Friday, June 12, 2015

Insulting Hari

[Bharata War]“Tulsi says that one who insults Hari has their entire society and kingdom go to dust, like with what happened to Duryodhana, his family, and everyone associated with him.” (Dohavali, 67)

tulasī hari apamāna tēṁ hō'i akāja samāja |
rāja karata raja mili ga'ē sadala sakula kurūrāja ||67||

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One of the great things about the Bhagavad-gita is that the information transmitted can be understood both theoretically and practically. There is symbolism in everything the Supreme Lord does. Sort of like the concept of life imitating art, Shri Krishna is the original artist. He has the most intelligent brain to use in His creative powers. Therefore whatever He does automatically teaches at the same time. His actions reinforce the principles He sets forth for the benefit of man. The actions of those who are against Him also validate the key points of the Gita’s philosophy.

The main issue is allegiance. Are you with God? If you don’t know who He is then the answer is “no.” If you think that He is a mean person who allows bad things to happen to innocent people, then the answer is the same. If you think He is a figment of the imagination of the bewildered mind, then you’re on the same side. When allegiance is there, all good things result. The reverse side to this truth is that the absence of allegiance brings all negative things.

The first consequence is a descent. Like falling from a mountaintop, the envious spirit soul falls into the ocean of material suffering, where the wheel of rebirth spins and spins until desire changes. The existence is considered miserable for the very fact that nothing is fixed. Attachments form, and they become so strong that they lead to great sadness upon separation. Yet at one point the object to which one is attached wasn’t around. Therefore the pain of separation is unwarranted; it is not supported by intelligence.

The anchor of that attachment is lust, which Krishna describes as the all-devouring enemy in this world. One is advised to control this lust, from the very beginning of life. The role of the parents is to say “no.” Two parents are better than one in this regard. The extra guardian means an extra person to deny requests. The more the child is taught to control the urges in kama, the better off they will be.

Everything negative in life is due to kama, and that kama came from enviousness of the Supreme Lord. In simpler terms, if you go against God, you will never win in the end. Everything that you have will turn to dust, like in the case of Duryodhana. This is the point made by Goswami Tulsidas in the Dohavali verse quoted above.

Shri Krishna is Hari, or the Supreme Lord. Hari is also Shri Rama, the worshipable personality of choice of Tulsidas. Basically Hari is the personal God. You can only go against a person. You can only have attachment to a tangible, living figure. Hari is incorporeal in the sense that His bodily parts are not temporary. They are not the product of falling down into a material ocean due to envy. In fact, only the fools think this of Him. The wise know that His nature is changeless and supreme.

avyaktaṁ vyaktim āpannaṁ

manyante mām abuddhayaḥ

paraṁ bhāvam ajānanto

mamāvyayam anuttamam

“Unintelligent men, who know Me not, think that I have assumed this form and personality. Due to their small knowledge, they do not know My higher nature, which is changeless and supreme.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 7.24)

[Lord Krishna]There is the theoretical side that going against Hari brings you to the material ocean, where whatever you gain goes to dust in the end. There is also the practical to prove the same. That example is found in the larger book that contains the smaller, more famous work known as the Bhagavad-gita. Krishna’s teachings are nestled inside of a larger story that illustrate the principles taught.

The premise for the Bharata War is the nefarious character Duryodhana. There are many bad apples in the world, but Duryodhana was notable for his behavior towards Krishna. He directly insulted Krishna. He started by taking land that didn’t belong to him. Krishna tried to broker peace. The land rightfully belonged to the Pandavas. This side, which consisted of five brothers and their mother, was wholly devoted to Krishna. Though they lacked a kingdom and seemed to find danger wherever they turned, they were destined to win in the end.

Duryodhana seemed to be gaining everything. It looked like there was no punishment coming. Yet he insulted Krishna by refusing to accept the peace deal. He didn’t just politely decline, either. And actually, the manner in which the refusal was made didn’t matter so much. Arjuna and his brothers were dear to Krishna, so they were protected by the divine hand throughout. For them victory was guaranteed, even if they didn’t have a burning desire for it.

[Arjuna and Duryodhana meeting Krishna]Duryodhana and his clan were the losers in the greatest war in history. They took to the sinful route to gain things that were destined for destruction anyway. The Pandavas chose the pious route. They gained back their kingdom, but their true wealth was their devotion. That remains to this day. Krishna tells Arjuna to boldly declare that the devotee of the Lord never perishes. Tulsidas reminds us of this eternal truth by giving warning to those who might think of insulting Shri Hari.

In Closing:

Words of Tulsidas trust,

Or watch fortunes go to dust.

 

Like with Duryodhana’s end,

After insult to Krishna to send.

 

Pandavas even reluctant to attack,

No burning desire to have kingdom back.

 

Protected since safely on Hari’s side,

Over their wellbeing always to preside.

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