RUP AND BASANT
This is a story of two princes, Rup and Basant. As their stepmother didn’t like them, she sent them away from the family home. The boys went to live with some rishis (sages), who taught them how in meditation to dive deeply into the ocean of silence. They lived a pure life and received blessings from everyone. Whenever one would smile, flowers would emerge from his lips and whenever the other would speak, jewels would emerge.
In this story the stepmother wanted these two children to become insignificant, not known to anyone, and did not want them to attain the throne to the kingdom. However, her own son, who had become very wicked, ultimately proved himself to be unworthy of ruling. Finally, Rup and Basant, who had been sent to the jungle, became kings again because of their royal qualities.
The Supreme Soul always says that with the virtues of sweetness, cheerfulness, happiness and wisdom one is able to claim a throne in the future Golden Age kingdom. Baba is Rup Basant and if we too become rup (embodiment of yoga) and basant (one who showers knowledge), we can claim the future kingdom.
On the path of bhakti there is the story Satya Narayan – the true Narayan, which is told on the night of the full moon. It is believed that only on listening to the full story of Narayan, who they think is God, blessings can be attained. It is symbolic of how we too have to recognise God and become soul conscious, so that we can also receive blessings.
In this story, there was a family of four, a mother, a father, a daughter and her husband. The name of the mother was Lilavati and the daughter’s name was Kalavati. The father and the son-in-law had left by boat to conduct some business. The daughter forgot to keep in mind the story of Satya Narayan, as she had promised and, as a result, her father and husband were captured by a king. However, once she realised her mistake and began to reflect on the story, her husband and father were released.
Sailing back home after completing their business, they were approached by an old man who asked them to show him the goods they had in their possession. They did not want him to know the truth, so they lied, saying that they had nothing at all of value. As soon as they told the lie, their boat started sinking. They then realised that the old man was no ordinary man but an incognito form of God. So they told him all about their possessions and the boat righted itself once again.
The moral of the story is that, when you are honest and obedient, good things will happen in your life. On the contrary, if you are not, there will be problems. The Supreme Soul always says that the boat of truth will rock but it will never sink, meaning that there is always victory for truth. God is always pleased with an honest heart.
The story of the true Narayan relates how in Satyug, (the Golden Age), Shri Krishna is born as a child but in his previous birth he was only an ordinary man. In his previous birth God, tells him how to become Narayan from an ordinary man by making effort to be all-virtuous and completely viceless. God, the Father gives him knowledge of the Truth, about the Self, the Supreme Soul, Karma, the Drama Cycle and the Tree of Humanity.
In Satyug, Narayan was completely virtuous and sixteen celestial degrees complete like the full moon. Then slowly the degrees started reducing, diminishing level of soul consciousness. This refers to evolving to body consciousness as time passes.
The names in the above story have special meanings. ‘Lilavati’ means ‘to perform actions’ and ‘Kalvati’ means ‘art’ or ‘degree’. The full moon signifies one complete with knowledge demonstrated with quality of elevated actions, full of virtues, completely pure, non-violent and viceless, that is, sixteen celestial degrees complete.
In the story, the king symbolises Maya. So, if we don’t listen to the story of how to become Narayan, Maya captures us. The old man on the boat represents our beloved Supreme Father, who enters the old body of Brahma Baba and tells us that we have to listen to His knowledge, imbibe it and become truthful like God who is the Truth. If we do this, neither will our boat sink nor will we be captured by Maya. Furthermore, if we are honest and tell Shiva the truth, He will help us to get our boat across safely.
God Shiva comes only when it is time for us to transform from humans into deities. This is why the story has to be heard when the moon is full and also why the names Lilavati and Kalavati are used in the story. We become complete and perfect like the moon at the end of the Confluence Age, this makes us into deities like Narayan in the future. We have to become soul conscious from body conscious in order to become Narayan. In the boat, the father and son-in-law recognised the old man had divine qualities. This means that only those who recognise Shiv Baba in Brahma Baba’s body will imbibe the divine qualities to get their boat across.
