Monday, June 2, 2014

Churning the Consciousness



The demigods and the demons came together for a cause and that was to retrieve the nectar of immortality from the Ocean of Milk.  It was one of the rarest occasions when the fiercest enemies were cooperating with each other. Vasuki, the king of the serpent was being used as a rope and the Mandara Mountain was the churning rod. Both the parties were anticipating that the moment the churning will start immediately the nectar will appear. But to their surprise as they began they found that the ocean has become very turbulent. The big and small animals of the ocean like fish, sharks, tortoises, snakes, whales, crocodiles etc. got disturbed and came to the surface frightening all. The misery of the devtas and demons got compounded when from the ocean came hālahala, the most dangerous poison. Everyone was aghast because instead of nectar, deadly and obnoxious substances were coming out. Lord Vishnu who was supervising the entire activity was demonstrating to all that getting nectar isn’t so easy, it requires lots of effort.

Fighting the ferocious enemies

We can relate the churning of the ocean with our very own life. Chanting the holy names of the Lord like the Hare Krishna mahamantra is also like churning the consciousness. We also have the experience that the moment we start chanting, our mind becomes more agitated. The anarthas (demoniac qualities) like lust, greed, pride, anger, envy, illusion, false ego start attacking us vigorously. We in fact find that we are at peace when we not chant than when we chant. But unless and until we get rid of these anarthas we can never attain love of God.  And the only weapon which can effectively defeat the enemy of lust, greed, pride, anger, envy, illusion, false ego is chanting. Lord Chaitanya, the Supreme God, has informed us that in this age of Kaliyuga chanting the holy names of the Lord like the Hare Krishna Mahamantra is the only process to purify the consciousness - ceto darpana marjanam. But these ferocious enemies have been in control of our lives for millions of years so they will not give up their hegemony so easily. They will fight tooth and nail, will create many obstacles and will throw many challenges.

Lord appreciates our fighting spirit

But we have to tolerate these onslaughts with great determination and continue chanting the holy names of the Lord with utmost sincerity. While practicing mantra meditation we also have to make sure that we do not indulge in any activities which may give strength to our inner enemies. This is why scriptures ask us to follow the four – regulative principles of no meat eating, no gambling, no intoxication and no illicit sex including watching pornography.  These wrong indulgences will stunt our spiritual progress and bind us to this miserable material world.  As we start starving the enemies and continue chanting enthusiastically the enemies become weaker day by day. Our effort and sincerity will attract the mercy of the munificent Lord. Krishna is always ready to help us in our devotional endeavour and He personally takes the responsibility of helping His ardent devotees. He supplies us with all necessary intelligence and guidance which will help us to come closer to Him. This He confirms in Bhagavad Gita 9.22, “But those who always worship Me with exclusive devotion, meditating on My transcendental form – to them I carry what they lack, and I preserve what they have”.  And once Lord gets pleased with our efforts then he would drive away these enemies from our life forever. 

Devotees are always victorious

During the churning of the ocean also in spite of facing all the hardships, demigods and demons continued working tirelessly for the nectar. And finally Dhanvantari appeared with the pot of nectar. Upon seeing the pot, the crooked demons snatched it immediately as they did not want the demigods to have even a drop of the nectar. But the demigods were under the protection of Lord Vishnu and those who take shelter of the Lord never ever get deprived of anything auspicious. The Lord of the Universe personally took the responsibility of delivering the nectar to the demigods. He took a beautiful feminine form of Mohini Murti and tricked the demons. The lusty demons got captivated by Her extraordinary beauty and readily handed the invaluable container to Mohini Murti. She then cleverly distributed the nectar to the demigods and the demons were left dumbfounded but they could not do anything.  It is verily said that if we are with the Lord then there is no chance of us ever getting defeated or cheated.  The demigods after drinking the ambrosia and taking complete shelter of the Lord vanquished the demons and emerged victorious.

So if we also want to be successful in our life then we need to be always on the side of the God because the Supreme Personality of Godhead is the best friend and well-wisher of the three worlds (Srimad Bhagavatam 8.9.27).

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