[Advaita-l] Iswara Darshanam - 6

kuntimaddi sadananda kuntimaddisada at yahoo.com
Sun Dec 8 23:43:54 CST 2013

                                                                                               Iswara Darashan-6

All religions say that God is omnipresent and the same time some say He in Heaven or He is in vAikunTa or in Kailasa. That the all-pervading Lord is in vaikunTa sounds illogical, but logic is secondary in spiritual or adhyaatmic filed. Vedanta says He himself became many; therefore he cannot but be omnipresent and He cannot be localized at any particular place other than for sAdhana or upAsana. 

In the Ishaavaasya Upanishad, in the very first sloka, after the invocation sloka, says – ishAvAsyam idagam sarvam – normally, this is translated as that Lord pervades the entire universe. Shankara explains it as – see that Lord pervades the entire universe. Whether I see or not, Lord always pervades the entire universe.  However for me to see that He pervades the world of names and forms, I should have a clear vision of this truth and for that I need both jnaanam and grace of the Lord, as has been pointed in this chapter. For those who are interested a detailed analysis of the above mantra was provided at <http://forum.advaitaforum.com/index.php?topic=225.0>. Understanding the statement is one thing, but to have that vision as one sees the external world of plurality is another. For that one needs to remove all the obstacles that obstruct the vision. This has been temporarily accomplished here by the grace of Krishna for Arjuna. Not only Arjuna,
 even Sanjaya, the commentator also saw the vision. He was blessed by the grace of vyAsa Bhagavan. Hence Iswara kRipa and/or Guru kripa is needed to have that vision. It is interesting to note that the very first name in the Vishnusahasra nAmAvali is viswam, indicating the whole universe of names and forms are the Lord Narayana himself. The second name is VishnuH, that is, He pervades the entire universe of the names and forms. Thus, both the apparent names and forms as well as the substantive that pervades the names and forms are Brahman only, since by definition there cannot be anything away from Brahman or other than Brahman. One has to gain that vision by first acquiring the sadhana chatuShTaya sampatti or four-fold qualifications that involve purification of the mind, supported by the proper teaching, which Arjuna has emphasized in the first two slokas that he has gained it by the grace of the Lord. 

Extended and Exalted Visions: 

Krishna provides a divine vision that involves, according to Swami Paramarthanandaji, two aspects; 1. Extended Vision and 2. Exalted Vision. 

We all see the world and we transact with the world day in and day out. This is our normal perceptual vision arrived at, via sense observations. Hence the capacity of the senses would come into play for the vision that we have. Without going into details of the perceptuality conditions required for the vision of the universe (these are discussed exhaustively in Vedanta Paribhasha, a critical commentary of which is available at www.advaitaforum.org), we state here is what we see as the world first depends on the capacity of our five senses, and second depends on the degree of the distortion of this perceptual universe by our individual likes and dislikes. If we have neutralized these likes and dislikes either temporarily by God’s grace or by karma and upaasana yoga, then what we see is what is there to the extent that the senses can bring. 

Exalted vision is not only seeing the world of plurality as seen by the senses but seeing the Iswara that pervades the Universe. That is the vision of a jnaani also who can see oneness that pervades the whole world of names and forms. Thus jnaana still sees the world of plurality but also sees the oneness that pervades the polarity. That is the exalted vision that Arjuna sees as he describes his vision. 

Extended vision involves not only what the five senses can see. Arjuna, describes these as he sees the worlds beyond, which is not perceptible for normal eyes. Here Arjuna sees the other worlds, the fourteen worlds as per our scriptures, as well as the presiding deities or demons that control those worlds, as part of vishwaruupa Iswara darshanam. This vision involves extra perceptible universe which cannot be perceived normally by human senses, but perhaps can be gained via special siddhis or karmas. This vision is not necessary for jnaanam or for a jnaani. This vision includes not only space beyond but also time involving the past and the future. Knowing about future is more a headache than any benefit. As Swami Chinmayanandaji says that the present is the womb of the future and taking care of the present which is in our hands is more important and it will take care of the future. What I have is present, and what I do with what I have will be my future.
 For moksha what we need is only the exalted vision not the extended vision.
We have the description of Viswaruupa Iswara first by Krishna himself, next by Sanjaya and then by Arjuna. 

Vishwa darshanam is Iswara darshanam – Scriptures say, first space is born, since that is the subtlest of all five elements – AtmAnaH AkAshaH sambhUtaH. AkAsha itself is all pervading, and is the subtlest objectifiable entity.  Lord Narayana is described normally in the sloka – viswAkAram gagana sadRisham mEghavarnam subhAngam….. He is in the form of whole universe or pervades the whole universe similar to space. Hence the body of Lord himself is like space (aakaashaH that which provides avakAsha or that which accommodates everything) containing everything in one – but now visible in infinite forms. Hence Lord says- mE rUpANi shatashOtha sahasrashaH nAnA vidhAni divyAni– hundreds of thousands of forms in many divine forms in multitude of colors (nAnA varNAkRitIni). meghavarnam is actually blue color and Lord Narayana is considered blue. For a human eye, anything that is infinite or limitless appears to be blue, even if it is not blue, ex.
 space or oceans. Hence meghavarnam or blue color of Vishnu is only to indicate that He is infinite. Etymologically also Vishnu means that which pervades everything, vyaapakatvat vishnuH. 

