Purpose of Life III: How To Identify Attained Souls
In the last episode Kavi yogi had told Nimi Chakravarthy about what exactly is Bhagavata Dharma (Ref. My article `Purpose of Life Part II’)
Nimi Chakravarthy pondered over this answer for a long time and after understanding the broad features of Bhagavata Dharma, he was curious to know if one could identify a person who follows such a Dharma. This is the true nature of an inquisitive soul. Every theory or thought should be backed by examples.
Hence, his second question was: How does one identify a person who has attained or follows Bhagavatha Dharma.Kavi yogi smiled, and looked at his brother Hari, the second of the Navayogis. In his answer, Hari yogi admits at the outset itself that it is difficult to find out if a person has attained Bhagavatha Dharma only through external signs. In other words, a person who had attained Bhagavata Dharma has no special outwardly feature.
This raised the curiosity of Nimi Chakravarthy. Looking at the puzzled expression of the King, Hari yogi continued saying that it is only through a person’s words, thoughts and actions that one can identify an attained soul. His entire life is detached from this materialistic world and dedicated to the Supreme. He has no desires; Or, what is called, Karma vasana.
An attained soul’s entire life is detached from this materialistic world and dedicated to the Supreme. He has no desires; Or, what is called, Karma vasana
This does not mean that one should not have desires or run away from Karma. A person who has attained Bhagavata Dharma will not be happy or sad if his or her desire is not fulfilled. He would leave it like a straw in the wind and move on unperturbed. He or she would think that this was probably what was destined to him/her by God. So the desire is there, but the person does not jump in joy if it is attained or go into depression if it is not.
Keeping away from Karma vasana does not mean that one should run away from work or sit atop a mountain cross-legged in meditation. The true meaning is that one should do one’s Karma or work but not chase the fruit of such work. This is what is said in Bhagavad Gita too. In short, do your work with all sincerity and leave the rest to God.
Continuing the dialogue, Hari yogi says that one who follows Bhagavata Dharma does not hanker after wealth. For such an attained soul, the wealth that he has belongs to everyone.
True Bhakthi is when you tell yourself that what you are doing or saying is dedicated to the Supreme
Another sign of the person who follows Bhagavata Dharma is that he is always immersed in Bhakthi. This again does not mean that you neglect your life and keep chanting Mantras. True Bhakthi is when you tell yourself that what you are doing or saying is dedicated to the Supreme.
Be like the ocean. You can see a few ripples at the top when the ocean comes into contact with the air, but deep inside, there is calmness. An attained soul is like that. As he encounters the outside world, there would be some ripples, but deep inside him he is absolutely calm.
One might ask if there are living examples of such attained souls. Yes. I shall give three examples.
Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa was a true follower of Bhagavata Dharma. For him, there was no difference of between himself and others. He saw God in everyone and used to often break into ecstasy on seeing God in others. Seeing him for the first time, a young sceptic asked him if he was mad. Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa looked at the young man and asked him: Tell me one person in this world who is not mad; some people are mad after wealth, some after position, others after other worldly matters. I am mad, but I am mad after God. That young lad later on became Swami Vivekananda.
Another attained soul was Sri Ramana Mahirshi. It is said that he had to once undergo an operation to remove a growth. When doctors wanted to give him anaesthesia he said he does not need it. It seems he told the doctors to tell him how long it would take for the operation. When doctors told him the number of hours, he said “that is fine. I shall leave my body to you and immerse myself in the Supreme. I shall return after the operation is completed”. With these words he detached himself from the worldly body. And the operation was conducted without anaesthesia.
While the above two attained souls are well known, the third is a person probably not heard of much. His name was Pambu Govindan or snake Govindan. He lived in Guruvayoor and people say that he saw God in everyone around him. In the height of summer, he used to lie bare back on the hot stone where people used to do pradakshina in the temple. He used to smile and chant the Lord’s name. People fed him, worshipped him and sought his blessings. But Pambu Govindan was totally detached to the outside world.
‘By doing something for a noble cause you attain inner peace and elevate yourself in life. Simple steps could be that you dedicate a few hours in a week for working towards someone who needs help. It could also be charity.’
In today’s world, I agree that not all could become a Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ramana Mahirshi or Pambu Govindan, but we have the ingredients in us that could take us to the spiritual heights. Just recall what Hari yogi told Nimi Chakravarthy: That for following Bhagavatha Dharma one’s thoughts, works and actions should be dedicated to the Supreme. Supreme here need not always be a God. It could also be for a noble cause. By doing something for a noble cause you attain inner peace and elevate yourself in life. Simple steps could be that you dedicate a few hours in a week for working towards someone who needs help. It could also be charity.
By thought, what Hari yogi means is that you should be able to identify and ease the pain of atleast one person in a week; not work for your own happiness always. Lastly by action, you could again, through your deeds help people around you. Be kind, say kind words, and give everyone a smile and see that your works, thoughts and actions bring some smile from others too.
I am reminded of a small story. A man was working for a cold storage plant. He was very dedicated at work. One evening, as he was leaving the office premises, he had a doubt if he had switched off a system. So he went back to the freezer plant to check. Even as he was checking the unit, someone closed that door thinking that all the workers had left.
He shouted, banged the door, but no one answered as all the workers had left by then. Mind you, the temperature inside was – 4 degrees and the man started freezing to death. He slowly started losing consciousness when he saw a light coming towards him. He thought this must be God and that his end was near.
As the light came near him, he feebly heard someone calling his name. He was happy that God knew his name. Then a hand patted him and asked: Sir, are you fine. He could not answer as he had become unconscious.
After a few hours he gained consciousness and found himself in a warm room with a security guard near him. The guard told him of how he got himself locked accidentally and how he was rescued.
That left him puzzled. He asked the guard as to how he knew that he was locked in the freezer room.
The guard smiled and said: “Sir, every day, you are the person who wishes me good morning, you ask about my health and family. And as you leave, you give me a smile and say goodnight. Today I did not get your smile or goodnight, so I came in search of you”.A few kind words saved a life. Be kind to all and you will realise how beautiful the world around would become.
We shall go to the third question on Maya in the next episode…
Till then Hari Om!