Monday, December 30, 2013
O Learned and Devoted Servants of God
[December 28, 2013] Shri Surya asked: "I was told that a great Shankaracharya asked the Government to give permission to enter into Maha Samaadhi. The Government refused and the Acharya dropped from it. Please enlighten us on this".
Swami replied: Maha Samadhi means suicide in which one sits alive and a closed room is built around him. Suicide is equivalent to murdering somebody. The soul of yourself is as good as any other soul existing in a living body. When some living being is killed, the soul in it experiences torture. This torture is the greatest sin and avoiding such torture is the greatest among the good deeds (Ahimsa Paramo dharmah). For this reason only, the non-vegetarian food is prohibited by the scripture. There is no difference between vegetarian food and non-vegetarian food since the chemical composition of both (like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals etc.) is one and the same. Therefore, eating the non-vegetarian food is not a sin. The process of getting the non-vegetarian food by killing and torture is the sin. If one eats a living being, which is dead due to some accident, it is not wrong. Eating a living being dead by disease or old age is avoided due to medical reasons. The Kapalikas eat dead bodies and are not considered as sinners. They are respected as the followers of a sacred branch of Hindu religion. Therefore, torture and violence is the main sin. You should not argue that killing a living being in unconscious state by giving some anesthesia may not be sin. Any living being undergoes the pain of death in any unconscious state. Moreover, you are forcibly ending the life given by God in which a living being enjoys the facilities of creation and feels happy. You must keep yourself in the place of such living being and understand the logic in the best way. You should not also argue that you are not directly killing the living being and hence, you are not the sinner. The living being is killed by somebody since people like you purchase it. Therefore, the sin is shared by you also (Kartaa kaarayitaa chaiva).
Therefore, the torture experienced by your soul in the suicide is one part of the sin. The other part of the sin is that you are forcibly missing the opportunity given by God to derive happiness in this life sanctioned by God. God feels happy if His children (the living beings) feel happy by enjoying His creation and become grateful to God. God will feel unhappy if His children are tortured (Mamchaivaantah Shareerashtham - Gita). Here, you should not take it granted that God is in your body. The soul is already referred as a part of creation in the earlier line by the word 'Bhutagraama'. The soul or awareness is already mentioned as a part of the nature (Sanghatah Chetanaa dhrutih). The soul is said to be in the body (Shareerashtham). But, God is said to be very deep in the body (Antah Shareera), which means that God is the basic substratum. Otherwise, God should have been also brought under the category of Shareerastham. God is inside the body in the sense that God is inside the whole creation as substratum and therefore, here also God is taken as the substratum of the body.
The Veda says that a soul committing suicide will fall in the hell called 'Asurya', which is totally filled by darkness (Asurya Naama te lokaah). You may argue that you are ending your life due to problems. Problems should be solved with courage derived from the devotion to God. In the higher plane of philosophy, you should learn to enjoy the problems along with peace in the life like alternate hot dishes and sweet dishes in the meals. Anything running continuously will result in getting bored, which is also a problem. You cannot enjoy the sweets continuously without a hot dish. You cannot enjoy the cinema with happy scenes only without tragic scenes. Problem is a valuable interval in continuous peace like the pickle in eating a sweet continuously.
The creation of God in which life is a part is always wonderful. Hence, you should be entertained continuously by the alternate peace and disturbance. In fact, God has created this universe for His entertainment only as said in the Veda (Ekaaki Naramate...). You are enjoying the scenes of problems in the cinema and you must enjoy more the same problem appearing in your life due to direct involvement. You will enjoy more by eating the food instead of enjoying by seeing somebody eating the food. This is the reason that why God was not satisfied with the entertainment attained by seeing His running creation. God takes human form to enter the creation and is entertained perfectly by directly involving Himself in the positive and negative events of life. If you enjoy your life on this earth like God in human form, you are equivalent to God in this aspect of enjoyment. Creation, maintenance and dissolution of this Universe are unnecessary botheration since the final aim of these three aspects is only continuous entertainment. This is perfect monism (Advaita) preached by Shankara.
Therefore, you require the spiritual knowledge to understand the philosophy of life and this total creation. You should always wish to live more time by taking proper care of your health (Jeevema sharadasshatam - Veda). Some ignorant people feel shy in taking the help of medicines and doctors feeling that such way is not spiritual. They pray God to cure the illness and pose that they are in the real spiritual path. It shows only their ignorance. God is the Creator of the Science (Vijnaanam etat sarvam janaardanaat) and its results are given by Him only to the living beings, which are His children (Aham Bijapradah pita). When the problem can be solved through natural power, why should you be rigid of the unnecessary miraculous power of God? Both are His powers only. The natural power is called as Prakriti and the miraculous power is called as Maya. Basically both are His power only and thus, there is no difference between them from that point of view. The Gita says that Maya and Prakriti are one and the same (Mayaam tu prakritim viddhi). If Prakriti fails, you can approach God for exhibition of Maya.
You may think that some of the great people followed this procedure of Maha Samadhi. Lord Rama jumped into the river of Sarayu and committed suicide. Raghavendra, Veerabhahmendra, etc., have taken this Maha Samadhi. You cannot imitate them in taking Maha Samadhi without reaching their level. They have reached such high level in which they do not feel even a trace of torture in leaving the body. For them, the body is just like the dress that can be changed at any time (Vasaamsi Jeernani - Gita). You can test yourself to see whether you have reached that level or not by closing your nose and mouth for a few minutes to see whether you are feeling any inconvenience or not.
The great Shankaracharya tried to take the permission of the Government because he knows very well that the Government will not permit. By this, he wants to preach that suicide is a sin not only in Nivritti but also in Pravritti since it is a punishable offense in the worldly law. Hanuman tried to commit suicide when Sita was not seen in Lanka. Here, the suicide was not due to personal problems. It is due to the problem in the work of the Lord, which could not be solved by Him. This shows His intensity of involvement in the Lord's work. He dropped from the idea of suicide even in this work of Lord because He thought that He can continue in the Divine service by living.
At the lotus feet of Shri Datta Swami