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A person's character related to his/her Ego - Certain interpretations from the shrImath bhAgavathgIthA

From: Raja Krishnasamy (raja_at_cyberdude.com)
Date: Tue Sep 02 1997 - 14:36:14 PDT

vasudEva sutham dEvam kansa chANUra mardhanam  |
		dEvakI paramAnandam krishNam vandE jagathgurum   ||


In very simple terms one can literally understand the above shlOkam as
follows:

Having identified their child as The Great Lord Himself, shrI vasudEvar
and his wife dEvakI are overjoyed, that they have been the chosen agents
for the holy means of the Great avathAram of shrI krishNA.  They are
indeed enthralled in happiness that this will mean and end to all their
sorrows and those of their fellow beings, for it is their child who is
destined to destroy the reign of the fiery asurAs kansA and chANUrA and
liberate the residents of dvArakA.

However, the above explanation does very poor justice to the actual
purpose of the above shlOkam which serves as the opening verse in shrI
krishNAshtakam.

I once had the opportunity to attend a certain lecture where this
achAryA (I am sorry, I know not who it was) elaborated on this one
shlOkam for over two hours.  I begin this series of posts on the
understanding of a person's ego and consequently need for relinquishing
it, with this shlOkam and sharing the knowledge I received on this
occasion.

Although this shlOkam refers to shrI vasudEvar and his wife dEvakI as
the cause of shrI vAsudEvar, indeed it is the other way around, for
without the Lord, there would be no need for this couple.  Therefore in
deeper context, the couple is to be related with one's own self.

The holy city of dvArakA has eight gates, and it was this town that was
devastated by the reign of the ruthless asurAs kansA and chANUrA.  It is
indeed no coincidence that the human body contains eight dvArams, and it
is also devastated by two ruthless asurAs - Ego and Ignorance.

So this body which is the equivalence of dvAraka which houses the AthmA
- the equivalent o shrI vasudEvar and dEvakI is being tortured by these
two worldly bonds which put us through a state of misery.  However, by
asking ourselves as to what is our purpose of going through this, we
attain the power to control these two evils, which is the process of
learning.  I had in an earlier post referred to the three character
traits as elaborated in the shrImath bhAgavathgItha - that of
sAththvIkam (devotion), rAjasIkam (greed) and tAmasIkam (delusion and
ignorance).

By looking into oneself, one recognizes that the AthmA inside him, and
by trying to understand it's bhEdham and abhEdham with the paramAthma,
one eliminates the demon of Ego within him, which is the first step to
the losing of one's ignorance.  For with the loss of ego one attains an
open mind and is therefore more attentive to the voice of erudition.  It
is quite interesting that the AchAryA compared  chANUrA to the demon of
ego, for Lord krishNA indeed kills him first before seeking to punish
kansA, the demon associated with ignorance.

This seeking of the meaning of the paramAthma, one may think is a result
of realization of the self, and hence try to relate the AthmA as the
source of the paramAthmA as described in the above shlOka.  However,
just as shrI krishNA is indeed the very cause of shrI vasudEvar and
dEvakI, one does ultimately realize that the ultimate goal of the AthmA
is to attain para Bhrahman or the supreme state.  This can be done by
first destroying the ignorance and thus quenching one's ego.

The reason for beginning this series of posts on the understanding a
person's self, is because of the recent number of postings we have been
seeing on this group of one person berating another irrespective of age
or education.  I am indeed not qualified to comment on the behavior or
temperament of people, and indeed I have at times been a victim of
"feeling insulted".  
Irrespective of any qualifications - be it our experience, age, the
amount of knowledge one has gained, they pale into nothingness the
instant one "feels insulted".  The fact that we have these feelings
indeed tell us that we have a long way to go, and one goes the distance
only through moderation and humility.  This is the paramount of all
attachments that we have to get rid of.


adiyEn

Raja Krishnasamy
raja@cyberdude.com