SAVITRI AND SATYAVAN
The story of Savitri and Satyavan appears in the Mahabharat. It is one of the many stories told by the sage Markandeya to the Pandavas in exile. This legendary story of Savitri and Satyavan is an example of how Savitri’s devotion to her husband, Satyavan, brought good fortune, not only to her parents and her husband’s parents, but also to herself. The story implies that her courage, wisdom and intense devotion gave her strength to influence the Lord of Death, Yama, to release Satyavan from his clutches.
Not long ago in the kingdom of Madras ruled a king call Asvapati. He was a righteous king who had many wives but no children to carry on the royal lineage. Desiring a son, Ashvapati performed rigid penance, took vows and observed long fasts to accumulate merits. After 18 years of constant devotion Ashvapati was granted his wish for a child, even though the baby was born was girl. The King rejoiced at his good fortune and named the child Savitri.
Savitri was both a beautiful and intelligent child. As the age approached for Savitri to be given in marriage as custom demanded, no suitor came forward to ask her father for her hand, so awed were all the princes by her beauty and intelligence. Finally her father told her that she could choose the man she would like to become her husband.
He instructed Savitri herself to lead a procession throughout the surrounding kingdoms and hand-pick a suitable man. Savitri returned from her search and told her father that she had found the perfect man. Though he was poor and an ascetic of the woods, he was handsome, well-educated and of kind temperament. His name was Satyavan and he was actually a prince, whose blind father, King Dyumatsena, had been displaced by an evil king.
King Ashvapati asked the venerable sage, Narad, whether Satyavan would be a suitable spouse for Savitri. Narad responded that there was no one in the world more worthy than Satyavan. However, Narad continued, Satyavan had one unavoidable flaw – he was fated to live a short life and would die exactly one year from that very day. Ashvapati then tried to dissuade Savitri from marrying Satyavan by telling her of the impending death of her loved one. Savitri, however, held firm to her choice and both the King and Narad gave their blessings and the couple wed.
When the fateful time approached, Savitri began a fast and prayed to God to strengthen her spirit. Then came the day marked for the death of Satyavan. Satyavan shouldered his axe and was about to set off to cut wood for the day’s fires, so Savitri followed him. While he was cutting down a tree, he began to feel unwell and sat down to rest. Savitri, knowing what was to come, put his head on her lap and carefully observed what was happening. His legs and hands became stiff and chill and she felt that death was nearing. In a short time Savitri saw a huge, dark figure coming closer. Trembling she asked him who he was. The Lord of Death replied, “I am Yama and your husband’s days are at an end. I am only speaking to you, a mortal, because of your extreme virtue. I have come personally, instead of sending my emissaries, because of your husband’s righteous life.”
Without saying another word, Yama then pulled Satyavan’s soul out of his body with the small noose he was carrying, and began moving southwards. Savitri followed Yama at a distance. Yama advised her to go back and dispose of her husband’s body, pointing out that it was what a dutiful wife should do. She replied that a dutiful wife should always be at her husband’s side, like his shadow, and urged Yama to take her soul along with her husband’s.
Now Yama began to appreciate her words of wisdom and devotion to her husband. He urged her to return, saying that he would grant her any boon except a request for her husband’s life to be restored. Savitri asked that her father-in-law should be given back his vision and Yama granted her wish. Savitri kept on following Yama, praising him. Yama was pleased and granted her four more boons. She asked that her father-in-law should be given back his lost kingdom, that her own father should have sons borne to him and that she herself should be blessed with sons. These boons were also granted by Yama.
There was one more boon left, and Yama had said that he would grant her anything except for the life of her husband. Reflecting on this, Savitri laughed and said, “O Great God, I thank you for complying with my request. You have granted me sons. However, you know my chastity and devotion to my husband. How can I have children except through my husband’s life? You cannot now refuse to restore his life if I am to keep my honour. I bow to you for your kindness.” Yama realised that he had not given enough thought to the matter, before granting the boons. He praised her for her wisdom and persistence, freed her husband’s soul from the noose and disappeared.
