize this and serve the parents, there is no real taste of love. Similarly when the parents also realize that truth, they cannot enjoy the taste of your love for them either. They can enjoy the love of their children only when they think that the children are sacrificing their hard-earned money in the parents’ service. Similarly, if the parents think that the earnings of the children are only due to their help, they cannot enjoy the real love. Therefore, the real love is enjoyed only in the ignorance (Avidya). But if the children became ungrateful, then the parents have to educate them with the truth (Vidya). The Lord says in the Gita that both Vidya and Avidya are created by Him only which are meaningful in their own contexts (Mattah Smrutir…). Thus the Lord preached the Atma Yoga in the beginning which is the attainment of peace and happiness by self-realization and only then proceeded to Paramatma Yoga which is the field of service and sacrifice to the Lord after settlement in one’s life. If the Gita stops with the second chapter, the story ends with Atma Yoga alone which is the settlement in the life of the children. If the story stops there, it would be the Gita preached to the ungrateful ghosts and demons. Therefore, the other sixteen chapters of the Gita concentrated on Paramatma Yoga which is the sacrifice and service to the God when He comes to this world of human beings in human form. But if you see the stories of human incarnations, it is the same as that of parents visiting the houses of their well-settled children. The behaviour of the children towards their parents proves worse than the nature of even wild animals. Jesus was crucified! Krishna was shot dead! Shankara was killed by black magic!

Krishna saved the prestige of Pandavas by creating saris in infinite number when their wife was forced to become naked in a full courtroom. There cannot be a better help for the Pandavas than this and even their achieving their lost kingdom with the help of Krishna was not equal to this. But when Krishna wanted to kill Gaya, Arjuna and the other Pandavas came to fight with Krishna just for the sake of their prestige. This is the case of egoism of human beings. Human beings cannot sacrifice everything for the sake of the Lord. They have certain limitations. But the Gopikas sacrificed everything including their lives for the sake of the Lord. Generally the human beings do spiritual business with God and are not for spiritual education. A school is a centre of education and a shop is a centre of business. There are many shops but few schools. The majority wants business and the minority wants education. You are sacrificing your work and wealth to achieve the fruit in the spiritual business. The fruit you receive from business is never permanent because you have to go to the shop again and again to purchase the commodity. In education also, service to the preacher (sushrusha) and the sacrifice of wealth (Guru Dakshina) is done as in the case of any business but here, the fruit is permanent. Once you have acquired knowledge and come out, the knowledge stays with you permanently. You need not go to school again and again as in the case of the shop. Business is referred to in the Gita (Parasparam Bhavayantah). Education is also mentioned (Tat Viddhi Pranipatena). Preachers should become the centers of spiritual education. They should not become centers of spiritual business like priests and astrologers.

Essence of the Gita

The essence of the Gita should be understood on this day, which is the real celebration of Lord Krishna’s birthday. The birthday was for His body or the medium into which God entered. God has no birth. When He is in the human body, He becomes one with it and thus the devotees who desire to see Him can see Him. They can touch Him, they can talk with Him, and they can live with Him. These are called as the four rare fortunes (Bhagya Chatustaya). When God and the medium become one, God has birth from the point of the medium and has no birth from the point of God. The monism [individual being identical to the Lord] or Advaita is only in the case of the human incarnation and not in the case of human being. There is no context of Advaita in a human being because there is only one item which is the medium. In the human incarnation, there are two items (God and medium) and therefore the concept of Advaita [identity between the two] arises. Advaita means ‘not two’. When there is only one item, where is the context of ‘not two’? When it is simply a wire, it is called as a wire. When electric current flows in it, the debate comes whether such a wire can be treated as current or current and wire separately. In this context only we can say that the wire and current are one and the same since they cannot be isolated. This cannot be extended to the non-electric wire.

Even an atheist can take Atma Yoga from the Gita and be peaceful and happy in His life (Pravritti). This is common to both atheist and theist. Unless you are settled in your life, you cannot serve your parents. Therefore Shankara came initially and stressed on this universal concept. Ramanuja and Madhva came and stressed on Paramatma Yoga which is the service to be done to the parents as your duty. There is no need of aspiring for any fruit in return for your service and sacrifice to your parents because your body, knowledge etc. are only from your parents. Similarly, you should not aspire for anything in return from God for your sacrifice and service to Him. Business can be done with your colleague-souls. The angels are also souls in energetic bodies. Therefore business was indicated in the Gita between human beings and angels. But the position of God is not the position of the soul even though He appears as a soul in the human incarnation. Parents and other human beings appear in the same form but you can do business with outsiders and not with the parents. This is the essence of the Gita. Krishna is Datta with the three qualities as the faces and gave the Gita to humanity. The same God, Datta, came as Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma in the forms of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva. Thus the Gita is the original text like Datta and the three commentaries are like the three isolated divine forms of the same Datta, suitable to various stages of human beings having the three qualities in the spiritual effort. Satvam is knowledge, Rajas is action, and Tamas is determination. Knowledge should lead to action or practice. The practice should not be disturbed by any force and that is determination. All the three are essential for the spiritual effort. One need not bother about these qualities in the spiritual path because all these three are created by God to help the spiritual aspirant. As long as there is no disturbance in the balance of the society, God does not bother about your qualities which are like the different colours of three cups. The material present in the cup which is the proved love towards God is only valid according to God. The Lord has told in the Gita, to rise above these three qualities in the spiritual path (Nistraigunyo Bhavarjuna).