Category Archives: 1.15 Pandavas’ Departure

Reaction to the News of Krishna’s Passing Away

When Kuntī heard the terrible news from her son, Arjuna, she immediately ceased her material existence with undeviating and nakedly soulful divine love for the transcendent All-Attractive.

King Yudhiṣṭhira was very troubled about the road taken by the All-Attractive and the destruction of the Yadu family. Deeply lonesome, he made up his mind to follow the same road himself.

Sometimes one uses a thorn to take out a thorn, and in the end throws both away. Similarly, the Unborn took a body to remove the burdens of the world and then discarded both. Like a magician, he takes the forms of a fish and so on. Then, when they have relieved the burdens of the world, those forms disappear.

The form of the All-Attractive Liberator is the subject of spiritual discussion and celebration. When it disappeared, right then and there Kali appeared, causing ill-fortune and underdevelopment of the mind and intellect.

Yudhiṣṭhira could already sense the Kali-serpent crawling into his city and state, into his home and even into his own person. He saw greed, falsehood, trickery, violence and so on forming a wheel of immorality. So, he made ready to leave.

He educated his grandson to be as qualified as him, and enthroned him to reign in the Capitol as the emperor of all the earth bordered by the seas. Then he made Vajra the king of Śūrasena, in Mathurā. Having fulfilled his duties as a householder, he became capable to follow the inner fire.

Letting go of everything like his exquisite clothing and jewelry, he became without a sense of “mine” and without selfishness. He completely cut off unlimited relationships to this world. He became silent – sacrificing all his words into his mind. He stilled his mind, sacrificing it into his breath. He pressed that breath downward into death and sacrificed it into the five elements.  The five he wisely sacrificed to the triplicate, and that into the singular. All of these together as one self he sacrificed into the spiritual self, which is inexhaustible.[1]

Then he dressed in rags, stopped eating, speaking, and caring for his appearance; and he began to see his spiritual form. He did not listen to anyone or anything. Like an uncultured and insane demon, he waited for nothing and relied on no-one.  He set out went northward, following the great souls who had gone before him for the same reasons. With no concept of time he went forward rapt in meditation upon the supreme spirit within his heart.

All his brothers decisively followed him, having seen that the immorality of Kali-yuga had embraced the relations of all the people of earth. They had done everything saintly and accomplished everything worldly. They knew the ultimate destination and origin of the soul. So, their minds always embraced the lotus-like feet of The Tranquil.

This singular loving meditation liberated them into completely pure transcendental consciousness and carried them to their destination: Nārāyaṇa’s feet. They attained what is unattainable: Cleansed of the pollution of temporary, unreal, exploitive self-concepts, they went to the place beyond the Viraja River without changing their identities.[2]

Uncle Vidura also completely renounced his material self, in a place called Prabhāsa. His thoughts like clothes wrapped around Kṛṣṇa, he went to his own station surrounded by the Pitṛ.[3]

Queen Draupadī too, fully aware that her husbands would no longer take care of her, gave her undivided attention to the All-Attractive son of Vasudeva, and went to him.

Blessing

If you are interested in this story about how those who are dear to the All-Attractive departed for their ultimate destination, you will become pure and fortunate just by listening to it, and you too will attain perfected divine love for Hari.


[1] When death claims the body, it recycles it by breaking it down into the chemical components that form it. There are five categories of components: called earth (solids), water (liquids), fire (energies), air (gasses), and ether (space). The five elemental components are products of a “triplicate:” three types of energy that produces material phenomena. These three are sattva, rajas, and tamas. These three energies come from a singular substance, called mahat, a “singularity.” The singularity comes from consciousness, which is infinite.

[2] The world of Nārāyana is a place of absolute spiritual consciousness beyond the river “Viraja” (a flow of “passions” which contaminate consciousness towards selfishness). Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers had already cleansed themselves of all such selfish conceptions; therefore they crossed the river without further transformations. They entered the spiritual sky with their same pure identities as Yudhiṣṭhira, etc.

[3] Vidura was an incarnation of Yāma, the god of death. After finishing his term as Vidura he returned to his place among the exalted deceased (the Pitṛ) and resumed his responsibilities as Yāma. But as a result of his tenure as Vidura, his consciousness was now completely wrapped around Krishna.

