Ram Katha London Day 5: 16/8/17

The wide ranged discourse yesterday was full of several life oriented and thought-provoking sutras. Bapu began by expressing his great pleasure at the programme on Tuesday evening, emphasising Sri Bhadrayu’s theme, regretting the loss of sense of wonder (vismaya). Bapu said that Ramcharita manas itself is full of several wonders. He promised to narrate a katha on vismaya, focussing on the sense of wonderment. Bapu’s argument was that it is better, either to understand fully or not to understand at all, and he agreed that it is extremely difficult to understand any person. If the logic fails in understanding mere humans how can logic help in discussing the supra human experiences. Out of his own experience Bapu has come to the conclusion that mere intellectualism and dry logic are the obstacles to the fuller understanding of our inner life. He made a mention of Munshi visiting Arbindo and experiencing psychic vibrations.

Upanishads have come to the conclusion that our possessions – money, power, oratory will not lead us to experience of supreme divinity, which can be experienced only by total renunciation, which leads to complete ekanta and silence (maun). Bapu quoted Rumi to say that what you are seeking is seeking you. Meaning that when you are fully prepared and qualified the divinity in the form of guru will seek you out because God never forgets those who never forget him. It’s easier to understand scriptures, it’s much more difficult to understand the feelings and the emotions which lead to tears.

Bapu then described an episode when Devaki, mother of Krishna, gave him food which he refused to eat. When Uddhav chided him for refusing to eat, Krishna said I cannot contain myself when I see dahi (yogurt) on my dish. The very sight of dahi brings all the memories of Gokul crowding in me. Bapu then argued that the world of saints is a different world, which can be understood by other saintly persons.

Krishna always responds to a call provided that there is sincerity and enough intensity in the call. Bapu said that whatever we do we should not invade on the freedom of others, he regretted that in certain religious establishments they provide educational facilities to the children but make them obey the disciplinary rules in the form of dress or rituals or external appearances. Bapu then quoted a few lines of the famous poem of Tagore, which dreams about a world without walls, where knowledge is free, where the heads are held high and words arise out of the depth of truth. In that connection Bapu insisted that each one of us has an individuality which should be preserved and which should not be destroyed by meaningless imitation.

Bapu then quoted another quote from Rumi, that we cannot open a lock if the key is facing down. We have to hold the key in the proper position to open the gates.

Bapu said that spiritual experiences are beyond logic because love cannot be explained or understood by the logical syllogism. Bapu said that Ramcharita manas has spoken about the mahima of wonderment when Shiva explained the mystery of Rama. Nobody knows either the beginning or the end of divine dispensation. All the activity of the supreme existence is beyond all explanations and all descriptions. Bapu then described an incident in Ramayana when Ram presented himself simultaneously in two different places. He said that divine does not insist upon any exclusive and special considerations. Bapu then turned to the katha of Vikrama Aditya, when a doll started telling the story of a painter who was assigned the paint a portrait of the minister’s wife. He painted the portrait with an accuracy putting a black spot on her thigh. The minister suspected infidelity of his wife and the painting and gave him the punishment of death. But a servant took mercy on the painter and saved his life. By chance the only son of that minister had gone for hunting and climbed a tree where a bear protected him from a pursuing lion. That boy betrayed the bear pushing the bear off the tree but the bear refused to take revenge. Human beings betray each other, but the animals don’t. The son of that minister, out of his fright developed stammering. The painter who was living incognito cured him and the minister pardoned him.

When Vikram Aditya asked him to explain how he could see the black spot on the thigh, the painter explained that he has got a siddhi. In that connection Bapu said that mahima is one of the siddhis, but Bapu would prefer shuddhi – purity, rather than siddhi – purity of mind, of eyes, of hearing, of speech, of intellect and of behaviour. Bapu then turned to the katha and described the marriage of Shiva, surrounded by ghosts and demons. Bapu said that we are surrounded by the demons of our own desires and dreams. The parents of Parvati could not understand the majesty of Shiva and Bapu interpreted the incident to say that we fail to recognise the god in our vicinity until a guru explains the real situation.

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