Krishna says you cannot see these forms with your normal eyes and for that you need wisdom-eyes or divine eyes which I give you now. Here the exalted vision is described that even jnaani can see with his wisdom eyes. Earlier Krishna has described a jnaani as the one who sees everything in Me, and Me in everything – yo maam pasyati sarvatra sarvanca mayi pasyati, which is the same as seeing himself in everything and everything in himself – sarva bhUtastam Atmaanam sarva bhUtAnica Atmani. Hence Krishna describes here that -shatashO sahasrashaH rUpAni mE pasya – hundereds of thousands of forms you can see in Me and - nAnAvidhAni divyAni and nAnAvarNAkRitIni – innumerable divine forms and multitude of colorful forms you can see in Me. 

In essence, everything that we see in this limitless universe are the verities of names and forms, and they are all part of Him only. We all experience in our life time innumerable forms and colors but yet we do not recognize these as part of Iswara. In the 10th Chapter, Krishna essentially declared that whatever you see in terms of various names and forms, that is my glory only. Here in this Chapter, 11, Krishna shows that as a fact by providing temporary wisdom-eyes.  From the bhakti point, at the most we may that it is all the beauty of His creation. However, Krishna here shows that He and the creation are not different. Seeing the whole creation right in front is seeing the Lord appearing in front. Vision of the Universe is the vision of the Lord – that is the essential point of this Chapter. To see the Lord we run to the temple, in order to see Him in particular forms that we are conditioned, but here is real vision of the Lord, in varieties of
 names and forms. He who is formless and pervades all forms, and exits in all forms can be invoked in any form. That is for upAsana or for Bhakti. However, considering that form is only God and not others will be ignorance due to not understanding the vishwa rUpa Iswara darshanam or Lord expressing in multitude of infinite names and forms. Bhakti without understanding can lead to fanaticism. Hence Krishna emphasized earlier jnaani or the one who knows this truth is the greatest bhakta, since he is always with the Lord in all his perceptions and transactions. Hence Bhagavan Ramana says – jagadaIshadhIH yukata sevanam – Consider the whole universe is Him and sever the world as though you are serving the Lord. 

Hence for the one who has not realized this fact, it is a sAdhana or vision that needs to be invoked as one perceives and transacts with the world. For a jnaani, it is a fact, as he perceives and transacts. The Iswara sRiShTi is Iswara appearing as many. Hence I do not have to close my eyes to see the Lord, as we do whenever we want to think of the Lord. Hence anything and everything that I transact with is nothing but Iswara or with Iswara. That is jnaanam and to have that vision as goal is sAdhana or spiritual discipline
Spiritual exercise:

For those who are interested here is some spiritual exercise.  As soon as I get up from the sleep, first I must visualize the presence of the Lord in me, and then see that divine presence in others close by, as well as in all things and beings that I am going to encounters throughout the day. I should pray to the Lord that I should have that Iswara dharshanam in and through all my day’s transactions. Thus my viswaruupa darshanam becomes Iswara darshanam and all my actions become prayer to that Lord appearing in various names and forms. Karma-yoga naturally follows if I keep that vision. In addition, all low tendencies such as anger, greed etc will get diminished if I keep that vision as much as possible. It essentially helps in re-tuning the mind to minimize all my raaga-dweshas or likes and dislikes during my transactions in the world, and I would have more objective vision or equanimity or what Krishna calls as sama darshanam, since I see only Iswara
 in all things and beings, appearing in verities of name and forms. However, in spite of this auto-suggestion, while I am transacting in the world, I forget the knowledge that I am transacting with Iswara in various names and forms. Hence raaga-dweshas do flare up while I am emotionally involved during the transactions. But with practice what Krishna calls as abhAsa and vairAgya the vision of Iswara becomes firm. Hence, as part of this exercise, before I go to bed, I again visualize the Iswara in me and the world of things and beings that I had encountered during the day. This way one can slowly neutralize ones raaga-dweshas and the invoked Iswara darshanam becomes a reality when this knowledge becomes firm in the mind. Krishna says, yo mam pashyati sravatra sarvatra mayi pashyati, tasyAham na praNasyAmi, sa ca me na praNashyati – those who see Me in everything and sees Me everywhere, they  are never away from Me nor I am away from them.

To be continued.

Hari Om!

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