Through her devotion to her husband, Savtiri was able to achieve great blessings for herself and her family. This signifies that, if we are devoted to our Husband of all Husbands, Shiv Baba, then we will be able to achieve great blessings for ourselves and for the world. Savitri was able to restore her father-in-law’s vision through the granting of the boon. In the Iron Age everyone becomes spiritually blind and, when God Shiva gives knowledge, everyone’s third eye begins to open.
Similarly, she was instrumental in the restoration of her father-in-law’s lost kingdom. This signifies that, when we become godly helpers in imparting knowledge to others, we enable them to create their fortune of a future heavenly kingdom for themselves.
In worldly terms, to have sons means to have wealth, prosperity and happiness. Savitri requested for sons to be granted to her father. This shows how we can become instruments to enable everyone to claim fortune, wealth, prosperity and happiness in the future world.
It should be noted that Savitri’s birth was a blessing from God. Similarly, as Brahmins we take a spiritual birth as a result of blessings from God Shiva. If we have the same intensity of devotion, courage and wisdom that Savitri had for her husband in the remembrance of God, our Husband, and in doing service for the upliftment of the human family, we too would be able to receive a great reward in the Golden Age.
SHIVA AND PARVATI’S MARRIAGE
This is a story about Shiva’s marriage to Parvati (also known as Sati). In this myth it is said that Sati was the youngest daughter of Daksh Prajapati, the Chief of Gods. She wanted to marry Shiva against the wishes of her father. So, in order to get his own way, her father invited all the gods and princes from the four corners of the world, except Shiva, to attend a swayamvara. This was a grand ceremony during which a princess chooses her husband from among the invited kings and princes.
Sati came out to meet the assembly, carrying the marriage garland which would signify her choice of husband but could not find Shiva there. She became depressed and threw the garland into the air, calling upon God Shiva to accept it. Shiva accepted the garland, so Daksh had to marry his daughter to him. Shiva took her to Mount Kailash where his palace was situated.
Some time later Daksh Prajapati held a great sacrificial fire. This was the sacrificial fire in which a horse was sacrificed. Many of the gods were invited but Shiva was once again excluded. Sati, seeing all the gods trooping off to the sacrifice at her father’s home, went along to see her father and pleaded with him to invite her husband. Daksh simply ignored her and continued to repeat the scriptures. So Sati jumped into the sacrificial fire and was consumed by its flames.
It is said that Sati was reborn as Parvati to Himavan, the mountain-king, and that she later married Shiva once again. She was called Himavati or Parvati or Devi Uma, the high goddess of the Himalayas. She was also called Girija and Adrija, both meaning ‘mountain-born’. She had begun deep meditation, tapasya, from her very early childhood in an effort to regain Shiva as her husband. At last Shiva, pleased with her, succumbed to her wishes, and Prajapita Brahma performed the marriage ceremony.
On the day of the marriage all types of people – deities (devatas) and demons (danavs), people with only one eye, the lame, the ugly, the repulsive and all other varieties of people in the world – joined in the marriage procession. The spiritual significance of this is that everyone has the opportunity of participating in and enjoying the marriage of the soul with the Supreme Soul.
Baba has said in His murlis that we are all Parvatis doing deep meditation (tapasya) to attain Him. When we reach our karmateet and perfect, complete stage at the end, He will take us all back with Him to Paramdham, the Soul World. Everyone will be in this wedding procession following God back home numberwise according to the manner in which we have passed our spiritual examination– the ones who pass with honours will be close to Him and those who gain an ordinary pass will follow on behind and those who fail will be at the back of the procession.
Sudama and Krishna were school friends. One day Sudama’s mother gave him a handful of peanuts and told him to share them with Krishna. While the two friends were playing in the forest, they became separated and Sudama grew hungry and ate all the peanuts. When Krishna returned, he too was hungry and enquired after the peanuts, only to find out there were none left. They returned to Sudama’s home and his mother asked whether the peanuts had been shared. When Sudama told her that he had eaten them all, she became angry and cursed him, saying that a time would come when Krishna would have everything and Sudama would have nothing.