 

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Transcending Death

41-42

He sacrificed his words and everything into his mind, and that into his life breath. He pressed that breath downward into death and sacrificed that into his five elements.  The five he wisely sacrificed to the triplicate, and that into the singular. All of these together as one self he sacrificed into the spiritual self, which is inexhaustible.

For a bear, the first part of hibernation is to withdraw into a cave. For a turtle, the first part of winter’s sleep is to withdraw its head and limbs into its shell. For a human, the first part of absolute renunciation is to mentally and emotionally withdraw oneself from the world step by step.

The self extends into the world step by step, and we can withdraw it along the same route in reverse. The withdrawal begins with all of the physical activities we perform with our senses. “Sacrificing these into the mind” means stopping all those activities and giving their energy to the mind. Next, we take all the contemplations, opinions, and desires of the mind and grind them all to a halt. The energy released by halting the ever-wandering mind is then placed into our life’s breath. Then we push the life’s breath downward, allowing death to begin taking claim of our body. When death claims the body, it recycles it by breaking it down into the chemical components that form it. There are five categories of components: called earth (solids), water (liquids), fire (energies), air (gasses), and ether (space).

The five elemental components are products of a “triplicate:” three types of energy that produces material phenomena. These three are sattva, rajas, and tamas. To fully relinquish ownership of our body, and go beyond an ordinary death we must consciously give the five components of our body back to the three energies that produced them. These three energies come from a singular substance, called mahat, which more or less is identical to the singularity that the majority of modern astronomers present as being the original source of everything in the universe. To transcend death we must further give the three energies back to the source from which we obtained them: the singularity.

Beyond the singularity is consciousness!

Thus the next phase of mental preparation for transcendence is to end the singularity by giving it back to the conscious self. The conscious self is not the ultimate root of being. There root of the conscious self is the All-Conscious Self. The final stage of dedication to transcendence is to give every energy that has been amalgamated into the conscious self and dedicate all of it fully to the All-Conscious Self, which is avyaye (inexhaustible) and therefore the original root of emanations.

Yudhiṣṭhira performed this mental dedication after fulfilling all his worldly responsibilities and duties and before taking any external dress or behavior of a renunciate.

43

Dressed in rags, not eating, binding his words, unbinding his hair, he began to see his spiritual form. Like an uncultured insane demon, he waited for and relied on no one and nothing. He listened to no one, as if he was deaf.

44

He went north, following the great souls who had gone before him for the same reasons. With no concept of time he went forward rapt in meditation upon the supreme spirit within his heart.

45-46

All his brothers decisively followed him, having seen that the immorality of Kali-yuga had embraced the relations of all the people of earth. They had done everything saintly and accomplished everything worldly. They knew the ultimate destination and origin of the soul. So, their minds always embraced the lotus-like feet of The Tranquil.

The chances of succeeding in premature absolute renunciation are exceedingly slim. That narrow margin is navigated only by those whose past lives are exceptional and rare. For the vast, vast majority of us, renunciation cannot be truly embraced without first fulfilling all our worldly responsibilities and thus exercise all our worldly desires in a way that simultaneously exorcises them.

The purpose of renunciation is to dedicate the soul into the all-soul, as explained previously in describing how Yudhiṣṭhira prepared himself for renunciation. The result of such dedication is that the soul is always rapt in loving embrace with the all-soul. Thus Sūta describes Yudhiṣṭhira as being rapt in such embrace in the core of his being, and here describes the contemplations of his brothers as constantly rapt in an embrace with vaikuṇṭha-caraṇāmbuja, the lotus-like feet of The Tranquil.

The Tranquil is a name for the spiritual Viṣṇu, Nārāyaṇa – who generates an atmosphere which is absolutely devoid of worry and anxiety.

47-48

That meditation of divine love liberated them into completely pure transcendental consciousness. This singular contemplation took them to the destination: Nārāyaṇa’s feet. They attained what is unattainable. Cleansed of the pollution of temporary, unreal, exploitive self-concepts, they went to the place beyond the Viraja River without changing their identities.