Later, when Krishna went to rule in Dwarka, Sudama, now married, was living in poverty. He had so much love for Krishna that he refused to worship his own king, who could have improved his situation. The King asked him, “If Krishna is your god, why doesn’t he help you?” Sudama went through many trials but Krishna was only testing his faith. At last, an invitation came from Krishna to visit Dwarka. His wife encouraged him to go and insisted that he take a gift with him, asking, “How can you go empty-handed to meet your friend who is a king?” All they had was a small portion of rice which his wife packed ready for him to take.
Sudama reached the palace, bleeding and tattered from his long journey on foot. The guards thought he was a beggar but he told them to tell Krishna, “Sudama has come”. Krishna came running from his throne, barefoot, to meet him at the door of the palace and bowed at his feet. It was a beautiful meeting between the King and the pauper, two old friends. Krishna invited Sudama to sit on his throne, where Krishna then washed Sudama’s feet and drank the water afterwards, as was the custom in welcoming a great guest.
After they had spent some time together, Krishna asked if Sudama had brought anything with him. He said, “I know your wife would not send you empty-handed”. Sudama timidly offered his humble gift to Krishna who began to eat the rice with great delight. As he ate the first portion, Sudama’s hut turned into a palace. As he ate the second portion, the land around the new palace turned into a magnificent garden. As he ate the third portion, Sudama’s wife was transformed into a beautiful deity. Then Krishna’s wife intervened, cautioning that he would loose all his wealth if he were to eat the last portion.
Unaware of all these developments, Sudama eventually departed and returned home. However, he could not find his house and eventually recognised his wife in the gardens of a palace nearby. She told him that, because of his gift to Krishna, he had received multimillion-fold fortune in return.
The spiritual significance of the story, when referred to by God Shiva, is that if you give a helping hand in godly service, be it through your body, mind, wealth or connections and relationships, you will receive a multimillion-fold return just like Sudama..
SUKHDEV AND KING JANAK
Long ago there lived a great sage, named Vyas, who is known as the writer of the greatest Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita. With his great spiritual power he invoked a saintly soul to enter the womb of his wife. As the baby grew within the womb, he taught the unborn child the secrets of the scriptures through the subconscious mind of the mother. This baby, when born, was named Sudhdev.
Because of his prenatal training he proved to be a most unusual child. At the age of seven he was already well versed in the difficult Hindu scriptures and was ready to renounce the world and seek a true master. (In India it is customary for a devotee to seek out spiritual teachers until he finds the one he recognises as his own God-chosen master or guru.)
When Sukhdev decided to go in search of his guru, his father advised him to go to King Janak, the ruler of the province. As Sukhdev entered the royal palace, he saw the King sitting on an emerald and diamond-studded golden throne, surrounded by courtiers and scantily-clad women who, according to Indian custom in the hot season, were fanning him with big palm leaves. King Janak was smoking a big oriental pipe. This sight didn’t impress Sukhdev; he turned his back on this scene and started walking briskly away from the palace. He muttered, “Shame on my father for sending me to someone so caught up in material things! How could such a worldly man be my teacher?”
However, King Janak was both a king and a saint. He was in the world but not of it. Highly advance spiritually; he could telepathically sense the thoughts of the fleeing Sukhdev. The saint-king sent a messenger after the boy, commanding him to come back. Thus the master and the devotee met. The King sent his attendants away and at once embarked on an absorbing discourse about God, Four hours passed. Sukhdev was getting restless and hungry but he dared not disturb the God-intoxicated King Janak.
Another hour had passed when two messengers arrived, exclaiming, “Your Majesty, the whole city is on fire! The flames are threatening to spread towards the palace. Won’t you come and supervise the efforts to extinguish the flames?” The King replied, “I am too busy discussing the all-protecting God with my friend, Sukhdev. I have no time for anything else. Go and help the others to put out the fire.”
An hour later the same two messengers came running to King Janak again and beseeched him, “Your Majesty, please flee! The palace has caught fire and flames are fast approaching your chamber.” The King answered, “Never mind! Don’t disturb me for I am drinking the nectar of God with my friend. Go and do the best you can.”
Sukhdev was puzzled by the King’s attitude but he also tried to remain unaffected by the excitement. A short time later two scorched messengers leapt in front of King Janak, shouting, “Mighty King, the flames are approaching your throne! Run before both of you are burnt to death.” The King replied, “You both run and save yourselves. I feel too peaceful in the arms of the all-protecting God to fear the audacity of destructive flames.” The messengers fled. The flames leapt towards the pile of books that Sukhdev had by his side but the King sat, motionless and indifferent.
Sukhdev, now thoroughly alarmed, lost his poise. He half-rose from his seat and began slapping at the flames in order to save his precious books. King Janak smiling waved his hand the fire miraculously disappeared. Sukhdev, in great awe, sank back in his seat.
The King said calmly, “Oh, young Sukhdev, you though of me as an impure King, attached to worldly things, but look at yourself! You forsook the all-protecting thought of God to protect a pile of books, while I paid no attention to my burning kingdom and palace. God worked this miracle to show you that, although you are a renunciate, you are more attached to your books than to God, than I am to my kingdom, even though I live in the world instead of a hermitage.” Humbled, the young Sukhdev then recognised the saint-king to be his guru-preceptor.
The spiritual significance of this story is that being a renunciate is a mental attitude and is not dependent on physical renunciation or on limited material possessions. King Janak lived his life as a trustee. He put Sukhdev through a process of discipline to teach him the art of living in the world without acquiring misery-creating attachment to it.
One day the King gave his new disciple two cup-shaped lamps, filled to the brim with oil. Janak said, “Hold a lamp on the palm of each hand and walk through all the magnificently furnished rooms of the palace. After you have seen everything, come back to me but remember, I will refuse to train you any further if you spill a single drop of oil on the carpets.”
King Janak instructed two messengers to accompany Sukhdev and to refill the two lamps with oil as fast as the oil was consumed. It was a demanding task but, after two hours, Sukhdev returned triumphantly, without having dropped any oil from the lamps in his hands.
The King said, “Young Sukhdev, tell me in detail what you saw in each chamber of my palace.” To this Sukhdev replied, “Royal preceptor, my only accomplishment was that I did not spill any oil on your carpets. My mind was so concentrated on the thought of not dripping oil that I did not notice anything in the rooms.”
King Janak then declared, “I am disappointed! You have not completely passed my test. My instructions were that you should look at everything in all the chambers of my palace and that you should not drip any oil from the lamps. Go back with the lamps and remember, no spilling of the oil while you are looking carefully at everything around you.
Then hours later Sukhdev calmly returned. He had not allowed any oil to drip nor was he sweating with excitement as before. He could answer all the King’s questions about the contents, however minute, of all the palace chambers. Janak told him his secret, “This is how I live in the palace but I do not cherish it; I always look at the light of the soul.”
Therefore, by practising soul consciousness one is able to live in a detached, yet loving, way. At the same time, one should not neglect one’s duties but do everything with full attention and accuracy.
THE THIRD EYE
One of the deepest secrets that people throughout the ages have wanted to resolve has been that of the discovery of the self, the discovery of the third eye. There are many myths told about this. Although it is not physical, the third eye does exist. It is the eye of wisdom. It is the wisdom of the soul and located in the centre of the forehead.
In Greek mythology, it has been shown that Athena, the goddess of wisdom, was born out of Zeus’s forehead. This is symbolic of wisdom being situated in the soul, which resides in the centre of the forehead. The following story about Parvati, the daughter of Himavan, the mountain-king, and Shankar, the latter sometimes being called Shiva in Indian mythology, is the of about the opening the third eye. One of the praises of Shankar is that he is Trinetri, the one who possesses a third eye. His third eye is said to be located in the centre of his forehead.
One day Shankar, sometimes also called Rudra, sat in deep meditation (tapasya). Along came Parvati, attended by many celestial maidens. In a playful manner Parvati approached Rudra from behind and put her hands over his eyes. However, as soon as she did that, utter darkness and gloom covered the world. The sun disappeared and the world became devoid of all activities. The gods were in an immense state of fear, as were all the living things on earth.