The world of Nārāyana is a place of absolute spiritual consciousness beyond the river “Viraja” (a flow of “passions” which contaminate consciousness towards selfishness). Yudhiṣṭhira and his brothers had already cleansed themselves of all such selfish conceptions, therefore they crossed the river without further transformations. They entered the spiritual sky with their same pure identities as Yudhiṣṭhira, etc.

49

Vidura also completely renounced his material self, in a place called Prabhāsa. His thoughts like clothes wrapped around Kṛṣṇa, he went to his own station surrounded by the Pitṛ.

Vidura was an incarnation of Yāma, the god of death. After finishing his term as Vidura he returned to his place among the exalted deceased (the Pitṛ) and resumed his responsibilities as Yāma. But as a result of his tenure as Vidura, his consciousness was now completely wrapped around Kṛṣṇa.

50

Draupadī too, fully aware that her husbands would not take care of her, gave her undivided attention to the All-Attractive son of Vasudeva, and went to him.

51

He who is interested in this tale of those who are beloved by the All-Attractive,
The departure of the children of Pāṇḍu for their ultimate destination,
Just hearing it, one gains purifying good fotune,
And gets perfected divine love for Hari.


Arjuna’s Non-Duality

SB 1.15.31

Without grief and endowed with spirituality, he [Arjuna] completely cut off all dualistic doubts and dissolved them into energy that is unqualified by shapes and manifestations.

Confusion and grief arises due to dvaita, duality. In the final issue, duality means to consider the self different from Godhead. We are not identical to God, but God is identical to us. It may not be feasible to suitably explain this subtle spiritual principle here in words, which are subject to argument and interpretation. But if the sincere soul meditates upon this with eagerness to please Godhead by the endeavor, it will become clear.

Arjuna felt himself to be separated from Kṛṣṇa, therefore he plunged into extreme doubt and grief. But by deeply contemplating the wisdom he received from Kṛṣṇa in Bhagavad Gita, Arjuna was able to rid himself of the grief that arises from dualism. He got rid of the duality (daita-saṁśaya) by dissolving it into spiritual energy, an energy that is beyond qualification (līna prakṛti-nairguṇyāt) by shapes (alinga) and manifestations (asambhava). Specifically, Arjuna felt that Kṛṣṇa was gone simply because his shape could no longer be tangibly seen manifest in the world. He got rid of this ignorance by realizing that Kṛṣṇa is everywhere at all times. The knowledge of Bhagavad Gita helped him realize this.

When he attained this realization his lamentation was finished (viśoka) and in its place he became filled with a wealth of spirituality (brahma-sampattyā). Another interpretation may be that his lamentation became very special, and purely spiritual as a result of realizing the non-duality of Kṛṣṇa and his simultaneous absence and presence.

32

Yudhiṣṭhira was very troubled about the road taken by the All-Attractive and the destruction of the Yadu family. Feeling lonely and alone, he made up his mind to himself follow the same road.

33

When Pṛthā [Kuntī] heard the Wealth Winner [Arjuna] speak of the Yadu’s destruction and the final destination of the All-Attractive, with undeviating and nakedly soulful divine love for the transcendent All-Attractive she ceased her material existence.

Arjuna’s mother gave up her life in Bhakti-Yoga Samadhi when she heard the horrible news from Arjuna.

34-35

One removes a thorn using another thorn and then discards both. Similarly the Unborn took a body to remove the burdens of the world and then discarded both. He grasps the forms of a fish and so on and then lets go of them, just like a magician. When they have relieved the world of her burdens, he lets go of that body.

36

When the All-Attractive Lotus Face in this world let go of his body, which is the subject for spiritual discussion and praise, right then and there Kali appeared, causing ill-fortune and underdevelopment of the mind and intellect.

37

Yudhiṣṭhira comprehended that serpent crawling forth through his city, state, and his home and even his own person. He saw greed, falsehood, trickery, violence and so on forming a wheel of immorality. So, he made ready to leave.

38

He had educated his grandson to be as qualified as him, and enthroned him to reign in Gajāhvaye City as the emperor of all the earth bordered by the seas.

39

Then he made Vajra the king of Śūrasena, in Mathurā. Having fulfilled his duties as a householder, he became capable to follow the inner fire.

40

Letting go of everything, his exquisite clothing and jewelry, without sense of “mine” and without selfishness, he completely cut off unlimited relationships.