Fortunately, this situation lasted only a few moments because the third eye of Shankar emerged almost immediately when suddenly a great flame that looked like another sun burst open and appeared on his forehead, dispelling all the gloom and panic. It is said that the flame blazed so fiercely and was so enormous that the Himavat mountain was immediately consumed, along with its forests, beasts and birds. Parvati was so distressed to find that her father’s kingdom of Himalaya had been destroyed that she fell at Shankar’s feet in despair. Observing Parvati’s distress, Shankar cast merciful eyes towards the mountain and at once her father’s kingdom was restored. The trees and plants were once again in bloom and the birds began to sing anew. Parvati thanked the lord.
Shankar revealed to Parvati the details about what had happened. He told Parvati that when she covered his eyes playfully with her hands, the world had become dark and gloomy and so Shankar had had to create a third eye in order to sustain the world. Enormous energy in the form of a flame had burst out of his third eye and the mountain had been destroyed. It was only his love for Parvati that had made him restore the Himavat mountain.
Spiritually, the story signifies that, when the third eye of wisdom is shut the intellect is lifeless, without consciousness of the power of discrimination, thus becoming gross and heavy like a stone. (When Parvati covers the eyes of Shankar, this is a metaphor for how world has turned away from God.) Touched by wisdom from God, the burden is removed and the intellect, thus given new life, becomes a sparkling valuable diamond, filled with divinity.
It is only when Baba, the Supreme Surgeon, the Creator, comes and gives us knowledge that the third eye opens and wisdom returns. So we can conclude that, when the third eye is closed, human life loses its beauty and truth, which leads to suffering. When the third eye opens again, life is transformed.
The following is another story about the opening of the third eye. In India there is a day when everyone fasts. Unmarried girls fast so they can get a good and handsome husband. Married women fast so that their husbands will have a long life. During the period of fasting people only eat food once the moon has risen.
The story goes that one day a young queen, who was fasting to ensure a long life for her husband, was staying at her mother’s house. Her brothers didn’t really believe in fasting but, if she insisted on going ahead with it, they didn’t think that it should continue until after the moon rose. So they went to a distant place within the city and lit a fire. They then returned home and told their sister that the moon had risen, which explained why the sky was so bright. She believed them and broke her fast.
During a fast a woman is not permitted to do any sewing. However, since the young queen thought the fast had finished, she decided she would now make something. Without realising it, every time she inserted her needle into the material it pricked her husband’s body, even though he was very far away. After many needles had pricked him in this way, he became unconscious, falling into a coma.
When she returned to her own home, she saw her husband, unconscious, with many needles inserted in his body. With the help of her maid she started taking the needles out, a delicate task which took many days. Because she did not want her husband to know how many needles had been in his body, she decided to remove those in his eyes last. Before removing these last needles, she went to freshen up. However, while she was away, the maid took the needles out of his eyes, which brought him out his of coma. She then told him that she, the maid, was his wife and that she had been removing needles from his body for the past few days. He believed her because he had lost his memory while he had been unconscious. He did not realise that she was not his wife.
So the maid took over the role of queen while the real queen had no choice but to act as her maid because of her husband’s loss of memory. She bided her time, trying to think of a way to tell her husband that she was really the queen. She conducted herself so graciously that one day the King asked her if there was anything she desired. She requested a doll and he granted her wish.
She began to talk to the doll, saying that they were going to act out a true story about a queen becoming a maid and the maid becoming a queen. One day the King, overhearing this story, discovered the truth. He questioned the maid who was acting as the queen. She admitted to removing the last needles from his eyes and taking advantage of his loss of memory to pass herself off as his wife.
In the murlis Baba refers to both of these stories to illustrate how our eyes can only be opened through receiving true knowledge. When the light of knowledge is not there, all actions we perform are like needles that prick others and become karmic accounts. Baba tells us that He comes to free us from our karmic accounts but Maya makes us into maids and servants. Baba then makes us into queens again by giving us true knowledge. Once our karmic bondages are cleared and our third eye is opened, we become masters again. Baba says He is the one who opens our third eye and, when our third eye is opened we are able to see things as they truly are.